Press

"Research Finds Some Internet Service Providers Hijack Searches"
August 10, 2011 | Jonathan Tam, The Daily Californian

Some Internet Service Providers who work with third-party proxy servers may be redirecting and possibly hijacking their users’ search queries, according to a blog posted last Thursday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which worked in collaboration with UC Berkeley-affiliated researchers. Researchers at the International Computer Science Institute, a campus-affiliated institute, began their work over two years ago and discovered that some service providers routed brand-related term searches in the search engines Yahoo!, Bing and Google to brand websites instead of the intended search engine results.

“ISPs Regularly Hijack Searches for Profit, Study Shows”
August 8, 2011 | James Lee Philips, International Business Times

A recent study shows that a single company is responsible for a number of small ISPs making extra money using nefarious search engine hijacks. The report was a joint effort by Peter Eckersley of the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Christian Kreibich, Vern Paxson, and Nicholas Weaver of ICSI (International Computer Science Institute) of Berkeley, California.

"FCC Announces Net-Neutrality Competition Winners"
August 6, 2011
| Brendan Sasso, Hillicon Valley, The Hill

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced the winners of a contest to perform research or develop applications that protect the principle of net neutrality. The three winning teams were the University of Michigan and Microsoft Research; School of Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology; and the International Computer Science Institute Netalyzr Project.

Nearly 2 percent of all US Internet users suffer from "malicious" domain name system (DNS) servers that don't properly turn website names like google.com into the IP addresses computers need to communicate on the 'Net. And, to make matters worse, the problem isn't caused by hackers or malware, but by the local ISPs people pay for access to the Internet. Though the 2 percent number might sound low, it's astonishingly high for a core Internet function, as is clear from the fact that no other country—apart from Haiti—sees more than 0.17 percent malicious DNS servers. What's gone wrong in America?

“Contest Shines Light on Broadband Providers’ Tactics”
August 5, 2011 | Grant Gross, IDG News Service, PC World

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has given awards to three computer science teams for application development or research that helps broadband customers measure the speed and performance of their service. Teams from the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan and Microsoft Research won the FCC's Open Internet Challenge, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Friday.

"Study: Some ISPs Still Hijacking Search Results (Lawsuit Follows)"
August 5, 2011 | Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

Try this: open up a new tab and type “kindle” into the address bar. Chances are it will send you to a Google search results page. That is, unless the ISP is intercepting such rogue queries and doing what they will with them. A pair of computer scientists at UC Berkeley have found that at least a dozen ISPs are still doing this, the result being that, for example, when someone types “kindle” into the address bar, it doesn’t go to your preferred search results, but directly to Amazon’s Kindle page.

A number of regional ISPs appear to be transparently rerouting search queries for their own profit, according to researchers and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Researchers at the International Computer Science Institute and the EFF said they believe that the redirected searches are being controlled by a company called Paxfire, which is working with several ISPs to redirect searches through Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing.

“Widespread Hijacking of Search Traffic in the United States”
August 4, 2011 | Peter Eckersley, the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Earlier this year, two research papers reported the observation of strange phenomena in the Domain Name System (DNS) at several US ISPs. On these ISPs' networks, some or all traffic to major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo! and (sometimes) Google, is being directed to mysterious third party proxies.

“US Internet Providers Hijacking Users’ Search Queries”
August 4, 2011 | Jim Giles, New Scientist

Searches made by millions of internet users are being hijacked and redirected by some internet service providers in the US. Patents filed by Paxfire, the company involved in the hijacking, suggest that it may be part of a larger plan to allow ISPs to generate revenue by tracking the sites their customers visit. It may also be illegal.

"Colour Naming: Eglantine by Any Other Name"
July 6, 2011  |  The Johnson Blog, The Economist

Let's start with the basics. A 1969 study of colour naming by Brent Berlin and Paul Kay concluded that languages evolve through a fairly limited set of possible trajectories for naming colours, determined largely by the biology of the human visual cortex. They begin with a distinction between just two tones, light/warm and dark/cool (there is a disputed claim that the Pirahã language of the Brazilian Amazon hasn't got past this stage).

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