Most internet users are familiar with internet errors such as 404 Not Found and 403 Forbidden. However, there’s a new internet status code that is being proposed by Tim Bray, a developer advocate – for sites that are blocked for ‘legal reasons’.

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Bray, who has experience in developing key Internet standards, says, “I’ve been told by the chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group that he’ll give the proposal some agenda time at the next IETF meeting. It’s not a big proposal; shouldn’t take long.”

However, the recognition for the need of a new code first started when Terence Eden tried to access The Pirate Bay to no avail. When the site’s server denied his request, Eden then expressed the need for a new “HTTP code for censorship”, which not only caught on sparking discussions on Slashdot and Hacker News – until the time when Bray agreed to turn the ‘idea’ into reality.

With the code (451) taken aptly from Ray Bradbury’s novel, Farenheit 451, which deals with censorship, the proposal for the error code if approved, will not only furnish the details on the restriction but also mention which legal authority is imposing the restriction as well.

Bray also thinks that once official consensus is reached, there would little or no work on the engineering side in order for servers to provide “explanatory text with a 451”. In the end, of course, this effort is to ensure that when censorship does happen, it takes place out in the open and thus, provides pertinent information for users everywhere.

With Facebook due to release its earnings in ad revenue in a few days, the numbers will provide a clear indication as to whether Google continues to win in this area of revenue or, in fact, Facebook is also a contender to its throne.

What makes these results important is because of Facebook making its initial public offering in May and which will indicate whether it is growing fast enough to justify a high valuation made during the time of the IPO.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with the market research firm eMarketer, explains why these results are so important, in saying, “Advertisers need more proof that actual advertising on Facebook offers a return on investment. There is such disagreement over whether Facebook is the next big thing on the Internet or whether it’s going to fail miserably.”

However, what Facebook has to its advantage is personal data of almost 900 million users but using it effectively provides effective and profitable ads – a task that is anything but easy. Google, on the other hand, being in the game much longer already creates 10 times the annual revenue from advertising that Facebook generates.

And so in order to get this task right, Facebook has hired the services Gokul Rajaram, who ran the AdSense engine, when it acquired his company, Chai Labs, and which specializes in building artificial-intelligence algorithms that analyzes online data.

Yet it isn’t going to be easy – since another challenge to reach mobile users with Facebook advertisements is also on the company’s list of things to do apart from having to cope with a lack of growth number of new users in the United States and little or no ad profits when it comes to Indian and Brazilian users.

An advanced search function, Google local search, which has been offered with the Galaxy S3 smartphone, has been disabled by Samsung, thanks to a patent dispute with Apple.

Simon Clark, head of intellectual property at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, explains this move by Samsung, in saying, “Samsung may be doing this as a precautionary measure to prevent it having to pay damages on devices sold outside the US in case Apple prevails in the States and then pursues a similar suit elsewhere.”

Samsung, according to Android Central, which released the news, said that its users were not made aware of these developments both internationally and in the United States.

The reason for this move is because Apple claims that Samsung’s innovation infringes its patent for a single search interface used in its Siri app, and has already enforced a temporary sales ban on another Samsung handset – the Galaxy Nexus.

This latest move comes as no surprise as both firms, Apple and Samsung, have been involved in a long list of lawsuits that has placed the technologies and design of their products under scrutiny.

While being unsuccessful in convincing a judge in London that Samsung had copied the iPad in terms of looks, Apple was successful in an appeals court in Dusseldorf where a preliminary injunction has been extended against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 across the EU.

And that’s not all – both these companies are set to clash yet again when a jury in the United States will hear the patent infringement suits filed by both companies against each other.

A question that has been asked about Twitter over the years is whether it is a technology or media company. The answer, in not being so simple, is simply a variation of both – according to Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter.


He explains further, in saying, “I think of us as a technology company because I think the future of the company is in building on an extensible platform that allows third-party developers and companies to add value to Twitter in a way that is accretive to Twitter and is accretive to our users. I don’t need to be or want to be in the content business.”

To support his statement, he also mentioned that is not in the content business because instead of having reporters or a newsroom, almost half of Twitter’s employees [1300 in number] are engineers who are working on building the technology around which Twitter runs on while also continuously creating new features for its users.

In fact, he also wishes to encourage companies and developers to build products and tools inside the Twitter platform – instead of creating external Twitter apps.

Speaking of new features, Twitter as a whole, is also evolving into something different by experimenting with media-like products some of which NASCAR and Olympics-branded pages. Twitter currently also has employees that help V.I.Ts such as athletes, media outlets, politicians and celebrities to use its features well. Thanks to this content available by V.I.Ts, “engagement rates on ads” are also great as opposed to traditional Web ads.

Yet even though Costolo still maintains the fact that Twitter has and always been a communication platform, experts think that these ‘experiments’ being conducted make Twitter more of a media company.

Apple has released the latest update for its operating system, the OS X Mountain Lion, for laptops and desktops. The earlier update, released in February, was for iPhone and iPad devices which are now complete.

Announced along with the third quarter earnings release, Brian Blau, research director at tech research firm Gartner evaluates this latest update, in saying, “While there are a lots of new features this is not a major upgrade like the last version Lion was. But Apple has also been improving its Office-like software and creation applications along the way, so maybe it didn’t need such a big revision. And you have to bear in mind it is only charging $20 [£13.99 in UK] for the change.”

Some of these features include the use of the iCloud internet storage service, the iMessage service which allows text message chats between computers and handsets, a feature which allows users to share material on Twitter and an application which allows gamers to compare their scores with their friends.

Other features include adding Baidu as a search tool in the web browser and buttons to make sharing easy to the Sina Weibo microblog as well as video sites such as Tudou and Youku indicate Apple’s expansion plans in China.

However, with Microsoft releasing Windows 8 in October which allows users to run the same system on both their tablets and desktops can pose a challenge to Mac’s decisions to keep its Mac system distinct from iOS as it makes sharing much easier for the former.