The 404 1404: Where we channel surf with Robyn Ross (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Check out TV Guide's top 20 shows of 2013.

- Follow Robyn Ross on the Twitter.… Read more

Silence spam callers on your smartphone with Blacklist

Annoying exes and telemarketers never seem to get the message when you're ignoring them. Instead of answering their call and telling them off, use Blacklist. It will hang up on any number you want or send it straight to voice mail. You can even modify it to only accept calls at a certain hour.

This app doesn't block calls in the traditional sense. Instead, when active, it pushes any of the calls on your list straight to voice mail or hangs up on them. You can password protect the app, but to do so you have to use … Read more

Russian court: Get 'extremist' Pussy Riot videos off the Web

A Moscow district court has ruled that videos by jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot are considered "extremist" material and must be blocked by Internet providers in the country, according to news reports.

The unnamed judge today read out the IP addresses of the Web sites hosting the Pussy Riot videos and ordered them to remove the videos, according to the Associated Press. It is not clear whether Google-owned YouTube was on the list.

Government experts labeled the videos a "disguised call to organize mass riots on squares similar to the Occupy Wall Street or the events … Read more

Block calls and texts from selected numbers

Blacklist for iPhone is not available on most iTunes stores, but it can be found on a few download sites. According to the publisher, Blacklist for iPhone allows you to block calls and texts from any number, and suppresses the popup previews for those numbers too. Once you download the app, it installs like any other, but you need a unique ID number and a password to activate it (which costs you $1.99).

The Blacklist for iPhone app has a simple enough interface allowing you to control how the app works. For example, to block a particular number, you … Read more

Russia's parliament approves Internet blacklist law

The Russian parliament has voted to approve a controversial bill that would see "illegal" websites blacklisted from the Web.

The bill proposed that websites that incited suicide or drug use, or offered 'extremist' material -- or any content deemed 'illegal' under Russian law -- could be added to a government-operated blacklist that would see the sites blocked to Russia's 145 million citizens.

Websites found breaching the law would have 24 hours to remove offending material, after which they would face blacklisting.

The bill was amended before today's parliamentary hearing to limit the threat of immediate blacklisting … Read more

Wikipedia blackout in Russia to protest censorship

Wikipedia shut down for 24 hours, just six months ago, joining a massive Web protest in the U.S. over the proposed anti-piracy laws SOPA and PIPA. Now, it's stepping up again in a major Internet revolt against online censorship in Russia.

According to The Next Web, the Russian government is looking to amend a law called the "Act for Information." The proposed changes to the law could lead to sweeping censorship of the Internet, including the complete closure of Wikipedia in Russia.

Wikipedia posted a statement in Russian on its Web site, which The Next Web … Read more

Russia's Internet blacklist looms in freedom crackdown

The United States had SOPA, and Britain has the Digital Economy Act. China is -- well, in a league of its own.

Russia is next on the list of developed nations pushing for widespread Web site blocking and censorship capabilities in the wake of an online uprising prior to the inauguration of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Thousands of protesters took to the streets, set up blogs, and disseminated demands for a fresh ballot over social networks following claims of a rigged votes and electoral corruption in the recent presidential elections.

Under the draft bill, all Web sites that contain pornography … Read more

Witness the maturation of Xbox Kinect

LOS ANGELES--If you thought Microsoft's motion-sensing controllerless technology Kinect was going to take a back seat this year, you were wrong. In the minutes leading up to the press conference's start, I first noticed a trio of Kinect sensors slyly facing the stage. It would be a telling premonition of what was in store for the world's fastest-selling electronic gadget.

But while Kinect has garnered more groans than praise in recent months, Microsoft's press conference demonstrated somewhat of a maturation for the motion-control initiative. Whereas Kinect functionality initially seemed forced upon software that didn't necessarily need it, a few interesting implementations may have skeptics turning into believers.… Read more

Mobicip: A kid-safe Web browser for Android

It's easy enough to childproof a computer, to keep kids away from the Web's unsavory spots. But what about their Android smartphones and tablets? Google's browser offers no parental controls to speak of, no filtering or monitoring or search guards.

Here's an easy fix: Mobicip Safe Browser for Android ($4.99), which offers a familiar Web interface, but with a raft of protections designed to keep kids safe. (It's also available for iOS.)… Read more

Facebook adds WebSense safe browsing to its defenses

Facebook is adding a Websense Web link blacklist service to its arsenal of defenses designed to protect users from clicking on links that lead to sites hosting malware.

The social-networking site will be using Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud service, which warns people when they click on a link on Facebook that could be malicious, the companies announced today. Facebook will start rolling out the service today.

The partnership follows one that Facebook announced in May with the free Web of Trust safe surfing service. Facebook also has its own blacklist. The larger the pool of blacklists the better the chances users … Read more