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Gmail now customizes autocomplete suggestions using the contents of your inbox

Ever felt that some of those autocomplete suggestions Google provides just aren't quite something you would ever search for? Well, apparently Google did too as they now have announced they will be improving Gmail search's autocomplete function. The updated function will have tailored predictions based upon the e-mail in your inbox.

 

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These autocomplete suggestions should be a bit more useful to users than the current system. The system will function similarly to how Gmail's advertising system works. The advertising system reads the subject and contents of e-mails in your inbox and then custom tailors ads based upon what it found. Google stresses that no humans read the data.

 

It's likely that the autocomplete will use a similar system, if not the same, as the advertising system. I'm sure that some will not like the additional use of what is considered private data, but at the same time, it is already being used for advertising and other purposes. This use of private data should at least improve the user's experience.

 

English language users will see the update first over the next few days and then it will gradually roll out to others over the next few months.

Google forcing Docs users to transition to Drive with no opt-out

Google Docs' days are numbered. Google has pitched Google Drive as a replacement to Google Docs since its release in April. What I, along with many users, didn't realize is that Google will be killing off Docs and transitioning all users to Drive. Drive is currently still opt-in, but it looks like soon users will be opted-in automatically as their Docs account is upgraded to a Drive account.

 

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In fact, Google has started to warn users of just this fact. It seems as though this transition is coming sooner rather than later, and Google's transition documentation supports that saying that "we expect to finish the transition from the Google Documents List to Google Drive by late summer (2012)."

 

This transition will occur in three phases. Currently, users are in phase one, or the "opt-in phase." From there, users will be allowed to opt-out for a little while longer if they would like more time to transition. Once users are moved onto phase three, everyone will have a Google Drive and Google Docs will no longer exist.

 

This isn't exactly a bad thing. Drive is a good replacement and has the same capabilities as Docs and even comes with more storage. Unlike the controversial Gmail upgrade, one could argue that Drive is the next logical step for the Docs app to make.

Continue reading 'Google forcing Docs users to transition to Drive with no opt-out' (full post)

Facebook will go public at $38 tomorrow morning, will yield largest Internet IPO ever

In what will be a huge initial public offering (IPO), Facebook is confirmed to be selling shares at $38 when it starts trading tomorrow morning. This price will value Facebook at an incredible $104 billion and raise $18.4 billion in capital. This release price is higher than what Facebook had originally aimed for in the first filing.

 

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MSNBC believes that the total amount raised will be flexible:

 

The offering will raise more than $16 billion for Facebook and selling shareholders, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and ultimately could raise up to $18.4 billion, assuming underwriters exercise their option for "overallotments" to meet strong demand.

 

Due to the strong demand that has already been seen, it is likely that Facebook will make the full $18.4 billion. This demand has caused Facebook to offer more stock at the offset than it previously was going to. The IPO is set to release about 18% of the company to the pubic. This will make Facebook have the second largest IPO, just behind Visa's $19.65 billion.

Continue reading 'Facebook will go public at $38 tomorrow morning, will yield largest Internet IPO ever' (full post)

Twitter adds Do Not Track privacy feature

Twitter, just like Facebook, tracks its users. Twitter does track users less, but it is still there. The microblog has now joined Mozilla in giving its users a way to opt-out of being tracked in any way. Twitter is implementing this feature by enabling Firefox's Do Not Track feature. The Firefox feature only works if a website acknowledges it.

 

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The new feature was announced by Ed Felten, chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, at the New York Internet Week privacy panel. Twitter has since confirmed the announcement on its website. Carolyn Penner, a spokeswoman for Twitter, said, "As the Federal Trade Commission's CTO, Ed Felten, mentioned this morning, Twitter now supports Do Not Track. We applaud the FTC's leadership on Do Not Track, and are excited to provide the benefits of Do Not Track."

 

This move is just another in recent times that attempts to put power in the hands of its users. Not to long ago, Twitter filed a court motion to protect the information of one of its users who used Twitter during an Occupy protest. Mozilla shared some statistics on Do Not Track in a post. "We're excited that Twitter now supports Do Not Track and global user adoption rates continue to increase, which signifies a big step forward for Do Not Track and the Web," Mozilla said in the post.

Comcast ends 250GB cap, looks to switch to tiered plans with overages

The largest cable TV provider in the US, Comcast, has announced changes to its data cap to encourage users to use their internet without fear of hitting the cap. These changes are actually simple as they are just removing the cap. Unfortunately for users in the new test markets, this means that they will be getting switched to a tiered plan similar to wireless carriers.

 

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The users of these test markets are going to get to try the new model which includes overage fees. There are actually two different models that are going to be tested. The first sees a 300GB allotment for all internet speeds with overage fees for exceeding that. The overage fees would be something like $10 for 50GB more.

 

The second model will increase the 300GB allotment with each increase in speed. The same "overage" fee would apply to these. Either way, users are getting an extra 50GB, but are now running the risk of getting hit with massive bills if they happen to use the internet a lot one month. Additionally, while these trials are underway, the 250GB cap will be suspended around the country.

Ex-Anon member claims he hates Anonymous, also claims responsibility for taking down The Pirate Bay

Yesterday we reported about how The Pirate Bay was under attack from a DDoS. Of course, since it was a DDoS, it is pretty hard to figure out who is behind it...unless they post on Pastebin that they are the cause of it. That's just what this former Anonymous member turned hater did. This lone user has claimed responsibility for the entire DDoS.

 

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The lone assailant goes by the pseudonym "Nyre" and left a message on Pastebin explaining the reasoning behind his actions. According to the post, "The Pirate Bay was a press-release website for Anonymous." Since he no longer likes or agrees with Anonymous, he decided he should block them from releasing press releases by taking down the entire site.

 

Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. Anybody can post on Pastebin as an anonymous guest and say whatever they would like. Looking through his Tweets, he seems to be an interesting fellow. I would still lean towards the current common theory that The Pirate Bay angered Anonymous with its admonishment of Anonymous' DDoS of Virgin Media. More as it comes.

Want to check out the redesigned Bing? You can, right now

We talked about the redesigned socially-driven Bing last week, with a massively redesigned interface, that promised new features that would differentiate itself from search giant, Google. Well, today, Bing is mostly up and can be tested by everyone.

 

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It's not available on bing.com yet, but it is available at bing.com/new. If you want the 'full experience', you'll want to link your Facebook account up. The only thing missing is 'Snapshot', the center of the new three column design. But, the new interface is shown off, as well as Bing's new social integration elements.

 

I haven't tested it thoroughly, but it does look nice. I'm too much of a Google fanboy (everything I use is powered by Google), so Bing doesn't interest me that much. This will most likely change somewhat when Windows 8 is released. But, The Next Web is reporting that the new Bing is faster, not by a large margin, but noticeable in some areas.

 

Note: If you're not in the United States, set your country to the US in Bing, or else you won't see the new version.

The Pirate Bay being attacked by DDoS after criticizing Anonymous for DDoS'ing Virgin Media ISP

Reports are coming in from around the world that The Pirate Bay is largely unreachable. No, this isn't due to some country's court order. Instead, according to a TorrentFreak insider, The Pirate Bay is suffering from a DDoS. This DDoS comes at an interesting time as they had recently openly criticized Anonymous for DDoS'ing Virgin Media.

 

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In all likelihood, this is an attack by Anonymous after being criticized. However, it has not been confirmed to be them. At the time of writing, the site has been down for about 24 hours and seems to be unreachable from my end. TorrentFreak's inbox often suffers when The Pirate Bay goes down, but this time seems even worse.

 

The problem lies in the fact that people were expecting The Pirate Bay to be unreachable due to the censorship rulings, but they were also expecting to use the bypass methods. They weren't expecting those methods to fail. It will be interesting to see if Anonymous claims responsibility for this attack. More as it comes.

The Overclocker Issue 19 is now available

The Overclocker's latest issue is out, Issue 19. The latest read covers a bunch of hot topics such as a 'Z77 Battle Royal', a cover feature about the Ivy Bridge-based Core i7, and they also interview Brazil's finest overclocker, Rbuass.

 

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Also covered is a review of GIGABYTE's GEFORCE GTX 680, Plextor's M3 256GB SSD, ASUS' Rampage IV Formula, ASUS Radeon vs. GIGABYTE HD7870, G.Skill Trident 2400MHz CL10 RAM, and finally, Intel's 520 Series SSD. There's much more to read, so don't miss out!

 

You can read the entire issue, all for free, here.

GM to stop advertising on Facebook saying it doesn't work

GM has announced that they will be pulling $10 million in ads from Facebook as they say they don't work. This comes at a bad time for Facebook as they are about to launch their IPO. GM's marketing executive have apparently been reviewing GM's advertising and found that the paid ads are worth the money. They will, however, continue to use the free advertising on Facebook.

 

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GM currently spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $40million on Facebook advertising, though only $10 million of that goes to paid Facebook ads. (These are presumably annual figures) The other $30 million goes to upkeep on the company's Facebook page, along with paying for promotions and giveaways which don't appear to make Facebook any money.

 

This $10 million isn't much in terms of the $3.7 billion that Facebook brought in last year in advertising. However, GM is the third largest advertiser in the United States, so the fact of them pulling their advertising may cause other companies to reexamine their strategies to see if Facebook is really worth it.

 

Business Insider's Jim Edwards points out that Facebook has a much lower clickthrough rate than Google does. This could be due to the different medium that Google is compared to Facebook:

Continue reading 'GM to stop advertising on Facebook saying it doesn't work' (full post)

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