Category: Internet

French journalists forced to use Twitter, Facebook for news

Five journalists will be forced to use Twitter and Facebook as their sole access to news for five days in an experiment to discover the value of social notworking.

According to the UK Press Gazette, following a story in Le Parisien, the journalists work for French speaking radio stations in an experiment called “behind closed doors on the net”.

They won’t be allowed to watch TV, read papers, or listen to the radio, but will be able to click on links in Twitter or Facebook. One French Canadian journalists won’t be allowed to click on links.

You can find the UKPG story, here.

Manchester United bans players from Facebook

You’d think there wouldn’t be a bunch of twits better at social not-working than football players, but according to the Beeb, Manchester United Football Club has blown the warning whistle on players holding Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 Wanting football fans to know the score, Man U’s website has warned fans that any player profile they might stumble upon on Facebook is likely to be a poser. A posing poser that is.

 “The club wishes to make it clear that no Manchester United players maintain personal profiles on social networking websites,” antisocially says the website, adding “Fans encountering any web pages purporting to be written by United players should treat them with extreme scepticism.”

Although a Manchester U spinner told BBC News the club didn’t want “to stop players doing what they like within reason in their spare time,” they appear to prefer that their footballers spend quality time poking random slappers in nightclub toilets than throwing sheep at each other online. Yes Ryan Giggs, that means you.

It’s not just Facebook that worries the powers-that-be at Man U either. Twitter has apparently become something of a concern too, with some players mistaking status updates for a way to tweet about the status of their transfers instead.

Some, like the unfortunate Sunderland striker Darren Bent have already paid the penalty for such shenanigans.

While Manchester United claims its goal is not to ban players from using as many as 140 characters all strung together in the semblance of a sentence, it does appear the club is trying to defend itself from information leaks.

But whether or not the move will succeed, or be relegated to irrelevance remains to be seen.

Lords of War learn from Google attack

As contracts from third world countries run by ruthless dictators start to run out, arms manufacturers are seeing that there is a lot of dosh in software security.

After Google’s recent hacks, Loren Thompson, a military policy analyst for the Lexington Institute told the LA Times that the Lords of War are seeing “gold in them thar hills”.

He said that cyber-security was shaping up to be a major growth opportunity for the defense industry.

Countries are starting to realise that for the last 20 years they have been shoving all their information into computers but have not yet worked out a way to defend themselves against foreign intrusion.

The military industry, having already done extensive work protecting federal government computers, may be in a good position to flog such software to companies.  These companies  are like Google whose prominence could make them the target of foreign spies.

Thompson said that the emerging market that could exceed $100 billion in revenue within ten years.

This comes about as Pentagon spending on weapons is expected to slow and military firms have to kill for new business.

Wanna hack into your friend's Facebook account?

A woman in Georgia and her two daughters have exposed a security flaw in the World Wide Wibble that effects everyone and not just visitors to the social notworking site.

Candace Sawyer, 26, was taken to  an account that didn’t look like hers and seemed to be owned by a bloke who was a different colour from her.

She got her sister and her mum to try and the had the same problem on their phones  and they got some Yankee Facebook accounts.

After some digging it turned out that the problem was not their phones but a  flaw in AT&T’s routing infrastructure connecting the phones to the Internet.

Somehow misconfigured equipment, poorly written network software or other technical errors could have caused AT&T to fumble the information flowing from the Sawyers’ phones to Facebook and back.

The vulnerability means a hacker can access one account at a time, which is of limited use.  But probably a good start to a wider campaign.

It is somehow managed by a “misdirected cookie.”  But no one is really sure how. It has something to do with the fact that all the mobile Internet traffic for a particular area is routed through the same piece of networking gear. A site which used encryption would be immune to it.

Germany says "no" to Microsoft Internet Explorer

The Federal Office for Information Security in Germany has said that it would be wiser if users avoided Internet Exploder and used an alternative browser when smurfing the web.

That’s because a vulnerability in Internet Explorer has been linked to a wave of attacks on American sites including Adobe, Google and Yahoo.

According to the BBC, the German government reckons that following Microsoft’s advisory is insufficient to turn IE into a browser that’s safe to use.

Microsoft developers are working day and night to solve the problem, the BBC said.

However, no browser is safe to use, according to malware experts. If Microsoft decides this vulnerability is really a problem, it will repair it in its next scheduled fix, set to arrive in early February.

The BBC story is here.