Remembering all of the login and password details to your various accounts, e-mail, websites, social networks, banking details and countless other sites can be tiresome, annoying and repetitive. A Google software developer has opened up, hinting at a world without multiple logins.
Tim Bray, a Google software developer, mentions that logging in is annoying and slows you down, through his blog post. Bray says that his work with the company is pegged on getting rid of the annoying, time waster for two reasons. The first point, is that logging into various websites takes time, which makes a user less productive. Reduced login time makes more time available to improve the overall experience.
Secondly, Bray makes a point that most people begin a new search for a product, or service, they don't immediately head to a search engine. They type in the address of a large retail chain, bookstore, or even Craigslist. Bray says that these people don't want to go through the hassle of registering a new account, or create a new set of login credentials to find the product they're after with a new merchant.
Google has updated Google+ Hangouts to include sound effects that range from laugh tracks, to chirping. Get ready to be annoyed by constant laughing after jokes, clapping after singing, and plenty of other annoying sound effects that will ensure that your conversation is radically different from before.
If you would like to start annoying your conversation partner, it's extremely simple. Click the "Google Effects" button, like in the picture above, and start clicking all the sounds. Google notes that users will need the latest version of the Hangouts plug-in, v3.6, but that should automatically update.
If you're having trouble using the new feature, you can download the updated plug-in from Google. Most of the population won't ever use these sound effects, but I'm sure there's that one person--you know who I'm talking about--that will enjoy using these sound effects to everyone else's dismay.
Will you find yourself using the new feature?
Google is excited by the latest numbers coming in from Google+. It seems they have managed to sign up 400 million users in just 12 months, something Google never expected to happen. They also are celebrating 100 million "active" users, though their method of calculating active Google+ users is a bit wacky.
"It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn't have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months," said Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google, in a post. "While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it's also a destination."
The way Google calculates users of Google+ is a bit skewed. Basically, if a user signs into a product related with Google+, such as YouTube, Google Play, or Google Search, they are counted as an active user. So even if they aren't using any Google+ features, they are still counted as an active user.
New evidence is showing that blocking torrent sites such as Pirate Bay and others has little- to no- effect on torrenting. Go figure. It seems that even after blocking torrent sites, the number of people torrenting continued unabated in the UK. MusicMetric released the "largest ever public data set showing trends in music on BitTorrent."
Currently, that data is for the UK, though they are planning on releasing US and Canadian data soon. The main point in the data is that blocking pirate sites really had zero affect on the number of torrents being downloaded. People must have either avoided the blocks, which isn't hard to do, or found alternate sources.
Of course, Pirate Party UK didn't want to let this go unnoticed. Leader Loz Kaye commented on the findings: "These figures don't prove anything very much, other than the fact that people like music, and that the people of Manchester are leaders in using technology. They are certainly not evidence of the BPI's shrill claims that 'a lot of people are getting very rich' from so-called piracy. And as MusicMetric point out, torrents download numbers also include lots of legal files: the actual most downloaded album in those statistics was a legal one."
It seems as though even he is a bit sick of the debate regarding piracy. He finished his statement by saying "we really need to move on from this sterile debate and focus on policy that actually will benefit our shared culture and digital economy."
Canada is said to have bandwidth caps that are too low, and too expensive, according to a Netflix executive Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, took a stab at Canadian ISPs at the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment conference last week.
Sarandos talked of Canadian ISPs bandwidth limitations, saying "it's almost a human rights violation what they're charging for Internet access in Canada". There are Canadian ISPs with download caps as low as 15GB for a month, with excess billing charges if you burst through the 15GB limit.
Sarandos continued, adding "the problem in Canada is... they have almost third-world access to the Internet".
The era of IPv4 is drawing to a close. As the last block of IPv4 IP addresses begin to be allocated, TweakTown would like to wave good-bye to the outgoing Internet standard that has been around for 30 years or so. When it was first announced, it was thought that we would never run out of IPs. Apparently the developers didn't foresee smartphones, set-top boxes, and all kinds of other web-connected devices.
Allocation has started on the last block of /8 addresses, some 16.8 million addresses. Since there are so few IP addresses left, each application has to go through a strict set of guidelines set forth on RIPE's website. Once these last addresses are gone, no new devices can be added without NAT translating, which isn't always possible. IPv6 can't come soon enough.
Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE NCC:
When the Internet was first designed it seemed highly unlikely that IP address space would ever be an issue. However, the limitations of the pool of IPv4 address space became clear over time, and in the last few years we have been monitoring supplies closely, preparing ourselves and all stakeholders for the next stage of the Internet. Reaching the last /8 underlines the importance of IPv6 deployment, which is vital to the future growth of the Internet.
Google is king of producing high quality useless features. Think about it: the doodles are high-quality and cool, but not really useful. They may be good for a little bit of entertainment, but other than that, they serve no purpose. Today's addition is in the same vein in that it's fun, it's cute, but doesn't really serve any purpose other than that.
The new feature is called The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The game, with tools, has been around for a while and spawned offshoots such as The Six Degrees of Wikipedia. The idea is that only six movies or fewer connect Kevin Bacon with any other actor, due to his wide appearances in movies.
To use the new tool, just type "bacon number" and an actor name. The number represents how many "degrees" apart they are. For example, in the picture, Bacon never worked with Willis, but they both worked with Bill Murray. If you're having a bit of trouble understanding the game, allow Wikipedia to explain:
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, It's a variation on "six degrees of separation" which posits that everyone in the world is no more than six acquaintance links from anyone else on Earth. That idea moved into the pop culture mainstream when it spawned a popular play and movie by the same name. It later morphed into a parlor game, wherein movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and the amazingly well connected Hollywood veteran Kevin Bacon.
I'm a huge fan of 30 Rock, as well as an avid Google user, and it looks as though Google's "Go Google" campaign has received from help from the show. The videos are a little bit of fun, with the latest clip using the TV show "30 Rock".
The video shows off trying to build up some ideas with the writers of the show within a show, as shared collaboration. There's not much else that is shown in the video, but we'd like to know: do you use Google? Maybe not just Gmail, but what about Docs (or now Drive).
I'm a huge user of Docs, Gmail, Android, Chrome - and having everything sync up to any device I use, iOS, Android, Windows, or OS X, is just magical. It's revolutionary, resolutionary, and Googlicious. Just one more thing: Go Google.
If you missed it the first time around, Google has brought back its online course "Power Searching with Google" to equip users with the knowledge to use Google effectively and efficiently. You can sign up for the class now for free and take the six 50-minute sessions over two weeks beginning September 24.
A description directly from Google:
The community-based course features six 50-minute classes along with interactive activities and the opportunity to hear from search experts and Googlers about how search works. Beginning September 24, you can take the classes over a two-week period, share what you learn with other students in a community forum, and complete the course assessments to earn a certificate of completion.
Google also offers up thoughts from the previous class:
During the course's first run in July, people told us how they not only liked learning about new features and more efficient ways to use Google, but they also enjoyed sharing tips and learning from one another through the forums and Hangouts. Ninety-six percent of people who completed the course also said they liked the format and would be interested in taking similar courses, so we plan to offer a suite of upcoming courses in the coming months, including Advanced Power Searching.
GoDaddy denies that it was a hacking, claiming "a series of internal network events" led to the crash
GoDaddy is rejecting the claims that they were hacked in a statement released today. The statement claims that "the service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a "hack" and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS). We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables."
This claim refutes yesterday's claim by an Anonymous member that he was responsible for bringing GoDaddy down. The outage lasted for six hours, by GoDaddy's account, lasting from 10am PDT to around 4pm PDT. They have reiterated that since it wasn't a hack, at no time was any customer data at risk. They then proceed to admit they let customers down and apologize for doing so:
Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS infrastructure. This is the level our customers expect from us and the level we expect of ourselves. We have let our customers down and we know it.
We take our business and our customers' businesses very seriously. We apologize to our customers for these events and thank them for their patience.
If you search Google and start typing "thepir...", autocomplete suggestions will no longer offer up "thepiratebay.se" or "thepiratebay.org." The Pirate Bay isn't particularly concerned with the censorship--they're constantly having to deal with it--but it does start to raise issues with Google's unilateral censorship.
If the terms are searched for specifically, the indexes still remain and will be returned. However, the idea is that they won't be suggested so users will have to already know about The Pirate Bay in order to gain search results for it. That said, if you already know about it, you probably don't need to be searching for it.
No court ordered the removal and it wasn't needed as Google feels they need to do their part to combat online piracy. "While there is no silver bullet for infringement online, this measure is one of several that we have implemented to curb copyright infringement online," a Google's spokesman told TorrentFreak previously.
So, is this the beginning of a slippery slope? Where will Google decide to stop? What happened to just indexing the data and presenting it? These questions will need to be answered soon, before consumers lose faith in Google.
It's not clear whether Google's advertising or neighbor's canvasing is responsible for the large amount of neighborhoods that have qualified for the service, but one thing is clear: nearly 90 percent of eligible neighborhoods have have signed up for the new super-fast fiber optic Internet connection from Google.
Google has released figures on its blog that at least 180 out of 202 "fiberhoods" have qualified for the service and Google is still verifying requests, so that number is likely to increase. Of course, not every single neighborhood will qualify, and this could leave those users out in the cold until sometime next year.
Google Fiber's pre-registration was announced six weeks ago. For $70 a month, customers will get up to 1Gb/s download and upload speeds. For $0 a month, users can get 5Mb/s down and 1Mb/s up. All they have to do is pay the $300 construction fee as bringing fiber to your door isn't cheap. For $120 a month, users can get the $70 Internet, plus TV.
TechCrunch is reporting that music streaming and discovery service, Spotify, are close to launching a browser-based music player that would either compliment, or replace, the desktop Spotify application.
The desktop Spotify application hasn't really had a proper update in quite a while, with people wondering what's going on. But, if we're looking at a redesigned desktop app, pushed into the confines of a browser, it would make things much easier, and much more streamlined to push changes into the app.
This would save having to update the app, restarting it, and all that jazz. TechCrunch also reports that along with the browser-based app, Spotify would throw in a redesigned look which would help users discover music and playlists recommended by influencers.
Twitter has seen a new record set thanks to Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. During yesterday's speech, Twitter saw an incredible 52,757 tweets per minute, the highest rate ever seen. The DNC has created quite a bit of talk on the social networking site, driving over 9.5 million tweets about #DNC2012.
Yesterday alone saw 4 million of the 9.5 million tweets sent. Most of those 4 million were sent during Obama's speech. Four million tweets also rivals the total number of tweets that were sent about the Republican National Convention that was in full swing last week. Regardless of what your political views may be, Obama's clearly got the larger, more active following on Twitter.
According to CNet, several quotes from the president's speech proved tweetable:
"I'm no longer just the candidate, I'm the president." - 43,646 tweets
"I will never turn medicare into a voucher." - 39,002 tweets
"We don't think government can solve all our problems..." - 37,694 tweets
It will be interesting to see what event manages to top this latest record. As more people join Twitter it becomes easier for records to be broken, so it's unlikely that this record will stay.
Microsoft has been pushing Internet Explorer and Bing more and more lately, and this new "Bing it on" challenge is the latest example of Microsoft pushing their search engine, Bing. While they actually hired an independent research firm to do the study comparing the two (they came up with the 2:1 result), Microsoft is just pushing the result with this new campaign.
It's designed to be fun, easy, and surprising. All you have to do is go to BingItOn.com and run through five queries of your choosing and select the search results you prefer. At the end of the five votes, the site will show you the "score card" of how you voted, either for Google or Bing's results.
Additionally, "to get the word out," Microsoft has launched a TV campaign that will feature someone running the "Bing it on" challenge on the ground. More often than not, the person picks Bing's results and is very surprised when they tell the person that. Microsoft will also be promoting the "Bing it on" challenge in Microsoft stores.
I'm sure you've heard about the changes coming to Twitter in the near future. If you haven't, a little catch up: Twitter is planning to restrict external apps to only 100k users max, or 200% of what ever they are currently at if they are already over 100k users. The move is aimed at keeping people using Twitter on their official programs.
It's a small change, really, but Twitter is no longer showing what third-party app the Tweet came from. "This is part of our ongoing work to simplify Tweets and emphasize the content being shared," a Twitter spokesperson told CNET. However, it's more likely they want to prevent offering free advertising to these other apps.
If you were looking for a new tweet app, you'll no longer be able to use tweets as a measure of how good an app is. And in the near future, there may be no more apps other than the official one. We'll keep you posted if any of this changes.
As nearly everyone knows, MegaUpload was shut down earlier this year and Kim Dotcom's house was raided. We've since found out that those search warrants were invalid and his extradition hearing has been pushed back all the way to March 2013. However, that hasn't kept the US government from keep MegaUpload offline.
Have no fear as Dotcom is working on an alternative to that service, and it would appear to be nearing completion as he is offering early API access to developers. "The new Mega will offer one-click-encryption of ALL your data transfers, on the fly, easy to use, free of charge, TOTAL PRIVACY!" - Dotcom's Twitter
He has accused the government of picking on the wrong guy, so he will likely make sure that this new service will keep him from getting picked on. I have a feeling that that is the reason for the encryption. Either that, or so when he is raided, the police have nothing to work with.
In other news, his new music service, MegaBox, is due out later this year.
A website, GoDarkForIE.org, is encouraging other websites to black out on October 26, 2012 to users of Internet Explorer below version 9. Dabbling in web development a bit myself, I know first-hand just how frustrating it can be to develop for all the browsers, especially fixing bugs in older IE versions.
GoDarkForIE argues "old browsers hurt the web! They don't understand modern technologies, lack features, they're buggy, have security holes and prevent you from seeing the web the way it should be seen." They liken it to not upgrading your TV ever. "Imagine if everyone didn't upgrade their TV or computer? It would mean all the great advancements like HD, DVD's etc would all go to waste. Imagine what you'd be missing out on!"
The mission? "To get websites to go dark on October 26, 2012 to users of Internet Explorer below version 9."
The goal? "To get users of old versions of Internet Explorer to upgrade."
Now, the site isn't completely ridiculous, they realize people are still stuck on XP and can't upgrade beyond IE 8. However, they offer up the idea of using a different browser. They also encourage users to put pressure on their IT departments to allow them to use a different browser. "Users need to put more pressure on their IT departments and get them to upgrade their browsers or give greater choice."
Since they are based on web apps that are used everyday, this real world scenario allows the benchmark's numbers to be better. Google claims that "a high score in the new benchmarks directly translates to better and smoother performance in similar web applications" since it is based off of real applications.
It looks as though Thermaltake's website has been hacked by someone going by the name "alerthack." It's not exactly clear what the motive behind the hacking is, but perhaps it is a disgruntled customer who is upset with Thermaltake over a product that has failed or someone dissatisfied with a Thermaltake product.
As you can see in the picture above, the hacker has left his(her?) mark all over the Thermaltake Global website. Changes include the links on the top, text over the side bar, and a large image near the top. It looks to be a strictly defacing hack, so I doubt there is any worry of leaked passwords or any other security issues.
We may never know the hacker behind it, and it's probably not that important anyway, as a defacing isn't that big of a deal. However, one thought comes to mind--Thermaltake could be pulling another one of its crazy PR stunts, though I'm not sure what they would be trying to accomplish with this if it is in fact a PR stunt.
The Internet has gotten a little bit quicker between Japan and Singapore. Not much more noticeably to your average user, but to high volume traders, the small speed bump could make all the difference in whether or not they get a trade. The cable spans 7,800km from Japan to Singapore and allows for up to 40 Gb/s.
The Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) doesn't just run from Japan to Singapore; it also picks up Malaysia and the Philippines and connects them to the underwater line. Interestingly, the cable runs as directly as possible in order to reduce latency down to just 65 milliseconds from end to end. Furthermore, this will allow the cable to achieve 40Gb/s.
In reality, the line is only 3 milliseconds faster than other lines available. However, those 3 milliseconds are crucial to high-volume trading. The new cable will also help replace some of the lines that were damaged during the 2011 Japan earthquake. Due to that earthquake, and one in 2006, this cable was laid in a different area that is less prone to seismic shifts.