Best of the Weekend & Monday (8/21)
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By RACHEL EMMA SILVERMAN Don't feel guilty about browsing the Internet at work—turns out it may actually improve your performance. According to a new study, Web browsing can actually refresh tired workers and enhance their productivity, compared to other activities such as making personal calls, texts or emails, let alone working straight through with no rest at all.
Google has begun loading "verification badges" onto profiles created in its online estate, in a move to flush out imposters and solidify its ID-linking plans. Mountain View said the badge will prove an individual is who they say they are, just as Twitter previously labelled some of its accounts with a "verified" button to help its users find the "real" Justin Bieber , Britney Spears and Charles Arthur . Google is now also playing the same fame game with Google+. "For now, we're focused on verifying public figures, celebrities, and people who have been added to a large number of Circles, but we're working on expanding this to more folks," said the company's Wen-Ai Yu. Apparently tons of slebs and Web2.0 public figurines are joining the social network that ISN'T Buzz or Orkut or Wave... hence Google's dash to add a tick box to those presumably lucrative accounts.
Former WikiLeaks staffer and one of the founders of OpenLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, holds his book Inside WikiLeaks . Photo: AP WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's former right-hand man has irrevocably destroyed 3500 unpublished files leaked to the whistleblower site including the complete US no-fly list, five gigabytes of Bank of America documents and detailed information about 20 neo-Nazi groups. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who left WikiLeaks last year after a falling out with Assange, revealed the document destruction in an interview with Der Spiegel .
News organizations have an innovation problem . Especially print media. As they gingerly wade into digital, their ability to foster innovation becomes more critical than ever. In today’s fast-changing landscape, they should view innovation as their main weapon against direct competitors and emerging players such as tech startups,. Unfortunately, print media appears ill-equipped to innovate.
Skype will acquire group messaging service GroupMe , a service that was born at a hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York in 2010. GroupMe was founded by Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci. The terms of the deal, including price, aren’t being disclosed.
When GroupMe began as a hackathon project last year, one of the first things founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht did was secure an ad from a Brooklyn, N.Y. bowling alley for half-off bowling for people looking to watch the Lost finale. That, they said, was to prove that GroupMe could be a business. GroupMe subsequently took off like wild-fire by quickly introducing a number of messaging features, which is what helped it get the attention of Skype, who just bought GroupMe for a reported $85 million . But while the deal obviously revolved around messaging and communications, a big motivator for Martocci and Hecht in accepting the sale, and presumably Skype in acquiring GroupMe, was also GroupMe’s shot at going back to its original potential as a tool for making monetized group decisions.
If you’re one to check your analytics on a daily basis you may have noticed a pretty sharp increase in referrals from Twitter’s “t.co” domains. We noticed it almost immediately on Wednesday but naively didn’t pay much attention. A few days later and with the t.co domain suddenly our number no 1 domain source of referral traffic, it was time to pay some attention to exactly what had happened. What Happened In the simplest of terms, from last Wednesday , all links (longer than 20 characters) posted on Twitter.com or any Twitter client have been wrapped with a t.co URL . This means all analytics tools are picking up ‘ t.co’ as the referrer as opposed to a particular twitter client (Twitterrific, Tweetdeck etc.) or just twitter.com.
comScore’s July traffic numbers are out and similar to June’s findings , Facebook and Twitter both saw record traffic in terms of U.S. unique visitors in the month. In July, Facebook saw a whopping 162 million unique visitors, compared to 160.8 million unique vistors in June, and 157.2 million uniques in May. Twitter also posted record traffic in its five year history ; with 32.8 million unique U.S. visitors in July, up from 30.6 million unique visitors in June, and 27 million unique vistors in May.
“That was part of the appeal of getting a publisher,” says Johnston, a softly spoken Glaswegian who is a long way from the sort of avaricious self-promoter that perhaps Shuggy needed him to be.
As dawn broke in Libya on the morning of Sunday 21 August, it appeared that the battle for control of Tripoli was underway. Throughout the night, a steady stream of tweets and retweets emerged from Libyan sources, painting a confusing, often contradictory picture of the evolving situation. We're still piecing together the data that can confirm or deny much of what's been reported overnight, but one thing is clear: something very strange was going on with Tripoli residents' Internet access. Service was restored suddenly in Tripoli, flickered on and off for a couple of hours, and then died, with the majority of the country's international BGP routes withdrawn from service for good measure. Today the routes are back in Tripoli, but ADSL service isn't. This morning we're looking back at this curious overnight episode, and speculate about what might have happened.
As fighting rages around Colonel Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli, hackers have taken the fight online to the country's domain name registry nic.ly. The site's homepage now hosts an image of the rebel flag and the message "bye bye Gaddafi", as well as the date 17 February, the day Libyan protestors started demonstrations and were shot at by security forces, computer security firm Sophos reported. The hackers' flipped bird (click to enlarge) Heavy fighting is being reported in the streets of Tripoli today after rebels seized large parts of the city on Sunday.