December 10 – 16, 2012

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Today’s headline story: International Internet Treaty FAIL

wcit3A global showdown of sorts took place over an international treaty on the Internet at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai last week. 193 countries were in attendance, hoping to revise an international treaty that had not been updated since 1988 — before the World Wide Web. The meeting ended in a stalemate when Western countries led by a powerhouse U.S. delegation refused to sign a treaty that would have given governing power of the Internet to the United Nations. Eastern governments including China, Russia, Iran, Gulf Arab states, African nations and others — favored U.N. backing for stronger government sway over Internet affairs and claimed the Western dominance of the Internet needed to be addressed. Internet governance is currently managed by predominantly U.S. organizations. The stalemate is good news for those interested in keeping the Internet free of governmental interference.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • FCC Chairman Julius Genochowski is urging the FAA to allow travelers to use electronic devices during entire flights including take-off and landing. These devices “empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness,” Genochowski says.
    FCC Asks FAA To Allow Mobile Device Use on Planes [NewsFactor]
  • The FTC has fired a shot over the bow of mobile app companies with a report titled “Mobile Apps for Kids — Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade.” The FTC reports that software companies are still not properly reporting on what information they’re children’s apps collect from users. It has launched multiple nonpublic investigations to determine whether mobile app developers have violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices in violation of the FTC Act.
    FTC: Mobile Apps Haven’t Come Clean on Use of Kids’ Data [Ecommerce Times]
  • Facebook will be rolling out new Privacy Tools to its members over the next few weeks. The new tools are designed to make privacy settings more apparent and easy to access. They include privacy shortcuts, and an easy way to review photos in which you are tagged. Even a button to request a photo to be removed.
    Facebook Overhauls Privacy Controls [NewsFactor]
  • A bill, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, seeks to put an end to cyber stalking apps. Cyber stalking apps like ePhoneTracker, when installed on a mobile phone, make it possible for a stalker to track your every movement.
    Cyberstalking Apps Targeted by Senate [NewsFactor]
  • A team of British scientists have developed a new graphics codec that could mean the end of pixels. Rather than creating images from a grid of pixels, the new codec presents an image using contoured colours. The new codec fills in the space between the pixels providing a much higher quality image.
    Is the pixel about to die? [BATH University News]

and in Information Security news this week…

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Google Maps App has returned to the iPhone. Apple removed Google Map from iOS in its last upgrade, and replaced it with its own maps app which includes turn-by-turn navigation. Apple’s map app has been criticized for embarrassing bugs. Google’s new map app for iPhone is getting rave reviews and includes turn-by-turn navigation.
    Google Maps App Returns to Apple’s iPhone [NewsFactor]

and finally….

  • Happy Computer Science Education week! This week marked the birthday of computing pioneer, Grace Hopper, and a national effort to acknowledge the importance of computing education to innovation, science and the economy. Take your computer teacher out to lunch!
    NSF Joins in Commemorating Computer Science Education Week 2012 [NSF]

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