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The U.S. government is engaging global terrorists on Twitter and other forms of social media, trying to open up dialogue with jihadists and supporters. It also has proven to be a useful tool to try and stifle recruiting efforts before would-be jihadists convert to radical Islam and potentially carry out attacks.
Terrorists often rely on the Internet to communicate, share videos, and taunt western forces - and although intelligence officials follow the chatter opening lines of communication is still relatively new.
"We are actually giving al Qaeda the benefit of the doubt because we are answering their arguments," said Alberto Fernandez, State Department Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CCSC), in a statement to CNN. "The way I see it is we are participating in the marketplace of ideas."
The so-called Dark Web is one of the few places on the Internet that I rarely visit, which is mostly because I have no reason to visit the type of websites it caters too. With sites like Silk road and other illegal sites populating this seedy corner of the web, it is no surprise that someone has developed a search engine to make it easier to find the illegal stuff you might be searching for.
"I noticed on the forums and Reddit people were constantly asking 'where to get product X?' and 'which market had product X?' or 'who had the best product X and was reliable and not a scam?'" Grams' creator, Gramsadmin, said in an interview with Wired. "I wanted to make it easy for people to find things they wanted on the Dark Net and figure out who was a trustworthy vendor."
Amazon's unique "send to Kindle" feature has to be one of the most convenient and useful parts of Amazon's ecosystem, and now that handy little feature just got even better. Now when users click "send to Kindle," the document, e-book, and text from websites will also be automatically backed up on that users' Cloud Drive.
"You can use Manage Your Kindle to see a list of your documents, re-deliver them to Kindle devices and free reading apps, delete them, or turn off auto-saving of documents to the cloud," Amazon said in an email to customers. "Documents will be delivered just as they have in the past and you will continue to have 5 GB of free cloud storage for your personal documents. Just Send Once, Read Everywhere."
Today Google began rolling out a new feature to GMail that allows users to quickly insert images that were backed up from a mobile device into emails. The new feature has been added to the "insert photo" button located at the bottom of the toolbar of new email compositions, and will give users the option to insert an image located in their mobile device image backup folder.
"Unless you're a budding Ansel Adams, odds are you take most of your photos using your phone. And whether it's photos of your hiking trip or a night out, sending photos to friends and family just got easier," Google said in a blogpost. "Starting today, you can save time and insert your Auto Backup photos from your phone into Gmail messages on the web using the new Insert Photo button."
Some new stats have been publishes by a third party company called Twopcharts looking at Twitter. At last count, Twitter has about 974 million users, but it's less clear how many of those accounts are still in use. Twopcharts has offered up some numbers that claim twitter is much less active than the 974 million user number might suggest.
The stats that Twopcharts had gathered claim that 44% of those Twitter accounts have never made a single tweet. That means that 44% of Twitter's accounts have never been used. The company goes on to claim that only 126 million of Twitter accounts have sent a tweet in the past 30 days.
Twitter is tight lipped about its stats for the most part and doesn't like to talk about user retention. What Twitter has said in the past is that it has 241 million average monthly users as of December 31 2013. Twopcharts also claims that 391 million Twitter accounts have 0 followers and about 232 million haven't followed a single Twitter user themselves.
A new bill is making its rounds on capitol hill that aims to change the way congress and other government employees search for information. The new Let Me Google That For You Act (No joking here), was introduced by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and aims to make the internet the governments number one search tool when researching information.
At the moment the government utilize a search tool named "The National Technical Information Service (NTIS), and it is quickly becoming outdated and less relevant by the Internet. Queries to the NTIS system cost taxpayers a minimum of $100 per search and that adds up to tens of thousands of dollars every day. If the bill passes, NTIS will cease to exist and will force government workers to use the internet (much cheaper) for their searches, and that saves everyone a ton of money.
Amazon is looking to expand its digital reading material offerings very soon by announcing its acquisition of the popular digital comic book distribution service known as ComiXology. The service offers up most of Marvel's best-selling series and boast more than 100,000 issues and more than 200 million downloads since launch.
No word was given on how much Amazon paid for ComiXology, but we would assume that it is in the hundreds of millions if not more. ComiXology is the largest digital comic book distribution services on the internet, and has been dubbed "The iTunes of comic book sales" in the past by the New York Times. Amazon says that ComiXology will continue to operate as a separate company and will be able to continue down its path, but will be able to do so faster, better, and stronger.
During the Warner Music YouTube blackout in 2009, Warner musicians sold more songs and albums during the hiatus, indicating YouTube hurts music album sales, according to Fairfield University and the University of Colorado.
The research believes top music labels lose out in total sales due to listeners heading to YouTube to listen to new songs - and watch music videos - instead of purchasing individual tracks and albums.
"We showed that the removal of content from YouTube had a casual impact on album sales by upwards of on average 10,000 units per week for top albums," according to the research. "While a great deal has been said about the potential role of these services in promoting and discovering new artists and music, our results cast some double on this widely believed notion, at least with regards to top selling albums."
Amazon has said that its Instant Video streaming service is now the third most popular video streaming service in the United States, and while Netflix may dominate in the area, Amazon says it has passed both Apple and Hulu.
Qwilt, a video-delivery analysis company, has some data that shows that Amazon video streams have tripled in the past twelve months, pushing them from fifth place, to third. Netflix and YouTube are sitting in positions one and two, forcing Apple and Hulu lower down the video streaming ladder. Yahoo is rumored to be launching its own instant video service in the near future, with original programming. Microsoft is also putting its hat into the ring with the Xbox, so we should expect the video streaming space to really heat up.
But, Netflix has some incredible original shows under its belt with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, so the competition has a heavy uphill battle if they want to fight against Kevin Spacey and some really tough women in jail, including the still-sexy Captain Janeway, or Red.
If you cannot make the time to do grocery shopping, a retail giant may have the solution you. Amazon introduces 'Dash', a service that allows you order groceries via a device that uses barcode scanner and a microphone for voice search.
Dash is an approximately 6-inch device which connects via Wi-Fi to PCs or smartphones where you can check the ordered items. Once the device is connected to your Wi-Fi network, Amazon Dash is always signed in to your Amazon Fresh Account.
As of now, Amazon implemented this service for public testing. The online retail giant is accepting applications from those who are interested to test the product. The company will be testing this in Southern California, San Francisco or Seattle.