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Friday, August 7, 2009

Twitter, Facebook, And Others Affected By DOS Attack

A "single, massively coordinated attack" appears to have been the cause of problems experienced by users of Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Blogger yesterday. CNet news is reporting that a pro-Georgian blogger with accounts on all 4 of these sites was the primary target of a denial of service attack that affected traffic to the sites for much of the day Wednesday.

In a post on the official Twitter Blog, Biz Stone writes "Please note that no user data was compromised in this attack. This activity is about saturating a service with so many requests that it cannot respond to legitimate requests thereby denying service to intended customers or users.

We've worked hard to achieve technical stability and we're proud of our Engineering and Operations teams. Nevertheless, today's massive, globally distributed attack was a reminder that there's still lots of work ahead."

Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNET News.

"It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him (the pro Georgian blogger Cyxymu) to keep his voice from being heard," Kelly said. "We're actively investigating the source of the attacks and we hope to be able to find out the individuals involved in the back end and to take action against them if we can."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Iowa 911 Call Center Accepting Emergency Text Messages

An emergency call center in Waterloo, Iowa, is believed to be the first in the U.S. to accept emergency messages via text. "I think there's a need to get out front and get this technology available," Black Hawk County police chief Thomas Jennings said.

John Snapp, a senior technical officer of Intrado, the company which upgraded the call center, says that calling is still be the preferred way to reach 911, but texting is a useful complement. A lot of kids already think they can text 911, he said.

The 911 texting is currently limited to one carrier within the area covered by the center but expect many more carriers and emergency centers to follow.

Source: Seattlepi

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Space Agency Seeks Better Communications In The North

The Canadian Space Agency is launching a concept study into the possibility of sending two new satellites into orbit that could improve weather information, telecommunications and internet access in Canada's North.

"Right now, there is a gap in terms of coverage by telecommunications satellites. which are more or less located around the equator," Gilles Leclerc, the CSA's director-general for space technology told CBC News.

"So, above 80 degrees latitude north, communications become very difficult."

If approved the satellites could be launched in roughly 7 years.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Palm Fires Back At Apple

When the Palm Pre was released one of the key selling points was it's ability connect to Apple's iTunes store. Apple however had different ideas and promptly went to work to block the Pre from iTunes. Palm has now filed a complaint with the U.S.B. Implementers Forum, the industry group that was established by the companies who developed the U.S.B. technology which, as we know, links computers to other electronic devices. Palm is claiming that Apple is restraining trade.

Mike Abramsky, an analyst with the investment firm RBC Capital Markets says: “There isn’t much precedent for this case,” and “It’s breaking new ground. In my mind, ultimately the users are the arbiters in the outcome of these situations.”

The fight with Palm combined with the refusal of Apple to allow Google Voice apps through iTunes store has begun to create a bit of an Apple backlash online. I guess the users will be the arbiters...

Source: The New York Times

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Hand-Me-Up... Kids Keeping Their Parents In Technology

The Globe and Mail has an interesting article on what they are dubbing hand-me-up technology. A trend, that I can attest to, where kids are getting the very latest in technology and handing-up the old devices to mom or dad. In my case the iPod Nano that I use is a hand-me-up device from my son who now sports an iPod Touch, ironically I bought him both devices as presents. My "new" Nano replaces my old Shuffle which was also a hand-me-up.

Family therapist Joe Rich says this of the trend “It gives a sense of place and confidence. As kids grow up, they want to be seen as adults in the family,”

According to the article "In a recent Angus Reid survey commissioned by Intel, almost half of the 502 postsecondary students surveyed said when they purchased a piece of technology, they passed their old one on to mom or dad. These “hand-me-up” MP3 players, cellphones and computers are the sorts of devices parents might not buy for themselves, but are happy to get second-hand from their kids."