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In Malaysia, online election battles take a nasty turn

Jahabar Sadiq of The Malaysian Insider Here’s a piece I did from KL on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s election. It was pushed out ahead of the poll for obvious reasons but it might have a broader interest in how the battle for influence over online media has evolved in Malaysia, with relevance elsewhere.  May 4 (Reuters) – Ahead of Malaysia’s elections on Sunday, independent online media say they are being targeted in Internet attacks which filter content and throttle access to websites, threatening to deprive voters of their main source of independent reporting. Independent online news sites have emerged in recent years to challenge theContinue readingIn Malaysia, online election battles take a nasty turn

Inside the Web of Things

This is a slightly longer version of a piece I’ve recorded for the BBC World Service I’ve long dreamed of an Internet of things, where all the stuff in my life speaks to each other instead of me having to the talking. The vision is relatively simple: each gadget is assigned an Internet address and so can communicate with each other, and with a central hub (my, or my computer, or smartphone, or whatever.) The most obvious one is electricity. Attach a sensor to your fusebox and then you can see which or your myriad appliances is inflating your electricity bill. Great idea! Well sortContinue readingInside the Web of Things

Yahoo Cuts Loose With Its Own Search Engine

Yahoo has cut loose from Google and now offers a very passable search engine of its own. Yahoo today announced that it has deployed its own algorithmic search technology on Yahoo Search. Starting today, “the company will begin rolling out the new Yahoo! Search Technology and expects to continue the process on a worldwide basis over the next several weeks”. A brief fiddle shows it’s pretty good, and will give Google a run for its money. It also lots of cool new features, according to the company’s press release: A new search service that integrates Yahoo! Search with My Yahoo! by adding links to XML/RSSContinue readingYahoo Cuts Loose With Its Own Search Engine

The Real And Lucrative Art Of Mobile Blogging

Here’s a new version of mobile blogging — using maps. WaveMarket have just announced a new “location-based blogging system” that enables users to send and view information that is time and location specific. Korea’s SK Telecom will be the first to use the technology, called WaveIQ, which they hope to launch soon. It works like this (the website does not do a good job of explaining how it all fits together, so I may get this wrong): You use your phone as a sort of mobile blogging tool, posting information and/or pictures — say a restaurant review — to a central blog, organised by spaceContinue readingThe Real And Lucrative Art Of Mobile Blogging

Spam And The Future

First email, then biotech? Are our technologies hostage to the few? Good piece from the MIT Technology Review on spam. Apart from the stuff we know — that hackers have created computer worms and viruses that break into computers and then turn those compromised machines into launching pads for spam — there are some other interesting observations, including how hackers have taken to “manipulating the fabric of the Internet’s routing system”. The article quotes Geoff Hulten from Microsoft’s anti-spam technology and strategy group said that “much of the spam that Hotmail receives comes from China and Japan—in fact, those countries are now the second andContinue readingSpam And The Future

A Good Way To Organise Outlook Emails

This is a must if you’re a power Outlook user: NEO Pro 3.0, out in Beta today. NEO is an add-in product that “turns Outlook into an email organizer – without affecting all that Outlook already does”. NEO, also known as Nelson Email Organizer, is good at finding messages quickly automatically displaying messages in different ways. Caelo Software Inc. (pronounced Kay-lo), the makers of NEO, has introduced three other features: auto-classification of folders between New, Current and Dormant top-level areas (auto-moves old correspondents to Dormant after x days of inactivity) global filtering (e.g. ‘show me my active correspondent messages addressed exclusively to me for theContinue readingA Good Way To Organise Outlook Emails

Is Plaxo A Namecard Spammer?

What gives at Plaxo? I’ve decided to stop recommending what seemed to be a pretty good way to stay up to date with contacts after a series of weird incidents when folk unknown to me were somehow able to add their contacts into my Outlook address book without my say-so (today’s was someone from a PR company I’ve had dealings with before, but never, to my knowledge, with this person). I’ve raised this issue before and have waited for more than two months for word from Plaxo about the matter, so they’re off my Christmas card list and, until they can explain what’s going on, and,Continue readingIs Plaxo A Namecard Spammer?

Zempt And Other Arts of Blogging

For those readers already a-blogging, here’s some tools to help. Most bloggers update their website by visiting the website in question. Others do it by email (or even by SMS). But probably the best way to do it is via a blogging tool. Here are the three I know: w.bloggar The oldest, and still my favourite. The tireless Marcelo Cabral who runs it has just this week released a new version to work with TypePad, my blog host of choice, but it also supports Blogger, metaWeblog, MovableType, b2, pMachine and YACS. It’s free, but he welcomes donations. Zempt Has appeared in the past six months, and offers a lot ofContinue readingZempt And Other Arts of Blogging

The Future Of Domain Names?

Interesting piece from The Register’s Kieren McCarthy on the changing nature of domain names. He points to the recent case of a guy renting out to allow People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to lead a very successful campaign on the BSE issue. In the future, individuals and companies may end up renting out domain names rather than selling them: As anyone who follows the domain name market will tell you, the price of domains has recovered and is almost standing at pre-dotcom-bust figures. It makes sense then that some speculators may invest in an expensive domain and then lease it out toContinue readingThe Future Of Domain Names?

Google News Discovers There’s A Reason Why Journalists Exist

Here’s an interesting take on Google News I hadn’t thought of before, from Dana Blankenhorn, an Atlanta-based writer. He’s mad at Google for apparently allowing in to its news trawl clearly partisan sites that aren’t news, but opinion. At the same time, he says. Google is separating out blogs from its news searches — possibly because it may launch a separate search engine, as part of its buyout of Blogger, former host to loose wire. So anything that uses blogging software is out, sites that don’t, but have some kind of ‘news’ on, are in. As Dana points out, this leaves a very skewed pictureContinue readingGoogle News Discovers There’s A Reason Why Journalists Exist

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