Google: Cyber Attacks on Dissidents Spread to Vietnam

Google’s already made big waves in the international arena this year by deciding to pull out of China after too many censorship demands and a cyber attack targeting human rights activitists’ email accounts. And now another Asian country might get the same kind of press: Vietnam.

Says Google:

These infected machines have been used both to spy on their owners as well as participate in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against blogs containing messages of political dissent. Specifically, these attacks have tried to squelch opposition to bauxite mining efforts in Vietnam, an important and emotionally charged issue in the country.

The AP reports that McAfee said the perpetrators may be linked to Vietnam’s Communist government. Similar accusations came about the Chinese government in their cyber attack. The Chinese government denied any involvement.

Greenpeace Questions iPad’s Role in Global Warming

Fresh off the “success’ of shouting down Nestle over their sourcing of the some of the palm oil used in products, Greenpeace is now going after some other less edible targets. Maybe they got confused by the Apple logo but Greenpeace has drawn a dotted line between the soon to be released iPad (Coincidence? We think not.) and global warming. Apple is not alone in this claim as Google, Facebook and others’ feet are being held to the fire because of the environmental impact of cloud computing.

eWeek tells us more

A March 30 report from Greenpeace associates the Apple iPad with global warming, as the activist organization seeks to raise new questions about the environmental effects of cloud computing.

Yahoo Hacked in China (Still Waiting for Other Shoe)

In January, Google reported a coordinated hack attack targeting Chinese human rights activists’ Gmail accounts. In response, Google (eventually) pulled their search engine from China.

And now the hackers are at it again. The Yahoo “e-mail accounts of more than a dozen rights activists, academics and journalists who cover China have been compromised by unknown intruders” last month, according to the New York Times. NYT reporter Andrew Jacobs, one of the targeted journalists, said the “hackers altered e-mail settings so that all correspondence was surreptitiously forwarded to another e-mail address.”

Several of the affected users received messages from Yahoo after problems accessing their accounts, according to the AP.

Yahoo hasn’t yet decided to respond, as Agence France Presse reports. Yesterday, the side stepped the news agency’s questions on the matter, only stating

Buying Your Competitor’s Keywords an Invasion of Privacy?

A new argument to prevent your competition from buying sponsored search listings, containing your brand, is playing out right now in a Wisconsin court room.

And it sounds like the kind of court case you’d actually enjoy watching unfold!

Habush, Habush & Rottier claims that competing law firm Cannon & Dunphy violated state privacy laws by buying search ads using the keywords "Habush" and "Rottier." As attorneys they likely knew that they wouldn’t win a trademark infringement claim, so they’re taking this novel approach.

Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the defendants pulled a Perry Mason…

J. Ric Gass, attorney for Cannon & Dunphy, accused the plaintiff firm of doing what Habush had said he’d never do – pay to get a Habush, Habush & Rottier ad to appear in Internet search results for other lawyers’ names.

Apple to Build a Search Engine? This Just In: Apple Has a Search Engine!

Some analyst predicts that Apple will build its own search engine and the soundbite feeds the blogging community for a week!

We’re also going to jump in–hey we have bills to pay too–but our take is a little different. First the prediction:

We believe Apple could utilize data unavailable to Google, data generated by the company’s App Store, to create a mobile centric search engine, which would be a unique offering to Google’s search engine…We believe the odds of Apple developing a search engine in the next five years are 70%…

<rolls up sleeves>

OK, first of all. Just because someone says “search engine” you shouldn’t immediately think of a web search engine such as Google.

Twitter Twies Tweaking Homepage

Alright, so the title was lame. It’s been a long time since I even considered overusing the “Tw” that has made Twitter talk funny and incredibly annoying at the same time. Twitter must be really big because this bit of news is about their homepage redesign and not about numbers of Twitter accounts etc.

The Twitter blog tells us about this curious new approach by the world leader in character efficiency (how quickly that could slide into deficiency). Gee, you would think that Twitter is trying to make their site experience better so the third party app crowd might consider visiting the mothership. Wouldn’t that help those revenue generation efforts if more users were on the Twitter site to see those pretty ads etc?

Anyway, here’s the scoop

What Ad Format Is Best on Social Media?

A study conducted in May 2009 by research firm Psychster asked consumers how they interacted with ads on social sites (PDF). With almost 700 Facebook users and almost 500 users of the cooking/recipe/social website AllRecipes (who sponsored the study), Psychster showed participants a video of an ad type and an interaction. The participants then had to rate how likely they were to interact with the ad as the video did—and how they viewed the brand sponsoring the ads (either a soup brand or a car brand) in the video.

Perhaps most interesting from the above in that corporate profiles with fans and a logo performed slightly better than those without (though unless there’s a lot of rounding going on in the above chart, they could just as easily be placed in slots 3 and 5). These findings held true for both brands and both websites.