Twitter battle in Turkey heats up, spreads to YouTube -- reports

Turkey's battle over Net censorship is heating up, with the government there reportedly blocking a method that let citizens sidestep a Twitter ban, the White House expressing "serious concern" over the ban, and Google reportedly refusing requests from Turkish authorities to take down YouTube videos that cast the prime minister in a critical light.

Bloomberg cited Turkish newspapers in reporting that the Turkish government had blocked on Saturday a Google service that enabled citizens to tweet. Setting a PC or mobile device to use Google's DNS IP address of had let people … Read more

Apple fails to win permanent ban of Samsung products

Apple has lost the latest round in the ongoing patent war with archrival Samsung.

In the long-running feud between the two companies, Apple had filed a renewed request to permanently ban 23 Samsung devices found to have infringed on its patents. But early Thursday, Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request, ruling that the iPhone maker "has not established that it is entitled to the permanent injunction it seeks," according to a court document.

Still, all is not rosy for Samsung. Koh also upheld the $290 million in additional damages awarded to Apple by a jury last November. … Read more

Congressman: If we ban Bitcoin, let's ban dollar bills too

It's in the best interest for the US to put a ban on dollar bills, US Congressman Jared Polis wrote in a letter to federal regulators on Wednesday. This anonymous currency is unregulated, susceptible to instability, illicit activity, and forgery, he said.

Granted, Polis (D-Colo.) was being tongue-in-cheek, but his letter brought up relevant issues in regards to the backlash against Bitcoin, which has seen a major fall from grace over the past few weeks.

Last month, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called for an outright ban of Bitcoin in a letter sent to the Treasury Department and other … Read more

Sen. Manchin demands complete US ban on Bitcoin

A US senator is asking the federal government to take this remarkable step: completely ban Bitcoin.

Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator representing West Virginia, sent a letter Wednesday to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and other regulators characterizing the virtual currency as encouraging "illicit activity" as well as being "highly unstable and disruptive to our economy."

Manchin, who is a member of the Senate banking committee, suggested in the letter -- titled "Manchin Demands Federal Regulators Ban Bitcoin" -- that a complete prohibition was appropriate because Thailand, China, and South Korea have already … Read more

Blogging deemed beneath the hallowed halls of academia

To blog, or not to blog: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer.

In a battle worthy of Shakespeare's famous scene in Hamlet, some members of the academic world have been raging. No, the fight wasn't about revenge for murder, it was about whether scholars should be allowed to blog.

The International Studies Association, a scholarly association with 6,200 members, announced on Monday that editors of its journals should be banned from blogging, according to the Guardian. The group said that the move was necessary for "maintaining and promoting a professional … Read more

Pirate Bay is free to sail through Holland's Internet once again

It appears that Dutch lawmakers are having a hard time keeping up with technology.

An appeals court in the Netherlands ruled on Tuesday that Internet providers no longer have to block IP addresses associated with The Pirate Bay, according to the Associated Press. The court made this decision because the blockade was apparently impossible to enforce as users would find new workarounds to get to the site.

"This blockade imposed a violation of the basic right to freedom of commercial activity of the providers with insufficient justification," the ruling said, according to the Associated Press. "It is … Read more

New spending bill puts the brakes on Bulbageddon

Negotiators in the House and Senate came to terms on a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill Monday night, including provisions that would effectively halt the ongoing phase-out of classic incandescent light bulbs.

Though no existing efficiency standards would actually be overturned, the clause -- one paragraph out of a 1,582-page document -- would prevent the Department of Energy from implementing or enforcing the phase-out, blocking standards set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Negotiations for the appropriations bill involved leadership from both chambers, meaning that passage seems likely.

In their summary of the bill, Republican … Read more

Bulbageddon is upon us

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, incandescents; it tolls for thee.

Along with the start of a new calendar year, the changeover to 2014 will signal the dawn of a new era, one in which rising efficiency standards render 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs obsolete. The new standards will put an end to the Edison creation's century-long run as America's favorite light, and force consumers to turn to newer, more efficient technologies when replacing a burnt-out bulb.

In the big picture, incandescent bulbs seem to be going out with more of a whimper than a bang, … Read more

Delta puts the kibosh on in-flight cell phone calls

As holiday air travel starts to ramp up and the Federal Communications Commission just took the first step in easing restrictions on in-flight calls, Delta airlines wants to be certain no cell phone conversations will be taking place on its planes.

The company's CEO Richard Anderson penned a memo to its 80,000 employees on Wednesday to say no way to up-in-the-air chatting.

"Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights," Anderson wrote. "A clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the … Read more

Congress: Undetectable 3D-printed guns are still illegal

When Defense Distributed designed its 3D-printed handgun, it made sure to include a 6-ounce piece of steel within its entirely plastic firearm. This slice of steel was added to make sure metal detectors could identify the gun -- thereby ensuring it was in compliance with the US Undetectable Firearms Act.

It appears that all-plastic and 3D-printed gun makers will have to continue including metal in their firearms for at least the next 10 years. Congress voted Monday to renew a ban on completely plastic guns that aren't visible to metal detectors and X-ray machines, according to The Associated Press.… Read more