Advertising

Microsoft Now Uses Windows 10's Start Menu To Display Ads (betanews.com) 578

Mark Wilson writes: We've all become used to the idea of ads online — it's something that has become part and parcel of using the internet — but in Windows? If you've updated to build 10565 of Windows 10, you're in for something of a surprise: the Start menu is now being used to display ads. We're not talking about ads for Viagra, porn, or anything like that, but ads for apps. Of course, Microsoft is not describing them as ads; 'Suggested apps' has a much more approachable and fluffy feel to it. Maybe. This is a 'feature' that's currently only being shown to Windows Insiders, but it could spread to everyone else. Will it be well-received?
Social Networks

Decentralized Social Networking — Why It Could Work 128

Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes with "a response to some of the objections raised to my last article, about a design for a distributed social networking protocol, which would allow for decentralized (and censorship-resistant) hosting of social networking accounts, while supporting all of the same features as sites like Facebook." Social networking is no longer new; whether you consider it to have started with online communities in the mid-90s or with the beginnings of sites many people still use today. As its popularity has surged, it has grown in limited ways; modern social networks have made communication between users easier, but they've also made users easier to market to advertisers as well. There's no question that the future of social networking holds more changes that can both help and harm users — perhaps something like what Bennett suggests could serve to mitigate that harm. Read on for the rest of his thoughts.
Spam

Project Honey Pot Traps Billionth Spam 118

EastDakota writes "Project Honey Pot today announced that it had trapped its 1 billionth spammer. To celebrate, the team behind the largest community sourced project tracking online fraud and abuse released a full rundown of statistics on the last five years of spam. Findings include: spam drops 21% on Christmas Day and 32% of New Year's Day; the most spam is sent on Mondays, the least on Saturdays; spammers found at least 956 different ways to spell VIAGRA (e.g., VIAGRA, V1AGRA, V1@GR@, V!AGRA, VIA6RA, etc.) in mail received by the Project; and much more."

Former Hacker Irks Microsoft in EU Dispute 204

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "The Wall Street Journal profiles Neil Barrett, 'a former computer hacker who once infiltrated the system controlling a telescope at a Hawaii laboratory' and is now an expert witness causing problems for Microsoft in its antitrust battle with the European Union. Barrett 'has helped put the British glam rocker Gary Glitter behind bars for pedophilia. And he also has helped prosecute a teenage hacker from Wales, who claimed to have stolen Bill Gates' credit-card number and sent the Microsoft founder a shipment of Viagra. [...] In the corporate world, Mr. Barrett once met a challenge to hack into a large multinational company's system in four days to win a security assignment. He stole the company's undisclosed new logo as a trophy, he wrote.'"
Spam

Spam Kings 127

Michael Gracie writes "Spamroll is a recently launched blog and information resource on spam, phishing, and other internet security issues, the purpose of which is to bridge the gap between information and discussion among technical professionals, and that targeted for end users. As part of the research for Spamroll, I picked up Spam Kings - The Real Story Behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and @*#?% Enlargements, written by Brian McWilliams and recently released by O'Reilly. , With Spam Kings, Mr. McWilliams has put together a book suitable for shelving next to The DaVinci Code and the Bat Book (Sendmail 2nd edition, by Brian Costales and Eric Allman). It is a compellingly detailed account of the burgeoning of spam, spammers, their foes, and the intricate community that intertwines them." Read on for Gracie's review.
Google

'Online Poker' Googlebomb 379

Philipp Lenssen writes "The blogger community is fighting back, though in ways not everyone may like: they are Googlebombing the Wikipedia page on online poker for the phrase "online poker" to make it rank higher in search engines. "Online poker", along with "Viagra", "mortgage" and "debt", are keywords heavily represented in comment spam, which itself aims to boost the Google ranking for a particular site and phrase. The Wikipedia page is currently third in Google."
Spam

Pfizer Files Suit Against Viagra Spammers 12

edb points to the Wall Street Journal story (carried at SmartMoney among other places) which begins "Pfizer Inc. (PFE) launched a broad legal offensive and Internet advertising campaign to stanch online commerce in bogus Viagra. The drug maker filed suit in federal district court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan on Monday against three companies and two individuals operating Web sites that allegedly sell fake versions of the popular impotence drug."
Spam

You've Got Spam: AOL Blocks 1/2 Trillion Spam 472

yohaas writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that AOL blocked more than 500 billion spam messages for its users in 2003. That comes to 40 messages a day per user. The company regularly blocks 75-80% of all incoming mail as spam! The article also lists the top 10 spam phrases for the year, including such come-ons as: 'Viagra online', 'Online pharmacy', 'Get out of debt' and 'Get bigger'."
News

Sexbots 1

Engineers, programmers and futurists believe that programmable robots that provide sexual companionship are likely to be commonplace in the 21st century, at more or less the same time as computers become able to process information as quickly as the human brain. The implications of tactile sexbots, likely to contain vibrators, sound systems and other equipment, are as significant as they are unexamined. If you thought the fight over the CDA was bad, wait till Rev. Falwell and his many pious friends in Congress discover Sexbots. For better or worse, computing might be breaking down another big wall.

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