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Yesterday Google announced that it will be bringing its gigabit internet service to the city of Shawnee Kansas, which is right outside of Kansas City. This makes for the 4th city to get Google Fiber in the last year.
Google did not release a date in which the service would be switched on, and it is most likely still a while away as planning, engineering and red tape will have to be dealt with.
In any event, the expansion of Google Fiber can only be seen as a good thing. Maybe in the next 10 years, Google will have covered enough of the country to either wake antiquated ISPs like Comcast, or put them out of business altogether.
During a meeting with advertisers earlier this week, Google's Eric Schmidt said that YouTube has "crushed" the traditional television competition. Schmidt was of course alluding to the recent news that YouTube now has more than one billion unique visitors a month.
While most would be satisfied with a billion unique visitors every month, Schmidt is keeping his eye on the prize and holding out until YouTube launches in more third world countries. "Wait until you get to 6 or 7 billion," Schmidt said, according to the Associated Press. "It's not a replacement for something that we know. It's a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms."
Google's attack on mainstream television will take a step forward later this year when YouTube plans to begin offering select partners the option to begin charging users to view their content, in addition to offering episodic programming and pay-per-view events. "TV is one-way, but YouTube talks back," said YouTube's global head of content, Robert Kyncl.
Facebook has rolled out the new Trusted Friends feature. Trusted Friends allows a Facebook user to set various friends as trusted contacts to aid in recovering a Facebook account. Should you forget your log in or need emergency access, these trusted friends will be able to lend a helping hand.
The feature is much the same as you might do with your house keys. Many people give neighbors house keys when on vacation or just to keep in case they lose their keys or have an emergency. The system will send security codes to each trusted contact who will then need to provide the code to you.
You'll apparently need the security codes from each friend, which should help prevent a single trusted contact from gaining access to your account.
Microsoft completes Hotmail migration to Outlook.com, says 400 million persons are now using the service
This morning Microsoft announced that it has completed the migration of Hotmail.com accounts over to Outlook.com. The result is that the service now has over 400 million active accounts, with 125 million of those users being mobile.
This is a major jump in user statistics over the 60 million the company reported back in February. The data transfer resulting from the move was simply massive with the final total reaching 150 petabytes. The transition only took about six weeks, and the company now says that all Hotmail users must now use Outlook.com.
In conjunction with the migration wrap-up, Microsoft has rolled out two new features to the Outlook.com service. The first is SMTP send, which will allow users to easily send email from another email address, while still in their Outlook.com account. Redmond has also added deeper integration with SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service.
We also reported a couple of days ago that UK users got access to Skype in Outlook.com.
Google's "Doodle 4 Google" contest is coming to a close. The search giant has selected the top 50 winners, one per US state, and now needs you to vote for your favorite. Once voting ends on May 10 at 11:59pm ET, the top five will be selected and a national champion will be selected.
The final winner will be announced at an event in New York City on May 22. The theme for this year's contest was "Best Day Ever." Many of the kids interpreted this to mean different things, as you'll see when you look through the entries to cast your vote.
Google has added a Remote Desktop feature to its Google+ Hangouts. Now you can provide tech support as if you are in the same room as the user. What's really nice about this remote desktop implementation is that Google+ Hangouts still allows you to see and chat with each other. Most remote desktop services don't include video or audio chat.
Hangouts Remote Desktop lets you help others by controlling their computer remotely (with their permission, of course). And because you're both in a Hangout, you can talk with and see each other during the session.
It's rather simple to get started. All you have to do is be in a Hangout and click View more Apps > Add Apps > Hangouts Remote Desktop. Since it's based on the same technology used in Chrome Remote Desktop, you can remain reasonably certain that the technology is both safe, secure, and stable.
For the past couple of years, The Pirate Bay has been on the move. We've reported on the ship's sailings around the world, including exotic ports of call in North Korea, Iceland, and now the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The move comes as Swedish prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad attempts the seizure of thepiratebay.se, piratebay.se, and now thepiratebay.is.
Iceland's domain registar, ISNIC, has previously stated that they would not take down thepiratebay.is unless ordered to by a court. "Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant's usage of their domains."
ISNIC will legally fight attempts to use the domain name registry system to police/censor the net. We believe that to be ineffective, wrong and dangerous to the stability of the DNS as a whole.
This means The Pirate Bay is now accessible through the TLD thepiratebay.sx. We do enjoy the irony that The Pirate Bay has now moved into the Caribbean. However, we don't expect Disney to make a movie about these pirates.
Digg's replacement for Google Reader to enter beta in June, survey finds 40% of respondents willing to pay
Today, Digg disclosed the results of a survey it ran last week. The survey contained questions trying to gauge user interest in various features that Digg might implement in a replacement for Google Reader. The survey also asked if a respondent would be willing to pay for the service.
As you can see above, 40 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay for a Google Reader replacement. This then makes me ask, why doesn't Google charge and continue their own reader? As seen in the graph below, many users use E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to share links. Digg plans to include "seemless sharing" to all of the services seen below.
Free products on the Internet don't have a great track record. They tend to disappear, leaving users in a lurch. We need to build a product that people can rely on and trust will always be there for them. We're not totally sure how pricing will work, but we know that we'd like our users to be our customers, not our product. So when we asked survey participants whether or not they would be willing to pay, we were pleased to see that a majority said yes.
From the quote above, you can see that it appears Digg is leaning towards a paid product, but this causes them to lose out on 60 percent of those who responded to the survey. We should know more as we approach the beta in June.
Google refuses to settle with good enough and has instituted a fairly major change to its search today. Google has announced that app activities will be brought to Google Search, meaning searches for an app or site will bring with it popular in-app content, provided the app is integrated with Google+ Sign-In.
The service will be rolling out over the next few weeks to desktop searches. For now, it will not be coming to mobile search. The app integration will be initially limited to Deezer, Fandango, Flixster, Slacker Radio, Songza, SoundCloud and TuneIn, though more apps will be added over time.
Google provides the following example: "Searching for Fandango, for example, will show the top movies among Google users. And when you click on a movie, you'll go directly to its page on Fandango."
Twenty years ago today, the internet as we know it was born when CERN released the technology that made the World Wide Web work. It has been a long battle, but for the most part, the internet has remained open and free as its creators intended.
To commemorate 20 years of free and open information sharing, CERN has recreated the first website ever published. This is an effort to preserve the humble beginnings on which the modern and future internet was founded. CERN is also working to refurbish the original servers used as well to further preserve the history what could be the greatest invention ever.
Check out CERNS recreation of the first website here. Cool!