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Google's "Doodle 4 Google" contest is coming to a close. The search giant has selected the top 50 winners, one per US state, and now needs you to vote for your favorite. Once voting ends on May 10 at 11:59pm ET, the top five will be selected and a national champion will be selected.
The final winner will be announced at an event in New York City on May 22. The theme for this year's contest was "Best Day Ever." Many of the kids interpreted this to mean different things, as you'll see when you look through the entries to cast your vote.
Google has added a Remote Desktop feature to its Google+ Hangouts. Now you can provide tech support as if you are in the same room as the user. What's really nice about this remote desktop implementation is that Google+ Hangouts still allows you to see and chat with each other. Most remote desktop services don't include video or audio chat.
Hangouts Remote Desktop lets you help others by controlling their computer remotely (with their permission, of course). And because you're both in a Hangout, you can talk with and see each other during the session.
It's rather simple to get started. All you have to do is be in a Hangout and click View more Apps > Add Apps > Hangouts Remote Desktop. Since it's based on the same technology used in Chrome Remote Desktop, you can remain reasonably certain that the technology is both safe, secure, and stable.
For the past couple of years, The Pirate Bay has been on the move. We've reported on the ship's sailings around the world, including exotic ports of call in North Korea, Iceland, and now the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The move comes as Swedish prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad attempts the seizure of thepiratebay.se, piratebay.se, and now thepiratebay.is.
Iceland's domain registar, ISNIC, has previously stated that they would not take down thepiratebay.is unless ordered to by a court. "Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant's usage of their domains."
ISNIC will legally fight attempts to use the domain name registry system to police/censor the net. We believe that to be ineffective, wrong and dangerous to the stability of the DNS as a whole.
This means The Pirate Bay is now accessible through the TLD thepiratebay.sx. We do enjoy the irony that The Pirate Bay has now moved into the Caribbean. However, we don't expect Disney to make a movie about these pirates.
Digg's replacement for Google Reader to enter beta in June, survey finds 40% of respondents willing to pay
Today, Digg disclosed the results of a survey it ran last week. The survey contained questions trying to gauge user interest in various features that Digg might implement in a replacement for Google Reader. The survey also asked if a respondent would be willing to pay for the service.
As you can see above, 40 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay for a Google Reader replacement. This then makes me ask, why doesn't Google charge and continue their own reader? As seen in the graph below, many users use E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to share links. Digg plans to include "seemless sharing" to all of the services seen below.
Free products on the Internet don't have a great track record. They tend to disappear, leaving users in a lurch. We need to build a product that people can rely on and trust will always be there for them. We're not totally sure how pricing will work, but we know that we'd like our users to be our customers, not our product. So when we asked survey participants whether or not they would be willing to pay, we were pleased to see that a majority said yes.
From the quote above, you can see that it appears Digg is leaning towards a paid product, but this causes them to lose out on 60 percent of those who responded to the survey. We should know more as we approach the beta in June.
Google refuses to settle with good enough and has instituted a fairly major change to its search today. Google has announced that app activities will be brought to Google Search, meaning searches for an app or site will bring with it popular in-app content, provided the app is integrated with Google+ Sign-In.
The service will be rolling out over the next few weeks to desktop searches. For now, it will not be coming to mobile search. The app integration will be initially limited to Deezer, Fandango, Flixster, Slacker Radio, Songza, SoundCloud and TuneIn, though more apps will be added over time.
Google provides the following example: "Searching for Fandango, for example, will show the top movies among Google users. And when you click on a movie, you'll go directly to its page on Fandango."
Twenty years ago today, the internet as we know it was born when CERN released the technology that made the World Wide Web work. It has been a long battle, but for the most part, the internet has remained open and free as its creators intended.
To commemorate 20 years of free and open information sharing, CERN has recreated the first website ever published. This is an effort to preserve the humble beginnings on which the modern and future internet was founded. CERN is also working to refurbish the original servers used as well to further preserve the history what could be the greatest invention ever.
Check out CERNS recreation of the first website here. Cool!
Twitter has issued a memo to news organizations around the world warning them that they believe the recent attacks on high-profile news accounts will continue. "We believe that these attacks will continue, and that news and media organizations will continue to be high value targets to hackers."
Twitter pleads with the companies to help them keep their accounts safe. They encourage companies to designate one computer to use for Twitter...and not use them for general web surfing or checking e-mail. Rumors of Twitter's two-factor authentication system are still floating around. We imagine it's a bit more difficult for them to develop a system for an account that is often used by multiple people.
Google has released a second update for Google Drive just shortly after the one released earlier today. This latest update will allow all of your Google Drive documents to sync in the background so that you don't have to plan ahead. With this new feature, anytime you're offline, you can simply head to drive.Google.com
Internet outages and long plane rides shouldn't prevent you from working in Google Drive. Set up offline access so that the next time you're offline you'll still be able to view Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, shuffle folders around, and edit files stored in your Google Drive folder.
- Click More on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Select Offline Docs.
- Setting up offline access is a two-step process. First, click the blue button that says Get the app. If you already have the app installed, you won't need to complete this step.
- You'll be taken to the Chrome web store. Click Add to Chrome in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
- Once the app is installed, you'll be taken to a Chrome page with the Google Drive app icon. To return to Drive, click the Google Drive icon.
- On the right side of the dialog on the Offline Docs page, click the blue button that says Enable offline.
This is a feature that is already present in Chrome OS. Google may one day bring this feature to other browsers, though it's not clear if they have plans to do so right now.
Google Drive is one of the productivity tools that I do not think I could live without. I use it for note taking during meetings, collaboration on projects, and even as a file sharing service for documents. This morning, Google announced some improvements to the service that should make life easier and more feature rich for those like me who use the service daily with others.
Over the next few days, users will see the addition of profile photos, one-click group chats, and even a completely new look for anonymous users. Once the update rolls out, a profile photo will be displayed at the top of a file that was created and shared to you by another user. Google is hoping that this will help you better notice everyone who is in the file with you.
In addition to the profile photo being displayed, you will be able to click on the image and add that user to your Google+ circles. Anonymous users are also affected by this change and you will see them appear as a different icon chosen at random from the list above.
Earlier this month I reported that The Pirate Bay would be switching to the .GL top level domain amidst speculation that Sweedish officials would soon seize the .se domain name. Unfortunately, Greenland officials decided that they wanted no part of the Pirate Bay's armada and suspended the purchased .gl domain before anything could be migrated.
This led to the Pirate Bay having to look yet again for a new home. This time the Pirate Bay has dropped its anchor in the land of icelandic nords, and as of this posting can be found at thepiratebay.is. The choice to move to to Iceland was due to its recent pronouncement as a safehaven for those seeking true freedom of speech. When asked if it would seek to follow Greenland's lead and shut down the piratebay.is domain, the ISNIC had the following to say:
The short answer is no. Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant's usage of their domains. This policy applies equally to any .is domain. It's the domain owner's responsibility to abide by the law, not ours. There is an article in our registration rules which states that 'the registrant is responsible for ensuring that the use of the domain is within the limits of Icelandic law as current at any time'.