Articles by date

28 January 2015

Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives by Bill and Melinda Gates (Gates Notes)

The Kenya Financial Diaries, a fascinating project documenting the financial lives of hundreds of Kenyans over the course of a year, tells countless stories of people who had to forgo medical care or take their children out of school for want of a few dollars.

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27 January 2015

Chehadé Criticises Domainers, and Domainers and Allies Kick Up Stink

Parts of the domain name world have acted with incredulity to the ICANN CEO and President's comments on people "hogging names in order to charge a lot for them." Obviously Fadi Chehadé's comments were aimed at domainers, and some in the media as well as domainers are not happy.

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Unease for What Microsoft's HoloLens Will Mean for Our Screen-Obsessed Lives (New York Times)

Microsoft made a big announcement last week, revealing that Windows, a lucrative legacy franchise, was about to be unleashed into the physical environment through a set of goggles called the HoloLens that superimposes the operating system on the actual world. In one sense, it was heartening. Business reporters are frequently hung up on the new and the insurgent, but seeing mature companies adapt to a changed world is equally interesting.

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Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report (The Guardian)

Europe's top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.

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Documents Show N.S.A.'s Wiretap Moves Before Congress's Approval (New York Times)

A federal judge issued a top secret ruling in 2007 that the USA Patriot Act empowered the National Security Agency to collect foreigners' emails and phone calls from domestic networks without prior judicial approval, newly declassified documents show.

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Facebook Said to Block Pages Critical of Muhammad to Avoid Shutdown in Turkey (New York Times)

To avoid being banned throughout Turkey, Facebook has blocked Turkish users' access to a number of pages containing content that the authorities had deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, according to a company employee with direct knowledge of the matter and a report by the state broadcaster TRT.

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Marissa Mayer's Plan for Yahoo Takes Hold. The Question Now Is Time. (New York Times)

When Marissa Mayer was offered the chief executive job at Yahoo in the summer of 2012, she had a script for returning the pioneering Internet company to the tiny club of Silicon Valley powerhouses.

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.COM Turns 30 and Verisign Wants to Celebrate, But Only With Americans

If you're American, Verisign wants you to join them in celebrating .com turning 30 years old. So the .com registry is giving away $55,000 - five monthly winners, one of which will win a grand prize of $30,000 - to someone with a business idea who registers the most original, memorable and keyword-rich .com domain name as a result.

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Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending (New York Times)

A team at BuzzFeed knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.

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Australia launches cyber-weapons in global counter-terrorist operations (Australian Financial Review)

The frequency and severity of global cyber-attacks is rising rapidly and extending into outright cyber-war between states. And Australia is no innocent bystander, developing its own cyber-weapons, which we can reveal for the first time have been deployed in counter-terrorist operations overseas.

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Australia's NBN's road to 'bare-minimum broadband' by Mark Gregory (Business Spectator)

A key proposal included in the draft of the Annual Broadband Progress Report circulated to fellow FCC commissioners by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler on January 8 is for the definition of broadband to be raised from 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

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26 January 2015

Spyware and smartphones: how abusive men track their partners (The Guardian)

Apps offer abusers a terrifying new toolbox to control their partners and exes. Phone software allows them to follow people's movements, monitor their calls, texts and emails - and even watch them

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WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government (The Guardian)

Google took almost three years to disclose to the open information group WikiLeaks that it had handed over emails and other digital data belonging to three of its staffers to the US government, under a secret search warrant issued by a federal judge.

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25 January 2015

What can we learn from Facebook's annual Bullshit Report? (The Observer)

Last week was Davos week, the time of year when 2,900 movers and shakers (only 17% of whom are women, incidentally) congregate in a small town in Switzerland to talk the talk. It also means that it's the week in which Facebook issues its annual Bullshit Report, claiming that it is not only a Force for Good but also one of the world's economic powerhouses. In 2012 the report claimed that Facebook - an outfit which then had a global workforce of about 3,000 - had indirectly helped create 232,000 jobs in Europe in 2011 and "enabled" more than $32bn in revenues.

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Facebook Touts Its 'Economic Impact' but Economists Question Numbers (Wall Street Journal)

Facebook has more than a billion users and generated an estimated $12 billion in revenue last year. But the company says its economic impact is far greater.

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What Eric Schmidt meant when he said 'the Internet will disappear' (Washington Post)

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is making a lot of headlines Friday over a comment he made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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24 January 2015

Davos bosses fret over threats to Internet free trade (Reuters)

Business leaders pushing for frictionless free trade have something new to worry about: the potential break-up of the Internet, which today forms the backbone of the global economy.

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In China, VPN internet access tools suffer further disruptions (Reuters)

Internet services that allow people to freely access blocked websites and apps from within China have seen more severe disruptions this week, said three providers, moves that Chinese state media said were justified.

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23 January 2015

Global Domain Registration Growth Slows With .NET In Decline: Verisign DNIB

The number of domain names under management around the world is creeping closer towards the 300 million mark, with four million added, an increase of 1.6 percent, across all top level domains in the third quarter of 2014 taking the total to 284 million according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign.

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Internet not yet killing free-to-air television, Deloitte says (ABC News)

Video might have killed the radio star according to the pop hit from the 1980s, but is the internet killing traditional free to air television?

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Turkey proposes tighter internet law, pursues Twitter critic (Reuters)

Turkey is pressing new legislation allowing ministers to temporarily ban websites and forcing Twitter to block an anonymous whistleblower as part of President Tayyip Erdogan's campaign to bring the internet to heel.

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22 January 2015

Facebook Dominates Social Sharing While Twitter Sees a Decline (ClickZ)

ShareThis's new report shows that Facebook overtook Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit in terms of sharing activity during the fourth quarter of last year, garnering a whopping 81 percent of shares.

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Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica)

In a speech given in Brussels on Tuesday, Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith said that in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France, the company turned over data requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on behalf of the French government in 45 minutes.

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Republicans Push Plan in US Net Neutrality Debate (New York Times)

The debate on Capitol Hill over the future of the Internet spilled into public view on Wednesday, as a pair of hearings took up a Republican proposal to put the issue in lawmakers' hands.

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Sacrificing culture for cheap downloads (The Conversation)

Australian creators have been severely affected both financially and creatively by the widespread use of digital distribution models. For my research, I conducted interviews with a variety of creators in late 2014 about their attitudes to copyright and digital distribution.

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