Technology

Recent Posts

Skype Video Now on Facebook
Posted on 7 Jul 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Microsoft recently paid $8.5 billion for Skype and even though Facebook and Google lost in the bidding wars offering a measly $3-4 billion, nonetheless now Facebook announces that Skype will be available for video calling! Mark Zuckerberg said: ... Read More

Web Developer Claims He Owns 84% of Facebook
Posted on 15 Jul 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

Purportedly Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave the original web designer 84% of the company and a New York Judge issued the designer's TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) which has been challenged by Zuckerberg and Facebook . Paul Ceglia's lawsuit... Read More

Tags: eCommerce

Amazon.com Sues Texas to get Sales Tax Audit
Posted on 20 Jan 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Amazon filed a lawsuit in Texas state court as part of its challenge of a $269 million claim for uncollected Internet sales taxes dating back to 2005 when Amazon opened operations in Texas. In September 2010 the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts... Read More

Lady Gaga Beats Obama to 10 Million Facebook Fans, Prince Goes Nowhere
Posted on 13 Jul 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

At the same time Lady Gaga takes over the Social Media spotlight from the President, Prince announces that the Internet is nowhere and his next album will only be a CD. No surprise what Lady Gaga is doing since "Gaga's Facebook fans organized... Read More

Tags: eCommerce

Google Co-Founder Gives $500,000 to Wikimedia Foundation
Posted on 21 Nov 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Since the Wikimedia Foundation (home of Wikipedia) is a not-for-profit , it survives by annual fundraisers. Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki (23andMe co-founder) used their Brin Wojcicki Foundation to grant $500,000 to the Wikimedia... Read More

Cloud - New Buzzword, Old Legal Issues
Posted on 11 Nov 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Many readers agreed with my recent blog that the Cloud is a new label for old technology - "think connecting to a mainframe over telephone lines," and I encourage you to read my November eCommerce Times column about some important Cloud... Read More

Only 15% of Wikipedia Posts from Women!
Posted on 4 Feb 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

Wikipedia turned 10 years old in January 2011 with more than 3.5 million English articles and in more than 250 languages, but only about 15% of the articles have been posted by women. Actually based on a joint study in 2010 of Wikipedia of the contributor... Read More

Sales Tax Dispute - Amazon Relies on the First Amendment
Posted on 28 Oct 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

The US Constitution protects the disclosure of what reading and video materials citizens read and view, in spite of the North Carolina Department of Revenue's best efforts. US District Judge Marsha Pechman granted Amazon 's summary judgment... Read More

Tags: eCommerce

Germany May Restrict Use of Facebook
Posted on 31 Aug 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

A proposed law in Germany will restrict employers from using Facebook, and other truly social Social Media sites, when recruiting. However the law would allow employers to search business Social Media sites such as LinkedIn. Since there are no current... Read More

Microsoft Purchases Skype - Facebook and Google Unlucky Suitors
Posted on 10 May 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

VOIP is likely headed in a new direction now that Microsoft agreed to pay $8.5 billion for Skype . It was reported that Facebook and Google's offers were in the $3 to 4 billion range , while at the same time Skype was still considering an IPO... Read More

Amazon.com Shutting Texas Operations Over Internet Sales Tax Squabble
Posted on 14 Feb 2011 by Peter S. Vogel

After devoting my February column in eCommerceTimes to Internet sales tax issues there was an interesting turn of events over the dispute between Amazon.com and the Texas Comptroller over a $ 269 million Internet sales tax bill . Amazon.com announced... Read More

Kerry and McCain Propose Privacy Bill of Rights
Posted on 14 Apr 2011 by Tami S Cunningham, JD

United States Senators John Kerry and John McCain introduced a bill this week that proposes greater protection of personal information for online consumers. Under the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011 , consumers have the right to be notified... Read More

Court Grants Microsoft's Request to Ownership of Spamming Botnet Domain Names
Posted on 15 Sep 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

276 domain names maliciously used by Waledac botnets were transferred to Microsoft, even though Waledac never participated in the suit. Waledac sent more than 1.5 billion daily spam messages in 2009. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued the Order... Read More

Webcast on "Internet Intellectual Property: Copyright/Domain Names/Trademarks and Patents"
Posted on 19 Apr 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

On Thursday, April 22, 2010 the TexasBarCLE will present my webcast from 12:30-1:30pm CDT about Internet Intellectual Property (IP) issues. Actually these topics are also found in the syllabus and PowerPoints from my Law of eCommerce class at SMU Dedman... Read More

Google Offers New Service Analyzing 500 Billion Words
Posted on 28 Dec 2010 by Peter S. Vogel

After digitizing 5.2 million books Google now offers new tools that permit a fascinating view of language, culture, and evolution of thought unlike anything known before. Now anyone can analyze " 500 billion words contained in books published... Read More

Tags: eCommerce , Google
  • Blog Post: Google Woes in the EU

    Google Woes in the EU Include Conviction for Executives Over Video Posting The recent conviction of 3 Google executives in Italy for a video posted on Google which showed the bullying of a disable teenager captured many headlines. No question that the video was in poor taste and Google took the...
  • Blog Post: Web 2.0 Update - Facebook Surpasses Google

    Hitwise reports that Facebook became the most visited website in the US for the first time. Kind of takes your breath away that a social media site is getting more traffic than the largest search engine in the US. Since Facebook just went over 400 million users this was probably inevitable, but since...
  • Blog Post: Webcast on "Internet Intellectual Property: Copyright/Domain Names/Trademarks and Patents"

    On Thursday, April 22, 2010 the TexasBarCLE will present my webcast from 12:30-1:30pm CDT about Internet Intellectual Property (IP) issues. Actually these topics are also found in the syllabus and PowerPoints from my Law of eCommerce class at SMU Dedman School of Law which I will teach again in the...
  • Blog Post: f8 - Facebook's Play to Take Over the Entire Internet

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerman recently announced significant changes to Facebook expanding 100's of websites with "open graph" and "like" which may revolutionize the Internet . At the annual f8 Facebook outside developers' conference on April 21, 2010 Zuckerman demonstrated...
  • Blog Post: Too Late for HP in the Smart Phone Market?

    Is HP's purchase of Palm for $1.2 billion seems too little too late for HP to compete in the smart phone market? As the largest manufacturer of computers in the world it does seem like HP should be in the smart phone market, and yet few people realize that HP already sells the iPaq which...
  • Blog Post: Search Engine Update: Google grabs 71% of U.S. searches, Bing slips

    No surprise that Google's search engine continues to grow at the expense of Yahoo! and Microsoft's Bing. Hitwise now reports April 2010: Google at 71.4%, Yahoo! down 1% to to 14.96%, Bing down 2% to 9.43%, Ask down 37% to 2.18%, and the remaining 78 search engines accounted for 2.03%. As these...
  • Blog Post: Testimony about the Impact of Social Media on Open Government

    I was honored to be asked by the Texas Senate to testify how Social Media impacts Open Government at a hearing on May 11, 2010 and you are welcome to read my Statement concerning Charge #13 for the Senate Affairs Committee: Study the Public Information (Open Records) Act and the Open Meetings...
  • Blog Post: Google Update: Wi-Fi snooping earns it a class-action lawsuit

    Google Update: Wi-Fi snooping earns it a class-action lawsuit As a follow-up to my recent blog about Google's Street View Cars captured WiFi network information it is no surprise that many people are mad, but for folks who do not have secure WiFi networks....what should they expect? Stay tuned...
  • Blog Post: Wow! Google TV - What a Concept!

    Google demonstrated its new entertainment hub for TV with a browser which includes a joint effort with Sony, Intel and Logitech . As part of the announcement Google explained that "Google TV is a new experience made for television that combines the TV you know and love with the freedom and power...
  • Blog Post: Mashable Media Summit 2010 - News and Politics

    On June 8th I attended Mashable and CNN's conference about the intersection of digital media, news, and entertainment. Among other notable presentations was CNN's medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Guptap's (renowned neurosurgeon) interview of Mashable's founder Pete Cashmore and CNN...
  • Blog Post: Google & YouTube Not Liable For Copyright Infringement

    Viacom lost its $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube for alleged copyright infringement when a judge granted summary judgment. YouTube's defense was that it used the "safe harbor" protection of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) where YouTube would remove allegedly...
  • Blog Post: FTC Settlement - Twitter Barred for 20 Years From Misleading

    President-Elect Obama's Twitter account was hacked "offering his more than 150,000 followers a chance to win $500 in free gas." Twitter settled the FTC's charges "that it deceived consumers and put their privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information, marking...
  • Blog Post: President "Internet Kill Switch" - Good Idea?

    Without much public fanfare recently a Senate Committee unanimously approved the bill dubbed " Internet Kill Switch ," which among other things would allow the President to take over civilian networks in case of an emergency. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously...
  • Blog Post: Recent Headlines Send Shockwaves - 'Wikipedia and LinkedIn are Down'!

    Tweets a plenty were posted announcing that Wikipedia and LinkedIn were down, but one tweet wondered what would happen if Twitter also went down! We are so dependent on these Social Media tools that when these sites go down the communications also disappears....except probably text messages, phone...
  • Blog Post: Google Plans to Take Over Airline Travel

    Google plans to buy ITA Software who provides airline travel utilities to American, Continental, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, Microsoft's Bing, among other companies. Of course this purchase for $700 million will require federal scrutiny given the antitrust implications, but as my friend Erika Morphy...
  • Blog Post: Lady Gaga Beats Obama to 10 Million Facebook Fans, Prince Goes Nowhere

    At the same time Lady Gaga takes over the Social Media spotlight from the President, Prince announces that the Internet is nowhere and his next album will only be a CD. No surprise what Lady Gaga is doing since "Gaga's Facebook fans organized "National Lady Gaga Day." The accompanying...
  • Blog Post: Web Developer Claims He Owns 84% of Facebook

    Purportedly Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave the original web designer 84% of the company and a New York Judge issued the designer's TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) which has been challenged by Zuckerberg and Facebook . Paul Ceglia's lawsuit alleges that he was paid $1,000 by Zuckerberg...
  • Blog Post: Facebook - 500 Million, But What Happens When Friends Die?

    Growth at Facebook has been unbelievable and not a surprise that its user rolls will get to 500 million , but last fall a childhood friend died, and a few months later I was taken aback after Facebook asked me to post on his wall. Since so many new Facebook users are grandparents and over 60 more...
  • Blog Post: IRS Scored Better Customer Satisfaction than Facebook!

    A new report shows that customers are not that happy with Facebook and MySpace also showed that social media was ranked lower than property & casualty insurance. Also not a surprise that airlines were lower in customer satisfaction than social media. The 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index...
  • Blog Post: Good News for the Economy - Internet Gambling & Sales Taxes

    Why Congress banned Internet gambling in the US in 2006 is a great mystery particularly since one major result of the ban was Internet gambling went offshore as did the possible tax revenues to the US. By lifting the ban Congress will have a new source of revenue. The Congress is considering legislation...
  • Blog Post: GPS Tracking Required Warrant

    A court recently ruled that the use of GPS tracking data in a drug distribution case violated the defendant's constitutional rights and the police needed a warrant. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a brief in support of Antoine Jones that his expectation of privacy was violated by the...
  • Blog Post: College Update - Plagiarism Aplenty, But No eMail or Wristwatches

    Plagiarism is alive and well on college campuses however it is no wonder since the Internet and Social Media have changed communications. Without question Wikipedia has become a reliable source for students and at least 16 US intelligence agencies . Many question the authenticity of Wikipedia, but...
  • Blog Post: Do We Share Too Much Information?

    Google CEO Eric Schmidt "fears that too much information is shared online, and predicts that people will one day change their name and reinvent themselves in order to escape their digital past." Not a very surprising observation given the explosive growth of Social Media, and proliferation...
  • Blog Post: Germany May Restrict Use of Facebook

    A proposed law in Germany will restrict employers from using Facebook, and other truly social Social Media sites, when recruiting. However the law would allow employers to search business Social Media sites such as LinkedIn. Since there are no current guidelines in Germany about employer's use...
  • Blog Post: Texas Attorney General Reviewing Google Search Engine

    A number of allegations that Google manipulates search engine results has led to an investigation of possible antitrust violations. Google has now responded about its search engine fairness about why some websites get higher rankings than others: "The important thing to remember is that we built...