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Google Now Indexes Some Facebook Comments

googleThe world’s largest online search engine, Google, is now indexing Facebook comments that are posted using the Facebook Commenting plugin on websites that use the plugin to power their commenting system.

If you use your Facebook account to post a comment on a website that uses Facebook Comments, your comment (with your name) can now be indexed by Google’s web spiders and will be directly ranked and searchable in Google’s index.

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Microsoft Offers Biggest Security Bounty Ever to Developers

microsoftThe world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corporation, today announced the company has set up a massive $250,000 fund for its Blue Hat contest as part of the company’s latest efforts to challenge developers to enhance security for the world’s most popular operating system, Microsoft Windows.

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Is the FTC Investigation Into Google’s Operations Warranted? Definitely, Here’s Why.

googleThe world’s largest online search engine, Google Inc., is now subject of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review, after the agency officially announced the formal investigation last Friday.

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Sony PlayStation Network Online Gaming Fixed, Other Features to be restored

psnThe maker of the popular PlayStation gaming console, Sony Entertainment, has announced the company has begun restoring PlayStation Network features after the network was brought down by a sophisticated attack from a group of unidentified hackers.

Sony President, and Group Chief Executive Officer, Kazuo Hirai, made the announcement in a carefully crafted video message published earlier today.

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Facebook Announces New “Send” Button

facebook-send-buttonThe world’s largest social network with more than 500-million registered users, Facebook Inc., today announced via a blog post a new “Send” button aimed at making it easier for users to share content on Facebook only with a select group of friends.

Facebook says its users have created more than 50-million Groups, and the new Send button could be used to share content with select groups.

There are currently two ways to share a link on Facebook, either through the Share or Like button. The only caveat with the current share methods is a user cannot filter which friends see the shared content, rather a shared link simply appears in the Newsfeed of all friends – the new Facebook Send button simply aims to change that disadvantage.

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Google Maps Could Be Banned in China As Deadline Nears

google-maps-carGoogle’s volatile relationship with the Chinese government doesn’t seem to be ironing out yet, in fact, it could get worse, as a new deadline from the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying looms that could see Google Maps blocked in the country.

The Chinese government requires Internet mapping websites that operate in China to receive a license to operate in the country through an approval process that is designed to protect national security, including by censoring data, among other practices.

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Google Points the Finger at the Chinese Government In Latest Cyber Attack

googleIn another apparent attack on its computer systems, the world’s largest search engine, Google Inc., is publically pointing the finger at the Chinese government for allegedly manipulating how some of its services function in China.

It appears many basic functions and tasks within Google’s Gmail email service, including sending messages, using the instant messaging service Gtalk within Gmail, starring or marking messages as read, all appear to be sporadically hindered for users in China.

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Privacy Standards For The TV That Is Watching You

Digital screens that can gather information about consumers are growing more common in stores and other public places. In response to privacy concerns, trade associations have issued privacy standards. Will they be enough?

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Harley Geiger, Policy Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, DC. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT’s mission is to keep the Internet open, innovative, and free. Geiger wrote a paper on digital signage privacy standards for CDT and worked with Digital Signage Federation to adapt the paper into their guidelines.

All too often, it is only after public uproar that companies see the value of privacy and adopt safeguards that should have been present in the first place. For industries seeking to grow in visibility and to attract and retain customers, it is not helpful to be burdened with a reputation for being intrusive or creepy. Consumer mistrust can last long after any public outcry fades. The digital signage industry just took a critical step in the other direction, adopting privacy rules before large-scale controversy.

The Digital Signage Federation, a major industry trade association, announced last week that it is adopting a comprehensive set of digital signage privacy standards for its member companies and their affiliates. The move comes as identification technologies are gaining traction within the digital signage industry. The digital signage trade associations are showing considerable prudence in adopting the standards now, rather than after a backlash over privacy. However, as digital signage transforms the media landscape, it remains to be seen whether the voluntary standards will be enough. That is up to the individual companies deploying and using the technology.

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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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NASDAQ Confirms Part of Its Systems Were Hacked, Repeatedly Accessed

nasdaq-nyc-times-squareThe New York City-based equities index, NASDAQ, confirmed on Saturday that unknown Internet hackers successfully penetrated part of the organization’s sensitive networks, even multiple times, throughout 2010.

Hackers were able to access data from the company’s Directors Desk product, which is a cloud-based service NASDAQ Group offers to companies that have their securities listed on its index, which allows users to securely share documents.

Top-level government agencies, including the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Justice Department, among others, are working together to identify the perpetrators and what information they could have illegally accessed.

Investigators have not reached a motive for the attacks, which could span to include industrial espionage, to financial gain from accessing material nonpublic information.

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