Wellesley College researchers seek the truth via Twitter Trails

Wellesley College researchers in Massachusetts have launched an interesting project dubbed Twitter Trails that attempts to show, via Twitter, how true and false stories propagate differently on the social network.This one hits pretty close to those of us in the journalism business, where attempting to verify whether what we see on Twitter and other social networks is for real. And in fact, the researchers say on their blog that the tool is initially geared toward helping amateur and professional journalists to investigate recent and breaking stories.ALSO: 13 of today's coolest network research projectsTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 4:22 pm

The FCC as data security cop: $10 million fine for carriers’ security breaches

The FCC took a big stand today saying it will fine TerraCom and YourTel America $10 million because the agency said both carriers violated the privacy of phone customers’ personal information. The action is the agency’s first data security case and the largest privacy enforcement in the Commission’s history.+More on Network World: World’s craziest Halloween coffins+The FCC said TerraCom and its affiliate YourTel stored Social Security numbers, names, addresses, driver’s licenses, and other sensitive information belonging to their customers on unprotected Internet servers that anyone in the world could access.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 4:08 pm

FCC pushes TV spectrum auction to 2016 after legal challenge

The auction intended to turn many U.S. TV channels into spectrum for mobile services won’t start until early 2016, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission says.FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had earlier forecast that the auction would begin in the middle of next year. But in August, the National Association of Broadcasters challenged some aspects of the agency’s plan in court. Due to the schedule for briefings and hearings in that case, plus the complexity of putting together the auction, the agency has pushed back its calendar. It now expects to start accepting applications in fall 2015 and to launch the auction early the following year, according to an FCC blog post on Friday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 3:25 pm

Apple admins convene in The Mini Apple

At JAMF Software’s annual user conference, the venue and the attendees made an impression on me. The venue was the Guthrie Theater, a striking building in downtown Minneapolis on the banks of the Mississippi River. The attendees (1,300 people registered for the event) were Apple admins and users of JAMF’s software for managing Apple devices in corporations, schools and government agencies. Apple isn’t the dominant choice for enterprise deployments, and the Guthrie Theater felt like a renegade choice, too. Built in 2006, the shiny blue volume stands among leftover concrete mills and silos on the Mississippi. The vestiges of Minneapolis’ flour-milling past have been deliberately preserved, as condo developments, museums and public parks have risen around them.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 3:19 pm

The ratings: Most net neutrality groups get poor grades for funding transparency

After a spate of news stories about alleged "astroturf" advocacy in a contentious U.S. net neutrality debate, the IDG News Service looked into the funding transparency of several think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the issue. Several disclose limited or no information about their funding, we found. Astroturfing is commonly defined as a lack of funding transparency, paired with the appearance of grassroots support. The IDG News Service looked at 14 of the most prominent think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the debate. The following list is not exhaustive, however. It does not include some small organizations, and a handful of groups that have joined the conversation recently.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 2:32 pm

Apple Pay tops Tim Cook's to-do list in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook says bringing the recently launched Apple Pay system to China is his top priority for doing business the country.Apple Pay launched on Monday in the U.S. and allows iPhone 6 users to make ‘tap-and-go’ payments at compatible terminals in retailers. It hasn’t expanded outside the U.S. yet, but international expansion is on the cards. The NFC (near-field communication) technology it uses is already standard in some countries.Cook made his remarks about China in an interview with the country’s Xinhua News Agency on Friday at the conclusion of a four-day trip to the country. During his visit, he met business partners, toured a Foxconn factory that makes Apple products and met with a government official regarding “strengthening” cooperation in the telecommunication sector.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 2:10 pm

Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process. News stories from a handful of publications in recent months have accused some think tanks and advocacy groups of "astroturfing" -- quietly shilling for large broadband carriers. In a handful of cases, those criticisms appear to have some merit, although the term is so overused by people looking to discredit political opponents that it has nearly lost its original meaning. +Also on Network World: 2014 Tech Industry Graveyard +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 2:09 pm

Advocacy groups accused of obscuring corporate ties in net neutrality debate

A spate of recent news stories have revealed that a wide variety of lobby groups have financial ties to broadband carriers and trade associations, accusing them of faking grassroots opposition to strong net neutrality rules.The recent coverage from news organizations has overwhelmingly targeted a lack of funding transparency in groups opposed to strong net neutrality regulations. Some of that coverage disparity may be because groups advocating for strong net neutrality rules tend to be more transparent about their funding than groups opposed, but some pro-net neutrality groups also have limited funding transparency mechanisms.Much of the reporting on so-called astroturfing has come from Vice.com, the news and culture website that has championed “immersionist” journalism. Vice is perhaps most famous for sending former Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea in early 2013.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 2:00 pm

RiteAid blocks Apple Pay, Google Wallet

Days after the launch of Apple Pay, Rite Aid has stopped accepting the payment system at 4,600 stores across the United States.The company, which is one of the biggest drug store chains in the country, said it is currently not accepting Apple Pay or the competing Google Wallet.Posts from customers on Twitter indicated that Apple Pay worked successfully when the system launched on Monday, but it was subsequently disabled by the retailer later in the week.The reason for the decision isn’t clear.Two company spokespeople failed to return numerous calls made on Thursday and Friday, although the company’s customer service department confirmed the ‘tap-and-go’ payment systems were not currently welcome.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 10:25 am

Google's fully driverless car looking less realistic by the day

Certain features of the driverless car have been slowly making their way into the real world in the past few years. Car companies have begun touting their new models' ability to parallel park themselves, or to identify people or objects in the road and auto-brake before hitting them, among other things.Ford is the latest company to embrace autonomous driving technology, announcing recently that its 2015 Mondeo sedans released in Europe will feature pedestrian detection technology, which “will scan the road for pedestrians and issue a warning,” Ford’s manager of driver assist technologies Scott Lindstrom told MIT Technology Review this week.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 10:23 am

Senator wants Whisper to explain how it tracks users, shares their data

Social media app Whisper, a supposedly anonymous way for users to post online confessions, is now facing privacy questions from a U.S. senator after reports that it tracks locations of users and has shared their information with other companies.Whisper, which bills itself as the “safest place on the Internet,” has been tracking the locations of users it finds interesting and offered to share some user information with The Guardian, according to stories in the newspaper this month.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 10:15 am

Neural networks draw on context to improve machine translations

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam are using neural networks to help a statistical machine translation systems learn what all human translators know—that the best translation of a word often depends on the context.Machine translation systems such as Google Translate or those at iTranslate4.eu guess how to translate words and phrases based on how often they appear in a large corpus of human-translated texts. Such tools are increasingly important as individuals and businesses seek to access information or buy products and services from other countries where different languages are spoken.Statistical machine translation work by breaking sentences into phrase fragments and selecting the most likely translation for each fragment—a process that doesn’t always yield the best translation for the sentence as a whole in morphologically rich languages such as those where nouns are inflected for number, case and gender.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 9:30 am

Industry thought leader interview: Michael Frendo, Polycom

Michael Frendo is Polycom’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Engineering and has been in this current role for about six months now. In a company full of geeky engineers, he can be thought of as the head geek. Given that he’s been in the role now for about six months, I thought it would a good time to check in with Michael and get his impressions of the collaboration industry and Polycom’s role in it. Polycom’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Engineering Michael Frendo.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 9:25 am

How much bigger is Amazon’s cloud vs. Microsoft and Google?

Just how much bigger is Amazon Web Service’s cloud computing division compared to Microsoft and Google?It’s hard to make a complete apples-to-apples comparison because none of these companies are extraordinarily transparent when releasing information about the financial health of their operations.But, a new report from New Hampshire-based firm Technology Business Research estimates Amazon’s cloud revenue at more than $4.7 billion this year. TBR pegs Microsoft’s public cloud IaaS revenue at $156 million and Google’s at $66 million. If those estimates are correct than Amazon’s cloud revenue is 30 times bigger than Microsoft’s.30!+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Is there a point where a private cloud is cheaper than a public cloud? +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 9:25 am

IDG Contributor Network: Don't engineer a mess

We've all seen those pictures of data centers that look like a jungle, complete with overgrown multi-colored copper and fiber vines strewn about, like snakes hanging from tree branches.Or even worse, perhaps you've seen network diagrams that look more like the Pentagon's acquisition process than an efficient network design.For my inaugural post on this forum, I wanted to write about something that I hope characterizes all my future posts: the importance of simplicity and elegance in computer network design. I see this as a sort of first principle or axiom of network design. Whether your team racks servers, develops applications, or designs massive scale, globally distributed network architectures, this principle applies.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 9:03 am

Cisco patches 3 year old security hole

Cisco has patched a three-year-old vulnerability in its IronPort security appliances, according to this post from Threatpost. The hole, discovered by the FreeBSD Project in December 2011, is in Telnet in the AsyncOS operating system of those appliances.If the Telnet service is enabled on a vulnerable appliance, a remote attacker can execute arbitrary code, Threatpost states.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 8:56 am

The Linux desktop-a-week review: LXDE

I feel a little bad right now.Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.LXDE is built on GTK+, which means GTK-based apps are right at home. So that’s a plus, I suppose. Though that really isn’t a problem on any desktop environment I’ve tried so far. But… you know… it’s something that I can write down about it.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 8:34 am

Endeavour: The Last Space Shuttle as she's never been seen before.

Endeavour, NASA’s fifth and final space shuttle, is now on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles and, if you’re at all a fan of space stuff, it's one of the most iconic and remarkable flying machines ever built. My old friend, David Knight, a trustee and board member of the foundation recently sent me a link to an amazing video of the shuttle as well as some excellent still shots. David commented that these images were:  “…captured by Chuck Null on the overhead crane while we were doing full-motion VR and HD/2D filming … the Payload Bay has been closed for [a] few years … one door will be opened once she’s mounted upright in simulated launch position in the new Air & Space Center.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 8:28 am

Why – and how – to do a better job of listening to your end user customers

Flickr/Roland Tanglao You wouldn't think that an IT manager can learn many end user best practices from the car industry, but you'd be wrong. Certainly this hasn't been the best of years for carmakers. But attending the latest Teradata Partners annual conference in Nashville earlier this month, there were some interesting lessons worth repeating, some from that beleaguered industry. In many cases, IT managers can learn from these best and worst customer interaction stories.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:56 am

One missed email and Google Inbox will be in trouble

People may feel overwhelmed by the deluge of email arriving in their inboxes, but will they trust Google to show them the most important messages?Analysts are divided on how well Google can sort and prioritize users' emails as the company launches Inbox, an email application built without any reliance on the company's longstanding and popular Gmail service.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Why Google Apps is winning IT hearts and minds "Users are upset about the volume of email messages they're receiving, but a lot of people might be unconvinced that Google can decide for them what's important and what's not," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "Most people would be concerned about important emails dropping through the cracks, or even just interesting emails."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:54 am

IT certifications: Discover where the value lies

Knowing which certification will help elevate your career or land a job is not only difficult, it's different among different facets of IT.Also, the best-known certifications aren't necessarily the ones that will help you succeed. In fact, analysts warn that some certification vendors can throw enough money into promotion of their certifications to move the engagement needle, making the choice of which certification to choose even more difficult."The good ones are almost always performance-oriented and have a laboratory component involved that proves candidates can use their knowledge in the real world, "says Subhash Tantry, president of certification, testing and assessment platform provider Mettl.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:52 am

Disaster as CryptoWall encrypts US firm's entire server installation

"Here is a tale of ransomware that will make your blood run cold," announced Stu Sjouwerman of security training firm KnowBe4 in a company newsletter this week and he wasn't exaggerating.One of his firm's customers contacted him on 14 October for advice on how to buy Bitcoins after all seven of its servers containing 75GB of data had been encrypted by a recent variant of the hated CryptoWall ransom Trojan.An admin had clicked on a phishing link which was bad enough. Unfortunately, the infected workstation had mapped drives and permissions to all seven servers and so CryptoWall had quickly jumped on to them to hand the anonymous professional a work day to forget.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:49 am

5 tips for transforming enterprise IT towers into cloud services

As companies adopt more cloud IT services and work with an increasing number of service providers, the tried-and-true IT towers of the past no longer serve their needs. "The old model lacks the clarity of ownership required to drive decisions on as-a-service offerings that span the traditional tower structure," says Steve Keegan, principal with outsourcing consultancy Pace Harmon. "Determining who makes the call isn't straightforward -- the server team, the app team or the database team?" IT groups need to reorganize around processes rather than technology areas, such as infrastructure or applications. In process-driven IT organizations, "people are focused on activities that are of long-term benefit to the organization with clear accountabilities and increased efficiencies in how work gets done," Keegan says.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:46 am

The 'Backoff' malware linked to data breaches is spreading

The number of computers in North America infected by the Backoff malware, which is blamed for a string of payment card breaches, has risen sharply, according to research from network security company Damballa.The company detected a 57 percent increase between August and September in devices infected with Backoff, which scrapes a computer’s RAM for leftover credit card data after a payment card has been swiped, said Brian Foster, Damballa’s CTO.Damballa based its finding on data it collects from its ISP and enterprise customers, who use its traffic analysis products to detect malicious activity.Damballa sees about 55 percent of internet traffic from North America, including DNS requests, though for privacy reasons it doesn’t know the IP addresses of most of those computers, Foster said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:10 am

LG wades into processor development with G3 Screen

LG Electronics is getting into smartphone processor development with an octa-core chip that features in its G3 Screen smartphone, which went on sale Friday in South Korea.The Nuclun mobile application processor uses ARM’s big.Little design for multitasking, with four 1.5GHz cores for high performance and four 1.2GHz cores for less intensive jobs, the South Korean company said.It supports LTE-Advanced Cat. 6 networks, which allow for download speeds up to 225Mbps, which are three times faster than regular 4G LTE connections.LG wants to optimize its application processor for its products in order to offer exclusive advantages in the crowded smartphone market, said Claire Jang, a spokeswoman for LG in Seoul.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 24 October 2014 | 6:05 am