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Twitter Tagging: It's Not the Characters, It's the Mileage
March 28, 2014
Twitter has bolstered its photo-sharing capabilities with the addition of two new features: the option to add up to four photos per tweet, and a function allowing users to tag up to 10 other people in a photo. Both features are designed to make photos more social. When a user shares multiple photos in a tweet, the images will automatically create a collage.
Newspapers Cling to Life Despite Online News Trend
March 28, 2014
Print media is limping along and TV news has gained some strength, even though the trend toward getting news online continues to grow, Pew Research reported this week. It all boils down to economics, said Mark Jerkowitz, associate director of the Pew Research Center Journalism Project. Advertising revenues for newspapers have fallen about 50 percent from 2006.
Microsoft Launches Public Cloud in China
March 27, 2014
Microsoft is now offering general availability of its Azure cloud service in China, becoming the first multinational company to provide public cloud services in the Middle Kingdom. Microsoft is partnering with 21Vianet, a Chinese data center services provider, a marriage that likely helped appease Beijing officials. Until now, all major cloud providers in China have been Chinese.
Rocket the Vote! NASA Asks People to Vote on New Space Threads
March 26, 2014
NASA is asking people to vote on their favorite design for the outer shell of the new Z-2 spacesuit. While the Z-2 models may descend from their Apollo 13-style ancestors, there are some decidedly 21st Century twists. The "Biomimicry" design, for example, has a reptilian flare; "Trends in Society" has a more everyday look -- at least, as far as spacesuits go.
Disney Snaps Up Maker to Court Millennials
March 26, 2014
Disney this week announced it would acquire Maker Studios, a provider of short-form videos, for at least $500 million -- a number that could go up if Maker meets performance targets. Maker's videos account for more than 5.5 billion monthly views on YouTube -- it has 380 million subscribers. Among its more than 55,000 YouTube channels are the popular Epic Rap Battles of History.
Headless Web Traffic Threatens Internet Economy
March 25, 2014
Bogus web traffic is creating a crisis for advertisers on the Web. Advertisers pay for page views. They assume that those views are tied to living eyeballs. When those views aren't tied to eyeballs, advertisers can get testy. That's what's starting to happen, and a recent comScore estimate of the automated traffic on the Internet -- 36 percent -- isn't helping matters.
China Seeks Answers About NSA/Huawei Report
March 25, 2014
China's government is asking the U.S. to explain itself -- and to knock it off with all the cyberespionage -- following reports that the National Security Agency has had its way with Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The NSA reportedly penetrated Huawei servers to monitor communications among company executives, and to gain access to the dealings of Huawei customers.
Twitter Bags Encryption Program
March 25, 2014
Twitter rose to notoriety by being the place where people spilled the minutiae of their lives, but there are times when its users don't want everyone online to see what they're thinking. For those occasions, there's direct messaging. When direct messages are sent by one tweeter to another, there's a certain expectation of privacy there -- even though little is done to protect those messages.
Apple, Comcast Wade Into Streaming Content Talks
March 24, 2014
Apple and Comcast reportedly are discussing a streaming-TV service that will go through an Apple set-top box. Apple apparently wants the service to be treated as a managed service, meaning it will run on cabling separate from that used for public Internet access. "I seriously doubt Comcast will agree to a deal, said Mukul Krishna, digital media senior global director at Frost & Sullivan.
Nuzzel Aims to Calm the Chatter
March 24, 2014
Nuzzel, a service that helps users pick out the most popular items from their social media feeds, launched to the public last week. The aggregating network made its debut in 2012, but until last week, it required an invitation to join. Now anyone can use the service, which is spearheaded by Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams.
An Indecent Proposal: Microsoft and Red Hat?
March 24, 2014
Good ideas can arise in virtually countless ways, but sometimes all it takes is someone to ask the simple question, "What if?" That, in fact, is just what happened in an article at GigaOM recently, though it wasn't until several weeks later that the idea proposed began to pick up steam. What was said idea, you might ask? "Why Microsoft should just pack it in and buy Red Hat."
Pandora Pumps Up the Pricing
March 24, 2014
Pandora last week said it would increase its monthly charge for new users who sign on to its ad-free service by US$1 a month. Starting in May, the price for users who want to pay month by month will be $4.99. Existing Pandora One monthly subscribers will not experience a price increase at this time and will continue to pay $3.99 per month. Pandora made other tweaks to its pricing model, as well.
NSA Lifts Middle Finger to Middle Kingdom
March 24, 2014
Oh, there have been some good National Security Agency revelations. Like the one about the NSA tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone. Or the one about the NSA planting agents inside World of Warcraft, or impersonating Facebook in a global quest to spread malware. Delicious as all those stories are, however, last weekend's NSA bombshell may take the cake.
Twitter Offers Trip Down 8-Year-Long Memory Lane
March 21, 2014
It's been eight years since Twitter first began to impose its 140-character regime on the social world, and to celebrate, the company this week launched a new, nostalgically minded tool. At First-Tweets.com, Twitter users now can fondly reminisce about -- and, of course, tweet and share -- what they said the first time they ever took to the twittersphere.
Chinese State Media Prompts Amazon to Close Store
March 21, 2014
China's state media seems to have the ear of U.S. tech companies. Amazon's China unit closed down a third-party store after state media criticized Amazon for selling fake cosmetics. Amazon's China unit took the accusations seriously, it said, promising to "strengthen the process of scrutiny." The fake-product accusations were floated on China Central Television.
Billion-Dollar YouTube Suit Ends With a Whimper
March 18, 2014
Google and Viacom have settled a long-running copyright suit, after a federal judge twice threw out the case. "This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together," the two said in a brief joint statement. Terms were not disclosed, but reportedly, no money changed hands.
Decking Out Linux for the Senior Set
March 17, 2014
Every once in a while here in the Linux blogosphere, a topic will suddenly pop up in multiple separate, unconnected places and take on a life of its own. Perhaps it's some unseen cosmic force guiding Linux geeks' conversations in the same direction, or perhaps it's just Linux Girl's proclivity for drawing connections. In any case, it happened again earlier this month.
Horvath Hurls Harassment Charges in Fiery GitHub Exit
March 17, 2014
Adding fuel to the debate over the treatment of women in tech, Julie Ann Horvath, a developer at GitHub, has stormed out of her job, accusing the company of ignoring harassment in the workplace. One of the company's three cofounders and his wife had persistently intimidated her, and an engineer had repeatedly ripped out her code after she turned down his advances, Horvath claimed.
Chinese E-Commerce Giant Plans Stateside IPO
March 17, 2014
Gargantuan Chinese e-commerce outfit Alibaba soon will begin the process of launching an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Early forecasts suggest that the IPO could raise $15 billion. The announcement seemingly ends speculation about whether Alibaba would be listed on the NYSE or in Hong Kong. Alibaba apparently found some of the SEHK's rules particularly unpalatable.
Google Now Encrypting Searches in China
March 14, 2014
Google's years-long spat with Beijing just began a new chapter. The company has begun encrypting searches made by people in China, where Google has long run afoul of regulations designed to keep a tight lid on searches deemed inappropriate. Google's encryption of searches in China reportedly will prevent the "Great Firewall of China" from detecting when users search for certain terms.

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