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The Internet

Correcting the Record: the Government's Role In the Internet 257

TwobyTwo writes "Yesterday, Slashdot posted a piece titled Who Really Invented the Internet?. It quoted a Wall Street Journal article with the same title by Gordon Crovitz. Crovitz makes the claim that government research did not play a key role in driving the invention of the Internet, giving credit instead to Xerox PARC. Unfortunately, Crovitz' article is wrong on many specific points, and he's also wrong in his key conclusion about the government's role. In a wonderful piece in the LA Times Michael Hiltzik corrects the record. Hiltzik, who is the author of an excellent book about PARC called Dealers of Lightning, makes clear that government funded research was indeed the foundation for the Internet's success."

NY Post Goes App-Only For iPad Users 218

bfwebster writes "Browsing the web this morning, I discovered that the New York Post is blocking iPad users from reading its website via Safari. Instead, iPad users must download and use the NY Post App instead. That app previously required a paid subscription (which is one reason I didn't use it); however, the version I downloaded this morning isn't making any demands for payment. Yet."

MySpace Revamps Site To Recapture the Magic 137

Ponca City writes "MySpace has unveiled an overhauled website and logo as it attempts to recapture the magic that led it to top the social-networking sphere. According to the report 'MySpace is positioning itself for the so-called Gen Y crowd, or those roughly between 10 and 30 years old.' A beta version of the new website will start rolling out Wednesday and is slated to be accessible to users globally by the end of November. Plans are for the site to focus on entertainment with the home page constantly updating items about music, movies and television shows that are most discussed on the site at any one time."
Social Networks

MySpace To Sell User Data 199

OnlyJedi writes "Hot on the news of Netflix canceling its latest contest over privacy concerns, news has spread that MySpace is going in the opposite direction. Apparently, the one-time leading social network is now selling user data to third party collection firms. From the article, the data that InfoChimps has listed includes 'user playlists, mood updates, mobile updates, photos, vents, reviews, blog posts, names and zipcodes.' InfoChimps is a reseller that deals with individuals and groups, from academic researchers to marketers and industry analysts. So if you're worried about your data on MySpace being sold off to anybody with a few hundred dollars, now's the time to delete that little-used account."

MySpace Trying To Regain Lost Ground With Games and Music 76

Over the past several years, MySpace has lost a significant amount of the social networking market to competitors like Facebook. Now, MySpace is trying to recapture lost interest by increasing the site's focus on games and music, as well as keeping an eye out for new technologies that would directly benefit their users. "[News Corp.'s Jonathan Miller] said he is 'obsessed' with real-time technology, such as the one Twitter has exploited in its social networking and microblogging service, and he wants to see MySpace incorporate it. He also said MySpace is lagging by having a platform that has been 'too closed' to external developers, something that he wants to see changed, especially for the sake of MySpace's gaming offerings. In addition, he wants to see MySpace push ahead in mobile."
The Almighty Buck

MySpace Treads Carefully With "HyperTargeting" 68

Ian Lamont writes "MySpace is preparing to boost its advertising systems, by launching a targeted ad platform called HyperTargeting and creating a Web-based system that lets vendors purchase ads without dealing with human sales teams. HyperTargeting will 'look at a person's interests listed on their public profile and then classify the user into particular interest-specific categories.' MySpace claims that early tests resulted in a 300 percent increase in the number of ad click-throughs. The company apparently learned a lot from Facebook's earlier experiences with Beacon — MySpace members will be able to opt out of HyperTargeting, according to the company."

New MySpace China Tells Users to Spy on Each Other 158

Anonymous Chinese Coward writes "MySpace has launched in China, the world's most populous nation, but this definitely is NOT the MySpace you're used to. Members are told to click a button to report any 'misconduct' by other users. MySpace's definition of 'misconduct' includes actions such as 'endangering national security, leaking state secrets, subverting the government, undermining national unity, spreading rumors or disturbing the social order' — according to the site's terms and conditions. In China these are all crimes which carry a hefty prison sentence. Any attempt to post content containing phrases that the Chinese government doesn't like, such as 'Taiwanese independence', the banned 'FaLun' religious movement or the Dalai Lama, produces the following message. 'Sorry, the article you want to publish may contain inappropriate content. Please delete the unsuitable content, and then try reposting it. Thank you.'"

MySpace's Trip to The Top 126

One of yesterday's most commented stories was the report that has recently topped the charts for at least one measure of Internet popularity — site visits, as measured by Web-metrics company Hitwise. Along with a hefty dose of scorn for the actual content driving those page views (and some challenges to the conventional wisdom about MySpace's audience), readers expressed respect — not all of it grudging — for the reasons that MySpace has succeeded as it has. The 360-plus comments readers contributed to the story add interesting insights as well as information about the backend system which supports all those pageviews. Read on for the Backslash summary of the conversation.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval