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Final Push Brings Google Fiber To Over 80 Percent Of Kansas City

By Zach Walton

Final Push Brings Google Fiber To Over 80 Percent Of Kansas City

A lot of us who want faster Internet at better prices are putting all of our chips in with Google Fiber. If the program is a success in Kansas City, they’ll bring the service to other citiesaround the country. Such an expansion is more likely now thanks to Kansas City exceeding all expectations.

For a bit of background, Google was rolling out Fiber to areas of Kansas City called “Fiberhoods.” If enough people in the area signed up for Fiber, Google would bring Fiber to that block. It was looking bad for a while as 50 percent of neighborhoods weren’t signing up for Fiber. That all changed at the last minute as Google reports that 180 out of 202 fiberhoods have now qualified for the service.

The exciting part about this number is that it’s not even the final tally. Google is still processing all of the apartment complexes and condos that signed up for the service. They’ll share the final tally on Thursday and it should be higher than the current count.

Google Fiber is a sure thing for over 80 percent of Kansas City, but the whole process has brought up some interesting information on how the regular populace views the Internet. It was mentioned above that Google was actually having trouble signing people up for Fiber. Why did people not want faster Internet? They found that some residents of Kansas City just didn’t think the Internet was relevant to their lives. Google’s findings coincide with the findings from the FCC that found rural communities didn’t care about getting faster Internet because they didn’t feel it was important.

To remedy that, Google partnered with local organizations to spread the word on the importance of the Internet. They also probably told them about that sweet deal where all schools and public facilities inside fiberhoods would get free Fiber Internet. People on the other side of the digital divide may not understand the importance of the Internet for themselves, but most realize that it’s a good thing for schools and hospitals. Even if they don’t get Fiber, Google will give them free Internet for a $300 construction fee.

We’ll continue to follow the interesting tale of Google Fiber as it makes its way into homes later this year. It has the potential to change the ISP market on a grand scale if it takes off. The response in Kansas City seems to indicate that we just might start seeing Google Fiber pop up all over the place.

Final Push Brings Google Fiber To Over 80 Percent Of Kansas City

Emma Watson ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online

Emma Watson has been named as the favourite bait for cyber criminals attempting to lure internet users to malicious sites

Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace according to new research

Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace according to new research

The American internet security firm McAfee said that the Harry Potter actress is the ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online.

Many sites use Watson to trick users into downloading malicious software or to steal personal information.

When searching for the 22 year-old Watson there is a one-in-eight chance of landing on a malicious site.

Cyber criminals often use the names of popular celebrities to lure users to sites that are actually laden with malicious software.

They follow the latest trends to lead users to sites which are designed to steal passwords and personal information.

According to McAfee this year, searching for a celebrity name with ‘free downloads’ and ‘nude pictures’ as part of the search term resulted in the highest result of risky sites.

The research reveals the riskiest Hollywood actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, designers, and comedians on the web.

This is the sixth time the Intel-owned security technology company has conducted the study, which was last year topped by Heidi Klum.

Female celebrities are far more likely to be utilised by cyber criminals. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was the only male in the top 20.

Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee said: “In today’s celebrity culture, consumers expect to be able to go online to catch up with the latest photos, videos, tweets, and stories about their favourite celebrities.

Due to the richness of the data and the high interaction, often times consumers forget the risks that they are taking by clicking on the links.”

She added: “As the sophistication and expectations of consumers with respect to their online experience has increased, so has the level and ability to deliver malware either by malvertising, exploiting the user’s browser without their awareness, or masking malicious URLs behind shortened URLs.”

Others among the riskiest celebrities to search online are Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez and Halle Berry.

Emma Watson ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online

Data on Americans? There’s an app for that…


It may be premature to call it a runaway hit, but in the first month since the Census Bureau released its first mobile application, it’s been downloaded more than 32,000 times.

The app, called America’s Economy, provides updated statistics from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It includes 16 monthly economic indicators,such as house sales, personal income, international trade, gross domestic product and the unemployment rate.

“The economist in me finds this app a cool new tool,” wrote Tom Mesenbourg, acting director of the Census Bureau, in the blog he took over when his predecessor,Robert M. Groves, stepped down last month to become provost at Georgetown University.

Eye Opener

The app is the latest step the Census Bureau has taken to use the Internet more in both collecting and disseminating statistics. Last month, the White House cited the Census Bureau as an example of a federal agency that is “making great strides towards putting a solid foundation for a 21st Century digital government in place.”

In January, the Census Bureau will offer people who receive the American Community Survey the option to answer over the Internet instead of filling out a form and dropping it in the mail. The ACS, which replaced the long form in previous census questionnaires, collects a wide range of data, such as incomes and commute times.

The ACS questionnaire will be mailed out in late December and will contain directions on how to complete the survey online.

The mobile app can be downloaded for both iPhones and Android smartphones, as well as for tablets.

Data on Americans? There’s an app for that…

The Top 30 Education Apps From 2007 To Today

The following is an excerpt from the August issue of the Edudemic Magazine for iPad. The full article lists off the top 50 apps (rather than just the 30 here). The app is free and issues are just a couple bucks. Cheaper than a cup of coffee but a lot more informative!

When I graduated from high school, my class advisor gave a commencement speech. In it, she shared words that I often think of, and I find that they ring true in many aspects of life.

“The days go so slowly, but the years just fly by!”

It’s true, isn’t it? Maybe you’re not a morning person and you dread that early morning wake up call each weekday, just plugging through so you can get to your ten a.m. (eleven? noon? Bueller?) wake up call on Saturday morning. And boom – you’ve done it- your week is gone and the weekend arrived, but suddenly…some YEARS have passed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m still twenty-five.

But I digress. Technology, too, can sometimes seem to move slowly. We feel like we want faster downloads, more cloud storage, apps that do more, better hardware at lower prices – we’re all chomping at the bit for the newest, best stuff. Your nearly year old iMac might as well be new. But three years later, or worse, five (!!) , that old thing might as well be a dinosaur. When new things are released, we seem to breeze from one piece of technology to another, leaving the older stuff in the dust.

Since most of you are all wrapped up with the back-to-school season and all its accoutrements, we thought it would be fun to take a quick trip down memory lane. Looking at what was big a few years ago, you can really see how Education 2.0 and Back-To-School have changed over the years, and we’ll let you in on what’s new for 2012.

Quick side note: many of the apps from earlier years are no longer available or have evolved into a different app with a different name.


  • Sketchcast
  • Footnote
  • Voice Thread
  • Google Earth


  • Book Glutton
  • Posterous
  • Flowgram
  • Evernote (app)


  • Wallwisher
  • Proprofs
  • Blerp
  • Google Voice
  • PodOmatic


  • Sitehoover
  • Meeting Words
  • Flisti
  • Fotobabble
  • Google Timeline


  • Educaplay
  • Tildee
  • Webdoc
  • Caffien


  • Evernote
  • Paper
  • GoodReader
  • Bamboo Paper
  • iA Writer

To check out the top 50 apps from 2007 to today, download the August issue of the Edudemic Magazineand continue your walk down memory lane. Enjoy and thanks!

 The Top 30 Education Apps From 2007 To Today

How Pacific Island Missile Tests Helped Launch the Internet

ARPA’s Charles Herzfeld (center, in white shirt) and other military researchers visit the Kwajalein Atoll for missile defense tests. The problem of processing the trials’ data would help lead to the creation of the Arpanet. Photo courtesy of Charles Herzfeld

There are a thousand stories about the origin of the internet, each with their own starting point and their own heroes. Charles Herzfeld’s tale began in 1961 on a series of tiny islands in the South Pacific. The U.S. military was test-firing a series of ballistic missiles at the island chain, known as the Kwajalein Atoll, with an array of radars and optical infrared sensors recording every re-entry. Herzfeld, the Vienna-born physicist and newly installed chief of the Advanced Research Projects Agency’s missile defense program, was trying to figure out how to make sense of the vast amount of data generated by all of those incoming missiles. The computers he had at the time weren’t up to the task.

Herzfeld, in search of solutions, asked his colleague J.C.R. Licklider out to lunch. They met at the Secretary of Defense’s Mess in the Pentagon’s E Ring, and over a series of meals talked through ideas that would transform computing forever.

Licklider, the head of of ARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office, was already one of computer science’s leading thinkers. (“Licklider was our prophet. I signed onto his vision from the beginning,” Herzfeld says.) Not only did Licklider predict that one day “human brains and computing machines will be coupled” into a partnership that would surpass either component’s ability to process information. Licklider theorized that people could one day interact with all sorts of computers at once — even though each machine had its own programming language and its own control scheme. They would all be part of a single network.

“Most people don’t understand the experience of doing something absolutely new,” Herzfeld says, more than 50 years after the fact. “This was a new idea, and very radical.”

Over their E Ring lunches, Herzfeld told Licklider about the mass of data he was generating at the Kwajalein Atoll as his machines tried to discriminate between chaff and missile, between countermeasure and target. Herzfeld funded the development of broadband receivers, electronics that could accept data at an unheard-of rate: 150 megabits per second. He backed new storage media, including a magnetic tape that would one day lead to video cassettes. It wasn’t enough.

“Look, Lick,” Herzfeld said, “If your [network] idea could be done, it would make all of this much easier.” Researchers could rely on a whole network of machines, not just a single one.

“You’re right,” Licklider answered. “But it’s too soon.”

Six years later, the time was right. Herzfeld had ascended to the top position at ARPA. He hired Bob Taylor, a specialist in human-computer interaction, and together they began talking about steps to make Licklider’s vision concrete. That led to a million-dollar grant to begin work on the Arpanet, the internet’s direct predecessor. For funding that all-important work, Herzfeld was inducted earlier this year into the Internet Society’s Internet Hall of Fame, alongside such pioneers as Vint CerfBob Kahn, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.


In some ways, the internet was as much a product of an institution as of a group of people. ARPA — later renamed DARPA — plucked visionaries like Licklider and Taylor from industry and academia, sucked up their best ideas, and then returned them to their home institutions a few years later. ARPA directors like Herzfeld had a tremendous amount of leeway to set priorities and to spend money as they saw fit; few others in the military research community enjoyed that kind of flexibility. (To this day, that freedom to kill an artificial intelligence project one minute and launch a new soldier enhancement program the next continues to periodically enrage Congress and the Pentagon brass.) Herzfeld believes it’s one of the reasons why his agency — and not some other government group — gave rise to the internet.

Still, every new project needed to be justified to his Pentagon bosses. (“We needed a story and it had to be plausible,” Herzfeld remembers.) The story also had to be big. ARPA, in Herzfeld’s opinion, wasn’t designed to take on minor matters. It was supposed to study strategic, Presidential-level issues — at the time, missile defense, nuclear test verification, and mastery of counterinsurgency were the big ones. Then, ARPA was meant to find solutions to those most important and most vexing of problems. Even in an age of ambitious government projects (think Apollo 11), it made ARPA unique.

The key to unlocking these big ambitions, according to Herzfeld, was to put together a family of research projects that could address a major topic all at once. ”Large programs do better when they have a theme. Most times, there’s a bowl full of beautiful jewels, but there’s no necklace,” Herzfeld says.

Project AGILE studied every aspect of counterinsurgency — from social dynamics in potential hotbeds like Thailand to new tools of infantry warfare like jet packs. The nuclear inspection programs, VELA and LASA, built satellites to monitor above-ground atomic blasts and revolutionized geophysics by training a series of first-of-its-kind phased array radars to look for hints of tests beneath the Earth’s surface.

Licklider’s idea — of a computer network as easy to operate as the telephone — was a necklace all by itself.

“There were about 100 mainframe computers in the whole country, and about 1,000 to 10,000 people to use them. When it came time to explain why we wanted to do the Arpanet, I told [the Pentagon brass]: I want every investigator to have a console at their desk, where they can find all the tools, all the programs, and all the data to do their work.”

In a small space next to Taylor’s Pentagon office, there was a kind of advertisement for why such a project was needed. Taylor had three computer terminals, each connected to a separate mainframe. One could communicate with MIT, another with a University of California, Berkeley machine, and a third with an Air Force-built mainframe in Santa Monica, California. Taylor could only interact with one remote site at a time. None of those other researchers could easily pass information to one another. And even if there were such a connection, one machine couldn’t comprehend what the other was saying; each computer was programmed with its own boutique language. The result: wasted time and duplicative research. What they needed was a network, instead.

The Pentagon bosses approved the $1 million. And Taylor got to work writing a request for proposals for what would become the Arpanet.

Over the years, the project accumulated all kinds of origin myths. In one version, the Arpanet was supposedly developed as a tool for communicating after a nuclear holocaust. (Not true, but one of the men who came up with the idea of packet-switching, which became the internet’s method for passing along data, was so motivated.) In another version, recounted in the fabulous history Where Wizards Stay Up Late, Herzfeld approved the Arpanet million after a single, 20-minute pitch from Taylor. “That makes me sound like an easy spender, which I was not,” says Herzfeld.

But maybe all the stories make sense. They are, after all, about a global network-of-networks — a way to connect machines (and people) with different languages, different functions, different points of view. So maybe the tale can begin at all sorts of nodes. Even one as distant as the Kwajalein Atoll.

How Pacific Island Missile Tests Helped Launch the Internet

Outlook vs. Gmail: A Feature-by-Feature Comparison

By  Thorin Klosowski

Outlook vs. Gmail: A Feature-by-Feature Comparison

Microsoft announced its Outlook webmail service this week, and it’s a suprisingly robust new webmail client. But can it hold a torch to the current king of webmail, Gmail? To give you a better idea of how they stack up, here’s a feature-by-feature comparison of Outlook vs. Gmail.

Feature-by-feature, the two services are remarkably similar. Here’s a quick rundown:

Now for the more detailed breakdown.


Let’s start with the first thing you’re going to notice when you log into Outlook for the first time: the interface. Most of us are familiar with how Gmail looks and feels. Outlook’s not entirely different, but it is a little simpler.

Outlook’s Clean, Email-Centric Interface

Outlook is all about email. That’s it. When you pop into Outlook, you’re shown your email account and nothing else. You still get ads on the sidebar, but overall, it’s a far less cluttered interface than Gmail (and it’s way less cluttered than Hotmail) because Outlook isn’t seeking to integrate with a bunch of other services. Ads are a little less creepy because they’re not based on keywords in your inbox.

Gmail’s Google-centric Interface

We all know Gmail’s interface pretty well at this point. You get personalized ads on the main inbox page on the top, and a sidebar with ads inside your messages. You also have the chat window on the side and the Google bar on the top. It’s not complicated by any means, but the Google bar is certainly a bit of a distraction.

Storage Space and Attachments

Email storage space isn’t as big of a deal as it once was, but if you’re sending a lot of large files back and forth, a hefty amount of storage is helpful.

Outlook Has Nearly Unlimited Storage and a 100MB Limit on Attachments

You get a “virtually unlimited” amount of storage in Outlook. We’re not entirely sure what that means, but we do know that you can attach a file of up to 100MB to any email. If you link your email to Skydrive you can attach files up to 300MB.

For incoming attachments, Outlook retains the Hotmail-style Active View. YouTube videos open inside the email, a group of photos becomes a slideshow, and you can open any Office document directly in your browser.

Gmail Comes with 10GB of Storage and a 25MB Limit on Attachments

Gmail’s limits on storage and attachment size are a lot smaller than Outlook’s. Out of the gates, most Gmail users get 10GB of free storage, and attachments are limited to just 25MB in size.

Like Outlook, Gmail opens up YouTube videos directly inline with the email. Gmail also handles Office documents in a similar way, and opens them in browser with the option to edit in Google Docs. Images in Gmail are handled with a pretty typical list view and don’t offer the slick sideshow that Outlook has.

Email Organization

For power-users, the most important part of a good webmail client is automatic email filing and organization. Gmail locked this down a while ago, but Outlook brings some new ideas to the table.

Outlook’s Quick View Folders and Sweep Features

Outlook doesn’t have the robust filtering and labeling system that Gmail does, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve. One is the Quick View folders. These folders are automatically filled with certain types of emails (flagged, photos, office, shopping, etc). For instance, from the sidebar you can instantly search through the last few messages with photo attachments, or messages about Groupon deals. The Sweep feature from Hotmail also carries over to Outlook. Sweeping works a lot like Gmail’s labels where emails from certain people or places automatically get filed away in a folder of your choosing.

Gmail’s Filters, Labels, and Priority Messages

Using Gmail’s labels is an easy way to keep track which emails are important and where they are. Better still, it’s simple to set up an automatic filter that combs your incoming mail and distributes messages directly into those labels. If you’re still overwhelmed, the priority inbox is a lifesaver for designating which emails really matter.

Junk Mail Control

Everyone hates spam, and no webmail client is worth using if it doesn’t have extensive spam filtering. Of course, it’s not just spam, it’s also the junk you’ve signed up for that matters (newsletters, mailing lists, coupons, and whatever else).

Outlook’s Spam Control and Clever Batch Filtering

Only time will tell how good Outlook’s spam control is, but one of Outlook’s coolest features is how it handles newsletter-type messages. Outlook automatically labels these messages and adds an unsubscribe button to them—even if the email doesn’t include one its own. It’s super handy for filtering out those emails you don’t mind getting, but don’t want alerts constantly.

Gmail’s Spam Control and Filter Settings

Gmail has a pretty great spam filter and chances are you won’t have too much trouble with spam. However, it doesn’t have the same out-of-the-box batch filtering system for that clutter email you get. Still, it’s super easy to set up your own filter for things like newsletters. Just create a new filter with words like, “opt-out, unsubscribe, privacy policy, or manage your account” and all your newsletters and coupons will filter off into their own section.

POP/IMAP Support

If you use a third-party email client on your desktop or mobile device, POP or IMAP support is crucial for keeping everything in order. Support for either also matters when you want to look at email without an active internet connection.

Outlook Doesn’t Support IMAP or POP, Instead uses ActiveSync

Here’s one of Outlook’s major bummers: it doesn’t support IMAP or POP. This means using certain third party email services (like Apple’s default desktop Mail app) won’t work. As reader Samantha82 points out, you can still follow the guide for using Hotmail with POP and that should work with Outlook. Instead, Outlook uses ActiveSync. Subsequently, you can only use email apps that support ActiveSync.

Gmail Has Full Support for Both IMAP and POP

Gmail supports both IMAP and POP and you can switch your settings on the fly very simply. This means you can synchronize between multiple email clients very easily. It also means you can access your archived email even when you’re offline.

Search Capabilities

If you receive hundreds of emails a day, then a solid search capability is key with any webmail client. You don’t want to spend more than a few minutes hunting down a lost email.

Outlook Has Simple, but Effective Search

Outlook’s search capability is pretty straight-forward. You can search by a simple keyword, or pop into the advanced search and narrow it down by email address, subject, folders, and dates. It’s nothing too complex, but it works well enough.

Gmail’s Comprehensive Advanced Search Strings

Gmail’s search strings are pretty advanced. The nice part about Gmail’s search is that you don’t have to worry about a bunch of input boxes. Instead, you can just type commands like, label, list, or filename, directly into the search box. It’s fast and effective for quickly searching through email.

Social Integration

Email is already inherently social, but if you’re looking to connect your various social accounts into your email, it’s increasingly easy to do.

Outlook’s Social Integration with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Outlook directly integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When you log in with any of those services, you’ll see status updates, link mailbox accounts, and more. From the sidebar you can retweet people on Twitter, comment on Facebook status updates, and more. If you don’t like the feature, it’s easy enough not to enable.

Gmail’s Integrates with Google Plus

Since Gmail is owned by Google, its social integration starts and stops with Google Plus. The two are tied together in a lot ways, including contact listings, email filtering, and more. Provided your friends are using Google Plus, you can even instantly create email groups to send mass messages to.

Which One’s Best for You?

Outlook is the newcomer, but it’s a no-brainer for anyone currently using Hotmail. It’s also a good go-to for anyone who wants a webmail client that only does email. Its simplicity is its greatest strength. That said, Google’s integration with all of Google’s services is nice, and it’s advanced features and customization options are more appealing to the power user.

Outlook vs. Gmail: A Feature-by-Feature Comparison
Tools For The Internet – This Blog Will Help You Explore Tools For The Internet

How Long Should I Message Somebody On OkCupid Before Going On A Date?

By Katie Heaney

How long should I message back and forth with someone on a dating site before asking to go on/being asked to go on an actual date?

You know how, when you get crushes on someone you’ve met in real life, you end up feeling like you know everything about him/her too quickly? Embarrassingly quickly, I mean? You have a few chats with some cute guy from work, and he says something positive about your favorite TV show, and suddenly it’s like you’ve known him forever? He’s smart, funny, well rounded, good to his family (and, eventually, yours), feminist, kind, and strong — you are certain these things are true, because you imagine that people without those qualities are blocked by NBC from even watching Parks & Recreation.

You don’t really know anything about this person, but wait. Take away everything you know about his three-dimensionality: his height/width compared to yours, his posture, the way he listens (or doesn’t), his voice and mannerisms. Now you know what you can know from online dating. You’re working with a rough idea of a face and a couple of TV shows. (Or, I don’t know, if you’re on eHarmony, you’re probably working with DNA samples and psychological profiling and are a lot better off than what I’m suggesting.)

With someone you think you might like, I suggest giving it about ten messages total. Some people say three, but I think you ought to give this person a few more chances to totally screw up BEFORE you meet. This is how you save money. If you wait much longer than that, you’re probably going to have a lot of false ideas about what this person will be like, and it’s hard to work with that kind of pressure. You’re going to get to your date expecting a perfect match and he’ll end up being one of those people that sings a few lines from every song or band that comes up in conversation, and you won’t know how to turn down a second date because you’ll think that under that terrible, terrible façade is your soul mate. Save yourself. Ten messages or bust.

So, I often email with the same group of about 4-5 friends, and I find myself always purposely changing up the order of the CC list so nobody feels undervalued. Is this just me? Do I need to do this?

My first instinct is to say something like this: “Yiiiikes! Yikes. If you hosted a dinner party, would you make everyone get up and rearrange chairs every ten minutes so that everyone received equal exposure to each other guest in attendance? What are you going to do if/when you have kids and they aren’t triplets you give birth to simultaneously? What’s next, plucking out your keyboard letters and rearranging them so that the esteemed middle row letters don’t get big heads?”

My second instinct is to take a step back, especially because a lot of those comparisons don’t make sense. Actually, I think what you’re doing is really, really nice. It is very sweet, and also impressive that you can both remember the order you last used and take the time to change that order! I do think you might be the only person doing this. I think you might be that tree stump in The Giving Tree. You don’t need to be so generous as you are currently — most people, if they’re normal and have friends in real life, won’t hold a CC order against you — but your kindness may pay off in the form of getting to have a little boy sit on top of you. It sounds worse than what I mean.

How do I introduce people over email? If I’m putting them in touch to talk about some specific thing, at what point am I supposed to be dropped off the email chain between the newly acquainted people?

What I WISH happened is that right after you introduced two people, in real life or online, you would be yanked out of their presence by one of those large canes that take people off stage, accompanied by some vaudeville music. (If it were online I guess the other two people would see a GIF of this happening.) Actually I want this to happen any time a person wants to be removed from a social situation in which s/he is uncomfortable, or wants to leave but doesn’t know how. Just think how fun it would be to sit in a bar and watch dates all around you end this way!

Fortunately, your situation has an easier out than most bad dates do. You need not bring the proverbial false vomit to take out of your purse in the bathroom, put on your face, and show to your date to prove you’ve become very ill, so to speak. If you construct your email in a particular way, the two people whom you’ve introduced should know to start “replying” instead of “reply-all-ing” and save you from any sort of awkward, inadvertent-fly-on-the-email behavior.

Here’s your magical template. Write “Introductions!” in the subject line. (Maybe don’t use an exclamation point if, for example, one of the two people in your introduction is a grief counselor, a lawyer, a drug lord, or an escort service. I don’t know what you get up to in your free time.) Then write, “[Name], meet [Other name]. [Name], [Other name] is the person I was telling you about who [is selling item/can help with thing/is new to your area/whatever].” Then, on the next line, on its own so it is VERY clear, write, “I’ll let you two chat!” Then sign the email with something like “Have a great day! [Your name]” You (should) have provided your acquaintances with sufficient evidence that you do not wish to be included in their email chain going forward. If they STILL reply all, email “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Don’t talk to me! Don’t look at me!” Or just ignore it, ugh.

Katie Heaney is a writer and volunteer text message analyst living in Minneapolis. She thinks you should have good manners, even on the internet.

How Long Should I Message Somebody On OkCupid Before Going On A Date?

Dating For Love – Guide To The Best Dating Sites On The Internet, Cupid At Work

Tools For The Internet – This Blog Will Help You Explore Tools For The Internet

Down Under-surveillance: Australian govt seeks confidential online data

Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

nternet users in Australia may be forced to share every aspect of their online lives with the government. If passed into law, a new security measure would require service providers to retain customers’ phone and internet data online for two years.

A paper released by the Attorney-General’s Department shows that if passed, the law would require Australians to hand over their computer passwords to authorities.

Everything from networking sites to emails would be stored, and intelligence agencies would be given increased access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The paper was written for a parliamentary joint committee which is considering ways to reform the country’s national security legislation.

Another proposal under consideration is whether to allow the country’s foreign intelligence services to monitor citizens overseas, if an officer from the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) is not available.

Until now, ASIO has been the only agency allowed to collect data on Australian citizens.

The Federal government has defended the need for intelligence agencies to have access to internet and phone records. However, not everyone agrees with the plans laid out in the document.

“I think it’s unjustified. Australians should have a right to privacy online,” Greens party senator Scott Ludlam told ABC.

If the measures pass, it will be the greatest expansion of Australia’s security laws since 2001, when the country implemented strict security measures following the 9/11 attacks.

The government claims the proposals are important to maintain security, but says it wants citizens to be able to air their opinions on the subject.

“We must stay one step ahead of terrorists and organized criminals who threaten our national security, said Attorney-General Nicola Roxon in a statement.

Submissions into the inquiry are due by August 6. The committee intends to hold a series of public and closed hearings.

Down Under-surveillance: Australian govt seeks confidential online data

Tools For The Internet – This Blog Will Help You Explore Tools For The Internet

Hackers expose login details of 450,000 Yahoo! users

Reuters/Albert Gea

By Albert Gea

The security details of almost half a million internet users have been compromised, after hackers posted what appear to be login credentials to online accounts. Yahoo has confirmed the security breach.

The material was posted by a hacking collective known as D33Ds Company, according to Ars Technica. The group said in a statement at the bottom of the data that they used a technique known as a union-based SQL injection, which preys on poorly-secured web applications.

The hackers claim the information was gathered from a service on the Yahoo network.

The subdomain may to belong to Yahoo Voices, a contribution service which allows user-generated content to be published online, according to security firm Trusted Sec.

The method attacks sites that do not properly examine text which is entered into search boxes and other input fields. Hackers then inject database commands which trick servers into sharing large amounts of sensitive information.

Experts say the passwords were not encrypted – making them vulnerable for any hacker to immediately gain access to online accounts.

Members of D33Ds say they intend the hack to be used as a “wake-up call.”

“We hope that the parties responsible for managing the security of this subdomain will take this as a wake-up call, and not as a threat,” the hackers said in their statement. “There have been many security holes exploited in webservers belonging to Yahoo! Inc. that have caused far greater damage than our disclosure. Please do not take them lightly.”

The latest entries in the information appear to be from accounts created in 2006, which may imply the data is old, or no longer in use.

Android Forums and Formspring were attacked at the same time. They encrypted the passwords that they stored, although there is still a possibility that they could be cracked.

Users are being encouraged to change their passwords immediately, and to check whether they used the same login details for other online services.

It is not yet known whether the three attacks are linked.

Hackers expose login details of 450,000 Yahoo! users

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Google sees ‘alarming’ level of government censorship


Web giant says that in the past six months it received more than 1,000 requests from government officials for the removal of content. It complied with more than half of them.

Google reports it has seen an “alarming” incidence in government requests to censor Internet content in the past six months.

The Web giant said it received more than 1,000 requests from governments around the world to remove items such as YouTube videos and search listings. The company, which said it complied with more than half the requests, released a catalog of those requests as part of its biannual Global Transparency Report.

“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, said in a blog post. “When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.”

Google said it had received 461 court orders for the removal of 6,989 items, consenting to 68 percent of those orders. It also received 546 informal requests, complying with 46 percent of those requests. The study doesn’t reflect censorship activity from countries such as China and Iran, which block content without notifying Google.

“Just like every other time, we’ve been asked to take down political speech,” Chou wrote. “It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — western democracies not typically associated with censorship.”

Among the take-down requests was a Polish demand for removal of an article critical of a development agency, a Spanish request for removal of 270 blogs and links to articles critical of the public figures, and a Canadian official’s request for removal of a YouTube video of a man urinating on his passport and flushing it down a toilet. All were denied.

However, the company said it complied with the majority of requests from Thai authorities for the removal of 149 YouTube videos that allegedly insulted the monarchy, a violation of Thailand law. The Web giant said it also granted U.K. police requests for removal of five YouTube accounts that allegedly promoted terrorism. Google also said it complied with 42 percent of U.S. requests for the removal of 187 pieces of content, most of which were related to harassment.

Google sees ‘alarming’ level of government censorship

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