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Russian president Vladimir Putin is cracking down on Internet bloggers in his country, forcing them to register with a national media office. The new "bloggers law" forces bloggers to follow the same laws as larger media publications - and any blog with more than 3,000 readers must register, including traditional blogs and microblogs.
Bloggers in Russia also are no longer allowed to remain anonymous, and all published blogs must include contact information. This new law is designed to help clamp down on criticism against the government. The new law goes into effect on August 1.
"Like previous reforms, this bill's sole aim is to increase control over online content," according a statement from Reporters Without Borders. "At a time when independent media are facing an unprecedented offensive, this is likely to reduce the space for free debate even further. The long list of new prohibitions offers many new possibilities for censoring bloggers when most problems could be solved under existing legislation."
The Prince George Police Department in Maryland plans to live tweet a prostitution sting later this week, providing street-level insight into a problem that many people believe is a victimless crime. However, the police department wants to enforce the idea that prostitution - and the folks that arrive to enjoy these types of services - aren't welcome in Prince George's County.
"The intent all along has been to put on notice and/or arrest the very people who exploit women and even young girls in our community," according to a press release from the police department.
However, the idea of live tweeting results from the prostitution sting hasn't gone over well, with some advocates saying it won't help, and could increase public safety risk.
This morning, Amazon.com announced a new feature that will allow its customers to add products posted on Twitter straight to their Amazon.com shopping card from their personal Twitter accounts. The new feature is called #AmazonCart (#AmazonBasket in the UK) and requires that Amazon.com customers connect their Amazon account with their Twitter account.
Once connected, users can reply to any Tweet that contains an Amazon product link and include the hashtag #AmazonCart or #AmazonBasket for our UK readers, and the product will be added to your Amazon.com shopping cart. Before you get too worried about accidental purchases, this new feature will not allow you to actually complete the purchase, it will simply just add that item to your shopping card. Users will still have to visit Amazon.com to complete the checkout process.
PayPal management fired its strategy director, Rakesh Agrawal, for making series of inappropriate tweets about his fellow co-workers. It all started when 'Rocky' Agrawal started making such tweets at around 1 am during a Jazz fest in New Orleans.
The news source points out that he referred PayPal's vice president of global communications, Christina Smedley as a 'useless middle manager' and a 'piece of shit'. The following tweets by him indicates that he may have been drunk. He then says via Twitter that 'People who should be fired from PayPal Don Christmas a pool a kick'.
Though Rakesh did delete those tweets, those messages were still up long enough for a lot of people to notice. On Saturday, PayPal tweets that it fired Rakesh Agrawal as they have zero tolerance for such behaviour.
AT&T revealed its plans to offer in-flight internet service in collaboration with few companies using a new air-to-ground 4G LTE technology. The company stated that it will be using its existing spectrum and plans to work with Honeywell for hardware and software solution to provide in-flight connections.
"Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet," said John Stankey, Chief Strategy Officer at AT&T. "We are building on AT&T's significant strengths to develop in-flight connectivity technology unlike any other that exists today, based on 4G LTE standards. We believe this will enable airlines and passengers to benefit from reliable high speeds and a better experience. We expect this service to transform connectivity in the aviation industry - we are truly mobilizing the sky."
AT&T also will be building an air-to-ground network in United States which will be based on 4G LTE standards.
Since its launch, Skype has been an important communication tool for both the private and corporate sectors, and when Group Video Calling was launched, it changed the way many of us conference. Unfortunately, Microsoft slapped a $8.99 price tag on this feature by bundling it into the Skype Premium package, and many of us simply moved on to the free group video conferencing platform Google Calls Hangouts. Today Microsoft has seen the errors of its ways and has opened up group video calling for free to everyone.
"For the last few years, we've offered group video calling to Premium users on Windows desktop and Mac and more recently Xbox One," Skype said in a blog post. "Today, we're excited to announce that we're making group video calling free - for all users on these platforms. And, in the future, we'll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms - at no cost."
The change is mostly because Microsoft wanted to bring Skype group video calling to Xbox One and to do that, it needed to make the service free of charge. As of this morning Skype group video calling is available free on Windows desktop, Mac and Xbox One clients. With this new change, Microsoft has also ended the Skype Premium subscription all together, but it will still charge for making domestic and international phone calls.
For a few hours now I've been unable to properly load my Facebook News Feed, but it looks like I'm not the only one. My Facebook News Feed - when it loads - has a few people complaining about it.
The problem - for me at least - is a two-parter. First, if my News Feed loads, I can pull down around 4-5 status updates from friends or pages I've 'liked'. If not, my News Feed doesn't appear at all, with blank placeholders in the News Feeds place. There are also users reporting an error that says "No content in this feed" on mobile.
The problem appears to be fixed for some, for myself, and many others, the problem seems to still persist - hopefully for now.
In its new blog post, Netflex blamed Comcast of extorting content companies and its own customers by charging twice for accessing the same content on the internet. It also stated that the internet service provider is not truly offering transit service.
Earlier, Netflix raised concerns about Comcast's merger with Time Warner as it might charge a 'toll' for accessing video content, but at the end of the day Netflix had to made an agreement with Comcast for better quality of streaming of content for its customers.
Netflix pointed out that unlike Level3 and Cogent, Comcast is not carrying traffic to every network on the internet. According to Netflix, rather than moving the traffic, its merely acting as a 'gatekeeper' for its subscribers. Netflix VP of content Ken Florance added,"In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other."
The founder of VKontakte (VK), Pavel Durov, has been fired and reportedly has fled the country as Moscow takes control of his website. Durov faced pressure from the Federal Security Service (FSB) to reveal user information about political activists, which he routinely rejected.
"Judging by the news, I was fired today as the general director of VKontakte," Durov wrote in an online post. "Interestingly, the shareholders did not have the courage to do it directly and I learned about my mysterious dismissal from the press."
There has been a continued fight between VK's owners, after the United Capital Partners (UCP) purchased 48 percent of the company - and has battled with Mail.Ru, a company that owns 52 percent. Meanwhile, Durov said he has left the country and likely won't go back due to the Russian government's incompatibility with Internet businesses.
AT&T unveiled its roadmap which indicates that the U.S. based telecom and internet service provider plans to implement fiber network up to 100 cities and municipalities nationwide. This will be available for consumer and businesses.
"We're delivering advanced services that offer consumers and small businesses the ability to do more, faster, help communities create a new wave of innovation, and encourage economic development," said Lori Lee, senior executive vice president, AT&T Home Solutions. "We're interested in working with communities that appreciate the value of the most advanced technologies and are willing to encourage investment by offering solid investment cases and policies."
AT&T's 'U-verse' GigaPower fiber network will be having plans where it can deliver speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. It will also provide access for its Total Home DVR services as well.