If you’re wondering “What is blockchain” (also known as “block chain”), you’re not alone. Unless you’ve been following Bitcoin, you may only be hearing the term “blockchain” for the first time now, as it’s been in the news lately.
The United States’ neighbors to the north have sent a love letter to the U.S. in the form of a ‘Tell America It’s Great’ hashtag (#TellAmericaItsGreat) and Internet video campaign. And the video greetings from Canadian individuals, telling the U.S. why they think America is great are pouring in, reminding us that, as one poster put it, America is already great.
Samsung has issued a massive recall of all Galaxy Note 7 phones that have batteries which have been found to catch fire and in some cases explode. The recall affects all countries in which Samsung has sold the Note 7 containing the defective battery, except China; the Galaxy 7s sold in China have a different battery.
A new Russian facial recognition app called FindFace is raising privacy concerns around the world. Unlike other recent facial recognition systems, Find Face works somewhat in reverse: rather than recognizing images of someone already known to you, it allows you to take a picture of a stranger, and then it will identify who the person is for you. Source say that so far it works about 70% of the time, based on it’s usage with Vkontakte (also known as VK), which, with 200million users, is said to be the European equivalent of Facebook, and third in size only behind Facebook and Twitter.
A new report by the UK’s top Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson, says that bulk interception and acquisition of Internet and communications data is of ‘vital utility’ to security and intelligence agencies.
What’s in a name? Plenty, if the name of your residence happens to include the word ‘Isis’ in it. In fact, if your address includes “Isis”, Paypal will not process transactions for you!
Tamara Fields became a widow when her husband, Lloyd Carl Fields Jr., was killed in a terrorist attack in Jordan. Now Fields is suing Twitter, claiming that Twitter is not doing enough to shut down ISIS Twitter accounts, which they use for recruiting and planning terror attacks. (Full text of Tamara Fields v. Twitter lawsuit is linked below.)
The United Kingdom has passed a law that recognizes ‘domestic violence over social media’, and makes it a punishable offense. According to the new law, threatening or even monitoring someone via social media counts as domestic violence. So how do they distinguish between the average act of ‘following’ someone on Facebook or Twitter, and monitoring? Good question.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement between the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, and Peru. At its heart, the TPP is intended to make trade between these and other Pacific Rim countries who may sign on to the TPP easier. What is interesting, and what many don’t realize, is that the TPP has an anti-spam section that deals with electronic commerce and spam. Sort of.
Nearly eight years ago (to the day!) we told you about the online game that tests your vocabulary skills, and donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme (also known as the World Food Program, and WFP) for every correct response that you give. FreeRice.com is legitimate, and the real deal, and we’re delighted to see that they are still going strong!
The hacker group known as Anonymous has declared cyber war on ISIS (the Islamic State, which also goes by ISIL and Daesh). While Anonymous has actually stated this previously, they have stepped up their game, and their public announcements of this war on ISIS, following last Friday’s attacks in Paris. In response to the announcement, ISIS released their own statement, calling Anonymous “idiots”.
The United States is worrying about something that they consider a new Russian threat: increased Russan submarine activity around the undersea fiber optic cables that carry Internet communications, and the potential that those submarine cables could be severed, crippling U.S. Internet operations. Whether you see this as promoting Russia as a bogeyman, or a real possibility, the reality is that history has demonstrated that undersea Internet cables can be cut, and that it wreaks havoc.
The White House has taken the novel step of starting a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds for Syrian refugees. In partnership with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Prez has gone on Kickstarter with an appeal to the American people: please send money.