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Google in hot water over privacy, may face fines for bypassing Safari settings

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 4:28 pm

'Google' and 'privacy' probably should never be used in the same sentence, unless of course you are accusing Google of breaking a privacy agreement. Well, the FTC has done that, and will be deciding in the next 30 days whether or not to fine the Web giant for bypassing a Safari setting and placing cookies anyway.

 

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Google, before ceasing the practice, had been using a special code to get around Safari's privacy settings so that they could track users on computers and mobile devices. The FTC is looking into whether this violates a 2011 settlement agreement between the FTC and Google over privacy concerns with the launch of Google Buzz. The fines in this case could be up to $16,000 per day.

 

Google continues to defend itself and a spokesperson stated that the company's behavior was "[providing] features that signed-in Google users had enabled." "However, the Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser," Google spokesperson Chris Gaither told CNET. "We will of course cooperate with any officials who have questions."

 

This is not the first time that Google has been in hot water over privacy concerns. The most recent, prior to this one, was the combining of the privacy policies across Google's services. The new policy allowed Google to combine user data from all of the services.

Continue reading 'Google in hot water over privacy, may face fines for bypassing Safari settings' (full post)

Google rolls out a new design for its campus bike

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 3:21 pm

Everyone likes working for Google because of the atmosphere around the campus. One of the neat things at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California is the bikes that are scattered around to facilitate easier moving between campus buildings. Last fall, it became time to replace the bikes and the company knew exactly where to go.

 

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The company turned to its engineers by launching a competition among employees to redesign the 2-year-old fleet of bikes that currently existed. "We've got an entrepreneurial and innovative culture," said Brendon Harrington, Google's transportation operations manager. "We said, 'You tell us what you think is a cool design.'"

 

There was only 4 design criteria that had to be met by the design. First, it had to be easy to produce. Second, it needed to be affordable. Third, it had to be comfortable and secure. Fourth, the bike had to be Googley, using novel components, structure, and appearance. In response, Google received about 36 entries.

 

Entries ranged from a BMX-style bike to a modern take on the old Penny-farthing high-wheel bike. Google ended up going with something conservative: a beach cruiser with coaster brakes and hand brakes. It also sports a basket and bell and fenders to keep the spray off of riders' backs during wet weather. It also has a cover over the chain to protect clothing from grease.

Continue reading 'Google rolls out a new design for its campus bike' (full post)

Tuesday Morning Roundup for April 17, 2012

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Roundups | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 2:53 pm

The latest happenings in the technology world, April 17th, 2012.

 

Storage:

 

Kingston V+200 90GB SSD Upgrade Bundle - Hi Tech Legion

 

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB - PC Perspective | Legit Reviews | Hot Hardware

 

Peripherals:

 

Corsair Vengeance K90 Mechanical Keyboard - Benchmark Reviews

CM Storm QuickFire Pro Gaming Keyboard - Techgage

 

Cases, Cooling & PSUs:

 

Thermaltake Bigwater 760 Plus - Overclockers Club

Continue reading 'Tuesday Morning Roundup for April 17, 2012' (full post)

Deal of the Day: ASUS GX1005B 10/100Mbps switch - just $3.99 after Rebate, shipped Free!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Networking | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 2:26 pm

Our Deal of the Day is ASUS GX1005B 10/100Mbps switch - just $3.99 after Rebate, shipped Free!

 

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NewEgg has the ASUS 5-Port GX1005B Desktop Unmanaged Switch for Home/SOHO for nearly free after rebate. Just pay for the $3.99 shipping and applicable taxes. Go to the product page.

 

Use coupon code: EMCYTZT1449 for the $10 discount.

Expires 04/15/2012.

Send in for the $10 rebate card.

Expires 04/30/2012.

 

Note: if you have a ShopRunner account, you get 2-day shipping for free, making this switch free after rebate!

 

ASUS 5-PORT GX1005B DESKTOP UNMANAGED SWITCH DEAL

 

REBATE FORM

 

Check our TweakTown Daily Deals page for more tech bargains!

Hulu Plus subscriber base growing, hits 2 million subscribers

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Online Video | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 1:58 pm

A new report is out that shows Hulu Plus's growth is accelerating. January of this year saw Hulu Plus reach 1.5 million subscribers, so if this report is true, Hulu managed to add 500,000 subscribers in just 4 months. That rate well outpaces the previous rate of adding about 1,000,000 per year. Nothing official has come from the company just yet.

 

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"We grew the business 60 percent from 2010 to approximately $420 million in revenue [in 2011]," Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said in January. "We exceeded our plan despite the soft advertising market (economy) in the second half of 2011.... Hulu Plus now has more than 1.5 million paying subscribers."

 

The report comes from the New York Times which states that the company will announce this week that it has hit 2 million subscribers. 2011 saw Hulu add 1.1 million subscribers. The previous 4 months saw them add 500,000. If this pace continues, they are on track to gain 1.5 million new subscribers this year.

 

Netflix, at its peak, was adding 1 million subscribers per quarter, or just about 3 times as many as Hulu is set to add this year. But Hulu has adjusted its strategy a little and that could account for the increase. They have started to air original content such as "Battleground." They are also set to release "Up To Speed" over summer. With original content, they are now said to be holding an "upfront" this Thursday.

Download of the Day: Foobar2000 1.1.12 beta 3

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 1:29 pm

Our Download of the Day is Foobar2000 1.1.12 beta 3.

 

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Foobar2000 has hit version 1.1.12 beta 3 and with it brings a bunch of fixes and more:

 

  • Fixed Musepack HTTP streaming bugs.
  • Fixed incorrect MP3 decoder behavior on certain rare files.
  • Fixed crash reporter dialog crash (duh).
  • Detection of proxy server settings from Internet Explorer.
  • Fixed multi-channel FLAC encoding (channel mask now gets preserved).
  • Fixed multi-channel WavPack decoding (channel mask now gets preserved).
  • Now possible to use HDCD & DTS decoder components with ALAC.
  • Changed MP3 tag reading behaviors when multiple tags are present.
  • ID3v2 content now takes priority over APE and then ID3v1.
  • Various time-consuming operations such as conversion or ReplayGain-scanning now prevent the computer from automatically going to sleep (opt-out).

 

You can download Foobar2000 1.1.12 beta 3 here.

Google's Street View arrives in Israel on April 22

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: GPS & Location | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Google are poised to launch their Street View service in Israel on April 22, where they've collected insane amounts of images from a number of major citiies, including the country's famous Dead Sea. The launch event is said to take place this Sunday, with a number of government officials set to join in on the unveiling, according to a report from Globes.

 

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Authorities gave the green light to proceed with capturing images of the country on camera eight months ago, with the launch finally happening, this is a quick turn around of events. Street View Israel will include images of the streets of Jerusalem, Tal Aviv, Haifa, and other locations in the country including the Dead Sea, Kinneret (Israel's largest fresh water lake), and historic cities Nazareth and Mitzpe Ramon.

 

Negotiations with Israeli authorities took three months to conclude, with Israeli newspaper Haaretz reporting that authorities wanted guarantees that Google had an efficient and reliable way for residents to blur out personal information, including number plates and homes before the images for Street View were published online. On top of this, Google are required to manage any litigation resulting from the Street View servie in Israel, rather than in the US.

Continue reading 'Google's Street View arrives in Israel on April 22' (full post)

AMD drops pricing on their HD 7000 series, also offers Three for Free for HD 79xx cards - three free games!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 11:25 am

Team Green stamped down their whoop ass foot a few weeks ago when they launched their GEFORCE GTX 680, and now AMD are returning the favor by not only dropping prices on the HD 7000 series cards, but offering three free games for any purchase of the HD 79xx cards.

 

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The name of this promotion is called "Three for Free", because, well, that's what it is. If you purchase a HD 7950 or 7970, you'll receive Dirt Showdown (when it drops in May), Nexuiz (again, in May) as well as Deus Ex: Human Revolution (as well as the Missing Link DLC pack), which hits in May too. If this is not enough, the offer lasts up until April 30th, and you have up until May 31st to download the respective keys to the games listed above.

 

On top of this, there are price drops on the 7000 series, with the HD 7970 dropping from $549 to $479, the HD 7950 drops from $449 to $399. On the mid-to-low-end range, we see the HD 7770 dropping $20 to $139. You have two weeks to act on this, so if you want to grab some Team Red hardware, some free games, and a new bunch of pricing, hit it up as soon as possible!

RumorTT: Apple are working on a "revolutionary" new device that will be unveiled in the next 8 months

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 10:16 am

We all know that Apple's next iPhone will have to be something quite spectacular if it's to hold off the constant releases from companies such as Samsung, HTC and Nokia. But AppleInsider has heard some news that Apple are working with acclaimed French designer Phillippe Starck on a "revolutionary" new product that will be revealed in the next 8 months.

 

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Starck revealed the news in a radio interview with France Info, but didn't elaborate on what type of product we should expect. He did say:

 

Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months.

 

He also cites Apple's "religious cult of secrecy" where they don't reveal any information, but did add that the new project is "quite revolutionary". Starck also revealed that he regularly met with Apple co-founder and recently deceased Steve Jobs, where he'd see Jobs once a month in his Palo Alto home. Starck now meets up with Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell, whenever he is in California.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Apple are working on a "revolutionary" new device that will be unveiled in the next 8 months' (full post)

Oracle and Google duke it out in court starting today, Oracle is suing Google for $1 billion over patent violations

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2012 9:28 am

Beginning today, is one of the biggest court cases in tech history. Oracle are suing Google to the tune of $1 billion, where they're claiming that Google have violated several patents and copyrights. What the fight is over exactly, is due to Oracle acquiring the intellectual properties of Java when they took over Sun Microsystems back in 2009.

 

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Oracle are claiming that Google's mobile OS, Android, infringes on several of its IP rights relating to the program language. Java was released in 1995, and allows software to run on multiple computer platforms, instead of just one type of operating system. Oracle argues that by using their IP (Java), and then giving Android away for free, Google are undermining the possibility of licensing Java to mobile phone makers.

 

This doesn't mean the end of Android by any means, but what it does mean is we could see a big change in Android in the near future. If Oracle ends up winning, they could force Google to change their Android code, which would make millions of apps for Android, useless. Alternatively, Oracle could force Google to charge for development of apps.

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