If you're one of the many people who made flipbooks in their youth, there is now a much easier way to do it. A new website, called Vine Flip, will turn your six-seocnd Vine video into a flipbook. The founders got the idea after thinking about how awesome it would be to pass a flipbook of a Vine video they had just taken around the office.
We were goofing around our office shooting our friends being foolish and thought, how funny if we could make this into a flipbook and secretly pass them around the office. And then the ideas of other ways we'd like to flip our Vines came flowing out - from marriage proposals to parties. We knew we had to roll this out if nothing else to entertain ourselves
Turning a Vine video into a flipbook has lots of cool uses, but it really is just an awesome demonstration of the digital world becoming physical once again. For $14, you can turn a Vine video into a pair of flipbooks, though you can order as many as you want. They will take five to ten business days for them to be created and delivered.
And now, a human interest story. Meet Marguerite Joseph. She's 104 years old and quite proud of her age. Not only is she old, she is an avid user of Facebook. Due to her age, she was in the perfect position to discover a bug within the website that prevents her from putting her real birth year.
She's been in a little bit of a battle with Facebook to get the bug ironed out, but she hasn't been able to. Now that she's getting publicity about the problem, Facebook has issued a statement saying they've discovered a bug that prevents users from entering a birth year before 1910:
"We've recently discovered an issue whereby some Facebook users may be unable to enter a birthday before 1910. We are working on a fix for this and we apologize for the inconvenience."
According to Joseph, the website won't even let her enter 1918 as her birth year. Every time she tries to enter her true birth date, Facebook pitches out an error message and changes the year to 1928.
While most people won't be affected by the bug, it certainly shows how Facebook wasn't designed with users of this age in mind. It also shows how times are changing and Facebook has become a staple in people's lives across the spectrum of age.
Another week, another complaint about piracy from the Recording Industry Association of America. This time the RIAA is saying that Google is not making pirate sites harder to find in its search results. Six months ago, Google offered up a change to the way it ranks sites that could cause pirate sites to appear lower in rankings.
Specifically, the company said: "Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily."
The RIAA say that finding pirate sites in Google's search results is just as easy as it ever has been. They issued a new report regarding the matter, in which they allege the following: "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy."
Google has responded to the report saying,
We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever. In the last month we received more than 14 million copyright removal requests for Google Search, quickly removing more than 97% from search results. In addition, Google's growing partnerships and distribution deals with the content industry benefit both creators and users, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry each year.
Google often hosts these "Doodle 4 Google" competitions in which Google encourages users to submit a doodle to become the homepage logo of Google for a day. Google has just announced this year's Doodle 4 Google in the United States and has kicked off the 30-day countdown to the March 22 submission deadline.
To make the competition more interesting and fun, Google has produced an interactive map that shows where submissions are coming from and which state has the most submissions. Google wants you to encourage fellow students and teachers to enter the competition.
One winner from each state will win an all-expenses paid trip to New York City in May for the awards ceremony. The contestant with the winning doodle design will win a $30,000 college scholarship and his or her school will win a $50,000 technology grant.
You can download the entry form here and start doodling right away.
In the wake of a series of high-profile hacks, Twitter has updated it's e-mail sending systems to help prevent phishing attacks from being successful. Known as DMARC, the new technology helps identify an e-mail as legitimate and allows e-mail providers to block e-mails that come from forged domains.
The technology is rather new and has been created to help fight e-mail phishing attacks. All four of the major e-mail providers--AOL, Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, and Yahoo--have gotten on board with the new technology and are already rejecting e-mails coming from forged domains.
It will be interesting to see just how well this technology works to cut down on Twitter hacks. If you'd like a more technical explanation of the technology, you can find more information about the DMARC technology on their website.
For more than a decade now email has been a way of life, and as with all electronic services that become staples, hackers have found ways to get your information. Fortunately Google has found a way to all but end account hacks to its Gmail service.
Nine times out of ten, a program breaks into your email accounts with the intention of blasting out spam to both your contacts and a list of thousands of others. This is why we see so much spam in our inbox's. Gmail was not left out and the number of hacked accounts soon began to rise. As a result, Google developed a complicated handshake to ensure you are actually you, when logging into your account.
The system performs a complex risk analysis each time your account is logged into. In fact more than 120 variables have to be authenticated before the system will validate you as the correct user. In the event some of these variables do not match, Google will ask you some simple questions. This is why you sometimes get asked for your mobile phone number when logging in.
As a result of this system, Google says they have reduced the number of hacked accounts by 99.7 percent since 2011.
Today Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, unveiled a redesigned Yahoo homepage, via the company's official blog. The basic layout is still quite familiar, with some changes to add in social media integration. The site has also gained an endless scroll feature that has become popular as of late.
The new front page is able to tap into your Facebook profile, and even give you recommendations from the social network. The site has also been optimized for mobile devices including tablets and smartphones.
"The new Yahoo experience works well on the go -- we've optimized it for smartphones and tablets," Mayer wrote. "And, thanks to some under-the-hood improvements, Yahoo is also faster."
The new look is not yet live, but will begin to roll out over the next few days.
In an effort to stem the unending stream of pirated material, search giant Google could do something unprecedented (I feel like I'm writing a speech for Obama using that word) and block all funding to websites offering links to pirated material.
This could be films, music, books, games - you name it - any site that is making money from illegal material. Google's plans, while still in the discussion stage, would see them block funding to websites that don't respond to legal challenges, such as being offshore. If this does go ahead, it wouldn't be the first time a website has had its funding cut off, where we saw donations to WikiLeaks cut off from Mastercard, PayPal and Visa back in 2011.
Google would have no troubles getting the support of book publishing firms, or the music and film industries, who would like to see those extra 0's in their bank accounts instead of piracy websites. Google are aware that their move could have unintended consequences - which I'm sure we'll see Anonymous pop up and have a word or two of input - but the Mountain View-based search giant could iron out some issues in the coming months, and put their plan into action in the spring.
Posterous, a popular blogging platform that was acquired by Twitter last year, has announced that it will be shutting down as of April 30. The site says that they are shutting down in order to focus on Twitter and there will be no more viewing or editing content past the shutdown date.
Because of this, Posterous is offering users the ability to download their data. WordPress and Squarespace are alternatives and both feature importers for Posterous data. A "backup" option is also provided and it will provide you with a zip file containing your data. You can request a backup by heading to the Posterous site.
"We'd like to thank the millions of Posterous users who have supported us on our incredible journey. We hope to provide you with as easy a transition as possible, and look forward to seeing you on Twitter."
Billionaire FilmOn founder Alki David, along with a number of film and music artists, are accusing CBS and CNET for the rise in piracy through BitTorrent programs. The accusations are based on the fact that Download.com provides BitTorrent programs for download as well as giving each program a review.
In the past year, David and his unnamed group of artists have achieved several minor victories in court with one judge stating that Download.com can be held liable as they distribute and promote torrent clients through review ratings. He said that the review, if favorable, was encouraging the use of said software.
CNET's counter claims that BitTorrent is also used to distribute unique content that is approved by the creator. According to the artists, this is irrelevant. The plaintiffs go on to state: "The fact that other entities such as the torrent publisher or a torrent website like the Pirate Bay might be jointly and severally liable for this infringement does not affect CBSI's inducement."
If you're still on the hunt for a Nexus 4 and can't get your hands on one, Google have your back with their Nexus Store Locator tool. This tool will will allow you to search local retailers for Nexus devices.
All you have to do is type in your address, and it'll find you a retailer that deals in Nexus devices. At the moment, the only Nexus 4 retailer in the US is T-Mobile, so right now if you're looking for a Nexus 4, then this tool is kind of like a T-Mobile store locator. If you're after a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10, then it branches out a little more.
The Nexus 4 should reach other retailers soon, where this tool will become more useful.
In an attempt to further beat a dead horse, Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC ripped off the style sheets (CSS) from the Pirate Bay website to style its own website. The group claims that they pulled such a move to make a point as to how easy it is to download things from the internet.
In a serious moment of irony, the group has placed itself in a position where it needs to either pay The Pirate Bay for infringing on its copyright, or admit that copyright law does not matter. The organization was able to theme their website to look like The Pirate Bay's website by scraping The Pirate Bay's website and "stealing" the CSS design code.
Usually The Pirate Bay founders have no issues with copying and sharing everything, but in this instance, they were simply unable to let such a small matter slide. In a statement, a spokesman for The Pirate Bay said:
"We are outraged by this behavior. People must understand what is right and wrong. Stealing material like this on the internet is a threat to economies worldwide. We feel that we must make a statement and therefore we will sue them for copyright infringement."
In a recent interview with Reuters, Yahoo chief exec Marissa Mayer said that the company's partnership with Microsoft's Bing search engine is not producing the market share that was expected.
In 2010 Yahoo and Vole signed a 10 year contract in an effort to steal some search engine market share from search giant Google. From the looks of things, what actually happened was Microsoft and Yahoo actually ended up just trading that market space with each other.
In December 2012, Yahoo owned about 12% share, with Microsoft having just over 16%. Two years ago before the deal took place the numbers were flipped around almost exactly with Microsoft having 12% and Yahoo owning 16%. While Meyer is not happy with the numbers, it does not mean that she wants out of the partnership, she just would like to see improvements made.
Netflix is continuing down its path of original content creation. The company has announced that it has teamed up with DreamWorks to develop its first TV show aimed at children.
Turbo F.A.S.T. is the spinoff of the movie Turbo, which is set to hit theaters this summer. Netflix is looking to capitalize on its predicted success by creating the new series. As part of the deal, Netflix will offer its customers access to DreamWorks Animation feature titles in the US.
The deal with DreamWorks is significant as Netflix now has content up from the two biggest names in animated film - the other being Disney, which signed a deal with Netflix last year. As a Netflix subscriber, I like the deal of being able to stream additional exclusive content. For me, it just makes it easier to justify spending the extra $8 a month on a service I do not use as much as I should.
Over the years, Google has forged their way into the english language, thanks to people saying "Google it" when asked a question. Well, it helps that iOS' default search engine is Google, but just how much does Google pay for this privilege?
Well, it looks like it could be as much as $1 billion per year. Scott Devitt from Morgan Stanley in a recent note to investors said "the next Google is Google", believing that the search giant's business has much more room to grow in expanding markets and subsidiaries such as YouTube could see as much as $20 billion generated by 2020.
Devitt estimated during the note that the Mountain View-based company could be paying Apple up to $1 billion per year to be their default search engine, with that figure set to expand over the coming years. Previous reports pegged the companies to be in a revenue sharing deal, but Devitt doesn't think this makes sense. He says that Apple would instead be much better off to do a fee per device agreement for the benefits of upfront payments and easier accounting.
Speaking plain English isn't enough for you? How about speaking Internet? With Twitter's new lolcat language, you can have your Twitter experience transformed from a mundane English affair to an all out meme-based Internet language. The changes aren't quite as dramatic and sweeping as that last sentence made them seem, but you can now browse Twitter with some of the terms updated to fit lolcat memes.
For instance, many of the words have been changed to all capitals. A more specific example--and one of the better changes--is the change that "View Summary" underwent. It now reads "VIEW SUMMARY. KTHXBYE!" Additionally, "More Changes" has been changed to simply read "MOAR."
The language is currently in beta and will likely undergo changes to perfect it as comments and suggestions come in from Twitter users. The setting can be changed in Twitter's Settings, or you can simply click this link to take you to Twitter with the new language.
Just weeks after its successful launch, file-sharing website Mega has a new CEO. Kim Dotcom has brought on the ex-head of InternetNZ, Vikram Kumar, to run the quickly growing Megaupload predecessor. Kumar has been one of Mega's biggest supporters as well as its founder, Kim Dotcom.
InternetNZ, the company Kumar once headed, up describes itself as a "non-profit open membership organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the Internet in New Zealand and fostering a coordinated, cooperative approach to its ongoing development." Kumar's experience and lack of a controversial legal record should bring a new sense of professionalism to Mega.
"MEGA is delighted to welcome Vikram Kumar as its new CEO", said interim-CEO Tony Lentino. "I have assisted MEGA since its inception, putting time and energy into finding investors, setting up support staff and general overview of the company in its initial stage. Now MEGA runs on a day-to-day routine, and I am pleased to hand the role of CEO to Vikram who is an experienced leader in the Internet industry."
Google is hoping to speed up the crowd-sourcing cartography efforts in India by offering a contest with prizes to the top 1000 Map Makers. The contest spans from February 12th to March 25th with prizes including devices and Google branded merchandise.
Google Map Maker lets people who know the area better supply edits to Google Maps, most noticeably in areas where government supplied data and Google's on mapping efforts have failed, or been blocked. Most recently, Google Map Maker efforts have greatly improved the accuracy of North Korea on Google Maps.
The very top participants in the contest will receive a Samsung Galaxy Note 8000, with Samsung Galaxy S II GT smartphones, gift coupons, T-shirts and certificated will be awarded to lower ranking participants.
Google Hangouts is a pretty cool product. A group of users can come together and host group video chats or performances for free. Today, the Google has updated the Hangouts product with a couple of new features. The first is a bandwidth slider. This new adjustment allows you to change how much bandwidth Google Hangouts has available to use.
This can be very useful if you're in a low-bandwidth area, such as on a metered 3G connection or at the local coffee shop. Another feature is the option to send and receive only audio. This will also reduce bandwidth requirements while still allowing a user to stay engaged in the conversation.
Today we're excited to launch two new features that improve the Hangouts experience in areas with low and/or unreliable connectivity:
1) Audio-only mode. Choose this mode to send and receive audio only, and thus, significantly reduce your bandwidth requirements. Other participants will only see your profile picture, but they'll hear you loud and clear.
2) Bandwidth slider. At the top right of every hangout is a new slider that lets you adjust your bandwidth preferences in real-time - from high, all the way to audio-only. This makes it easier to keep hangouts going, even in areas with poor connectivity.
Twitter is pushing search and discovery on the mobile platform. In an update today, Twitter announced updates to their Android and iOS apps, along with mobile.twitter.com. The updates "provide a single stream of content in each tab, so you can better find what's most important to you when you're on the go."
The Discover feed now puts tweets, activity, trends, and account suggestions into a single stream. Search now functions similarly to the Discover feature, meaning that tweets, pictures, and accounts all appear in a single stream. A search button has been added to the iOS app that will allow users to search from anywhere within the app.
Finally, links can now be followed with a single click. Previously, clicking a link would first expand the tweet and then require another click to follow the link. Now, a single click will open up the website. The new apps are available in Google Play and the Apple App Store.
If you like snowboarding down the slopes like I do, Google has you covered. Today, they have added an additional 38 ski resorts with detailed trail maps to Google Maps. The newly added resort maps include important details such as the difficulty level of the runs.
Ski resort maps were originally added into the Maps product back in November 2012. At that time, Google added about 90 ski resorts into its Maps product. The update today brings that number up by about 40 percent and mainly focuses on US-based ski resorts, though a few Canadian mountains were thrown in for good measure.
The maps depict trails as either green, blue, or black lines. The colors correspond to the traditional colors associated with the different difficulties of runs. The all-important lifts are depicted as dotted red lines. The new list of ski resorts can be found on Google's Blog post.