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Stories by Paul McNamara

  • Half of adults believe social media sites hurt youth?

    If the results of a recent telephone survey are to be taken at face value - a reasonably big if, in my opinion - roughly half of American adults believe that Facebook, <a href="">Twitter</a> and their ilk are harmful to the social development of today's young people.

  • Stallman parody site catches Stallman's eye

    A recent online posting of Richard Stallman's astonishingly long set of instructions for those who would hire him as an event speaker has spawned a parody website -- The Stallman Dialogues -- as well as some debate over the propriety of people constantly poking fun at the enigmatic and controversial founder of the Free Software Foundation.

  • Anonymity vs. real names on social networks

    Let's cut to the chase: This one is really about whether Facebook and the new kid on the block, Google+, should get to throw their considerable weight around by requiring that users post to their social-networking sites using real names.

  • Patent trolls vs. innovation

    When Google, Apple, Microsoft and the like bash each other about the corporate head and shoulders with their ever-expanding <a href="">patent portfolios</a>, no one worries that the legal-department combat will kill the companies' respective research and development operations.

  • Fun with naming Wi-Fi nets

    According to a media report out of San Antonio, the man recently accused of planning to assassinate a Saudi diplomat in Washington, D.C., was not the sharpest tool in the box. However, if neighbor accounts are to be taken at face value, the same could be said of the FBI agents tasked with foiling his alleged plot.

  • 3 small items from the week we lost a giant

    Seemingly endless coverage of his passing last week offered the public an opportunity to learn everything it could ever want to know about Steve Jobs, including what would appear to be his favorite photograph ... of himself.

  • Google apologizes for Gmail bug that shook 150,000 users

    Google says it is "very sorry" for a Gmail software bug that reset some 150,000 accounts and left their owners contemplating the prospect of having lost years worth of data. The outage affected only a fraction of one per cent of Gmail users, but its severity was particularly noteworthy.

  • Google ran out of bandwidth? ... Google?

    For a while there a few days ago it sure seemed to some as though the Google Chrome browser development team had proven again that no matter how much bandwidth is made available, someone, somewhere, for some reason, is going to need or want more.

  • Social networks all over the map on reliability

    That Twitter had more downtime last year (84 hours) than any of 15 social network sites measured by an uptime monitoring service should surprise no one: The site's "fail whale" is so famous it was just featured in the New York Times.

  • Was MythBuster's RFID tale only a myth?

    It all started when Adam Savage of MythBusters fame told a convention audience that legal bullies from the credit card industry had cowed Discovery Channel into scotching an episode of the show that was to have taken on RFID.