Posts Tagged 'report'

UK group: YouTube, could you screen every single video before making it live? Thanks

Social media sites, and those that host user-generated content, need to do more to screen the content on their sites and protect users—particularly children—from videos that could be considered harmful, according to a UK government agency. The House of Commons’ Culture Media and Sport Committee released its tenth report today, titled “Harmful content on the Internet and in video games,” which examines “the Internet’s dark side” and what should be done to keep users safe. The Committee feels that social media sites need to implement stricter policies, implement more content filtering, and make it easier to report abuse.

The Committee starts off by describing the Internet as a place “where hardcore pornography and videos of fights, bullying or alleged rape can be found, as can websites promoting extreme diets, self-harm, and even suicide.” Because of this, websites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube need to take a more active stance against offensive or illegal content than they do currently. The Committee expressed distress that there appeared to be an industry standard of 24 hours to remove content that contains child abuse, for example, and strongly recommended making such important issues higher-priority. (link)

Blogging can be dangerous

No matter what you think of blogging, Internet-based citizen journalism is a real threat, not just to traditional media business models but to totalitarian governments. How do we know that bloggers are drawing blood? Because some governments are hitting back harder and harder; last year saw a tripling in the number of bloggers arrested around the world compared to 2006, according to a report from the University of Washington.

“Last year, 2007, was a record year for blogger arrests, with three times as many as in 2006. Egypt, Iran and China are the most dangerous places to blog about political life, accounting for more than half of all arrests since blogging became big,” said Assistant Professor Phil Howard, lead author of the World Information Access Report. Howard also suggests that the real number of arrests may be much higher, as not every arrest makes it into the media. (link)

Gadget buyers return stuff ’cause they’re dumbasses

Only 5 percent of consumer electronics products returned to retailers are malfunctioning–yet many people who return working products think they are broken, a new study indicates.

The report by technology consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture pegs the costs of consumer electronics returns in 2007 at $13.8 billion in the United States alone, with return rates ranging from 11 percent to 20 percent, depending on the type of product.

Accenture estimates that 68 percent of returns are products that work properly but do not meet customers’ expectations for some reason. “Either they thought it was defective when it wasn’t, or there was an expectation gap,” says Accenture executive Terry Steger.

The study attributes another 27 percent of returns to buyer’s remorse–situations where customers simply changed their minds. That leaves only 5 percent of returns that are attributable to defects or other malfunctions. (Yahoo)

Aberta’s IT security is just “patchwork”

In the expanding world of cyber-information, Alberta needs to pull up its socks or risk having confidential data exposed, the provincial auditor general reported Wednesday.

Fred Dunn said government wide safeguards and benchmarks are needed to keep the system safe and cost effective. “The government departments as a whole need to do a better job identifying the risks,” said Dunn in his semi-annual report.

He said information technology programs are a patchwork quilt, varying from department to department. (news alert)

Verizon comes up with P4P, double the fun of P2P?

The Distributed Computing Industry Association’s P4P workgroup is devising a new protocol for what researchers describe as carrier-grade peer-to-peer file transfer systems. Verizon reports that a recent test it conducted revealed that the new protocol provides a significant boost in download performance while simultaneously reducing network congestion.

P4P, which stands for Proactive network Provider Participation for P2P, ultimately aims to decrease backbone traffic and bring down network operation costs by enabling service providers to communicate information about network conditions to client applications for the purpose of facilitating improved P2P file transfer performance. Instead of selecting peers at random, the P4P protocol leverages network topology data so that peers can be selected in a manner that increases routing efficiency. (link)

Security threats not gender specific, nor is knowledge

When it comes to online security, everyone thinks they’re an expert. Especially men, it seems, as a new “report” funded by security software maker AVG suggests. The company says that, like most things, men tend to think that they know more about online security than women. That’s apparently not true, however, as AVG states that everyone suffers online attacks equally, despite what they may think.

The findings come from a survey of 1,400 adults in the UK about their own knowledge of security while using the ‘Net. Men were exceptionally confident in their own security prowess, and only 4 percent of them said they didn’t know what kind on online protection they had in place.

But confidence doesn’t always translate into reality, it seems. AVG’s survey found that a third of all users—both men and women—had suffered some form of identity theft. And when asked whether they would change their habits as a result, only 20 percent said that they would. I guess when it comes to being complacent, men and women are on equal ground. link

Generation Google not so fantastic? meh

It’s true that young people prefer interactive systems to passive ones and that they are generally competent with technology, but it’s not true that students today are “expert searchers.” In fact, the report calls this “a dangerous myth.” Knowing how to use Facebook doesn’t make one an Internet search god, and the report concludes that a literature review shows no movement (either good or bad) in young people’s information skills over the last several decades. Choosing good search terms is a special problem for younger users. (link)


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