Stopping the Cyber Bullies

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website]

The 12 year old daughter of a friend of mine is being pestered by a fellow pupil who sends her text messages and emails saying she is horrible. She has also been harassed over Microsoft Messenger, and the bully even went to the trouble of taunting her on Myspace and Bebo, encouraging other pupils to join in.

Cyber bullying like this is becoming more and more of a problem for children, and schools and parents are finding it hard to cope.  Monitoring what happens in the playground can deter physical aggression and name-calling, and bus monitors can help on the trip to and from school, but different strategies will be required online, as we’re never going to find enough teachers to monitor every online interaction even if we wanted to.

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Excitable Apple zealots fight back

My article on Apple’s attempt to lock users into their music ecosystem has attracted the sort of comment you might expect from the Apple fans out there, most notably someone who glories in the name of Daniel Eran Dilger, apparently a ‘tech consultant and writer in San Francisco, California. I ride a motorcycle and I like to work on art projects’.  Sounds peachy.

He  blogs at ‘roughlydrafted’, and   his rant and the comments are here, but I’ve reproduced the whole thing here with my notes – he doesn’t need the hits, I’m sure.

 Will Apple Fall from the Tree?

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Time for Apple to face the music?

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website.  It’s already had me accused of being ‘a sort of hairier, but at least as dense, UK version of John Dvorak’ on MacDailyNews… I suppose I should feel proud 🙂 ]

Microsoft was humiliated by the European Union’s Court of First Instance on Monday when it rejected almost all elements of the software giant’s appeal against the 2004 rulings made by the competition commissioner.

The court found that Microsoft had abused its monopoly power in pushing an embedded Windows Media Player out with Windows XP and Vista, and that the lack of detailed technical information about the programming interfaces and data formats for Windows Server products was an illegal barrier to competition.

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My bookmarks for September 9th through September 16th

Here’s what I tagged on between September 9th and September 16th:

What happens when our friends start dying?

[As ever, this is also on the BBC News website]

When BBC reporter Michael Buerk brought us film of the starving children of Ethiopia in 1984 it motivated the country to action.  In 1985 Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s Live Aid raised millions of pounds, and the attendant publicity put humanitarian aid onto the agenda of the senior politicians of the day, forcing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and  her Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe to take seriously an issue which they had not, hitherto, seen as a high priority.

Twenty years later Geldof was at it again, though the cultural and political impact of Live 8 was diminished for many by the sight of too many millionaire rock stars seeking to revive their careers on the back of the world’s poor.

But something else had changed.  In 2005 we didn’t need the Six O’Clock News to bring us pictures from Darfur or Bangladesh, and we didn’t need the journalistic talents of Buerk and others to tell the stories in a way that made it impossible to respond.

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Just say ‘no’ to Quechup

I get a lot of invitations to join new sites and services from friends and acquaintances, and often I’ll check them out as it’s useful to see what’s bubbling under. So this morning I wasn’t surprised to see a note asking me to join ‘Quechup’, a new social network site.

However I was disturbed to notice that the invitation had actually been sent to a mailing list I subscribe to (hi, Gord0) rather than to me individually. That set some bells ringing, so when I noticed a mention on Boing Boing I read it carefully –

If you receive an invitation from a social networking site called Quechup, run screaming. Shava Nerad is among many who pointed us to their horrible spamming practices, and says, “The blogs are calling it ‘the Q problem’ and a ‘trust virus.’ Bad juju, in general, not to mention they are one of those sites that sends you your selected username and password in the clear.” By the time you read this, there will probably be some news articles out about how evil they are. Until then, watch out.

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