YouTube enrolls 'super flaggers' to watch for offending videos

YouTube has a team of staffers to review videos 24 hours a day seven days a week, but inappropriate content still slips onto the site. So, it appears Google is relying on an army of "super flaggers" to help pinpoint videos that violate its community guidelines.

Around 200 people and organizations have been given this flagging super power, according to The Wall Street Journal. Among this elite group is the British police unit, according to the Financial Times.

These special people and groups have the ability to flag up to 20 videos at once to be reviewed by … Read more

Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar get tentative green light in Calif.

After swinging a series of punches, it's looking like the state of California may be calling a truce with ride-sharing app companies.

The California Public Utilities Commission published a proposal on Tuesday that said it would allow companies like Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft to operate in the state if they adhered to certain guidelines. These guidelines require drivers to be licensed by the CPUC, go through criminal background checks, attend driver-training programs, carry $1 million per-incident insurance coverage, and have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.

"The Commission is aware that TNCs [Transportation Network Company] are a … Read more

Twitter says no to auto follows, yes to curation

Twitter has updated its developer guidelines, killing off auto-follow features and loosening the reins on curation services.

That means developers of third-party applications won't be able to let users automatically follow someone who follows them or suggested follows. But Twitter is reducing its restrictions for services that gather and display tweets, like Storify. So curation is OK, as long as it's done manually.

[Via The Next Web]

California AG issues first-in-U.S. mobile app privacy guidelines

California's attorney general issued long-promised guidelines on mobile privacy today. The "Privacy on the Go (PDF)" report address the varied interests in smartphone and mobile app development, including app developers, carriers, ad networks, and operating system makers.

"We are now offering this set of privacy practice recommendations to assist app developers, and others, in considering privacy early in the development process," Attorney General Kamala Harris wrote in an introduction to the guidelines.

Sarah Downey, online privacy analyst at online privacy firm Abine, agreed that it's important to get the various mobile interests focused on … Read more

Apple cleans App Store of high-profile lookalike apps

Apple has declared war on lookalikes in its App Store.

The company today removed a handful of iOS applications that bore a resemblance to more popular apps, and had climbed the charts as a result.

As spotted by TechCrunch, apps like Tiny Birds, Plants vs. Zombie, Numbers with Friends, and Temple Jump have been removed from the App Store. That's not to be confused with titles like Tiny Wings, Plants vs. Zombies, Words with Friends, and Temple Run, longtime crowd favorites and best-sellers that remain available.

The removals come on the heels of a report posted by The GuardianRead more

Apple's iAds app found to bend App Store rules

Apple is no stranger to posting its own advertising on, even grouping together online and TV ads on specially promoted pages. But a new iOS application Apple released yesterday, which showcases third-party ad campaigns as part of its iAd platform, manages to violate the company's own App Store guidelines.

As pointed out by Business Insider, the free iAd Gallery app breaks the 13th item in Apple's functionality rules, which stipulates that "apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements will be rejected." The app itself is made up entirely of advertisements that users can … Read more

The Internet and the death of ethics

Some people see the Internet as a mirror held up to our culture. If it is, the mirror shows us in an unflattering light.

From newsroom staffers caught off guard on camera in a private moment gone viral on YouTube to dorm room trysts streamed live online, people have no shame about the despicable content they post on the Web. Respect and courtesy are quaint, outdated notions to these Internet citizens.

The people charged with protecting us from such abhorrent behavior not only fail to prevent it, they tacitly or explicitly encourage these breaches in morality because it means more … Read more

Apple's new App Store rulebook (FAQ)

There are just Ten Commandments, but making an iPhone app means complying with the 113 rules Apple handed down Thursday.

Two years after the launch of the App Store, Apple suddenly unveiled a set of policy changes to its iOS developer community that more clearly spells out what the company is looking for in third-party apps but mostly what it is not looking for. Up until now, Apple has largely had developers guessing at what they could and could not implement within their applications.

As part of the change, Apple introduced a new "living document" called the App … Read more

iPhone apps that wouldn't get approved today

The new App Store guidelines introduced by Apple on Thursday present a much clearer idea of what Apple wants developers creating. Up until now, the dos and don'ts of getting apps onto the App Store have largely been guesswork, in part from culling the iOS Developer Program License Agreement, as well as seeing the successes and failures of other developers.

But what makes the new rules so interesting is that quite a few of them call out behaviors or practices by application developers that are quite clearly being used in apps that are still in the store. Will these … Read more

Defense agencies list top 20 security controls

A group of U.S. government security organizations has listed the top 20 security actions that they recommend organizations should take to improve computer security.

Called "Twenty Most Important Controls and Metrics for Effective Cyber Defense and Continuous FISMA Compliance," the list was published Monday by a conglomerate of U.S. government agencies, including the NSA, US-CERT, various U.S. Department of Defense computer security groups, and security training organization Sans Institute.

Alan Paller, director of Sans Institute, told CNET News sister site ZDNet UK in an e-mail Friday that the list, also known as the Consensus Audit … Read more