Where once "Anonymous" attacked the giants of Visa and Mastercard in support of WikiLeaks, now it has focused its cyberattacks on Florida tourism websites.
In emails and news releases to the Orlando Sentinel, the loose-knit collective of hackers who call themselves "Anonymous" announced they are taking revenge on the city of Orlando after it arrested several members of a homeless support organization.
So far, the privately-owned orlandofloridaguide.com has been targeted, as well as the websites for the Orlando Chamber of Commerce and Universal Studios. The group has said it may go after websites for Orlando police officers, state lawmakers and the Florida Democratic Party, the Sentinel reports.Anonymous, LulzSec join forces to target "The Man"
Who's behind all these hacks, anyway?
Hacker group promises to attack Fed Reserve
The cyberattacks are said to be in retaliation for the city's arrest of members of Orlando Food Not Bombs, an anti-poverty group that has been feeding large groups of homeless people, the Sentinel reports. The arrests were reportedly made because Orlando Food Not Bombs had been in defiance of a city ordinance limiting the feeding of large groups in city parks.
Anonymous purportedly offered a "cease fire," and the city then arrested Orlando Food Not Bombs founder Keith McHenry. This prompted the group to release a statement saying: "Henceforth there will be no more cease-fires, no more attempts to get you to resolve this issue with human decency. We will now treat you like the human-rights abusers that you are. Anonymous will now begin a massive campaign against you and your city Web assets. Every day we will launch a new DDoS attack on a different target. We will continue to email millions of people in 50 countries with the 'Boycott Orlando' campaign message."
Both Anonymous and another large-scale hacker group, LulzSec, have made headlines since late last year, attacking and disabling several high-profile websites of various governmental and corporate entities. Their targets are often the perpetrators of perceived slights, and their appears to be no clear indication of why or how an organization stands out enough for them to fall under the hackers' ire.
On June 20, Anonymous and LulzSec announced they were uniting in a campaign aimed at banks, government agencies, and other high-profile targets, and they are encouraging others to steal and leak classified information. They allegedly brought down the Web site of Serious Organized Crime Agency in the United Kingdom.
Federal policing agencies around the world have responded, making several high-profile arrests, mostly of young people, in response to the cyberattacks.
The International Olympic Committee has once again told its athletes that they are free to use social media all they want, with some caveats.
In its official release (pdf) on the use of social media, the IOC states all blog posts, Facebook updates and tweets "should be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist - i.e. they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons."Continue »
The device maker PLX Devices is now offering a headset called XWave that "can sense and detect human brainwaves, interpret them and connect it to everyday technology," according to promotional material on their website.
PLX Devices founder and CEO Paul Lowchareonkul told the U.K. Daily Mail that it was only a matter of time before products like the XWave entered the mainstream.
"The human brain is the most powerful, complex thing in the universe, and for the first time, we're able to harness its amazing power and connect it to everyday technology," Lowchareonkul said. "With the development of 3rd party apps, the potential for innovation is limitless."
Thus far, PLX is only offering apps that interact with the XWave for Apple mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The device itself looks like an ordinary headset for telephone operators, and its website claims that XWave is perfectly safe because it only "listens" to brainwaves and "does not transmit or send any signals."
As of this report, there are four apps available that interact with the XWave, which retails for about $100. They include a basic set-up app; an app that allows you to "upload your song list and sync your brainwaves with any song in your library"; a "Tug of Mind" app; and a meditation app.
In the future, PLX says on its website that "you will be able to control and float objects in video games by simply thinking about it, or train your mind to focus and relax on command."
For internet users and providers, 2010 was a year of unprecedented growth, reports Royal Pingdom, a tech website.
There are now almost as many individual websites as there are American citizens.
About a quarter of humanity now uses email.
Almost 8 million people followed Lady Gaga on Twitter.
Here is Royal Pingdom's complete list of internet trends from the last year:Continue »
There is a growing problem with foxes in parts of England.
A 4-foot, 26.5-pound male fox, twice the normal size of an adult fox, was trapped and killed over the weekend in Maidstone, England, about 30 miles southeast of London, reports the U.K. daily Telegraph newspaper.
The giant fox is a possible indication of many scientists' fears that, as wild animals get better access to the easy food pickings found in human garbage, they will get larger in size, the Telegraph reports.
English veterinarian Keith Talbot decided to set out a fox trap when he heard his parent's beloved 19-year-old tabby cat had been mauled and eaten.
When Talbot's parents went to bed, the cat was sitting on their doormat, reports the U.K. daily The Sun.
However, when his parents woke up the next morning, "there was fur and bits of the cat everywhere," Talbot told The Sun.
The giant fox was trapped with another normal size fox, and both were put down "in a humane way," reports the Telegraph.
There are thought to be at least 34,000 urban foxes in Britain, the Telegraph reports.
The giant fox may just add to growing public fears of fox and human run-ins after a report in June, 2010, of a fox sneaking into a London home and mauling infant twins in their crib.
Animal rights campaigners proclaim that most foxes live on insects and small mammals and pose no harm to humans unless they are frightened, reports the Telegraph.
Last year, Murphy's book called "Tactile Mind," which featured several nude, 3-D pictures of men and women along with braille descriptions, gained new life in the media, two years after its release. Last week, she released four new images, featuring a woman's legs in stiletto shoes, as well as "a photograph of a woman's behind...wearing soft pink" panties.
The original book comes with the hefty price of $225, and the new set of images cost $100, according to Murphy's website. In an interview with AOL News, she says the process of creating the images takes up to 50 hours for each, and therefore the high price tag for the unusual art - or porn, depending on your point of view - is justifiable.
"I took photographs of my friends in lingerie, blew up the images and hand-sculpted them into clay," Murphy told AOL News. "Then I made thermoform copies. I ran the plastic myself through my thermoform machine at home, so each one took awhile to make."
The hardest of the four images in her latest batch of creations was the female behind, Murphy said.
"The butt was really hard to sculpt. I wanted to get it nice and even and give it a feminine softness so it would actually feel like a woman's butt. It took me days to sculpt all the curves right, but I'm told it does feel like a woman's butt in a G-string," she told AOL News.
In an interview last year with the daily Toronto Star, Murphy said many people have bought her books and images as art objects, and most buyers have been sighted patrons.
As for whether it's art or porn, "it depends on your eye," she said.
The four new images are supposed to be a placeholder of sorts while Murphy works on a new book of 3-D nudes, according to Murphy's interview with the Star.
"(The next book will) be much more erotic...with couples," Murphy said.
A new video now going viral shows 25 years of Christmas memories condensed into one three-minute video.
YouTube user Nick Confalone - a self-described "Writer on Fish Hooks for Disney Channel, haiku aficionado, friend to the internet" - talks about the video in detail on his blog:
"Every year, for pretty much my entire life, Dad has videotaped me and my sister coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. As teenagers, we begrudgingly accepted our fathers tradition, but as we grew up we realized we were part of something special-dare I say, "something magical." (I do dare!) This year I edited the clips together, and with a little help of Vince Guaraldi's Christmas Time is Here, our Christmas home video is out there on the internet, groping hearts around the world like a drunk Santa in love."
On the YouTube page for the video, Confalone said the new guy towards the end is his sister's husband.
Confalone write: "Relatives and pets grow up and disappear, and new extended family members appear in their place."
AddThis, one of the largest Internet link sharing services, announced Monday it had created "a digital map of the connection between people and the things they care about most," with the data of 1 billion internet users.
The map, called AddThis Analytics, was created by the link sharing company by tracking people's online interests via cookies, small pieces of text stored on a user's computer that tracks browser data, reports ReadWriteWeb.
While the knowledge that 1 billion people's online interests are being tracked might be disquieting to privacy advocates, it could provide very valuable information for marketing interests, reports ReadWriteWeb.
As of right now, the information provided regarding users interests is vague; AddThis currently only tracks things like a users interest in music and education, and it is only available through a somewhat general dashboard viewer, ReadWriteWeb reports.
However, that is subject to change, as AddThis tells ReadWriteWeb it will eventually offer more searchable and specific results on users' interests.
On its website, AddThis says: "The new AddThis Analytics is the first of many products we plan to release, leveraging our scale and this new technology, to give more value back to our publisher network."
Now imagine the possible ways in which having an iPhone or an Android on hand might make a soldier's life in combat easier.
Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, said the military is testing the deployment of smart phones to soldiers in the field, the Army Times reports.
"One of the options potentially is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier's clothing bag," Vane said.
Army-issued smart phones are already in the schoolhouse and garrison, in the hands of some students at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Fort Lee, Va., and at Fort Sill, Okla., under an Army program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications, the paper reports. CSDA's next step, already underway at Fort Bliss, Texas, is testing for the war zone.Continue »
(CBS/AP) Wikileaks' members may not be invited to any State Department dinners anytime soon, and it appears they may be having trouble making friends online too.
The WikiLeaks website has left its U.S. Web host, Amazon.com, and moved back to a Swedish provider, the Associated Press reports.
It was unclear whether Amazon forced the site to leave or if it did so on its own. Neither side provided comment to the AP.
After thoroughly vanquishing its foes in social media, Facebook now turns its attention to virtual communications today, when it is expected to announce plans for a new free email system.
Dubbed "Project Titan," the TechCrunch website reports that Facebook staffers have been referring to it as "the Gmail killer," in reference to Google's popular free email system.
"There is a huge opportunity for these guys to fundamentally change the nature of e-mail," Silicon Valley-based research analyst Matt Cain told the San Jose Mercury News.
Imagine, Cain said, a Facebook system that could prioritize mail from any external source based on the closeness of your relationship to the sender, or that allows you to easily flip a one-to-one e-mail exchange into a conversation with a group of friends.
Facebook already offers a way to communicate with other Facebook members in an email-like system, but it is closed to non-Facebook users. The Mercury News cites data saying that 90 percent of U.S. adults check e-mail regularly, but only 59 percent use social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter.
Even though Hotmail (Microsoft's email system) and Yahoo Mail still hold a clear lead internationally on email subscribers, with 362 million and 273 million users respectively compared to Gmail's 193 million users, reports the Mercury News, it is telling that Facebook staffers have been referring to their new system as the Google email killer.
Facebook and Google have been engaged in conflicts over user data and information for a while now.
Unhappy with Facebook's unwillingness to let people export their contacts from Facebook into a service like Gmail, Google last week blocked Facebook from allowing users to import their Google contacts directly into the social network.
This has led to an unprecedented war of words between the two internet giants, and Facebook's announcement that it is trying to take down Gmail will surely just add to the rivalry. The good news is that, when businesses fight, it's usually the consumer who wins.
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