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Brazilian Congress Passes World’s First “Bill of Rights” For The Internet

Published on March 26, 2014, by

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Earlier this month, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, called for a “Bill of Rights” for the web on its 25th birthday. Late last night, Brazil broke ground and became the first country to pass a bill protecting the rights of internet users.

An “overwhelming” majority of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies voted for the internet bill of rights bill called the “Marco Civil da Internet,” according to ZDNet. The bill, a result of a four-year process, is the first to set internet governance principles in Brazil, which protects freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and net neutrality – the most emphasized provision in the piece of legislation. While the Marco Civil bill still needs to pass the Senate before getting approval by President Rousseff, it appears the most difficult process for its approval has been completed.

The Marco Civil bill was first officially drafted in 2009, and went through a long process of approval and consultation, including an 18 month period of discussion through the internet by various stakeholders, including telecommunications companies, government agencies, civil organizations, and users, according to Access Now.

While not perfect for internet activists, due to disagreements and extended wrangling over parts of the legislation, the Marco Civil legislation includes key provisions that protect netizens in Brazil – some which appear to be a direct result of the 2013 revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, especially those relating to NSA’s spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

original article via: LATINPOST

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Twitter adds photo-tagging

Published on March 26, 2014, by
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Twitter ramped up its focus on images Wednesday, adding the ability to tag people in a photo, and share up to four photos in a single tweet.

The company said in a blog post that it’s making photos “more social” with these new features. Users can tag up to 10 people in a photo and it won’t affect the 140 character word count for their tweet. To tag someone, users tap “Who’s in this photo?” and then type in the person’s username.

Twitter will send notifications to folks who are tagged, and these settings can be adjusted in user settings. When you share multiple photos in one tweet, Twitter will automatically create a collage to display them. These elements will also show up in embedded tweets.

The multiple-photos feature will roll out for iPhone users Wednesday, but Twitter says support for Android and the Web is coming soon.

Twitter has been slowly building on its photo features. Known for its quick disbursement of information through 140 characters of text, Twitter started juicing up its photo efforts as photo-sharing app Instagram (now owned by Facebook) became popular.

original article via: CNET

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Facebook to Buy Oculus VR, Maker of Virtual Reality Headset

Published on March 25, 2014, by

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Facebook announced on Tuesday that it had reached a $2 billion agreement to buy Oculus VR, the maker of a virtual reality headset, in a bet that social networking will one day become an immersive, 3-D experience.

The deal was an unexpected move by Facebook because Oculus, a small start-up that has not yet shipped a product to the broader public, is working on what some view as a niche technology aimed at hard-core video game players.

But Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, said the deal reflected his belief that virtual reality could be the next big computing platform.

“Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face to face — just by putting on goggles in your home,” he said in a post on the social networking site.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Mr. Zuckerberg’s post continued. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

With the deal, Facebook is the latest Silicon Valley company to invest in wearable hardware that reimagines how people will one day interact with information and other forms of content. Google has taken a different approach with Google Glass, its high-tech eye-wear that lets people view maps, messages and other data on lenses in front of their faces.

Last month, Facebook announced that it would acquire WhatsApp, a mobile messaging app, for $16 billion plus as much as $3 billion in future payouts. That purchase was a bet on the fast growth in mobile messages, a type of one-to-one communication that largely bypasses Facebook, which emphasizes posts shared with a large group of friends.

Oculus is a bet that virtual reality, currently aimed at gamers, could become a robust new way for people to share all kinds of social experiences.

original article via: NY TIMES