Seesmic, popular creators of the Seesmic Desktop and Seesmic (for Windows) Twitter utilities, have partnered up with Microsoft to unleash a new way to browse the real-time Web. Don't roll your eyes just yet: I realize there are just about as many different ways to engage Twitter from a computer as there are tweets to track. I, too, was skeptical upon downloading the company's new Seesmic Look client. These fears didn't last long. It's clear that Seesmic has really put its time into a thorough analysis of the existing market, because there simply aren't any other Twitter clients that look quite like, well, Look.
TOM-Skype, the Chinese chapter of Skype, has been caught filtering and archiving text messages. The Chinese VoIP service provider has eight dedicated servers for storing messages that contain certain politically contentious keywords, according to a report published by The Information War Monitor, a Canadian organization that monitors internet censorship.
Tom-Skype, a joint venture between eBay and China’s TOM Online, also stores the usernames of all those people that exchange messages containing such sensitive keywords. Also, the service provider actively censors any politically sensitive keywords - some as harmless as “milk powder” - in messages. TOM-Skype doesn’t restrict itself to Chinese users but freely records messages and usernames of other Skype users from across the world as well (only those users that exchange "obnoxious" messages with Chinese users). To top it all, all the private data is available publicly as it is hosted on unencrypted web servers.
A man of ordinary sanity doesn’t need sophisticated e-mail filters for egregiously unconvincing messages from someone lodged in a war torn African country, informing the recipient of how the sender miraculously found him, of all Homo sapiens, and a deal worth millions awaits him. But, unfortunately enough, perfectly sane people do fall prey to such messages, and don’t fare too well against the slightly more plausible fake eBay and Paypal e-mails either.
eBay and its cognate company Paypal have tied-up with internet behemoth Google to immunize Gmail users from phishing attacks. Fraudulent e-mails, claiming to be from eBay or Paypal, would be purged by using DomainKeys and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). However, Paypal admits that the technology still needs some polishing. DomainKeys has been used for a while now and, in fact, most Yahoo Mail users might recall e-mails from some major domains including Paypal having a stamp of approval from Yahoo Domain Keys: Yahoo Domain Keys has verified that this message was sent by XYZ.com. All said, this is a good move.
Tip: If you want to be absolutely sure about your precious Paypal and eBay accounts, don’t ever click through to these websites from links embedded in emails, no matter how credible they might appear to your untrained eye. Also change your password as often as you can, preferably, as often as once a month.