NBC shut down its hyperlocal news site EveryBlock -- a data-driven platform that let users search for news based on where they live -- because the site wasn't doing well as a business.
EveryBlock, once heralded as an innovative approach to media, said its final good-bye to its users in a blog post on the now dark site:
It's no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there's an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been … Read more
Robocalling telemarketers ignored the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry in record numbers in fiscal year 2012. According to the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for FY 2012 (PDF), the agency received 3,840,502 consumer complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls in the period, up substantially from the 2,273,516 complaints it fielded in fiscal year 2011.
Telemarketing robocalls are reaching epidemic proportions: complaints to the FTC about robocalls increased from just under 150,000 in October 2011 to 216,338 in March 2012 and remain near that level: 201,699 robocall complaints … Read more
France, unlike the U.S., has had relaxed rules on whether Internet service providers can block online content -- until today that is.
The French government has ruled that one of the country's biggest Web providers, Free, must halt all online ad blocking, according to the New York Times.
"An Internet service provider cannot unilaterally implement such blocking," the French minister for the digital economy Fleur Pellerin said at a news conference, according to the Times. "This kind of blocking is inconsistent with a free and open Internet, to which I am very attached."
The … Read more
Google has experienced a precipitous drop in traffic from China, which a Web-monitoring group attributed to the search engine being "blocked" by the government.
Data provided by Google's Transparency Report shows a sharp drop off in traffic -- to roughly half the normal amount -- to Google's Web sites as of early this morning California time.
GreatFire.org, which performs real-time monitoring, suggested that the drop meant the Chinese government is "one step closer to fully separating the Chinanet from the Internet."
It wasn't immediately clear whether the block was intended to be … Read more
Egypt is the latest country to attempt censorship of online pornography. According to Reuters, a public prosecutor pronounced yesterday that all porn Web sites must be blocked.
The government must "take the necessary measures to block any corrupt or corrupting pornographic pictures or scenes inconsistent with the values and traditions of the Egyptian people and the higher interests of the state," prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud said, according to Reuters.
Apparently, Mahmoud's order was following up on a 2009 court ruling that also deemed porn sites be banned. According to Reuters, Egypt's telecommunications minister, Hany Mahmoud, said … Read more
Author note: This feature is available on most of the stock Samsung Android devices running 4.1.1 and higher. Thanks to the those who helped clear this up and sorry for the confusion.
There are lots of apps in the Google Play Store that can help you schedule some quiet time from your phone. However, if you're an owner of a Samsung device that received a Jelly Bean update (or you recently bought a Galaxy Note II), you have this feature built in with Blocking mode.
The benefit of using a stock feature over an app is … Read more
Despite Pinterest's clean image, some smut does work its way onto the site -- and now the company is doing something about it.
The social network announced today that it's rolling out a new feature that lets users report and block questionable activity. People will be able to block other users, flag certain pins, or report an entire user profile for review.
Here's more from a blog post by Pinterest software engineer Dannie Chu:Blocking prevents both of you from being able to follow each other's boards as well as like, repin, and comment on each … Read more
One of parents' biggest Internet worries is "adult content," i.e. pornography. Anti-Porn from tuEagles is an easy-to-use program that helps parents take control of what their kids are exposed to online. Its filters block suspicious sites. If the parents or guardians (or whoever holds the password) approves of the site, they can allow access. Parents and adults can restore unfiltered access quickly without shutting down Anti-Porn by toggling to Parent mode. Anti-Porn takes screenshots and logs online activity when it's running, so parents can see just where their kids are hanging out online. It can even … Read more