Quoted – China’s iron grip even extends to the Internet – Pioneer Press

This is why I love China.
Image by Shazari via Flickr

China is infamous for clamping down on dissent, not only physically — as it did in Tiananmen Square two decades ago — but also electronically.

“The Chinese have some of the strongest censorship in the world,” on the Internet as well as with print and television, said Scott Testa, a professor of business at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

In the Information Age, stemming the flow of information isn’t easy.

President Barack Obama, visiting China this week, has called for Internet freedom in China as a human rights issue. Obama told Shanghai students Monday that information should be free.

According to the Washington Post, Obama was asked in a town-hall style meeting what he thought about the Chinese government blocking several Internet international sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and critical news sites. “I’ve always been a strong supporter of open Internet use,” Obama said.

In response, Chinese officials Tuesday defended their policies as protective to national interests.

China’s online content-control strategy is a massive monitoring operation to spot forbidden content inside the country’s borders as well such information coming from outside sources.

While it’s often called the “Great Firewall of China” — as if to suggest a massive electronic barrier that repels online speech — the reality is a bit more nuanced, experts say.

http://www.twincities.com/ci_13811823

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Quoted – Fort Hood soldiers turn to social media – Fierce Government IT

Map of Texas highlighting Coryell County
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In the wake of the mass shooting that left 13 people dead and 30 wounded last week, soldiers and their families at Fort Hood turned to social networking to deal with the carnage that occurred in their backyard.

Social media gave people an opportunity to talk about what happened, and it allowed the military a chance to let people know that the base’s media relations office was answering questions as quickly as possible.

It comes at an ironic time because DoD has not decided whether to buy into the idea that social networking is a good way to communicate. Although the Pentagon has given the green light to some social media sites, it is still examining the potential threats and benefits associated with social networking for the military.

Scott Testa, a Cabrini College business professor with expertise in social media, told Federal Computer Week that it was natural to turn to social networking to communicate after the shotting attack. “You have a lot of people in the military that were raised on texting and now social media,” Testa said. “They’re not watching the network news; they’re getting all their news electronically.”

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Quoted – Military uses social media to share info on Fort Hood shootings – Federal Computer Week

Social Media Landscape
Image by fredcavazza via Flickr

Facebook and Twitter quickly became a way to communicate during and after the attack

The Army’s public affairs staff at Fort Hood used Facebook today to publish a note saying the media relations office is inundated with requests and is answering queries as quickly as possible.

The post, which appeared on the Army’s official Facebook page, is just one way social media is being used in the wake of the mass shooting that left 13 people dead and at least 30 others wounded, according to the Army.

It is not surprising that so many people turned to social media first to communicate about the shootings, said Scott Testa, a Cabrini College business professor with expertise in social media.

“You have a lot of people in the military that were raised on texting and now social media,” Testa said. “They’re not watching the network news; they’re getting all their news electronically.”

Testa said he saw social media help clarify conflicting reports in the hours after the shootings. Individuals on the base were able to confirm or deny reports of lockdowns and other incidents via Twitter, he said.

While social media can help clear up conflicting reports, it also has the power to perpetuate false information, he said.

“That’s why the government has to put out info via these channels,” he said. “You can’t let it fester if the information is wrong; you have to respond to that.”

review of the benefits and risks of using social media within the Defense

http://fcw.com/articles/2009/11/06/fort-hood-social-media.aspx

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Quoted – Twitter’s $100M Funding Coup Prompts ‘Bubble’ Buzz -ECommerce Times

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Quoted – Twitter‘s $100M Funding Coup Prompts ‘Bubble’ Buzz -ECommerce Times

Can a company that doesn’t have a revenue stream possibly be worth $10 billion? That’s the question that a group of investors are answering with an unequivocal “yes” in the form of $100 million in cold cash. There is skepticism over the wheeling and dealing, though, and more than a few flashes of dot-com deja vu.

After much speculation, Twitter CEO Evan Williams confirmed on the microblogging site’s own blog that it has closed a “significant” round of funding. Williams didn’t cite the dollar amount, but it has been widely reported that six investors are prepared to pump close to US$100 million into the company, giving it a $1 billion valuation.

An evaluation of $1 billion for Twitter might be too low, suggested Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College, considering the site’s popularity and traffic, which comScore places at close to 60 million visitors a month.

“The pricing is justified, based on the latest round of financing closed by Facebook and other networking properties,” Testa argued.

Furthermore, this generation of tech investment is different from 10 years ago, because the funding comes from institutional sources.

“You don’t see the funny money being thrown around like we did in the 1990s,” noted Testa.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Twitters-100M-Funding-Coup-Prompts-Bubble-Buzz-68224.html?wlc=1253927291

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Quoted – Ecommerce Times – Wikipedia to Tinge Suspect Entries With Orange Cast

Wikimedia Foundation logo
Image via Wikipedia

Wikipedia wants to give users more confidence in the reliability of its information, so it has come up with a color-coding scheme that will assign an orange background to less-trustworthy information — the darker, the more suspect — and a white background to content that ranks high for accuracy. However, Wikipedia hasn’t said much about how it will arrive at its rankings.

College students rely on Wikipedia too much, said Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College, the problem is not limited to that site. Rather, many younger people have developed the habit of automatically turning to the Internet to find authoritative resources.

Wikipedia is not riddled with errors, in Testa’s view: “Nine times out of 10, I would say, an entry is accurate.”

The problem is that 1 percent of errors.

“That has soured it as a source, especially for people in academia,” noted Testa.

WikiTrust will help — as will the larger push to greater transparency and credibility on the Web.

“Web 2.0 information sources, in general, are moving in this direction,” Testa observed. “It is a sign that the technology is maturing.”

sers more confidence in the reliability of its information, so it has come up with a color-coding scheme that will assign an orange background to less-trustworthy information — the darker, the more suspect — and a white background to content that ranks high for accuracy. However, Wikipedia hasn’t said much about how it will arrive at its rankings.

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Wikipedia-to-Tinge-Suspect-Entries-With-Orange-Cast-68004.html?wlc=1252062543

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