Linkages

Booting Up: That Pesky Business Model Edition

(Photo: Blogger)

Is Snapchat representative of a new wave of apps that tout privacy as the defining feature? Fred Wilson thinks so. [A VC]

Google’s obsessive drive to quickly index and display as much info as possible on search results pages could diminish Wikipedia’s traffic. [Optimize and Prophesize]

Coursera and other startups offering online classes could totally be the future of education…if only they figured out a stable business model. [New York Times]

Marissa Mayer made a Yahoo employee dance to “Gangnam Style” as cruel punishment for not participating in the employee feedback survey. [AllThingsD]

Is Reddit raising a new round at a $400 million valuation? [TechCrunch]

Malware Mischief

Sorry, Forever Alones: Those Bikini Pics in Your Inbox Probably Contain Malware

(Photo: Emsi Soft)

Did you receive an email this holiday season from a kind-hearted woman who just wanted to celebrate Christmas by sending random strangers pictures of herself in skin-bearing bikinis? Free noodz from an anonymous hottie seemed too good to be true! And indeed, it was.

Sophos’ Naked Security reports that malware is currently circulating via screensavers of bikini shots landing in the inboxes of hapless Internet folks. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: More Snapchat Scandals Edition

Two tweens scoffing at your $3 billion offer. (Photo: Digital Trends)

Online privacy pundits might not want to venture over to China any time soon; the country just passed a law requiring citizens to identify themselves when signing up for internet and mobile access. [Bloomberg]

Another Snapchat scandal! Turns out both Snapchat and Facebook’s new Poke app store your videos sent over the services locally, meaning it’s possible to save videos sent to you without the sender ever knowing. [BuzzFeed]

It appears those ads at the top of Wikipedia are paying off: the Wikimedia Foundation has raised $25 million so far in its 2012 fundraiser. [The Next Web]

Someone wants to make a stage show in Las Vegas based on Portal. [The Daily Dot]

John McAfee is at it again. [Wired]

TOS It

Instagram Responds to Terms of Service Outrage: Shhh, Everything Is Going to Be Okay

Instagram's man with the plan. (Photo: Scaleogy)

Instagram’s updated terms of service unleashed a maelstrom of confusion from users who believed that the new terms would allow Instagram to sell their photos without compensation. Celebrities even began quitting over it! Unwilling to lose their influential users, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom took to the company blog today to clarify just what exactly the new TOS says. Read More

TOS It

Will Instagram’s New Advertising Policy Yield an Exodus of Celebs?

Kim K, queen of the selfies. (Photo: Instagram)

Much ink has already been spilled over Instagram’s new updated terms of service, which specifically states that it can use your photos for “advertising and promotions.” Twitter users erupted in outrage over the news, with many techies claiming they would soon be quitting the service. Wired wrote a helpful how-to on how to download your photos and delete your account. Photographer Clayton Cubitt, who is not at all hyperbolic, called it Instagram’s suicide note. Gizmodo called everyone whiny babies and offered a counterpoint: “shut up.” Read More

Patently Absurd

Creepy New Verizon Patent Would Let Set-Top Box Serve Condom Ads When It Hears You Having Sex

Soon, he'll be able to hear YOU. (Photo: Fonesea)

When last we checked in on creepy technologies that wholly encroach on your sense of personal privacy, Microsoft had registered a patent that would allow the Kinect to detect how many people are in a room and stop playback on a movie if it sensed more people than the copyright allowed. But a new patent filed by Verizon takes that concept a step further by allowing a set-top box to observe what’s going on in your house and serve you ads based on what it hears. Read More

XXX in Tech

The Battle Over Revenge Porn: Can Hunter Moore, the Web’s Vilest Entrepreneur, Be Stopped?

WEB_illo_2_ej

The king of revenge porn had just slept with a girl on her 18th birthday at an inconspicuous hotel in Chinatown, and he claimed he had the cell phone snap of her driver’s license to prove it. Though he lives in San Francisco, the notorious Hunter Moore was in New York to serve a community service sentence following an incident in which he’d headbutted a go-go dancer.

“I was so coked out,” Mr. Moore told Betabeat, as we made our way from the lobby of his hotel to a Broome Street bar called Lolita. Tall and thin with ink-colored hair and eyes to match, wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head, Mr. Moore sipped a rum and coke as we slid into a booth toward the back. Black tattoos reached like spiders across his arms.

Read More

Privacy Police

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes ECPA, Which Will Require Warrants For Messages and Emails

Sen. Patrick Leahy (leahy.senate.gov)

On Thursday the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), sponsored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, was unanimously passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The ECPA has actually been around since 1986; the new version has been updated for the 21st Century. Now law enforcement will be required to have a search warrant if they want a peek at emails, private messages and data that’s been uploaded to the cloud.

As The Next Web reports, the ACLU is pretty happy the new version of the act has come this far: Read More