TECH TALK ON THE WEB: Chinese Official Denies Censorship
Dow Jones

Edited by Ellen Sheng


Here's a roundup of news about the world of technology from the Web.

Wall? What Wall?

A Chinese government official drew surprise this week when he claimed at a United Nations summit in Athens that there is no Internet censorship at all in China, CNet reports. "I've heard people say that the BBC is not available in China or that it's blocked. I'm sure I don't know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all," the official told Nick Gowing, a BBC anchor and the UN session moderator. Contrary to the official's comments, censorship in China - often called the "Great Firewall Of China" - is one of the most carefully documented cases of Internet censorship. A study by researchers at Harvard Law School found that 19,032 Web sites were inaccessible inside China. (EGS) 1028_3-6130970.html?

Bait For Hackers

British spy James Bond has the Aston Martin spy car. So what? The U.S. intelligence community has a secretive version of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, dubbed Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to add and edit content on a classified Web. Intellipedia has been running since April, with 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users in the 16 agencies that make up the intelligence community. Still, the database has stirred concerned over potential security lapses, Reuters reports via ABC News' Web site. (RC) http://

Google Experiments With Sponsored Videos, Exploding Coke

Search giant Google Inc. (GOOG) entered the market for paid video sponsorships by agreeing to let Coca-Cola Co. (KO) sponsor a clip with the video of a Diet Coke geyser, according to the news site Ars Technica LLC. The experiment in sponsored video comes on the heels of the company's $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube. The video has a sponsorship message from Coke and mentions the software drink as well as the candy Mentos. Observers of the company have suggested Google may try using sponsorships to generate ad revenue from YouTube traffic. ( MGB)

Movie Pirates At It Again

The motion picture business could be headed for another setback in its fight against movie pirates - at least according to an item in Business 2.0. Apparently, online video pirates have found out how the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) watermarks DVDs. "The latest movies find their way onto the Internet in part because pirates armed with handheld videocameras record the films right off the screen," the article says. "With the new theatrical-release watermarks, studios can find out precisely where and when a bootleg copy was made. Now pirates have figured out how to erase the watermarks - and cover their tracks." (AS) //

Google Acquisition Mashup

For all you Google-watchers who are finding it hard to keep track of the Internet phenomenon's many tech-company purchases, there is now a high-tech solution. The Shmula blog has created a mashup that plots Google's (GOOG) deals on a sliding timeline. The tool was created in honor of its recent buying spree, which has included wiki-site JotSpot and video-darling YouTube. When you click on a target company on the timeline a pop-up gives you the basics on each deal, using data from a Wikipedia entry. (RTR) acquisitions-a-timeline Google

Is Google Worth Passing Up Cash For?

Some Internet users are so loyal to their favorite search engine, you'd have to pay them to switch. That's just what Mark Davis has in mind. Davis is founder and chief executive of, an Internet service in New York that's offering cash to people who sign up as members and persuade their friends and neighbors to do the same. Users get credits when their friends join Zotspot and begin using it. If these people sign up new users, the first user gets credit for them as well. Zotspot estimates that each referral that uses the service as their primary search tool will generate between 10 and 50 cents a year for the person who referred him. (CFP) 2006/10/30/search_engine_offers_cash_as_enticement_to_switch/

Spam On The Rise

So-called bot nets, or networks of compromised PCs, appear to be behind a big rise in global spam volume. "Estimates of the magnitude of the increase in junk e-mail vary, but experts agree that an uncommon surge in spam" has occurred over the past two months, The Register reports on its Web site. Computer security researchers using "honey pots," or computers intentionally left vulnerable to hackers, also are noting the connection between bot nets and increased spam. The trend appears to mark a change in tactics by spammers, who have found it increasingly difficult to send spam from single-server mail relays. As a result, they've turned to bot nets. (RKS) botnet_spam_surge/

Mark Cuban Says...

Google Inc. (GOOG) is essentially paying off traditional media companies so they won't sue the pants off YouTube, Dallas Mavericks' owner and tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban writes on his blog. Citing an industry insider, Cuban says part of Google's $1.65 billion deal to acquire YouTube is a $500 million equity stake for media companies in exchange for ignoring - for now - copyright infringement on the online-video site. Cuban has been a vocal critic of YouTube and has said any buyers would be "moronic" to acquire a company whose business might be sued into oblivion by copyright holders. (SO) http://

Prime Time Depends On The Medium

The job commute may be a daily headache for most, but it's the favorite part of the day for Verizon Wireless. Why? Evening rush hour - 4 to 7 p.m. - is prime time on its V Cast Internet service, when captive audiences in cars, buses and trains dial up a flood of streaming videos to while away the miles. Three to 5 p.m. is the peak of prime time for video at AOL, according to Newsweek. Since broadcast television's formative years in the 1950s, the powerful medium has revolved around initially four but now three nocturnal hours, from 8 to 11 p.m. But in a media landscape now increasingly aglow with online video, prime time is essentially any time you want. (CFP) newsweek/

-Ellen Sheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5863;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires 11-01-06 1445ET Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.  Top of page