Townhall’s Katie Pavlich was sharp enough to grab screen shots of Wikipedia’s editing war over the profile of late Harvard Professor Derrick Bell before someone made changes considered to be political in nature.
LulzSec hacker sings like canary
The news this week focused on Internet hackers LulzSec, part of the Anonymous hacktivist movement. The Blaze reported that the ringleader of LulzSec was found by the FBI in summer 2011 and pleaded guilty to charges Aug. 15.
Since then, Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu,” agreed to help the FBI find other computer hackers within the group, identifying five other hackers. (Note: Think about how he was caught. This ability by authorities is concerning.) Monsegur identified vulnerabilities in computer systems and was charged with attacks on Visa, MasterCard, Paypal, the U.S. Senate, PBS, Fox Broadcasting and several other government computer systems. Read the full LulzSec indictment.
Could this be the beginning of the end for the international hacktivist organization? Though one FBI official said this break is “devastating to the organization” and compares it to “chopping off the head” of the hacktivist group,
Anonymous disagreed, tweeting: “LulzSec was a group, but Anonymous is a movement. Groups come and go, ideas remain.”
Concerned about online tracking?
Are you bothered that your online searches are being tracked? If you are, you are among the majority. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 73 percent of online search engine users say they aren’t comfortable with the tracking of their queries even if the information collected provides personalized results in the future.
Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reports that Google “has the green light to offer video services to residents of Kansas City, Mo., which could put the Internet search giant into competition with cable and satellite companies.” A sign of things to come?
Book ’em? Price fixing
CNN Money reports that the U.S. Justice Department has issued a warning to Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan and HarperCollins that it plans to sue them for antitrust violations.
DOJ is accusing the publishing houses of e-book price fixing.
I do. Twice. The soap opera!
Uh oh. Imagine you’re cruising through Facebook and you discover a photo of your estranged husband cutting a wedding cake with his new bride. What’s wrong with this picture? You and the groom have never been divorced!
That’s what happened to one couple when a Washington woman found out she and a potential friend were married to the same man. At the same time.
Can you guess what happened next?
In another Facebook story, here’s someone who missed the Facebook train. And what a train it was!
Facebook enters the peace process. What can Facebook do to promote peace in the Middle East? Shimon Peres has some suggestions.
We ran this item in Surfin’ Safari quite a while ago, but it’s so handy, it bears repeating. You know that user manual that disappeared? Well now you can go online to Retrevo, where you’ll find digital copies of user manuals long ago misplaced, thrown out and otherwise unavailable. Retrevo is a shopping portal site that stores more than 100,000 manuals for more than 1,000 brands. When you hit the site, scroll down a bit to the user manual section. Voila!
From micro to macro
Here is a new “scale of the universe” tool that lets you zoom all the way from the tiniest microscopic matter to the size of the visible universe (and even the estimated size of the total universe).
It has a continuous logarithmic zoom, about 60+ orders of magnitude! It takes a minute or less to load, and is well worth the wait. A great teaching aid for the youngsters!
Powering up to the Internet
Remaining powered up while on the go can be a challenge. Here are some items that will help your computer and accessories stayed juiced. My fave is the backback.
Personal computer or tablet?
I enjoy my MacBookPro, but when I’m traveling it’s nice to shed that extra four pounds and fly light with a tablet instead. Apparently a lot of you agree, because PC sales are diminishing. Significantly.
According to CNN Money, “Consumer computing habits are changing as more applications shift to the cloud. Email, Web browsing and social networking, which once required a PC, can now be done on a smart phone or tablet.”
To illustrate, commercial airline pilots have turned to the iPad, replacing the bulky navigation charts that have been a mainstay since the Orville brothers showed us how to fly. Modern day pilots in the U.S. Air Force are also adopting iPads in the cockpit.
Speaking of our military, the U.S. Army has concerns about the geo-tagging that accompanies photos.
Tech Crunch reports, “While for an ordinary civilian the automatic geotagging of your photos or check-ins might be convenient, in the military it can be a lethal mistake. In 2007, geotagged photos of a new fleet of helicopters allowed enemy forces to mortar the base and destroy several of them; it could just as easily have been a field hospital or barracks.”
Guide to SXSW, where Twitter began
What’s SXSW? It is the South by Southwest technical conference where all the “techgeeks” assemble to learn, share, discuss the latest in computing technology and explore its future applications. Attended last year by more than 20,000, this year’s tech festival in Austin kicked off last Friday with more than 1,000 panels and presentations spread across 15 campuses. This video explains more.
And in the “Tweet me a Cold One” category, a mobile app called Tweet-A-Beer is rolling out this week at SXSW.
Tweet-A-Beer combines Twitter and PayPal accounts, so you can beer a buddy on the Internet!
Are your boozing habits good or bad for you? Pull up a bar stool.
Looking for like kind?
Pinterest, Chill and This is My Jam – what these three social networks have in common are your interests, no matter how eclectic.
Don’t leave home without it!