The internet is awash with porn. If you want to find something a little titillating, have a taste for the weird, or just want some good old fashion hardcore, you don’t have to look too far to satiate that desire. But if you have been looking to Vine to get your kicks -- and seriously, there must be some better places to look! -- you're going to have to turn your attention elsewhere, as a complete porn ban has been put in place.
It does not matter if you want to share porny videos of yourself with a loved one privately, everything that falls into the category of "Pornography and Sexually Explicit Content" is outlawed. Vine's terms of service state in no uncertain terms that "You may not post Content that... Is pornographic or sexually explicit", and the Vine Rules make it abundantly clear what is permitted and what is not.
This is a personal account of the way I have noticed the technology markets changing over the years. It is not gospel, and you are welcome (encouraged, if you like) to disagree… It's not all that long ago that brand loyalty was a given; it was almost the default setting for many people. If you got into computing -- and it was something you "got into" rather than just having as part of your life -- you stuck loyally to whatever brand you chose at the start. We could go back to the 70s and look at the birth of personal computing, but as this is my personal account, we'll have to start in the 80s.
I did just manage to sneak into the 70s -- being born in 1979 puts me in the difficult-to-comprehend position of being 34 years old but having seen five decades -- but an interest in computing didn't emerge until some time in the late 80s. I remember there being several computing camps: BBC, Amstrad, Spectrum, Vic and Commodore to name a few. My decision was made for me at an early age when my dad decided to invest in a Commodore 16 Plus 4 (the Plus 4 referring to the fact that the OS featured four built-in applications including a spreadsheet tool, the absurd simplicity of which was not lost on me even at a young age).
Email has become a staple of business communication and although it's essentially free it has a hidden cost in terms the time spent dealing with it.
Collaborative email service Contatta has released an infographic which quantifies how time consuming and costly business email has become.
Logitech’s Harmony line has been getting a recent refresh, with new remote controls being released. The universal remotes are highly useful for home theater enthusiasts, as they offer easy programming and excellent functionality.
Now the expansion continues, but this time it jumps to the keyboard. You don’t even need to have an HTPC to take advantage of this new keyboard in your living room, thanks to a unique design idea.
There are few people who like ads. Sure, they can be works of art -- certainly there are some advertisements that are infinitely better than a lot of the dirge pumped out by television networks -- but while advertisements on television can be fairly easily avoided (thank you TiVo -- other PVRs are available!) it is a different matter on a computer or mobile device. "Opting" to watch a mindblowing ad for Apple, Guinness or Honda is one thing, but to have unavoidable -- and usually crappy -- advertisements forced upon you whilst browsing the web or using an application is an entirely different matter.
There are groups of people who are happy to endure these adverts because they fund apps, and make it possible for developers to provide their hard work free of charge -- you may fall into this group and have perhaps been able to configure an automatic ad filter for your eyes. But there are larger legions for whom ads are just plain, damned irritating. In some instances it is possible to pay to avoid them, but this is not always the case. If BlackBerry and Yahoo get their way, advertisements are going to become rather more noticeable.
Webcam porn! Spying! Cell phones! Bitcoin controversy! Just another normal week in the world of tech news! Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox disappeared offline amid concern about missing millions and then filed for bankruptcy. After panic spread through Mac users following the discovery of a serious SSL bug in Mavericks, Apple released an update that plugged the hole -- but it was also discovered that iOS 7 has a keylogging vulnerability. Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Office 2013, but anyone using Office 365 will need to force the installation of newer updates in order to reap the benefits.
Security updates are all well and good for operating systems and applications, but it will do little to protect you against the wandering eyes of government agencies. As if everything we have already learned about the activities of the NSA et al, this week's revelations about what the UK's GCHQ has been getting up to is sure to raise ire. Not content with logging emails and web searches, the UK intelligence agency apparently spent a number of years tapping into the webcam chats of millions of Yahoo users. There may be little good news in this revelation, but it was at least slightly amusing to find that the surveillers were rather taken aback by the amount of pornographic content they encountered. It makes ya proud!
Once dismissed as little more than a hobby for Apple, Apple TV seems to have quietly gathered momentum. Talking at a shareholder meeting in Cupertino, CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company has managed to net over $1 billion through the devices, leading him to quip "it's a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days." It's difficult to tell just how many sales this translates into as the figure includes content sales as well as device sales.
But while $1 billion may sound impressive, it is a drop in the ocean compared to the billions that Apple rakes in from its other product lines. The last figure released suggested that over 13 million apple TV boxes had been sold by May last year, but the sales figures released today relate to the fiscal year that ended in September. For anyone thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, Apple has a new incentive -- a $25 iTunes gift card for anyone who buys a set-top box by 5 March.
Spotify is all about streaming music, creating playlists and sharing them with others. Who doesn't relish the idea of creating the ultimate mixtape and sharing with not just their best friend, but the whole world? Music fans love it, and so do the musicians who earn royalties from making their work available.
But Ministry of Sound felt a little differently about things. Back in September, the dance brand took Spotify to court, claiming that the music streaming service was refusing to delete playlists created by users that mimicked the tracklisting of Ministry of Sound releases.
The latest breed of virus is airborne. We're not talking about a 24 hour bug that does the rounds at the office, but a computer virus. A team of researchers at the University of Liverpool, UK, demonstrated how a virus known as Chameleon was able to spread undetected over Wi-Fi by exploiting vulnerabilities in access points.
For town and cities where there are large numbers of routers and access points in close proximity, this represents a serious security risk as there is potential for a terrifying number of infections to be made in very little time.
Music is my biggest hobby and passion. Whether happy or sad, it helps enhance my moods. When I am feeling good, I may put on some Ben Folds Five and conversely, Radiohead when feeling blue. Believe it or not, I also like Hip-Hop and Country.
Even though I love music, I have never been a huge fan of American Idol. This is surprising, as it is a wildly popular singing competition. However, I am a fan of one aspect of the show -- the voting. I love being empowered to pick a winner, regardless of the competition. Today, Google announces a partnership with FOX and American Idol to make voting even easier.
One of the largest Bitcoin exchanges that exists, Mt. Gox, is currently offline. It is not entirely clear what the full story behind the disappearance of the site is, as the situation is still evolving. There have been rumors of Bitcoin theft, but nothing has yet been verified. Mt. Gox vanished off the face of the internet, and initially visitors saw nothing more than a blank page but a statement has since been added to the site.
Pay a visit to the Mt. Gox website now and you'll be greeted by a message explaining that the site is currently not operational:
Another week, another spate of security related news. In the latest of a recent run of high-profile hacks, Kickstarter announced that it had been hacked, and it was discovered that ASUS routers could be sharing files with more people than users intended. Google is looking to bolster online security with its latest acquisition -- audio-based authentication outfit SlickLogin, while Microsoft's latest partnership with DocuSign looks set to make digital signatures in Office simpler and more secure. If you were under the impression that app security was generally increasing, think again; a new study shows that an almost unbelievable 96 percent of applications have security issues.
Brian got his hands on the Lenovo Miix 2 and was reasonably impressed by what he saw. He also unboxed the much touted Nokia Lumia Icon and found it to be not dissimilar to the 928 -- no bad thing. Anyone looking for an entry-level 4G smartphone now has the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Core LTE to look forward to, complete with "Jelly Bean Plus".
Google is delving into its wallet once again, fishing out a little cash and going on a spending spree. This time around, it is Israeli startup SlickLogin that is being put in the shopping cart. You may not have heard of the company, and that’s because its services haven't even launched yet, but it is looking to revolutionize two-factor authentication. Additional layers of security are being added by every website worth its salt, and SlickLogin has an interesting alternative to the traditional password.
Like many other two-factor security systems, this makes use of smartphones -- but in a somewhat different way. Rather than generating a unique code that is emailed out and needs to be typed into a website, SlickLogin is audio-based. A unique sound is generated and played through a computer's speakers. So far, so weird. To make things more interesting, and probably more secure, the sound is inaudible thanks to being ultra-sonic, and an app on a smartphone placed near the speaker picks up the sound and completes the authentication process.
The world of VoIP services is one packed with various names bustling for attention. One of the biggest names in the game is Viber, which started small but grew impressively as it spread across platforms -- now it has grown to the point that it is deemed worthy of handing over $900 million. At least that is the view of Rakuten, the Japanese firm behind Play.com and the Kobo eReader that agreed to part with this not insubstantial sum of money for an outright purchase of Viber Media Ltd.
With around 280 million registered users, Viber could be quite a money-maker for Rakuten who explained that the service has a "rapidly growing numbers of users, especially in emerging countries". With its fingers already in various online pies -- ebooks, shopping and streaming media through Wuaki.tv -- Viber represents yet another string to Rakuten's bow as the company "aims to be the global number one internet services" provider.
Legal threats on Twitter are nothing new, but it is usually Twitter users who are the subject of litigation. In the case of the @JamesDean account, however, it is Twitter itself found on the receiving end of legal action. Acting on behalf of the James Dean estate, celebrity licensing agency CMG Worldwide is attempting to wrestle control of the Twitter account -- which is currently being used to tweet quotes by and about the star -- from the hands of its current owner.
The complaint says that Twitter is breaching trademarks owned by James Dean Inc by placing "objectionable content" online. CMG Worldwide has been in touch with Twitter to ask that the account activity be stopped, and that contact details for the account owner be handed over. Twitter has refused both requests. It is hard to see how the James Dean estate could have suffered "immeasurable and irreparable" damage. It is also interesting to note that the complaint suggests that unless the account activity stops, then James Dean Inc "will continue to be irreparably harmed and suffer actual damages in an amount as yet undetermined". There is no suggestion of what irreparable damage has actually been caused.