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If you're based in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or a bunch of other territories then you'll be happy to know that Apple have just opened the flood gates to the iTunes Store.
Even though these territories have had the App Store for a while, now you can grab music and movies, too. Apple singles out Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The above-mentioned cities will get local content, as well as the International hits. Music and movies are not the only thing that have been made available, iTunes in the Cloud re-downloads as well as iTunes Match subscriptions in every country.
Have you ever noticed that the views on a newly viral YouTube video seemingly pause at 301? If so, I imagine you've wondered why that is. Well, previously it had just been one of those many internet myths that seemingly don't have an answer. However, thanks to YouTube product manager Ted Hamilton, we now have an answer.
The basic reason behind the views freezing at 301 is the following: Once a video hits 300 views, subsequent views are collected and sent to YouTube's central servers for verification. This verification process takes about one-half day to a day and checks that the views weren't racked up by a bot. Mr. Hamilton explains:
Views, as mentioned, are a currency. When you have a video with very small amount of views you don't need to be too careful about what the view was. However, once it gets to be above 300 and beyond, this currency, we really need to verify and make sure that the number is what it purports to be. So this means that we have to go through a statistical verification process. And that statistical verification process actually takes some time. And thus we go from incrementing one by one, to then saying, OK, now we're incrementing in batch. And all of these views we're adding on have been verified by YouTube to be real views. We are preventing things like bots to go in and add a bunch of views to a video.
A new study by McAfee is showing what teenagers are really doing online and the results are a bit scary. An incredible 70 percent of teenagers in the study say they hid at least part of their online activity and behavior from their parents. What they are hiding could be even more shocking, especially if you are a parent.
43 percent of the surveyed teens accessed some form of simulated violence while surfing the web, and likely more worrying for parents is the fact that 32 percent view nude content or pornography on the internet. Even worse yet is that half of the parents believe that their children are telling them everything they are doing online.
"While it is not necessarily surprising that teens are engaging in the same types of rebellious behaviors online that they exhibit offline, it is surprising how disconnected their parents are," Stanley Holditch, Online Safety Expert for McAfee, said today in a statement. "There is a major increase in the number of teens finding ways to hide what they do online from their parents, as compared to the 2010 study."
The study also found that 15 percent of teens had hacked a social networking account and 9 percent have hacked into another's e-mail account. 31 percent have pirated a movie or music. How are these kids covering their tracks? 53 percent say they clear their browser history and 46 percent minimize their screens when parents walk by. About a quarter admit to lying or omitting details about online activity.
Bing Maps, the major alternative to Google's mapping service, has received a massive update of satellite imagery today. The update consists of 165TB of new data, which, incredibly, is more data than all previous updates combined. Prior to this update, Bing had only received a running total of 129TB of satellite imagery.
The new imagery includes satellite imagery as well as global ortho photography. The update covers parts of Americas, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia, and, amazingly, covers almost 38 million square kilometers of the Earth. "Just this month, Bing Imagery Technologies hit a significant milestone by completing 100% of aerial photography over the United States," the companys says. "The photography in Europe is slated to be finished by this fall and all updated imagery should be published by the end of 2012."
Let's take a step back and realize just how much data it would take for imagery that covered the entire Earth. It was 165TB for only 38 million square kilometers of area. The Earth has a surface area of around 510 square kilometers, so a couple of quick calculations later, we yield that it would require around 2200TBs. Wow.
Here's a cool new tip and trick for you Google searchers out there, which, judging by the market share, is most of you. If you're anything like me, you're not one to clutter up your favorites list with a bunch of bookmarks. The only downside to this is finding that really informative website you found yesterday while Google'ing.
Have no fear, as Google is using the vast amount of information about you to help you! As long as you are logged in to your Google account, you can filter the results to show only pages you haven't visited or only pages you have visited. There are other filter options as well, but these are the coolest.
After searching on Google, click on "Show Search Tools" on the left hand side of the page. This will pull up a menu with various options. On that menu, all you have to do is select "Visited Pages" and only pages that you have clicked on will show up. Nifty! But what if I want to find something new? Select the option "Not yet visited" and pages you haven't visited will show up.
Some of you probably already know this, but for those of you who don't, it's a great tool to add to your Google'ing arsenal.
As if we don't already have enough internet codes, it appears there will soon need to be one more. A Google employee has offered up one option for the code that will surely soon be necessary. Tim Bray has proposed that the new code be '451' in order to honor the late author Ray Bradbury, whose science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451 warned of a dystopian world defined by government-imposed censorship.
"We can never do away entirely with legal restrictions on freedom of speech. On the other hand, I feel that when such restrictions are imposed, they should be done so transparently; for example, most civilized people find Britain's system of superinjunctions loathsome and terrifying," said Bray in an interview with the Guardian.
"While we may agree on the existence of certain restrictions, we should be nervous whenever we do it; thus the reference to the dystopian vision of Fahrenheit 451 may be helpful. Also, since the Internet exists in several of the many futures imagined by Bradbury, it would be nice for a tip of the hat in his direction from the Net, in the year of his death."
The idea was inspired by someone else's blog post about how they received a '403: Forbidden' error when trying to access The Pirate Bay. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is set to consider it when they meet late next month. But of course, in life, there are no guarantees so they may decide not to adopt it for several reasons.
Earlier today, we brought you the story about how Twitter is experiencing an outage. At that time, some of the details were unknown, such as the cause. Twitter has updated us with a little more information that we can now share. The outage is an ongoing outage, but engineers are working on fixing it.
They do not have a set time for when it will be fixed or how long it is going to take. All they are saying is that they are working on it and that it is on going. It's likely they will have it resolved by tomorrow, if not sooner, but there is no guarantee of that. We will keep you up-to-date with the latest in the Twitter outage.
"Today's outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components," the company's communications folks tweeted at 12:17 p.m. "We'll provide updated information soon."
Twitter's service has been down since about 9am PT for all users. As of about 10am PT, some users, including myself, have been able to access the site, although inconsistently. Twitter has not said when the service will be back or what the cause of the outage is.
"Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter. Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue," the Twitter's status blog said. As of about 10:15am PT, Twitter is still experiencing a service outage for at least some users. Looking at Pingdom, this appears to be Twitter's worst crash in months.
Facebook is adding subscription billing which should allow app developers to make even more money from their most loyal users. Starting next month, app developers will be able to create special plans or content that is available with a monthly fee. The lowest monthly fee that can be offered by a developer is a mere $1.
Kixeye is a perfect example of how developers can take advantage of the new system. Kixeye is planning on having a $9.95 per month subscription plan that will give subscribers access to exclusive in-game items. They are focusing on a smaller subset of players that are more inclined to pay which should yield an interesting revenue stream.
In other news, Facebook is backing away from Facebook Credits as the main currency. Just a few years ago, Facebook was pushing Credits so that Facebook and online shopping would become linked in people's minds. This, unfortunately, prevented developers from using their in-game currency for purchases.
"Most games on Facebook have implemented their own virtual currencies, reducing the need for a platform-wide virtual currency," the company said in a blog post. Facebook has said that they will convert any user's remaining credits into the currency of whatever game the user would like.
If you thought Verizon's FiOS internet was fast, then brace yourself for Verizon FiOS Quantum. Verizon has announced today the pricing and new name for their updated FiOS internet service. The speeds, as we previously reported, have effectively doubled or tripled across the board, but at the time we didn't know the pricing.
We can now officially report the pricing and tell you that the cost will be about $10-15 higher a month for at least double the speed. That is, unless you are on the bottom tier. The Lowest 15/5 tier sees a $10 price increase without any increase in speed. Prices range from $65-210 a month for speeds ranging from 15/5 all the way up to 300/65.
Existing customers won't have to fork over an upgrade fee, but will see their bill go up, depending on bundles and such. If you are willing to sign a two-year contract, prices will drop by about $5 a month, something that's probably not worth being locked into a two-year contract for. Most people probably can't even utilize their current FiOS connection, let alone these massive new speeds.