Monday, February 27, 2006

MySpace Backlash

Wired News:: "Last December, a mischievous student used a home computer to create an account on the social networking site MySpace bearing the name and likeness of his school principal, Eric Trosch.
The profile the Hermitage, Pennsylvania, Hickory High School student bestowed on his principal was not kind. For 'birthday' he listed 'too drunk to remember.' And for vital stats like eye and hair color he wrote, simply, 'big' -- a poke at the educator's girth that he managed to weave into most of the 60-odd survey questions in Trosch's fictional profile: Do you smoke? 'Big cigs.' Do you swear? 'Big words.' Thoughts first waking up? 'Too … damn … big.'
The teen told some friends at school about the gag. Big mistake.
As a judge would later put it, 'word of the parody … soon reached most, if not all, of the student body of Hickory High School,' and the fake MySpace profile, along with several less nuanced commentaries crafted by other students, became a monster hit at the school. The administration banned student PC use for six days, canceling some classes, while they traced the profile to 17-year-old senior Justin Layshock, who promptly confessed and apologized."

A MySpace Cheat Sheet For Parents

MySpace can be unfamiliar ground to busy parents, and not everything is as it seems on the site. So Wired News addresses some of the most pressing questions parents might have if they explore their teenager's relationship with MySpace. This FAQ relies heavily on an interview with UC Berkeley researcher Danah Boyd, who studied teens' ways during a two-year ethnographic study of the MySpace phenomenon. Boyd speaks on her findings in a recent lecture.

Can I search MySpace to see if my kid is on it?

MySpace profiles are searchable, and with little detective work you can probably find your offspring if they are participating. But should you? That probably depends on your relationship with them. UC Berkeley researcher Danah Boyd says it's a bad idea. "Don't go on and engage in surveillance. That makes things really hard for kids to engage with you as a parent." Instead, Boyd recommends parents talk with their youngsters, and ask their teens to show them their profile, if they have one.

I did it anyway. Should I be worried that my teenage girl is linked to so many male "friends?"

you can assume she's sending nudes.....

Link: Wired News:.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Will Yahoo ban bids on trademarks?

CNET "Bloggers are reporting that Yahoo will no longer allow advertisers to bid for trademarked terms they don't own.
There have been several legal battles over the act of selling trademarked keywords. But despite the case history, no federal appeals court has addressed the issue, meaning the law is still unsettled.
Posters in the SearchEngineWatch Forums reported that they have received e-mails from Yahoo stating that the company 'will no longer allow bidding on keywords containing competitor trademarks,' starting March 1.
Bloggers speculated that Yahoo might be making the move to just get rid of the legal worries. problem. But they also pointed out that the company has been trying to lure big-name, mainstream advertisers, and this move might be a good way to convince them Internet advertising was a safe way to go."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Justice Department's assault on Google to backfire?

CNET "The U.S. Department of Justice's attempt to compel Google to divulge millions of search records could backfire on police and prosecutors.
If Google convinces California courts that a federal privacy law protects Internet users' search terms from a subpoena, it would become more difficult for law enforcement to seek such records in future criminal investigations, legal experts are saying.
That's 'absolutely' a concern, said Paul Ohm, a former Justice Department prosecutor who now teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder. 'There's a lot of precedent for that kind of thing.' "

Google to feds: Back off : "Google lashed out at the U.S. Justice Department on Friday, saying that a high-profile request for a list of a week's worth of search terms must not be granted because it would disclose trade secrets and violate the privacy rights of its users.
In a strongly worded legal brief filed with a federal judge in San Jose, Calif., the search company accused prosecutors of a 'cavalier attitude,' saying they were 'uninformed' about how search engines work and the importance of protecting Google's confidential information from disclosure.
This response came after the Justice Department last month asked a judge to force Google to hand over a random sample of 1 million Web pages from its index, along with copies of a week's worth of search terms to aid in the Bush administration's defense of an Internet pornography law. That information is supposed to be used to highlight flaws in Web filtering technology during a trial this fall. "

Google admits Desktop security risk

CNET "Businesses have been warned by research company Gartner that the latest Google Desktop Beta has an 'unacceptable security risk,' and Google agrees.
On Feb. 9, Google unveiled Google Desktop 3, a free, downloadable program that includes an option to let users search across multiple computers for files. To do that, the application automatically stores copies of files, for up to a month, on Google servers. From there, copies are transferred to the user's other computers for archiving. The data is encrypted in transmission and while stored on Google servers.
The risk to enterprises, according to Gartner, lies in how this shared information is pooled by Google. The data is transferred to a remote server, where it is stored and can then be shared between users for up to 30 days. "

News Corp. Goal: Make MySpace Safer for Teens : "When News Corp. bought the social-networking Web site last July, the media company got two surprises, one good and one bad.
The good part: The site, where teens and twenty-somethings post pages about themselves and communicate with friends, already was popular, but it suddenly took off. In the last six months of 2005, MySpace's monthly traffic nearly doubled to 36 million users, making it the eighth-most-visited Web site in January, according to comScore Media Metrix. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch declared it the centerpiece of his new Internet strategy of attracting a large audience in a bid to bypass portals such as Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN in advertising revenue.
The bad part: MySpace has become the focus of criticism from authorities, teachers and parents that children are exposed to risqué content and are preyed upon by sexual predators who meet them on the site. Such episodes aren't unique to MySpace, but the site stands out because of its size -- 54 million registered users, with about 19% of monthly users under 17, according to comScore."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Samsung Business Communication Systems Receives Customer Inter@ction Solutions® Magazine’s “Product of the Year” Award for 2005

M/C/C Public Relations : "Samsung Business Communication Systems today announced that Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC®)’s Customer Inter@ction Solutions® magazine ( has named Samsung’s OfficeServ 7200 converged communications platform as a recipient of a 2005 Product of the Year Award. Customer Inter@ction Solutions has been the leading publication in the CRM, call center and teleservices industries since 1982™.

“At Samsung BCS, we’re dedicated to helping small- and medium-sized business increase productivity and to communicate more efficiently,” said Samsung Business Communication Systems Vice President Steve Gobeli. “The OfficeServ 7200 platform is a highly effective solution that brings convergence to those who need it most. We are honored that the prestigious Customer Inter@ction Solutions has recognized our dedication to both our products and our customers.”

The OfficeServ 7200 converged communications platform is one of the most efficient and flexible platforms for business communications solutions currently available. Capitalizing on Samsung’s extensive expertise and long history in developing wireline, wireless, voice and digital convergence equipment, the OfficeServ 7200 platform allows end-users to leverage new capabilities not previously available to them via Samsung products such as IP-based, in-building mobility and additional OfficeServ applications."

SYSTIMAX® Solutions Launches Two New Modular Patch Panels

M/C/C Public Relations : "SYSTIMAX Solutions™, the worldwide leader in structured connectivity solutions, today announced the availability of the 1100GS5 panel as part of its SYSTIMAX® GigaSPEED® X10D Solution, and the M2000 universal modular panel, part of its M-series range of modular products. Both modular patch panels, typically used in telecommunication closets and equipment rooms, come ready to install and are offered with a 20-year extended warranty. As with all SYSTIMAX products, it also offers ease of installation.

The SYSTIMAX GigaSPEED X10D 1100GS5 panel provides the same form and function as previous versions of the SYSTIMAX 1100 panel while also delivering 10G performance when installed as part of the GigaSPEED X10D Solution. The panel features both a new termination manager and a redesigned rear housing for easier, faster and more reliable terminations along with reduced variability in the placement and termination of cables to the panel. The panel is also available in an intelligent patching version as part of the SYSTIMAX iPatch® System."

Samsung BCS Inks 29 New Distributorship Agreements

M/C/C Public Relations : "Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS) today announced the conversion of 29 of its existing dealers to distributor status. The newly designated distributors, with footprints that span both East and West Coasts, now have the ability to sell Samsung BCS equipment and solutions directly to enterprise end-users and also to offer Samsung BCS products to other dealers and resellers.

“We have created a great opportunity for our existing dealers to have a more prominent role and greater sales opportunities within our dealer network,” Steve Gobeli, vice president of Samsung Telecommunications America, Business Communication Systems Division, said. “Their commitment to Samsung BCS and its solutions, along with their significant resources and expertise, makes these new relationships beneficial to all involved.”

The 29 authorized distributors, which include four companies on Samsung’s Dealer Advisory Board, now will stock equipment and provide technical support to the dealers and resellers that purchase products from them. The agreements enable the former Samsung BCS dealers to increase sales opportunities beyond the end-user and take a more significant support role for the Samsung BCS dealer network.
The newly authorized distributors include:

· Aable Communications and Telecom
· Alternative Communications, Inc.
· Applied Technology Group, Inc.
· Arizona All American Tel Tech
· Avid Business Networks, Inc.
· Centratel Services Int'l
· Columbia Integrated Technologies
· CoMatrix
· CoMatrix Southeast
· Communications and Data Solutions

King Technologies Becomes Samsung BCS Distributor

(M/C/C): "King Technologies Inc., an authorized distributor for quality telephone systems, has become the one of the first distributors to sign a distribution agreement with Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS) that will provide King with the ability to resell Samsung products to dealers and resellers.

“We look forward to helping Samsung BCS aggressively build its distribution channel,” George King, president and chairman of the board for King Technologies, said. “Their leadership in building world-class telecommunications products has earned them an excellent reputation for reliability, and combined with King’s 18 years of providing exceptional support, makes this new distribution relationship a natural decision.”

The distributorship agreement enables King Technologies to augment its current offerings with all of Samsung’s Business Communications Systems products, such as the OfficeServĂ” 7200 converged VOIP platform and the various solutions it supports. As an authorized distributor, the company not only will sell Samsung BCS products but also will stock product and provide technical support to their dealers and resellers. In addition, the agreement allows Samsung BCS to increase its dealer network and further help small- and medium-size businesses improve their business communications."

EFF warns of Google hacker threat

CNET "EFF warns of Google hacker threat
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is warning people not to use Google's newest desktop search product, saying it provides a 'convenient one-stop-shop for hackers' who've gotten a user's Google password.
The new search tool allows consumers who regularly use multiple PCs to search all of those systems simultaneously, even when they are not connected to the Internet. But EFF says that feature makes personal data 'more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants.'
Google has included some privacy protection measure to the feature, allowing users to screen out specific files or folders and promising to delete any copies of the files from its servers within 30 days and encrypt the data.
But recent legal tussles over Google's search records were enough to scare the EFF off using the system. Still, that wasn't enough to convince everyone in the blogging world."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Congress urged to better protect phone records

CNET "A parade of witnesses testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, citing the need for additional laws to rein in illicit sales of phone records.
The hearing was designed to outline how phone records are ending up in the hands of data thieves and how to strengthen legal efforts to curtail those illicit actions.
'Most of the reports show that pretexting is the method data brokers are using to obtain phone record information,' Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said at the hearing. "

Russian hackers hawked Windows exploit for $4,000

CNET "Competing hacker groups in Russia were peddling the exploit code responsible for the Windows Meta File attacks last December for $4,000, according to security company Kaspersky Lab.
'One of the purchasers of the exploit is involved in the criminal adware/spyware business,' read a Kaspersky Lab quarterly report released this week. 'It seems likely that this was how the exploit became public.'
The WMF flaw unsettled security experts after they found that the virus-writing community discovered the vulnerability before they did. A slew of Trojan programs were written to try and take advantage of the exploit. The British Parliament was attacked by hackers who tried to exploit the WMF flaw. "

FAQ: When Google is not your friend

CNET "FAQ Google's recent legal spat with the U.S. Department of Justice highlights not only what information search engines record about us but also the shortcomings in a federal law that's supposed to protect online privacy.
It's only a matter of time before other attorneys realize that a person's entire search history is available for the asking, and the subpoenas begin to fly. This could happen in civil lawsuits or criminal prosecutions.
That type of fishing expedition is not legally permitted for Web mail providers. But because search engines are not fully shielded by the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act--concocted back in the era of CompuServe and bulletin board systems--their users don't enjoy the same level of privacy. "

Judge postpones Google subpoena hearing

CNET "Google's attempt to fend off the government's request for millions of search terms will move to a federal court in San Jose, Calif., on March 13.
U.S. District Judge James Ware on Thursday delayed the hearing, originally scheduled for Feb. 27, for an extra two weeks without giving an explanation. The outcome will determine whether the U.S. Justice Department will prevail in its fight to force Google to help it defend an anti-pornography law in a trial in Philadelphia this fall. "

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gates: Web site censorship doesn't work

CNET "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said on Wednesday that government attempts to censor Web sites or blogs would fail since the banned information could get out in defiance of official efforts.
The spread of private e-mail means online users could distribute banned news despite government injunctions, he told a news conference.
'You may be able to take a very visible Web site and say that something shouldn't be there, but if there's a desire by the population to know something, it's going to get out,' he said.
However, Gates said Microsoft, the world's biggest computer software company, had to meet legal requirements of the countries where it does business. "

How to evade Google search

Dell apparently learned the hard way this week that companies have to be careful to ensure that information they store on the Internet that they want to keep hidden is not automatically added to a search engine index for everyone on the Web to see.

Specifications for future Dell notebooks were accessible via Google's search site before the content was pulled from a Dell file transfer protocol site and from Google's cache.

Google, like the other major search engines, has an automated search engine that sends software robots called "spiders" out to crawl the Web and find sites to add to the index of Web sites it maintains. Because the spiders follow links running from one Web site to others, they pick up sites on their own without Webmasters having to manually submit them to search engines.