Google redirecting all Chinese traffic to its uncensored Hong Kong site

By on March 22, 2010 at 4:35 PM.

Google redirecting all Chinese traffic to its uncensored Hong Kong site

google-logo

As its long and drawn out public battle over internet censorship with the Chinese government continues, Google has made the decision to immediately halt the practice of censorship in China. As of today, all traffic to Google.cn will be redirected to the uncensored and Hong Kong-based Google.hk. Google isn’t exactly sure how the Chinese regime is going to react to this action — according to Google this redirect is “entirely legal” — but Google’s David Drummond (SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer) had this to say:

We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

If you’re reading this in China and are finding Google’s Hong Kong website to be a bit slow or completely unresponsive, Google wants you to know that this is to be expected in the short term as its servers are currently being hammered by a massive influx of traffic while it sorts everything out.

Anyone care to wager how the Chinese government will respond?

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Apple strips App Store of scantily clad women, removes 5,000 apps

By on February 23, 2010 at 9:29 AM.

Apple strips App Store of scantily clad women, removes 5,000 apps

Girl Applications App Store

This week, you might have heard that Apple removed over 5,000 applications from its mobile App Store. What did most of the apps have in common?  Scantily clad women. Apple’s VP of World Wide Marketing, Phil Schiller, was quoted by the New York Times: “It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see.” Whatever the reason, the move did come as a shock to some developers. Fred Clarke, co-president of “On the Go Girls” said, “I’m shocked. We’re showing stuff that’s racier than the Disney Channel, but not by much. It’s very hard to go from making a good living to zero. For developers, how do you know you aren’t going to invest thousands into a business only to find out one day you’ve been cut off?” On the Go Girls had all fifty of their mobile applications removed from the App Store; the company was grossing thousands of dollars a day from downloads. Schiller went onto say, “We obviously care about developers, but in the end have to put the needs of the kids and parents first.” We’ve got the full Times article queued up for your reading enjoyment. More →

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Verizon Wireless explicitly blocking 4chan?

By on February 8, 2010 at 10:51 AM.

Verizon Wireless explicitly blocking 4chan?

4chan Logo

4chan, the internet message and image board known for its legion of anonymous users, has been explicitly blocked by Verizon Wireless. 4chan founder Christopher Poole said, “Over the past 72 hours, we’ve been receiving reports from Verizon Wireless customers having difficulty accessing the image boards… After an hour and a half on the phone, we’ve received confirmation from Verizon’s Network Repair Bureau (NRB) that we are ‘explicitly blocked.'” The reported block is not affecting users of Verizon’s home services, such as DSL or FIOS, and is only actively dropping connections from port 80, “no other subdomain/IP/port is affected.” Memo to Verizon Wireless: “Thou shall not agitate 4chan” is one, of very few, unwritten rules of the internet. No official word yet from Verizon Wireless as to why the block was put in place. More →

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High-level British MP wants movie-like ratings system for the internet

By on December 28, 2008 at 12:42 PM.

High-level British MP wants movie-like ratings system for the internet

In a move guaranteed to attract well deserved controversy, Andy Burnham, Britain’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has publicly stated that delegates from the British government hope to meet with members of the Obama administration to pitch the idea of creating a content-based rating system for all English-based websites. Essentially what Burnham is proposing is having the internet follow the same rules as British TV where it is against the law to air violent programs before 9pm. But since the internet is very different in nature from TV, Burnham suggested that a time-based filter be created in which websites must block “offensive” and “violent” material. For extra precaution, ISPs would be asked to offer rating-based “child-safe” packages in which it is only possible to access websites that are pre-approved as inoffensive and appropriate for those of a young age.

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Google Chrome assumes ownership of your soul

By on September 3, 2008 at 3:55 PM.

Google Chrome assumes ownership of your soul

Every time Google drops a new product, the internets go wild with excitement, speculation, and general madness. All of this hoopla is generally for good reason, as the boys down in Mountain View have a history of rolling out revolutionary services that quickly gain ubiquitous presence in our everyday lives. The recent introduction of the Chrome browser was no exception to this rule, though if the EULA is any indication of Google’s plans, we might want to hold off on wide-scale adoption. According to several clauses in the user license, Google assumes ownership of anything you post, publish, and/or create while using their new browser. Sound fishy? Check this out: “By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.” We can’t think of any reason why this would be a necessary step for Google to take, and its inclusion raises a serious red flag about the company’s intentions, especially considering their well known “Don’t be evil” motto. Peep the sections after the jump courtesy of the fine folks over at Gizmodo, and sound off here in the comments.

UPDATE: Google has responded to this one in record time. Noting the general level of scrutiny and dis-satisfaction around the web in regards to their invasive privacy policy, the company states that they “are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service. This change will apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google Chrome.” Kudos, Google!

Thanks, Jose!

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