Facebook Hopes Credits Make Dollars New York Times
For all its success, Google is often criticized for being a one-trick pony. After 12 years, the Internet search company is still struggling to find a significant new revenue source to supplement its lucrative text advertising business. Facebook, which more than any other company aspires to usurp Google’s dominant place on the Internet, hopes to avoid that problem. Already on the path to becoming an advertising powerhouse, the social networking company is laying the groundwork for its second act: a virtual currency system that some day could turn into a multibillion-dollar business. Facebook began testing its virtual currency, called Credits, more than a year ago with some popular games on Facebook. This month, Credits passed a milestone when it became the exclusive payment method for most of the games created by Zynga, the No. 1 developer of Facebook applications. Zynga is expected to have $500 million in revenue this year, according to the Inside Network, which tracks Facebook applications, as millions of users pay real money to buy virtual goods on games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Through Credits, Facebook will take a 30 percent cut. [Also see New York Times touts Zynga PR puff piece]
French film director Godard defends illegal downloads Economic Times
A Frenchman convicted of copyright theft for illegally downloading thousands of songs on the Internet has found an unlikely patron: A famous film director. Jean-Luc Godard, the 79-year-old director of movies like Breathless and Alphaville, has come to the support of James Climent, a photographer who faces a fine of 20,000 euros ($26,520) for violating musical copyrights. Climent, who lives in Barjac, a picturesque old town of artists and organic farmers in the Gard region of southern France, wants to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The highest French court rejected his last appeal in June, siding with music royalty collection agencies that brought the complaints against Climent five years ago. [Also see HADOPI spam ready to rollhttp://www.p2pnet.net/story/44084]
Stuxnet virus: worm ‘could be aimed at high-profile Iranian targets’ Telegraph
Security experts have identified malicious software, thought to be aimed at power stations and water plants in Iran. Some security experts believe the Stuxnet worm was aimed at key parts of Iran’s infrastructure, such as nuclear facilities, and may have been written or sanctioned by operatives from another nation. The complexity of the Stuxnet worm has lead some experts to speculate that it could be an act of cyber terrorism, a virus written and sanctioned by one country with the aim of impacting the infrastructure of another. Stuxnet can be used to reprogram software to force a computer to carry out different commands. Some security experts believe the worm was likely targeted at high value infrastructure in Iran, such as nuclear power stations. “The fact that we see so many more infections in Iran than anywhere else in the world makes us think this threat was targeted at Iran and that there was something in Iran that was of very, very high value to whomever wrote it,” Liam O’Murchu, an expert at Symantec, told the BBC.
Google sues allegedly rogue prescription drug advertisers IDG News Service
Google is at its wit’s end dealing with illegal sellers of prescription drugs that market medicines on its ad network, so it has decided to take some of these allegedly rogue advertisers to court. In addition to pursuing the alleged violators, Google hopes that its action also serves as a deterrent against other illegal medicine peddlers, Google said on Tuesday. Google has struggled with the problem for years, Michael Zwibelman, a Google litigation counsel, said in a blog post. “It’s been an ongoing, escalating cat-and-mouse game — as we and others build new safeguards and guidelines, rogue online pharmacies always try new tactics to get around those protections and illegally sell drugs on the web,” he wrote.
Chernobyl plant life endures radioactivity BBC
Scientists have uncovered mechanisms that allow plants to thrive in highly radioactive environments like Chernobyl. They analysed seeds from soybean and flax grown near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor which exploded in 1986. Martin Hajduch Slovak Academy of Sciences The team says that plants may have an innate ability to cope with radioactivity. The study appears in the Environmental Science and Technology journal. One of the researchers speculates that such mechanisms could trace back millions of years, when early life forms were exposed to higher levels of natural radiation.
Preventing Online Dropouts: Does Anything Work? Wired Campus
Nothing works. That’s the disheartening suggestion of a new Kennesaw State University study about retention strategies in online education, soon to be published in the International Journal of Management in Education. Students drop out of online classes at rates 15 percent to 20 percent higher than traditional ones, according to earlier research cited in the study. Kennesaw State saw that problem reflected in its own classes, so a group of the university’s professors set up a study to find the best strategies that might improve retention. Using undergraduates in a business course as their test subjects, the professors experimented with lots of techniques that previous research had suggested could help. For example, they called students at home. They quizzed them on the syllabus. They made more of an effort to steer them through the virtual classroom. They pushed them to develop personal connections with classmates. They broke them up into small groups for discussions and team projects. Half the students got the extra effort and half didn’t. To the professors’ surprise, it didn’t matter. The engagement strategies had no impact on dropout rates. The same held true when they did the experiment again.
Some Countries Want To Ban ‘Information Weapons’ Slashdot
DrgnDancer sends in an NPR piece on recent efforts to control so-called “information weapons” on the Internet. What’s interesting is that the term “information weapon,” as defined by many of the countries trying to limit them, doesn’t mean what you would think. It’s closer to the old Soviet term “ideological aggression.” “At a UN disarmament conference in 2008, Sergei Korotkov of the Russian Defense Ministry argued that anytime a government promotes ideas on the Internet with the goal of subverting another country’s government — even in the name of democratic reform — it should qualify as ‘aggression.’ And that, in turn, would make it illegal under the UN Charter. ‘Practically any information operation conducted by a state or a number of states against another state would be qualified as an interference into internal affairs,’ Korotkov said through an interpreter. ‘So any good cause, like [the] promotion of democracy, cannot be used as a justification for such actions.’ The Russians, and a lot of other countries such as Iran and China, apparently consider the free exchange of information to be an information technology threat. One that must be managed by treaty.”
Filmmaker to post archive of Holocaust survivor interviews online The Local (Germany)
Prize-winning German documentary filmmaker Loretta Walz is making 50 of her interviews with female survivors of the Ravensbrück concentration camp available on the internet this Friday. Walz won the prestigious Adolf Grimme Award in 2006 for excellence in television with her documentary Die Frauen von Ravensbrück, or ‘The Women of Ravensbrück,’ for which she interviewed some 200 survivors beginning in 1980. Now some 120 hours out of more than 1,000 will be available on her website, complete with interview transcripts and survivor biographies.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. It`s really easy!
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. Subscribe to p2pnet.net | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/feed
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.