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Bahrain Releases Dissident Blogger One Day After Arresting Him

Authorities in Bahrain have released a dissident blogger, just one day after arresting him at his home. Mahmoud al-Youssef was taken into custody early Wednesday morning, as part of a nationwide campaign against opposition activists and protesters. The 50-year-old al-Youssef, who blogs in English, has long criticized the Bahrain regime for restricting freedom of expression, and has been an...

Google Previews Updated Blogger Interface at SXSW

Tumblr and Twitter may be the hot sharing sites in 2011, but millions of bloggers got their start on Google's free Blogger, a site that hasn't had major visual refresh since 2004. Google previewed Blogger's redesign at SXSW, and it looks like the classic blues and oranges are out in favor of whiter and wider writing tools. No word on launch date, but Google says it's coming in 2011....

Heather Armstrong Reigns Over Blogdom With Dooce.com

When asked what we do for work, we often wince before saying, "I'm a blogger." It's because, for most folks, the term likely describes a twenty-something nerd who lives in his mother's basement, collects unemployment, and writes in his LiveJournal about black metal bands. Thanks to the New York Times' profile of Heather Armstrong, though, "blogger" might soon mean an independently wealthy media...

The Youth Choose Twitter Over Blogs

Blogging platforms and personal blogs have both seen dips in traffic with the emergence of Twitter and Facebook. Services like Blogger and LiveJournal, which cater to a younger crowd focused on sharing thoughts and experiences with others, have borne the brunt of the decline. A Pew Research Center poll found that the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds with blogs had fallen by half since 2006, to...

Censored Tunisian Blogger Leaves Detainment, Enters Parliament

Political censorship by oppressive regimes often results in murky facts being distributed on an international scale. Dissidents and citizen journalists -- the important voices who are responsible for reporting on the ground -- frequently end up in Big Brother-style detention. Yet, this week in Tunisia, a unique scene played out, indicating the changing shape of political activism and, perhaps,...

'Judges Must Die' Blogger Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison

A man from New Jersey has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for making death threats against three federal judges on his blog. Right-wing blogger Hal Turner reportedly took issue with a 2009 ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed legal challenges to handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. Disgusted with the decision, Turner took to his blog, where he...

Egypt Jails Political Activist for Posting 'Defense Secrets' on Facebook

Over the course of the past few months, the Egyptian government has taken a particularly hard-line stance against Facebook-based activism, many authorities believing it to pose a legitimate threat to President Hosni Mubarak. In March, a military tribunal unsuccessfully attempted to silence a controversial blogger named Ahmed Mustafa, barely three years after Egypt had jailed another writer for...

Find a Security Hole in Google, Make Some Extra Cash

Amateur Web wizards will soon be able to make a little extra cash on Google, thanks to a new security rewards program that the company unveiled. The new program is essentially a duplicate of Google Chrome's vulnerability reward service, which offers cash compensation to anyone who discovers security holes on the Web browser. Now, vulnerability hunters can troll for weaknesses on more Google...

Human Rights Watch Asks Syria to Free Teen Blogger From Detention

In December 2009, Syrian security forces detained 19-year-old high school student and blogger Tal al-Mallohi without ever justifying their decision. For the next nine months, Syrian authorities prohibited the girl from communicating with her family, and never even offered an explanation for why they targeted her in the first place. On September 1st, al-Mallohi's mother finally issued a plea to...

Old Spice Guy Personalizes Videos for Celebs, Tweeters and Bloggers

When actor Isaiah Mustafa (A.K.A. the "Old Spice Guy") gallantly rode his white horse on to the center stage of pop culture earlier this year, he almost instantly became a viral sensation. Not long after his hilarious commercial debut on February 4, "the man your man could smell like" released a series of similar ads on YouTube and Old Spice's website. Now, he's taken things one step further, by...

IBM Wants to Help Bloggers Overcome Writer's Block

Everyone out there has endured writer's block at some point. You don't have to be a novelist, or even a pro-blogger to have smacked up against the wall at some point. Sadly, if you're struggling with a school paper we can't help you, but IBM thinks it has a solution for those bloggers that might be stuck for topics. Blog Muse is a social tool that allows users to suggest and vote on topics...

Google Commits Blogocide, Shuts Down Music Blogs

Google has dominated the tech-news cycle for the last few days. The Internet is still abuzz with news of Buzz, and Google's foray into the ISP business is attracting plenty of press, as well. But not all of the coverage has been for positive reasons. The company has found itself embroiled in a scandal that has been dubbed "musicblogocide2010" by the Twitterverse. Several popular music blogs,...

Outrage Over Mom's Tweet of Grief

Shellie Ross, a popular mommy blogger and Twitter personality, suffered a personal tragedy recently when her two-year-old son, Bryson, fell into the family pool and drowned. He slipped away from her side while the two were outside in the family's backyard. Ross immediately called the paramedics, but sadly, it was too late. Half an hour after calling an ambulance, a distraught Ross reached out to...

Mommy Blogger Turns Hate Mail Into Gold

We have to hand it to mommy blogger Heather Armstrong, of Dooce fame. She beat us to the punch. We've been tossing around the idea of rounding up our favorite hate-ments on Switched for some time now, but have never actually acted on it. Armstrong, who recently made it to number 26 on Forbes's list of the most influential women in media, decided to assemble the piles of hateful, nasty comments...

'Skanks' Blogger Sues Google for $15M for Divulging Identity

Last week, the notoriously anonymous 'Skanks in NYC' blogger was facing a potential defamation lawsuit by model Liksula Gentile Cohen, who had been negatively characterized in the blog. This week, that same blogger, who has since been identified as 27-year-old fashion student Rosemary Port, is filing a lawsuit of her own. According to ZDNet, she has decided to sue Google for revealing her...