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Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

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Published by Gusti Putra at: 2:25 AM

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia Goes Dark on Piracy Bill Protest Day

Any student burning the midnight oil Tuesday may have been disappointed as what has become a primary research tool, Wikipedia, blacked out its Web pages as part of a global protest against anti-piracy legislation making its way through Congress.
Wikipedia's English home page says, in part,
"Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation
that could fatally damage the free and open Internet.
For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia."

"Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!," warned Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on Twitter, and with that, one of the most heavily visited websites began a 24-hour "blackout."

Google slapped a virtual black tape across the word "Google" on its home page, as if it were muffled, although it continued to be available for search. Social news site Reddit said it will be blacked out for 12 hours, starting at 8 a.m. ET. The metaphor by the protesting sites: To shutter and silence the Internet the same way many in the tech world say will happen if the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate move forward.
Google's protest of proposed anti-piracy
legislation includes blacking out its own name on its home search page.
You could still access Wikipedia in Spanish, or French, or German or Russian or many other languages; just not English. "This is going to be wow," Wales said on Twitter. "I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!"
The two bills, supported supported mainly by the entertainment industry, are aimed at stopping illegal downloading and streaming of movies and TV shows. But many in the tech world — including giants Google and Facebook — say the legislation would let federal authorities shut down portions of the Internet without due process, and fundamentally alter the Internet's ability to provide a platform for free speech.
( is a joint venture of Microsoft and Comcast/NBC Universal. Comcast/NBC Universal is listed as a supporter of SOPA on the House Judiciary Committee website. On Tuesday, Microsoft itself said it opposes SOPA as it is "currently drafted.")
"This is an extraordinary action for our community to take," Wikipedia's Wales said earlier in the week about the blackout, adding, "...we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world."
Wales said the English version of Wikipedia gets about 25 million visits a day, according to comScore.
The site has become almost a staple of daily Web surfing, whether it's directly sought out or cited on search engines like Google.
It's not just desperate students looking to it for information on their way to getting a degree; it' about 53 percent of all adult Internet users in the U.S., said the Pew Internet & American Life Project last year.
"The percentage of all American adults who use Wikipedia to look for information has increased from 25 percent in February 2007 to 42 percent in May 2010," Pew said.
It also noted that Wikipedia is "more popular than sending instant messages ... or rating a product, service, or person ... but is less popular than using social network sites" or watching videos on sites like YouTube.
Tech website Boing Boing also went black, saying in part: "Boing Boing is offline today, because the US Senate is considering legislation that would certainly kill us forever. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and would put us in legal jeopardy if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any links to copyright infringement."
Boing Boing's home page as of Wednesday.

Several other sites plan to go dark Wednesday to protest the legislation. Among them: icanhazcheeseburger sites (those goofy ones you visit to see cats on the Internet or serial killers) including Know Your Meme and The Daily What).
A list of websites participating in the protest is available here.
The Internet Archive, a non-profit site that works with the likes of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to catalog and make documents, audio and video available to the public, plans to be dark from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
"Legislation such as this directly affects libraries such as the Internet Archive, which collects, preserves, and offers access to cultural materials," the Internet Archive said on its blog. "These bills would encourage the development of blacklists to censor sites with little recourse or due process.  The Internet Archive is already blacklisted in China — let’s prevent the United States from establishing its own blacklist system."

Adapted from MSN

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Published by Gusti Putra at: 4:05 PM

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?

How many ping-pong balls would fit in the Mediterrean Sea? Can you swim faster in water or syrup? When there’s a wind blowing, does a round-trip by plane take more time, less time, or the same time? Today, a number of companies have taken a page out of the Google playbook and have begun asking interviewees brainteasers, logic puzzles and mind-bending riddles. The question you probably have right now is, Why?
If you had a stack of pennies as tall as the Empire State Building, could you fit them all in one room?
Tech companies have long asked prospective employees to answer off-the-wall questions in an effort to identify the most nimble-minded applicants. But since the Great Recession, many non-tech companies are now asking would-be employees to estimate the number of bottles of shampoo produced in the world every year, or how many integers between 1 and 1,000 contain a 3.

TIME Moneyland talked to William Poundstone, author of the new book, Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?, about these unconventional interviewing methods, how Google revolutionized the interview, and how he would weigh his head.

When did this method of interviewing prospective employees begin?

Oxford and Cambridge, which for at least 100 years have had very difficult admission interviews. They give you curveball question like, “Does a Girl Scout have a political agenda?” But I think IBM was the first big company to do this. This was just after World War II, when computers were very new and they realized that programming a computer is not electrical engineering. They were getting people from all sorts of fields, so they started throwing in logic puzzles as a way to see if people were capable of thinking in new ways. These types of questions have been part of the culture of tech companies for quite some time. But the incredibly tough job market has done a lot to spread this to more mainstream companies.

What type of companies do this now?

I’m now finding that more people are reporting them from non-technology companies. It’s very big in banking and consulting, but even in retail, where you would never have had questions like that in the past.

So these questions are even popping at employers like Walmart?

Yeah, which is kind of overkill, I think. But companies are almost desperate in this job market because they’ll get 20 applicants, all of whom would’ve been great if the economy had been better. But they have to find some rationale for saying, This is why we’re going to hire this person and not these 19 other people.

The most famous example of this seems to be the Google billboards. Can you explain those?

Back in 2004, Google had these billboards where they would ask for the first 10-digit prime number found in the consecutive digits of e, and you were supposed to go to a certain website, if you were smart enough to figure that out. You could then send them an e-mail and your resume.

How are these questions better than the information gathered from a more traditional job interview?

There’s so much evidence that traditional interviews really don’t tell you very much. But research has shown that work sampling works: The best way to predict how someone is going to do on the job is to pose questions that are similar to the sorts of things they’d be doing. One of the reasons that Google’s interviews are so notorious is that there’s so much work in the interview. If you’re a coder, you might spend 80% of your interview doing actual coding problems. But they also throw in these offbeat questions. One of the things they hope to address in the interviews is, Are you open to new ideas? Can you think in flexible ways?

As the job market improves, do you think these types of interview questions will continue?

I think when it does get a little more normal, places like Walmart will stop asking really difficult questions.

I was surprised that your book is really meant to prepare anyone looking for a job, even outside the tech sector.

The book is designed for people who want to get a little confidence with these kinds of questions. Just reading them over, going through the explanations I give, tends to build people’s confidence.

So how can people prepare for these interviews?

These questions are difficult questions, which means that the first approach that pops into your head is probably going to be wrong. So a good approach is just to say, Well, I think the obvious approach would be this, but that’s probably not going to work, and then give your analysis of why the obvious approach fails. That gets you talking. You want to avoid dead air. And usually once you analyze how one thing’s wrong, that’s a good first step towards just brainstorming various other strategies. They like to see people who are very free with ideas, even if they’re half-baked.

Do you have a favorite brainteaser?

One that I like is: How would you weigh your head? Because there’s no really good answer to that. Smart people usually think of the Archimedes’ Principle. Archimedes had to weigh this crown for some king to find out if it was solid gold, and he stepped in the bath in ancient Syracuse and realized that the water level went up and he thought, A-ha! Eureka! He could dunk the crown in water to find it’s volume. You can kind of do that here. You could fill a basin of water to the brim and if you dunk your head in that water and collect the water that spills over, the volume of that water is going to be exactly the same as the volume of your head, which is helpful. But they’re not asking for the volume, they’re asking for the weight of your head. And you can say that the density of the human body is pretty close to that of water, just from the fact that we barely float in the swimming pool. It’s an approximation and it’s not necessarily a great answer, but maybe someday someone will come up with a definitive answer.

In a lot of these, it seems as if it’s not about the answer. It’s about working your way to an answer.

It’s about the thought process. Because with a lot of these, where you have to estimate something crazy, like how many ping-pong balls could fit in the Mediterranean Sea basin if it was drained, the interviewer doesn’t know the answer.

How frustrating. So I’m assuming that you’re qualified to work at Google now?

Probably not in terms of having the actual skills to work there, but I’m pretty good with some of these offbeat questions.

You could ace the interview, at least.

[laughs] Yeah, I suppose so.

Adapted from TIME
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 3:29 PM

Google Demotes Itself in Its Own Search Results

What happens when a company accidentally ends up breaking its own ethics rules? Google is having to deal with that embarrassing situation right now, with the revelation that promotion for its Chrome web browser may have strayed outside of the company’s guidelines on paid links.

The situation seems to have arisen via miscommunication between Google and two agencies responsible for the promotion, Unruly Media and Essence Digital. As part of a promotional campaign for Google Chrome, some bloggers wrote “sponsored” (i.e., paid) blog posts about the browser and inserted links so that readers could download it for themselves — a clear no-no in Google’s own rulebook, and the sort of thing that has previously led to JC Penney, Forbes and being penalized with severely reduced search rankings.

According to a Google+ post by Essence, who acted as intermediary between Google and Unruly, this is all the result of miscommunication and in no way Google’s fault: “We want to be perfectly clear here,” the post explained. “Google never approved a sponsored-post campaign. They only agreed to buy online video ads. Google have consistently avoided paid postings to promote their products, because in their view these kind of promotions are not transparent or in the best interests of users… We apologize to Google who clearly didn’t authorize this.”

Unruly chief executive Scott Burton puts the blame on the bloggers themselves, saying that “A blogger, who we didn’t ask to link to a Google Chrome page, linked to a Google Chrome page, and did so without using the nofollow attribute [necessary to avoid Google penalization]. Obviously they shouldn’t do this in the context of a blog post that embeds one of our sponsored videos.”

Nonetheless, the rules were broken on Google’s dime and the company has announced that it will “lower []‘s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days”. By yesterday evening, Google’s Chrome site had dropped from 5th to 58th result on Google for “internet browser,” and from 4th to 54th for “web browser,” with results seemingly falling farther as time goes on.

The site doesn’t even appear on the first page in a Google search for “Google Chrome” — support pages, Google+ pages and other pages show up instead. According to an official statement about the decision sent to Search Engine Land, the company has actually been more strict with itself than it would be for outside agencies: “While Google did not authorize this campaign, and we can find no remaining violations of our webmaster guidelines, we believe Google should be held to a higher standard, so we have taken stricter action than we would against a typical site.”

Adapted from TIME
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 3:25 PM

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Google Commemorates Nicolaus Steno's 374th Birthday in Google Logo

Google Logo
To day google commemorates Nicolas Steno or also known as Niels Stensen or Nicolaus Stenonis in Latin, was born in Copenhagen on January 11, 1638. Nicolas Steno was a scientist anatomist, and the seventeenth century considered the father of geology or science that studies the Earth's composition and internal structure and evolution over time. In addition, he found the parotid gland function. Nicolas Steno was born in 1638, and its original name was Niels Stensen.

This is Biography of Nicolaus Steno
Nicolaus Steno, originally Niels Stensen, the son of a goldsmith, was born in Copenhagen on Jan. 10, 1638. He entered the University of Copenhagen in 1656 to begin studies in medicine which he continued in Amsterdam and Leiden. After studying anatomy in Paris in 1664, he went to Florence in 1665. He became court physician to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand II, who subsidized Steno's scientific interests.

Nicolaus Steno
During this period Steno investigated the geology of Tuscany with its related mineralogical and paleontological problems. His De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus (1669; Introduction to a Dissertation concerning a Solid Body Enclosed by Process of Nature within a Solid) was one of the most fundamental contributions to geology because of Steno's qualities of observation, analysis, and inductive reasoning at a time when scientific research was nothing but metaphysical speculation. Contrary to many other works of the 17th century, it had an impact on contemporary scientists through three Latin editions and its translation into English by Henry Oldenburg in 1671.

The Prodromusis divided into four parts. The first contains an investigation on the origin of fossils. The second part analyzes the following fundamental problem: "given a substance having a certain shape, and formed according to the laws of nature, how to find in the substance itself evidences disclosing the place and manner of its production." The third part discusses different solids contained within a solid in relation to the laws discovered and presented in the previous part. This is the section dealing mostly with crystallography. The fourth part is largely a consideration of the geological changes which Steno was able to interpret from his observations throughout Tuscany.

A fundamental part of Prodromus concerns the aspects and the mechanism of the growth of crystals, which are also solids within solids. In that respect Steno discovered the fundamental law of crystallography known as the "law of constancy of interfacial angles," which states that regardless of the variations in shape or size of the faces of a crystal, the interfacial angles remain constant. At the end of Prodromus, Steno in a series of diagrams illustrates the geological history of Tuscany. These sections, the earliest of their type ever prepared, fully substantiate the claim that Steno is one of the founders of stratigraphy and historical geology and perhaps the first geologist in the modern sense.

Steno, in his general concept of the universe, adopted the doctrine of the four Aristotelian elements: fire, earth, air, and water. However, his concept of matter was Cartesian, since he considered a natural body as an aggregate of imperceptible particles subject to the action of forces as generated by a magnet, fire, and sometimes light.

In paleontology, Steno clearly understood the organic origin of fossils and their importance as indicators of different environments of deposition. Assuming that strata had been deposited in the form of sediments from turbid waters under the action of gravity, Steno established some of the fundamental principles of stratigraphy: deposition of each bed upon a solid substratum, superposition of younger strata over older ones, and occurrence of all beds except the basal one between two essentially horizontal planes. In structural geology, Steno visualized three types of mountains: mountains formed by faults, mountains due to the effects of erosion by running waters, and volcanic mountains formed by eruptions of subterranean fires.

In 1672 Steno became professor of anatomy in Copenhagen. As a Catholic, he encountered so much religious intolerance from the Protestant community that he returned to Florence, where he was put in charge of the education of Cosimo III, the son of the Grand Duke. In 1675 Steno took Holy Orders, and a year later Pope Innocent XI appointed him bishop of Titopolis and apostolic vicar of northern Germany and Scandinavia. He died in Schwerin on Nov. 26, 1686.

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Published by Gusti Putra at: 2:22 AM

Google Adds ‘Your World’ to Search Results

Searching Chikoo by Google

If you’re thinking Google plans to rest on its search-leading laurels, you’ll want check your Google search results over the next week, because the company’s rolling out its next evolutionary step: Search Plus Your World.

As the name suggests, Search Plus Your World combines Google’s search results and its Google+ social network (along with Picasa, the Google photo-sharing site and software) to let you localize searches within your social circle and use Google search to grow that circle. The revised search will now offer not only ”personal results” on both web and image searches, drawn from your own Google+ and Picasa posts and contacts, but also auto-complete prompt that let you search for specific contacts without wading through search results featuring strangers with the same name as your friends (particularly helpful for those with friends named “John Smith,” I’m betting).

In addition to those new features (which can be made the focus of your searches or turned off altogether), Google+ will also be promoted in a new right-hand sidebar on the results page that links to Google+ communities discussing your search topic (including the option to join said communities from that page).

If you find this new openness about your Google+ account alarming, don’t worry; not only will search respect your Google+ privacy settings (which can be configured to make things private, viewable to your friends only, or public), but Google has activated SSL encryption on all Search Plus Your World searches and results, giving them the same level of privacy as your Gmail or Google+ account (it also means that you have to be signed in, in order to access Search Plus Your World results; otherwise, you just get “regular” search results).

Search Plus Your World begins rolling out today, with an estimated Friday deadline for full availability. Given the impressive way it folds Google+ into the overall Google experience, it’ll be interesting to see if this results in a (deserved) bump in people signing on to the fast-growing social network; if nothing else, it’ll be worth using just to finally combine social recommendations with search results when it comes to picking a recommended eating spot.

Adapted from TIME

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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:27 AM

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Google Makes Own Hardware for Android

Google is reportedly making the processor and GPU for Android-based devices.

Shocking news came back from Google. However, in contrast to the usual news coming from the search engine giant, which is usually associated with their latest software or services, the news this time associated with the hardware.
Google is reportedly making the processor and GPU for Android-based devices. Reportedly, this processor will be installed on the upcoming Nexus. (

Quoted from Android Invasion, Monday, January 9, 2012, a number of sources of internal circles Google claims that they are developing a special processor and GPU (graphics processing unit) to be used on Android-based devices.

Google seems to want to bring uniformity to the Android hardware to come. And according to the programming of a Google employee who spread the information, the possibility of a processor made ​​by Google it will present at the next Nexus.

Despite the news that Google's foray into the processor industry is heard a sudden, it seems the move makes sense from Google's perspective. They certainly want to be really able to compete with the competitors (such as the Apple iPhone) by making the processor itself.

As is known, at present, a number of manufacturers Android smartphone or tablet using the processor and the graphics are different from each other. Android operating system itself is able to work on a variety of hardware systems, ranging from very good capable, to a mediocre performance.

Unfortunately, when confirmed, Google is not willing to give testimony. However, if this news is true, it seems Google has once again taken a step toward strengthening their platform.

Adapted from VIVA
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:44 AM

Monday, January 02, 2012

Facebook Could Be Route to New Kidney

SEATTLE — Here's another reason for holdouts to join the social media site Facebook: It's a great place to find a kidney.
Between the kid photos and reminiscences about high school, more and more pleas for help from people with failing kidneys are popping up. Facebook and other social media sites are quickly becoming a go-to place to find a generous person with a kidney to spare, according to the people asking for help and some national organizations that facilitate matches.

Damon Brown found a kidney on Facebook after telling his story on a special page the Seattle dad created under the name, "Damon Kidney." His friends and family forwarded the link to everyone they knew and on Jan. 3 a woman his wife has known for years, but not someone they consider a close family friend, will be giving him a kidney. "She said it wasn't really for me. It was for my kids, because they deserve to have a dad around," said Brown, 38.
Brown's story is not unique, said April Paschke, a spokeswoman for the United Network for Organ Sharing, a private nonprofit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system for the federal government.

"We see more and more people matched up by social media," she said. "It's an extension of the way we communicate. Before we found the Internet, people found other ways: through a church bulletin, word of mouth or an advertisement even."

This past year, a man in Michigan also found a kidney donor through Facebook, and a Florida woman found one through Craigslist.
Damon Brown admits he was a little embarrassed to ask for help so publicly. Except for telling close friends and family, the Seattle father of two young boys had been keeping his illness pretty quiet.

He was on the official transplant list and had started mobile dialysis through Northwest Kidney Centers but Brown was seeing his health deteriorate — he was constantly tired and achy. He couldn't sit on the bed to tell bedtime stories to 5-year-old Julian and 3-year-old Theo because he had to stay close to his dialysis machine.

"I'm a strong guy, but I would have to say, it's been rough this year," he said. Brown had put himself on the long wait list for a kidney from a deceased donor, knowing he would have to wait at least three years before he was called.

After one particularly difficult visit with his doctor, Damon and his wife, Bethany, decided to create the Facebook page, which has attracted more than 1,400 friends.
A few weeks ago, after the transplant was approved and scheduled, Brown posted the good news to his Facebook friends. More than 300 people responded: "Whoo hoo....what a great Christmas present," wrote Kelly L. Hallissey. "This is awesome!! Praying for you and your family for positive news and a great way to begin 2012!" wrote Brenda Tomtan.

Many people are not aware that kidney and liver donations can now come from living donors.
In 2010, 16,800 kidney transplants were performed in the United States, of which 6,277 came from living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. An average of 46 kidney transplants take place each day in this country, while another 13 people who have been waiting for a kidney die each day. About 90,000 are on the transplant list right now.

Jacqueline Ryall, 45, said she felt a need to donate a kidney to Brown to give back her own good health and all she has been given. She's not a mom and gushed about how beautiful Damon and Bethany's kids are.
"The real reason I'm doing this is he's got kids and he's a good guy," she said. "My life is in a good place. I've been given lots and I have a responsibility to give back."

Ryall said her elderly mother does not understand why she would give a kidney to someone other than her own brother and sister, and her family is worried about her health going forward.
After her own research, however, Ryall decided it's relatively safe for a woman in good health to donate a kidney. If something is going to go wrong with her own kidneys, she has heard they usually fail in twos.
"Right now it feels like absolutely the right thing to do," she said, adding that she hopes her decision will help make other people less afraid to do the same thing.

News media coverage of his quest flooded his hospital with so many requests for information — from total strangers — that Brown said he was asked to pull back on his publicity efforts. Four people passed the initial screening and came in for tests. Now that he sees a happy ending coming for himself, Brown would like to do whatever he can to help others.

April Capone, the previous mayor of East Haven, Conn., knows what Brown means about the attraction of happy endings.
Two years ago, she was sitting in her office checking her Facebook feed, when a post from one of her constituents popped up saying he needed a kidney.

"At that moment, Carlos was at Mayo, testing to get on the transplant list," said Capone, 36. "He really didn't tell anyone he was sick. The doctor said, 'if you don't do it, no one is going to know'." So Carlos Sanchez pulled out his cell phone and posted the request and Capone responded immediately.
"I knew from the second I saw his post that I was going to be a donor," said Capone, who barely knew Sanchez at the time. Now they're as close as siblings, talk on the phone almost daily and meet for lunch regularly.

Capone said she had no personal reason for donating a kidney; she just want to save a life.
"It was the best thing I ever did with my life," she said. "I wish I had more; I would do it again."

Adapted from TIME
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 2:02 PM

Monday, December 19, 2011

186Gbps, New Records Speed ​​Data Transmission

This transfer speed defeated the record set in 2009 ago that is 119Gbps​​..

SuperComputing 2011 conference in Seattle, a group of researchers led by scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) managed to record a new record for data transfer over a network, reaching 186Gbps.

By this new speed, users can also transfer 2 gigabytes of data per day,
or approximately 100 thousand submit content Blu-ray in a day.
Record speed data transfer between computer networks opens up new hope for the future of Internet browsing and good news for Internet service providers.
186Gbps speeds beat the record set in 2009 and the 119Gbps. With this new speed, users can transfer 2 million gigabytes of data per day, or approximately 100 thousand pieces of content Blu-ray in a day.

The transfer speed is achieved using a 100Gbps circuits made by non-profit BCNET and CANARIE. Data transmission is achieved when sending data from a data center owned by the University of Victoria in British Columbia to Seattle Convention Centre which reaches a maximum speed of 98Gbps and in the reverse direction, the data transmitted simultaneously at speeds up to 88Gbps.

The test is then performed by transferring data from Seattle to other areas in the United States, and also to Korea and Brazil. Observers say this achievement is significant because scientists use 100Gbps transmission lines are already available commercially, not through a private network in the lab or use a testbed with certain conditions.
Although users do not need to watch 100 thousand Blu-ray films per day, but for scientists, this speed is very important. For example to collaborate when examining the data space and others.

"It has a transmission speed allows us earlier achievements are not possible," said Harvey Newman, quoted from Digital Trends, December 16, 2011. "We can see a brighter future that may never have imagined before," he said.

Adapted from Vivanews
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:48 AM

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Feds seize 150 websites in counterfeit crackdown

WASHINGTON – Federal authorities have shut down 150 websites accused of selling knock-off or pirated merchandise to unsuspecting online bargain hunters.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny A. Breuer announced the results of the ICE and FBI three-month investigation on "Cyber Monday," the day that for many shoppers kicks off the online holiday shopping season.

The government seized the domain names for the sites that sold everything from fake replica NBA jerseys to replica Louis Vuitton handbags and imitation Ugg boots.

"This is straight crime," Morton said. "This is people being duped into buying a counterfeit."
The federal government has seized the domain names of 350 websites since first targeting online counterfeiters in June 2010. Each investigation, Morton said, has grown.

Visitors to the seized domains are now greeted with a message from federal authorities explaining that the site has been seized by the government and a warning that "willful copyright infringement is a federal crime."
Morton and Breuer said while the domain names were registered in the United States most of the websites were run from abroad, primarily in China. No one has been charged with a crime in connection with the most recently seized domains. But Breuer said the investigations are ongoing.

Earlier this year five people were indicted in Virginia on conspiracy and copyright infringement charges for their roles in operating a website that the Justice Department said allowed people to illegally download high-quality movies and television shows.

Four people accused of running have pleaded guilty. A fifth person is being sought.
It's unclear how much money the seized sites have made, or potentially cost legitimate companies. Breuer said since the crackdown on counterfeit sellers started last year, Internet users have gone to the seized domains more than 77 million times.

"Typically we don't track the volumes of sales of these particular sites," Morton said, adding that criminal organizations often hide ill-gotten profits. "It is very large figures. Well, well above millions."
Morton said it may seem like a trivial thing to buy a knock-off football jersey or look-alike sunglasses, but the profits seized by counterfeiters can help fund far more nefarious activities.

"This is increasingly not simply a matter of mom and pop violations at the corner of Fourth and Main," Morton said. "We are worried about organized crime and (that profits) are going to fuel other criminal activity."

Morton would not say if organized criminal groups are suspected of running any of the seized sites to help fund other criminal acts.

Quoted from USAtoday
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 9:24 PM

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Google Sets Kill Dates for 7 Services, Including Wave

Wave goodbye to Google Wave and a bunch of others stuff, says Google, listing a full seven services due to sign off permanently over the next few months. Google’s spin: It’s just a little “spring cleaning,” never mind the mess or inconvenience it may cause anyone who bought into this stuff. Then again, it was offered up gratis, so who can complain?
Google Wave Logo

In the official blog post summing up what’s in store, Google pulls no punches, including a few thrown in reverse: “[We’re] in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for,” admits the company, adding that it’s “integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward.”

Here’s a list of what’s out, and when:

Google Bookmark Lists, an “experimental feature for sharing bookmarks and collaborating with friends.” End date: December 19, 2011.

Google Friend Connect, a way to integrate social features with websites “by embedding a few snippets of code.” End date: March 1, 2012.

Google Gears, an open-source multi-browser interface for running web apps and accessing related files offline. Google says it’s all part of their shift to HTML5. End date: December 1, 2011.

Google Search Timeline, the little search timeline that sometimes pops up when you google something. You’ll still be able to see charts, if you like, using Google Trends. End date: Right now, sounds like.

Google Wave, the collaboration/conversation tool I only used a handful of times while contributing to a comics-related column here. End date: April 30, 2012.

Knol, Google’s kind-of-sort-of response to Wikipedia, and while Google says it’s all part of a transition to its Annotum project, I’m not sure if all the stuff that’s in Knol’s going to make the jump. End date: April 30, 2012.

Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C), an attempt to reduce the cost of renewable energy. Google says that “[at] this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level.” End date: Now, with the results of the project published here.

Source:  Time
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 4:25 PM

How Germans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google Street View

MUNICH — The Silicon Valley "spy" opened shop in Germany a year ago to a firestorm of controversy. It was last November when Google launched its panoramic Street View service of 20 German cities, from Leipzig to Stuttgart. In the lead-up, the U.S. company's project was not only met with mistrust but sometimes also hysterical debates that went on for months, touching on everything from who had rights to building facades to how high fencing needed to be to ensure privacy.
Cars with mounted cameras used for Google Street View are on display
at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover on March 2, 2010

Altogether, the questions and concerns amounted to an attempt by Germans to work out a definition of the private sphere in the digital age. The result of that debate was that 245,000 people opposed having their home publicly on view, and substantial portions of some well-to-do areas are simply screened out of the German version of Google Street View.

But if Google were to launch the project again now, the picture might look very different. Serial break-ins that some thought would be a result of the service did not materialize. Nor, in the end, did people whose houses and apartments are pictured by the service protest much about having their private residences on display for the whole world to see.

The software is apparently not of interest to wrongdoers and voyeurs. It is, however, popular among people trying to determine if they want to visit an area or buy or rent a home there. Google spokeswoman Lena Wagner said that in Germany, the number of visits to Google Maps, into which Google Street View is integrated, went up 25% during the past year.

Hamburg's Johannes Caspar, the data protection head responsible for making it possible for Germans to oppose Google Street View, said he was happy with the service. "The Google camera car was, for many people, a symbol of a digital world trying to appropriate the analog world," said Caspar. Giving people the possibility of opposing the service, he explained, "diffused the situation and helped Street View gain acceptance."

Another indication of acceptance is that when Microsoft announced it would be photographing German streets for Bing Maps Streetside, its Street View clone, only 80,000 people opposed. "Google Street View did the pioneering work, and now people know what the pictures look like when they're published," said Caspar.

In the meantime, according to the Google spokeswoman Wagner, some who originally opposed having their property photographed now want their homes included in the service. Too late. Google promised German data-protection authorities it would make all opposed imagery unrecognizable.
For now, Google has no plans to further develop the German Street View to include other cities, the company said. If its camera cars were seen on the streets of Germany this year, it was to update Google Maps and route planning.

A Virtual Walk in the Park 
In other countries, however, Google is making increased amounts of information available via its Street View. For example, the service enables users to take virtual walks in six parks from Madrid to Tokyo. Google sent camera persons out on bikes to get the footage.

In California, there's a test program that makes it possible for users to tour the inside of some shops and restaurants. The idea behind this is that potential clients can check out the vibe and the selection on-screen before deciding whether they want to go to a place. Meanwhile, the virtual tours could enhance the Google Ads of the establishments by giving clients more information. Google could eventually offer online table reservations or product orders.

Scenarios such as these don't look realistic for Germany, at least not in the foreseeable future. In fact, because the images date back to 2008, many of the buildings on the German Street View no longer exist. A few examples are Berlin's Palace of the Republic or Cologne's City Archives. In some ways, the much feared "spy" from Silicon Valley has become a picture album for virtual visitors taking a nostalgia tour.

Sources: TimeWorld
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 4:03 PM

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Google Music Store Launched with Free Track Sharing, Exclusive Content

Google Music

Google Music is now open to everyone in the U.S. It’s a free service that you can use to store up to 20,000 of your songs on Google’s servers and stream those songs to compatible devices.

Songs can now be purchased directly from the Android Market as well. Google will make recommendations to you based on your music collection you’ve uploaded, all songs have 90-second previews, and purchased songs are automatically added to your online collection and downloaded to the device you use to purchase the songs. Google will offer one free song each day, and there will be a weekly “spotlight” artist with backstories, bios, photos and videos.

Google+ integration is onboard, and purchased tracks you recommend and share will be able to be played by your friends in their entirety—no 90-second preview. It’s not unlimited, however: shared songs can be played once for free. Still—not too shabby.

As for the major labels, Universal, EMI and Sony Music are on board, but Warner Music Group hasn’t joined. There are also smaller, independent groups totaling “over 1,000 prominent independent labels” and more than 13 million tracks said Google. “Of course, we anticipate adding new partners if they wish to come on board,” said a Google spokesperson.

The service features some exclusive content from a handful of popular bands. Unreleased tracks and live albums from the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Busta Rhymes, Shakira, Pearl Jam, and Dave Matthews Band are available now for free.
Purchased tracks are saved online to your Google Music account and can then be downloaded to your computer or played back directly from your web browser or Android phone. Purchased tracks that you share with friends can be played back in their entirety one time for free.
Google Music also has a new feature for independent artists called Artist Hub. Artists can build their own artist pages, upload their music, and sell their songs by setting their own prices. Google takes a 30% cut of every sale, and there’s a one-time $25 setup fee for each artist page. Furthermore, songs can be linked to and sold directly from artists’ YouTube pages.

And T-Mobile customers will get a few Google Music extras, such as additional free tracks made available each week and the ability to bill purchased songs directly to users’ wireless accounts.

Google Music is available today, with music for purchase from the web-based Android Market—the music store will become available on Android phones and tablets “over the next few days,” according to Google’s official blog post.

Google, google music, Google Music Store, music, Apps & Software, Apps & Web, Companies

Quoted from TIME
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 3:45 PM

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Internet Weighs About as Much as a Strawberry

Last week, the world was shocked—shocked!—to discover that downloading an electronic book to a device such as a Kindle actually increases the weight of the Kindle. Not by any truly measurable amount, said the New York Times, but still: adding data to a device apparently results in trapped electrons which "have a higher energy than the untrapped ones."

And though the amount of data contained in a tiny e-book file is so miniscule as to render it almost irrelevant, the results become more meaningful when you measure a much larger set of data. In that spirit, how much does all the information on the entire internet weigh?

The conclusion: about as much as a strawberry. Check out the above video for the explanation, which includes details about the Kindle stuff, too.

Quoted from Techland
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:14 PM

'Anonymous' Abandons Attack Against Mexican Drug Cartel?

Just days after announcing its intent to reveal information about civilians who have assisted the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, the group has seemingly backed down for fear of possible violent reprisals.

Two apparently self-identified Anonymous members, Skill3r and Glynnis Paroubek, were quoted in Mexican newspaper Milenio as saying, "We didn't want irresponsible administrators to condemn participants [in the operation] to death. We've discussed it extensively and we all decided to remove it."

This statement follows a post on the Anonymous Mexico Facebook page that reads in part: "Our fight is not of this kind and our ideals are not in tune with that operation. The note [announcing Operation Cartel] published in many electronic media is completely false."

The decision may be a smart one; global intelligence company Stratfor released a report yesterday claiming that "Los Zetas are deploying their own teams of computer experts to track those individuals involved in the online anti-cartel campaign, which indicates that the criminal group is taking the campaign very seriously," a comment which comes with the extra weight of earlier internet-related murders as a warning to "internet snitches" trying to intervene in the drug war.

Despite this, it's possible that Anonymous is split over the decision to withdraw from this particular operation; according to a tweet from Anonymous member Sabu, "#OpCartel is very much alive and like I said to others in private our war is on corruption on both sides of the spectrum. Vamous a GUERRA!" We may not know until November 5th whether or not the operation is still in existence... which, admittedly, may be part of the plan.

Quoted from Techland
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 11:54 AM

Our Friends Electric: Facebook Info Open to 'Socialbot' Snooping

Perhaps it's time to start paying more attention to whom you're friending on Facebook. A recent study designed to evaluate how safe social networks are from being invaded by programs pretending to be real people resulted in more than 250GB of personal information being collected from thousands of Facebook users by the researchers' "socialbots."

Researchers from the University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus released 102 socialbots onto Facebook as part of the eight week study, each one given a name and a profile picture so as to better convince real users that they were, in fact, entirely genuine. Each bot then proceeded to send 25 friend requests per day—limited to prevent setting off spam alerts—and within two weeks, 976 requests had been accepted.

For the next six weeks, the bots sent requests to the friends of their new friends, with 59% of that second wave accepting, leading to what the researchers call "a large-scale infiltration" of the site.
The researchers said that the exercise proved how ineffective existing safety measures are against this kind of attack, with only 20% of their socialbots being caught by Facebook's "Immune System," with even that low percentage only happening because users flagged the friend requests as spam.

A report on the experiment, "The Socialbot Network," explains the danger this presents:
"As socialbots infiltrate a targeted OSN, they can further harvest private users' data such as email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal data that have monetary value. To an adversary, such data are valuable and can be used for online profiling and large-scale email spam and phishing campaigns."

A Facebook spokesperson deflected criticism by attacking the report, saying that the company has "serious concerns about the methodology of the research by the University of British Columbia, and we will be putting these concerns to them."

Sources: Techland
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 10:35 AM

Google Can Now Index Your Comments Made Through Facebook

I know that you, fair Techland readers, are always civil in the comments section. Those who aren't might want to think twice about saying something nasty, as Googlebots (a.k.a. Google's infamous web spiders) can now index website comments from engines like Facebook, Livefyre and Disqus.

Before, the fact that those commenting engines used JavaScript meant that Google couldn't read or index them. Now, however, Google SEO guru Matt Cutts confirms via Twitter that "Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/JS to index some dynamic comments."

Digital Inspiration points out that you can now search for all the comments someone has made via Facebook's commenting system by searching for something like "commenter name * commenter title." So, internet trolls that for some reason sign in using your real name, your days are numbered!

This also has major implications for websites when it comes to SEO. As The Next Web points out, it's a good thing that all of a sudden a lot more content is going to be searchable, meaning that users could get to sites via things commenters have said. The negative? If a commenter—gasp!—says something inappropriate, that could show up in a site's search results. Also, if websites are lax in rooting out spam, that could negatively affect how Google's spiders view them.

Lesson to websites: Pay attention to what people are saying in your comments section. Lesson to commenters: Don't drink and post ill-conceived angry rants at 3:00 am! Or at least go incognito when you do.


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Published by Gusti Putra at: 9:11 AM

Monday, October 24, 2011

Google considers funding bid for Yahoo

GOOGLE is considering providing financing for an acquisition of Yahoo! Inc by another company or a group of bidders, according to a source.
The company may opt not to take part in an offer and has not engaged in serious discussions with potential partners, said the source.

Google, which is under regulatory scrutiny from governments around the world, may lend its financial support to preserve Yahoo as a rival and bolster competition in the Internet industry, according to Greg Sterling, an analyst at US-based Opus Research.

Sterling said: "If competition is diminished or marginalized, then all the arguments about Google being a monopoly ring more true."

Google, which has US$42.6 billion in cash and short-term investments, is considering helping to finance other bidders, rather than trying to acquire Yahoo outright, the source said.

The US Federal Trade Commission has begun a review of Google's business practices, including search and advertising. The European Union and the state of Texas have also begun investigations into the company's leadership in search and advertising markets.

Potential financing by Google for a bid for rival Yahoo has parallels with the US$150 million investment Microsoft made in competitor Apple in 1997 to help preserve competition in the computer market, Sterling said.

Nonetheless, regulators might scrutinize any Yahoo acquisition that involves Google. The US government threatened to challenge an earlier proposal by Google to place ads on Yahoo's site, causing Google to abandon the move in 2008.

A growing roster of private equity firms is considering whether to pursue Yahoo, which has a market value of US$20 billion. Microsoft is considering providing financing, according to sources.

A potential investment by Microsoft, a longtime Google rival, may also have prompted Google's interest in a financing deal involving Yahoo, Sterling said.

Alibaba, whose largest shareholder is Yahoo, has said it is "very interested" in facilitating the Chinese company buying back its 43 percent stake.

Private equity companies Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone are among firms considering an offer for Yahoo, sources said. Alibaba has discussed a plan with Silver Lake Partners and Russia's Digital Sky Technologies to make a joint bid, according to sources. Another group apparently interested in an offer includes Providence Equity Partners and former News Corporation executive Peter Chernin.

Google advertising customers are able to buy space on Yahoo sites through Google's Invite Media service, according to a source.

Quoted from Shanghaidaily
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:30 AM

Google Earth reveals ancient stories

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," science fiction author Arthur Clarke once suggested.

A "kite" structure seen from the air used in prehistory to trap game in the Arabian desert.
Say a magic carpet and a genie's lamp, the stuff of Arabian Nights, which made the Arab desert famous for fables and legends?

Well, how about Google Earth instead? Like a friendly genie, that modern technology has started answering archeologist's wishes with its worldwide catalog of satellite views of the Earth. A pair of studies in the Journal of Archaelogical Science this year suggest these views are revealing a vast and ancient story, one only starting to emerge from the fabled desert of Arabia.

"(W)e are on the brink of an explosion of knowledge," writes archeologist David Kennedy of University of Western Australia in Perth, in a report in the current edition of the journal. Aerial photography and satellite images from Syria to Yemen are, "revealing hundreds of thousands of collapsed structures, often barely (19 to 30 inches) in height and virtually invisible at ground level," he writes.

Most often seen in the vast lava-rock fields called "harat" and the 251,000-square mile Rub'al Khali desert of Saudi Arabia, the structures take their names from their appearance from the air— "wheel" homes, "pendant"-shaped cairns, "keyhole" tombs and "kites" animal-pen traps. They are, Kennedy says, "opening up for re-interpretation the hugely inhospitable interior of Arabia which is proving to be the unexpected location of extensive human activity 2,000 (or more) years ago."

Who were the "Old Men of the Desert", as the Bedouin called the builders of these structures in 1927, when first asked about them by a Royal Air Force flight lieutenant named Maitland. Maitland published a report in a journal Antiquity, noting "hill fortresses" and other structures in the desert ear of the Dead Sea spotted on the air mail route from Cairo to Damascus.

"(T)hey certainly have the appearance of being of great antiquity," he noted at the end of his report on "The 'Works of the Old Men' in Arabia."

They actually do date from the Roman era, judging from inscriptions, all the way back to perhaps 7,000 B.C. based on flint tools found at others, Kennedy says, by e-mail. Monumental prehistoric structures cover the world from South America to Stonehenge, but the "Works" represent a "huge undertaking by prehistoric man that created an immense archaeological landscape in one of the most arid parts of the planet," he notes.
The best-known structures are the "kites," made with a diamond shape. They are animal pens with their open mouths placed at low points between hills, where gazelles, antelopes and other prey were driven by hunters. "Mass kills" of Persian gazelles in these pens likely led to the loss of the species from the region, suggested an April Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesreport led by archeologist Guy Bar-Oz of Israel's University of Haifa, looking at a mass gazelle gravesite, a kite in modern day Syria dating back to around 4,000 B.C.

The other structures are more mysterious. "Wheels overlie Kites but never vice-versa, therefore Wheels are probably younger than Kites," Kennedy says. Some walls just seem to meander purposely and random "gates," more than 100 spotted so far, appear to have no purpose at all. "There is no complete agreement on two key questions: 'When were they built?' and 'What for?'" he says about the structures.

Figuring that out will take archeologists on the ground, Kennedy suggests in a look at cairns, wheels and other structures seen at just one site in Jordan published earlier this year in the Journal of Archeological Science. "Aerial imagery can take research so far but is not an end - merely a means to an end. What is needed is more intensive and extensive field research," he says.

For now though, satellite images will have to do for inspecting places like Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, difficult for foreign researchers to investigate. "The number of high-resolution 'windows' onto the landscape of Saudi Arabia is still limited; most imagery is too poor for our purposes. We need the high-resolution coverage to be considerably extended," he says. An alternative, Bing Maps, has higher quality images, but less of them, he says.

Arthur Clarke, who famously called for the development of communication satellites in 1945, likely would be delighted by this latest advance in space-based archeology. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible," he wrote, after all, in the same essay where he propounded his law of magic technology.

Quoted from Usatoday
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:23 AM

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Google Music (Beta) vs Apple’s iTunes?

Looks like Google’s adding some finishing touches to their ‘rumored’ online digital store.

There’s no doubt that Google’s product portfolio is immense, there’s social networking, internet search, operating systems, consumer software, maps, web browsers, hardware, advertising… and the list goes on. The only thing that’s missing in Google’s product portfolio is an online music download store, Google Music Beta is there to fill in for the most part but it doesn’t let you purchase/download MP3′s, it just lets you listen to over 20,000 tracks online — for now that is.
Google Music, search engine's new product that will compete against Apple.
There have been multiple reports claiming that Google will be launching a music download service within the next few weeks but Google’s yet to confirm what they’re hiding up their sleeves. According to Engadget, AsiaD’s Senior Vice President Andy Rubin has made it quite clear that Google is indeed “very close” to introducing a digital download store that’ll include “a little twist.”, “It won’t just be buying songs for 99 cents”.

Also, some reports are claiming that this new online store from Google is directly linked to the seemingly bland Music Beta service that Google is currently pushing through, which comes to no surprise since it was their first step in venturing the online music business in the first place.

It’s worth noting that Google has already encountered problems with numerous recording labels and music publishers in the past (during the launch of the Music Beta), simply because they weren’t happy with Google’s previously proposed locker-type storage service which rendered the Music Beta service ‘lacking’  since the day of its launch, they’re also yet to obtain music licensing agreements with the record companies music publishers alike. Google has also been previously hit by a multi-million dollar lawsuit with Bedrock Computer Technologies as well as Apple (Indirectly) — both cases are related to patent infringement, so naturally, they no longer want to go through the same problems again.

Numerous reports are also stating that Google will be introducing their new digital download service to the public ahead of the Apple iTunes Match launch which, will be held by the end of this month. Will Google be able to successfully execute the service this time? How will Apple react to Google’s new offering? We’re yet to find out.

Quoted from POP Herald

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Published by Gusti Putra at: 11:55 PM