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Targeted advertising is big money these days. eBay must have been feeling a little left out, as the company just announced that it will begin sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertisers.
This is similar to what Google, Amazon and Facebook already do, and is the reason that you get loads of ads about that new car you just looked up or the flight price you just researched. eBay says that marketers will not have full control of your data, but eBay itself will sell targeted advertisements to those companies.
In an interview, Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of digital display in North America, said:
"We're now commercializing that capability for the benefit of other marketers who want to reach shoppers. If you're an agency and it complicates your life because we've got a unique pool of data that you don't have, tough. It would be shortsighted of us to give that data away."
It seems that at least once a month for the past several years, the Pirate Bay has had to make moves to evade action taken against it in order to keep the ship afloat. This time the popular torrent tracking site has had to switch up its top level domain.
The change comes in the wake of Swedish authorities announcing that they will seize the current domain, thepiratebay.se. This is not the first time similar actions have been taken, with the site previously being located on the .org TLD back in 2011.
This move not only creates a dilemma for Swedish authorities, but it completely messes up all of the pending DMCA take down notices that have been filed with Google recently. Since the domain name has changed, every request that has not been executed will have to be resubmitted to Google.
Those who have internet service through an ISP that blocks The Pirate Bay, could see service temporary restored until existing block lists are updated.
It's no secret, Google Street View is one of the most revolutionary products ever developed. It has changed the way we search for locations to shop, view homes for sale, and has even helped me pick out dining locations close to a hotel I stayed at in Las Vegas.
Today a design firm based out of Toronto, Teehan+Lax, has released a new and innovative way to put all of those Street View images together into a very awe-inspiring time lapse journey. The experiment has several pre-built "Hyperlapses" of things like crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, but the true awesomeness comes when you create your own Hyperlapse by selecting two points on a Google map and letting the service build a custom hyperlaps of what that road trip would look like.
Creating your own is quite simple. Just set a point A and a point B and the site will then stitch together all of the Google Street View images taken along that path. I was able to quickly create a Hyperlapse of a trip down US #1 in the Florida Keys. The actual site uses lower quality images, and a very fast frame rate to reduce load times. The entire source code is available on Github (source #3) with examples so users can create their own custom Hyperlapse engines.
Microsoft is said to be in the works of integrating two-factor authentication into its Outlook.com mail service. LiveSide is reporting this morning that security enhancements are being prepped, along with a new authenticator app for Windows Phone.
Google and Apple both already use two-factor authentication processes when you access their services and is the reason that you sometimes have to answer security questions when logging in from a new device. I won't get into how they both work here, but Microsoft's system appears to use the Authenticator App to generate the authentication codes.
LiveSide is also reporting that the new authentication system will not work with Microsoft Accounts that have been linked together, which means that users must un-link multiple accounts. The Authenticator app is already available for download in the Windows Phone Store, so it looks like two-factor authentication for Outlook.com is on the way soon.
Images have popped up onto the Internet of the purported Google Babel for Gmail, with Techradar getting their hands on a bunch of screen captures of the web interface for the upcoming Google unified messaging application, Babel.
It looks like a rehash of Google Chat for Gmail, with a better looking interface for the sign-in, as well as new features within the program itself. It looks like we could expect some photo sharing abilities with Babel, a mandatory Google+ login, and a feature to start a Google+ hangout directly from the chat.
This could be a total fake right now, so don't put much faith into this right now.
Just as web developers across the world were settling down to enjoy the good life, Google and Mozilla have walked in the door and thrown a wrench into their smoothly running machines. This morning both Google and Mozilla announced that they are moving their browsers to new rendering engines.
Google has announced that it has forked the popular WebKit engine off into a more "manageable for chromium" engine called Blink. Google says that Blink will focus on speed and simplicity, and will still hold true to its WebKit roots. Opera, who just switched to WebKit says that they will follow Google's lead and fully embrace and contribute to Blink.
In a blog post, Adam Barth, a Software Engineer at Google said:
"Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit."
Not to be left out, Mozilla had its own announcement about a new rendering engine as well. Dubbed Servo, the engine is a collaboration between Mozilla and Samsung, and is coded in an entirely new language called Rust. It will not replace the Gecko engine current versions of Firefox are built around just yet, but the transition will take place at some point says Mozilla.
Samsung and Mozilla have teamed up to develop new Android browser technology. Specifically, the team will be working on developing a new browser engine for Android and the ARM architecture. The new engine is said to be called Servo and will make use of Mozilla's Rust programming language.
Mozilla and Samsung are optimizing the browser for multi-core processors since that seems to be the way mobile devices are heading. It seems somewhat of an unlikely partnership, but it does make sense on some levels for Samsung. The Korean giant currently relies heavily on the Android operating system, a system that Samsung does not own.
Samsung is looking to have alternative options going into the future. Working with Mozilla could help get them in on the ground level of Mozilla's upcoming mobile operating system.
Today Amazon announced that it will be adding vinyl records to its AutoRip service. AutoRip is a service by Amazon that offers purchasers of music on physical storage, free MP3 downloads of the same album.
From now on, any physical disc purchased on Amazon will include a free digital copy of the same album, which is placed in your free Amazon Cloud Player. In addition, digital copies of purchased tracks will not count against your storage total on the cloud service. Amazon says the service is available now for "thousands of records," including titles from every major label with more titles being added daily.
"We're thrilled to extend this experience to vinyl records," said Steve Boom, Vice President of Digital Music for Amazon "Many of our music customers are vinyl fans and it's traditionally been very difficult to make digital versions of vinyl records-now customers can enjoy the albums they buy wherever they are, not just when they have access to a record player."
Mozilla has updated its Firefox web browser with per-window private browsing that functions much the same as Chrome's private browsing feature. In addition to per-window private browsing, Firefox 20 comes with stability improvements, bug fixes, HTML5 additions, and a new download experience.
As part of the stability improvements, users can now close a frozen plugin without the entire browser crashing. This is also similar to how Chrome handles plugins. The improved download experience features a new interface and a button that makes opening the downloads list much easier. When downloads are active, the button shows an estimated time to completion.
Probably the largest change with Firefox 20 is the ability to have both normal Firefox windows and private browsing Firefox windows open simultaneously. As previously stated, this new method is how Chrome has handled private browsing from the get-go. Firefox used to require the entire session to either be a normal session or a private browsing session.
Microsoft's Hotmail replacement, Outlook.com, is still pretty new but this hasn't stopped the Windows giant from releasing a new design for the calendar aspect of the website. Today, Microsoft has updated Outlook.com's calendar to feature a "fresh and intuitive design" that fits with the modern look Microsoft is providing all of its new products.
Microsoft's new design emphasizes "content over chrome" by giving appointments and events primary focus. After all, those are the main functions one expects from a calendar. If you're interested in Microsoft's changes in more detail, you can head over to their blog post announcing the update or head over to Outlook.com and check it out for yourself.