Website Design

ADA Online: Is a Website a "Place of Public Accommodation"?

A lawsuit filed in October claims that Sony's online games—ranging from Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies to Wheel of Fortune—do not provide tools to allow visually impaired users to successfully play the games, and thus viol


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Thou Shalt Not Use Multimedia in Vain

This week, PBS MediaShift's Mark Glaser laid out his ten commandments for local newspapers that want to survive in the digital age. Sixth on his list of ten tweets was "smart multimedia." "Don't do it just to do it," Glaser says.

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Web Security Standard Compromised by Security Researchers Using Sony PlayStations

The following post was submitted by one our loyal readers, Theo Karantsalis.

MIAMI -- The familiar closed padlock icon that indicates a Web site is secure has been picked.

A Web security standard compromised by security researchers exposed a weak link in the system that could give hackers access to PCs.

At risk: all E-commerce and online banking transactions.

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Highlights from the Legal Guide: Getting Your Words and Other Content Out to the World

This is the second in a series of posts calling attention to some of the topics covered in the recently launched Citizen Media Law Project Legal Guide. The first topic we took up was choosing a business form for your online publishing activities. In this post we discuss the various issues, both legal and practical, that arise when you select a platform for your online speech.

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Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is a statement placed in an easily visible place on a website informing users about how the website deals with users' personal information. Privacy policies generally explain whether and how users' information will be shared with third parties, including parent companies or subsidiaries. It frequently explains whether and how the website uses cookies.

Terms of Use

Terms of use (or "terms of service" or "terms and conditions") generally are a statement placed on an easily visible place on a website that governs the relationship between the site and its users or visitors. Users explicitly agree to the terms when they sign up for an account and, depending on how you write the terms, visitors may implicitly agree to them when they use the site.

Evaluating Terms of Service

This section discusses and compares the key "terms of use" (or equivalent sections) you are likely to encounter when you are evaluating various online services. We've grouped these services into three general categories: social networking sites, blog-hosting services, and web-hosting services. Of course, some of these categories blend into each other, but you should be able to get a general idea of how the terms of service vary among the various types of sites and between individual sites themselves.

Using a Blog-Hosting Service

If you're looking to start a blog, a blog-hosting service may be a good place for an amateur, or sometimes even a professional, to launch one. If you're interested in getting online as quickly as possible, and don't need a formal blog, you might also want to consider using a social networking site, such as Facebook or MySpace, which will allow you to create a blog-like profile page.

Starting Your Own Website

Starting your own website may be the most appealing option for getting your words and content out to the world, particularly if you are planning to engage in journalism or otherwise need a site that can grow in size or complexity. There are several things you will need to do to create your own website:

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