WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in London

December 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Julian Assange

Julian Assange turned himself in to a London police station to face charges of rape, unlawful coercion and two counts of sexual molestation.

Assange, who was told he could consent to be extradited to Sweden and declined to do so, is being held without bail for unknown reasons at the moment.

He also is facing a challenge of all his assets slowly being frozen from access. Julian intends to fight the courts on extradition to Sweden.

”Julian Assange has been the one in hot pursuit to vindicate himself to clear his good name.” Mark Stephens, Assange’s lawyer told BBC. Although Assange is in a legal battle, WikiLeaks is still proceeding with releasing documents and does not see Assange’s arrest as an obstacle.

In addition to his sex crime charges, Assange may face charges from the government for his recent release of diplomatic papers. Supporters of WikiLeaks are writing letters to the prime minister stating Mr. Assange should be able to return back to Australia.

Julian Assange

His one wild card left is that Assange released for download to thousands of WikiLeaks supporters what is called a thermonuclear device” which is a file that contains all the files ever received by WikiLeaks containing the names of spies, soldiers and sources. If harm is done to him or he is jailed the encryption code would be released allowing access to numerous amounts of private documents.

(Source:LA Times)

The Netflix Dilemma

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment


image via

The Consumerist reports that Comcast is now charging delivery fees to Netflix customers.

The situation is this:

A company called Level 3 was hired by Netflix to deliver movies and TV shows to customers, but Comcast (the largest cable TV company in the U.S.) has set up what many people are calling an Internet “toll booth,” which charges Level 3 anytime a customer orders something.

Hmm, it sucks that Comcast views charging the middleman as the way to go in this issue. It doesn’t seem to be fair–if they absolutely have to tax, shouldn’t they tax individual Netflix customers?

This new development has sparked a mini comment war, and Comcast commented on Level 3 by saying:

“To be lasting, business relationships should be mutually beneficial.” (via)

The current economic model hardly seems “mutually beneficial” to me.

Additional article here.

 

-Klara

Suffolk County Shaken Up

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Some residents of Suffolk County experienced an unexpected wake-up call this morning.   An earthquake, that registered a 3.9 on the Richter Scale, hit around 10:45am on Nov. 30th about 80 mikes off the cost of Southampton.  According to an article on NBCNewYork.com, the shaking was also felt in parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.  The tremors were the first in 18 years.  The earthquake has been described by some as a “non-event” because of the lack of damage, and also the lack of awareness of the event.  Students around Stony Brook, including myself, didn’t feel the slightest of tremors.

Despite the fact that some residents felt nothing, the effects of the quake could reportedly be felt over a span of 20 miles.

-Dana

 

Google myface

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Google’s social network has been delayed till April 2011, according to Searchengineland.com.

Google Me, is the would be killer of Facebook or its second coming depending on who you talk too. Google has tried previously to break into the social networking trend with Google Wave, which fizzled pretty bad.

 

The delay is likely due to an in-house disagreement about the purpose of the project. There are also other rumors that Google engineers have been defecting to Facebook looking to cash in on Facebook’s pre-IPO stock offer, according to Techcrunch.com

It is likely that the delay is simply Google polishing the site and attempting to build the hype. Google likely doesn’t want to duplicate some of their past mistakes in social networking.

It will be a tough battle for Google as Facebook has nearly 400 million users. Facebook also has plenty of new feature coming out including a new messaging platform.

Hopefully Google will help to continue to keep Lady Gaga off of social media networking.

~ Juan Rodriguez

Professional social media site,Yammer.com, gets $40 million for funding

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yammer Logo

As if Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Myspace, and other social media sites weren’t enough to keep track of, another social media website has is gaining notoriety . Contrary to the other sites, though, Yammer.com is not completely free and it has a a particular target audience and purpose: communicating within a business or corporation.

Yammer has been called Twitter for businesses. It has microblogging, direct messaging, profiles, groups and more. Yet, each of those things is geared towards the professional level.

Yammer is revolutionizing internal corporate communications by bringing together all of a company’s employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network. Although Yammer is as easy to use as consumer products like Facebook or Twitter, its enterprise-grade software is built from the ground up to drive business objectives.

Yammer enables users to communicate, collaborate, and share more easily and efficiently than ever before. It reduces the need for meetings, increases communication across silos, surfaces pockets of expertise and connects remote workers.

yammer.com “About” section

Launched in Sept. 2008 at the TechCrunch50 conference, Yammer has been in the news lately because in September, Yammer 2.0 was released with new features that allowed co-workers to create and send out events, share URLs in conversations and allows company manager to track traffic in their network.Also, Yammer has just recently secured $25 million in funding which means that the companies total funding is $40 million, according to mashable.com.

Yammer is directed at a particular audience, it’s users are made up of 80% of the companies in The Fortune 500 and according to their website is used by over 100,000 companies.

Signing up for Yammer is free for the basic website for employees. If a company wanted to add other controls such as custom branding, data export and more, there is a fee per company user ($3 or $5 depending).

-Spicer

WikiLeaks good or bad?

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

That is a question many are asking themselves now that in the last year WikiLeaks has become the most prominent source of leaked information.

Recently they classified documents from the U.S. Embassy were leaked to The New York Times. Some officials say this could harm soldiers stationed around to world because of the nature of some of the documents.

The way WikiLeaks works is has taken the meetings in dark alleyways and parking garages and made them digital. All you need to do is submit documents and information through a drop box on their website.

There is a potential problem here. If this information is anonymous it could very well be fabricated. I am sure these documents are real because of the work WikiLeaks and The New York Times reporters did.

But now for the real question on everyones mind: is this ethical to publish? The New York Times says that they look through the documents for anything that might be harmful to print, but what they see as harmful, what the government sees as harmful and what the average person sees as harmful is different.

I see this as nothing more than journalists doing their jobs. I also see the difference between this and the Pentagon papers and how the Internet has helped this process along. Both in obtaining the documents and publishing them, the Internet is the driving force here.

But in the end, according to The New York Times website in a note to the readers:

“The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.”

And that is how it should be.

-Frank

Pentagon Papers….Part Two?

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

That is what some people are calling the recent classified material leaked to theNew York Times and other European publications by WikiLeaks-an organization that claims to be dedicated to exposing official secrets.

WikiLeaks is headed by Julian Assange (shown above), and the organization’s goal is to obtain government documents from as many countries as possible and show them to the world. Assange is best known for exposing U.S. secrets. He and his staff have gotten their hands  on hundreds of thousands of classified government documents on subjects that include the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and most recently, U.S. Embassy cables.

On Sunday November 28, 2010 the embassy leaks began; becoming the largest set of confidential documents ever released to the public. The documents will give allies and enemies alike unprecedented insight into U.S. Government foreign activities.  The some 250,000 telephone logs will release  numerous conversations between the State Department and over 270 American global diplomatic outposts. New York Times publishers claim to edit out information that would endanger American informants or compromise national security, but many say this is impossible. Times’ Public Editor Arthur Brisbane says the paper did take a reputational risk in doing business with WikiLeaks.

I am torn. Does this exemplify journalists as “watchdogs,” or is this just plain anti-American?