Lady Shelley Sawers probably forgot that though posting family photographs on Facebook is a fundamental right of every free human being, it should be exercised in moderation when those photographs can betray certain vital details about your country’s top spy – the location of his London flat, personal details of his children and that he is a beach bum with trunks that this writer can neither exalt nor properly deride. The pictures have now been removed from Facebook.
The British government has a decent sense of humor and has downplayed the entire incident, although the pesky British tabloids certainly think it is serious stuff. “It is not a state secret that he wears Speedo swimming trunks,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband quipped in a TV interview.
Miliband also liked the entire idea of having Sir Sawyer's photographs on Facebook as it paints a more human picture of the soon-to-be MI6 chief. Facebook is certainly making counterespionage very easy.
The issue was brought up by Colin Kinney at ATL’s annual meeting. He referenced a Swedish research and the findings of some other European experts to justify his sense of alarm. “Have we the right to avoid the moral warnings simply for access to a few more computers?” he asked the attendees at ATL’s annual meeting.
He wants a long-time study to probe WiFi’s impact on heath. The teacher’s body has espoused Kinney’s concerns and resolved to prod the government into action.
The first Android-based device, the T-Mobile G1, might have not pronounced iPhone’s death warrant - just like numerous other so-called iPhone-killers before it failed to, but it has done a decent job as a “commercial prototype.”
A reasonable number of people may be keenly awaiting the advent of future Android devices after the steady start provided by the T-Mobile G1. However, nothing is known about upcoming Android devices with the exception of the HTC Magic.
The Magic has a 3.2-inch QVGA touch screen and, barring its lack of a physical QWERTY keyboard, closely mimics the G1. The phone has a 3.2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and HSDPA/WCDMA (900/2100MHz).
UK’s Competition Commission has disapproved Project Kangaroo, a proposed Hulu-esque VOD service, which was supposed to provide video content – mostly free videos - from three of its joint owners, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The fear of Kangaroo’s inevitable hegemony led the Commission to veto the alliance. The Commission felt that the video-on-demand service would have resulted in the “loss of competition” between its proprietors.
The three companies expressed their disconsolation in a joint statement. “We are disappointed by the decision to prohibit this joint venture. While this is an unwelcome finding for the shareholders, the real losers from this decision are British consumers. This is a disproportionate remedy and a missed opportunity in the further development of British broadcasting,” the statement reads. Although consumers would have most certainly devoured the service, the Commission's findings appear to be reasonable.
According to jkOnTheRun, a UK law firm representing Psion Teklogix has begun sending out cease & desist letters to various websites demanding that the sites stop using the term 'netbook.' The trademark attorney whose John Hancock appears on the letters claims that Psion retains full rights to the term based on a pair of laptops the company used to sell called the netBook and netBook Pro. In the letter, Langley says companies "inadvertently mis-using" the term have until the end of March 2009 to comply.
"Psion places significant value on its trademark registrations and your use of the term 'netbook' could damage those registrations," Peter Langley, a trademark attorney writes. "We are therefore asking you to cease use of the term 'netbook.'"
Psion may have a tough time enforcing its cease & desist order, as the company no longer sells either the netBook or netBook Pro, and the term 'netbook' has been widely adopted all across the web to describe a low power sub-notebook. Moreover, it was Intel, and not enthusiast sites, who reintroduced the term. Intel's Atom platform dominates the netbook landscape, and the chip maker even purchased the netbook.com domain, which currently redirects to Intel.com.
Do you think Psion will prevail in protecting the term netbook? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
Wikipedia clearly is among the most innocuous websites and one can not imagine it being blocked by a child pornography filtering mechanism. However, the improbable has just occurred in the UK. The whole problem began when an image of a Scorpions album prompted Internet Watch Foundation’s Cleanfeed child pornography filtering system - used by many of the leading UK ISPs - to block the particular page.
Consequently, all traffic to Wikipedia from ISPs that deploy Cleanfeed beagn to be routed through transparent proxies – one proxy per ISP. Even if a single user is barred from editing by Wikipedia’s anti-vandalism system, all other users using the same proxy suffer exactly in the same fashion as most UK-based Wikipedia users are sharing a handful of IP addresses.
You can track the problem as it unfolds on this Wikipedia page dedicated to it. The IWF has stated on its website that the particular page was reported through its online reporting mechanism. After it was found unsuitable for minors, the page was “added to the list provided to ISPs and other companies in the online sector to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to a potentially illegal indecent image of a child.”
Facebook is the most visited social network globally and Britain is no exception to this fact. The website is the second most popular website in the UK after Google UK, according to Hitwise. Its popularity in recent times can be gauged from the fact that it registered a staggering growth rate of 2905% from September 2006 to 2007. Of course, the website is probably never going to replicate its performance during that period – its halcyon days. Its annual growth rate has come down to a more digestable level of 88%.
Its growth in the UK is certainly slowing down. There was only a 4% increase in its traffic between August and September, which is almost negligible compared to the 50% growth during the same period last year. Facebook’s average session time has also come down to 20 minutes.
Is there a message hidden in these numbers? Are social networking websites marching towards their popularity threshold? Will there be a corrective decline in their traffic?