Stories by Paul McNamara

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.

On the company dime: Rogue game server admins tell all

Back in January, Scandinavian gamers hijacked a New Hampshire medical center's server to host "Call of Duty: Black Ops" sessions. When asked about that incident, Stephen Heaslip of the gamer site Blues News told Network World that hackers are not the most likely individuals to commandeer corporate servers for illicit gaming: Such appropriations are more often the work of IT administrators, he said. When asked if he could put us in touch with some of these rogue game server admins, Heaslip posted a call to his readership -- and four volunteers stepped forward.

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.

Transit system Web site crashes put officials on defensive

A series of major Web site crashes that added to storm-related commuting chaos has the leaders of Boston's transit system promising improvements, while the site's webmaster has been reassigned to a presumably less high-profile position.

Facebook unveils security tools after Zuckerberg's page hacked

Coincidence or not, Facebook today announced two new security measures -- wider use of HTTPS and the introduction of "social authentication" -- less than 24 hours after the Facebook page of company founder Mark Zuckerberg was defaced by a hacker.

Aiming to make data-breach research easier

The monstrous data breaches involving millions of records make all the headlines -- TJX, AOL, the Veterans Administration. However, it's those whoppers combined with the rat-a-tat-tat of seemingly daily divulgences involving lesser-known entities and fewer victims that add up to a costly and so-far-uncontrolled societal headache.

Seen, heard and alleged at DEMO

Digital Fountain’s dip into the content-delivery network pool — DF Splash — offered among the more impressive stage demonstrations last month at DEMOfall07, was so impressive that a company executive says a couple of conference attendees accused them of pulling a fast one.

Ninety-seven senators can be wrong

FRAMINGHAM (11/07/2003) - The vote in your United States Senate was 97 to 0 - generally the kind of bipartisan unanimity reserved for proclamations supporting National Bran Muffin Month and the like.