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Aussie Prime Minister's YouTube Video Blocked as 'Spam'
February 03, 2014
A YouTube video posted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was blocked after what national media described as "mischievous" spam reports. The video, "Delivering on our Promises," was replaced with a boilerplate YouTube message saying that the video had been removed because of "a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams and commercially deceptive content."
Departures, Arrivals, Surveillance: Canada Used Airport WiFi Snooparound
January 31, 2014
Canadian authorities used information culled from a free Internet service at a major national airport to track the wireless devices of scores of travelers. The Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CESC, received information from the unnamed airport's free WiFi system and then used that data to track travelers whose devices later popped up at WiFi locations in other parts of the country.
US, British Intelligence Scoop Data From Smartphone Apps
January 28, 2014
Don't get angry, but... U.S. and British intelligence agencies have long been mining data from smartphone apps such as the wildly popular Angry Birds. The National Security Agency and its British brethren at the Government Communications Headquarters reportedly have targeted the swell of data moving to and fro on mobile apps, based on previously secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
Twitter Cards Users Get to Play With a Full Analytics Deck
January 27, 2014
Twitter has launched analytics for Twitter Cards to help users determine how well their media-rich tweets are performing on the network. Twitter Cards allow developers, brands and publishers to add photos, videos, deep links, content previews, and other rich media to their tweets. The analytics service is intended to help Cards users gain deeper insights into how their content is spreading.
The Case of the Missing OS, or Did Apple Eat Pear?
January 27, 2014
Here in the Linux community, it's no secret that there are more flavors of our favorite operating system than most of us can keep track of. That doesn't mean, however, that one can just up and disappear without anyone noticing. Case in point: Pear OS. One day it's freely available for download, offering a remarkably Mac-like experience that's nevertheless based on Linux.
SEA Hackers Muck Up CNN Sites
January 24, 2014
CNN on Thursday became the latest media outlet to fall victim to hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army. The SEA hacked into and defaced various CNN social media accounts and blogs, the network's Catherine Shoichet reported. "Tonight, the #SEA decided to retaliate against #CNN's viciously lying reporting aimed at prolonging the suffering in #Syria," the SEA tweeted Thursday.
English Soccer Player Lobs One at Twitter
January 22, 2014
Stan Collymore, a retired soccer player from England, accused Twitter of sitting on its hands when it comes to combating abusive messages -- of which he has received many. Collymore, now a broadcaster, became a troll target after he suggested Liverpool forward Luis Suarez faked a foul -- "diving," in soccer parlance -- in a game played last Saturday.
Syrian Electronic Army Takes Another Poke at Microsoft
January 22, 2014
The Syrian Electronic Army, which is notorious for launching cyberattacks against the media, on Monday defaced the Microsoft Office blog site. The hack occurred after Microsoft redesigned the blog site following an SEA attack earlier this month. "A targeted cyberattack temporarily affected the Microsoft Office blog and the account was reset," said exec Dustin Childs.
Wife of Indian Minister Dead After Exposing Husband on Twitter
January 20, 2014
The wife of Shashi Tharoor, an Indian minister and member of parliament, was found dead in a luxury hotel in New Delhi days after exposing her husband's alleged infidelity via Twitter. The cause of death is not known, but a forensic expert reportedly dubbed it a "sudden, unnatural death." Private messages between Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist popped up on Tharoor's Twitter account Wednesday.
The Blackphone vs. the NSA
January 20, 2014
Well Linux bloggers have made it plain from the get-go that privacy is among their top concerns for 2014, and recent events have done nothing to shift that focus. President Obama's momentous speech proposing NSA reforms wasn't the only clarion call last week. We also heard from Mozilla, which appealed to security researchers to help keep Firefox source code unadulterated and backdoor-free.
Red Hat and CentOS: A Great Thing or a Gates Thing?
January 13, 2014
There's no doubt privacy is a highly pertinent goal for 2014, but partnership and collaboration are nothing to sneeze at, either. That's why the news out of North Carolina last week was so exciting. "Red Hat and the CentOS Project are joining forces to build a new CentOS," the press release began, "capable of driving forward development and adoption of next-generation open source technologies."
Here's Lookin' at You, Kid: Dreaming of Privacy in 2014
January 06, 2014
Well another year has come and gone here in the Linux blogosphere, and what a different world it is as we enter 2014. Certainly most notably, our friends at the NSA have made it clear that any notions of privacy have pretty much gone out the window. Go Tor! Speaking of Windows, XP's final days are now finally being counted down. Cheers to that!
Ubuntu's Lonely Road
December 16, 2013
It may be lonely at the top, as the old saying goes, but apparently it can also be lonely a few notches down -- at least if Ubuntu is any example. Though not currently in the No. 1 spot on DistroWatch -- for whatever that's worth -- Ubuntu is often credited with having achieved more mainstream acceptance than any other Linux distro so far.
Twitter's Block Backtrack Scores Points
December 13, 2013
Finding itself at the center of a social media firestorm, Twitter on Friday acted quickly to placate users who were concerned about changes it made to its blocking functionality Thursday afternoon. Twitter effectively turned the block button into a mute function, allowing a blocked user to follow, retweet, favorite, and publicly share tweets of the user who had imposed the block.
Tweetbot 3 Makes Your Twitter Timeline a Thing of Beauty
December 09, 2013
Let's get this clear up front: I am not a Twitter expert. I've used multiple accounts for different purposes; I enjoy following a few personalities; I like searching through Twitter. Until now, I've rarely bothered to tweet or mess with Twitter on my iPhone or iPad, preferring to use the standard browser-based method on my Mac. I know I'm missing out, though.
Open Source, Closed Doors? FOSS and the Racial Divide
December 09, 2013
FOSS fans are no strangers to difficult topics, and for proof one need look no further than the ongoing sexism controversy that has been debated so many times in every bar and watering hole of the Linux blogosphere. Recently, however, one came up that's enjoyed far less prominence -- at least since Linux Girl began keeping track lo these many years ago.
A Collective Bah! for Redmond's Humbug
December 02, 2013
Well Black Friday has come and gone for another year here in the land of stars and stripes, and so has that small obstacle known as Thanksgiving. Now it's Cyber Monday at last, and we can all sit back and shop to our hearts' content, unimpeded by inconvenient social gatherings or worker-welfare concerns. Down at the Broken Windows Lounge, there was a steady stream of patrons seeking refuge over the weekend.
The Graying of the Linux Kernel Community
November 25, 2013
There are few things more gratifying to those of us here in the Linux blogosphere than seeing another user give the proprietary world the boot and make the switch to our favorite operating system. If anything can come close, however, it would be the birth of a new forum for advocating for Linux. So let the trumpets sound! This month has brought news of just that: Linux Voice.
A Tale of 7 Patents: Rockstar v. Google
November 11, 2013
Patent warfare is a veritable fixture of the mobile world these days, sadly, and -- by virtue of Android -- that heaps a whole lot of mess within the boundaries of the blogosphere's Linux territories. We've seen plenty of skirmishes come and go already, of course, but the latest example is being called nothing short of "thermonuclear" war.
Ode to Project Ara
November 04, 2013
Ever since Burger King hit the proverbial nail on the head with its famed "Have It Your Way" slogan back in 1974, everyone has known that people like to -- well, have it their own way. Customization has been a growing trend, but until recently, smartphones were a glaring exception. Linux Girl can no longer even count the number of times she's asked for a big "L" and an image of Tux emblazoned on her device.
Social Media's Winning Educational Ways
October 30, 2013
Social media is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. When students from the Montclair Kimberley Academy visited Ireland a few years ago, they blogged on Wordpress, posted photos on Flickr, uploaded videos to YouTube, and tweeted. That social media engagement contributed to their education in new and profound ways, said their teacher, William Stites.
Apple Starts Serving Free Beer
October 28, 2013
Well we've had a few weeks of fun here in the Linux blogosphere dissecting Linux poll results, but last week brought those inwardly focused musings to an abrupt end. The cause? Yet another news flash from the outside world. The conversation was in full swing down at the blogosphere's Punchy Penguin when a turtleneck-clad stranger burst through the saloon's swinging doors.

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