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(BBC) The unit set up to tackle child sex abuse in the UK has had to pay tens of thousand of pounds to internet firms for information. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has spent more than £170,000 since 2006. The money has gone to internet service providers (ISPs) which charge for their data. CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble said the situation was "ridiculous". The figure comes after a BBC request under the Freedom of Information Act.
(BBC) The European Commission has accused Microsoft of harming competition by bundling its Explorer web browser with its Windows operating system. The commission said it had reached the preliminary view that the US software giant had undermined consumer choice and infringed EU rules. See Antitrust: Commission confirms sending a Statement of Objections to Microsoft on the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows (RAPID). The Commission believes that the tying of Internet Explorer with Windows, which makes Internet Explorer available on 90% of the world's PCs, distorts competition on the merits between competing web browsers insofar as it provides Internet Explorer with an artificial distribution advantage which other web browsers are unable to match. The Commission is concerned that through the tying, Microsoft shields Internet Explorer from head to head competition with other browsers which is detrimental to the pace of product innovation and to the quality of products which consumers ultimately obtain. In addition, the Commission is concerned that the ubiquity of Internet Explorer creates artificial incentives for content providers and software developers to design websites or software primarily for Internet Explorer which ultimately risks undermining competition and innovation in the provision of services to consumers.
(Heise) Auf der Plenarsitzung des Europäischen Parlaments in Straßburg übten die Abgeordneten erneut Kritik am aktuellen Entwurf (PDF-Datei) des Nachfolgedokuments der sogenannten "Rundfunkmitteilung" von 2001, in dem die EU-Kommission die Finanzierung des öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunks einheitlicher regeln will. Der Streit entzündet sich an der Frage, wie sehr die Kommission den Mitgliedsstaaten im sensiblen Feld der Finanzierung des öffentlichen Rundfunks "hineinregiere", wie viele Parlamentarier es nennen.
(01net) Le gpovernement a demandé au Conseil de la concurrence de rendre un avis sur les activités de fournisseur d'accès à Internet et la distribution de contenus exclusifs. Orange a lancé l'année dernière une chaîne de foot, réservée exclusivement à ses abonnés moyennant 6 euros mensuels. Puis, sur le même mode de distribution, la chaîne Orange cinema séries a vu le jour. Ces cinq chaînes consacrées au 7e art et aux fictions télévisées sont disponibles pour 12 euros mensuels. Au grand dam des autres opérateurs et FAI qui ne peuvent pas distribuer leur contenu à leurs propres abonnés.
(Reuters) Orange a annoncé sa décision de se pourvoir en cassation après la confirmation par la cour d'appel de Paris de la suspension de son exclusivité sur la commercialisation de l'iPhone d'Apple en France. Rejetant un recours d'Apple et d'Orange, la cour d'appel a en effet validé la décision prise le 17 décembre par le Conseil de la concurrence, à la demande de Bouygues Telecom.
(Reuters) China sought to portray its Internet crackdown as a campaign to protect youth from filth and nothing to do with stifling political dissent, with an official promising long-lasting action against "vulgarity." China has already detained 41 people as part of the crackdown, but the government's move was in reality no different from laws in the United States and Europe which also aim to keep children from harmful sites, said Liu Zhengrong, deputy director of the State Council Information Office's Internet Bureau. The government has closed over 1,200 websites, including a popular blog site.
(Economist) Increasingly worried about a sickly economy sowing social unrest, the Chinese government is tightening state control over the media. Its main aim appears to be to smother dissemination of politically sensitive discussions and information on the Internet. On January 5th authorities notified 19 popular domestic and foreign Internet companies - including Sina, Tencent, Baidu and Google - that a failure to expunge pornography from their mainland websites could lead to a shutdown. The more alarming development for Chinese leaders is a document circulating on the Internet called Charter 08, a potent political manifesto signed by hundreds of Chinese intellectuals and even some government officials calling for sweeping democratic reforms in China. The government was not amused, and official reaction has been swift. Authorities have banned further distribution of the document on the Internet.
(BBC) The Czech education ministry has drawn up guidelines for teachers to halt the spread of cyber bullying in schools. Some Czech children have attempted to blackmail teachers or classmates by posting video clips of them on the internet. The guidelines offered schools more options than simply confiscating mobile phones or banning their use during classes.
(RAPID) Data protection laws are in place throughout the European Union to ensure that personal data is handled under very clear conditions and to give EU citizens the right to challenge any mishandling of their data. But without awareness, effective protection is impossible. Legal rights and protection regimes are only effective if people know that they exist and know how to use them. Data Protection Day is an excellent opportunity to raise such awareness in Europe and worldwide.. See also 3rd Annual Data Protection Day: Making the internet a safer place for European citizens (eGov Monitor) and Speech by Vice-President Barrot (in French).
(BBC) Google has announced a new feature that allows users to share their locations among a chosen network of friends. The "opt-in" Latitude service uses data from mobile phone masts, GPS, or wi-fi hardware to update a user's location automatically. Users can also manually set their advertised location anywhere they like, or turn the broadcast off altogether. The service has raised a number of security concerns, as many users may not be aware that it is enabled.
(BBC) Firms are being encouraged to back a pledge to safeguard the data they hold about citizens and customers. Drafted by the Information Commissioner, the Personal Information Promise tries to improve respect for the data companies have gathered. Firms and organisations who use data that people surrender do not always take enough care with it, said Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner. 2008 saw a series of data breaches and losses that left the personal details of millions of people at risk from ID thieves. By signing up to the promise firms say they will go beyond the strictures laid down by law which govern what they can do with the personal data they hold on their customers or clients. Those backing the promise will be exhorted to consider privacy risks when they start work on new information systems that draw on databases of personal data. They must also put in place safeguards to ensure data is securely stored and does not fall into the hands of ID thieves. On the day the promise was launched 20 organisations pledged to back it. Those signing up included BT, Vodafone, Royal Mail, British Gas, Experian, Equifax, AstraZeneca and T-Mobile. see Personal Information Promise and Press Release.
(Washington Post) The Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington group supported by AT&T, is pushing Barack Obama to appoint a chief privacy officer to shape standards about the use of consumer data. See Press Release and The Future of Privacy Forum Consumer Privacy Agenda for the New Administration. Separately, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group said they plan to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, urging the agency to investigate mobile marketing practices that may threaten consumer privacy.
(BBC) England's Schools Minister, Jim Knight, has urged pupils to pay more attention to proof reading their work - admitting his own blog was strewn with errors. These included: receieved, maintainence, convicned, curently, similiar, foce, pernsioners, reccess and archeaological. Some of his sentences also had words missing or were otherwise mangled.
(Observer) Historians face a "black hole" of lost material unless urgent action is taken to preserve websites and other digital records, the head of the British Library has warned. Just as families store digital photos on computers which might never be passed on to their descendants, so Britain's cultural heritage is at risk as the internet evolves and technologies become obsolete, says Lynne Brindley, the library's chief executive. See We're in danger of losing our memories.
(New York Times) As the street protests went on, young Egyptians also were mobilizing and venting their anger over Gaza on what would, until recently, have seemed an unlikely venue: Facebook, the social-networking site. In most countries in the Arab world, Facebook is now one of the 10 most-visited Web sites, and in Egypt it ranks third, after Google and Yahoo. About one in nine Egyptians has Internet access, and around 9 percent of that group are on Facebook - a total of almost 800,000 members. This month, hundreds of Egyptian Facebook members, in private homes and at Internet cafes, have set up Gaza-related "groups".
(BBC) A child protection database containing the contact details for all under 18-year-olds in England will be accessible to 390,000 staff, say ministers. The ContactPoint database is intended to improve information sharing between professionals working with children. Children's Minister Baroness Morgan said parents would not be allowed to remove their children from the list. The government is also planning to set up another major child protection register for adults who work with young people. The Independent Safeguarding Authority plans to have a register of more than 11 million adults - representing about one in four of the adult population of England.
(Government Technology) Along with new positions such as the nation's first CTO, the Obama administration has created a new group, the TIGR (Technology, Innovation and Government Reform) Team. TIGR is dedicated to fostering innovation within government. As TIGR team member and Washington, D.C., CTO Vivek Kundra explains on the video, "One of the biggest problems of the federal government is that process has trumped outcome … everyone is focused on compliance; nobody is thinking about innovation and how to drive change within the government." TIGR hopes to foster innovation to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government programs. Members of the TIGR team have a variety of experience, coming from backgrounds in both the private and public sectors. Along with CTO Kundra, the team includes Beth Noveck, professor of law at New York Law School; Dan Chenok, senior VP and general manager of Pragmatics Inc.; Blair Levin, managing director of Stifel Nicolaus Research Team; and Andrew McLaughlin, head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google. Besides focusing on innovation, the TIGR team is also working to increase transparency in government. The team recently launched the Citizen's Briefing Book, an online program that allows citizens to put their proposals and ideas about government issues online. Noveck explains that, with the Briefing Book, the government "will be sure to get the best ideas for the beginning of the administration." The TIGR also wants to bring other innovative and cost-effective changes to government, such as creating mash-ups with government data and utilizing cloud computing. See YouTube.
(Heise) Die Bundesregierung macht Ernst mit der Einrichtung von Sperren für kinderpornografische Angebote im Internet. Das Bundesinnenministerium hat Vertreter großer deutscher Internet Service Provider in Deutschland nach Berlin geladen, um die Umsetzung von Access-Sperren zu erörtern. In dem Schreiben heißt es: "Die Bundesregierung sieht sich in ihrer Auffassung bestätigt, dass Access-Blocking neben einer konsequenten Täterermittlung und Schließung von Quellen ein schnell einsetzbares und geeignetes Mittel ist, um effektiv gegen kinderpornografische Seiten vorzugehen und Schutzmechanismen aufzubauen." Wie diese Sperren umzusetzen wären, werde derzeit geprüft. Die immer wieder vorgebrachten Bedenken gegen die technische Umsetzbarkeit und Wirksamkeit der Internetsperren will die Bundesregierung offenbar nicht akzeptieren. Als Vorbild werden die Länder Norwegen, Dänemark, Schweden, Finnland, Italien, Großbritannien, die Schweiz, Neuseeland, Südkorea, Kanada und Taiwan genannt. "Ihre Partnerunternehmen sind zum Teil daran beteiligt", heißt es im Schreiben an die Provider.
(Heise) Bundesfamilienministerin Ursula von der Leyen ist nach einem Gespräch mit Internetprovidern zuversichtlich, dass in sechs bis acht Wochen eine mehr oder weniger freiwillige Vereinbarung mit einem Großteil der deutschen Zugangsanbieter zur Blockade kinderpornographischer Webseiten steht. Sämtliche Beteiligten an der internen Runde seien einer Arbeitsgruppe beigetreten, in der bis Ende Februar unter Federführung des Familienministeriums die nötigen Umsetzungsschritte vorgenommen werden sollten. Siehe auch Neue Bedenken gegen Web-Sperren im Kampf gegen Kinderpornographie.
(Radio New Zealand) The Department of Internal Affairs is setting up a filter system that will allow internet service providers to stop people accessing child pornography. But there are concerns that the power to censor browsing could be abused. The filter system has already been trialled in hundreds of thousands of New Zealand households. Internal Affairs deputy secretary Keith Manch says the voluntary system blocks access to 7000 websites carrying images of child sexual abuse. Internet Safety group NetSafe welcomes the move, but says there could be concerns if the department later uses the filter to block a wider variety of websites. Mr Manch says there are no such plans and the filter is only for targeting the sexual abuse of children. He says the department is finalising its analysis from the trial and will be discussing with internet providers how to impelement the system.
(Heise) Die Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (BPjM) hat mit Beschluss vom 4. Dezember ein Blog, das sich mit dem Thema Magersucht befasst hat, als jugendgefährdend indiziert. Einen entsprechenden Bericht des Fach-Blogs beck-blog bestätigte die BPjM-Vorsitzende Elke Monssen-Engberding gegenüber heise online. Nach Angaben der BPjM handelte es sich bei dem indizierten Angebot um ein sogenanntes "Pro-Ana"-Blog, das die krankhafte Magersucht verherrlicht und damit Jugendliche gefährdet habe. Das ursprünglich bei Google gehostete Blog ist inzwischen offline.
(RAPID) The European Commission aims to achieve 100 % high-speed internet coverage for all citizens by 2010 as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan. 1 billion has been earmarked to help rural areas get online, bring new jobs and help businesses grow. On average, 93 % of Europeans can enjoy a high speed online connection but in some countries broadband covers less than half of the rural population. Broadband internet connection is expected to create 1 million jobs and boost the EU's economy by ?850 billion between 2006 and 2015.
(iptegrity.com) Pushed by an AT&T lobbyist, some revised amendments to the Telecoms Package could usher in filtering, and have rocketed net neutrality from a non-issue to one of the hottest under discussion in the Telecoms Package trialogues. A raft of new "compromise" amendments to the Telecoms Package is circulating in Brussels. On the surface, they state that telcos, network operators and ISPs should be able to "address unjustified degradation of service", and impose "reasonable usage restrictions, and price differentiation" without any regulatory interference. The sub-agenda however, is that these legal texts could enable network operators to shrug off accountability for filtering, throttling and degrading user traffic, including access to content. With obvious implications for the neutrality of the network.
(Ars Technica) "Three strikes" rules have come to Ireland in a sudden and unexpected way, as the country's largest ISP settles a court case brought by the music industry and agrees to take action on file-swappers. Repeat offenders will be disconnected from the 'Net. One of Ireland's largest ISPs, Eircom, has capitulated to the major music labels and agreed to implement a full "graduated response" program - complete with disconnections. Users get two warnings regarding file-sharing, and a third violation brings down the banhammer. The music industry has already said that it intends to pursue the same agreement with Ireland's other ISPs. The dispute began some time ago when the Irish branches of EMI, Warner, Universal, and Sony filed suit against Eircom. They charged that the ISP was essentially aiding and abetting piracy by doing things like advertising its services on The Pirate Bay, and the labels believed they could get a judge to force the ISP to install network monitoring equipment.
(OUT-LAW News) The Government will create legislation forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to gather information on customers engaged in illegal file-sharing, and forcing them to contact repeat offenders warning them that their behaviour is against the law. The proposal forms part of an interim report, Digital Britain. The proposed legislation stops short of forcing ISPs to directly disconnect suspected file-sharers. The law will create a code on unlawful file-sharing which ISPs would have to sign, and whose enforcement would be carried out by media and telecoms regulator Ofcom. The Government will also create a new rights agency, which would gather together content creators in different disciplines and encourage them to find ways to prevent piracy and ways to make the legal use of their content more attractive. It would involve creators from the worlds of music, film, television, computer games and software, the report said.
(Heise) Die Zentralstelle der Bundesländer für den Jugendschutz im Internet erhält künftig deutlich mehr Geld. Auf Initiative von Rheinland-Pfalz beschloss die Jugendministerkonferenz, jugendschutz.net künftig mit 350.000 Euro im Jahr zu unterstützen. Damit bekomme die in Mainz ansässige Organisation jährlich 95.000 Euro mehr aus Haushaltsmitteln der Länder als bislang, teilte das rheinland-pfälzische Bildungsministerium heute mit. In der Folge verdoppelten die Landesmedienanstalten ihre festen jährlichen Zuwendungen an jugendschutz.net auf rund 500.000 Euro pro Jahr.
(BBC) Social networking site MySpace has deleted the accounts of 90,000 users it has identified as sex offenders. The site was responding to a call from state attorneys general in the US to provide a list of offenders on its roster. MySpace and rival site Facebook have committed to making their sites safer for the growing number of young users. However, Facebook's measures to keep sex offenders off its site have been called into question. The 90,000 sex offenders found on MySpace represent a significant increase and the figure is nearly twice that predicted by MySpace officials last year in a preliminary estimate. See also Conn. AG to MySpace: Turn over sex offender data (CNET), CT, NC Attorneys General Say MySpace Response To Subpoena Reveals 90,000 Registered Sex Offenders With Profiles (Press Release), Thousands Of MySpace Sex Offender Refugees Found On Facebook (TechCrunch), MySpace, Facebook spar over family safety (CNET), Sex offenders in social sites: Consider the facts (Net Family News) and doing the math on MySpace and registered sex offenders (danah boyd).
(EUR-Lex) Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law. OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 55. PDF version.
(EUR-Lex) OJ L 348 of 24 December 2008. Decision No 1351/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a multiannual Community programme on protecting children using the Internet and other communication technologies. PDF.
(RAPID) Online technologies are becoming a favourite way for young people to communicate. However, they need to be aware of the potential risks they may encounter in the online environment, and know how to deal with them. INSAFE, the network of European Safer Internet Centres, has initiated the Safer Internet Day, an annual international event that will be celebrated in 2009 for the sixth time. The flagship event of Safer Internet Day 2009 will take place in Luxembourg, and will be attended by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media. It will focus on social networking, a phenomenon which has been quickly and widely adopted by young people in recent years. On 10 February, the main social networking sites active in Europe will sign an agreement in which industry will commit itself to maximize the benefits of the internet while managing the potential risks to children and young people. To empower children and young people to deal with these risks, on Safer Internet Day the Commission will launch a Europe-wide communication campaign and unveil a video clip on cyber-bullying, one of the most frequent problems young people encounter on the internet..
(Net Family News) If your kids even know someone who knows someone who's getting pressured by a peer to send nude photos of him or herself via cellphone, you might appreciate watching Brandon playing the roles of Mom, Dad, guidance counselor, and boyfriend as potential confidants in a situation like this. What If in ThatsNotCool.com. You might also love the quite fruity Pressure Pic Problem. ThatsNotCool.com is brilliant too. It's co-created and -sponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Ad Council, and Office on Violence Against Women "to address new and complicated problems between teens who are dating or hooking up - problems like constant and controlling texting, pressuring for nude pictures, and breaking into someone's email or social-networking page."
(Berkman Center) Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States. The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was created in February 2008 in accordance with the Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety announced in January 2008 by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace. The scope of the Task Force's inquiry was to consider those technologies that industry and end users - including parents - can use to help keep minors safer on the Internet.
(Wired) After years of fits, starts, threats and ultimatums, Steve Jobs and three major labels have come to terms on a deal: Music will be available immediately on iTunes without DRM restrictions. Free of the limitations that currently restrict music playback to Apple products, the new plan will let consumers choose from three price levels instead of the 99-cent song model the store implemented on day one.
(Ars Technica) Monty Python has a new gambit for the digital age: put all of the most popular material on YouTube, free of charge... and make a ton of money. They launched a customized YouTube channel in November 2008, telling viewers, "For 3 years you YouTubers have been ripping us off, taking tens of thousands of our videos and putting them on YouTube. Now the tables are turned. It's time for us to take matters into our own hands." Rather than sue users, Monty Python decided to upload good-quality copies of the most popular clips from its Flying Circus TV show. The troupe explained its motivation in a YouTube video of its own. see also Watch it on YouTube, then Click-to-Buy and The Pope on YouTube (YouTube blog) and The Vatican.
(Economist) BIG record companies and music-retailer may be struggling, but sales of digital music are booming. Global revenues leaped by 28% last year, despite piracyup to 95% of digital music is obtained illegally, reckons the IFPI, a trade body. Though this figure is disputed, governments are enacting tougher legislation to catch illegal file-sharers and shut down the sites they use. Britain's government has proposed a £20 ($28.60) levy on every household using broadband to help offset the costs of piracy. Labels: Market.htm">Market
(ReadWriteWeb) by Sarah Perez. Oh no! Your mom just joined Facebook and what's even worse, she wants to be your friend. More and more people are finding themselves in this situation today and unsure of what to do. Friending mom and dad, the boss, or other work colleagues opens up the details of your private life for the whole world to see - and you might not be entirely comfortable with that. What's to be done? If you're not ready to expose everything about you to anyone who asks to be your online friend, it's time you learned how to use Facebook's friend lists.
(Heise) Einer Studie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München zufolge gibt es keinen Zusammenhang zwischen der individuellen Belastung durch Mobilfunkstrahlung und dem Wohlbefinden von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Das Institut und die Poliklinik für Arbeits-, Sozial- und Umweltmedizin der LMU hatte die individuelle Mobilfunkbelastung von rund 3000 Heranwachsenden (1524 Jugendliche zwischen 13 und 17 Jahren, 1498 Kinder zwischen 8 und 12 Jahren) über einen Zeitraum von 24 Stunden per Dosimeter gemessen und parallel dazu ihr Wohlbefinden abgefragt. Die Studienteilnehmer sollten angeben, ob und wie stark sie unter Befindlichkeitsstörungen leiden, wie Kopfschmerzen, Gereiztheit, Nervosität, Schwindel, Müdigkeit, Angst, Konzentrationsproblemen und Einschlafproblemen. Dabei wurde sowohl das aktuelle Befinden am Untersuchungstag als auch das Wohlbefinden der letzten sechs Monate betrachtet.
(01net) Le gendarme des télécoms et des Postes, l'Arcep, et le Conseil général des technologies de l'information (CGTI) viennent de rendre publics les résultats 2008 de leur enquête annuelle sur la diffusion des technologies de l'information en France. L'enquête (1) donne des éléments intéressants en matière d'équipement en téléphonie fixe et mobile, de connexion à Internet, etc. Il appert ainsi que 58 % des personnes interrogées se déclaraient connectées à Internet à leur domicile en juin dernier, contre 53 % l'année précédente. Le bas-débit a quasiment disparu de la circulation. L'étude montre également qu'aujourd'hui 37 % des personnes interrogées téléphonent au moyen de leur boîtier de connexion à Internet (ADSL, câble...). C'est 10 points de plus que l'an dernier. Par ailleurs, plus de la moitié des moins de 40 ans téléphonent via un boîtier ADSL.
(danah boyd) A year ago, I teamed up with John Palfrey and Dena Sacco to co-direct the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. Going into this Task Force, I was extremely naïve. I genuinely believed that people were making bad policy, bad technology, and bad decisions because they lacked the data or knowledge to interpret the data. I thought that presenting data would motivate people to innovate and devise solutions to help kids. I was wrong. I'm used to folks dismissing qualitative work because they don't understand it, but I've never before witnessed so many people reject solid quantitative studies done by reputable organizations that are replicated with different sampling techniques across different studies. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect someone to say to me, "Go find other data." See also Challenging Assumptions About Online Predators (Washington Post) .
(Official Google Blog) by Vint Cerf and Stephen Stuart. When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else? It can be difficult for experts, let alone average Internet users, to address this sort of question. Last year we asked a small group of academics about ways to advance network research and provide users with tools to test their broadband connections. Today Google, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers are taking the wraps off of Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform that researchers can use to deploy Internet measurement tools.
(BBC) Ninety-five per cent of music downloaded online is illegal, a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has said. The global music trade body said this is its biggest challenge as artists and record companies miss out on payments. There has, however, been a 25% rise since last year with downloads now accounting for a fifth of all recorded music sales. The IFPI said worldwide music market revenues shrank by 7% last year. This was blamed on falling CD sales, while the increase in digital sales failed to make up for this.
(Net Family News) TechCrunch looks at the latest available comScore traffic figures for "social networking sites" (including blog-hosting, media-sharing, and pre-social-Web community sites). Google's Blogger - which hosts blogs, of course - is No. 1 (with 222 million unique visitors in November, up 44% from '07). The rest of the top 10 are: Facebook (200 million); MySpace (126 million); Wordpress blogs (114 million); Windows Live Spaces (blogs - down 22% to 87 million this year); Yahoo GeoCities (69 million); Flickr photo-sharing (64 million); Hi5 (No. 1 social site in Latin America - 58 million); Google's Orkut (social-networking site that's huge in Brazil - 46 million); and SixApart (blog-hosting - 46 million).
(Guardian) Children are spending increasing amounts of their lives in front of televisions, computers and games consoles, cramming in nearly six hours of screen time a day, according to research. The online activity is building barriers between parents and children, the authors say, with a third of young people insisting they cannot live without their computer. From the age of seven children are building multimedia hubs in their rooms, with games consoles, internet access and MP3 players, which they wake up to in the morning and fall asleep to at night, according to the study of five- to 16-year-olds. Girls in particular are likely to chat online to their friends at night and 38% take a console to bed instead of a book. The latest research from market research agency ChildWise finds children and young teens are more likely to socialise than do homework online. Some 30% say they have a blog and 62% have a profile on a social networking site.
(Ofcom) UK consumers receive an average broadband speed of 3.6 megabits per second (Mbit/s), comprehensive new Ofcom research reveals. That's less than the average maximum possible speed of 4.3 Mbit/s across the UK and significantly below advertised headline speeds. Speeds are slowest between 5pm and 6pm on Sundays, when use of the internet is at its highest. But most consumers say they're reasonably happy with their broadband service - although speed is the most commonly cited cause of dissatisfaction.
(NetFamilyNews) I've been reading social media scholar danah boyd's PhD dissertation, Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics, the result of her 2.5-year enthnograpic study of how teens use social-network sites. The study is unique in a couple of ways: she was like an embedded reporter, not a data cruncher, and she approached her fieldwork very differently than most adults - "with the belief that the practices of teenagers must be understood on their own terms."
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