Google to remove all Blogger blogs that monetize via porn ads

Charles Gantt | Current Affairs | Jun 27, 2013 10:01 AM CDT

Google is most often referred to as the search king, and rightfully so as it does search better than all others. What we tend to forget is that Google makes most of it's money from advertising, which is something else the company does phenomenally well. Like most other companies, Google is not a fan of competition and this morning it has flexed its muscles in an effort to remove all "adult content ads" from Blogger.

Google to remove all Blogger blogs that monetize via porn ads 1

Google is sending out notices to owners of adult-themed blogs hosted on its popular Blogger service. The notice warns of a change to its terms of service which will restrict its users from earning money by displaying adult ads on their blog. The email explicitly states that on June 30 Google will "strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger."

At the moment, it appears that Google is contacting Blogger users that have already manually mark their blogs as adult or have been identified (through means unknown) to be running explicit ads. The process does not appear to be flawless as some users have reported receiving email even though they have never made a single post on their blog.

Continue reading: Google to remove all Blogger blogs that monetize via porn ads (full post)

Google Now gets updated with some new abilities

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jun 27, 2013 2:28 AM CDT

I'm a huge fan of Google Now, using it on the daily, but the app has just been updated with some fresh features. Google have introduced a live TV feature and Google Offers to Google Now.

Google Now gets updated with some new abilities | TweakTown.com

The TV cards work with Internet-connected TV's, where they'll display more information about what is currently playing on your TV. Users need to connect their Android-powered device to the same network that the TV is on, and then tap "Listen for a TV Show" in Google Now. This feature will show things like factoids about the show and profiles of the actors within the show.

The second feature Google Now received was Google Offers, which will keep track of your saved offers. If you're near a store where you've got an offer available, the Offers Card will pop up with a notification alerting you of the nearby savings to be had.

Continue reading: Google Now gets updated with some new abilities (full post)

Sharp show off the world's first THX-certified 4K-capable TV

Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Jun 27, 2013 1:30 AM CDT

I really want an Ultra HD TV and Sharp may have just unveiled something I might truly be interested in. A THX-certified, 70-inch 4K display that costs $8,000. This is a lot, especially compared to Seiki sets, but THX certification isn't just handed out to any device.

Sharp show off the world's first THX-certified 4K-capable TV | TweakTown.com

Sharp says that this new device will arrive in mid-August, and wdill include four HDMI inputs that accept native 4K, two USB ports, an SD card reader and it will all arrive in a beautiful ultra-thin frame that allows the 70-inch beast to take up the same space as a normal 65-inch set.

Continue reading: Sharp show off the world's first THX-certified 4K-capable TV (full post)

NVIDIA unleash the GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers, just in time for the GeForce GTX 760 launch

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jun 27, 2013 12:09 AM CDT

NVIDIA have released the GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers, which are perfect for the just-released GeForce GTX 760 GPU. The new beta drivers not only include support for NVIDIA's latest mid-range GPU, but they include a bunch of fixes that were reported with previous drivers.

NVIDIA unleash the GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers, just in time for the GeForce GTX 760 launch | TweakTown.com

These fixes include problems with image corruption and artifacting Eve Online: Retribution, Assassin's Creed III, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers also include, or add SLI support for a number of titles: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Natural Selection 2, Trackmania 2: Canyon and GRID 2.

You can download the drivers right here.

Continue reading: NVIDIA unleash the GeForce 320.49 Beta drivers, just in time for the GeForce GTX 760 launch (full post)

Google removes all clouds from Earth imagery

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Jun 26, 2013 8:33 PM CDT

Google has processed hundreds of terabytes of Earth imagery to construct a cloud-free version of its satellite imagery used in its Maps and Earth products. The data is also now higher resolution, providing the ability to see the Earth in greater detail. The new imagery comes from NASA's and USGS' Landsat 7 satellite. Due to a hardware failure early in life, this was no easy feat.

Google removes all clouds from Earth imagery | TweakTown.com

Landsat 7's imagery has black stripes in the normal images due to said hardware failure. Google had to combine multiple images in order to remove those black stripes. This same process is essentially how they managed to get a cloudless version of their imagery, even in tropical zones that almost always have some cloud cover.

Google has also focused on bringing the new imagery to zones that hadn't been updated in a while. This means the new imagery focuses on Russia, Indonesia, and central Africa. Google notes that the new image is over 800,000 megapixels. In other words, it would take a piece of paper the size of a city block to print it out at the standard 300dpi.

Continue reading: Google removes all clouds from Earth imagery (full post)

Instagram CEO: Windows Phone and BlackBerry app not coming 'anytime soon', Google Glass app sometime after that

Trace Hagan | Software & Apps | Jun 26, 2013 7:04 PM CDT

It looks as though it could still be a long time before Instagram finds its way onto the Windows Phone and BlackBerry platforms. This fact comes courtesy of Instagram's CEO, who noted during an interview that Google Glass is towards the bottom of their list for new platforms. This is because Instagram considers where its users are and where the growth is.

Instagram CEO: Windows Phone and BlackBerry app not coming 'anytime soon', Google Glass app sometime after that | TweakTown.com

Shortly after explaining that a Glass app is towards the bottom of their list, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom warned that BlackBerry and Windows Phone apps may not be coming anytime soon. "I'm just saying that in order of priority, the way we evaluate where to expand to is really simply where our users are, and where the growth is," the executive explained. "It took us a very long time to get to Android."

We're actually quite surprised that Instagram hasn't brought an app to the other mobile platforms as of yet. Instagram is owned by Facebook, a massive company that could easily afford to port the application to the other platforms. If you're planning on using Instagram on Google Glass just be warned that it could be a very long time until an app is released for the platform.

Continue reading: Instagram CEO: Windows Phone and BlackBerry app not coming 'anytime soon', Google Glass app sometime after that (full post)

Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, & Skype hit with Prism data protection complaint in EU

Trace Hagan | Business, Financial & Legal | Jun 26, 2013 5:29 PM CDT

Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, and Skype have been hit with a complaint in the European Union over data protection issues in relation to the recently revealed NSA spying program Prism. THe complaint has been brought by the same group that ran the Europe v Facebook campaign. Through this latest complaint, they hope to gain clarification on the laws regarding foreign data passing to US agencies.

Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, & Skype hit with Prism data protection complaint in EU | TweakTown.com

These five companies have been selected specifically because of their corporate structure. Each has a subsidiary in the European Union, which should be required to follow EU data protection rights and policies. The question becomes a bit less straightforward when these companies have US headquarters, possibly making them be required to comply with US laws that are in conflict with EU laws. They have an excellent explanation:

If a European subsidiary sends user data to the American parent company, this is considered an "export" of personal data. Under EU law, an export of data is only allowed if the European subsidiary can ensure an "adequate level or protection" in the foreign country. After the recent disclosures on the "PRISM" program such trust in an "adequate level of protection" by the involved companies can hardly be upheld.

There can in no way be an adequate level of protection if they cooperate with the NSA on the other end of the line. Right now an export of data to the US must be seen as illegal if the involved companies cannot disprove the reports on the PRISM program.

Continue reading: Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, & Skype hit with Prism data protection complaint in EU (full post)

Facebook denies allegations that it handed over user data to Turkish government

Trace Hagan | Internet & Websites | Jun 26, 2013 5:02 PM CDT

Facebook strongly denies allegations that it handed over user data to the Turkish government in relation to the ongoing protests currently taking place in Turkey. Facebook notes that they rarely provide any user data to Turkish law enforcement or government officials, with the only exception being if there appears to be an immediate threat to life or a child.

Facebook denies allegations that it handed over user data to Turkish government | TweakTown.com

Facebook has not provided user data to Turkish authorities in response to government requests relating to the protests. More generally, we reject all government data requests from Turkish authorities and push them to formal legal channels unless it appears that there is an immediate threat to life or a child, which has been the case in only a small fraction of the requests we have received.

We are concerned about legislative proposals that might purport to require Internet companies to provide user information to Turkish law enforcement authorities more frequently. We will be meeting with representatives of the Turkish government when they visit Silicon Valley this week, and we intend to communicate our strong concerns about these proposals directly at that time.

Reports of Facebook providing Turkish officials with user data stemmed from an NPR report that cited a Turkish minister. He claimed that Facebook was "in cooperation with the state" and that Twitter refused to supply user data. Facebook and others are worried about pending litigation that could force them to provide more data to the Turkish government. Some of Turkey's legislators have called for stronger social media use rules in light of the protests.

Should Facebook and Twitter be required to cooperate more with the Turkish government?

Continue reading: Facebook denies allegations that it handed over user data to Turkish government (full post)

Square breaks out of its mobile payments shell and opens Etsy-like online market

Charles Gantt | Software & Apps | Jun 26, 2013 3:05 PM CDT

When Square launched a few years ago, they changed the mobile payments market overnight with their little white plastic device that you to plug in your smartphone or tablet. Now Square is setting its sights on the online marketplace as well and is attempting to compete with Etsy, Amazon, and eBay by launching its own online marketplace called Square Market.

Square breaks out of its mobile payments shell and opens Etsy-like online market 1

While the step from a mobile payment gateway to a online marketplace may seem a bit odd to some, this is actually part of Square's push for the company to deliver a product that answers each aspect of online commerce. At the moment, the company has a mobile wallet for consumers, a payment app for businesses, a $300 stand that turns your iPad into a point-of-sale system and it even has a project in the works that will compete with PayPal known as Square Cash.

"Creating an online marketplace is our next step in making commerce easy for everyone," said Ajit Varma, Square's director of discovery, in a statement. "The idea behind Square Market is to make local businesses accessible to Square users nationwide. Creating a storefront on Square Market is free, and sellers can manage list items, add product photos, manage inventory and create an online profile for their businesses that the company hopes will essentially eliminate the need for sellers to have standalone websites."

The online storefront itself is free, but transactions aren't. Square will take a 2.75 percent cut of revenue off each item sold, which is much less than what Amazon or eBay charges. It is even less than the $0.20 Etsy charges to list an item.

Continue reading: Square breaks out of its mobile payments shell and opens Etsy-like online market (full post)

Good guy Razer is giving their Surround Virtual 7.1 software away for free, asks you to donate to charity if you like it

Charles Gantt | Software & Apps | Jun 26, 2013 1:28 PM CDT

Razer has just announced a new software package targeted at gamers that will allow them to turn their boring old normal headphones into a 7.1 channel surround beast. Razer Surround, according to the company, goes above and beyond existing multi-channel simulation packages by giving users a calibration system that tunes the effect for individual listeners.

Good guy Razer is giving their Surround Virtual 7.1 software away for free, asks you to donate to charity if you like it 1

The software is designed as an add-on for the Razer Synapse 2.0 software package and the company has plans to offer it for sale in 2014 for $19.99, but the company is offering a pretty sweet deal to early adopters. Anyone wishing to purchase Razer Surround before January 1, 2014 will receive an unprecedented 100-percent discount.

Razer simply asked that if you find the software useful that you donate some cash to the Child's Play charity (source #2). The software is compatible with Windows Vista and higher and provides preconfigured calibrations for all razor audio products. Custom configurations can be built to calibrate for third-party headsets and users will need to register for Razer Synapse 2.0, so an online connection is needed.

Continue reading: Good guy Razer is giving their Surround Virtual 7.1 software away for free, asks you to donate to charity if you like it (full post)

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