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(TED) Call for tenders: Communication campaign on safer Internet. Elaboration of a communication campaign to raise awareness on safer use of Internet, including the production of a multilingual video clip and recommendations on national media planning. The maximum budget available is EUR 600 000. Time-limit for receipt of requests for documents or for accessing documents: 5.5.2008 (17:00). Time-limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate: 13.5.2008 (17:00). Contract related to a project and/or programme financed by EU funds: safer Internet plus programme. An information session on the call for tender will be held in Brussels on 2.4.2008.
(Guardian) Japan is to bow to international pressure and ban the possession of child pornography, although the new law is expected to anger child welfare groups by exempting manga comics and animated films. Currently, Japan and Russia are the only G8 countries in which it is still legal to own pornographic images of children provided they do not intend to sell them or post them on the internet. Japan is one of the world's biggest suppliers of child pornography and the second biggest consumer after the US, despite a 1999 law that banned the production, sale and distribution of images of children under 18. Labels: Child_abuse_images.htm">Child_abuse_images
(Guardian) Detectives in three continents believe they have broken one of the most sophisticated paedophile rings ever. Eight British children between six and 14 years old have been rescued and arrests made in the UK, Australia and the US. The ring used advanced techniques to avoid detection and one member boasted of belonging to the "greatest group of paedos ever to gather in one place". see also International Child Porn Ring Uncovered (AP).
(Washington Post) An increase of Internet-fueled child pornography has triggered a new federal crackdown. Cybercrime, the majority of which involves child pornography, is now the FBI's third-highest priority, behind counterterrorism and counterintelligence.
(RAPID) The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the online advertising technology company DoubleClick by Google, both of the US. The Commission's in-depth investigation concluded that the transaction would be unlikely to have harmful effects on consumers, either in ad serving or in intermediation in online advertising markets. The Commission has therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a significant part of it.
(BBC News) The European Commission has fined US computer giant Microsoft for defying sanctions imposed on it for anti-competitive behaviour. Microsoft must now pay a record 899m euros ($1.4bn; £680.9m) after it failed to comply with a 2004 ruling that it abused its position. The ruling said that Microsoft was guilty of not providing key code to rival software makers. See also Commission Press Release and frequently asked questions.
(Reuters) The European Commission is sending a "statement of objections" to TomTom on its plans to purchase map supplier Tele Atlas. TomTom, the world's biggest maker of car navigation devices, had offered some remedies to meet concerns within the European Commission that the deal would be anti-competitive but, the European Union executive was unable to accept them before the deadline for sending the "statement of objections" . The statement does not, however, mean the deal will be rejected. Instead, TomTom will have to come up with better remedies. The deadline for a decision is May 5.
(EDRI-gram) French Internal Affairs Minister,Michèle Alliot-Marie, announced new measures to fight against cybercrime, including extending the websites blacklist and pushing for computer online investigations, without the permission of the country of the hosting company. The Minister visited the Cybercrime Brigade and announced a new "best practices chart" with the operators in order to block websites. According to the statements, the Norwegian model was taken into consideration, meaning the creation of a list with websites not only with child pornography information, but also the ones with information on making explosives or chemical weapons, terrorist propaganda and racial hate speech.
(European Court of Justice) Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 14 February 2008 Case C-244/06. Reference for a preliminary ruling: Landgericht Koblenz - Germany. Free movement of goods - Article 28 EC - Measures having equivalent effect - Directive 2000/31/EC - National rules prohibiting the sale by mail order of image storage media which have not been examined and classified by the competent authority for the purpose of protecting children and which do not bear a label from that authority indicating the age from which they may be viewed - Image storage media imported from another Member State which have been examined and classified by the competent authority of that State and bear an age-limit label.
(CNET.com) Facebook has denied giving the Moroccan government information to identify a man who was sentenced to prison for posting a fake profile of a Moroccan prince. A Moroccan court sentenced the 26-year-old IT engineer to three years and fined him 10,000 dirhams ($1,320) for setting up a Facebook account in the name of King Mohammed's brother, Prince Moulay Rachid.
(Wired) It's not the governments who censor keywords that worries Ethan Zuckerman, whose job it is to help dissidents around the world. He fears that governments will simply decide to go after the Web 2.0 tools that activists are using to publish.
(Progress & Freedom Foundation) by Adam Thierer. The 110th session of Congress has witnessed an explosion of legislative proposals dealing with online child safety, or which seek to regulate media content or Internet communications in some fashion. More than 30 of these legislative proposals are cataloged in a new joint legislative index that was released today by the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Progress & Freedom Foundation, compiled to help keep track of the growing volume of legislative activity on these fronts. Many of the measures highlighted in the index raise serious free speech concerns.
(CNET News) Iconoclast blog by Declan McCullagh. Wikileaks is getting its domain name back. After spending more than three hours hearing arguments from a raft of attorneys - two representing the Swiss bank that fought to get the site's plug pulled and about 10 who have been trying to get the site back online - a federal judge here has ruled in favor of Wikileaks. Wikileaks, which uses Wikileaks.org as its primary domain, is a whistle-blowing site that focuses on posting leaked documents.
(New York Times) The latest bane of office productivity is Scrabulous, a virtual knockoff of the Scrabble board game, with over 700,000 players a day and nearly three million registered users. Everyone seems to love the online game - everyone, that is, except the companies that own the rights to Scrabble: Hasbro, which sells it in North America, and Mattel, which markets it everywhere else. In January, they denounced Scrabulous as piracy and threatened legal action against its creators.
(BBC) Sweden's Supreme Court has ruled that advertising breaks inserted into films violate the film-makers' copyright. The case was brought by directors Vilgot Sjoeman and Claes Eriksson, who sued television channel TV4 for introducing ad breaks into their films. The two directors never gave permission for ads to be shown during their films. The ruling will not stop all ads on movies shown on Swedish TV as most directors have signed waivers to allow ads in order to obtain funding.
(BBC) Warner Music has signed a deal with media site 7digital.com to offer its music without copy protection. Customers in the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany will be able to download albums by artists such as Madonna and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
(BBC) Teachers are warning parents they need to be more aware about the potential misuse of the internet and mobile phones by their children. A survey of Association of Teachers and Lecturers members says more than half know of pupils being "cyber bullied" and 16% have been victims themselves. Union leaders said schools should use the available sanctions, such as confiscating phones, more consistently.
(CNET News) Australian Judge Kirby says computer code is more potent than the law - and that legislators are powerless to do anything about it. Technology has outpaced the legal system's ability to regulate its use in matters of privacy and fair use rights.
(Council of Europe) The traceability of children's activities on the internet may expose them to criminal activities (for example the solicitation or "grooming" of children for sexual purposes, discrimination, bullying, stalking and other forms of harassment). Children need to be informed about the enduring presence of, and the risks associated with, the content they create on the internet. The right to privacy and the secrecy of correspondence is not respected on the internet. The profiling of information and the retention of personal data regarding children's activities can be used for commercial purposes. The Committee of Ministers asks member states to work together to explore the feasibility of removing or deleting such content and its traces within a reasonably short period of time. See Full text of the Declaration.
(Europa) Working Document 1/2008 on the protection of children's personal data (General guidelines and the special case of schools). WP 147.Adopted by the art. 29 Data Protection Working Party, 18.02.2008,
(OUT-LAW News) Europe's data protection watchdogs have said that internet companies that do any personal data processing in Europe must comply with its privacy laws even if they are based outside of Europe. The Article 29 Working Party, a committee of all of the EU country's privacy or data protection commissioners, said that its data protection rules must apply to personal data processed by companies that do not even have offices in the EU. "[The EU's] provisions also apply to such controllers who have their headquarters outside the EU, but only an establishment in one of the EU Member States, or who use automated equipment based in one of the Member States for the purposes of processing personal data," said a Working Party statement. The EU's privacy watchdogs are locked in a battle with search engine companies such as Google over the processing of personal data. There are debates about whether companies are subject to the EU's rules as well as what those rules mean.
(Times) Facebook is to allow its users to create a hierarchy of friends within their profiles - in a move that threatens to complicate the already delicate social etiquette that governs the site. As part of new controls to be introduced in the social networking site's privacy settings, Facebook users will be given the option of banning certain friends from seeing what they are up to and accessing sensitive information in their profile. The change will mean that, for instance, a particular friend - a former partner, say - could be prevented from seeing that a person had changed their relationship status, while others could be banned from knowing the person's political or religious views.
(Libération) Les profs ne pourront plus être évalués par leurs élèves. C´est ce que le tribunal des référés de Paris a fait valoir en enjoignant le site Note2be.com à suspendre «l´utilisation de données nominatives d´enseignants aux fins de leur notation et de leur traitement ainsi que leur affichage sur les pages du site». Dans son jugement, le tribunal parle de ces limites qui portent atteinte aux activités d´enseignement, mais aussi de la liberté d´information et d´expression.
(ZDNet.fr) Le très controversé site Note2be.com qui permet aux élèves de noter leurs profs, est épinglé par la la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (Cnil) qui dénonce notamment le fait que les intéressés ne disposent pas de leur droit de contrôle sur les informations publiées, c'est-à-dire les données nominatives.
(Guardian) Web users are up in arms over what they see as an invasion of privacy by a company that will track surfing patterns to serve targeted ads. See also Ad system 'will protect privacy' (BBC).
(OUT-LAW News) The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said that its aim is to protect people from the risks associated with abuses of their personal data rather than strictly enforce the law. It has announced its broad aims in a new strategy document. The document will guide its activities overall, prioritising the use of its resources which it said were not sufficient to do everything it could in the data protection arena. See the new ICO strategy (24-page / 832KB PDF).
(BBC) The use of material taken from personal profiles on social networks by newspapers is to be the subject of a major consultation undertaken by industry watchdog the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). This comes in the wake of increasingly numbers of newspaper stories that include images and text taken from sites like Bebo, MySpace and Facebook.
(BBC) The creator of the web has said consumers need to be protected against systems which can track their activity on the internet. Sir Tim Berners-Lee told BBC News he would change his internet provider if it introduced such a system. Plans by leading internet providers to use Phorm, a company which tracks web activity to create personalised adverts, have sparked controversy.
(Economist) The mobile-phone industry returned from its mammoth annual trade show, 3GSM, held earlier this month in Barcelona, gloating over its successful year. More than 3 billion (almost half the world's population) now have mobiles, and the price of a phone has sunk as low as $25. There are now more mobile-phone subscribers in poor countries than rich ones. That would have been unimaginable a decade ago. But the next digital hurdle - providing internet access - will be much harder to surmount, for both economic and geographical reasons.
(OUT-LAW News) A committee of the body responsible for the internet's addressing system has found no evidence of front running, a form of deceptive domain name acquisition. Front running has long been rumoured to be in operation by unscrupulous domain name registration companies. They are alleged to monitor what addresses users search for but do not immediately buy. They then buy that domain to sell to the enquirer at a profit, according to reports. But a committee of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has investigated 120 supposed examples of the cheating and found no wrongdoing.
(CNET News.com) by Stefanie Olsen. PBS Kids unveiled a test version of an educational game site for kids age 3 to 6, in one of the first advertising-free efforts aimed at small children and their parents online. The Web site, called PBS Kids Play, is a subscription-based service that lets children play animated games with characters like Curious George and learn basic skills in reading, listening comprehension, and problem solving. Parents can log onto the site separately to view their child's progress on various educational games based on national standards
(RAPID) The European Commission has taken action to put an end to obstacles to the free movement of gambling services in Greece and the Netherlands. The Commission considers that the restrictions in question are not compatible with existing EU law and that the measures taken by these Member States to restrict the free movement of gambling services have not been shown to be necessary, proportionate and non-discriminatory.
(ZDNet.fr) En France, l'État accorde un monopole sur les jeux d'argents en ligne à la Française des jeux et au PMU. Un projet de décret a pour objectif de contraindre les institutions financières à bloquer les ordres de paiement des opérateurs de jeux européens, dont les services sont accessibles en France. Bruxelles vient d'émettre un avis circonstancié sur ce projet de décret, estimant qu'il est susceptible d'engendrer des entraves à la liberté du commerce, des services ou d'établissement au sein de l'Union.
(Guardian) Food and drink companies should be banned from marketing unhealthy snacks and drinks to young children via new media such as social networking sites and text messaging, a coalition of international consumer groups and health bodies recommends. The group is urging governments to adopt a code that they say would curb the rising obesity rates among children. The code would restrict junk food marketing, including outlawing the use of cartoon characters, celebrity tie-ins, free gifts and competitions aimed at younger audiences.
(Heise) Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hat die entscheidende Klausel zur Ausforschung "informationstechnischer Systeme" im nordrhein-westfälischen Verfassungsschutzgesetz, das erstmals in Deutschland verdeckte Online-Durchsuchungen erlaubte, für verfassungswidrig erklärt. Zudem hat das höchste deutsche Gericht ein neues Grundrecht auf "Gewährleistung der Vertraulichkeit und Integrität" informationstechnischer Systeme etabliert. Es tritt zu den anderen Freiheitsrechten wie insbesondere dem Schutz des Telekommunikationsgeheimnis, dem Recht auf Unverletzlichkeit der Wohnung und dem informationellen Selbstbestimmung hinzu", erklärte Hans-Jürgen Papier, Präsident des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, bei der Verkündung des Grundsatzurteils am heutigen Mittwoch in Karlsruhe.
(Economist) Law enforcement: Governments want to extend wiretapping rules from phones to the internet, but doing so is hard.
(OUT-LAW News) Ireland's biggest internet service provider (ISP) is being sued by the four biggest record labels over illegally downloaded music. The labels are demanding that Eircom take action to prevent its network being used to share copyright-infringing material. The Irish subsidiaries of EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner are taking a case under copyright law. They say that Eircom is infringing copyright because its network makes available copies of music without the owners' consent. The record labels want Eircom to filter the offending material out of its service, but Eircom will argue in Ireland's High Court that it has no legal obligation to monitor all the traffic on its network.
(New York Times) Bright new "kiddie" telephones have begun appearing on the market that can speed-dial grandma and grandpa with a click of a button. The MO1 - developed by Imaginarium, a toy company, and Telefónica in Spain - prompted some parent groups in Europe to demand a government ban on marketing to children. In France, the health minister recently issued a warning against excessive mobile phone use by young children.
(FT) Belarus is better for business than Brussels, Boris Nemsic, head of Telekom Austria, said, in an outspoken attack on the European Commission's efforts to cut mobile phone charges.
(MIT Journals) by Justine Cassell, Meg Cramer. We argue that the current moral outrage and national panic over the risks of victimization faced by girls on the Internet has nothing to do with risks faced by girls on the Internet. Based on historical, cross-cultural, and discourse analyses, we draw four conclusions. Each and every time a new communication technology is introduced, it spurs very public fears on the part of parents and educators, putatively about the effects of that technology on girls' (sexual) innocence. The statistics show that predatory behavior on adolescent girls has a certain profile that has either not changed over the decade since the Internet became popular, or has improved over time. The Internet dangerously unfetters girls' spaces and risks changing our image of what girls can do, and where they can go. This challenges the social order. Girls' masterful use of the Internet also challenges the view that technology is dangerous and an inappropriate interest for girls, and in this sense the moral panic around girls online is a way of policing the relationship between girls and technology.
(Guardian) Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, has said that some internet service providers were not doing enough to protect children online. "Some people who say they are co-operating aren't," Gamble told the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, but admitted that they were a "minority" of service providers.
(Australian IT) The federal Government's plan to have internet service providers filter pornography and other internet content deemed inappropriate for children is going full-steam ahead. 26 February was the deadline for expressions of interest to Enex TestLab, the Melbourne company evaluating internet service provider content filters on behalf of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The trial will evaluate ISP-level internet content filters in a controlled environment while filtering content inappropriate for children, and will be followed by live field trials.
(The Atlantic) by James Fallows. China's Great Firewall is crude, slapdash, and surprisingly easy to breach. Here's why it's so effective anyway.
(Guardian) The Chinese government has cracked down on international media coverage of the unrest in Tibet, blocking websites and censoring the local feeds of broadcasters including BBC World and CNN. China's internet clampdown came over the weekend, following the outbreak of widespread unrest and violence in Tibet last week, and has hit websites including Yahoo, YouTube and Guardian.co.uk.
(ZDNet.fr) Dailymotion annonce le déploiement généralisé de la technologie Signature sur tous ses sites dans le monde. En octobre dernier, le site français de partage de vidéos a passé un accord avec l'Institut national de l'Audiovisuel (Ina), créateur de ce système de protection des contenus audiovisuels. Fonctionnant à partir d'une base d'empreintes numériques, il a été développé en interne par l'organisme public. Signature reconnaît et bloque la mise en ligne de vidéos piratées sur les sites de diffusion tels que Dailymotion.
(libertus.net) by Irene Graham. This page contains information about ISP-level filtering systems implemented, by various ISPs in various countries, to prevent accidental access to child sexual abuse material on web pages/sites. It has been researched and produced in the context of the Australian Federal Labor Government's 2008 "plan" to mandate that Australian ISPs block access to a vastly larger type and quantity of web pages.
(Times) Blog by David Hutchinson. I have been playing online with my Xbox. The game I've been playing the most is Call Of Duty 4, which has a 16+ rating. I wonder about the whole age rating thing. The Xbox has a plug-in headphone/microphone set. Many of the players appear to be boys who can't even be into their teenage years who shout insults in their pre-adolescent high pitches. I want parents to enforce game restriction ages, so I can enjoy an evening gaming and even if I still come last, at least it will be last among my peers.
(BBC) Pakistan has rejected claims that it was responsible for blocking global access to the YouTube video clip site. YouTube was hard to reach this week following action by Pakistan to block access inside its borders for its hosting of a "blasphemous" video clip. Analysis suggests the block was taken up by net hardware that routes data effectively cutting off the site.But a spokeswoman for Pakistan's telecoms authority said the problem was caused by a "malfunction" elsewhere. See also Blocked YouTube (Economist).
(Guardian) A Microsoft executive told MPs that forcing software companies to install internet content filtering technology with high-security settings as standard to all computers would send the UK back to the "dark ages". The idea of forcing companies such as Microsoft to pre-install high security content filters was raised at a Commons culture, media and sport select committee hearing on protecting children from harmful content on the internet and in video games.
(CDT) The Center for Democracy & Technology announced its participation in the newly formed Internet Safety Technical Task Force, created to examine technologies that might be used to protect children from inappropriate material or contacts on the Internet. Said CDT President Leslie Harris. "CDT is pleased to take its place at this important table. However, while we look forward to a thorough and rigorous study of the issues, our participation comes with a healthy dose of skepticism." CDT believes that technology tools in the hands of parents are a key part of the online safety landscape; however, technologies, such as age verification, that put Internet companies in the role of gatekeeper, raise a host of legal and policy questions.
(Australian IT) Better education about online safety would be just as effective as internet filtering to prevent children from accessing inappropriate material on the web, according to a report by Australia's communications watchdog. Targeted education campaigns such as those in Europe would also teach children about the dangers of online fraud and illegal contact from adults, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said in the first of three reports on online safety to be prepared for the Federal Government.
(RAPID) The European Commission has proposed a new Safer Internet programme to enhance the safety of children in the online environment. Encompassing recent communications services from the Web 2.0, such as social networking, the new programme will fight not only illegal content but also harmful behaviour such as bullying and grooming. With a budget of 55 million, the programme, which builds further on the successful Safer Internet programme started in 2005, will run from 2009 to 2013.
(BBC) The European Commission is spending 55m euros on making the net a safer place for children. The money will be spent over four years on educational efforts and ways to protect children from inappropriate content and cyber bullying. It will also research the ways that children use the net on computers and other devices such as mobile phones.
(Net Family News) That's the question dad and tech writer David Pogue looks at in a recent column (New York Times). He writes about a past writing assignment on the subject, but now he looks at the kid-danger question in a new light: "As my own children approach middle school, my own fears align with the [PBS "Growing Up Online"] documentary's findings in another way: that cyberbullying is a far more realistic threat." See also Social Networking Risks: The Myths and Realities by Nancy Willard and "Growing Up Online: Discussion Needed [linking to the PBS show, which can be viewed in full online.]
(New York Times) by David Pogue. A few years ago, a parenting magazine asked me to write an article about the dangers that children face when they go online. As it turns out, I was the wrong author for the article they had in mind. The editor was deeply disappointed by my initial draft. Its chief message was this: "Sure, there are dangers. But they're hugely overhyped by the media."
(OUT-LAW News) AOL has bought social networking site Bebo for $850 million in cash. The Time Warner-owned web services company said that the Bebo network would be a valuable place for it to sell advertising.
(Social Media) MeetMoi hopes to revolutionize social networking with the first truly location-based mobile dating service. So whether it is a bar, an office, or a restaurant, users can open their cell phones and use MeetMoi to browse, chat, flirt with and meet people near them. Using groundbreaking technology, MeetMoi looks for people in a specified location and helps its users find local matches. Since MeetMoi values safety above everything, no one's actual location is ever revealed.
(New York Times) Social networks may be nothing new to habitués of the Internet. Several years of competition among Facebook, MySpace and Friendster have generated tens of millions of members. But now the market is teeming with companies that want to bring the same phenomenon to the cellphone. There are so many "mobile social networking" upstarts, in fact, that when New Media Age magazine in Britain tried to identify the "ones to watch," it ended up naming 10 companies.
(Press Release) The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School will head a newly formed Internet Safety Technical Task Force. The Task Force, comprised of leading Internet businesses and organizations, will focus on identifying effective online safety tools and technologies that can be used by many companies across multiple platforms. The Task Force will evaluate a broad range of existing and state-of-the-art online safety technologies, including a review of identity authentication tools to help sites enforce minimum age requirements. The Task Force is a central element of the Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety announced in January 2008 by MySpace and the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking.
(Washington Post) More and more moms and dads are signing onto Facebook to keep up with their offspring. Not only are they friending (or attempting to friend) their sons and daughters, they're friending their sons' and daughters' friends.
(RAPID) Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden are world leaders in broadband deployment with penetration rates over 30% at the end of 2007, says the European Commission's 13th Progress Report on the Single Telecoms Market. These EU countries, together with the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, all had broadband penetration rates higher than the US (22.1%) in July 2007. 19 million broadband lines were added in the EU in 2007, the equivalent of more than 50,000 households every day. The broadband sector generated estimated revenues of 62 billion and Europe's overall penetration reached 20%. However, there is considerable scope for further consumer benefits from a reinforced single market, strengthened competition and reduced regulatory burden for market players.
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding. Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. Joint dinner of the European Regulators Group (ERG) and the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) Gothenburg, 27 February 2008.
(Reuters) Europe's national telecoms regulators will propose a beefed up role for themselves in a bid to thwart European Commission plans for a new pan-EU watchdog. he European Regulators Group (ERG) is expected to make public its proposal, to coincide with a European Parliament hearing on the European Union executive's plans to shake up the bloc's telecoms rules. EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has proposed a new electronic communications market authority, but national watchdogs and some lawmakers say it could end up being a Brussels-based bureaucracy, isolated from markets.
(MIT Press) The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning examines the effect of digital media tools on how people learn, network, communicate, and play, and how growing up with these tools may affect a person's sense of self, how they express themselves, and their ability to learn, exercise judgment, and think systematically. The full text of each volume in the Series is provided for free and open access thanks to the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation. Youth, Identity, and Digital Media; Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media; Digital Young, Innovation, and the Unexpected; The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning; Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility; Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth. See also John Palfrey's blog about Digital Young, Innovation, and the Unexpected
(New York Times) The prototypical computer whiz of popular imagination - pasty, geeky, male - has failed to live up to his reputation. Research shows that among the youngest Internet users, the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, Web sites) are not misfits resembling the Lone Gunmen of "The X Files." On the contrary, the cyberpioneers of the moment are digitally effusive teenage girls.
(CNET.com) by Charles Cooper Post. Earlier in the week, ComScore reported that Google's paid clicks dropped 7 percent between December and January. That was enough to panic already nervous shareholders who proceeded to dump Google's stock in one of Wall Street's (increasingly common) panics. But Friday morning the Internet ratings agency issued a brief statement meant to contradict the impression that it believes Google has sprung a leak.
(Reuters) Google has seen an acceleration of Internet activity among mobile phone users in recent months since the company introduced faster Web services on selected phone models, fueling confidence the mobile Internet era is at hand. Early evidence showing sharp increases in Internet usage on phones, not just computers, has emerged from services Google has begun offering in recent months on Blackberry e-mail phones, Nokia devices for multimedia picture and video creators and business professionals and the Apple iPhone, the world's top Web search company said. L
(BBC) Microsoft has launched a bid to capture a segment of the growing market for rich web content on mobile phones. The software firm has signed a deal with handset manufacturer Nokia to bring its Silverlight platform to millions of mobile phones. Silverlight is seen as a competitor to Adobe's Flash, which is already used by popular websites such as YouTube.
(New York Times) Children increasingly rely on personal technological devices like cellphones to define themselves and create social circles apart from their families, changing the way they communicate with their parents.
(BBC) Children are at the cutting edge of the mobile internet revolution and both teachers and the phone industry can learn from them. We were using a group of 12 and 13 year olds to investigate how children used - and abused - mobile phones and they were knowledgeable, articulate and very demanding of the technology.
(RAPDI) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, DVB World Conference 2008, Budapest, 12 March 2008.
(RAPDI) The Commission has added the Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld standard (DVB-H) to the EU List of Standards, which serves as a basis for encouraging the harmonised provision of telecommunications across the EU. The addition of DVB-H is a new step towards establishing a Single Market for Mobile TV in Europe that will enable all EU citizens to watch TV on the move.
(Guardian) China has more internet users than any other country in the world, according to researchers at the Beijing-based analysts BDA. The research group said China had leapfrogged the US to become the world's most powerful nation online. At the end of 2007, figures from China's internet network information centre said the country had 210 million internet users, putting it just a few million people behind the US. According to BDA, growth rates indicated that China had now taken the top spot. Labels: Statistics.htm">Statistics
(Forrester) Thirty eight percent of cell phone users in Western Europe will use mobile Internet services by 2013 according to a new five year forecast by Forrester Research. The growth in adoption means that 125 million Europeans will access the Web regularly from their mobile phone - triple the number that do so today. One of the key drivers will be the proliferation of 3.5G-enabled devices, which will overtake the number of GSM-only and GPRS phones by 2010. By 2013, one in four consumers will own a 3.5G-enabled phone. Forrester Research Analyst Pete Nuthall said "Deploying high-speed mobile networks and rolling out advanced handsets are not enough to spark demand - our data shows that less than half of 3G phone owners use the 3G capability on their phone. To drive the mobile Internet, operators will need to push flat-rate data plans, increase the number of relevant services and applications, and introduce new devices that provide a better user experience."
(EurActiv) Telecoms operators were embroiled in a statistical row, with the latest figures on broadband internet published by incumbent operators association ETNO appearing to contradict those provided by ECTA, the "competitive" operators group. The Commission will resolve the dispute on 19 March with the publication of a definitive set of data.
(Guardian) British 15-to-19-year-olds admit spending significantly less time doing homework than they used to as a result of their use of social-networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. While teachers and parents will be dismayed, the 2008 Digital Entertainment Survey also makes uncomfortable reading for commercial TV executives. It shows that not only does a significant proportion of the important 15- to 19-year-old audience watch less television as a result of social networking, but that the vast majority of Britain's 15-to-54-year-olds fast-forward through adverts when they watch programmes they have recorded. The report, produced by Entertainment Media Research for media law firm Wiggin, shows the way the internet has changed working, reading and viewing habits.
(Economist) The number of Britons logging on to Facebook has fallen for the first time, according to Nielsen Online, an internet-metrics firm. In January, 8.5m unique users caught up with friends and colleagues, down by 5% from December. Facebook has added 712% more users in Britain since January 2007 and it appears that a natural plateau has been reached: Bebo and MySpace hit their user peaks in mid-2007. People may also be turning to more specialised sites, such as LinkedIn, a professional-networking site. America has already seen growth slacken.
(Guardian) YouTube is now the most popular social networking website in the UK, overtaking the user-edited encyclopedia Wikipedia with 10.4 million unique users during January. The Google-owned video-sharing site saw a 56% increase in traffic from January the previous year, cementing the popularity of online video among web users, according to newly released Nielsen Online figures. Nielsen Online estimates that nearly two-thirds of UK web users - or 20.8 million people - visited at least one of the top 10 social networking sites.
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) 62% of all Americans are part of a wireless, mobile population that participates in digital activities away from home or work. Not only are young people attuned to this kind of access, African Americans and English-speaking Latinos are more likely than white Americans to use non-voice data applications on their cell phones.
(BBC News) The European Union is spending 14m euros (£10.5m) to create a standard way to send TV via the net. An additional 5m euros (£3.7m) is being contributed to the project by 21 other partners including the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union. The project will create a peer-to-peer system (based on the BitTorrent technology) that can pipe programmes to set-top boxes and home TV sets.
(IWF) The 2008 IWF Board award for most significant contribution to combating illegal content on the internet has been awarded to Richard Swetenham, Head of the European Commission eContent and Safer Internet Unit. The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA UK) has been organising the UK Internet Industry Awards since 1999 to herald the best of the internet industry and to celebrate innovation and best practice. One of the Special ISPA Awards is the Internet Watch Foundation Award. The awards ceremony took place in London on Friday 14 March 2008.
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