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American spy agency the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have been declared the "internet villains" of 2014 at a British internet industry awards ceremony.
At the 2014 ISPA Awards in London, telcos pointed the finger at GCHQ and the NSA for their involvement in programs like PRISM and Tempora, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The internet hero award,meanwhile, was granted to the Guardian for its extensive reporting on the matter.
Unsurprisingly no spy agency officials were on hand to pick up the tongue-in-cheek, villainous gong, so it was collected by privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch instead. Last year's 'winner' was Turkey's prime minister Erdogan, who clamped down on online freedoms throughout the country as a wave of protest hit the streets and social media. The ceremony is in its 16th year running and invites all the heavy hitters of the British telecoms industry.
The Selective Service System was partying like it was 1999 recently, with their system sending out military draft notices to 14,000 men in Pennsylvania born between 1893 and 1897.
The notices were telling these men to register for the nation's military draft, warning them that if they didn't, that it is "punishable by a fine and imprisonment". The AP reports: "The glitch originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles during an automated data transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. The records of males born between 1993 and 1997 were mixed with those of men born a century earlier, Selective Service spokesman Pat Schuback told The Associated Press on Thursday. The federal agency didn't know it because the state uses a two-digit code to indicate year of birth".
The youngest surviving draftee would be turning 117 this year, probably a bit too old to be drafted in the military, wouldn't you say?
A Kickstarter project to crowdsource potato salad has received over 37,000 US dollars shortly after going live and with 25 more days to go at the time of publication.
The page's creator, Zack Danger Brown, simply said that he is "making potato salad" and that backers will be guaranteed a bite. Stretch goals at $35 included making four times as much potato salad, while reaching $75 dollars guaranteed a pizza party and $100 came with a promise of trying two different potato salad recipes.
"We're really tearing through these stretch goals," Brown said. "I honestly don't know what is realistic anymore." At $3,000 Brown promised to rent out a party hall and "invite the whole internet" - "the internet loves potato salad," he added. "Let's show them that potato salad loves the internet!" Backers are now also being guaranteed hats that will express a love for the carby Summer treat.
One lucky applicant in the UK & Ireland will be paid by Netflix to sit at home watching TV all day as an official "tagger".
The streaming TV and film giant has posted an ad for a Tagger in the UK and Ireland, who would be required to sit through hours upon hours of series to get a feel for the content - writing up genre and tone as well as possible recommendations. But being a coach potato will not be qualification enough - according to the job posting, Netflix is looking for verifiable, degree-equipped experts, with relevant experience in asset management systems, movie, TV or editorial experience, and between 1-2 years in new media.
Still, for the right candidate it'll be an opportunity to view Netflix original content before the rest of the world. That might mean plodding through some of the less appealing TV that's on offer, but what with being paid to watch content from home, perhaps that's not too shabby a tradeoff at all.
Google has banned pornographic material from its AdWords advertising network, but dating websites and adult entertainment are still approved. The popular search engine company already had policies in place limiting adult content, and advertisers are now looking for rival networks to utilize in the future.
It's unknown what type of realistic impact this will have, because the more popular "Tube" porn websites and webcam model services use personal websites, organic search results, and word of mouth to help generate new traffic.
"Beginning in the coming weeks, we'll no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sex acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital; anal, and oral sexual activity," according to a statement sent to an advertiser.
The 2014 World Cup has been a great success for broadcasters and online social media websites, as ESPN and Univision are seeing big viewership numbers. Despite a number of TV viewers and legal online services providing game coverage, millions of users also are tuning in using online piracy streams to watch their favorite soccer matches.
Viaccess-Orca, which is a content protection company, has sent around 2,000 takedown notices, targeting sites that are able to generate scores of new viewers during live sporting events. In addition, the group also sends takedown notices to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites - where users share links to online streams.
"The success rate varies per content platform but overall we managed to get 35 percent of the streaming links disable before the game ends," said David Leporini, Viaccess-Orca EVP of marketing, products and security, told TorrentFreak. "I think this is a great success rate, especially compared to direct download sites."
Newegg made an announcement recently that the online retail site will now start accepting Bitcoins as a method of payment from now on. The company also started a new hashtag '#neweggbitcoin' to gather peoples thoughts and rants about its new payment method.
One can select Bitcoin as a method of payment under its step 2 'billing' options while checking out. Newegg is using 'Bitpay' to process Bitcoin payments as its proven itself to be an industry-leading reliable and scalable option to process such transaction. A buyer can also use the digital wallet stored in their smartphone as it will use the QR code stored in the phone or the link of the digital wallet to proceed with the payment.
Soren Mills, Chief Marketing Officer for Newegg North America said,"Newegg's customers are among some of the earliest Bitcoin miners and are enthusiastic proponents of the crypto-currency. Adopting Bitcoin as a payment method is another way we're responding to our customers' diverse needs". He continued,"Working with BitPay to implement a Bitcoin payment option at Newegg was a seamless process and our partnership gives us the capabilities we require for high-volume e-commerce."
So long then, Orkut - Google's first social network, now ten years old, is officially closing its doors at the end of this September.
Orkut began life in the earlier days of web 2.0, at the time competing with the likes of Myspace. It was incredibly popular in South America, and enjoyed millions of users in its heyday. Now, in a blog post, the social network is saying "tchau". Orkut "helped shape life online before people really knew what social networking was," the post read. "Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut's growth, we've decided to bid Orkut farewell."
Google plans to keep investing its time in the newer, mentioned networks. But to any users still lurking around, there will be an archive of all public communities - available at the date of Orkut's death late September. Those that don't want their details to be kept online can remove Orkut permanently through their Google+ accounts - where else?
The 2014 World Cup continues to be a major draw for No. 1 social media site Facebook, as the service has seen more than 1 billion posts, likes and comments through the first half of the tournament. In fact, the popular soccer tournament is the most talked-about event Facebook has been a part of - and that tally will only continue to grow.
"People are having conversations on Facebook about what they watch in a really unprecedented scale," said Nick Grudin, Facebook director of partnerships, in an interview with Reuters. "In addition to sharing and connecting with friends, people are engaging in real-time with the media and the public voices they care about most."
Just over one week ago, it was discovered that the World Cup already surpassed the Super Bowl, Sochi Winter Olympics, and Academy Awards in Facebook social interaction combined - topping 141 million likes, comments and shared posts/photos.
The latest version of the Akamai State of the internet report has been published. This is a quarterly look at how the internet is changing around the world and according to the latest issue, internet speeds around the world have increased 24% year over year to 3.9 Mbps.
Akamai believes that given the growth rate we are seeing, during the next quarter average internet speeds around the world will hit 4 Mbps. This report also looks at the countries that have the fastest internet speeds in the world. The fastest connections to be had are offered in South Korea at 23.6 Mbps average.
Japan was in second place with average internet speeds of 23.6 Mbps. The third place spot on the list went to Hong Kong at 13.3 Mbps. Rounding out the top ten, in order, are Switzerland, Netherlands, Latvia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland, and Ireland.