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Internet News (743)

Google Reported to Have Acquired Twitch

Category: Internet
Posted: July 24, 2014 04:15PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The first rumors of the acquisition of Internet live streaming service Twitch by Google were reported in May, and sources have now confirmed the $1 billion purchase with Venture Beat. Twitch "enables people to broadcast their own gameplay sessions on the PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 to online viewers," with popular streamers carrying more than 10,000 viewers at times. Twitch is also home to many professional gaming events including the recently completed International 4 Dota 2 event and the League of Legends Championship Series. Twitch has seen a large increase in monthly users from the 3.2 million viewers when started in June 2011 to more than 50 million users now. The site was reported to account for 1.35% of all Internet traffic by Sandvine in March.

Source: Venture Beat



LinkedIn Acquires Bizo

Category: Internet
Posted: July 22, 2014 06:43PM
Author: Brentt Moore

LinkedIn has announced that it has officially acquired Bizo, a company that provides precise and measurable business-to-business display and social advertising programs to small, medium, and large businesses. According to David Thacker, the Product Vice President at LinkedIn, Bizo has proved itself as a comprehensive business-to-business marketing platform and the company has been a part of the LinkedIn API Partner Program for quite a while. With the respective missions of both companies being highly aligned, according to Russell Glass, the Chief Executive Officer of Bizo, it makes sense that LinkedIn is welcoming the Bizo staff to its team.

Thacker also made it evident that the company plans to integrate the Media Solutions and Multi-Channel Nurturing products offered by Bizo into its own portfolio, but that it does not plan to incorporate its Data Solutions business.

Source: Bizo Blog and LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog



Verizon FiOS Gets an Upload Speed Boost

Category: Internet
Posted: July 21, 2014 09:09AM
Author: Nick Harezga

Verizon has announced that it is upgrading the upload speeds of all current and future customers to match download speeds. Current plans had much higher download than upload speeds. Verizon has also increased the speed of the entry level package to 25/25 Mbps, an increase from the current entry level 15/5 Mbps plans. The service starts at $64.99, but unfortunately users currently at the 15/5 level won't be upgraded to the 25/25 level. The new symmetrical speed tiers could give Verizon a boost compared to cable companies, "which generally offers slower download speeds than fiber along with even lower upload speeds," but doesn't offer much of an improvement compared to other fiber services such as Google Fiber.

Source: Ars Technica



Dell Now Accepts Bitcoin

Category: Internet
Posted: July 18, 2014 02:37PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Dell is following in the footsteps of other major companies, such as DISH and TigerDirect, by announcing that it is now accepting Bitcoin as a valid form of payment through its online marketplace Transactions between customers and Dell that involve Bitcoin are made possible by a partnership with Coinbase, an international digital wallet that allows users to buy, use, and accept Bitcoin. Consumer and small business shoppers will be able to use Bitcoins on the Dell website within the next two weeks, according to Laura Thomas, the Chief Blogger for Direct2Dell.com

An Alienware promotion has also been revealed along with the Bitcoin acceptance announcement, where consumers can save 10 percent off of a new Alienware system purchase. The savings for this promotion are capped at $150, however.



Bitcoin Currency Conversion Integrated by Google

Category: Internet
Posted: July 16, 2014 08:48PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although Bing has featured Bitcoin currency conversion since last February, Google has just revealed that it is now providing the same feature to its users. In an update to Google Search, users can now enter search queries that relate to Bitcoin, with results from the search engine containing relevant conversion information along with visual charts of historic prices. Google Search can even support complex queries relating to Bitcoin currency conversion. The new Bitcoin price calculator from Google is also available on mobile devices, with users able to use their voice to input valid currency conversions.

The announcement comes roughly one month after Coinbase and Google Finance partnered to launch a Bitcoin price tracker.

Source: CoinDesk



Popular Bitcoin Website to be Sold at Auction

Category: Internet
Posted: July 9, 2014 05:04PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Bitcoins.com, a popular website for information surrounding the digital currency, will be sold at a United States auction house known as Heritage Auctions on July 24, 2014. The opening bid for the website will be set at $185,000, but expectations are that the website will fetch somewhere around $750,000. The sale itself is being facilitated by Mark Karpeles, the CEO of the bankrupt Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. Although Bitcoins.com was launched by Karples, it is owned and operated by Tibanne, which is the parent company of Mt. Gox. Proceeds of the sale will be used to not only support Tibanne, but also to compensate various investors that were burned with the collaspe of Mt. Gox. According to Karples, at least half of the final sales price will be paid to Bitcoin holders who lost substainal amounts of money with the collaspe of Mt. Gox.

Source: PCWorld



YouTube Previewing Nine New Features at VidCon, Including 60 FPS Videos

Category: Internet
Posted: June 26, 2014 07:56PM
Author: ClayMeow

The fifth annual VidCon kicked off today in Anaheim, and YouTube is taking the opportunity to preview nine new features that will be released in the coming months. While all the features will be nice additions, of particular interest to myself and likely the majority of visitors to OCC is the addition of support for 48 and 60 frames per second videos! As great as HD gameplay videos look on YouTube, they've never quite as good as playing the game itself on a high-end PC. YouTube has posted three preview videos on the YT Creator Channel that shows off the new FPS options: Battlefield Hardline Trailer at 60 FPS, VGHS Season 2 Trailer at 48 FPS, and Titanfall Gameplay at 60 FPS.

The other eight features include the YouTube Creator Studio app for Android and iOS, the addition of thousands of royalty-free sound effects to the Audio Library, Fan Funding so fans can easily contribute money, Creator Credits with more collaborator options, the ability for fans to contribute subtitles in other languages, interactive Info Cards to bring annotations to the next level, a weekly show on SiriusXM's Hits 1 channel called "The YouTube 15", and enhanced playlist capabilities.

Source: YouTube Creator Blog



Domain Registration Service Announced by Google

Category: Internet
Posted: June 24, 2014 08:07AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Google has announced that it is launching a new domain registration service known as Google Domains. The new service will offer customers 100 email addresses on the domain for free, as many as 100 subdomains, and will make use of Google DNS servers for quick response times. Google Domains will not charge consumers extra for setting an address private, and the service will support new address registrations as well as transfers. Website creations tools such as Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix have all signed up as partners as well. The search engine giant has decide to create its own domain registration service because of research that its small business division recently conducted, which revealed that 55 percent of small businesses still lack a website.

Currently, Google Domains is only available to those who receive an invitation to participate, but Google is hoping to make the service available to the masses in the near future.

Source: 9to5Google



Facebook Suffers Temporary Outage

Category: Internet
Posted: June 19, 2014 04:46AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Facebook, the social networking service that ranks second in terms of overall website popularity according to Alexa, suffered a temporary outage early this morning that lasted roughly 30 minutes. Facebook users from around the world went to Twitter to complain about the outage and to ask others if they were also experiencing an issue went attempting to visit the website. During the outage, the website for the social media service that currently has 1.28 billion monthly users displayed a message that stated something went wrong and that the Facebook team was working on getting the error fixed as soon as possible. A Facebook spokesperson stated that while the website was down for a brief moment due to an unspecified issue, it is now back up and fully operational.

Source: CNET



Chromecast Now Supports YouTube Application Live Steams

Category: Internet
Posted: June 18, 2014 05:13AM
Author: Brentt Moore

With YouTube live steams happening quite regularly as companies attempt to reach ever expanding audiences, Google has decided to grant mobile users the ability to cast live streams through its Chromecast device. Now, Chromecast owners can simply visit a YouTube live steam within the YouTube application and click on the cast button to display the live video feed onto a television that has the Google device. While PC users have long had this feature available to them, users of mobile devices have not been able to cast YouTube live streams to their television by using Chromecast until now.

It is worth noting that while Chromcast is available in Germany, YouTube live streams viewings are still not supported in the country.

Source: Google+



Facebook Reveals Better Advertisements

Category: Internet
Posted: June 12, 2014 08:52AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Facebook has just revealed that advertisements on the social networking platform will soon be better than ever. Currently, Facebook collects data such as Facebook pages liked and overall activity on the social networking website to display relevant advertisements to users. However, starting within the next few weeks for United States users and the next few months for global users, advertisements displayed within the Facebook News Feed will be based heavily on what websites and applications users utilize. This type of data collection is meant to provide users with more direct and applicable advertisements that cater to their specific interests. Additionally, users will be able to see why advertisements are displayed to them and can remove an interest if they no longer want to see advertisements regarding a certain category, such as electronics or automobiles.

Users who have privacy concerns over the new collection method for advertisements can opt out in a web browser by using the Digital Advertising Alliance opt out. Mobile users can disable the targeting by using the privacy controls available on various Android and iOS devices.

Source: Facebook Newsroom



Comcast Turns Wi-Fi Routers into Hotspots

Category: Internet
Posted: June 11, 2014 07:06PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In Houston, Texas, Comcast customers are just now noticing that they have a new Wi-Fi network that they are able to connect to, labeled as xfinitywifi. The network is provided by the Arris Touchstone Telephony Wireless Gateway Modems that Comcast customers have installed within their homes. Comcast is turning these residential modems, approximately 50,000 in total, into a massive hotspot that any Comcast customer can access for free. Michael Bybee, a Comcast spokesman, noted that the process was completed in the early afternoon for Houston residents. Although 50,000 modems are currently being used for this massive hotspot rollout by Comcast, the company plans to switch on a total of 150,000 by the end of the month.

Comcast customers can reportedly disable the availability of the public hotspot network from their router, but can only do so after the hotspot is turned on and made available by Comcast.



DISH Announces Acceptance of Bitcoin

Category: Internet
Posted: May 29, 2014 01:27PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Bitcoin continues to be one of the most popular crypto-currencies available, and DISH today has backed its popularity with its announcement. Beginning in the summer or fall of this year, satellite television provider DISH will begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Transactions between DISH and its customers will be handled by Coinbase, who also takes care of Bitcoin transactions for other companies such as Overstock.com and Reddit. DISH Chief Operating Officer, Bernie Han, stated within the announcement that the company wants to accommodate individuals who prefer to make transactions with Bitcoin. Although DISH will soon begin accepting Bitcoin as a valid form of payment, the company notes that it will still accept credit cards, debit cards, and bank account transfers.

With this announcement, DISH has become the largest company to accept Bitcoin for goods and services rendered, though more companies may be competing for this title in the near future.

Source: TechHive


Spotify Suffers Minor Security Breach

Category: Internet
Posted: May 27, 2014 04:13PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Spotify today announced that it has suffered a security breach after it realized that unauthorized access to its systems occurred. The breach was small in nature however, with the company reporting that only one user's account information was compromised. Though data relating to this one user account was accessed, Spotify notes that information taken did not include any password, financial, or payment information. Nonetheless, the company is taking this security breach seriously, and is guiding Android users in updating their Spotify application over the next few days. Due to this, users who have offline playlists will have to once again download them in full.

Increased security measures for its internal systems have been implemented by Spotify due to this breach, and the company is vowing to protect the data of its users in the future.

Source: Spotify Blog



F-Secure Partners with Facebook to Protect Accounts

Category: Internet
Posted: May 22, 2014 03:32PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although Trend Micro just announced a partnership with Facebook yesterday in regards to protecting accounts on the social networking site from malware, F-Secure is doing the same today. F-Secure, an online security and privacy company from Finland, has revealed that it will be providing Facebook users with a free browser-based malware scanner. It is meant for users whose account has been locked due to suspicious activity that may be caused by a possible malware infection. The scanner is fully integrated into the social networking service, and will offer a scan and cleanup process for possibly infected accounts if Facebook identifies one as behaving suspiciously. Once the malware removal process is completed by the scanner, Facebook users can successfully and safely log into their account.

Source: F-Secure News



Trend Micro Partners with Facebook to Protect Accounts

Category: Internet
Posted: May 21, 2014 02:30PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In a new partnership between the social networking giant Facebook and the security vendor Trend Micro, HouseCall is being made available to Facebook users in order to protect accounts against malware. HouseCall, which is a free security solution provided by Trend Micro, will scan and remove malware from infected accounts, enabling Facebook users to continue using the service safely. Facebook users who have a potentially infected account will be given the option to download HouseCall, which will then scan the account and provide a notification when analysis is complete. The notification will let users know if the cleanup was successful or unsuccessful, and from that point on, will provide mitigation efforts to keep accounts malware free.

Source: Trend Micro Blog



Spotify Reaches 10 Million Subscribers

Category: Internet
Posted: May 21, 2014 02:15PM
Author: Brentt Moore

As music subscription services increase in overall popularity worldwide, Spotify is doing its best to make sure that it is one of the most widely used music services available to consumers. Today, Spotify has announced that it has reached an important milestone, hitting 10 million paying subscribers. Spotify also revealed that it has more than 40 million active users that it streams music to, and that 1.5 billion playlists have been created by all of its users and subscribers ever since Spotify was founded. Even more impressive is that all of the active users and subscribers that the music subscription service currently has span over 56 countries.

Source: Spotify Blog



YouTube Acquiring Twitch for Over $1 Billion, According to Sources

Category: Internet
Posted: May 18, 2014 09:42PM
Author: ClayMeow


Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and now Variety is reporting that YouTube has reached a deal to buy videogame-streaming service Twitch for more than $1 billion. Of course, even if the report is true, none of this will happen unless the U.S. Justice Department approves of the deal. YouTube is already the #1 platform for Internet video, with 1 billion users worldwide per month. Twitch claims to have more than 45 million users per month and has deals to distribute shows from several sites, like GameSpot, Joystiq, and Destructoid.

While the monthly userbase may seem quite small compared to YouTube, Twitch has been on the rise, nearly tripling its downstream bandwidth from last fall to March of this year (0.46% to 1.35%). The introduction of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One surely played a large part in the growth, as both support live-streaming directly to Twitch. Meanwhile, YouTube downstream bandwidth actually decreased during that same time period from 18.6% to 13.2%; still significantly more than Twitch, but the downward trend is a bit alarming considering Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu all saw increases. With live-streaming video games increasing in popularity, YouTube may be seeking to reverse its trend by acquiring Twitch.

Source: Variety



Bing Now Searches Xbox Music

Category: Internet
Posted: May 7, 2014 05:30PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Microsoft today confirmed that it has reinstated Xbox Music as a search target for Bing, including both the web form of the search engine as well as Bing Smart Search on Windows. Users of Bing will notice that search results for music actually include Xbox Music integration, allowing users of the Microsoft search engine to legally play songs. While other services allow music to be search and played, such as Pandora and Spotify, Google does not currently provide this capability that Microsoft has just reintegrated into Bing. However, music that is played through Xbox Music on Bing is only available for a few hours each month before listeners will have to pay $10 per month for an Xbox Music Pass, thereby granting unlimited access to 18 million tracks.

Microsoft reportedly sees the integration between Bing and Xbox Music as another stepping stone to its approach of migrating services and making them available across various products.

Source: PCWorld


The Internet Nearing 3 Billion Users

Category: Internet
Posted: May 7, 2014 05:03PM
Author: Brentt Moore

According to new statistics released by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, the Internet will reach nearly three billion users by the end of this year. Around two billion individuals present online when this milestone is reached will be from developing countries, with the remaining one billion users will come from developed countries. Mobile broadband will be a major factor in how these three billion people connect to the Internet by the end of this year, as the segment itself continues to be ranked first in market growth. Globally, mobile subscriptions are set to achieve 2.3 billion globally, with 55 percent of them expected to originate from developing countries. Mobile cellular connections are also growing at an astounding rate, with the number of subscriptions reaching seven billion by the end of this year. Users within developing countries are expected to hold roughly 75 percent of all users of mobile cellular connections.

Meanwhile, fixed broadband connections are growing at a slow rate, with the United Nations International Telecommunications Union expecting its penetration to reach 10 percent by the end of this year. Fixed telephone connections are also steadily decreasing around the world, as users of the information and communications technology have declined for the past five years.

Source: United Nations News Center



Cox Will Soon Provide Gigabit Internet to Residential Customers

Category: Internet
Posted: May 1, 2014 06:15PM
Author: Brentt Moore

While Google has recently announced its plans to bring fiber to more cities across the United States, Cox Communications is now laying out its own roadmap in direct competition. Pat Esser, the president and chief executive officer of Cox, noted in an interview that the company plans to bring gigabit cable Internet to residential customers by the end of this year. Eventually, the company plans to be able to offer every subscriber gigabit Internet, and Esser even remarked on how the availability of gigabit Internet to residential customers is a natural extension of the services it already provides to businesses.

Cox will begin announcing which markets the rollout will be coming to within the next two to three weeks.

Source: PCWorld


Rdio Improves Audio Quality

Category: Internet
Posted: April 29, 2014 05:57PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Rdio has announced that in a joint venture with Bob Weir from The Grateful Dead, the company will be begin an initiative to improve streaming quality while also sparking discussions on the unfairness of streaming audio quality. In a move that directly supports this initiative with Bob Weir, Rdio has revealed that it is improving audio quality for its current catalog of music. Audio files that currently exist within the Rdio catalog will be converted to the AAC format and will be delivered in 320 Kbps. Additionally, Rdio will work with artists and labels worldwide in order to improve streaming quality in markets that have sufficient network bandwidth, as well as areas that do not.

Although all of Rdio’s catalog will soon be seeing an increase in quality, the company has noted that the price for the service will remain the same for customers.

Source: Rdio Blog


Bitcoin Acceptance Now Listed on Yelp

Category: Internet
Posted: April 28, 2014 06:03PM
Author: Brentt Moore

In a move that directly supports the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin, Yelp has announced that information on Bitcoin acceptance is now provided under a business listing. While users of the review website have been able to find quite a bit of information on businesses before the announcement, they have not been able to see if a business actually accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment. Because of the many benefits that Bitcoin offers, such as it being a one way payment option and it being accessible from any device that is connected to the Internet, Yelp figures that it will help consumers and businesses connect even more than before.

Business owners can update their Bitcoin acceptance through logging into their free business owner tools on Yelp.

Source: Yelp Official Blog



Google Reportedly Set to End Forced Google+ Integration

Category: Internet
Posted: April 25, 2014 01:03PM
Author: bp9801

Yesterday, Google's head of Google+, Vic Gundotra, announced he was resigning his position and offered little explanation as to why. Now we may have an idea as to why Gundotra left, as it appears Google is severely backing away from Google+'s original strategy. According to a report, the company no longer sees it as competition to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and will end Google+'s forced integration with its products. However, the reduced focus of Google+ does mean anywhere between 1,000 and 1,200 employees will be changed to different divisions within the company. The Google Hangouts team will most likely be moved over to Android, as will the Google+ photo team, and various other teams will see similar shifts.

All of this has not been confirmed by Google, as both a spokesperson for the company and its CEO Larry Page denied any change in Google+'s strategy despite Gundotra's departure. This could just be the typical statement made when any company loses a division head, but it could also just be Google stalling for time as it figures out exactly what to do with Google+. If it actually is true that Google+ is being severely trimmed down, odds are plenty of people will just be happy its forced integration will go by the wayside.

Source: TechCrunch



Google Maps Offers New Time Capsule Street View Feature

Category: Internet
Posted: April 23, 2014 12:34PM
Author: Brentt Moore

By using the Google Maps Street View feature, users are able to see people, vehicles, structures, landscapes, and many other items all around the world at an eye level view. Google has now introduced a new feature to Street View which allows users to see certain historical imagery spanning various years. Vinay Shet, the product manager for Street View, notes that the feature is like a digital time capsule of the world since it gives historic imagery dating back to 2007. Additionally, the feature provides the ability for users to explore various regions of the world in different seasons.

Users who wish to make use of the new Street View time capsule can only do so through the desktop version of Google Maps.

Source: USA TODAY



Microsoft Releases Bing in the Classroom

Category: Internet
Posted: April 23, 2014 12:29PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Initially launched as a pilot program earlier this year, Bing for Schools provided five of the largest United States public school districts with advertisement free searching. As the pilot program has evolved and captured more attention than ever, with it now being available to 4.5 million children located across hundreds of United States school districts, Microsoft has rolled out its final version of Bing for Schools, known as Bing in the Classroom. The new version of the Microsoft search engine keeps its advertisement free searching and also adds in privacy controls that allow adult content to be blocked. As students or teachers search with Bing in the Classroom they will receive results that include only online resources, instead of advertisements, businesses, and company websites that are featured across other search engines.

While Microsoft has unleashed Bing in the Classroom to the masses, it is not available in all schools. Parents can see which schools have the new version of the search engine by going onto the Bing in the Classroom website.

Source: CNET



LinkedIn Reaches 300 Million Members

Category: Internet
Posted: April 18, 2014 04:44PM
Author: Brentt Moore

LinkedIn has reached a milestone of its own today, announcing that it now has 300 million members across the globe. Of these users more than half are located outside of the United States, which shows the global presence that LinkedIn currently has. As the service continues to grow, it is focusing heavily on the mobile market. Each day, LinkedIn says that it processes 15 million profile views and 1.45 million job views through mobile alone. Later this year the company is projecting to reach another important milestone, where more than 50 percent of all global traffic will come from mobile devices.

Although LinkedIn is celebrating its member landmark, it has a long way to go in its efforts to connect the global workforce, which is comprised of roughly 3.3 billion people.

Source: Official LinkedIn Blog



Facebook to Use Nearby Friends Location Data for Advertisements

Category: Internet
Posted: April 18, 2014 04:27PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Facebook just recently announced its Nearby Friends feature, allowing users of the social networking service to find friends that are located around them. At this point in time, location data that will be collected from the feature will not be used for advertising, but it has been confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson that it will be in the future. The information may be used in the future to deliver advertisements for nearby brick and mortar stores to users. However, Facebook has not confirmed exactly how the location data will be utilized when it uses it for marketing purposes down the line.

Luckily, Facebook is stating that the information it collects based on location data gathered from Nearby Friends can be deleted by users. One the data is deleted from the user interface, the company notes that it then begins permanently deleting it from its own systems, eliminating the possibility of the data being used by advertisers.

Source: TechCrunch



Heartbleed May Reduce the Tor Network Capacity

Category: Internet
Posted: April 17, 2014 05:30PM
Author: Brentt Moore

The OpenSSL security flaw known as Heartbleed has been one of the most influential web security issues in recent history. The flaw may now affect the Tor network, the popular secure networking service, thereby reducing its total operating capacity. Nodes that are affected by Heartbleed could cause a compromise within Tor, allowing an attacker to view information that relates directly to Tor. One of the initial developers of Tor, Roger Dingledine, has suggested that the nodes that are affected by Heartbleed be kicked off of the secure network. If this suggestion is implemented, Tor would lose roughly 12 percent of its exit and guard capacity.

As of now, no action has been taken to remove the Tor nodes that are affected by Heartbleed.

Source: the Guardian



Facebook Introduces Nearby Friends Feature

Category: Internet
Posted: April 17, 2014 04:50PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Facebook has announced a new feature that is coming to mobile devices for users of the social networking service. The new feature, titled Nearby Friends, allows Facebook users to see when friends are physically near them, allowing individuals to meet up for conversation or events. Nearby Friends can provide a precise location between Facebook users, making it easy to locate others that are close by. While the feature itself must be enabled by both parties in order for it to work properly, Facebook users can set which friends are able to see if they are nearby. The feature is optional and can be turned on and off at any time however.

Nearby Friends will be available for Android and iOS users located in the United States within the coming weeks.

Source: Facebook Newsroom



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