In two recent examples of conflict online—the Internet's response to Iran's rigged election, and 4chan's reaction to AT&T's perceived censorship—distributed denial of service attacks have been wielded (or threatened) as a powerful and disruptive, nonviolent tool for change. The relative ease with which one can coordinate and participate in such an attack means this tactic can be employed by individuals or small groups, not just militaries and large corporations. But what are the ramifications of empowering individuals to take down government sites?
Google last week announced the existence of a project that will bring its own operating system to netbook computers in the second half of 2010. The Google Chrome OS, which appropriately shares a name with the company's infant web browser, will be optimized for cloud computing (running applications online, rather than from locally installed software).
Is Virtual Presence Viable for Collaboration? A Look at IBM's "Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime"
IBM announced last week that it was adding a virtual world collaboration service it's calling Virtual Collaboration to its Lotus Sametime communications and collaboration software, which is aimed primarily at enterprises. Virtual Collaboration allows users to collectively view and create documents in a virtual environment similar to Second Life, in essence creating virtual work and meeting spaces. It's pretty cool, but does this kind of immersive technology actually make collaboration via virtual presence a realistic option?
Following its recent refresh of its MacBook line of notebooks, Apple is reportedly offering discounts of up to $450 to customers who purchased a previous model notebook within fourteen days of the refresh.
Some customers have reported Apple's phone customer support agents are offering customers the chance to return notebooks recently purchased from the Apple Store online in exchange for new models if they have not yet opened the packaging. Alternately, agents may offer a discount if the customer wishes to keep the previous generation model.
The French Constitutional Council's recent decision against that nation's "HADOPI" Internet copyright law, which required ISPs to disconnect users after three purported copyright violations, naming Internet access a universal human right and bringing France into alignment with the rest of the European Union, which already rejected such "three strikes" laws last month.
There's more going on in the tech world than we've been able to keep up with recently, so we've compiled some important BitTorrent news that's fallen through the cracks bypassed the firewall. Here's a roundup of changes to Open Media Boston's favorite BitTorrent applications and services from the past couple weeks. Birdtorrent handler for Songbird media player reaches 1.0; Coda.fm music torrent site faces legal threats from Amazon; Transmission torrent client adds port randomization and more. Read on for details.
As Hulu consolidates its distribution power online by finalizing content deals with Disney, Worcester, MA nonprofit Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) aims to keep video distribution open and decentralized with an updated version of its versatile, open source video player and BitTorrent client, Miro, and three outreach campaigns. Read on for a quick start guide to Miro and to learn about PCF's efforts to create Open Video on the web.
With a few UI tweaks and fixes, the newest version of the Skype application for iPhone and iPod Touch is worth downloading. Users can save more than $50/month by utilizing Skype's unlimited calling plans, but are the application and service reliable enough to substitute for your mobile minutes?
Amongst a plethora of web based file sharing services, Dropbox stands out with its slick operating system integration, automatic version control & backups, secure & easy sharing, and drag & drop web photo galleries. Read on for an overview of Dropbox features and a comparison to other similar services.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka "the stimulus") will pump $787 billion into the economy over the next ten years. To ensure this process' transparency and accountability, and to lessen the likelihood that these funds will go to support corrupt politicians or to enrich private contractors, community organizations and social movements will need to mobilize their members around this issue to discuss, oversee and research projects funded by the stimulus. Mobilizing online using tools like Recovery.gov and StimulusWatch.org is a critical component of this effort.