Kansas City to get Google's lightning fast fiber network

Posted by Harshad

Kansas City to get Google's lightning fast fiber network

Kansas City to get Google's lightning fast fiber network

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 09:45 PM PDT

Kansas City to get Google's lightning fast fiber networkGoogle has announced today that Kansas City, Kansas will be the first city to get the search giant's fiber optic network.

Kansas City has a population of around 145,000.

The network promises speeds of 500-1000 Mbps and is easily 100 times faster than what the average American has, currently.

Google's fiber network will be completed in 2012.

The company has promised it has no plans to become an ISP so the move is likely a way to get the ball rolling on improved networks in parts of the country where Internet is slow, and competition is non-existent.

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Android finally gets in-app purchasing

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 09:22 PM PDT

Android finally gets in-app purchasing Google has finally launched in-app billing, giving developers a chance to add a new revenue stream via apps.

iOS has included in-app purchases since 2009, and Apple takes 30 percent for all purchases. Google will do the same.

In-app billing will let developers sell upgrades, virtual goods and other content from within the main app.

The first apps to update with in-app billing are Disney's Tap Tap Revenge, ComiXology's Comics and Glu Mobile's WSOP Hold'em Legend, says Mash.

Google announced earlier this year that in-app billing was coming but did not include a timetable.

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Video Daily: Angry Birds beat down Middle East leaders

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 08:12 PM PDT

Video Daily: Angry Birds beat down Middle East leadersEgor Zhgun's play on the unrest in the Middle East mashed with Angry Birds and some Disney theme music continues to rack up view on YouTube.

In the video, Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi are the "pigs" in Rovio's blockbuster Angry Birds game, while the birds, and eventually an eagle take them out one by one.

Added on Monday, the video is now up to 400,000 views.

While Ben Ali and Mubarak are overrun by the birds instantly, Gaddafi refuses to lose until "the mighty eagle" (donning red, white and blue) swoops in.

Check the video here:

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Sina replaces Google engine with their own

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 07:00 PM PDT

Sina replaces Google engine with their ownSina, the second largest online portal in China, has announced today that they have replaced their Google-backed search engine with their new search technology.

Says Sina:

Our contract (with Google) ended this month and the whole website is now using our own search technology.

Google would not comment directly on the move, but did say:

We have had a number of syndication deals with partners in China, and have honored our contractual obligations to them. While we can't comment on specific partnerships, we announced last year that over time we would not be syndicating censored search to partners in China after fulfilling our contractual commitments.

China has 389 million Internet users, but Google has seen its market share fall to under 20 percent, while Baidu takes around 79 percent.

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Google introduces +1 button for social search

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 06:01 PM PDT

Google introduces +1 button for social searchGoogle has introduced +1 this week, in an attempt to make search more social.

The service is similar to "Likes" in Facebook, where users can "like" pages or comments, showing their appreciation and making them more popular.

Google will have +1 buttons next to all search results and ads and whenever you +1 a link, it is shared via your Google profile.

+1 is intended to personalize search results and ads, due to friends recommending sites.

Says Google:

+1 is the digital shorthand for 'this is pretty cool.' To recommend something, all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful. These +1's will then start appearing in Google's search results.

Understand better here:

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Roku goes up for sale at Best Buy, Fry's, more

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 05:06 PM PDT

Roku goes up for sale at Best Buy, Fry's, moreRoku set-top boxes have finally hit the "bigtime" this week, going up for sale at brick-and-mortar stores for Best Buy, Fry's, BJ's Wholesale Club and Radio Shack.

Says Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku:

Having sold over 1 million Roku players through online sales only up until now, we are incredibly excited to announce our entrance into brick and mortar retail with nationwide availability from the preeminent consumer electronics retailer. Customers can now grab a Roku off the shelf at Best Buy, take it home and be up and running, enjoying their favorite TV show, movie, music or sports team in just a matter of minutes.

The Roku XD box sells for $80 and offers 1080p support, streaming apps from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, Crackle and sports networks.

Additionally, the boxes have Pandora, MP3tunes, MOG, Rdio, Facebook and Flickr apps.

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Labels angry about Amazon's CloudDrive

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 04:10 PM PDT

Labels angry about Amazon's CloudDriveEarlier this week, Amazon launched its CloudDrive, a digital locker for users which offers 5GB free cloud storage on their servers.

Amazon is also promoting the service as a way to have users stream their music libraries on-the-go, as long as they have Internet or an Android device.

As expected, the record labels are not happy with the move, demanding that Amazon should have secured music licenses from publishers and the labels before starting the service.

Says one label, Sony Music (via LAT):

We are disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music, and we hope that Amazon will resolve the situation quickly by agreeing to a license with us. We are keeping all our legal options open.

Amazon quickly responded by saying they don't need licenses because the files belong to the users, and CloudDrive is simply a way to store them.

For its part, Amazon says it will continue negotiations with labels on licensing.

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Nintendo unlikely to go with 3D for next home console

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 02:14 PM PDT

Nintendo unlikely to go with 3D for next home consoleDespite the early success in sales of Nintendo 3DS systems, the Wii-maker says it is unlikely to go with 3D in its next home console.

It is unknown when Nintendo will offer a new home console to the industry. Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime knows that 3D is a very unlikely feature for the console to be equipped with however.

"Glasses-free is a big deal," Fils-Aime said. "We've not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we've learned on 3D, likely, that won't be it."

Nintendo director and producer Hideki Konno said that Nintendo is resisting developing for 3D simply because of the glasses requirement. "I think at Nintendo, we realize that any sort of goggle-type 3-D technology was not going to work. In order to make 3D technology viable with video games, we thought we needed to have glasses-free 3D."

Nintendo launched the 3DS handheld console last week delivering a form of glasses-free 3D to gamers. It quickly became Nintendo's fastest selling portable system of all time.

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New Xbox 360 disc 'format' gives extra 1GB to game data?

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 02:14 PM PDT

New Xbox 360 disc 'format' gives extra 1GB to game data?Microsoft's new "disc format" that it is looking for beta testers to try out will provide more capacity to game data.

The disc that is being used by the Xbox 360 console will not physically change (this would likely be impossible anyway when trying to keep older consoles working with new discs.) Instead, a dashboard update will allow game developers to use more of a DVD disc's capacity to store game data.

While a dual layer DVD holds around 8GB of data, the game data partition on an Xbox 360 game disc only allows for 6.8GB of data. The rest of used for a video partition present on each disc and other data. By using a dashboard update to enable the system to read from a larger game data partition, developers will get about an extra 1GB of space.

Of course this pales in comparison to the 25GB a single layer Blu-ray disc provides for PS3 game development (or 50GB for dual layer) but it might provide some relief for developers who have questioned the use of the DVD format for the console since its details first emerged.

As games have become rapidly more complex with high resolution textures and countless high-quality audio effects and recordings, more storage capacity has been required. Some Xbox 360 games need multiple discs to store an entire game as it stands. It's unclear if 1GB extra will make that much of a difference to that problem.

Microsoft is looking for thousands of participants in a beta program to test the new disc. You can apply here.

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Google to be audited on privacy

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 01:52 PM PDT

Google to be audited on privacySearch giant is to be audited for next twenty years following Buzz privacy complaints.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said Google "violated its own privacy promises" in how it created and ran its Buzz social network. The company has reached an agreement with the FTC to put the Buzz fiasco behind it once and for all.

"Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards," Google said in a blog post. "While we worked quickly to make improvements, regulators unsurprisingly wanted more detail about what went wrong and how we could prevent it from happening again. Today, we've reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns."

Google will be required to undergo a privacy review every two years for the next twenty years. GMail users cried foul not long after the launch of Buzz. One particular problem was how Buzz would list other GMail users that you were frequently in contact with.

This feature could be turned off, but was on by default and not clear that it could be turned off. This, no doubt, led to embarrassing situations such as it being publicly displayed that a user was in contact with his/her ex-partner.

"Google also offered a 'Turn off Buzz' option that did not fully remove the user from the social network," the FTC said.

This is yet another blunder for Google on privacy issues. The company had to admit last year that it had collected data from unsecured wireless networks near its Street View vans around the world.

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Grand Theft Auto V voice actors being recruited?

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 01:04 PM PDT

Grand Theft Auto V voice actors being recruited?Yet more details in Take-Two's activity spell development of Grand Theft Auto V.

Several weeks ago it emerged that Take-Two had registered several domain names that were suspected to be used as parody websites in a new Grand Theft Auto title. The domains were CashForDeadDreams.com, SixFigureTemps.com, StopPayingYourMortgage.net, HammersteinFaust.com and LifeInvader.com.

HammersteinFaust is thought to be a parody of Goldman Sachs and LifeInvader of Facebook.

Now Rockstar Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive is holding auditions for actors to voice several video game characters. The five characters it is looking to fill positions for have a shroud of controversy around them that leans heavily toward GTA characters. They include...

  • "A liberal young male who believes in a conspiracy made by Republicans to undermine America."
  • "A young female obsessed with sex parties, always dreaming of being a Hollywood celebrity."
  • "A white creepy man who thinks that technology is a poison against the wilderness."
  • "A man-boy love activist who just got released from an Indonesian prison."
  • "A young, fast-talking boy fighting for the right of young boys to drink alcohol and have sex."

  • GTA V? What do you think?

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    Baidu deletes 2.8 million copyrighted works from online library

    Posted: 30 Mar 2011 01:04 PM PDT

    Baidu deletes 2.8 million copyrighted works from online libraryChinese search giant Biadu has announced the deletion of over three million written works from its online library.

    The text works were uploaded by users of its Baidu Wenku, launched in 2009. Not long after its launch, 40 authors signed a letter slamming the service for including their written works, which could be viewed for free, without getting permission.

    By the end of November, the online library hosted over 10 million books according to the firm. Authors or copyright holders of the works were required to report the content if found on the service, and it would be deleted within 48 hours.

    Additionally, a disclaimer on the site put the responsibility of compensating rights' holders for the use of the written works solely on the uploader. The writers that denounced the service had argued that Baidu should be responsible for this instead.

    Negotiations were ongoing between Baidu and authors, but they broke down last week. Now the company has announced that 2.8 million written works were deleted from the service within a three day period.

    "It took us three solid days working round-the-clock. I'm told that what remains is all licenced, and that any additional uploads to that section are being carefully vetted," Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said.

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    FBI wants help cracking code in murder case

    Posted: 30 Mar 2011 01:00 PM PDT

    FBI wants help cracking code in murder caseCrytoanalysts have struggled for 12 years on "encrypted notes" found on murder victim.

    In June 1999, 41 year old Ricky McCormick's body was found in a field in St Louis, Missouri. On the victim were two notes in his pocket, written as some kind of code, that have so far defeated the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and others who have tried to crack them.

    McCormick's family said that this was common for him, as he used to write coded notes since he was a boy and never revealed the secret to decipher them. The FBI believes the contents of the notes might have information about his whereabouts and activities in the days leading up to his murder, and are appealing to the public for help.

    It is looking for "left-field" ideas on how McCormick may have encrypted the note that they never thought of, or samples of other notes written using unconventional methods. "We are really good at what we do," said Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) chief Dan Olson, "but we could use some help with this one."

    Note 1

    Note 2

    For more Information: FBI.gov

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    UK Gov-backed start-up website directs users to malware

    Posted: 30 Mar 2011 11:45 AM PDT

    UK Gov-backed start-up website directs users to malwareUK Government-backed website pushed by Prime Minister David Cameron found to link users to malware.

    StartUp Britain was found to be linking to a page that served fake anti-virus scareware garbage to users. The website, designed to champions the UK's start-up businesses, only launched on Monday. The operators of the website removed the link when they were informed.

    "There were some issues with a link on the website at the launch. This issue has been addressed and any links that were not operating as intended have been amended or removed," StartUp Britain told the BBC News website in a statement.

    The website featured a link to an article about billionaire Warren Buffet. The page then took users to a fake banking website, which attempted to peddle the malware.

    "It went to a third-party site, bankling.com, where users were redirected to a fake anti-virus page given a prompt saying their computer was infected and encouraging them to download a fix," Paul Baccas, a senior threat researcher at Sophos, said.

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    Intel Ivy Bridge chips feature PCI Express 3.0

    Posted: 30 Mar 2011 11:45 AM PDT

    Intel Ivy Bridge chips feature PCI Express 3.0Leaked Intel roadmap confirms rumors of PCI Express 3.0 support in Ivy Bridge processors.

    The integrated PCI Express controller features sixteen PCIe 3 lanes (can be routed to 1 x16 slot, or 2 x 8 slots) and four PCIe 2 lanes. The third-generation PCI Express controller raises the available bandwidth for each lane to 1GB/s from 500MB/s.

    Ivy Bridge will be Intel's first processors built on 22nm technology (die shrink of Sandy Bridge architecture.) They feature several improvements over Sandy Bridge, including the PCI Express Gen 3 lanes and also a new DirectX-compatible GPU that can drive three monitors.

    Coupled with the upcoming Panther Point chipset, an Ivy Bridge based system would also support USB 3.0 natively (four USB 3.0 ports, 10 USB 2.0) using a dedicated XHCI controller providing each port full 5Gbps bandwidth. Panther Point will also provide for two SATA 6Gbps ports and four SATA 3Gbps ports.

    No time frame has been given for the release of Ivy Bridge processors in the roadmap.

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