benrothke writes "In Digital Vertigo: How Todays Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us, author Andrew Keen, who describes himself as the Anti-Christ of Silicon Valley (whatever that means), raises numerous profound questions about social media and its implications on society. In the new world of social media and Web 3.0, which is claiming to revolutionize communication and interactions, Keen writes that history is repeating itself and points to the beginning of the industrial revolution as an example. He writes of Jeremy Bentham who invented the Panopticon; a structure where the inhabitants were watched at all times. Bentham felt the Panopticon could make humanity more virtuous, more hard-working and happier; similar to the promise of Web 3.0. The Panopticon was a failure, and Keen sees the same for Web 3.0. The book is a critique of Web 3.0." Read below for the rest of Ben's review.
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rbowen writes "The software that powers the SourceForge developer tools (SourceForge is owned by the same corporate overlords as Slashdot) has been submitted to the Apache Software Foundation Incubator. The SourceForge Blog reads: 'By submitting Allura to the Apache Incubator, we hope to draw an even wider community of developers who can advance the feature set and tailor the framework to their needs. With the flexibility and extensibility Allura allows, developers are free to use any number of the popular source code management tools, including: Git, SVN, or Mercurial. We are indeed willing to turn our own open source platform into a tool that everyone can use and extend, and we believe Apache is the best place to steward the process.'"
jones_supa writes "Google has revealed it removed about 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism over the second half of 2011 after complaints from the UK's Association of Chief Police Officers. The news was contained in its latest Transparency Report which discloses requests by international authorities to remove or hand over material. YouTube had also rejected many other state's requests for action. Overall, Google summed it had received 461 court orders covering a total of 6,989 items between July and December 2011. From those, it said 68% of the orders were complied with. Google added that it had received a further 546 informal requests covering 4,925 items, of which it had agreed to 43% of the cases."
An anonymous reader writes "Nearly 15 years of debate over digital copyright reform will come to an end today as Bill C-11, the fourth legislative attempt at Canadian copyright reform, passes in the House of Commons. Many participants in the copyright debate view the bill with great disappointment, pointing to the government's decision to adopt restrictive digital lock rules as a signal that their views were ignored. Despite the loss on digital locks, the "Canadian copyright" led to some dramatic changes to Canadian copyright with some important wins for Canadians who spoke out on copyright. The government expanded fair dealing and added provisions on time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, and user generated content in response to public pressure. It also included a cap on statutory damages, expanded education exceptions, and rejected SOPA-style amendments."
dcblogs writes "The U.S., once again, is home to the world's most powerful supercomputer after being knocked off the list by China two years ago and Japan last year. The top computer, an IBM system at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is capable of 16.32 sustained petaflops, according to the Top 500 list, a global, twice a year ranking, released Monday. Despite the continuing strength of U.S. vendors globally, when China's supercomputer took the top position in June, 2010, it seemed to hit a national nerve. President Barack Obama mentioned China's top ranked supercomputer in two separate speeches, including his State of the Union address last year."
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Governments are sticking their noses into Google's servers more than ever before. In the second half of 2011, Google received 6,321 requests that it hand over its users' private data to U.S. government agencies including law enforcement, and complied at least partially with those requests in 93% of cases, according to the latest update to the company's bi-annual Transparency Report. That's up from 5,950 requests in the first half of 2011, and marks a 37% increase in the number of requests over the same period the year before. Compared with the second half of 2009, the first time Google released the government request numbers, the latest figures represent a 76% spike. Data demands from foreign governments have increased even more quickly than those from the U.S., up to 11,936 in the second half of 2011 compared with 9,600 in the same period the year before, though Google was much less likely to comply with those non-U.S. government requests."
New submitter SIGSTOP writes "The LINC [OpenFlow 1.2 software-based] switch has now been released as commercial friendly open source through the FlowForwarding.org community website, encouraging users and vendors to use LINC and contribute to its development. The initial LINC implementation focuses on correctness and feature compliance. Through an abstraction layer, specialized network hardware drivers can be easily interfaced to LINC. It has been implemented in Erlang, the concurrent soft-real time programming language invented by Ericsson to develop their next generation networks."
Reuters reports that Facebook has taken the face-saving move (and a cheap one, considering the company's market cap) of settling for $10 million — plus lawyers' fees — the lawsuit brought against it for appropriating users' names and pictures in deceptive ads. Says the linked story: "The lawsuit, brought by five Facebook members, alleged the social networking site violated California law by publicizing users' 'likes' of certain advertisers on its 'Sponsored Stories' feature without paying them or giving them a way to opt out, the documents said. A 'Sponsored Story' is an advertisement that appears on a member's Facebook page and generally consists of another friend's name, profile picture and an assertion that the person 'likes' the advertiser."
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that the UK's Draft Communications Bill includes a provision which could be used to force the Royal Mail and other mail carriers to retain data on all physical mail passing through their networks. The law could be used to force carriers to maintain a database of any data written on the outside of an envelope or package which could be accessed by government bodies at will. Such data could include sender, recipient and type of mail (and, consequentially, the entire contents of a postcard). It would provide a physical analog of the recently proposed internet surveillance laws. The Home Office claims that it has no current plans to enforce the law."
New submitter quantic_oscillation7 writes with this excerpt from the Register: "Phil Zimmermann and some of the original PGP team have joined up with former U.S. Navy SEALs to build an encrypted communications platform that should be proof against any surveillance. The company, called Silent Circle, will launch later this year, when $20 a month will buy you encrypted email, text messages, phone calls, and videoconferencing in a package that looks to be strong enough to have the NSA seriously worried. ... While software can handle most of the work, there still needs to be a small backend of servers to handle traffic. The company surveyed the state of privacy laws around the world and found that the top three choices were Switzerland, Iceland, and Canada, so they went for the one within driving distance."
New submitter jppiiroinen writes "Linus Torvalds received the Millennium prize last week for his work on Linux operating system. He was already in Finland, so Aalto University arranged a talk session with him (video). During the Q&A, a person asks why NVIDIA does not play well with Linux. Torvalds explained shortly that NVIDIA has been one of the worst companies to work with Linux project — which makes it even worse that NVIDIA ships a high number of chips for Android devices (which use Linux inside). Torvalds even summarized that ('Nvidia, f*** you!') in a playful manner. What has been your experience on NVIDIA drivers with Linux?"
Freshly Exhumed writes "Akamai's Guy Podjarny reveals after testing: SPDY is different than HTTP in many ways, but its primary value comes from being able to multiplex many requests/responses from client to server over a single (or few) TCP connections. Previous benchmarks tout great benefits, ranging from making pages load 2x faster to making mobile sites 23% faster using SPDY and HTTPS than over clear HTTP. However, when testing real world sites I did not see any such gains. In fact, my tests showed SPDY is only marginally faster than HTTPS and is slower than HTTP."
New Jazari writes "Careful what you say when traveling, since the authorities will soon be able to zoom in on your conversations and record them for an indefinite amount of time. The story is about Canada, but I see no reason to think that this capability will not soon be installed in most places (if it's not already)."
sciencehabit writes "Dating experts working in Spain, using a technique relatively new to archaeology, have pushed dates for the earliest cave art back some 4000 years to at least 41,000 years ago, raising the possibility that the artists were Neandertals rather than modern humans. And a few researchers say that the study argues for the slow development of artistic skill over tens of thousands of years — not a swift acquisition of talent, as some had argued."
redletterdave writes "The Black Death, a strain of bubonic plague that destroyed nearly a third of Europe's entire population between 1347 and 1369, has been found in Oregon. Health officials in Portland have confirmed that a man contracted the plague after getting bitten by a cat. The unidentified man, who is currently in his 50s, had tried to pry a dead mouse from a stray cat's mouth on June 2 when the cat attacked him. Days later, fever and sickness drove the man to check himself into Oregon's St. Charles Medical Center, where he is currently in 'critical condition.'"