It’s been a long time in coming, but the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which is responsible for creation, approval, and overseeing of Internet domains (primarily the TLD space) has set in motion the final approval of the .XXX domain (also being referred to, at least in email, as the “dot-ex-ex-ex” domain, so as to avoid spam filters). Only adult entertainment industry sites, with adult-themed content, may use .XXX domains. But not everybody loves it – in fact that free speech foundation, The Free Speech Coalition, lead by Executive Director Diane Duke, is boycotting the .XXX domain, even though, as Dianne Duke seems to overlook, there is no suggestion that anybody will be required to use the .XXX domain.
Here at the Internet Patrol we are asking for your input. We have over 11,000 readers who receive our weekly newsletter each week. Traditionally, our newsletter goes out on Friday mornings, but recent research suggests that people prefer to receive newsletter mailings earlier in the week, while still other research suggests that the weekends are the best time for email newsletters. Well, we figure that when it comes to research about the best day to send out the Internet Patrol Newsletter, who better to ask than the actual readers of The Internet Patrol!
In case you have been missing having to tear your hair out over Facebook’s privacy settings and policies, fear not, because with Facebook’s new “Instant Personalization” setting, you can tear away. Six months ago we reported on Facebook’s then-new ‘open graph’ with “social plugins”, or ‘social graph’, that followed you around to sites like Pandora and Yelp. This appears to have evolved into, or spawned, Facebook’s “Instant Personalization” where, explains Facebook, the goal is “to give you a great social and personalized experience with every application and website you use.”
There is a meme going around this week, concerning Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and how he supposedly said that concerns over Facebook privacy were “overblown”. In fact, nearly 1,000 sites, including the Telegraph, the Latest Business Report, and SFGate, are reporting that, and we quote, “Facebook privacy concerns overblown, suggests Mark Zuckerberg.” However, in the actual interview on which these sites are reporting – an interview that Zuckerberg did with the New Yorker’s Jose Antonio Vargas – Zuckerberg never actually says that the concerns are overblown – in fact he doesn’t use the term “overblown” at all. Good thing too, because we just discovered that with a single click, Facebook is now revealing all of the applications that you use to your friends, and vice versa. (See screen shot below.)
We have Google mail, , Google chat, Google phone, and even Google TV – and now…Google films? Yes, it’s true – in a direct head-to-head, Google is taking on giants Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes, with its new Google video rental service. Technically, it’s actually YouTube movie rentals (also known as YouTube Pay Content), as the new Google ‘pay per view’ video rental service through which you stream the movies ‘on demand’ is through their YouTube property. In fact, it’s already up and running.
In addition to the new iPhone 4 being announced this week, Apple released a new free update to its web browser, Safari. The new Safari 5, for both Mac and Windows, offers a few new features, but none as interesting – or as controversial – as the new Safari “Reader” view or, if you will, Reader function. The new Safari 5 Reader button instantly strips out nearly everything on the page that isn’t part of the article you are reading – ads, external links, pop-ups – everything – and gives you a view of whatever you are reading that has only the content text, and any attendant images or videos.
The issue of Flash – or rather lack thereof – on the iPhone and iPods (and now the iPad), has long been a source of frustration and consternation for Apple devotees. More and more discontent has spilled into public discussion, with Apple openly taking what some perceive as potshots at Adobe, the makers of Flash, and Adobe, in turn, responding. Now it has erupted into open discussion (ok, attacks), with none less than Steve Jobs openly publishing on the Apple web site his “Thoughts on Flash”, and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen responding in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Imagine our surprise today when, while checking out Slashdot’s RSS feeds (or, as those in the biz like to call it, /. ) we noted a full-colour advertisement exhorting us to check our credit score, and another for Tek Systems. In fact, there is now an advertisement along with every story summary in the Slashdot RSS feed – ads for penny stocks, even ads for Google Chrome.
Microsoft isn’t the only company to be stealing things from rivals this week. And it appears that the data from your Facebook inbox isn’t the only thing that Facebook is mining. This week we discovered that Facebook has apparently cribbed Twitter’s famous @username protocol for getting someone’s attention.
No matter how snazzy a cell phone is, it’s only as good as the carrier that is servicing it. And in the case of the iPhone, it turns out that it is straining Ma Bell’s system to the point that AT and T’s 9 million iPhone users are disproportionately dragging down AT and T’s network infrastructure.
If you’ve seen and been wondering about the newest roadside sign, touting DontActStupidly.net, well, so were we. So we did a little digging, and here’s what we found about Don’tActStupidly .net.
Some of you may have already seen the new option which Google offers when you do a Google search – it’s called the Google WonderWheel. The Google Wonder Wheel offers you a graphical representation of related searches – that is, searches related to your initial search. It is similar to “mind mapping”, which seems to be the newest info-fad.
Rumours of an Apple Media Pad – a cellular-enabled touch-screen device larger than an iPhone but smaller than a traditional laptop or tablet – are swirling. And it would seem that rumours of the Mac Media Pad are more than just rumours, as industry insiders confirm the imminant announcement of the Apple Media Pad (which may be or be the precursor to the much-awaited Apple Tablet), as well as that they are to be offered through Verizon, along with a Verizon iPhone light version. (Although it won’t be called “iPhone Lite”, it is rumoured to be a stripped-down version of the iPhone, modified to work on the Verizon CDMA network.)
The BBC is under fire today for a stunt that it pulled a few days ago, in which it rented a Russian bot net (also sometimes called a spam bot), and then sent millions of pieces of spam, and DOSed a corporate server.