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Friday, November 5, 2010

Burma Cut Off From Internet By DDOS Attack

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that started in late October have succeeded to cut off Burma from access to the internet only days ahead of the first national election in 20 years. This on top of foreign journalists and observers being denied entry into the country and you can make a compelling case for an inside job.

The BBC says in it's report:
It will raise suspicions that Burma's military authorities could be trying to restrict the flow of information over the election period.
The ruling generals say the polls will mark a transition to democratic civilian rule.
But as the BBC's Sue Lloyd-Roberts reports from Burma, many believe the election is a sham designed to cement the military's grip on power.
This truly illustrates the fear that these regimes have over their inability to control the flow of information within their borders and beyond, in an information age. I think it also shows the power of the citizen journalist and while they may have stemmed the flow, I'm pretty sure that this bandaid solution is little more than a finger in the dike and that they may have slowed the flow of information but it has not been stopped completely. Regardless, the international community will be watching and I hope will act accordingly. The biggest problem is that the people of Burma will no doubt be denied their voice in the mean while.

Source: BBC

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Facebook Places Signs Big Retailers To Offer Deals

When social giant Facebook announced it's move into location based services it had to cause some nerves to fray at Gowolla and Foursquare, the two biggest players in the arena until Facebook joined the game. Now Facebook has partnered with 22 major brands likes Gap, H&M, Starbucks, McDonalds and the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. In fact Gap plans to run a campaign in which the first 10,000 Gap customers to sign in at their local store will receive a free pair of jeans. This is the type of game changer that will draw attention to location based services in a market that is teetering on being ready to enjoy it's benefits and dispel the detractors. It will be interesting to see if the smaller innovators are able to grow as the result of their superior technologies or if the elephant in the room will simply plow forward using it's mass and momentum. I've resisted Facebook's Places opting to stay with Foursquare, but local business is slow to embrace the technology in this small (physical) community and I fear Facebook will gain more attention simply because it is a more recognizable brand that shop keepers are much more familiar with.

Source: BBC

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Arrington Fires Back At Calacanis

In a post this morning titled "At My Wit's End: Jason Calacanis Threatens To Sue Us" Michael Arrington, who recently sound his blog TechCrunch to AOL, fires his salvo across the Calacanis bow after being served legal documents from Calicanis' legal representation. In a he said / she said style post Arrington lays down his account of the rocky relationship with Calicanis and the gloves have appeared to come off. 
Calacanis has spent most of the last year saying some of the most ridiculous things about me and about TechCrunch, and I’ve stayed completely silent. Mostly because I knew he just wanted attention, but also because I assumed he’d eventually calm down and move on to doing more productive things. Also, somehow, I still consider him a friend. Now, though, the whole story has to get out. 
In the legal document presented in Arrington's post Calacanis is seeking:
1. For compensatory damages in a sum according to proof at trial, together with interest thereon at the legal nite;
2. For exemplary and punative damages where permitted by law;
3. For attornerys fees and costs of suit.
4. For such other relief as may be deemed proper and necessary by the Court.
I've been listening to Arrington and Calacanis for a while on podcast such as TWIT, and they both seem like characters who speak their minds, I can imagine their friendship/partnership must have been similar to a mixture of gas and naphtha... very volatile and extremely flamible. 

Check out the Arrington post, and wait for it... Calacanis is sure to have his rebuttal.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My favorite non-holiday! Here's a great costume from mormolyke's photostream