theEweekly news wrap 24 April 2009


Spamming the globe

New research from anti-virus gurus McAfee shows that spam email – which accounts for 80 per cent of the world’s email traffic – uses as much electricity as 2.1 million US homes; over 33bn kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The report estimates that 62 trillion spam messages were sent last year. The energy involved in creating and deleting these unwanted emails accumulates to the emission levels generated by 3.1 million cars.

“As the world faces the growing problem of climate change, this study highlights that spam has an immense financial, personal and environmental impact,” said Jeff Green, a senior vice-president at McAfee.

The McAfee research comes as a rival online security group, Symantec, shows a 192 per cent increase in spam email. It is thought 90 per cent of these messages are generated by 'bot networks'; computers which have been hijacked and then programmed to relay and send spam emails without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

Saint Google

Google transformed its homepage to celebrate St. George’s Day on April 22nd this week and visitors to the site were treated to an image honouring the patron saint of England.

This isn’t the first time Google has modified its logo to reflect changing times. Images celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving and St. Patricks Day have all featured on the Google homepage. A selection of our favourite logos from the company’s 10 year history include:

Andy Warhol’s Birthday - August 6, 2002

Leonardo da Vinci’s Birthday - April 15, 2005

Election Day - November 4, 2008

50th anniversary of the LEGO brick - January 28, 2008

The Week in Stats

  • 58 per cent of UK internet users have at least one social networking profile on sites such as Facebook or MySpace.
  • Yahoo has reported a Q1 net profit of $118 million, down 78 per cent on last year’s profits. The company has said it will cut an additional five per cent of its staff.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ruled that Google’s Street View application – which covers 25 UK cities – does not breach the Data Protection Act. 74 written enquiries/complaints were made to the ICO regarding the service.
  • The BBC iPlayer service, which allows users to access BBC television and radio online, received an overhaul this week. Video quality has been improved to 15000kps stream and a HD mode has also been added. iPlayer 3.0 is due for release in summer 2009.
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