Week in review: Mystery of the vanishing blogs

Blogging platform booted for terrorist links, while Facebook makes a half-billion friends. Also: Stellar earnings from Apple, Microsoft.

A blogging platform that claimed to service more than 70,000 blogs was mysteriously booted from the Internet by its Web-hosting company, and we are getting a clearer picture of how that happened.

Blogetery.com was shut down after FBI agents informed executives of Burst.net--Blogetery's Web host--that links to al-Qaeda materials were found on Blogetery's servers, Joe Marr, chief technology officer for Burst.net, told CNET. Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization, as well as bomb-making tips, were also allegedly found on the server.

Marr said Friday the company would return a copy of Blogetery's blogs but it has removed all of the material linked to al-Qaeda. Alexander Yusupov, Blogetery's owner, said he will post the information at "Amazon EC2 cloud hosting, ASAP." Marr said Burst.net will not host Blogetery again.
•  Web host criticized for closing blog service
•  Why Web host shut down 73,000 blogs a mystery

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<b>Facebook's half-billion milestone is official

There are now 500 million people actively using the social-networking site, and the company is trumpeting it with the shared stories of how it's been used to connect people around the world.
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&#149;&nbsp; Facebook 'unsure' about old Zuckerberg contract
&#149;&nbsp; Survey: Facebook fails at customer satisfaction
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<b>Apple's $15.7 billion in revenue is highest ever

The company's fiscal third-quarter results are buoyed by iPad and iPhone sales, as it earns $3.25 billion in profit.
&#149;&nbsp; Apple ponders iPad cannibalization of PCs
&#149;&nbsp; Analyst: Apple shifts chip balance of power

<b>Microsoft reports $16 billion in revenue

Its fourth-quarter revenue, which beat expectations, is 22 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago--keeping it just ahead of rival Apple.

<b>Amazon revenues jump but miss expectations

Things are pretty good with Bezos and company. So good, in fact, that Wall Street overestimated Amazon's performance for the second quarter of the year.
&#149;&nbsp; Amazon: Kindle titles outpacing hardcovers
&#149;&nbsp; Wasn't the Kindle supposed to be firewood?

<b>New bill renews Internet privacy fight

American businesses that weren't very happy about privacy legislation that Rep. Rick Boucher announced a few months ago may be even less delighted with a 55-page bill introduced by a House subcommittee chairman.

<b>Wikileaks denies receiving classified State Dept. cables

Wikileaks editor Julian Assange tells the TED Global conference that if he had received sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables, he would have not hesitated to publish them.
&#149;&nbsp; Wikileaks' estranged co-founder becomes a critic (Q&A)

<b>In search of the best oil cleanup tech

BP's High Interest Technology Team is considering a wide range of suggested technologies to find and clean up oil in the Gulf, including those of enviro-entrepreneurs.
&#149;&nbsp; BP crowdsources Gulf clean-up technologies
&#149;&nbsp; A technology race to curb peak energy demand
&#149;&nbsp; Massive Calif. wind farm gets $1.2 billion in financing

<b>FTC extends Intel antitrust settlement deadline

Federal Trade Commission says the two-week extension gives it "more time to consider a proposed settlement."

<b>IP czar targets overseas pirate sites

But in Capitol Hill testimony, Victoria Espinel fails to provide enough details for some lawmakers on how she plans to get the job done.

<b>Details of the first-ever control system malware (FAQ)

Here is information about a new Windows worm that is targeting control systems around the world.

<b>Chinese official: Google's search fix is law-abiding

A Chinese official says Google is complying with Chinese law, and what Google chooses to do in Hong Kong is its own affair.
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