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Facebook announces new News Feed design on March 7

Facebook has announced that they will be unveiling a News Feed redesign on March 7 at their Menlo Park, California headquarters. At 10 a.m. PST, the event will start and this time we know what they plan to unveil: "Come see a new look for News Feed," the invite reads.


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The last major change to Facebook that received a press event was the slightly underwhelming Graph Search. We're not exactly sure what Facebook is planning to do to the News Feed, but we can take a stab that it might have something to do with a change in the way it displays. It will likely take a more mobile look.


Stay tuned to TweakTown next Thursday to read all about it.

Swedish Pirate Party caves, The Pirate Bay pulls up anchor and sets sail for Norway and Catalonia

Last week I wrote about a copyright activist group called The Rights Alliance who planned on suing the Swedish Pirate Party for its role in hosting the infamous torrent search site The Pirate Bay. All initial indications alluded to the Pirate Party standing its ground, but I guess the old saying "when the going gets tough, the tough get going", is true.


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Rights Alliance Group is backed by all the major Hollywood studios, and therefore has virtually unlimited monetary resources and an entire army of lawyers who are just itching to rack up thousands of billable hours. The Swedish Pirate Party knows this and they did what they had to do to survive.


The Pirate Bay has been handed off to not one, but two Pirate Parties in separate countries: Norway and Catalonia, a small country within the borders of Spain. Swedish Pirate Party officials said that they knew that the resources backing Rights Alliance were simply too massive for them to go head to head with, and that they did what they deemed necessary to ensure that The Pirate Bay lives on.

Continue reading 'Swedish Pirate Party caves, The Pirate Bay pulls up anchor and sets sail for Norway and Catalonia' (full post)

The OverClocker Issue 23 is out, the first issue of the year

The OverClocker has seen its first release of the year, with issue 23 now available to all. Issue 23 sees KINGPIN sealing a motherboard permanently for some LN2 fun, as well as a talk with veteran overclocker "Chispy" and his thoughts on the hardware industry.


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There's the usual reviews, which include ASUS' Rampage IV Gene, OCZ's Vertex 4 512GB SSD, Corsair's H100i cooler, ASRock's 990FX Extreme9 motherboard, Cooler Master's Seidon 240M, Intel's 335 240GB SSD and finally, MSI's GeForce GTX 660 HAWK GPU.


You can read the latest issue right here.

Vine Flip turns your Vine videos into a flipbook

If you're one of the many people who made flipbooks in their youth, there is now a much easier way to do it. A new website, called Vine Flip, will turn your six-seocnd Vine video into a flipbook. The founders got the idea after thinking about how awesome it would be to pass a flipbook of a Vine video they had just taken around the office.


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We were goofing around our office shooting our friends being foolish and thought, how funny if we could make this into a flipbook and secretly pass them around the office. And then the ideas of other ways we'd like to flip our Vines came flowing out - from marriage proposals to parties. We knew we had to roll this out if nothing else to entertain ourselves


Turning a Vine video into a flipbook has lots of cool uses, but it really is just an awesome demonstration of the digital world becoming physical once again. For $14, you can turn a Vine video into a pair of flipbooks, though you can order as many as you want. They will take five to ten business days for them to be created and delivered.

Facebook bug prevents users from entering birth year before 1910

And now, a human interest story. Meet Marguerite Joseph. She's 104 years old and quite proud of her age. Not only is she old, she is an avid user of Facebook. Due to her age, she was in the perfect position to discover a bug within the website that prevents her from putting her real birth year.


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She's been in a little bit of a battle with Facebook to get the bug ironed out, but she hasn't been able to. Now that she's getting publicity about the problem, Facebook has issued a statement saying they've discovered a bug that prevents users from entering a birth year before 1910:


"We've recently discovered an issue whereby some Facebook users may be unable to enter a birthday before 1910. We are working on a fix for this and we apologize for the inconvenience."


According to Joseph, the website won't even let her enter 1918 as her birth year. Every time she tries to enter her true birth date, Facebook pitches out an error message and changes the year to 1928.


While most people won't be affected by the bug, it certainly shows how Facebook wasn't designed with users of this age in mind. It also shows how times are changing and Facebook has become a staple in people's lives across the spectrum of age.

RIAA says Google's updated ranking isn't working at reducing piracy

Another week, another complaint about piracy from the Recording Industry Association of America. This time the RIAA is saying that Google is not making pirate sites harder to find in its search results. Six months ago, Google offered up a change to the way it ranks sites that could cause pirate sites to appear lower in rankings.


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Specifically, the company said: "Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily."


The RIAA say that finding pirate sites in Google's search results is just as easy as it ever has been. They issued a new report regarding the matter, in which they allege the following: "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy."


Google has responded to the report saying,


We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever. In the last month we received more than 14 million copyright removal requests for Google Search, quickly removing more than 97% from search results. In addition, Google's growing partnerships and distribution deals with the content industry benefit both creators and users, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry each year.

Continue reading 'RIAA says Google's updated ranking isn't working at reducing piracy' (full post)

Google announces 'Doodle 4 Google' competition, enter now!

Google often hosts these "Doodle 4 Google" competitions in which Google encourages users to submit a doodle to become the homepage logo of Google for a day. Google has just announced this year's Doodle 4 Google in the United States and has kicked off the 30-day countdown to the March 22 submission deadline.


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To make the competition more interesting and fun, Google has produced an interactive map that shows where submissions are coming from and which state has the most submissions. Google wants you to encourage fellow students and teachers to enter the competition.


One winner from each state will win an all-expenses paid trip to New York City in May for the awards ceremony. The contestant with the winning doodle design will win a $30,000 college scholarship and his or her school will win a $50,000 technology grant.


You can download the entry form here and start doodling right away.

Twitter adds DMARC to e-mails to help with phishing attacks

In the wake of a series of high-profile hacks, Twitter has updated it's e-mail sending systems to help prevent phishing attacks from being successful. Known as DMARC, the new technology helps identify an e-mail as legitimate and allows e-mail providers to block e-mails that come from forged domains.


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The technology is rather new and has been created to help fight e-mail phishing attacks. All four of the major e-mail providers--AOL, Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, and Yahoo--have gotten on board with the new technology and are already rejecting e-mails coming from forged domains.


It will be interesting to see just how well this technology works to cut down on Twitter hacks. If you'd like a more technical explanation of the technology, you can find more information about the DMARC technology on their website.

Hacked Gmail accounts reduced by 99.7% since 2011, says Google

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.


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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.

Yahoo redesigns its home page, now features social stream and never ending page scroll

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.


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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.

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