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According to a new report by The Information, Google is set to unveil a new child friendly version of some of its services. Even up until now, the youngest you can be to open up a Google account in the US is 13 years old.
The new child-safe services would allow a youngster to sign up to various Google services like YouTube, with a "child-safe" version of the video sharing website being in the works. Another rumor is that Google will soon begin requiring users to disclose their age when signing up for a Google account on their Android devices, where a dashboard application for parents will be made available, allowing parents to monitor their kids' activities across Google services.
As it stands, most underage children are accessing Google's account-only services through various means, either lying about their age or using their parents' accounts. This change would allow parents to monitors their kids' activities through Google services, but Google has chimed in about the rumor to Mashable, saying: "We don't comment on rumor or speculation".
Android Police is reporting that Google will soon unveil YouTube's music streaming service, something that will be called YouTube Music Key. YouTube Music Key will reportedly be offered with a free 30-day trial, after which it'll be $9.99 per month.
This $9.99 will give users access to both YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key. Better yet, YouTube Music Key will give music lovers ad-free music, and audio-only playback that can be played in the background, or screen-off listening, something YouTube currently doesn't offer. For those who are subscribed to Play Music All Access, you should have your subscription service to Music Key added automatically.
We should hopefully see Google unveil YouTube Music Key in the coming weeks.
The small number of North Korean citizens with Internet access have enjoyed Torrenting everything from episodes of Modern Family and Top Gear to Far Cry 3 and pornography. It's an interesting look inside of North Korea, which has heavy restrictions and very few Internet users - many of them likely extremely wealthy or with military or government ties.
There were 178 downloads from Pyongyang-based PCs focused on Britain's Biggest Hoarders, HBO documentary Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden, and The Martin Lewis Money Show. North Korean Internet users also enjoyed downloading American and Japanese pornography, according to reports. Along with Far Cry 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Angry Birds were popular video game downloads among Internet users.
It seems highly unlikely that anyone would spoof an IP address from North Korea, especially with a lack of Virtual Network Providers in the region, according to TorrentFreak editor Ernesto Van Der Sar. Meanwhile, others speculate the torrents are being downloaded by tourists and journalists visiting North Korea.
When it comes to free public Wi-Fi, your best bet is to head to a local Starbucks coffee shop or McDonald's fast food restaurant, according to a study from wireless specialist OpenSignal.
Starbucks decided to drop AT&T in favor of Google, and that has meant 80 percent faster Wi-Fi for store visitors, according to the study. The coffee shop has speeds reaching 9.01 Mbps, with McDonald's in the No. 2 position with slightly more than 4 Mbps, while Best Buy and Lowe's trail behind.
For hotel visitors, nightly reservation costs tend to increase as Wi-Fi speed and connectivity also increase. It makes sense for companies to roll out Wi-Fi to visitors, which helps keep them engaged and provides a unique sales and marketing opportunity by providing in-store digital coupons to guests - and establishments such as Starbucks, McDonald's, and other similar businesses can get patrons in the door.
Google is adding its support behind a project that aims to install a faster trans-Pacific cable on the ocean floor to increase internet speeds. The cable will link the west coast of the US with Japan and promises to improve global internet connectivity. The cable project is estimated to cost somewhere in the $300 million range.
Google is now one of six different companies that are working together to fund the project, the other companies include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI, and Singte. NEC is participating in the project as a system supplier.
The cable will run form two locations in Japan - Chikura and Shima - across the Pacific to the US where it will connect to hubs in LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The cable will offer up to 60Tbps over six fiber-pair cables.
McAfee security founder John McAfee has launched a surprise new website at the Defcon event in Las Vegas, which he claims will allow people to complain more easily to businesses and governments.
Brownlist is being touted as a way for people to focus their anger online in a way that is actually productive, rather than simply hurling abuse at public figures or companies on social networks. McAfee claims it could serve as a conduit for grassroots direct action.
"We are doing this because it tapes in to the strongest of human emotions, anger, and it does it in a way that turns it positive," McAfee said. For now just a prototype was on show, but nonetheless the entrepreneur welcomed early contributions. "If you are a small person, like the average American, and some company steps on you or a government, you speak out against something and you are audited the next day, come to our site," McAfee said.
The State of Virginia has the fastest Internet service in the United States, according to Broadview research published by the Akamai State of the Internet Report. Overall, Internet speeds lagged in the Midwest and southern states compared to the west coast and northeast.
Ironically, the Akamai report pegs California at the No. 20 spot, a headache for Silicon Valley companies that have continually tried to boost the speeds of Internet to local residents.
Top 10 states with fastest Internet:
1. Virginia (13.7 Mbps)
2. Delaware (13.1 Mbps)
3. Massachusetts (13.1 Mbps)
4. Rhode Island (12.9 Mbps)
5. Washington, DC (12.8 Mbps)
6. Washington (12.5 Mbps)
7. New Hampshire (12.3 Mbps)
8. Utah (12.1 Mbps)
9. Michigan (11.8 Mbps)
10. Connecticut (11.7 Mbps)
When YouTube acquired Twitch in a deal worth a huge $1 billion, people knew the hammer would be coming down on the use of music within their videos. Well, today is the day, with the now Google-owned service now using audio monitoring tools in gamers' videos.
These tools are similar to what Google uses on its YouTube videos, which looks for copyrighted music in archived videos of users' videos. The software will scan 30-minute sections of videos, and if it finds any unauthorized music within that 30-minute block, the entire 30 seconds is completely muted. It's still muted even if the music was playing for ten seconds within that 30 minute video, too.
Live broadcasts remain unaffected, with this being limited to the video-on-demand content. People are not happy about it, taking to Twitter to blast Twitch and Google about this new, large change.
Over 17,000 Facebook users have rallied behind and joined in on an Austrian man's lawsuit against the social network, which alleges the service breaks data protection laws.
Max Schrems, 26, filed a lawsuit on 1 August and invited anyone else who so wished to join in. An app created specifically for the lawsuit helped interested users file the personal details of their Facebook account into the lawsuit, along with scans proving their identity and addresses - by Monday this week 5,000 had joined, and now the figure's approaching 20,000. The case is filed against Facebook Ireland. Schrems insists the division of the company has insisted in supporting the NSA's spying programme, as detailed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, and in doing so has broken European data protection laws. Each user's personal data is being set at 500 Euros - roughly 660 USD.
20 percent of any damages will be awarded to a litigation funding company backing the suit, Roland Prozessfinanz, with the rest going to the users. If the amount awarded is under five Euros, the balance will be donated to a charity. The app created for the complaints underlined that the strength of the lawsuit is in its numbers, and that if enough people join in it will present enough of a financial risk to Facebook for the company to take notice.
Google is rumored to be reworking its social networking service, Google+, where it will break apart some of its services such as Photos, into their standalone service. Google is looking to increase its presence in the photo sharing space to better compete against its competitors in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Flickr.
If Google end up doing this, Photos could soon feature its own suite of filters and image enhancement tools, something that would require a Google+ account to use. Bloomberg reports: "the service, called Google+ Photos, would still work with the social network's users and may be rebranded as part of the move, one of the people said."
We can already see the beginnings of this move, with Android now featuring its own "Photos" app alongside the usual "Gallery" app. Photos is a great service, something I personally use across all of my devices, but being standalone could be much better again.