November 20th, 2009
10:50 AM ET

Next year's Twitter? It's Foursquare

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/21/art.twitter.cnn.jpg caption="Mashable's Pete Cashmore says he thinks location-based mobile startup Foursquare will be the Twitter of 2010."]

Pete Cashmore
Special to CNN

As 2009 draws to a close, with Twitter undoubtedly this year's media darling and Facebook continuing on its path to global domination, you may wonder which social-media service will become tech's poster boy in 2010.

Among the Web's early adopter set, the answer is nearly unanimous: Foursquare.

While the technology landscape is ever-changing, I'd argue that Foursquare already has aligned itself to become next year's mainstream hit.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Internet • Technology • Twitter
July 23rd, 2009
03:00 PM ET

Harassment and Cyberstalking explained

Program note: Stalking and Harassment are prevalent both online and off.  Parry Aftab, Executive Director of WiredSafety.org, is an expert on internet privacy and safety.  Tune in to AC360° for Aftab's opinion on the Erin Andrews incident, and what you can do to avoid it.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/07/16/twitter.hack/art.twitter.phone.gi.jpg caption="Checking an e-mail or stealthily taking your pictures? Cell phones have become a tool in stalking and harassment."]

Parry Aftab

There are three different kinds of cyberstalking situations...

* Online cyberstalking and harassment that stays online
* Online harassment and stalking that ventures offline or encourages offline actions
* Offline stalking or harassment that moves online

It doesn’t make any difference whether or not the victim has even used the Internet. The distinction between online and offline is dependent on the medium used by the perpetrator.

For example, online stalking/harassing is usually defined as “…repeated unsolicited contact by electronic means…” with the intent to “…terrify, intimidate, or harass…” another. The medium in this instance can include computers, Fax machines, telephones, etc.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Internet
July 14th, 2009
11:40 AM ET

Internet drug sales crackdown

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/HEALTH/05/21/online.drugs/art.mail.order.drugs.03.cnn.jpg caption= "These pills were sent to CNN's Drew Griffin, even though he was never seen by a doctor."]

Editor's Note: Four Emmy nominees for Outstanding Investigative Reporting on a Regularly Scheduled Newscast were announced today. CNN's David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffith were nominated for their pieces on online prescription drug abuse.

David Fitzpatrick
Special Investigations Unit Producer

If there was any doubt at all that the sale of prescription drugs over the internet, without a doctor’s legitimate authorization, is very big business, what happened in Kansas over the last couple of days should dispel those notions in a heartbeat.

The Kansas Attorney General’s office arrested and jailed three people, a pharmacist and the co-owners of a small pharmacy in the northwestern part of the state, on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts. Hogan’s Pharmacy is in a tiny town called Lyons. And according to documents filed in court, this small storefront operation, in a town of no more than 3,000 people, handled nearly $1.9 million in wire transfers in 2007 alone.

CNN Correspondent Drew Griffin and I went to Lyons a few months ago as part of an AC 360 investigation into internet prescription abuse. We had met and interviewed a young widow only the day before. Her husband had ordered the muscle-relaxant drug Soma over the internet—time and time again. Many of the pills came from Hogan’s Pharmacy and came without any legitimate order from a physician. One day last year, she went to their bedroom and found her husband unresponsive. He had died of an overdose of Soma.

There’s a good reason why doctors limit doses of Soma. Research by the Food and Drug Administration shows that it is one of those class of drugs which can be easily abused. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there’s now some consideration being given to classifying Soma as a “controlled substance,” putting it in the same category of dangerous drugs such as Xanax and Hydrocodone..

I was sitting in my New York City office when that widow telephoned me to express her thanks to the Kansas authorities and to CNN for the investigative work. She told me she would likely testify in any coming trials and was looking forward to doing so.

Keeping them honest, we’ll continue to investigate prescription drug sales over the Internet.

Attorney General Steve Six announced charges today against Hogan’s Pharmacy owners Jolane and Mark Poindexter for their part in an Internet pharmacy scheme. The pharmacist in charge, Rick Kloxin, was charged earlier this week.

May 1st, 2009
04:41 PM ET

The White House joins Facebook, MySpace, Twitter (and makes friends with the rest of government)

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/03/31/twitter.fail.whale/art.twitter.message.gi.jpg]

Nancy Scola

Today the White House took a big step towards recreating the ubiquitous Internet presence that the Obama campaign created with the simultaneous launch of profiles on three major social networks: Facebook (Facebook.com/WhiteHouse), MySpace (MySpace.com/WhiteHouse), and Twitter (Twitter.com/WhiteHouse).

In creating the new social media pages, the White House endorsed the Internet maxim that no matter your prestige, power, or stature, it often makes more sense to go to where people already are than to wait for them to come to you. "Technology has profoundly impacted how - and where - we all consume information and communicate with one another," reads a post on the White House blog titled "WhiteHouse 2.0" in which the White House announced the new sites. "WhiteHouse.gov is an important part of the Administration's efforts to use the Internet to reach the public quickly and effectively - but it isn't the only place."


Filed under: Internet • Technology
March 19th, 2009
10:34 AM ET

Teens overdose on Facebook ‘drug’

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/03/10/nc.sex.offenders/art.myspace.page.gi.jpg]
Jonathan Zimmerman
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Imagine a drug that made American teenagers think and talk more about the timeless concerns of adolescence: who’s cool, who’s cute and who’s going out with whom. Then imagine that millions of teens were taking this drug, every day.

Actually, you don’t have to. The drug already exists, and it’s called “MySpace.” There’s a competitor drug, too, known as “Facebook.” Between one-half and three-quarters of American teens already have a profile on an Internet social networking site, where they spend hours per week — nobody really knows how many — sharing pictures, gossip and jokes. And we should all be worried about that, although not for the reasons you might suspect.

That’s because the newspapers keep reminding us about “online predators” and other malfeasance on the Net, which makes us miss the digital forest for the trees. In this medium, the real danger doesn’t come from depraved adults. It’s much subtler than that, and it comes from teenagers themselves — specifically, from their insatiable desire to hang out with each other.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Internet
March 15th, 2009
05:13 PM ET

Checking in from SXSW

Kelly Daniel
AC360 Staff

The SXSW Interactive conference is going great. Lots of interesting discussions, great people, and I've talked to several people that have some great ideas for AC360.com. I haven't had much time to blog, but twittering has been going well. Love getting your @replies on Twitter (although my blackberry doesn't make it easy to keep up... iPhone, please! 😉 Do the AC360 bosses read the blog on the weekend?)

So follow me on Twitter: KellyDanielCNN, and I look forward to posting some more in-depth blogs when I get back!

Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Internet • Kelly Daniel
March 12th, 2009
04:23 PM ET

Talk, tweet, and blog about the future of AC360.com

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/12/art.sxswi.jpg]
Kelly Daniel
AC360° Staff

Hopefully you’ve noticed (and are enjoying!) some recent changes at AC360.com… Our staff is joining Anderson and Erica on the Live Blog each night. Our Facebook page is better than ever – make sure to become a fan! And there are more changes in the works!

In a few hours I’m heading to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive conference. It’s the biggest and best (that’s the only way Texas does anything, right?) internet/media/blog conference around. Everyone will be there to talk about the best of the web now and where everything is heading. Google, Facebook, all the big Internet names and all the small names that will be huge this time next year. One name in particular I’m looking forward to: Nate Silver, creator of FiveThirtyEight.com.

I’ll be blogging in between panels, talks, and the evening “networking events.” More frequently I’ll be Twittering, so follow me! KellyDanielCNN. Twitter launched at SXSWi two years ago, so it only seems fitting that I finally start updating my dormant Twitter page.

So, before I hit the road at 4:45AM Friday (not a time I can say I’m particularly fond of, unless if it’s accompanied by pancakes, eggs, and good friends after a long night), what would you like to see on AC360.com? What should I be on the lookout for at SXSWi?

Filed under: 360° Radar • Behind The Scenes • Internet • Kelly Daniel
December 17th, 2008
09:20 AM ET

Cyber vigilantes – on the prowl

Watch John Vause's video on China's cyber vigilantes.
Watch John Vause's video on China's cyber vigilantes.

John Vause
CNN Asia Correspondent

It all sounds very creepy: Human Flesh Search Engines. That’s what they call the cyber vigilantes who trawl the Internet looking for information to publicly shame those who they believe have done wrong. Think black and white movie, angry mob with burning torches and pitch forks. It’s not unique to China, but it certainly happens here a lot.

Lin Jiaxiang ended up on the wrong side of the mob.

Earlier this year, security camera video was posted on line, showing him allegedly trying to force an 11 year old girl into a restroom at a restaurant. Internet users, or netizens as they’re called here, were further outraged when a transcript emerged of an argument between Lin and the girl’s father.

"How much money do you want, just tell me I'll give you the money," he says. "I have the same seniority as your Mayor. So what if I tried to grab a little child's neck."

The netizens went to work, and the human flesh search engine kicked in. It’s a bit like the old town square: someone has one piece of information, which leads to another piece from someone else, which leads to another, until there’s a clear picture of the person involved. Lin was identified and fired by the government within a month.


Filed under: Global 360° • Internet • John Vause
December 16th, 2008
09:34 AM ET

China's cyber vigilantes

CNN's John Vause looks at how Chinese Netizens brought down an official, thanks to "human flesh search engines.

Filed under: Global 360° • Internet • John Vause
December 10th, 2008
01:04 PM ET

Bad news for newspapers

Program Note: Look for Andy Serwer talking about economy on tonight’s AC360° at 10pm.

Andy Serwer
Managing editor, Fortune

In this video clip, Fortune's Andy Serwer says that the print media is struggling with increasing Internet competition.

Filed under: Andy Serwer • Economy • Internet
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