Gizmodo

How China’s Web Censorship Is Driving Traffic to a Miami Pet Spa Website

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5964199/how-chinas-web-censorship-is-driving-traffic-to-a-miami-pet-spa-website

How China's Web Censorship Is Driving Traffic to a Miami Pet Spa WebsiteChina’s well-known for its long and illustrious history of censoring the web. But rather than just blocking sites, it’s employing some rather strange techniques—which means the online home of a small pet spa in Miami is receiving an insane number of hits every day.

New Scientist has taken a peek inside the sinister world of Chinese web censoring, and it makes for fascinating reading. Richard Fisher explains that, far from simply blocking websites, Chinese authorities are employing all kinds of techniques to prevent their population from seeing the real web.

Often that involves subtle tricks, like giving the appearance of a slow internet connection. But sometimes the country uses DNS poisoning, which uses cheeky redirection to throw up a website that wasn’t requested. In particular, a Miami pet spa, known as The Pet Club, is one of the chosen sites. New Scientist explains:

[W]hen people in China try to access torproject.org – a tool that prevents online tracking – they instead often get the IP address of thepetclubfl.net

No one knows why the censors picked The Pet Club’s website. Until now, Dennis Bost of Universal Merchant Solutions in Hollywood, Florida, who set up the website for the salon owners, had been puzzled by the web traffic he’d been seeing. “I’m amazed at the number of hits they get from China,” he says. “They’re a grooming salon. No one is popping over from Beijing to have their Shar Pei groomed.”

Sounds likes a good idea, if you’re a Chinese official hell-bent on censoring the web without generating too much suspicion. Or at least, it used to seem like a good idea: let’s hope, for the sake of China’s online community, that Gizmodo and New Scientist aren’t routed to The Pet Club, too. [New Scientist]

Image by Shutterstock / Andersphoto

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon Sold the Most Kindle Fire HDs since Launch the Day After the iPad Mini Was Announced

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/0ADzQEBP2l4/amazon-sold-the-most-kindle-fire-hds-the-day-after-the-ipad-mini-was-announced

Amazon Sold the Most Kindle Fire HDs since Launch the Day After the iPad Mini Was AnnouncedIf you’re wondering if the iPad Mini had an effect on its competitors, it did. Just not the one you were thinking. The Kindle Fire HD actually had its biggest day of sales since its launch, the day after the iPad Mini was announced.

In a statement sent to AllThingsD, Amazon said:

“Wednesday was the $199 Kindle Fire HD’s biggest day of sales since launch and up 3x week over week”

The $199 Kindle Fire HD is the 16GB Wi-Fi version with special offers. Seems like instead of killing the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7, the iPad Mini actually legitimized them. Or maybe people were waiting to see what Apple would do with the iPad Mini before they made their decision on buying a smaller tablet (with a lot choosing the cheaper option).

In the bigger picture, we’re not sure exactly what it means since Amazon doesn’t release sales figures but it sure can’t be a bad thing for Amazon. [AllThingsD]

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Saturday, October 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/XKH9hGo4bm8/file+sharers-buy-30-percent-more-music-than-non+sharers

File-Sharers Buy 30 Percent More Music Than Non-SharersA massive public policy study has revealed that on average file-sharers buy 30 percent more music than their non-sharing counterparts. That suggests that the record labels’ self-declared enemies are in fact their best customers.

The study, known as the Copy Culture Survey, was carried out by the non-partisan American Assembly, and the results were teased yesterday. It’s based on thousands of in-depth telephone interviews across the US, and it’s probably one of the most thorough reviews of media sharing habits to be undertaken.

The results, which seem to fly in the face of assumed record label wisdom, show that file-sharers buy 30 percent more music than their non-sharing counterparts. Interestingly, it also points out that offline copying is far more prevalent than online music piracy.

However, it’s also worth pointing out that self-confessed P2P file sharers reported having larger music collections. So, it might not be all too surprising that music lovers, with bigger music collections, also buy more music: a taste for media consumption encourages both file sharing and purchasing.

That, along with the news that offline piracy is a bigger concern, is something the record labels need to wrestle with. [American Assembly via Torrent Freak]

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/8wpGGRzhLC0/one-dmca-notice-took-down-145-million-education-blogs

One DMCA Notice Took Down 1.45 Million Education BlogsWe all know that DMCA notices are kinda dumb, but this is ridiculous: a single takedown request from Pearson, a textbook publisher, took down 1.45 million education blogs in one fell swoop.

Ars Technica reports that Pearson targeted a single page from 2007 that was using copyrighted material. Some form of miscommunication ensued, though, as EduBlogs, the host of the blog in question, found that all of its 1.45 million sites were taken down.

EduBlogs insists it was never given the chance to solve the problem itself—rather, the blogs were taken down by the overarching provider ServerBeach, to whom EduBlogs is a client. The whole problem was sorted in around 60 minutes, but that’s not really the point: rather, it highlights how dumb DMCA notices are and how badly they work. [Ars Technica]

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 news No Comments

Apple’s Trying to Wean Itself Off of Samsung’s Chips [Apple]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/8O806JeMPqs/report-apples-trying-to-wean-itself-off-of-samsungs-chips

Report: Apple's Trying to Wean Itself Off of Samsung's Chips While Apple and Samsung have been duking it out over patents, there’s always been the quiet, underlying irony that Samsung makes a whole bunch of the chips Apple relies on. Now, according to reports from CNET and MacRumors, Apple’s trying to change that.

It’s not exactly surprising. Apple already hired a big chip designer out from under Samsung. Now they’re just taking the next steps.

As an industry source put it to CNET:

“The Apple-Samsung relationship has deteriorated to such a poor point that they’re just looking to fill contractual obligations, then make a change.”

That change, it seems, is moving to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company at 20 nanometers, a company that no doubt considers the giant’s business a huge boon. There are also rumors that Apple and Intel have been in talks when it comes to more advanced 14 nanometer production, though that seems further off.

A change like this doesn’t happen in an instant because it’s such a huge shift, but that makes it all the more noteworthy that it’s starting. If you thought Apple and Samsung were just going to kiss and make up, you were probably a bit deluded from the start, but this just goes to show that the rift is ever-widening. [CNET, MacRumors]

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Sunday, October 14th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/m4BrOmW6wmI/sopas-back-from-the-dead-and-this-time-its-a-virus

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus If you thought SOPA was dead, well, you’d be mostly right. Its bloated corpse, however, has been resurrected by hacker puppeteers for the valiant purpose of scamming people out of their cash.

The new virus is a pretty standard piece of ransomware that claims to have locked down your computer and offers to unlock it for the nominal fee of $200, but this one waves around the SOPA name for a little extra scare. Anyone who remembers the name, but not that the bill never went through, might be a little concerned at the accusations of piracy. That said, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the U.S. government probably wouldn’t be collecting fines in the form of euros via Western Union, like ever.

Fortunately this SOPA doesn’t threaten to destroy the Internet as we know it but rather just your private stash of files, illegal and otherwise and it’s an empty threat at that. If you know how to Google things the solution won’t cost you a cent. It’s just a shame all legislation can’t be manually removed. [TorrentFreak via Geekosystem]

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus

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Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/kxnvLJen2SQ/best-buy-to-price+match-the-internet

Best Buy to Price-Match the InternetThe Wall Street Journal is reporting that Best Buy plans to match the price of internet retailers like Amazon over the holidays this year, as well as offering free home delivery when stores are out of stock.

According to a good ol’ “person familiar with the matter”, the electronics chain is assuming the strategy over the holiday season to draw customers away from shopping purely online. That’s something that will appeal to many consumers—especially those who prefer a traditional shopping experience.

It does, however, seem to contradict comments made by Best Buy’s new CEO Hubert Joly. He recently claimed that the prevalence of “showrooming”—where consumers head into shops to check out goods before ultimately buying online—has been blown out of proportion.

Maybe that contradiction is just reflective of the conundrum all big-box retailers face: they need to keep up with online retailers, but they don’t want to lose sight of what once made them successful. That’s a tough call.

Either way, price matching would inevitably draw in more custom. Would you buy something at Best Buy instead of ordering online, all prices being equal? [WSJ]

Image by Lynn Watson / Shutterstock.com

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Friday, October 12th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/onOxiVDamWU/apple-hires-away-top-samsung-chip-designer-to-build-custom-apple-chips

Apple Hires Away Top Samsung CPU Designer to Build Custom Apple ChipsApple just took a big step toward upping its chip-making game, and took a big swipe at Samsung in the process. According to the Wall Street Journal, Cupertino’s hired away Jim Mergard, a well respected and vastly experienced engineer, from the Korean company.

The move is a big deal for a few reasons. First, it signifies Apple’s commitment to designing its own chips. Its A6 chip in the iPhone 5 was its first chip to use its own custom core. While Apple had been using chips customized for its products (the A4, A5, A5X, etc.), those were built on ARM’s architecture—the Cortex-A8 and A9. In simple terms, Apple had been just tweaking things here and there with the blueprints, but with the A6, it built the chip design from the ground up using just ARM’s reference designs, not its ready-made cores. That is a very big deal in the world of chip design, and it’s what let Apple boost the A6’s performance and battery life at once.

How does Mergard fit into that? His experience includes work on SoC chips, and an AMD chip that was meant to power low end PCs. That could mean a few things. The Journal cites Patrick Moorhead saying this could be Apple moving to build SoC chips into its Mac computers (the MacBook Air would make the most sense there, probably). Or, the hire could be to bolster improvements to the custom core Apple built for the A6, to keep it ahead of everyone else.

Everyone else including Samsung. While you chase down talent wherever you can find it, Apple also probably took at least a little special pleasure in hiring away a talented engineer from Samsung. Especially after Samsung declared that chip design is something it wants to focus on.

For now, you’re not going to notice much from one chip engineer exchanging addresses. But down the road, next generation or the one after that, as Apple goes farther down the road of differentiating its chips from everyone else’s, this could turn out to be a pretty big deal. [Wall Street Journal via Cult of Mac]

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

2.7 Billion Likes, 300 Million Photos Uploaded and 500 Terabytes of Data [Factoid]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/WmLHYVUWhPU/what-facebook-deals-with-everyday-27-billion-likes-300-million-photos-uploaded-and-500-terabytes-of-data

What Facebook Deals with Everyday: 2.7 Billion Likes, 300 Million Photos Uploaded and 500 Terabytes of DataIf you were ever curious to how many photos get uploaded to Facebook everyday or how many likes happen across the entire social network or the sheer size of data booking the face is responsible for, look no further. Facebook gave a state of the union (of sorts) that detailed just how big Facebook data is.

Here’s the enormous breakdown that’s so big my head doesn’t understand the sheer size:

  • 2.5 billion content items shared
  • 2.7 billion Likes
  • 300 million photos uploaded
  • 500+ terabyte data ingested
  • What Facebook Deals with Everyday: 2.7 Billion Likes, 300 Million Photos Uploaded and 500 Terabytes of DataRoughly broken down into indivudal Facebook users, the numbers translate to a little under 3 Facebook likes a day and one picture uploaded every 3 days per Facebooker. But how come Facebook didn’t let us know how many time people get poked! Or how many pictures get pulled because of complaints? What about people tagged in photos? I want to know more. I want to know everything! [CNET]

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/cijBW_CFp9E/mcdonalds-nickelodeon-and-more-are-collecting-online-data-on-kids-without-permission

Oh Good, a Bunch of Kid-Friendly Sites Are Taking Advantage of MinorsWhile internet seems like an untamed wilderness much of the time, there are actually a surprising number of measures in place to help your wee ones navigate it unharmed. Like, say, systems to keep big bad corporate wolves from gobbling up the personal information of kids under 13.

You know; the ones that McDonald’s, Nickelodeon, General Mills, Subway, and Cartoon Network have been outright ignoring on their kid-friendly online honeypots.

As the NY Times reports, nearly 20 children’s advocacy groups have banded together to accuse the aforementioned toddler tempters of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Specifically, the sites in question encourage minors to share the email addresses of their friends without parental consent. What’s worse is that it’s so clearly an intentional skirting of the law. According to one of the lawyers leading the charge:

“Under the law, they can’t just collect e-mail addresses from kids and send them marketing material directly. So they are embedding messages saying, ‘Play this game and share it with your friends,’ in order to target the friends.”

The technical legal term for this sort of thing is “icky,” so let’s hope this puts an end to it. There are enough predators online as it is without having to worry about HappyMeal.com’s intentions.

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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