Ladies and gentlemen, Radiohead has left the internet (apparently that's a thing you can do). Its homepage is now a plain white page and inspecting it reveals there's nothing super secret going on: there is just no real code there. As well, its Twitter and Facebook pages are blank.
The band hasn't gone completely dark on its fans, though: they've sent out leaflets in the mail marked with a cryptic message that reads, "Sing the song of sixpence that goes 'Burn the witch'."
Whether this is some kind of poetic publicity stunt for Radiohead's upcoming album or somehow related to frontman Thom Yorke's disdain for music streaming, we can't say for sure.
As internet data cap surcharges have become more and more impactful (some providers are now charging as much $35 per month for you to 'avoid' fees associated with usage caps), more and more customers are starting to notice and even take action.
The Wall Street Journal reports data limit complaints to the Federal Communications Comission (FCC) stood at 863 in the first half of 2015 before soaring to 7,904 in the second half. More than that, some said they were canceling streaming services like Netflix, Sling TV, and Sony PlayStation Vue, which are top sources of data consumption. This year looks similar with 1,463 complaints registered as of mid-April.
Facebook is currently testing a significant change to its news feed that see it take on the form of a news aggregator site in many ways.
The new design features a tabbed categories section at the bottom of the normal feed where you can choose to see all news, World & US news, Sports news, and Food news, among others. By default, all of these categories will show up, but if you like, you can disable any of them.
When relevant, friends' posts will show up in the aforementioned sections. As well, the feed will prompt you to add people related to news you're interested in, much like Twitter.
Wordpress isn't taking any chances and will be automatically enabling HTTPS for all custom domain names that are associated with its website in addition to the subdomains that are already protected by the umbrella of the main domain, which they've been doing since 2014.
The project is a large and very complex matter, not to mention the usual cost of obtaining the appropriate amount of certificates needed for all the separate sites that happen to exist. Automattic, the owner and operator of Wordpress, have elicited the help of Let's Encrypt, a certificate authority that is providing them with free certificates for each domain, as well as managing the installation and any post-installation issues that might crop up. They're doing this in response to the EFF's Encrypt the Web initiative. Barry Abrahamson, a systems engineer at Automattic praised Let's Encrypt and their involvement, saying that "The Let's Encrypt project gave us an efficient and automated way to provide SSL certificates for a large number of domains."
HTTPS is beneficial for keeping the Internet safe as well as adding in a slight bit of weight to SEO scores for websites looking to increase their visibility. It's also nice for visitors to know that at the very least they can authenticate the site they're visiting and ensure that any moderate attempts at surveillance or session hijacking can be foiled. HTTPS should indeed be the standard, not the exception. This is a move that makes it more accessible to more website owners, which it should be.
Amazon Payments is getting beefed up with a new global partner program designed to make the service into an e-commerce competitor to PayPal and Apple Pay; Amazon is using the term 'global' loosely, as the program is available to partners in the US, Germany, UK, and Japan only.
The refreshed service is different than the current 'Login and pay with Amazon' feature -- pictured here -- that some individual merchants already use: it's intended for e-commerce platforms that provide secure payment features to those merchants. Currently on board are Shopify, OpenCart, and PrestaShop, among many others.
For the public, this means you'll no longer have to create a new username and password for different shopping sites: just use your Amazon Payments account for everything, à la PayPal.
Traditionally, the word 'internet' is spelled with uppercase, but the AP Stylebook seems to have determined it's become so colloquial that it deserves the less formal lowercase treatment. As of June 1, when the 2016 Stylebook launches, 'internet' will be official.
For the unfamiliar, the AP Stylebook is the premiere grammar style and usage guide for American journalists connected to the Associated Press. However, it's looked to by most organizations and persons outside of the Associated Press as the guide of choice as well.
To help you get in the mood or seal the deal when you're deciding what to watch, Netflix will soon be adding auto-play video trailers to your home screen whenever you're hovering over a movie, TV show or documentary.
As seen on Gizmodo, there was a bit of discussion based on advancements to the whole Netflix user experience at MWC 2016, particularly that of the home screen and how users choose what media to watch. This auto-play trailer feature is said to be taken from 'traditional' TV practices, meaning that there is always something engaging happening on the screen.
This announcement comes alongside our recently discussed mobile data saving feature, with these features both said to be currently in beta testing.
Google saw a tremendous 50 percent increase in travel questions on mobile phones last year, so it's only logical they came up with Destinations, a new set of functionality for Google mobile search that accommodates your vacation needs.
It works as simply as you could hope for: search something like "europe vacation" and various travel destinations in Europe will pop up, complete with pictures, and dates and prices for flights and hotels. If you want to get more specific, quick tabs let you change dates, travelers, interests, and your budget. And if you're thinking long-term, you can compare prices across the next six months. Finally, the Explore tab lets you see what the weather is like year-round wherever it is you're thinking about going.
Google is shutting down another service that you've probably never heard of but sounds great: Google Compare (also known as Google Advisor). The website allows you to obtain quotes from a variety of companies on car insurance, travel insurance, credit cards, and mortgages.
"Despite people turning to Google for financial services information, the Google Compare service itself hasn't driven the success we hoped for," Google wrote in an e-mail sent to partners yesterday. "After a lot of careful consideration, we've decided that focusing more intently on AdWords and future innovations will enable us to provide fresh, comprehensive answers to Google users, and to provide our financial services partners with the best return on investment."
Google explained it had difficulty attracting advertisers to the service, in part due to limited availability of products in the US and UK.
The service will wind down as of February 23, and close completely on March 23.
ZDNet has noticed something that many of us may never think about - Google has changed its side-displayed advertisements on searches. Previous 'versions' of this search program would display direct link advertisements for product sales, with companies vying for your dollar and continued service through this marketing option.
This changes a few things for certain companies, now unable to directly market to consumers looking to buy something on a whim or look for reliable resellers of wanted products. While a good opportunity for Google to ensure its pages load faster and look more streamlined, many are upset at this move - taking out a popular advertising avenue used by many.
Small business' may be the ones suffering majorly due to this change, meaning that companies are now going to have to pay top dollar to this tech giant in order to increase their search ranking. With less advertising space comes a higher asking price for what's left - I hope your budget is big!