The Russian version of Wikipedia went black on Tuesday to protest a proposed law that could become the basis for Internet censorship.
Wikipedia's protest is backed by other large Russian online businesses such as the social networking site VKontakte and the Russian LiveJournal.
"We are protesting because the proposed amendments are too inaccurate, and in its current form they can damage Internet development in Russia," said Vladimir Medeyko, director of the Russian Wikimedia foundation, via instant message.
If the new law, "On Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information," is adopted with the proposed amendments, this might lead to the creation of a Russian analogue of "the great Chinese firewall" or an "electronic curtain," Medeyko said, adding that in a worst-case scenario access to Wikipedia might be blocked in Russia.
Visitors to the Russian Wikipedia site were unable to access it on July 10. Those who tried to access the site saw a black censorship banner over the Cyrillic word for Wikipedia. "Imagine a world without free knowledge," the slogan reads on the blocked website. Read more...
An executive order issued by the White House last Friday seeks to bolster the government's ability to keep its emergency communications capabilities intact during national emergencies.
But one privacy advocacy group expressed concern that the order gives government unprecedented new authority to take over wired and wireless private communication networks in the pretext of national security.
The order issued by President Obama directs agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense, Department of State and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to come up with policy recommendations and plans for ensuring continuity of government communications capabilities in a crisis.
The order authorizes the creation of a new National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Committee (NS/EP), which will consist of representatives from each of these agencies.
As part of its mission the executive committee will develop a long-term strategic plan and propose funding initiatives to support the incorporation of the necessary redundancy, mobility, interoperability and restorability of government communications capabilities "under all circumstances." Read more...
Apple today said it would start selling the new iPad in China starting Friday, July 20.
As analysts expected, the move came quickly after Apple settled a dispute with a Chinese company over the iPad name.
The tablet, which Apple launched in the U.S. in March, will be priced the same as the current iPad 2, which is the model now for sale in the People's Republic of China (PRC), or mainland China: $499 (US) for the base 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi only, up to $829 for the 64GB Wi-Fi/3G configuration.
Current prices for the iPad 2 run from 2,988 yuan to 5,488 yuan, which at Tuesday's exchange rate is $469 to $861.
As in other markets, Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 for $399 (2,542 yuan at today's exchange rate) in China.
Chinese buyers will be able to purchase iPads through the Apple online store, some authorized resellers and by reservation at one of the country's five Apple retail stores. The latter can be made daily between 9 a.m. and noon local time, starting July 19, for next-day pick up. Read more...
Apple has released the System Requirements for its upcoming new version of OS X, Mountain Lion, and as is usually the case with any operating system release, not all Macs need apply – even some that qualified for the Mac's current operating system, Lion.
The basic System Requirements are rather straightforward, although as 512 Pixels notes, Apple provides a bit more detail than it has in the past:
- OS X version 10.6.8 (Leopard) or later
- 2GB of memory
- 8GB of available disk space Read more...
Google will release the latest official build of its Android mobile operating system, version 4.1, to developers today. The web giant will parcel up the source code, codenamed Jelly Bean, ahead of the rollout later this month.
Jean-Baptiste Queru, the tech lead on the Android Open Source Project, announced the release on its Google Groups page.
"We're releasing Android 4.1 in AOSP [Android Open Source Project] today," he wrote, adding:
The name of the tagged release is android-4.1.1_r1.
The name of the development branch is jb-dev. Read more...
The covers were lifted off the shiny slate weeks ago, but it was dismissed by several hardware vendors, including long-time partner Acer, which said Microsoft should concentrate its efforts on software development.
Ballmer told a 16,000-strong audience at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that Microsoft needs "leading edge hardware that really shows off Windows 8".
Clearly Microsoft didn't trust the OEM giants to get the most out of the next gen OS and wants to get more hands-on to loosen Apple's stranglehold on the fondleslab sector.
But Ballmer, Microsoft's very own bald eagle, branded Surface as "just a design point". Read more...
Salesforce.com suffered a significant service outage on Tuesday, less than two weeks after another serious set of system problems.
The cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) vendor's systems are divided into many instances around the world, each serving customers in different geographic regions.
Seven instances went down at some time or another on Tuesday, starting with NA1, NA5, and NA6 in North America, according to a notice posted at 12:49 a.m. PDT on Salesforce.com's system status page. Shortly thereafter, the CS0, CS1, CS3, and CS12 regions, which are part of a set of "sandbox" instances Salesforce.com customers can use for development, testing and new feature previewing, were also affected, according to the site. Read more...
MicroStrategy is set to unveil an array of enhancements to its BI (business intelligence) software platform, covering areas such as visual data-exploration and the open-source Hadoop data-processing framework, during the MicroStrategy World conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday.
The new features in MicroStrategy 9.3 include an updated version of the vendor's Visual Insight interface, which is aimed at helping business users work through data. Additional visualization tools have been added, including density maps and network diagrams, according to a statement.
MicroStrategy has also sought to make the toolset easier to use. One new feature automatically suggests which types of visualizations users should choose for various data sets, and the system's drag-and-drop functions have been made "smoother," MicroStrategy said. Read more...
Google is close to a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to pay a record fine of $22.5 million related to violating the privacy of millions of Apple Safari browser users by bypassing their privacy settings, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ says the fine is expected to be the largest ever levied on a single company by the FTC. It's said to stem from charges that Google used computer coding tricks to fool Apple's Safari software into letting it monitor the Apple users that had made the effort to adjust their Safari browsers to block this type of tracking. The WSJ has written in depth about the issue, and says Google stopped the practice after the publication wrote about it. Read more...