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For more than a decade now email has been a way of life, and as with all electronic services that become staples, hackers have found ways to get your information. Fortunately Google has found a way to all but end account hacks to its Gmail service.
Nine times out of ten, a program breaks into your email accounts with the intention of blasting out spam to both your contacts and a list of thousands of others. This is why we see so much spam in our inbox's. Gmail was not left out and the number of hacked accounts soon began to rise. As a result, Google developed a complicated handshake to ensure you are actually you, when logging into your account.
The system performs a complex risk analysis each time your account is logged into. In fact more than 120 variables have to be authenticated before the system will validate you as the correct user. In the event some of these variables do not match, Google will ask you some simple questions. This is why you sometimes get asked for your mobile phone number when logging in.
As a result of this system, Google says they have reduced the number of hacked accounts by 99.7 percent since 2011.
Today Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, unveiled a redesigned Yahoo homepage, via the company's official blog. The basic layout is still quite familiar, with some changes to add in social media integration. The site has also gained an endless scroll feature that has become popular as of late.
The new front page is able to tap into your Facebook profile, and even give you recommendations from the social network. The site has also been optimized for mobile devices including tablets and smartphones.
"The new Yahoo experience works well on the go -- we've optimized it for smartphones and tablets," Mayer wrote. "And, thanks to some under-the-hood improvements, Yahoo is also faster."
The new look is not yet live, but will begin to roll out over the next few days.
In an effort to stem the unending stream of pirated material, search giant Google could do something unprecedented (I feel like I'm writing a speech for Obama using that word) and block all funding to websites offering links to pirated material.
This could be films, music, books, games - you name it - any site that is making money from illegal material. Google's plans, while still in the discussion stage, would see them block funding to websites that don't respond to legal challenges, such as being offshore. If this does go ahead, it wouldn't be the first time a website has had its funding cut off, where we saw donations to WikiLeaks cut off from Mastercard, PayPal and Visa back in 2011.
Google would have no troubles getting the support of book publishing firms, or the music and film industries, who would like to see those extra 0's in their bank accounts instead of piracy websites. Google are aware that their move could have unintended consequences - which I'm sure we'll see Anonymous pop up and have a word or two of input - but the Mountain View-based search giant could iron out some issues in the coming months, and put their plan into action in the spring.
Posterous, a popular blogging platform that was acquired by Twitter last year, has announced that it will be shutting down as of April 30. The site says that they are shutting down in order to focus on Twitter and there will be no more viewing or editing content past the shutdown date.
Because of this, Posterous is offering users the ability to download their data. WordPress and Squarespace are alternatives and both feature importers for Posterous data. A "backup" option is also provided and it will provide you with a zip file containing your data. You can request a backup by heading to the Posterous site.
"We'd like to thank the millions of Posterous users who have supported us on our incredible journey. We hope to provide you with as easy a transition as possible, and look forward to seeing you on Twitter."
Billionaire FilmOn founder Alki David, along with a number of film and music artists, are accusing CBS and CNET for the rise in piracy through BitTorrent programs. The accusations are based on the fact that Download.com provides BitTorrent programs for download as well as giving each program a review.
In the past year, David and his unnamed group of artists have achieved several minor victories in court with one judge stating that Download.com can be held liable as they distribute and promote torrent clients through review ratings. He said that the review, if favorable, was encouraging the use of said software.
CNET's counter claims that BitTorrent is also used to distribute unique content that is approved by the creator. According to the artists, this is irrelevant. The plaintiffs go on to state: "The fact that other entities such as the torrent publisher or a torrent website like the Pirate Bay might be jointly and severally liable for this infringement does not affect CBSI's inducement."
If you're still on the hunt for a Nexus 4 and can't get your hands on one, Google have your back with their Nexus Store Locator tool. This tool will will allow you to search local retailers for Nexus devices.
All you have to do is type in your address, and it'll find you a retailer that deals in Nexus devices. At the moment, the only Nexus 4 retailer in the US is T-Mobile, so right now if you're looking for a Nexus 4, then this tool is kind of like a T-Mobile store locator. If you're after a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10, then it branches out a little more.
The Nexus 4 should reach other retailers soon, where this tool will become more useful.
In an attempt to further beat a dead horse, Finnish anti-piracy group CIAPC ripped off the style sheets (CSS) from the Pirate Bay website to style its own website. The group claims that they pulled such a move to make a point as to how easy it is to download things from the internet.
In a serious moment of irony, the group has placed itself in a position where it needs to either pay The Pirate Bay for infringing on its copyright, or admit that copyright law does not matter. The organization was able to theme their website to look like The Pirate Bay's website by scraping The Pirate Bay's website and "stealing" the CSS design code.
Usually The Pirate Bay founders have no issues with copying and sharing everything, but in this instance, they were simply unable to let such a small matter slide. In a statement, a spokesman for The Pirate Bay said:
"We are outraged by this behavior. People must understand what is right and wrong. Stealing material like this on the internet is a threat to economies worldwide. We feel that we must make a statement and therefore we will sue them for copyright infringement."
In a recent interview with Reuters, Yahoo chief exec Marissa Mayer said that the company's partnership with Microsoft's Bing search engine is not producing the market share that was expected.
In 2010 Yahoo and Vole signed a 10 year contract in an effort to steal some search engine market share from search giant Google. From the looks of things, what actually happened was Microsoft and Yahoo actually ended up just trading that market space with each other.
In December 2012, Yahoo owned about 12% share, with Microsoft having just over 16%. Two years ago before the deal took place the numbers were flipped around almost exactly with Microsoft having 12% and Yahoo owning 16%. While Meyer is not happy with the numbers, it does not mean that she wants out of the partnership, she just would like to see improvements made.
Netflix is continuing down its path of original content creation. The company has announced that it has teamed up with DreamWorks to develop its first TV show aimed at children.
Turbo F.A.S.T. is the spinoff of the movie Turbo, which is set to hit theaters this summer. Netflix is looking to capitalize on its predicted success by creating the new series. As part of the deal, Netflix will offer its customers access to DreamWorks Animation feature titles in the US.
The deal with DreamWorks is significant as Netflix now has content up from the two biggest names in animated film - the other being Disney, which signed a deal with Netflix last year. As a Netflix subscriber, I like the deal of being able to stream additional exclusive content. For me, it just makes it easier to justify spending the extra $8 a month on a service I do not use as much as I should.
Over the years, Google has forged their way into the english language, thanks to people saying "Google it" when asked a question. Well, it helps that iOS' default search engine is Google, but just how much does Google pay for this privilege?
Well, it looks like it could be as much as $1 billion per year. Scott Devitt from Morgan Stanley in a recent note to investors said "the next Google is Google", believing that the search giant's business has much more room to grow in expanding markets and subsidiaries such as YouTube could see as much as $20 billion generated by 2020.
Devitt estimated during the note that the Mountain View-based company could be paying Apple up to $1 billion per year to be their default search engine, with that figure set to expand over the coming years. Previous reports pegged the companies to be in a revenue sharing deal, but Devitt doesn't think this makes sense. He says that Apple would instead be much better off to do a fee per device agreement for the benefits of upfront payments and easier accounting.