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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government utilize a search tool named "The National Technical Information Service (NTIS), and it is quickly becoming outdated and less relevant by the Internet.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.
It appears that yet another popular website will be closing its doors forever due to "business issues." Gamespy.com has just announced that it will be shutting down its website along with all of its PC gaming servers, effective May 31st. Gamespy has been a staple in the PC gaming community since 1999, and it appears that it will not make it past 14 years old.
"Just to be clear, we're not being shut down because PC gaming isn't a big, important, and growing thing -- because it is. That's not even debatable. It's not even because the GameSpy staff did a bad job of talking about it. Hell, from where I'm sitting we did an awesome job," said GameSpy's Dan Stapleton. "Why is this closure happening, then? It's a business thing, and like most business things it's not easy to explain or understand unless you spend all day crunching numbers and paying bills. Which I don't. So here's the simple version that even I can comprehend: Ziff Davis wants to run an efficient, focused company, and managing several different sites that all cover videogames isn't exactly the model of efficiency. "
Stapleton went on to say that the GameSpy staff will go on to write for other gaming media outlets such as IGN, and that they will continue to bring readers what they need to know about the current state of gaming. It's a sad day to see a staple like GameSpy fall, but such is the way of many sites that have been acquired by Ziff Davis over the years, and I am sure that this will not be the last to shutter its windows.
Video game streaming service, Twitch.TV has just added a new feature to its website today. Users can now enable private chat rooms that are accessible by invite only, which cuts down on the trolls who do what trolls do best. While Twitch already allows users to chat with broadcasters, this new group chat feature lets the broadcaster pick and chose who they wish to allow in their coatroom at any given time.
"One of the most beloved features on Twitch is the ability to chat with the broadcasters and your fellow gamers. In many ways, it's what makes Twitch, Twitch. It's where community memes begin," Twitch said in a blog post. "Where you express your glee, outrage, befuddlement, or amusement, as the case may be. Twitch is a social place, and chat is where the social exchange happens."
Facebook has devised ways to deliver internet to many parts of the world- using drones, satellites and even lasers. After announcing internet.org last year, Mark Zuckerberg hired a team of scientists for the purpose to improve internet access across the world.
The social networking company hired scientists who worked in organizations such as NASA, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and Ascenta which developed solar powered drones.
Facebook isn't the only one to provide internet access in remote areas. Google started 'Project Link' in November 2013 which aims to provide fiber network for developing nations. It also announced its project codenamed 'Project Loon' which will use hot air balloons to provide internet access.
Despite Turkey's attempt to ban social networking site Twitter, the government is now "fighting a losing battle," experts claim, with Turkish citizens using virtual private networks (VPNs), text messaging and Tor to continue tweeting.
Although Twitter hasn't publicly issued a response - following the Turkish government trying to have government corruption tweets and links deleted - Twitter's decision to post a guide on how to post tweets via SMS provides an initial insight into the company's stance on the matter.
Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek isn't overly impressed with the ban:
"The Turkish telecommunications watchdog has made a number of statements saying that they have asked Twitter on a number of occasions to remove some content on the back of court orders and Twitter has been refusing to comply. I don't think any global company, whether it's a media company, whether it's an industrial company, it shouldn't see itself [as being] above the law."
Project management is one of the most important aspects of today's fast-paced tech world, and one of the biggest applications that makes this task easy has recently been hit with a massive DDoS attack followed by an attempt to blackmail the company into paying for the attack to stop. Basecamp is used daily by hundreds of thousands of developers world wide to keep track of their project's task, goals, and more, but Basecamp says that it will not succumb to extortion and blackmail.
Shortly after the attack began, Basecamp received a offer to end the attack in exchange for a monetary payment, but the company denied, and recovered from the attack on its own. The company has reasons to believe that the attack was organized by the same people who attacked Fotolia in a similar manner last week, and are working with officials to sort things out.