What we can learn from the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax

By Alex Leo
June 13, 2011

From the Free Amina Facebook group.

Turns out that young, lesbian blogger in Syria was actually a middle-aged, Georgia-born, married white man, studying in Scotland. Tom MacMaster was on vacation in Turkey this weekend when he confessed to posing as Amina Arraf for five years on the Internet, and for five months on damascusgaygirl.blogspot.com.

Tech wrap: Spain makes Sony attack arrests

June 10, 2011

Spanish police arrested three men suspected to be members of the hacker group Anonymous, charging them with organizing cyber attacks against the websites of Sony, Spanish banks BBVA and Bankia, and Italian energy group Enel SpA– but not the recent massive hacking of PlayStation gamers. Anonymous responded by threatening to retaliate for the arrests: “We are Legion, so EXPECT US,” the group said on its official Twitter feed.

Tech wrap: Myspace sale saga nears end

June 9, 2011

An investor group involving Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is in final talks to take a controlling stake in News Corp’s social network site Myspace, according to a source familiar with the matter. Kotick’s involvement is personal and nothing to do with Activision at this stage, the source said.

Yahoo’s Ross Levinsohn: We’re still No. 1

June 9, 2011

As Yahoo’s Executive Vice President of the America’s region, Ross Levinsohn’s task is to transform the image of the lumbering Internet giant to one with a passing resemblance to the darling of the 1990s dotcom era when it called the shots. Though, investors ascribed virtually all of Yahoo’s market value to its prized Asian assets – a major stake in China’s hot Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan – brushing aside Yahoo’s core U.S. business.

How my e-book became a physical book

By Tyler Cowen
June 9, 2011

By Tyler Cowen

The views expressed are his own.

“Can you sign my Kindle?” I guess authors on publicity tours are assuming this line is a joke, but it soon won’t be. Clever entrepreneurs are developing ways that authors can electronically sign a fan’s Kindle, Nook, iPad, or any such device, sometimes together with a photograph of the author and reader, ready for posting on Facebook and Twitter. One version of this new idea is called Autography.

E3: Strauss Zelnick dishes on Wii U, Zynga and why foie gras tastes better than chewing gum

June 9, 2011

Take-Two Interactive occupies a massive booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it’s showing off its new games and serving beer at the elaborate sports bar it constructed on the show floor.  Under its CEO, Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two has been showing renewed financial health in recent quarters. In February, it posted its first profitable year in nearly a decade without a new release of its blockbuster video game franchise “Grand Theft Auto.”  Zelnick sat down with Reuters for an in depth chat touching on everything from Nintendo’s new console to Zynga’s business model, and the difference between foie gras and chewing gum.

Tech wrap: Apple “spaceship” to tackle “weed” problem

June 8, 2011

Apple plans to build a circular “spaceship” building in hometown Cupertino — and be the best office building in the world, CEO Steve Jobs said. The ailing Jobs, formally on leave from the company, made his second public appearance in two days late on Tuesday to show off plans to the Cupertino city council. Apple has grown “like a weed” Jobs said, and needs a place to put roughly 12,000 people. The massive new structure would be in addition to the main campus at 1 Infinite Loop.

Steve Jobs’s biggest gadget yet

June 8, 2011

“Apple’s grown like weeds” begins Apple CEO Steve Jobs at a presentation to the Cuptertino City Council. Jobs rocked the PC industry with the Mac. He’s roiled the music industry with the iPod. Then back again to the PC industry with the iPad. Now, he wants his own UFO/HQ. Business Insider summarizes.

Tech wrap: Nintendo debuts Wii U

June 7, 2011

Nintendo took the wraps off a high-definition version of its hit Wii, with a 6.2-inch touchscreen-equipped controller that the leading videogame hardware maker hopes will appeal to a more hardcore audience. Early reviews of the Wii U were mixed, with analysts saying the device stopped short of being game-changing. But some liked the innovation in the controller, a device slightly larger than Apple’s iPhone and whose touchscreen, video-call capability and extra functions may appeal to gamers who play longer and more intensely.

Rule Britannia? FT fires warning shot at Apple

June 7, 2011

The release of a Financial Times app that bypasses Apple’s App Store is a warning shot at the iPad maker’s quest to rule the high seas of digital publishing.