China's state media under fire for arguing benefits of smog
Commentaries by two of China's most influential news outlets suggesting that an ongoing air pollution crisis was not without a silver lining drew a withering reaction on Tuesday from internet users and other media. In online commentaries on Monday, state broadcaster CCTV and the widely read tabloid the Global Times, published by the Communist Party's official People's Daily, both tried to put a positive spin on China's smog problem. The Global Times said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while CCTV listed five "unforeseen rewards" for smog, including helping Chinese people's sense of humor. While both pieces have since been deleted from their websites, Chinese newspapers lost little time in denouncing their point of view, in an unusual case of state media criticizing other state media, showing the scale of the anger.
U.S. tech companies call for more controls on surveillance
Eight major U.S. web companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, made a joint call on Monday for tighter controls on how governments collect personal data, intensifying the furor over online surveillance. In an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress, the companies said recent revelations showed the balance had tipped too far in favor of the state in many countries and away from the individual. In June, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden exposed top secret government surveillance programs that tap into communications on cables linking technology companies' various data centers overseas. "We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens," said the letter from the eight firms which also included Microsoft Corp, Twitter, LinkedIn Corp, Yahoo Inc and AOL Inc. "But this summer's revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide.
The U.S. government has debuted the Spanish-language version of the healthcare website that will help Latinos to shop and sign up for new insurance plans under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law. The department will rely on feedback from Spanish-language organizations that use the site during the initial stage to improve it before it is mass marketed, said department spokeswoman Joanne Peters. The Spanish-language version of the site was delayed after the disastrous October 1 launch of HealthCare.gov, which was swamped with technical glitches and did not have enough capacity to handle all the users who went to the site to enroll.
Internet giants weigh in on defamation lawsuit against Arizona web site
From Twitter and Facebook to Amazon and Google, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge's decision allowing an Arizona-based gossip website to be sued for defamation by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader convicted of having sex with a teenager.
By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter shares soared more than 9 percent on Monday to their highest level since the company's initial public offering after a spate of product announcements that could boost its revenue prospects. Twitter has mostly traded in the low-$40 range in recent weeks since November 7, when shares briefly topped $50 in the hours following its highly anticipated IPO. Twitter on Thursday officially began allowing marketers to show individually-tailored ads on Twitter, based on websites the user has previously visited. Apple Inc announced last week it would acquire Topsy, an analytics company that mines Twitter data, for $200 million, according to media reports.
Snapchat, U.S. messaging service startup, files for restraining order
Snapchat, a service that allows users to exchange fleeting photo messages, has filed for a temporary restraining order against Frank Reginald Brown, who claims he came up with the idea for the company. Snapchat last month rejected an acquisition offer from Facebook Inc that would have valued the company at $3 billion or more, the Wall Street Journal has reported. Snapchat said Brown disclosed confidential information about the company to the media, according to court documents filed in California on Friday.
Internet Helps Turkestan Cockroaches Get A Foothold In US
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Popular among reptile breeders in need of a live food source, the Turkestan cockroach has proliferated in urban areas of the southwestern United States thanks to sales over the Internet, according to a new report in Journal of Economic Entomolog y . "This may be the first time that an invasive urban pest species is widely distributed via the ...
Internet Tilts at Government Windmill, Opens Pandora's Box
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A coalition of seven U.S.-based Internet companies -- AOL , Facebook , Google , LinkedIn , Microsoft , Twitter and Yahoo -- has signed off on a letter, posted at a new Web site, demanding limits to government surveillance of the Internet. It could be those companies are tilting at windmills. Or it could be they have just opened Pandora's box. The fact is that all these ...
European flyers set to keep mobile gadgets switched on
Passengers on European flights may soon be able to use mobile gadgets throughout their journeys, but they will have to wait a while before they can make telephone calls, the European Commission's transport chief said on Monday. Following guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency, it is up to airlines, such as Lufthansa and British Airways, to update their rules so that passengers will no longer have to turn off mobile devices during take-off and landing, provided they are in flight-safety mode. "It will be a new reality," EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas told reporters. "We expect most airlines to amend procedures so you will be able to keep mobile devices switched on in flight mode." A Commission official added the change was expected in weeks as airlines could start implementing it from now.