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June 27, 2011

Internet hacking group LulzSec disbands

Internet hacking group LulzSec disbands – Wikinews, the free news source

Internet hacking group LulzSec disbands

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Monday, June 27, 2011

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LulzSec Logo

The computer hacking organization Lulz Security disbanded yesterday, said the group in a statement. Released via Pastebin, it states “[o]ur planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance.”

The announcement comes a day after The Guardian released leaked IRC logs of private conversations between LulzSec members and days after the arrest of a British teenager in connection to the group.

With the announcement the group released previously unseen private information. Included was AT&T and AOL internal data, Battlefield Heros Beta user account data, and user information from the NATO bookstore. In total over 810,000 people’s user information was present in this final release.

LulzSec became known after they allegedly hacked the Play Station Network, rendering the service unusable. The group allegedly proceeded to hack US federal government websites such as those of the FBI and CIA. One of their last hacks targeted the Arizona Department of Public Safety in which they allegedly copied hundreds of confidential documents.

While LulzSec has disbanded, there are copycat organizations in Italy and Brazil.

Related news

  • “LulzSec attacks Nintendo server” — Wikinews, June 7, 2011
  • “LulzSec claims Sony network hack” — Wikinews, June 3, 2011

Sources

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March 15, 2008

Exclusive look at Bebo

Exclusive look at Bebo – Wikinews, the free news source

Exclusive look at Bebo

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Co-founder of Bebo, Michael Birch.
Image: Auren Hoffman.

Bebo logo.
Image: Bebo.

Wikinews spoke to the Global Communications Director at Bebo to have a look at the popular social networking site. Sarah Gavin spoke via email to Wikinews’ Gabriel Pollard exclusively.

Bebo – its full name being Blog Early Blog Often – started off life with its name being adopted from a suggestion a journalist made, as well as the memorable nature of the name. Ms Gavin said, “The reality is that the name was chosen for more practical reasons… it was memorable, translated well and most importantly it was available.”

Founded in 2005 by husband and wife team, Michael Birch and Xochi Birch, Bebo was an online community for Internet users to talk to one another online, write blog posts and generally post pictures. Now in 2008, “Bebo allows users to find and communicate with friends as well as discovering, experiencing and sharing professional and user-generated content including video, music, books and other forms of entertainment,” Ms Gavin said. 2005 was the year when at least another two social networking sites entered the market with Friendster and Ringo.com, which was set up by the same people who created Bebo. Ringo was later sold on to Monster.com.

Not only does Bebo facilitate the aforementioned activities on it’s site, but also has access to professional content produced by broadcasters, such as TVNZ in New Zealand, and producers. This is done through its Open Media platform which claims to have over 400 media partners signed up.

Ms Gavin said, “Bebo offers many of the same features found on other sites, but unlike most social networks that limit their scope to communications and utility platforms, Bebo has opened its doors to all media companies, bringing the richness of the media world to its fast-growing community of users.”

Cquote1.svg All of a sudden – and seemingly out of nowhere – the individual understands the power the web, and what opportunities instant, widespread communication, affords them. Everyone can create and shape the message. Cquote2.svg

—Sarah Gavin

Bebo even has its own television series it hosts on its website. KateModern, produced by those who made the popular Lonelygirl15 web-series, is a series exclusive to the Internet and was commissioned by Bebo in April, 2007. Bebo boasts that KateModern is the most popular television show on the Internet and saw it attain over 35 million views in the first season alone.

In early December 2007, Bebo announced its Open Application Platform, compatible with Facebook’s F8 and Google’s OpenSocial platforms. This new platform opens up its API so developers such as NBC Universal and Last.fm can build applications for use on Bebo. 1,300 applications have already been made for Bebo.

With over 40 million members internationally, Bebo has become the only “global Social Media Network” in existence today. Each month its demographic users aged between 16 and 24-years of age inclusive spend a combined total of 2.14 billion minutes a month surfing the highly popular site; or 40 minutes a day per user. The majority of its membership are from English-speaking nations such as United States, Australia and New Zealand where it experiences high popularity.

In the United Kingdom alone, Bebo has more than 11.4 million users, with 1.3 million located just in Ireland; 80% of Irish members are over 18-years-old. Ms Gavin spoke further on the popularity experienced in the world, “It is the number one social networking site in New Zealand, the number two site in Australia, and the number three site in the US and Canada.”

Bebo experiences a gender balance with a virtual “50:50” split between female and male users “in each territory”.

There is also a local version catered for the Polish community as well as there being plans to migrate into a local French and Spanish site.

Bebo also experiences higher usage than rival social networking site, MySpace, and video sharing website, YouTube, combined. “Bebo users are the most engaged and view an average of 92 pages per usage day,” Ms Gavin said.

Ms Gavin said, “Only 10 months after its inception, Bebo was voted Best Social Networking Web Site by more than 300,000 voters in the annual People’s Voice awards, in May 2006. Bebo won the People’s Choice award in the Social Networking category at the 2006 Webby awards and was named as the number one search term in the Year-End Google Zeitgeist 2006.”

Cquote1.svg We are shocked and saddened by the recent tragic events in Wales. Cquote2.svg

—Sarah Gavin

Recently it has emerged that youth in Wales have been committing suicide to gain attention, such as having a memorial page on the networking site. In response Bebo have set up their own service called “Be Well” to help make Bebo a “safe and secure environment.” Ms Gavin said, “We are actively working with mental health and social care organisations – including Samaritans – to provide support and advice for our members.

Bebo Safety logo.
Image: Bebo.

“Bebo recognizes the potential dangers of online and takes proactive measures to promote safe use of its network. Bebo works in collaboration with law enforcement agencies from across the globe… [and] features a ‘report abuse’ button on every page.”

The “Be Well” service has recently expanded its offerings to the Australian and New Zealand markets too.

When asked to comment on any possible offers to buy Bebo by such companies as Google, Ms Gavin said that it was against policy to comment on “rumour and speculation”. However, after the interview, it was revealed that Time Warner’s AOL Internet division is set to buy up Bebo for US$850 million.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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March 1, 2008

Netscape Navigator support ceases today

Netscape Navigator support ceases today – Wikinews, the free news source

Netscape Navigator support ceases today

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

File:Netscape Navigator 2.JPG
Netscape Navigator version 2

Support for one of the earliest popular web browsers, Netscape Navigator, will be discontinued as of today. The browser, now owned by United States internet services company AOL, was once used by 90% of internet users, however the sharp decrease in usage to around 0.06% has lead to all support from AOL being stopped.

The decision was said to be due to “AOL’s current business focus and the success of the Mozilla Foundation.”

The move was announced in December, and it was said that all support was to cease on February 1, 2008. This was extended until March 1, 2008 in order to allow AOL to “provide tools to ease the migration of existing Netscape browser users to … alternatives” such as Mozilla Firefox or Flock.

The decision means that there will no longer be any security patch updates, or new functions for the browser.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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December 31, 2007

Netscape navigating the World Wide Web no more

Netscape navigating the World Wide Web no more

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Monday, December 31, 2007

The Wikipedia home page as viewed on a Netscape browser.

AOL has decided to discontinue development of the Netscape web browser which brought surfing the Internet to the masses, until its user base began to erode during the “browser wars” of the mid-1990s and resulted in the birth of Mozilla project.

Tom Drapeau, the director of Netscape inside AOL announced on the Netscape blog that support for the recently released Netscape Navigator 9 and all of Netscape’s browsers back to version 1.0, will end because it was unable to gain market share and a low number of users that continues to dwindle. Drapeau noted, “AOL’s focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be,” and that “the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox.”

Netscape’s origins lie at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where Netscape’s co-founders, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina wrote their first copy of NCSA Mosaic which became the first popular web browser and opened up the web for the first time to the general public and started the rise of the Internet in everyday life.

Andreessen along with Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics, started the Mosaic Communications Corporation and released their first product Mosaic Netscape 0.9 in October 1994. A month later the company became the name it is today, the Netscape Communications Corporation to avoid legal problems from NCSA. A year later, had a successful IPO on August 9, 1995 and the stock closed the day at $75.

Netscape’s early success and virtual monopoly of the browser market was short-lived however as Microsoft viewed Netscape’s idea of a consistent browser across various operating systems a threat and quickly began development of its own browser, Internet Explorer.

This competition between Netscape and Microsoft became known as the browser wars, where both companies tried to outdo each other with their increasingly unstable browsers including: new features that did not always work, not providing bug fixes, deviating from Web standards (including the infamous blink and marquee HTML tags), program crashes and security holes.

Cquote1.svg …the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox. Cquote2.svg

—Tom Drapeau, Netscape Director

By the end of 1997, Netscape’s glory had run out and it experienced it’s first bad quarter, which resulted in layoffs in January 1998. The new year also brought the world with the arrival of what would eventually become Mozilla and later Firefox, when Netscape decided to make the source code for their browser open source. A year later, Netscape was out of steam and was no longer an independent company but now a subsidiary of America Online.

The most recent version of the Netscape browser, Navigator 9, was for the most part was a re-skinned version of Firefox developed internally by a small group of people inside AOL. Netscape’s actual browser development division was closed back in July 2003 and the workers laid off.

However, AOL continues to run Netscape as a brand including a web portal, including a Digg-like social news aggregator which was branded as Netscape.com from June 2006 till September 2007, when it was spun off into a renamed site called Propeller. Netscape.com is now a dually branded AOL Netscape web portal, which is a duplicate of AOL.com. Netscape is also used as a brand by AOL as a low-cost dial-up Internet service provider.

Firefox’s third version is currently available as a beta and Microsoft is expected to release Internet Explorer 8 sometime in 2008.



Sources

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April 17, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: April 17, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: April 17, 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: April 17, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, April 17, 2007.

Trial of Jose Padilla under way in Florida

US Supreme Court

The trial of Jose Padilla, a US citizen accused of assisting Islamist extremists and conspiracy to commit murder, is underway in Florida. Padilla denies the charges laid against him.

Allegations that Padilla was involved in a dirty bomb plot, made when he was arrested, will not form part of the trial. Two others, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi also face charges alongside Padilla.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke has told prosecutors that they cannot refer to the September 11, 2001 attacks, to which Padilla is not linked in the charges framed, in a way that suggests guilt by association.

Sources


North Korea may be shutting down nuclear reactor

North Korea

Preparations for the closure of North Korea’s main nuclear facility may have begun according to South Korean news reports.

Intelligence officials said that increasing activity at the nuclear sites indicate preparations for a reaction shutdown. Satellite images released by the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper and Yonhap news agency seem to indicate unusual activity at the Yongbyon facility, housing North Korea’s main reactor.

Related news

Sources


China mine explosion traps 33 underground

An elevator tower at a coal mine

An explosion in a coal mine in Baofeng county, Henan province in China has trapped 33 miners underground.

Chinese state media reports that a second explosion hampered rescue attempts that had begun. Rescue efforts are also hampered as the mine owner and the mine manager fled the site, leaving rescuers with a lack of accurate data about the mine. Police have frozen the owner’s bank accounts and are tracking him down.

In another incident, a coal mine pit in Zhuzhou city flooded, trapping twelve miners.

A third incident occurred in Heilongjiang province where at least two miners were trapped after an illegal coal mine collapsed, Xinhua said.

These incident come less than a year after the China pledged to improve mine safety. More than 4,700 coal miners died in accidents last year and the toll for the first three months of this year is 661.

Sources


Excessive bacon bad for lungs, says academic study

A strip of cooked bacon

A study conducted by Columbia University has found that an increased risk of lung disease could result from consumption of large amounts bacon and other cured meats. Researchers cited additives called nitrites as a possible cause.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, indicate that Columbia team found an increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in those that had consumed cured meats at least 14 times in a month.

The American Meat Institute said the findings used outdated assumptions about nitrite levels in cured meats.

Sources


E-mail circulating UK Holocaust denial in schools is a hoax

The entrance of Birkenau seen from the inside

According to a BBC report, various chain e-mails and rumours have been circulated on the internet indicating that the UK has ceased teaching details of the Holocaust to avoid upsetting religious groups who deny its occurrence.

The rumour appears to originate from reports about one school in the North of England where the Holocaust was avoided to avoid offending Muslim students who may be presented with a different picture of history both at home and in their place of worship.

A recent study into teaching indicated that many teachers were uncomfortable covering topics where students may have been exposed to an inaccurate historical account at home, however teaching the details of the Holocaust is required in England. Teaching of the topic is not mandatory in other parts of the UK.

A spokesperson for the UK government confirmed that teaching of the Holocaust is already compulsory in schools at Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 14) and that it will remain so in the new KS3 curriculum from September 2008.

The e-mail is circulating as the European Union is considering criminalizing denying or trivialising the Holocaust.

Sources

External links


U.S. web broadcasters face steep royalty increases

Sound-icon.svg

A coalition of American web broadcasters, led by National Public Radio and includes Yahoo! and AOL, has claimed that new royalty arrangements could prove ‘fatal’ to the industry. The decision to increase royalties, which is due to be enforcible on May 15, came from the Copyright Royalty Board.

“If these rates stand”, claimed blogger Kurt Hanson, who writes on the SaveInternetRadio.org, “I believe we will see a virtual shutdown of all U.S. webcasting. That will be bad for listeners, webcasters, musicians, and the record industry alike.”

John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, the not-for-profit organization that collects the royalties, said “Our artists and labels look forward to working with the Internet Radio industry – large and small, commercial and non-commercial – so that together we can ensure it succeeds as a place where great music is available to music lovers of all genres.”

Sources


Trial in Italy begins for US soldier

Rebibbia prison in Rome

The in abstentia trial of Mario Lozano, a United States soldier, began today in a courtroom inside Rome’s maximum security prison Rebibbia in Italy. He stands accused in the death of Nicola Calipari, an Italian intelligence officer who was shot to death during the rescue of Giuliana Sgrena in 2005.

Washington has ruled out handing him over and his lawyer says his client could formally reject the Italian court’s authority. Both the US and Italy have classified the shooting was an accident. Nevertheless, an Italian judge charged Lozano with murder and two counts of attempted murder of those in the car.

For journalist Giuliana Sgrena, the freed hostage, the trial shows that US troops can be held accountable for their actions, outside of US military jurisdiction. Sgrena was wounded in the shooting and is separately suing for damages.

Sources



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August 29, 2006

Watchdog group StopBadware.org warns against free AOL software

Watchdog group StopBadware.org warns against free AOL software

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

AOL logo.png

The software watchdog group StopBadware.org, run by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society of Harvard Law School and the Oxford Internet Institute, has opened a dialogue with AOL about concerns over the presence of badware, also known as malware, in the now-free AOL 9.0 software. Badware refers to software applications that try to download additional software with very little or no explanation. StopBadware.org decided to investigate after their users have sent in complaints regarding the operation of the software.

According to the “open inquiry” on StopBadware.org, the preliminary tests conclude that AOL 9.0 installs software and Internet Explorer extensions without the consent of the user, requires users to take certain actions, and it doesn’t completely uninstall itself. The page then warns readers not to use the AOL software unless they’re prepared to handle the risks involved.

The report clarifies its charges; for example it lists “RealPlayer, QuickTime, AOL You’ve Got Pictures Screensaver, Pure Networks Port Magic, and Viewpoint Media Player” as the software that is installed without notification. Additionally, the AOL toolbar, a bookmark to AOL.com, as well as extra icons are added to Internet Explorer without consent. The report continues by noting that AOL coerces users into upgrading the software by a popup window that does not allow refusal, as well as automatically upgrades the software without allowing that option to be disabled.

AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein claims that these problems are going to be addressed in an upgrade available next month. In the meantime, Weinstein claims that the problems are not malicious. “No one has done more to protect users from malware than AOL,” Weinstein said. John Palfrey agrees that the findings of AOL are not the worst he’s seen, but they should disclose more information about the software to users. When AOL was issued with an advance copy of the report, StopBadware.org was “very impressed” with their response, and that they look forward to working with AOL.

Sources

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June 26, 2006

Digg 3.0 released

Filed under: AOL,AutoArchived,Culture and entertainment,Internet,Media — admin @ 5:00 am

Digg 3.0 released – Wikinews, the free news source

Digg 3.0 released

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Digg 3.0

Today, the Internet news site Digg launched the third version of its site, which sees it expanding from exclusively technology-related news into tech, entertainment, world, business and science news. The site has also had a redesign.

Screenshots of the third version of Digg site have being released to various blogs like TechCrunch and also Valleywag over the last few weeks. Shortly after the first screenshots, AOL launched a social news site similar to Digg, located at a subdomain of Netscape. This received a negative response from the majority of the blogosphere.

Last Thursday a launch party for Digg 3.0 was held at a San Francisco bar. Kevin Rose gave a preview of the new version of Digg and features to come out in July, 2006. Diggnation video of the launch party is located at http://videos.revision3.com/diggnation/0051/diggnation–0051–2006-06-22–small.m4v.

Sources

External links

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November 15, 2005

AOL to launch online TV service

AOL to launch online TV service – Wikinews, the free news source

AOL to launch online TV service

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

AOL and Warner Bros. have announced plans to allow subscribers to be allowed to watch thousands of episodes of dozens of vintage shows online and for free. In2TV will be launched in January 2006, providing full episodes of many classic shows, such as Welcome Back, Kotter, Falcon Crest, Beetlejuice, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Babylon 5, La Femme Nikita and Growing Pains.

In2TV will be offered exclusively through AOL, and will not be syndicated on TV. Each show will have two minutes of commercials for every thirty of programming. The new AOL service differs from the new iTunes Video service in that iTunes offers only new programming. iTunes also sells shows at $1.99 per episode as opposed to offering programs that are fully advertising supported.

In addition to full-length episodes, In2TV will provide interactive quizzes, games, and trivia. The TV series will be orgainized into genre-themed channels, some of which are:

  • Starchives – Episodes featuring current stars before they became truly famous, such as Brad Pitt on Growing Pains
  • Punchlines – Classic comedy clips
  • TV Karaoke – Sing-alongs to favorite TV-show themes
  • Classic Crème de la Crème – Showcases of some of the most memorable episodes of a show
  • Betcha Didn’t Know!: The Ultimate TV Quiz – Allows fans to test their knowledge of trivia
  • RetroRunway – Classic fashion from TV series
  • StarFavs – Some of the stars’ favorite episodes
  • Where Are They Now? – Find out where the stars are now

“This service will bring an unprecedented collection of popular TV series to a totally new platform, revolutionizing the distribution of television programming,” said Eric Frankel, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution.

Many companies are now making efforts to avoid going the way of the music industry, by preemptively providing legal, cheap methods of viewing TV episodes online. The notion that online delivery can be particularly advantageous to vintage television shows was sparked by an MP3 Newswire article that appeared a few days after Apple announced its iTunes video service. The essay titled “Can iTunes Resurrect Old Time TV?” made a business case that older television content squeezed out of traditional television delivery schemes can be revived by new online revenue models.

Sources

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September 20, 2005

AOL to launch VoIP service

AOL to launch VoIP service – Wikinews, the free news source

AOL to launch VoIP service

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

TotalTalk logo.gif

Today, AOL had announced that it is launching a new VoIP service to be named TotalTalk. TotalTalk is much like Google Talk due to its unification of verbal conversation and instant messenger into one client. However, much like Skype, client-to-phone conversations are possible. Other features include caller ID, voice mail integration with e-mail, three-way calling, and more.

Unlike AOL’s current VoIP service, TotalTalk will not require AOL membership. However, access to this service may cost upwards of $34.99 per month.

Later this week, AOL will also release its new instant messenger client, Triton. Triton will contain a softphone feature that can be used with TotalTalk.

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July 6, 2005

Spyware is changing users\’ online habits

Spyware is changing users’ online habits

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Wednesday, July 6, 2005

According to a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 9 out of 10 Internet users have adjusted their online behaviour because of spyware. Of the 2,001 adults surveyed, 97% said that they had heard of the term spyware and 78% said they “had a good idea what the term meant.”

61% said they were very confident or somewhat confident they could keep things like computer viruses, spyware and adware off their computers. However, 34% said they have had spyware on their home computers. This number is probably much higher. In an October 2004 study, by AOL and the National Cyber Security Alliance, 53% of respondents said they had spyware or adware on their computers, but a scan showed that 80% of respondents actually had such programs installed.

68% of home internet users report that they have experienced problems that are normally associated with spyware. These problems include computers slowing down or crashing, new unfamiliar programs appearing on their computers and Internet home page changing without user action.

49% consider spyware to be a serious threat to their online security. 91% of internet users say they have made at least one change in their online behaviour as a result of spyware. 34% have stopped downloading programs from the Internet. 89% said they do not open email attachments unless they are sure they are safe. 25% say they have stopped using peer-to-peer networks, a common source of spyware. 8% say they have switched to a different web browser.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project report was based based upon a telephone survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates between May 4 and June 7, 2005. The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit research centre that produces reports that study the social effects of the Internet.

67% percent of homes in the United States now have internet connectivity.

Sources

  • Spyware Report” — Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 6, 2005 (PDF)
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