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Google wants you back, launches new site "Get You Google Back"

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 11:32 pm

Microsoft has woven Internet Explorer and Bing through Windows 8. The marriage of the two has been done so nicely that Google has produced a website to help users "get their Google back." It seems as though Google might be slightly worried about Microsoft, Bing, and Internet Explorer. Take a look for yourself.



The video is pretty humorous. Whether or not it is effective at conveying the message that Google would like it to remains to be seen. Google has created a search app that will bring with it a user interface that most Googlers will be familiar with:


The Google Search app comes with a clean and recognizable user interface. Our new voice search lets you naturally speak questions. The image search and image previews are built for swiping. And, as usual, you get immediate results as you type with Google Instant. The doodles you enjoy on special occasions will be right there on the homepage and even show up on the Google tile on your start screen.


Chrome has also been updated for the touch interface and now features larger buttons with everything else about it largely unchanged. If you aren't sure how to "get your Google back," head on over to the website Google has put up to help guide you on your way to a search master. Check out

Continue reading 'Google wants you back, launches new site "Get You Google Back"' (full post)

Google updates Maps to include more information about vegetation and natural geography

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 10:28 pm

Google has updated the base maps used in Google Maps so that viewers can get a quicker, more comprehensive look of the lay of the land. Terrain will now be depicted on the Google Map's base map, along with color gradients to show varying vegetation, and labels to show natural land formations.




Above you'll see a section of Southern Asia before the update to the base map. It's pretty boring, mostly white, and doesn't show a lot of terrain information. Below, you can see the updated version of the same map. In the updated version, the vegetation is much more pronounced, along with terrain, such as mountains.




I'm trying to decide if the timing of this is to compete with Apple's Maps or not. I'm leaning towards no, and that this is just a simple progression of Google Maps trying to be all they possibly can be. With that said, the changes are a great addition and bring the maps more into line with the paper maps of yesteryear.

Apple stock drops below $600 less than 24 hours after earnings call

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 9:28 pm

Apple's stock is not having a good day as investors are punishing the company for performing worse than expectations. Don't get me wrong, they had an incredible quarter--just like always--but it was below analyst expectations in some regards. Furthermore, investors are worried about the supply shortage that Apple has been experiencing in regards to the iPhone and iPad mini.




The stock has since recovered from the low point seen above, but it is still in the low $600s. This is the first time that Apple stock has been below $600 since July. The fact that iPhones are still in a "significant state of backlog" is casting fears that it could impact sales, though Tim Cook disagrees.


The iPad mini went up for preorder this morning and had already sold out of some models and subsequently pushed shipping time back. Tim Cook says he is "pleased with the current volume of output" and believes that the component shortages would not hold back sales. However, he expects the new iMac to be significantly constrained for the next quarter.

Megaupload's successor to launch January 20, 2013, one year after police raid of his mansion

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 8:33 pm

Kim Dotcom is working, and has been, on a successor to Megaupload, after it was taken down by US authorities back in January 2012. But, never fear, as Kim Dotcom has come back stronger and more feisty than ever, flying in the face of the authorities by creating a new Megaupload that will encrypt all uploaded files so he will fall into the DMCA safe harbor provision.




Dotcom has now come out on Twitter with an announcement that the new Mega will launch on January 20, 2013, exactly one year after the police raided his mansion. The raid has been very controversial since it took place that fateful morning back in January. Since the raid, the courts have ruled the warrants used were invalid.


Claims that the police used too much force have also been brought. The US authorities aren't exactly pleased, either, as Dotcom's extradition hearing from New Zealand has been pushed back to sometime in March 2013 due to all of the issues with the way authorities handled the case. Extradition isn't looking very promising as US authorities aren't interested in sharing evidence, something the New Zealand court wants.

Google exec Vic Gundotra outs the Nexus 10 tablet with pictures from his vacation

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 7:32 pm

That's right, the Nexus 10 tablet has been officially outed through pictures posted on Google+. And it was no slip-up either. Google exec Vic Gundotra is on vacation somewhere incredibly gorgeous (who knows, maybe Google paid for the vacation so he could do this "stunt") and has taken photos with a Nexus 10 and posted them on his Google+.




Of course, these pictures then went out to his 3.3 million followers. We're only 3 days away from when the Nexus 10 is supposed to be unveiled. Now, that in and of itself isn't that big of a deal, or at least it wouldn't be until you learn some of the specifications of the new device. Most important is the screen resolution, 2560 x 1600.


This is notable because it is higher than both the iPad 3 and iPad 4's Retina displays, an impressive feat. And, with the pictures that have been posted, we can also comment on the shooter, which is clearly a good camera specimen. It took some incredible shots of what I imagine to be an incredible vacation.

Unencrypted boarding pass barcodes damage US air security

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 6:28 pm

With the ever-increasing pervasiveness of technology, it was only time until someone figured out that airplane boarding passes could be read by smartphones and the data displayed to the user. Unfortunately, it was discovered that these boarding passes lacked any sort of simple security, such as encryption.




Users who use the PreCheck system can decode their barcodes and find out whether or not they would be randomly checked before they ever left home. The US PreCheck system allows frequent flyers and people willing to pay $100 to sometimes skip some parts of security, though it is random whether or not you will be checked.


This "randomness" is decided ahead of time and encoded in the barcode. A quick scan with a smartphone, or a quick look with your eyes, divulges whether or not you've been randomly selected. "The disclosure of this information means that bad guys are not going to be kept on their toes anymore," Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, said.


"The disclosure of this information means that bad guys are not going to be kept on their toes anymore," he said. This means terrorists can realize their not going to be screened and bring unauthorized items on board the plane, posing a massive security risk for those on board.

Apple has updated their UK website to include link to Samsung judgement

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 5:18 pm

Apple is probably not one bit happy with the website edit that they were forced to include on their UK website. However, they took it in stride and have added a few details that weren't mandated by the court--a few edits that could possibly get them in trouble. Take a look for yourself and decide:




The part I'm most interested in is the last paragraph in which they talk about their wins in other courts around the world. It makes it seem as though the English courts got it wrong, which I'm sure Apple believe through and through. However, it seems like the English court system might be upset by this addition. You can check it out on Apple's website.


Apple still has to place ads in UK national newspapers and technology-related publications to satisfy the requirements set forth by the English court system. I'd like to take this moment to say that this is something that every court system should do when a company invalidly sues another and basically libels them.

Study says people believe Windows 8 to be safer, not big enough deal to upgrade

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 1:26 pm

Here's a study I'm sure Microsoft will be extremely happy to see. It seems like people do believe that Microsoft has gotten better over the years at making Windows a safer operating system, something that people previously despised Microsoft for. Avast AntiVirus ran a survey of over 350,000 computer users who installed or re-licensed their software and found some really interesting results.




In the study, Avast found that Microsoft did a great job of promoting the new operating system as 56 percent of respondents new that Windows 8 would soon be released. Of the respondents, 65 percent were using Windows 7, 22 percent XP, and 8 percent on Vista. Curiously, 3 percent didn't know which they were using.


18 percent of respondents said that Windows has "definitely gotten safer over the years." 46 percent thought that it probably had and 30 percent weren't sure. 4 percent said probably not and 2 percent said definitely not. A combined 46 percent said either probably or definitely yes that Windows 8 would be safer than previous versions.


40 percent were not sure and 14 percent made up the probably and definitely no category. Even with all of this extra perceived safety, only 8 percent are likely to get a new computer sooner just so that they have Windows 8. 78 percent said probably not or definitely not, showing that people either perceive their current system as safe enough, or can't justify the purchase just for the extra security.

Continue reading 'Study says people believe Windows 8 to be safer, not big enough deal to upgrade' (full post)

Anonymous asks UK police to "join us" in emails

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 12:39 pm

Hacker collective group Anonymous have reportedly asked member of the British police force by email to "join us", and yes, it's serious. The group hacked into the UKPoliceOnline forum, stole email addresses of police officers, where they then emailed a manifesto which reads like a recruitment message:




We know that most of you are working-class people, like the majority of us, and that you too have mortgages, student loans, or your children do, and other debts as well. Don't defend the traitors against us, your fellow citizens. We offer you our hands in friendship. Join us.


Why Anonymous did this, we don't know, but it is definitely an interesting turn of events. Anonymous look to be acting toward the human side of these officers, after all, they're in debt just as much as the next person. We've seen what police and hired enforcements can do to Occupy Wall St and the various riots in the EU lately, maybe this is a step toward Anonymous and the police working together, maybe it's just a huge troll.

Halo 4 receives new gameplay launch trailer, Master Chief is in his element

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 26, 2012 11:37 am

I still remember the day Halo came out with the original Xbox, it was one of the most exciting days of my life. It was such a great game, and it has grown into an absolute money-maker for Microsoft now, with gamers all across the world anticipating the latest release, Halo 4.



Halo 4 has received a new gameplay launch trailer, showing off the Xbox 360's latest sure-fire hit's graphics, sci-fi elements, chronicling Master Chief's journey as he explores the mysterious Forerunner world of Requiem. Master Chief has his BFF, Cortana, who is a super version of Siri, really.


The trailer shows off just one minute and eleven seconds of footage, but gives you the last tease you require before you lock yourself down for days on end playing the latest entrance into the Halo universe.

Continue reading 'Halo 4 receives new gameplay launch trailer, Master Chief is in his element' (full post)

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