internet

I had lunch yesterday in a fairly ordinary restaurant in midtown Detroit. Whenever there is a big news event, I’m curious as to what normal people are saying about it.

Yesterday, for example, I thought people might be talking about Detroit’s bankruptcy trial. After all, a couple of miles from where I was eating, one of the city’s creditors was telling the judge he wanted the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collections sold so he could get his money.

But nobody was talking about that. Instead, the few snatches of conversation I heard were all about the hacking – stealing, really – of pictures of naked celebrities, which were then uploaded where we could all see them, if we cared to. One of them was Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander, who may be the best-paid worker in the city.

user jdurham / morgueFile

The Chinese military has been recently accused as the source of many cyberattacks on American corporations and government agencies. 

A week ago, the White House firmly stated that the Chinese government adhere to "acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace" and halt the widespread theft of data from American computer networks.

South Carolina and Utah are two known states that have been hacked. How were they attacked?

Within Michigan, businesses and the state have participated in a joint effort to protect and prepare for cyberattacks, a model other states are looking to as an example.

But that doesn't mean Michigan's cyber security isn't running into problems. We are weathering some 187,000 cyberattacks every day. 

What are the consequences  if Michigan's response plan fails?

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with writer Chris Gautz from Lansing.

Listen to the whole story by clicking the link above. 

wikipedia.org

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Almost everyone who goes online and searches for some bit of information knows about Wikipedia.

For a lot of us it is a great way to answer trivia questions, or settle those friendly arguments among friends over any topic.

But this free encyclopedia that anyone can edit has not been widely accepted in the world of academia. Largely because it is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

In recent years, Wikipedia has gained a new respectability in the world of academia and cultural institutions.

Why is this, and what might it mean in bringing the treasures of those cultural institutions to a wider audience?

We sat down with Professor Cliff Lampe from the School of Information at the University of Michigan and Michael Barerra, who became one of the first "Wikipedians" in residence at the Gerald R. Ford Library.

They told us what this means for the way we gather information in the digital age.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A federal court website in Detroit may be the latest victim of a hacking campaign by online activists.

The group, Anonymous,  has claimed responsibility for several attacks on government websites. The group is opposed to online censorship and other government intrusions.

Rod Hansen is the spokesman for the eastern district court. He says technicians are checking the Eastern District of Michigan's U-S Probation Office website, after media reports that hackers installed a destructive ‘video game’ on the website.

A new University of Michigan survey finds most parents want stronger online protections for children under 13.

The poll shows two-thirds of parents say a federal law that protects children's privacy online should be expanded to include handheld devices.

“The hope is that this update of the federal rules can be combined with continuing or maybe even enhanced parent vigilance around what their kids are seeing and where their kids are going on the internet,” says Matt Davis, the director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new piece of equipment may soon help Michigan State Police catch online child predators.

Detective Sergeant Jay Poupard has spent years tracking online child predators for the Michigan State Police.

He says the way predators try to contact children online has been changing, from direct contact to harder to trace indirect methods, like file sharing.

“It hasn’t decreased. It’s just moved into another part of the virtual world,” says Poupard.

Social scientists believe anonymity may be the cause of what they call the "online disinhibition effect."
X2N / flickr

People are mean on the internet.

This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with chat rooms or the comments sections of blogs. But why do people say things online that they would never say out loud?

A recent article in the Detroit Free Press asked a few experts what they thought.

user cohdra / MorgueFile.com

If you get an email from President Obama, saying he wants to pay your electric bill, it's best to delete it.

A countrywide email and text message scam in which the sender offers to pay the recipient's utility bills through a new federal program in exchange for sensitive identity information has hit metro Detroit.

And some are taking the bait, reports The Detroit News' Charles E. Ramirez:

Gov. Snyder signed legislation aimed at improving Internet access in Michigan's rural areas.

According to Snyder's office, the new law will allow easier access for telecommunications companies to install Internet infrastructure.

More from Gov. Snyder's office:

Senate Bill 499, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, will allow easier access for telecommunications companies to install facilities along state-controlled rail-trails – former railway lines converted to walking and bicycling paths. Companies will pay not more than $500 in application fees to the Department of Natural Resources, plus a one-time fee of 5 cents per linear foot used. Revenues will go into the Michigan Trailways Fund or the Natural Resources Trust Fund.

“Keeping costs low will encourage more companies to expand wireless Internet access to Michigan’s rural areas, essential to continuing our economic reinvention,” Snyder said.

The bill now is Public Act 138 of 2012.

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Governor Rick Snyder gave an address on infrastructure today at Southfield's Lawrence Technological University. His plan focuses on improving Internet access, roads, and sewer systems.

Here to take a look at what was mentioned and what was left out are Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.

 

 

user: Widjaya Ivan / flickr

This week we are talking about the politics of language. In the third part of our series we examine how internet technology is being used to disseminate those political catch phrases and messages we all hear and quickly repeat.

Cliff Lampe is assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He says politicians are using social media to their advantage.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are renewing a push to require more businesses selling items over the Internet to collect the state's 6 percent sales tax.

Legislation dealing with the issue was detailed Tuesday at the state Capitol.

The Michigan Retailers Association says some out-of-state, online-only retailers use legal loopholes that allow them to avoid collecting state sales tax at the point of sale. The retailers association says that gives the online retailers an unfair price advantage and hurts Michigan businesses that have storefronts and collect the sales tax.

Bills to be introduced by Republican Rep. Eileen Kowall of Oakland County's White Lake Township and Democratic Rep. Jim Ananich of Flint would move online-only retailers under the same sales tax collection laws under which brick-and-mortar businesses operate.

Online sales are reportedly up about 12 percent this holiday shopping season. That could be bad news for Michigan tax collectors.  Michigan residents are supposed to pay sales tax on items bought online, but few do. 


 Caleb Booth is a spokesman for the state Treasury Department.  He says the state lost out on $328 million dollars in uncollected sales taxes on online purchases in 2009. 

Is Twitter overated?

Dec 10, 2010
Twitter bird logo icon illustration
Matt Hamm - flickr user

Hash tags, retweets, favs, overheard, nudges... to the uninitiated it's like learning Sanskrit.

To the initiated, it's a modern day language.

But a new study finds that Twitter is not used as often as commonly thought.

The Pew Research Center focused a survey exclusively on Twitter. Previously Pew asked respondents whether they used "the Internet to use Twitter or another service to share updates about yourself or to see updates about others?"