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Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

Welcome to dot.Rory - these are my thoughts about how technology is changing the world and shaping our lives

Can internet companies monitor terrorists?

Man using Facebook

Big American tech firms, and in particular Facebook, are under pressure to become more active in the battle against terrorism. But what are their current arrangements?

Facebook is saying little apart from the fact that "we do not allow terrorist content on the site and take steps to prevent people from using our service for these purposes".

But privately the social networking giant believes it does more than most in keeping extremist material off the site and collaborating - where the law allows - with law enforcement agencies.

The company has links on every page allowing users to report anything that breaks the rules - from pornography to extremist material. There are four centres around the world, including one in Dublin covering Europe, where staff monitor the site and handle reports of abuse of its rules.

We are told that several "accounts" used by Michael Adebowale had been deleted by Facebook after being flagged as linked to terrorism. Now this raises some questions - users are not allowed to have multiple accounts so if there was a pattern of creating different profiles, using them for distributing terrorist content and then moving on, maybe that should have been a red flag.

Read full article Can internet companies monitor terrorists?

Universal Credit - an IT experiment

Department for Work and Pensions

It's an ambitious scheme to transform the benefits system but Universal Credit has begun to look like a classic example of how big IT projects go wrong.

A year ago the National Audit Office described the project and in particular its technology as beset by "weak management, ineffective control and poor governance".

Read full article Universal Credit - an IT experiment

Regin, new computer spyware, discovered by Symantec

A leading computer security company says it has discovered one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software ever seen.

Symantec says the bug, named Regin, was probably created by a government and has been used for six years against a range of targets around the world.

Read full article Regin, new computer spyware, discovered by Symantec

Nokia's brand name merry-go-round

Nokia N1
The Nokia N1 is a new venture into the tablet market

This week one of the best known names in technology launched a new product, the N1 Tablet.

It comes from Nokia, the Finnish company that once had 40% of the mobile phone market.

Read full article Nokia's brand name merry-go-round

eBay and an email scam

computer keyboard showing the words "scam"

What's the biggest problem holding back the development of online commerce? Surely it is the fact that fraud continues to undermine confidence.

Online fraud, often conducted via phishing emails, seems to be on the rise - and in the last month or so I've had personal experience of how sophisticated the fraudsters can be.

Read full article eBay and an email scam

Will YouTube Music Key make Spotify sing the blues?

YouTube's subscription service is just the latest entry in what is now a very crowded market.

For music fans these are the best of times, with a wide choice of free advertising-supported services and now an increasing number of paid options.

Read full article Will YouTube Music Key make Spotify sing the blues?

Tech Tent pitches up at Ireland's Web Summit

Paddy Cosgrave at Web Summit
Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave

Ireland has been the hottest place in the tech world this week.

In Dublin the three-day Web Summit attracted huge crowds, and today in Cork a collection of top tech entrepreneurs have arrived via steam train for a conference called F.ounders. We are broadcasting our weekly radio programme Tech Tent from a whisky distillery in Cork, where we hope to have some sober reflections on the state of the technology world from some of the pioneers.

Read full article Tech Tent pitches up at Ireland's Web Summit

Oxford's robots and the funding of innovation

An iPad display in the self-driving car
The iPad display tells the driver when the car is able to take over

Where does innovation come from - the private or public sector? A question provoked by news of what sounds like an exciting spinoff from Oxford University research, and by a fascinating book.

First, the news. Oxford's Mobile Robotics Group has done some pioneering work on driverless cars, and now the academics who have led that research are starting a company called Oxbotica. The idea is that the firm will manage and market the intellectual property already developed by the group and look to develop more ideas in the field of robotics.

Read full article Oxford's robots and the funding of innovation

Fashion challenge for Apple design guru Jony Ive

Jony Ive

He's the world's most influential industrial designer - but now Jony Ive faces a supreme test. Can he turn Apple's smartwatch into another hit product without the backing of his mentor and partner Steve Jobs?

In recent weeks Sir Jonathan Ive - or Jony Ive as he is universally known - has been straying far from his usual habitat.

Read full article Fashion challenge for Apple design guru Jony Ive

A day without data

Every day, anyone who is connected to the internet leaves an ever bigger trail of data behind them. But how aware are we of who is collecting this information and of who benefits from it? I spent a day without data to to explore these questions.

My guide for this no-data diet is Dr George Danezis, an expert on privacy and information security at University College, London. As I sit at the breakfast table, handing over my gadgets he sets out the challenge I face:

Read full article A day without data

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About Rory

Rory has been watching the technology scene like a hawk for the last 15 years.

From the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s to the rise of Google and Facebook, from the Psion organiser to the iPad, he's covered all the big gadget and business stories, and interviewed just about everyone who's played a part in the story of the web.

Dot.Rory, his previous blog, was named among the Top 100 blogs by the Sunday Times.

He aims to look at the impact of the internet and digital technology on our lives and businesses. Rory has been described as "the non-geek's geek", and freely admits that he came late to technology - but he aims to explain its significance to anyone with an interest in the subject.

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