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Google is looking to push users of Picasa Web Albums over to Google+ Photos. The URL that used to take users to Picasa now redirects users to Google+ Photos. Clicking http://picasaweb.google.com will take you to Google+ Photos. However, not all hope is lost as there is a back door to get into Picasa.
Heading over to this Google page will take you to Picasa and will set a cookie that allows you to return to using the URL listed above. Eventually, Google may shut down the Picasa product for good as they continue to shuffle users over to the Google+ product, much like they did with the Google Docs product.
I'll give Picasa a year before it is completely shut down. If you still use Picasa, what are your thoughts? Is Google+ Photos a good replacement for Picasa?
North Korea has accepted The Pirate Bay onto their networks after offering the site virtual asylum. This network switch comes on the heels of the Norwegian Pirate Party being forced to stop routing traffic for The Pirate Bay. "We can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network."
When I run a traceroute, I don't seem to be bounced through North Korea, though TorrentFreak posted an image of their traceroute being sent through North Korea, seen above. The Pirate Bay says that they will work to influence the leader of North Korea to allow citizens to access the site.
We believe that being offered our virtual asylum in Korea is a first step of this country's changing view of access to information. It's a country opening up and one thing is sure, they do not care about threats like others do. In that way, TPB and Korea might have a special bond.
We will do our best to influence the Korean leaders to also let their own population use our service, and to make sure that we can help improve the situation in any way we can. When someone is reaching out to make things better, it's also ones duty to grab their hand.
If The Pirate Bay continues to be routed through North Korea, it's likely that that node won't be shut down by media companies looking to protect their copyrights.
Google have introduced a new feature into Hangouts for the hearing impaired, where the Mountain View-based search giant have added in a Sign Language Interpreter app for Google+ Hangouts. This web component allows users to invite an interpreter in who stays in the background while they verbalize hand gestures.
Google didn't stop there, either, as they've also started helping reduce dependancies on the mouse for those who don't want to, or can't use one during chat. There are now keyboard shortcuts which can start or stop chats, disable the camera and other basic tasks that you'd otherwise need a mouse action.
Facebook has announced that they will be unveiling a News Feed redesign on March 7 at their Menlo Park, California headquarters. At 10 a.m. PST, the event will start and this time we know what they plan to unveil: "Come see a new look for News Feed," the invite reads.
The last major change to Facebook that received a press event was the slightly underwhelming Graph Search. We're not exactly sure what Facebook is planning to do to the News Feed, but we can take a stab that it might have something to do with a change in the way it displays. It will likely take a more mobile look.
Stay tuned to TweakTown next Thursday to read all about it.
Last week I wrote about a copyright activist group called The Rights Alliance who planned on suing the Swedish Pirate Party for its role in hosting the infamous torrent search site The Pirate Bay. All initial indications alluded to the Pirate Party standing its ground, but I guess the old saying "when the going gets tough, the tough get going", is true.
Rights Alliance Group is backed by all the major Hollywood studios, and therefore has virtually unlimited monetary resources and an entire army of lawyers who are just itching to rack up thousands of billable hours. The Swedish Pirate Party knows this and they did what they had to do to survive.
The Pirate Bay has been handed off to not one, but two Pirate Parties in separate countries: Norway and Catalonia, a small country within the borders of Spain. Swedish Pirate Party officials said that they knew that the resources backing Rights Alliance were simply too massive for them to go head to head with, and that they did what they deemed necessary to ensure that The Pirate Bay lives on.
The OverClocker has seen its first release of the year, with issue 23 now available to all. Issue 23 sees KINGPIN sealing a motherboard permanently for some LN2 fun, as well as a talk with veteran overclocker "Chispy" and his thoughts on the hardware industry.
There's the usual reviews, which include ASUS' Rampage IV Gene, OCZ's Vertex 4 512GB SSD, Corsair's H100i cooler, ASRock's 990FX Extreme9 motherboard, Cooler Master's Seidon 240M, Intel's 335 240GB SSD and finally, MSI's GeForce GTX 660 HAWK GPU.
You can read the latest issue right here.
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.