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Today Google announced that National Geographic will be the first of many companies to contribute its custom maps to Google Maps via the new Public Data Program for Google Maps. National Geographic will upload more than 500 historic and educational maps to the service for everyone to freely access.
National Geographic does plan on offering high-resolution prints of each map however, and copies can be purchased by clicking on those maps once the feature has been implemented. The company says that this will generate revenue back to its non-profit efforts and will allow it to add more custom maps and interactive content as time passes.
When it comes to online entities, there are few who change domain names as often as ThePirateBay, and this morning we are learning that the infamous BitTorrent tracking site has moved yet again. After Caribbean authorities were bullied into to seizing the .sx domain name TPB had used over the last six months, the pirates have moved to Ascension Island and now lay claim to thepiratebay.ac.
Unfortunately the website will not have much time to rest in its stay on Ascension, as the pirates are planning a more permanent stay in Peru and its .pe top level domain. If Peruvian authorities choose to let the RIAA and MPAA bully them into seizure as well, then TPB officials say that they have dozens of TLD's that they can move to at any time.
Penny Arcade's latest offshoot, Penny Arcade Report, has closed its doors for good after only two years in business. Penny Arcade's Tycho Brahe said that he felt his company had forked off into too many branches, and the closure of Penny Arcade Report would allow it to focus on its Comics, PAX, and Childs Play.
"I don't think I want to 'grow my business' anymore; I sort of want to do the opposite. And I'm tired, sick to death, of saying 'Maybe Someday' when it comes to the things we really want to make," wrote Brahe. "So, we're not going to do that anymore. The next year is going to be a pretty big one, one of the biggest yet; it's the year the previous fifteen have been leading up to in the literal."
"I'm not really interested in crying over spilled milk; sometimes these things work out, and sometimes they don't," he wrote. "I've had a wonderful two years at Penny Arcade, and the few times I worked directly out of the office I enjoyed the commitment and joy that everyone found in their work."
Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have all been ordered by a French court to remove search results from 16 websites that host pirated materials. The case itself began in December 2011, with a handful of French organizations and groups that protect large companies like Paramount, and Sony.
Local ISPs are being ordered to "implement all appropriate means including blocking" of these pirate websites. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and ISPs have two weeks to remote or block the 16 websites in question, which the court found were in violation of copyright laws, as these websites are "dedicated or virtually dedicated to the distribution of audiovisual works without the consent of their creators."
Google Play Music All Access is already here, and with a name that is far too long, but it looks like it will use the YouTube side of its business to launch another music streaming service, aimed at a younger crowd, according to Android Police.
Android Police dug right into YouTube's innards, finding references to a "Music Pass" service, as well as references to background music playback, offline playback, and an ad-free listening experience. It has been rumored before that Google would launch another music streaming service through YouTube, but it looks like this is going to happen sooner, rather than later.
It looks like Netflix is having issues pushing out its content to its massive user base, and because of that, Netflix is not able to push it all out in what it calls "Super HD", or 1080p.
Netflix's stream gets pushed out to you as soon as possible, but not in its full-resolution glory. This is done so that you're not sitting there watching it buffer for minutes on end, but as soon as the stream is capable of delivering 1080p video, it will switch over. If the bandwidth slows down, the resolution will drop and the buffering of Super HD will begin again.
This is all done to keep you, the content consumer, with a full show always - instead of buffering constantly, not being able to enjoy the latest episode of Orange is the New Black, or House of Cards. The bigger question I have, is that Netflix wants to push Ultra HD, or 4K, content to the masses, but if it's tripping over the network cables in its servers trying to deliver Full HD, with issues, what will Ultra HD cause?
Microsoft is launching its Xbox Video service on the web today. Previously Microsoft had said they would launch their Xbox Video service on the web and Windows Phone 8 by the end of this year. They are planning to release the Windows Phone 8 version shortly. With the web service you'll be able to access TV show and movies, just like the Windows 8.1 version. Although both the app and the web version lack HD. Content in HD is only available on the Xbox one or Windows 8.
You will need to use Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in to stream content through your web browser. Pre-purchased content is available immediately to stream, other content can be purchased and streamed and will automatically be available on your Xbox One or on Windows 8. The Xbox Video web service is up now and can be found at video.xbox.com
Film photography all but died with the invention of digital cameras, and likewise so did the photo album when online photo galleries became mainstream. Until recently, having a photo book printed from digital images was quite expensive, but now the price seems to have leveled off and the books are more affordable than ever.
Hoping to get more printed photos onto your coffee table, Flickr has just unveiled a new printed photo book product that users can purchase starting at $35 for a 20-page book. Flickr provides a new "intelligent" creation tool that automatically crops, adjust, and prepares user selected images for printing in the book, and up to 240 pages are possible. Each page is crafted from high-quality white photo paper and finished with a lustre coating. Books are bound in a glossy hardcover and come with a dust jacket.
Back in my days as a professional photographer, getting a similar sized book required hours of photo preparation, and laying out everything in PDF format before shipping off to the printer. It appears that Flickr has greatly simplified this process, and made it much cheaper as well.
It looks like Google is a little more secure today, after the Mountain View-based search giant unveiled that it has completely the upgrade of all its SSL certificates to 2048-bit RSA, which is a few months ahead of schedule.
Google Security Engineer, Dan Dulay, said: "we have completed this process which will allow the industry to start removing trust from weaker 1024-bit keys next year." The company announced back in May that it had started work on changing its key lengths, and wanted to complete the task before the end of the year. This was around two weeks prior to Edward Snowden making headlines on the NSA PRISM system.
With the new longer key lengths, Google makes cracking SSL connections much harder, which should have e-mail communication, encrypted banking transactions and more, much more secure. Dulay said: "hardware security module that contained our old 1024-bit intermediate certificate has served us well. Its final duty after all outstanding certificates were revoked was to be carefully destroyed."
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, has awarded London the rights to its own domain name, paving the way for cities across the world to do the same thing.
This means that from spring 2014, businesses, individuals, and organizations in the UK's capital city will be able to apply for a web address with the .london suffix. It's believed that New York, Paris, Berlin and other cities have all applied for the same status. ICANN has reportedly had "tens of thousands" of businesses express interest in a .london domain.
Mayor Boris Johnson, said: "This is an excellent opportunity to expand London's digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city."