Pakistan: Diary of a concerned citizen
August 6, 2010
August 14th, 2010 – Independence Day
August 15, 2010

I like blogging. Not because I am tech savvy. Far from it, I don’t know beans about technology. I am the most tech challenged person around. I don’t even know how to tweet for God’s sakes, my fake made in China iPhone has more gadgets than my watch and my watch is some kind of complicated digital space-age device of modern technology! By Fareeha Qayoom

By Fareeha Qayoom


like blogging. Not because I am tech savvy. Far from it, I don’t know beans about technology. I am the most tech challenged person around. I don’t even know how to tweet for God’s sakes, my fake made in China iPhone has more gadgets than my watch and my watch is some kind of complicated digital space-age device of modern technology!

light bulbs

Power of Ideas

My computer might be my favorite toy after books but it doesn’t mean I know what goes on inside it to make it tick. Luckily for me, I come equipped with my very own resident techie in the shape of my younger bro. He keeps the system ticking over. He has even programmed my blog ( to tweet automatically!

I might be the most connected person around, I am on twitter, I have a Skype account, I have a hotmail account; I even have a Gmail account. I have a page on Facebook. I also have a cell phone and two personal and one official email accounts. However, it’s also a fact that my friends have frequent issues when they are trying to contact me urgently. I am usually in my hermit mode, doing my own thing, not answering my phone, email, or text, so sometimes, in desperation they might even leave a message on Facebook with one recurring theme – “Fareeha, where are you? We were supposed to meet on such and such day!” or “Fareeha, you are not picking up your phone or replying to my text messages – call me!”

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a tad anti-social. My hobbies take precedence over my social life. In fact, family, friends and work colleagues frequently drive me nuts with their demanding attitude and their frequent interruptions when I am reading, writing, listening to music, watching taped American shows or movies on my own, surfing the net for more information on the topic that interests me at the time or just plain working. They are all so high maintenance! They all want a piece of me. At work, there are like ten meetings a day that were never scheduled in my planner which go nowhere. People feel free to keep asking me, “What are you doing?” Obviously I am working. What else are you supposed to do at work? All of them are intent on playing power games which is so exhausting. No wonder I prefer my own company to any other. Besides, most people are frequently in a petty frame of mind when they talk. They would rather spend their time complaining about their life, their friends, their spouses, their homes, their finances, their children or their parents or their servants or their cook or their country or me! Not necessarily in that order.  I’d rather do without their complaints thank you very much! (Not that, I don’t complain. I do too! However, I reserve my complaints for my blog posts! You don’t have to listen to me if you don’t want to – there’s always a stop button -unlike real life- without you having to resort to bad manners or being rude.).

My mom thinks I might become a zombie because I have taken to staying up late to do my own thing without interruptions! The other day, I found out my disorder has a scientific name for it; it’s called obsessive, compulsive disorder or in other words, addicted behavior. 🙂

Anyway, the reason I like blogging is because I have another handicap. As one ex-boss put it, I am “brutally honest,” I have no tact and I frequently offend authority figures with my politically incorrect ‘insubordination’ and lack of diplomacy. Another handicap which hampers me in my human dealings is that I have an insatiable curiosity about everything which means I am a well read person. Unfortunately, I find most people patronizing and they in turn probably find me insufferable because I seem to be a miss-know-it-all and flippant with it to boot.

If I don’t know something, I make a point of finding out. On top of it, I like to debate issues to death to seek clarity. I am also opinionated and don’t think debating should be an ego-zapping or ego-building exercise – it should be about truth. Most authority figures think you are challenging their authority or undermining them even if it’s a friendly debate about nothing.

Unfortunately, people don’t like to concede their positions even if they are wrong. I don’t have a problem being in the wrong as long as they can convince me their argument is valid. If I can keep coming up with a counter argument that refutes their logic, it only means the debate is not concluded yet. Unfortunately, most folk get emotional instead of remaining logical and objective till the end. The debate is no longer about examining both sides of the question or about seeking clarity or arriving at the truth. It becomes a debate about saving their face and talking about my rudeness in persisting with yet more counter-arguments or being stubborn and still sticking to my position even though they have offered countless emotional arguments with no facts to support their position! It drives me nuts. Debating is a process of elimination. You examine all possibilities, you eliminate the ones that don’t make sense and keep the ones that do. It’s as simple as that as far as I am concerned. It’s much more productive posting my thoughts on issues that interest me. It saves my sanity and my relationships. (No, besides not conducting in-person debates, debating on Facebook is also dangerous. It might turn your friends into enemies pretty quickly too! Don’t do it).

Blogging also allows me to seek clarity without getting bogged down in emotions. I like examining both sides of any question before reaching any conclusions. I also like to keep an open mind. I dislike people telling me what to think and how to think without offering me any facts. I like making up my own mind independently. I might reach a certain conclusion but that doesn’t mean its set in stone forever. I will tolerate a counter argument if its sound. I might even change my mind or stance if the counter-argument makes sense. I will also agree to disagree if the debate turns into a draw. After all the objective of any debate should be about sifting facts from fiction, natural biases, feelings and emotions and coming up with a balanced conclusion that’s based on universal facts and truth. It shouldn’t be about “my way or the highway” or eliminating all opposition.

Another thing I like about blogging is the fact that it’s truly free expression. If you write for some paper or magazine, you are frequently told what to write, how to write, when to write, where to write and even why you need to write if you have a problem with any of the above! You have to stick to their official position or bias; you might even get censored, cut short or edited out. Sometimes, they might even put words in your mouth by inserting words under your byline that you never wrote down originally! Blogging eliminates all these possibilities. Besides, it also allows you freedom to write on any topic. You don’t have to stick to a particular niche if you don’t want to. And yes, you can use slang. I also like writing in first person. “They” or third person sounds pretty vague to me, its either I or you – its purely interactive dialog between the blogger and the reader which makes it an authentic opinion backed by the byline. You as a reader know who is behind the thought or the idea under discussion. It means 100 percent ownership.

Some people consider blogging a frivolous activity. They can’t understand the popularity of social networks like Facebook for example. What is Facebook except a collection of closed social/personal blogs of members on cyberspace? It might be popular the world over and it might be very accessible and user friendly (it is very easy to create your own page on Facebook without having to be tech savvy) and connect with your friends and colleagues. Some might not see it as a productive activity, however, it’s a fact that it allows you instant access to your friends, family and workmates, even long last folk that you lost touch with because of distance or change of circumstances and instant information on what’s hot and happening in your town, your city, your country and your world. You might not post on it every day but the constant newsfeeds keep you supplied with all the news you want, when you want it. You can feel connected with your network no matter where you are.

In Pakistan, Facebook was banned a few months ago because someone created a page with the intent to malign the prophet and loads of like minded individuals registered/became members of the page. Some considered this (ban on Facebook) a breach of freedom of expression. Others considered this a breach of human rights (freedom to practice your religion without fear of bigotry or discrimination). There were more people for taking it off the Facebook than for keeping it on for example in Pakistan, plus the judiciary of Pakistan when appealed to by some individual, only enforced this opinion and temporarily banned it till the management of Facebook could come up with a solution to appease both sets of people. I heard on the news a couple of weeks ago that some individual has again appealed to the judiciary to permanently ban it in Pakistan.

Some serious journalists dismiss blogging as an amateur scribbling, not to be compared with serious business of reporting news or indeed journalism. However, it also remains a fact that many blogs frequently break unique stories that mainstream newspapers might not. Original raw footage, photos and eye witness accounts of certain events, even offer unique perspective on issues that the newspapers might not offer because of their inbuilt biases. So blogs can’t be dismissed on such grounds.

Blogs can’t replace the importance of online or indeed print newspapers. However, if you want to gauge public opinion on any given hot topic, where would you look? The editorial pages of the newspapers, or the television talk shows that invite a cross section of society, for example Oprah, or talk to your friends, neighbors, peers, work colleagues or relatives; blogs serve the same purpose on the net.

They are the individual collection of editorial pages on cyberspace. A blog run by a single writer could be translated by analogy as a particular column penned by a particular writer in the print or online newspapers’ editorial pages. It’s only on columns and blogs that you find news analysis, interpretation of current events, and cross section of public opinion for and against a particular topic. However, newspaper policy allows only certain voices to air their views so a natural bias creeps in. The beauty of online blogging is that anyone can air their views without a fear of censorship, bias or indeed of being cut short or edited. It’s also instant, accessible and interactive. Even if no one posts a comment, counter argument or thumbs up or down, you can still find out which post is getting the most traffic for example. So no visible feedback also gives you instant feedback on your posts!

What’s not to like about blogging? ■

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


  1. more reading?

    Lies, lies and yet more lies

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  2. The opinion onslaught
    by Guest on 08 4th, 2010 | Comments (18)

    Like many of my kind, I am unfortunately part of that limited and often thoughtless breed of English-speaking Pakistanis, who pride themselves on their outspokenness and instinctive abilities, but who are limited by the inability to step beyond the confines of their own opinions, carefully formed within their own worlds.

    For the last few years the weaknesses of the electronic media have continued to be debated widely. But the English press on the other hand, has never been criticised for anything other than its ‘English-ness’ i.e., it targets only a fraction of the total literate population of the country and caters mostly to a niche urban audience.

    That’s not so much of a problem. English has and will always be a part of South Asian intellect. It serves a purpose by creating a diversity in readership, reaching an international audience and frankly, its no crime to speak, read and write in English, in the press or otherwise.

    The concerns lie more with who is writing what in the English press.

    With the advent of the electronic media boom almost a decade ago, anyone with even a hint of past media exposure became either a broadcast journalist or a media expert overnight. But this is common knowledge and we continue to love to hate the Pakistani electronic media. But it seems that the English press is beginning to follow a similar path.

    English newspapers in Pakistan are now divided into two prominent sections. There is ‘news of the day’ and then there is ‘my’ news of the day. It’s all about personal opinion, about who writes the piece rather than what’ written in the piece.

    It’s an accepted fact that everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion, and that such opinion is meant to generate debates, ideas and provide a voice to those who want to speak. But how much of this opinion actually contributes to worthwhile, constructive debate that ultimately leads to some change, somewhere down the line? What’ more, how is it intellectually possible to churn out an opinion (or analysis as many now like to call it) about a different topic, in a different profession, in an altogether different geographical location, every single week, if not everyday, by mostly the same person(s)? Pitching oneself as an expert analyst on political developments, women’ rights, judicial oversights, international affairs and militant terrorism, to fill daily print space, would become a trite confusing for any well-intentioned scribe, one would think. Not to mention pieces on ‘that I think is wrong (or right) about Pakistan.’ Call it old fashioned but would it not make more sense to spend some time doing research, getting the facts right and then forming an opinion? But by then, the opinion probably wouldn’ be newsworthy by then would it?

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  3. Blogging as a Form of Journalism

    Weblogs as Journalism

    Blogging as a Form of Journalism
    Weblogs: A New Source of News

    Weblogs offer a vital, creative outlet for alternative voices
    J.D. Lasica, OJR Senior Editor
    posted: 2001-05-24 • modified: 2002-04-29

    This is the first of a two-part series. Part two, Weblogs: A New Source of News, appeared May 31.

    Back around 1993, in the Web’s neolithic days, starry-eyed Net denizens waxed poetic about a million Web sites blooming and supplanting the mainstream media as a source of news, information and insight.

    Then reality set in and those individual voices became lost in the ether as a million businesses lumbered onto the cyberspace stage, newspapers clumsily grasped at viable online business models, and a handful of giant corporations made the Web safe for snoozing.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the Web’s irrelevance: the blogging phenomenon, a grassroots movement that may sow the seeds for new forms of journalism, public discourse, interactivity and online community.

    While no one is really sure where this is all heading, my hunch is that blogging represents Ground Zero of the personal Webcasting revolution. Weblogging will drive a powerful new form of amateur journalism as millions of Net users — young people especially — take on the role of columnist, reporter, analyst and publisher while fashioning their own personal broadcasting networks. It won’t happen overnight, and we’re now seeing only version 1.0, but just wait a few years when broadband and multimedia arrive in a big way.

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  4. Blogging: the new journalism?
    Posted: 25/03/03 By: Jody Raynsford
    Email this story | 0 Comments and 3 Reactions
    They are opinionated, ranting, often incoherent and frequently biased with little regard for accuracy or balance. They are also compellingly addictive and threatening to emerge as a new brand of journalism.

    Web logging, or blogging, is the new kid on the media block, complete with its own, unique lexicon. The verb is to blog and the participant in blogging is a blogger. If you are part of the blogging community, you are also part of the blogosphere – presumably with its own weather system.

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  5. One-third of bloggers see blogging as a form of journalism

    A national phone survey of bloggers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that most are focused on describing their personal experiences to a relatively small audience of readers and that only a small proportion focus their coverage on politics, media, government, or technology.

    Perhaps more interestingly, one-third of bloggers see blogging as a form of journalism. Many say they check facts and cite original sources.

    – 34% of bloggers consider their blog a form of journalism, and 65% of bloggers do not.
    – 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often.”
    – 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.

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  6. iPhone exec departs Apple after “Antennagate”
    (Reuters) – Mark Papermaster, the Apple executive in charge of iPhone engineering, has left the company weeks after the “Antennagate” controversy over complaints of poor reception on the company’s latest smartphone.

    Apple spokesman Steve Dowling confirmed Papermaster’s exit and said Bob Mansfield is assuming his responsibilities. Dowling declined to provide a reason for the departure of the former IBM senior executive.

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  7. Skype aims to ring up $100m with flotation
    Skype, the software group that allows users to make free international phone calls, plans to raise $100m (£63m) in an initial public offering.
    By Rupert Neate, Technology and Media Correspondent
    Published: 8:57PM BST 09 Aug 2010

    The shares will be listed on New York’s Nasdaq later this year, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    Luxembourg-based Skype did not state how many shares it expected to sell, or at what price.

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  8. RIM to share some BlackBerry codes with Saudis: source

    By Souhail Karam and Asma Alsharif

    RIYADH/JEDDAH | Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:50pm EDT

    RIYADH/JEDDAH Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Research In Motion has agreed to hand over user codes that would let Saudi authorities monitor its BlackBerry Messenger, as it seeks to stop the kingdom from silencing the service, a source close to the talks said on Tuesday.

    The source said RIM would share with Saudi Arabia the unique pin number and code for each BlackBerry registered there. That will allow authorities to read encrypted text sent via Messenger, an instant messaging service that’s distinct from email sent on the BlackBerry.

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  9. Google under probe in S.Korea over data collection

    By Yoo Choonsik and Alexei Oreskovic

    SEOUL/SAN FRANCISCO | Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:14pm EDT

    SEOUL/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – South Korean police raided Google Inc’s Seoul office on Tuesday, the latest in a series of legal challenges the company is facing because of data collected by its controversial fleet of “Street View” cars.

    Google has been preparing since late last year to launch its “Street View” service in South Korea, and the data collection was related to the launch, police said.

    The probe in one of Asia’s most wired countries came as a fresh setback to Google, which already faces investigation over “Street View” by 37 U.S. states as well as an informal investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and a variety of probes overseas and class action lawsuits.

    Google confirmed in an emailed statement that South Korean police visited the company’s office in conjunction with their investigation around data collection by Street View cars. It said the company would cooperate with the investigation.

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  10. Facebook ‘nears saturation point in UK’
    Facebook’s growth in the UK has waned over the last six months, suggesting that the social network is nearing saturation point, according to new statistics.

    By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
    Published: 12:52PM BST 10 Aug 2010

    Despite signing up its 500 millionth member last month, the average amount of time spent on Facebook by a Briton has decreased from 30 minutes in December 2009, to 27.36 minutes during June and July 2010.

    The figures, collated by web-analytics firm Hitwise, show that Facebook is still the second most visited site in the UK, after Google, and that it accounts for one in every six web pages accessed in Britain. However, Robin Goad, Hitwise’s research director, believes that the figures show that Facebook is nearing saturation point in the UK.

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  11. Google ‘has made few compromises’ on net neutrality
    Google has done well out of its net neutrality deal with Verizon, say analysts, but campaigners are critical.
    By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
    Published: 2:22PM BST 10 Aug 2010

    In the wake of Google’s proposals to enshrine the equal rights of all sorts of online traffic over the internet in law, a number of commentators have taken differing opinions. Google has joined with wireless provider Verizon to suggest that wireless networks should be exempted from the idea that video and text traffic, for instance, should be treated equally on all networks, while also proposing that innovative services are allowed priority; this might include healthcare products, for instance.

    Ovum’s chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson said that “Google and Verizon have done what the Federal Communications Commission has so far failed to do: forge a meaningful compromise on net neutrality between the two sides. Verizon has made real concessions here, notably forgoing paid prioritisation on the public Internet. Google, on the other hand, has made few compromises, getting most of what it always said it wanted.”

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  12. BlackBerry users think Torch will fail to rival iPhone
    Blackberry users don’t know who Research in Motion are, and think the platform needs more apps.
    By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
    Published: 9:58AM BST 10 Aug 2010

    A significant majority of BlackBerry owners don’t think the company’s new Torch handset will be successful, and cite the number of apps available on other platforms, such as iPhone and Google Android, as a weakness.

    More than a third, 37 per cent, of BlackBerry users also don’t recognize ‘Research In Motion’, the name of the company that manufactures the devices.

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  13. How ‘Facebook Questions’ helps businesses harness the web’s wisdom
    Looking for some advice? Facebook can now put your questions to 500 million users worldwide, via a service that offers a golden opportunity for businesses too.
    By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
    Published: 12:04PM BST 10 Aug 2010

    Facebook knows it has got to keep adding useful functionality to keep its 500m members around the world engaged. That’s why Facebook Questions, a new service unveiled last week that is only available to a small number of beta testers, is a very smart move indeed.

    The option, which allows people to ask any question of Facebook’s entire 500m-strong community, is a clever way of putting the social network at the centre of an activity gathering pace all over the web: crowdsourcing. There are lots of sites totally dedicated to tapping into the wisdom of the web crowd, including, Quora, or Yahoo! Answers. However, social networks such as Facebook are arguably best placed to help garner trusted answers, since users can choose either to ask their own network – or to widen the question out to different people’s networks.

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  14. India steps up demands for BlackBerry access

    By Bappa Majumdar and Devidutta Tripathy

    NEW DELHI | Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:53pm EDT

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian demands are giving a new headache to BlackBerry maker Research in Motion after New Delhi threatened a shutdown that could affect one million of the smartphone’s 41 million users.

    India, worried about national security, could ask mobile phone operators to block BlackBerry messaging and email until RIM provides them with access to data transmitted over the handset, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

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  15. Facebook ‘takes on Foursquare’
    Facebook is preparing to allow its members to share their location with each other by launching ‘check-in’ tool, which would pit it against services like Foursquare, according to a report.

    By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
    Published: 6:12PM BST 11 Aug 2010

    Technology website, CNET, claims that the new feature, which has been rumoured to have been in the pipeline for months, will make its debut “within weeks”.

    Larry Yu, Facebook’s spokesman told the publication: “We are working on location features and product integrations, which we’ll be launching in the coming months, and we’ll share more details when appropriate.”

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  16. Twitter launches ‘promoted tweets’ in a bid to make money
    Twitter has launched “promoted tweets” which will eventually see branded messages appear in user’s feeds from the likes of Virgin and Starbucks and marks the first official commercialisation of the site.

    By Emma Barnett, Technology and Digital Media Correspondent
    Published: 4:31PM BST 13 Apr 2010

    The site, with a valuation of approximately one billion dollars, according to technology analyst firm Ovum, has resisted any move towards traditional advertising in the four years since its launch – raising many questions about how it will eventually turn a profit and what business model it will adopt.

    However, last night Twitter launched ‘promoted tweets’ which Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, summarises as “ordinary tweets that businesses and organisations want to highlight to a wider group of users”.

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  17. Making a call on a mobile? Surely not
    Our handheld gadgets may soon be used for everything but that, says Shane Richmond.
    By Shane Richmond, Head of Technology (Editorial)
    Published: 6:38PM BST 12 Aug 2010

    The past 20 years have seen our mobile phones become perhaps the most important gadget in our lives, transforming our society in extraordinary ways. Which is why it’s all the more strange to discover that the phone call itself could be on its last legs.

    Every year since 2007, mobile phone users in the US have been making fewer and fewer calls. Since 2005, their average length has halved, to roughly 90 seconds. Americans use their phones to text, to email, to surf the web, to take photos, to play games, to listen to music – but to talk to each other? It’s almost an afterthought.

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  18. Tweet Button is not about making Twitter money, says TweetMeme founder
    TweetMeme’s Nick Halstead has said that Twitter’s new “Tweet Button” is intended to grow Twitter rather than to make money

    By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
    Published: 6:08PM BST 12 Aug 2010

    TweetMeme, a British start-up which curates Twitter’s data, is partnering with the microblogging service on the new button. Halstead has told The Telegraph that the alliance had deepened the relationship between the two companies and gave TweetMeme fuller access to interact with Twitter’s complete dataset. He refused to disclose the financial terms of the arrangement, but did clarify that no publishers would be paying for the new ‘Tweet Button’ as its intention was to grow the site’s reach and use, rather generate revenue.

    Twitter announced the new ‘Tweet Button’ on its blog today. The post said: “Today we’re launching the Tweet Button to make sharing simple. It lets you share links directly from the page you’re on. When you click on the Tweet Button, a Tweet box will appear – pre-populated with a shortened link that points to the item that you’re sharing.

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  19. New iPod Touch ‘has dual cameras and Retina display’
    Upgrades coming “in a few weeks” according to top Apple blogger John Gruber, as reports also suggest a new version for Apple TV.

    By Hunter Skipworth
    Published: 11:52AM BST 12 Aug 2010

    Rumours about forthcoming announcements from iPhone maker Apple are gathering pace, with consistently accurate blogger John Gruber predicting that the iPod Touch will be upgraded to feature the same high resolution “Retina Display” used on the new iPhone, as well as two cameras.

    “If you wait a few weeks to get buy the Touch, you’ll get one with a Retina Display and Dual Cameras”, he wrote on his Daring Fireball website. The addition of dual cameras would further enforce Apple’s commitement to its FaceTime video-calling functionality, currently only available via wifi to iPhone 4 users. Gruber was not specific about their resolution, however.

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  20. MySpace unveils ‘Facebook-style’ homepage
    The new look user homepage is focused around two information streams with lots of white surrounding space, abandoning MySpace’s trademark dark and busy backdrop.

    By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
    Published: 5:05PM BST 12 Aug 2010

    One stream is made up of status updates from friends and the other lists what pieces of content are being shared by a person’s network.

    The beleaguered site, which has halved its UK audience during the last 12 months, began previewing the new version of the revamped homepage last night to users, ahead of the official August 19 redesign.

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  21. Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen: ‘We don’t need Apple or the iPad’
    It’s the battle of Silicon Valley A-listers. In one corner sits Apple, the $223bn (£143bn) big-hitter that is the world’s second largest company and the darling of the technology sector

    By Andrew Cave
    Published: 10:27PM BST 14 Aug 2010

    In the other is Adobe Systems, the $15bn software group one-15th of Apple’s size, whose products – such as Acrobat, Photoshop and the Flash video operating system – are probably just as ubiquitous in daily life as the iPad and iPod, but in a much lower-profile way.

    The two companies have locked horns over the failure of the iPad, the year’s most coveted technology launch, to play videos in Flash, which has become an industry-leading standard just about everywhere else.

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  22. Oracle`s Google Lawsuit: All About ‘Ego, Money and Power`
    By: Darryl K. Taft

    Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit versus Google is all about ego, money and power, so says the creator of the key technology in question. Rather than being about developer freedom or Java fragmentation, this suit is more about what drives the software industry and most every other.

    Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit versus Google is all about ego, money and power, so says the creator of the key technology in question.

    In an August 15 blog post, James Gosling, known as the father of Java, said:

    “There are no guiltless parties with white hats in this little drama. This skirmish isn’t much about patents or principles or programming languages. The suit is far more about ego, money and power.”

    That has been a common sentiment among both observers and participants in the software industry since Oracle announced its lawsuit on August 12. Mostly, folks seem to view Oracle’s move as a money grab, not a stake in the ground nor a true move to protect the sanctity of Java. Whatever it is, Oracle has made its move and Google has responded saying it will defend its actions with Android.

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  23. Facebook Acquires Web Publishing Startup Chai Labs
    Facebook has acquired yet another small company. This time it’s Chai Labs, a startup that helps other companies build search-friendly websites focused on specific topics.

    The All Things Digital blog BoomTown heard about the acquisition from “several sources” but wasn’t able to confirm how much Facebook spent, so a guess of $10 million was ventured — maybe based on information from the sources. BoomTown also claims that the acquisition was made for Chai Labs’ talent, not necessarily for its products or services.

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  24. Facebook ‘dislike’ scam warning
    Facebook users are being targeted in a scam that offers them a chance to install a “dislike” button.

    The scam tricks users into allowing a rogue application to access their profile page, which then posts spam messages.

    It also attempts to lure people into completing an online survey, for which the scammers are paid money.

    The social network already offers a “like” button that allows people to rate other user’s comments and posts.

    Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos said it was the latest in a series of “survey scams” that included links to a video purporting to show an anaconda vomiting up a hippo.

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  25. Google to tap games for social network

    By Mike Swift
    Posted: 08/16/2010 12:01:00 AM PDT
    Updated: 08/16/2010 09:48:56 PM PDT

    Confronting the challenge of Facebook’s runaway growth, Google appears ready to try again with social networking. But the company’s approach, using a service rumored to be dubbed “Google Me,” won’t be a Facebook knockoff.
    Instead, the company’s recent statements and acquisitions suggest, Google is forging a social strategy that will knit games and other social networking features into its existing products — search, mail, web browsing and its Android smartphone software. That would better attune those products to people’s relationships and, Google hopes, make them more popular.

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  26. How to Spot Facebook Scams Like ‘Dislike’
    By Jared Newman at PC World
    Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:11pm EDT
    Like many scams on Facebook, the “Dislike” button succeeded because people are gullible. Here’s how to not become one of those people.

    Looking at Sophos’ report on the Facebook “Dislike” button, which has reportedly spread virally through the social network, I noticed a pattern consistent with several other scams. Recognize these red flags, and you won’t be fooled again.

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  27. The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet
    By Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff

    Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.

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  28. The Justice Department weighs a criminal case against WikiLeaks
    Wednesday, August 18, 2010
    IN AN INTERVIEW this year with the New Yorker, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange acknowledged that his practice of posting largely unfiltered classified information online could one day lead the Web site to have “blood on our hands.”

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  29. Cameron Diaz Tops McAfee Dangerous Celebrity List
    By: Brian Prince

    Security researchers at McAfee identified actress Cameron Diaz as the celebrity most likely to lead you to a malicious site in search results

    Cameron Diaz has gone from being just another one of Charlie’s Angels to the most dangerous celebrity on the Web, according to research by McAfee.

    In the latest version of its “Dangerous Celebrities” study, McAfee found that Diaz had replaced fellow actress Jessica Biel as the celebrity who, when entered into search engines, was most likely to generate results that were malicious sites.

    Cameron Diaz ranked most dangerous web celeb
    Published on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 09:00 | Updated at Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 09:03 | Source : Reuters

    She may be known for her playful giggles and killer looks, but now movie star Cameron Diaz has become the most dangerous celebrity on the Internet.
    Diaz, 37, is top of the list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, above second-placed Julia Roberts, according to computer security company McAfee, Inc. Last year’s most dangerous web celebrity, Jessica Biel, fell to third.

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  30. Pakistan extremist find friends on Facebook, Twitter
    Friday, 20 Aug, 2010

    KARACHI: Hardline groups in Pakistan are plugging into Western online favourites Facebook and Twitter in a bid to win friends and influence people.

    Tweeting their view of a civilisation clash between the West and Islam, and posting comments that advocate violence against non-Muslims, groups that are officially banned in Pakistan have found a welter of freedom online.

    There they have been allowed to operate without censorship from Pakistani authorities, who have instead restricted access to hundreds of Internet pages for “anti-Islamic content”.

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  31. Facebook Feels Unfriendly Toward Movie It Inspired
    Published: August 20, 2010

    LOS ANGELES — At the New York Film Festival next month, Hollywood will unleash “The Social Network,” a biting tale of the Silicon Valley giant Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg.

    Now Facebook must decide whether to bite back.

    After fretting for months over how to respond, the company appears to have decided that its best bet is to largely ignore the movie and hope that audiences do the same — that “The Social Network” will be another failed attempt to bottle a generation, like “Less Than Zero,” and not culturally defining, as it aspires to be, in the way of “Wall Street” or “The Big Chill.”

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  32. Paul Allen Sues Everybody
    By: Ryan Fleming •August 27, 2010
    The Microsoft co-founder has filed suit against Google, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix, Facebook, and more, claiming that they are all violating patents owned by Allen’s defunct Interval Research.

    If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Apparently that is a lesson that Paul Allen believes in. In what may be one of the more inclusive lawsuits of recent memory, Allen has decided to sue pretty much everybody. In the world. Or at least everybody on the Internet that is using what he sees as technology that was patented by his now-defunct company, Interval Research, and that is almost everyone.

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  33. Twitter remakes website, adds new features

    By Gabriel Madway

    SAN FRANCISCO | Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:50pm EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Microblogging sensation Twitter, which is now signing up 370,000 new users daily on average, is redesigning its website to make it easier for its millions of users to navigate the service and discover new information.

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  34. Moral’ search engines squeeze out sin
    WASHINGTON: A number of new Internet search engines created by Christian, Jewish or Muslim entities aim to filter out queries from Web users in a way that is more relevant to those users and keeps them from temptation, alcohol and pornography.

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  35. Twitter is not a social network
    In a recent presentation, Twitter’s VP for business and corporate development, Kevin Thau refused to define the micro-blogging platform as a social network.

    The executive was highlighting Twitter’s potential as a news source.

    Twitter this week introduced a major redesign to its website that aims to establish its credentials as a serious content platform. The update is rolling out to its users as a preview and everyone will have the updated version in some weeks time.

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  36. Facebook movie underscores cultural phenomenon

    By Alexei Oreskovic

    SAN FRANCISCO | Fri Oct 1, 2010 6:25pm EDT

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook now counts one of every two Americans as a user, would rank behind only China and India in population if it were a country and has an estimated value of more than $30 billion, larger than that of Starbucks.

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  37. Google TV Announces Its Programming Partners, but the Top Networks Are Absent

    Published: October 4, 2010

    Google announced on Monday its first content partners for Google TV, its effort to marry two mediums — the Internet and television. But the announcement underscored the difficulties companies face as they try to work their way into the living room.

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  38. Facebook film ‘The Social Network’ fails to match box office estimates
    The Social Network, the film that charts the meteoric rise of Facebook, failed to match estimates for its first weekend takings at the US box office.

    By Richard Blackden
    Published: 6:00AM BST 04 Oct 2010

    Written by West Wing author Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, the film took in $23m on Friday and Saturday, according to early estimates from Box-Office.

    Sony Pictures, which made and is distributing the movie, said that it had pulled its biggest numbers in US cities over the weekend, but was confident the audiences would grow across America over the next few weeks.

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  39. New computers will ‘boot up in seconds’
    Wave goodbye to BIOS, say hello to UEFI, a new technology that will drastically reduce start-up times.

    By Claudine Beaumont, Technology Editor
    Published: 10:01AM BST 04 Oct 2010

    The next generation of home computers will be able to boot up in just a few seconds, as 25-year-old BIOS technology makes way for new start-up software known as UEFI.

    BIOS technology, which has been used to boot up computers since 1979, was never designed to last as long as it has, and is one of the reasons modern computers take so long to get up and running.

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  40. Ministry of Defence warns service personnel over Facebook Places
    Security officials have warned members of the armed forces that geo-location services, such as Facebook Places, could be used by terrorists to track potential targets.

    By Claudine Beaumont, Technology Editor
    Published: 11:13AM BST 04 Oct 2010

    The Ministry of Defence has advised service personnel to switch off geo-location services on social networking sites amid fears it could be used by terrorists to target attacks.

    Facebook’s new geo-tagging service, Facebook Places, has been singled out for particular attention. The service allows Facebook users to “check in” at a location, providing a timeline of their movements.

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  41. Google TV partners with Vevo, Pandora and Napster ahead of US launch
    Google TV has announced three music content partnerships with Vevo, Pandora and Napster, as it prepares to launch stateside.

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  42. Facebook unveils “groups,” tightens user control
    (Reuters) – Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a series of tools to give users more control over their personal information and help them interact with smaller, select circles of friends.

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  43. Facebook Groups: The reaction
    Facebook has unveiled a new Groups feature, which enables users of the social networking site to organise their circle of friends in to groups according to likes and interests. But what do industry insiders think of this new initiative?

    By Claudine Beaumont, Technology Editor
    Published: 12:38PM BST 07 Oct 2010

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  44. The Many Faces of You
    Published: October 16, 2010

    The other day, Facebook suggested that I make a new friend: myself.

    It’s a little odd to see your own photo in the “people you may know” box, but I have two Facebook profiles, for work (Claire Cain Miller), and for my personal life (Claire Miller Cain).

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  45. Bloggers in the Middle East
    Don’t be too cheeky
    Governments in the Middle East are cracking down on bloggers

    Oct 21st 2010

    A MONTH ago a court in Iran sentenced Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian, to almost 20 years in jail, the longest sentence ever handed down to a blogger. The charges were murky. He was convicted of co-operating with hostile states and insulting Islam. Often hailed as Iran’s “blogfather”, he published a do-it-yourself guide to blogging in Persian earlier this decade that helped to prompt an explosion of activity. Today there may be as many as 75,000 Persian blogs.

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  46. Technology News
    Penguin to launch a social network for bookworms
    Penguin is set to launch a social network for teenage bookworms called Spinebreakers, in an effort to keep young people interested in reading.

    By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor 4:34PM BST 26 Oct 2010

    Spinebreakers, as a content website, already exists but does not have any tools which allow its users to communicate and interact about their shared pastime. Instead it is a site where teenagers write about books and authors.

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