RIM takes shots at Apple and iPhone owners with new campaign

By on May 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

RIM takes shots at Apple and iPhone owners with new campaign

RIM's anti-Apple campaign is a bust

Despite its new CEO promising a renewed focus on marketing, Research In Motion hasn’t been known for effective campaigns of late. The company launched a sizable advertising blitz earlier this year that focused on its new BlackBerry Bold smartphones, but the commercials had no apparent impact on smartphone sales in key markets including the United States. Late last month, RIM and its Australian marketing agency Tongue began a campaign that takes a different approach to raising brand awareness, though it’s one we have seen numerous times in the past: bash Apple and its customers. More →

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Happy 'International Day Against DRM'

By on May 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM.

Happy 'International Day Against DRM'

Celebrate the International Day Against DRM

The Free Software Foundation has created a campaign in an effort to eliminate digital rights management (DRM) and embrace DRM-free media. “While DRM has largely been defeated in downloaded music, it is a growing problem in the area of eBooks, where people have had their books restricted so they can’t freely loan, re-sell or donate them, read them without being tracked, or move them to a new device without re-purchasing all of them,” the campaign’s website reads. “They’ve even had their eBooks deleted by companies without their permission. It continues to be a major issue in the area of movies and video too.” The foundation is hoping to raise awareness surrounding what it views to be a growing problem, and it scheduled the “International Day Against DRM” protest for May 4th as a result. A list of local events can be found on the group’s website. More →

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WTF is CISPA?

By on May 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM.

WTF is CISPA?

WTF is CISPA

The United States House of Representatives voted last Thursday to pass a piece of legislation called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. The controversial bill now sits in the hands of the Senate and faces further modifications if it hopes to gain approval from the White House, which has already gone on record with a veto threat. Legions of Internet users expressed outrage when the bill was passed, and numerous protests are being staged. According to President Obama’s office, the bill would allow “broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information,” but what exactly is CISPA? Greg Vokes of Paralegal.net sought to make the answer as easy to digest as possible, and the result is a terrific infographic titled “WTF is CISPA?” that can be viewed below in its entirety. More →

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'Anonymous' hackers plan to stop CISPA with Operation Defense: Phase 2 [video]

By on May 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM.

'Anonymous' hackers plan to stop CISPA with Operation Defense: Phase 2 [video]

Anonymous hackers look to stop CISPA

The United States House of Representatives recently voted to pass the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill looks to give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share cyber threats with one another in an effort to prevent online attacks. Internet privacy, neutrality advocates and even the Obama Administration feel as if the bill does not contain enough limits on how and when the government may monitor private information. Online petitions opposing the bill and its supporters have collectively garnered more than one million signatures, although such protests have seemingly had little to no effect thus far. The hacktivist group “Anonymous” is looking to change that, however, with the announcement of Operation Defense: Phase 2. More →

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RIM, not Samsung, reportedly behind ‘Wake Up’ Apple protests

By on April 30, 2012 at 3:09 PM.

RIM, not Samsung, reportedly behind ‘Wake Up’ Apple protests

RIM responsible for Apple protests

Reports of a staged protest outside an Apple Store emerged last week after a bus full of paid activists dressed in all black stood outside an Apple Store in Australia chanting “wake up.” Early reports suggested Samsung and marketing agency Tongue were behind the staged event, but after Samsung denied any involvement, a potential new culprit has arisen. Macworld’s Australian sister site did some digging and found code on Tongue’s Wake Up website that points not to Samsung, but instead to Research In Motion. The code in question, an account identifier within a DoubleClick URL, has been revealed as RIM’s ID for its Australian website. Macworld also notes that “Blunty,” the bystander who just so happened to capture the protest on camera, has worked with RIM in the past when he posted a three-part video review of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet ahead of its launch in Australia. More →

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‘Anonymous’ plans bigger and more serious attacks on Chinese government

By on April 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM.

‘Anonymous’ plans bigger and more serious attacks on Chinese government

The hacker group “Anonymous operations” plans to launch further attacks on Chinese government-run websites to protest what it believes to be strict and unfair laws. The loosely knit group launched various cyberattacks on China’s goverment last week and warned that further attacks were on the horizon. “First we want to alert the Chinese government that we aren’t afraid, and we are going to show the truth and fight for justice,” Anonymous hacker “f0ws3r” said to Reuters, adding that more serious attacks are coming against Chinese websites. “Yes, we are planning more attacks, a few at a time,” the hacker said. The group is looking to “take down the Great Firewall of China,” which blocks access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many other websites. The Anonymous China team consist of 10 to 12 hackers, most of whom are not based in China, and has “hundreds” of translators who have helped the group hack various Chinese websites, f0ws3r said. The hacker declined to give further details on the next round of attacks, although he did say the group may hit bigger targets this time around. More →

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‘Anonymous’ hacks Chinese government, protest freedom and civil rights

By on April 5, 2012 at 7:10 PM.

‘Anonymous’ hacks Chinese government, protest freedom and civil rights

Notorious hacker group “Anonymous” on Thursday claimed responsibility for attacks on several government Web sites in China. The group has launched various Internet attacks on the country over the past week in response to what it believes to be strict and unfair laws. “All these years, the Chinese Communist government has subjected its People to unfair laws and unhealthy processes,” the group wrote on one Chinese website. “Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall.” The group goes on to warn that further attacks are on the horizon. “So expect us because we do not forgive, never. What you are doing today to your Great People, tomorrow will be inflicted to you. Nothing will stop us, nor your anger nor your weapons. You do not scare us, because you cannot afraid an idea.” Anonymous also acknowledged the Chinese people directly, telling them to remain optimistic, “Don’t loose hope, the revolution begins in the heart.” More →

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Flying drone swarm could bring free Wi-Fi access to protesters [video]

By on March 12, 2012 at 3:00 PM.

Flying drone swarm could bring free Wi-Fi access to protesters [video]

The Internet and mobile devices were instrumental in allowing protesters and activists to organize and even topple oppressive regimes in 2011. Global media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders called out several countries that attempted to stifle its citizens by blocking Internet access in its “Enemies of the Internet” report on Monday, but protesters may not have to rely on traditional land-based or even wireless Internet service providers in the future. Read on for more. More →

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RIAA CEO says Google and Wikipedia ‘misinformed’ the public about SOPA, PIPA

By on March 2, 2012 at 3:00 PM.

RIAA CEO says Google and Wikipedia ‘misinformed’ the public about SOPA, PIPA

The RIAA’s CEO Cary Sherman said that he hopes the Stop Online Piracy Act protest were a “one-time experience.” In an op-ed piece written in The New York Times earlier this month, Sherman accused companies such as Google and Wikipedia of exploiting their popular status to “misinform” the public. He also claimed that by opposing the bill, these companies “were supporting foreign criminals selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals to Americans.” In a separate interview, Sherman said he believes that “readers online” accepted misinformation being spread by Google and Wikipedia about SOPA and PIPA based on the assumption that “if it comes from these sources, it must be true.”  He claimed members of Congress were “very frustrated that they couldn’t get out their side of the story.” Sherman continued, “hopefully that was a one-time experience that came from a lot of different things coming together where a lot of different people came to the conclusion that this was a terrible piece of legislation.”

More →

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Protestors to deliver poisoned iPhone factory workers’ letter to Apple shareholder meeting

By on February 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM.

Protestors to deliver poisoned iPhone factory workers’ letter to Apple shareholder meeting

SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone campaign, plans to deliver new petitions to Apple during its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. Along with the petitions, the group plans to hand over a copy of a letter it distributed on Wednesday written by two factory workers who were allegedly poisoned while assembling iPhone displays. “Apple has a moral obligation to fully compensate workers like Guo Rui-Qiang and Jia Jing-Chuan and to take the hard steps required make sure that tragedies like this never happen again,” SumOfUs Executive Director Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman said in a statement. “Ethical consumers won’t be fooled by whitewashing by organizations like the Fair Labor Association. We insist that Apple grant truly independent NGOs full access to its factories to truly independent NGOs, not groups funded and controlled by the corporations they’re supposed to monitor.” SumOfUs’s press release follows below. More →

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Poisoned iPhone factory workers beg for reform in open letter

By on February 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM.

Poisoned iPhone factory workers beg for reform in open letter

A pair of workers who claim to have been poisoned by toxins in a Suzhou, China factory while assembling touchscreens for Apple’s iPhone have written an open letter begging consumers to demand reform. SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone Campaign, released the letter in an email to the media on Wednesday afternoon. The letter was written by Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan, two former factory workers who urge consumers to sign SumOfUs’s petition and demand that Apple force its suppliers and manufacturing partners to improve working conditions at their Chinese factories. Both workers claim to have been poisoned by a chemical cleaner called N-hexane, and they have suffered neurological damage as a result. The Fair Labor Association is currently conduction inspections of two Foxconn factories, prompted by Apple, and while only preliminary inspections have been made at this point, the organization says it has already found “tons of issues.” The workers’ letter follows below in its entirety. More →

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Protesters to rally against Apple at Grand Central store tomorrow

By on February 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

Protesters to rally against Apple at Grand Central store tomorrow

Protesters plan to stage a demonstration tomorrow in an effort to take Apple to task for partnering with Eastern manufacturers repeatedly accused of mistreating factory workers. Change.org and SomeOfUs have combined their efforts to raise awareness of poor working conditions in factories operated by Foxconn that manufacture consumer electronics for Apple and other vendors. The two organizations have gathered more than 250,000 electronic signatures on petitions that call for Apple to demand improvements be made to the working conditions in the factories that build iPhones, iPads and other Apple products. Representatives from both groups will join protesters on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at Apple’s new Grand Central Terminal retail store to deliver the signed petition to Apple. “I have been a lifelong Apple customer and was shocked to learn of the abusive working conditions in many of Apple’s supplier factories,” Change.org’s Mark Shields said in a statement. “At Foxconn, one of Apple’s biggest manufacturers, there is a history of suicides, abusive working conditions, and almost no pay. These working conditions are appalling, especially for Apple.” The groups’ full press release follows below. More →

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SOPA put on hold as father of the Web calls for Americans to protest

By on January 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM.

SOPA put on hold as father of the Web calls for Americans to protest

Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web as long as you’re not asking Al Gore, has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently causing an Internet uprising. “If you’re in America then you should go and call somebody or send an email to protest against these bills because they have not been put together to respect human rights as is appropriate in a democratic country,” Berners-Lee told the Sydney Morning Herald. SOPA, which is currently being revised before it is again considered by Congress, would give the U.S. government the ability to block access to foreign websites accused of unlawfully hosting or distributing copyrighted content. Big names such as Google, Wikipedia and Reddit recently protested the bill by temporarily blocking access to their websites or urging users to sign a petition. “It affects all the stuff on the Internet working and something which would affect what you want to connect to, where you want to connect to,” Berners-Lee said. Representative Lamar Smith on Friday said that the House Judiciary Committee would “postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.” More →

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