Aug 7, 2009 | 3
The same week that the Obama Administration lost its acting cyber security czar, cyber attacks torpedoed several of the Web's most popular social-networking sites, in particular Twitter and Facebook. Although the denial-of-service attacks (which overwhelm Web servers with phony requests) were the latest reminder of the difficulties of defending the Web against cyber threats, it appears that these crashed sites were collateral damage in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Georgia. Or were they?
Apr 3, 2009
Web search giant Google may be planning to buy microblogging site Twitter, according to TechCrunch. The tech news Web site, citing unnamed "people close to the negotiations," says that if Twitter bites, it would get cash and/or publicly valued stock from Google. Just five months ago, the increasingly popular Twitter turned down a $500 million offer from Facebook that was reportedly chock full of that company's stock.
Mar 17, 2009 | 2
Avid tweeter Jonhathan Powell of Fayetteville, Ark., will have his name in the The New York Times tomorrow. How do we know this? From his Twitter feed, of course. That would be the same feed he used last month to tweet about a trial while a member of the jury, which pleased his Twitter fans but prompted the defense attorney in the case to seek a new trial. On what grounds? That Powell's tweets allegedly showed he was biased against defendant Russell Wright (and his company Stoam Holdings, a building materials company in Fayetteville, Ark.), who was found guilty of mismanaging investors' funds, The Morning News reports. The jury awarded investors who sued Stoam $12.6 million.
Powell began tweeting about his experience as a juror February 24 with a post that read, "Well, i finally got called for jury duty. It is kinda exciting." Two days later, he let his Twitter followers know the jury had reached a verdict, tweeting: "So, Johnathan, what did you do today? Oh, nothing really. I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money!" Thirty-four minutes later, Powell wrote, "Oh, and nobody buy Stoam. It's bad mojo, and they'll probably cease to exist, now that their wallet is $12M lighter."
Mar 17, 2009 | 2
Peruse Facebook and you'll find dozens of applications to add to your profile that encourage environmental and energy conservation. Many offer obvious advice ("use LED bulbs"), but a new app offers to green up the PCs Facebook members rely on to access the social networking site.
"Green Your PC," developed by support.com, whose parent company is Redwood City, Calif.-based SupportSoft, Inc., offers to help configure settings including your computer's monitor timeout, disk timeout and standby mode so that they comply with Energy Star and Carbonfund.org recommendations. Users can do this either by downloading a piece of support.com software (an .exe file) that automatically performs the configurations or by following a tutorial written by support.com that instructs users on how to change their PC's configurations themselves.
Mar 5, 2009 | 3
Concerned that Christians are not entering the Lenten season (which began last week on Ash Wednesday) with the proper spirit, some clergy are calling on their flock to nix text messaging for the next six Fridays leading up to Easter on April 12. Christians are annually asked to refrain from eating meat on Fridays and to pray more regularly during Lent, but the church has apparently gotten hip to the hold that technology has on its brethren. The diocese of Modena-Nonantola in Italy in particular is calling for text-messaging-free Fridays as a way for the faithful to at least temporarily rid themselves of reminders of "material wealth," but the church is also calling for such digital abstinence in the name of human rights.
The diocese, in a statement on its Web site (translated from Italian to English using Google's translation software) notes that 80 percent of the mineral coltan—a metallic ore used to make used in consumer electronics products such as cell phones, DVD players, and computers—comes from Kivu, the war-ravaged eastern region of the Congo, where "civil war has caused more than 4 million deaths in the last ten [sic] years." The diocese says that the extraction and trade of coltan by Western industry has helped fuel warfare in this region of Africa (a statement, they say, backed by a 2003 United Nations report).
Feb 27, 2009 | 1
"Before these new proposals go into effect," Zuckerberg wrote on the Facebook blog yesterday, "you'll also have the ability to vote for or against proposed changes." He made it clear, however, that while he's open to suggestions, the company will continue to make its own decisions about new features offered on the site. "While these products must be consistent with the Principles and in compliance with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities," he wrote, "they will not be subject to the notice and comment or voting requirement."
Feb 19, 2009
We at 60-Second Science apologize in advance for some of the bathroom and otherwise juvenile humor that appears in this post. But do keep reading.
Last week Apple iPhone software maker InfoMedia, Inc., filed suit in a Colorado district court to get competitor Air-o-Matic, Inc., to stop threatening InfoMedia with a lawsuit. (Read the lawsuit filing.)
So far, just another day at the courts. But here's what's at stake: Loveland, Colorado-based InfoMedia's right to use the phrase "pull my finger" in an ad campaign for its iFart Mobile iPhone software. Jacksonville, Fla.–based Air-o-Matic offers an iPhone app of its own called "Pull My Finger" and has demanded that InfoMedia stop using the phrase to sell iFart and to pay them $50,000 to settle the dispute, reports CNN.com.
Feb 18, 2009 | 2
Feb 17, 2009 | 3
Facebook is once again facing a loud chorus of complaints from its faithful over how their personal information is used. Earlier this week, news of a February 4 change to the site's terms of service trickled out to users courtesy of The Consumerist, a Consumers Union blog. That change, according to The Consumerist, meant that Facebook could now use information you upload "in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later." (Here’s a link to the Facebook terms of service.)
Facing a public relations crisis, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg clarified his company's position, writing, "Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with."
Feb 13, 2009 | 7
Just who's using Twitter, and to what end? We're about to tell you, but the answer takes more than 140 characters — the limit for tweets.
Some 11 percent of U.S. adults who use the Internet also send status updates on Twitter, a three-year-old "communications protocol" that allows users to blast small bursts of info to their followers and friends, according to new data by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Status updating is most common among young adults: 20 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds use Twitter, as do slightly fewer 18-to-24-year-olds. The results are based on a telephone survey of 2,253 adults.
Twitter, Yammer, Facebook and other micro-blogging platforms might be seen as just another way to self-promote. But more recently they've become journalism tools: reporters including those at ScientificAmerican.com use Twitter as a dedicated newsfeed to keep up with the competition (and, of course, to let colleagues and fans know about their latest stories — we're at http://twitter.com/sciam). We also use Twitter to keep up with our readers, and to solicit ideas from them — to great success during last month's perigee moon. In other instances, non-media people are using it to "report," as well, even if they don’t think of themselves as journalists: a photo of Flight 1549 that crashed in the Hudson River last month instantly became iconic after Janis Krum sent it out over his Twitter feed. On Wednesday, the ShortyAwards honored the most talented Tweeple (or, some might say, Twits), including the Mars Phoenix, which tweeted its demise from the Red Planet.
Deadline: Jul 30 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Seeker desires a method for producing pseudoephedrine products in such a way that it will be extremely difficult for clandestine che
Deadline: Aug 31 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) is launching the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge whose
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