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Internet News (778)

Ting Expands to Offer Gigabit Internet Access to Homes and Businesses

Category: Internet
Posted: December 19, 2014 08:01AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Ting, a mobile virtual network operator that uses the Sprint network to offer customers low cost pay for what you use plans, has announced that it is expanding to offer home and business Internet access through fiber. The announcement comes after Ting purchased a majority stake in Blue Ridge InternetWorks, an independent Internet service provider located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Blue Ridge InternetWorks already has a fiber network in place, and the merger of Ting allows the company to receive the technical and financial support needed to start the project of offering gigabit fiber optic Internet access to homes and business at a low price. According to Ting, both companies believe in providing hands-off quality Internet with remarkable customer service, a combination that not only facilitates fair pricing, but a shockingly human experience.

While Charlottesville, Virginia is the first location that Ting is offering gigabit Internet access speeds to homes and businesses, the company plans to continue its expansion to additional cities in the future.

Source: Ting Blog



Netflix Has No Plans to Offer Offline Playback

Category: Internet
Posted: December 18, 2014 12:31PM
Author: Brentt Moore

While Amazon allows owners of Fire tablets to download content featured on Prime Instant Video for offline playback, Netflix has officially announced that it has no plans to offer the feature to its subscribers. According to Cliff Edwards, Netflix's director of corporate communications and technology, the ability to download content to view offline is simply never going to happen. Edwards also revealed that Netflix believes that by allowing its subscribers to have such functionality would just offer a short term fix for a long term problem, with that problem being quality Wi-Fi access. Netflix is expecting Wi-Fi coverage to significantly improve in the future, and Edwards himself believes that due to increased Wi-Fi coverage that is to come in the next five years alone, people will forget about the idea of downloading content for offline use.

Source: TechRadar



Bose Streaming Music Service is Coming Soon

Category: Internet
Posted: December 16, 2014 07:59AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Bose, a leading audio manufacturer, is apparently looking to build and launch its own streaming music service in the near future. The news comes after the company posted a job opening on its corporate website, which states that Bose is actively looking for a Senior User Experience Designer of Cloud Music Services. According to the job opening, the individual who fulfills this position will "lead design and prototyping of our next generation streaming music platform and ecosystem of products." Bose also lists within the posting that "We will move quickly and have an immediate and lasting impact on Bose’s streaming music products."

While it is not yet known how Bose will market its own streaming music service, the company faces a large amount of competition from other high-end services such as Deezer Elite, Neil Young's Pono, and TIDL.

Source: hypebot



Ability to Sympathize with Posts is Likely Coming to Facebook

Category: Internet
Posted: December 15, 2014 06:53AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has noted that the social network is actively looking at options that would allow users to sympathize with a post that someone makes, such as when a sad event occurs. According to Zuckerberg, "Giving people the power to do that in more ways with more emotions would be powerful, but we need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad and demeaning the posts that people are putting out there." The news come from a public question and answer session in Menlo Park, where Zuckerberg expressed the ability to vote on a post, labeling it good or bad, simply is not socially valuable and does not help Facebook users share the important events that occur in their lives. It was also noted within the event that Facebook has long considered adding a "Dislike" button for its users, but has ultimately decided to simply keep the "Like" button for now due to the reasons aforementioned.

Source: USA Today



PayPal Now Accepted at Apple’s Online Store

Category: Internet
Posted: December 12, 2014 06:54AM
Author: Brentt Moore

According to Internet Retailer, Apple is the second largest online retailer in the United States. As such, it only makes sense that Apple has just announced that it is now accepting PayPal through its online retail store, which is good news for customers, since previously the company only accepted PayPal payments through its application and content stores. Apple is even promoting the ability to pay for an item in equal monthly installments over a maximum of 18 months with no interest, through a program known as PayPal Credit. The availability of paying with PayPal through Apple’s online store is being offered to residents of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Source: Re/code



Google Adds My Maps Integration to Google Drive

Category: Internet
Posted: December 10, 2014 05:03PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Google has announced that My Maps, the service that lets you create your own maps using Google Maps, will be the latest product to be integrated into Google Drive. The integration will take place over the next week and will give users the ability to create, organize, search, and share their maps just as they would any other Google document. My Maps is receiving an additional update with the ability to add more layers and points of interest. I have been using My Maps for a while now to track all of the restaurants I have visited around the country and it will be interesting to see how this new integration may improve the service.

Source: Tech Crunch



Gangnam Style Causes Software Update For YouTube

Category: Internet
Posted: December 3, 2014 04:48PM
Author: Nick Harezga

YouTube has been forced to update its software due to the overwhelming popularity of the video for Gangnam Style, released by Korean rapper Psy in 2012. The video broke the view counter when it reached 2,147,483,647, the maximum number capable with a 32-bit signed integer. The counter has now been updated to 64-bit and will be able to track views up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 which shouldn't be hit for around 4 billion years at the current pace.

Source: Ars Technica



Xbox Live Successfully Taken Down by Lizard Squad

Category: Internet
Posted: December 2, 2014 04:47AM
Author: Brentt Moore

The Lizard Squad, an infamous hacking group that has successfully brought down gaming servers for a variety of games and services during the past few months and even issued a bomb threat recently, was able to take down Xbox Live late Monday night. The group likely used a DDOS attack to make Xbox Live unavailable to gamers, and the group even went back to posting on a Twitter page about the attack, despite Twitter suspending the group’s account a few weeks ago. Lizard Squad noted that the attack on Xbox Live was simply an early Christmas gift for Microsoft, and that the unavailability of Xbox Live is the first of more things to come in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Source: Attack of the Fanboy



The Internet Now Has 3 Billion Users

Category: Internet
Posted: November 25, 2014 08:10AM
Author: Brentt Moore

The International Telecommunication Union has just released the 2014 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report. The latest report indicates the Internet now has 3 billion users, which is an increase of 6.6 percent globally, when compared to statistics released last year. Broken down, there was a 3.3 percent increase of Internet users in developed countries and an 8.7 percent increase in users located in developing countries. Even with the increase in Internet users worldwide, there still are 4.3 billion individuals around the world who do not have access to Internet services. Of these individuals, 90 percent happen to live in developing countries. In order to provide more individuals across the world with Internet connectivity, to the tune of 1.5 billion people over the next five years, the International Telecommunication Union plans to open up wireless spectrum that is currently assigned to broadcast television, which will hopefully lower Internet access costs.

The news comes just over six months after the United Nations News Center revealed that the Internet was nearing 3 billion users, and that the milestone would be reached by the end of this year

Source: ITU



Netflix Streamed 19.5 Million Terabytes of Video Earlier This Year

Category: Internet
Posted: November 20, 2014 06:25PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Netflix, one of the largest video streaming subscription services currently available across the world, streamed a total of 19.5 million terabytes of video in the first quarter of this year. Broken down, this equates to 6.5 million terabytes of video per month, which certainly exceeds the 4 million terabytes of video streamed per month during the first quarter of 2013. Assuming that the same amount of data continues to be used for high-definition video streaming and that previous growth remains constant, Netflix will stream 27 million terabytes of video in the first quarter of 2015, which comes out to 9 terabytes if video per month. This amount will likely be larger however, as 4K content continues to make its way onto Netflix.

Source: Cord Cutters News



Mozilla Makes Yahoo Default Search Engine For Firefox

Category: Internet
Posted: November 19, 2014 04:37PM
Author: Nick Harezga

Mozilla has announced that it will drop Google as the default search engine for the Firefox web browser in favor of Yahoo. The move comes as part of a five year partnership that will also include changes to the search engine. Yahoo will roll out an upgrade in December that includes an enhanced search function and Do Not Track functionality. The change comes after a ten year run by Google and was described by Mozilla CEO Chris Beard who said, "We believe it will empower more people, in more places with more choice and opportunity to innovate and ultimately put even more people in control over their lives online." Firefox currently holds 17% of web browser market share while Yahoo only makes up 10% of Internet searches, and perhaps this move could benefit both parties going forward.

Source: The Verge



YouTube Gets More Music-Friendly, Announces Music Key Subscription Service

Category: Internet
Posted: November 12, 2014 10:37PM
Author: bp9801

Google has decided to spruce up its popular YouTube service with a much requested (and needed) feature: the ability to more easily find music. When you head over to YouTube, be it through the website or an app, there will be a new spot featuring your favorite music videos, recommended playlists based on what you've listened to, and even trending playlists from across YouTube. There is easy access to playlists to find the one best suited to your current mood or task, see the most recent uploads from artists you're subscribed to, and, of course, to find your favorite tunes. Before too long, you can even find whole discographies from artists, which also includes music videos, and listen to them in high-quality audio best suited to your bandwidth.

In addition to all these functions, YouTube is getting a music subscription service (hinted at a few months back). Dubbed YouTube Music Key, this service lets you play all the music you can possibly want, with no ads popping up. It also includes offline viewing and background play, so it puts it right in line with the likes of Spotify. A subscription to Google Play Music is included with YouTube Music Key as well, with more than 30 million songs available that way. Google Play Music is going to be updated to support music videos too, so regardless of app preference, you are covered. YouTube Music Key launches in beta today for the site's biggest music fans, who get to enjoy it for free for six months. After the beta ends those users can continue for $7.99/month, while all new subscriptions come in at $9.99/month.

Source: YouTube Official Blog



President Obama Advocates For Net Neutrality

Category: Internet
Posted: November 11, 2014 09:18AM
Author: Nick Harezga

President of the United States Barack Obama has released a statement and plan detailing his support for net neutrality. At the center of his plan is the recommendation that the Internet be classified as a basic utility by the FCC, which would result in "no blocking, no throttling, more transparency and no paid prioritization." The issue of net neutrality has been a hot topic lately and the impact of the issue has been felt by companies such as Netflix. The core principles of the plan are detailed below:

No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.

No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.

Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.

No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

All information about the plan can be found on the official White House website. For more information on net neutrality and why it is important, take a look at this fun infographic from The Oatmeal.

Source: The White House



Firefox Now Lets You 'Forget' as Mozilla's Browser Celebrates 10 Years

Category: Internet
Posted: November 10, 2014 06:55PM
Author: ClayMeow


Can you believe it's been ten years since Mozilla Firefox 1.0 first hit the web? The web browsing experience has changed a lot over the years, and it's about to change again if you're an avid Firefox user. In celebration of the ten-year mark, Mozilla has "a special release of Firefox" that adds a few community-sought features. "In October 2014 Harris Poll conducted an online global survey of more than 7,000 adults on behalf of Mozilla. It revealed that 3/4 of respondents (74%) felt that internet companies knew too much about them, and more than half (54%) had done something online they wanted to 'forget'."

Firefox's main new features focus around the results of the survey. The first is the addition of DuckDuckGo as a pre-installed search option. "DuckDuckGo gives you search results without tracking who you are or what you search for. Other engines may use tracking to enhance your search results, but we believe that’s a choice you should get to make for yourself." The other major new feature is Forget. Forget is a simple way of clearing out recent activity without jumping through hoops. "Forget asks you only one: how much do you want to forget? Once you tell Firefox you want to forget the last 5 minutes, or 2 hours, or 24 hours, it takes care of the rest."

Lastly, if you're a web developer or just want to experiement, there's also a new Firefox Developer Edition.

Source: The Mozilla Blog




Google Releases New Chrome Extension For Google Drive

Category: Internet
Posted: November 5, 2014 04:39PM
Author: Nick Harezga

A new browser extension is now available for Chrome to enhance the compatibility between Google Drive and the applications installed on your computer. Users will be able to edit files stored in their Google Drive directly without first having to download a copy to their machine. The process is simple to setup, "You'll need Drive for Mac or PC (version 1.18) and a full synchronization in order for it to work, and then the plugin for Chrome too." The functionality won't be limited to text files and spreadsheets but will also work with "advanced image and video editing software, accounting and tax programs, or 3D animation and design tools."

Source: Slash Gear



Premium Version of SoundCloud Coming in 2015

Category: Internet
Posted: November 5, 2014 10:49AM
Author: Brentt Moore

SoundCloud is best known for offering music from undiscovered artists, remixes of popular songs, and unreleased material from established acts. A few months ago, audio and video advertisements were implemented into the service, and according to Alexander Ljung, the CEO of SoundCloud, users will have to wait until next year to be able to remove them from their listening experience. Ljung has revealed that an ad-free subscription service will launch in the first half of 2015, thanks to a licensing deal with Warner Music Group. Additional details about the premium version of SoundCloud were not revealed, but the Wall Street Journal noted that the service may be offered through several subscription tiers that would feature a range of prices.

While a premium version of SoundCloud is definitely on its way, the free version that supports advertisements will continue to be offered for the foreseeable future.

Source: TechHive



Instagram Integrates Video Advertisements

Category: Internet
Posted: November 1, 2014 07:01AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has remained commercial free for the majority of its existence, the company has now officially integrated video advertisements into its service. The video advertisements, which are thoroughly reviewed to ensure that they contain fresh and new content, are rolling out to Instagram users over the coming weeks, with some users spotting them starting today. The initial content will include 15 second spots from Activision, Banana Republic, CW, Disney, and Lancome that play automatically. Despite early Instagram advertisers noting that users did not enjoy being marketed to through sponsored images, the aforementioned companies expressed that being the first to push video advertisements bolsters their respective reputations as innovators.

Source: Adweek


The World Wide Web Consortium Publishes Final Specification for HTML5

Category: Internet
Posted: October 29, 2014 07:34PM
Author: ClayMeow


It's been a long time coming, but HTML5 has finally received its World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. A W3C Recommendation essentially marks the final version of a standard, though later revisions can still be made. A Specification begins with a Working Draft, which in HTML5's case, was published way back in January 2008. HTML5 has had a rather bumpy road over the years, but has become increasingly supported across platforms and browsers. Now that the spec has finally been settled, it'll be interesting to see what further developments may arise.

Source: W3C via GamesIndustry.biz



YouTube Now Supports 60 FPS Videos

Category: Internet
Posted: October 29, 2014 04:17PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Although it was revealed back in June of this year that support for 60 FPS videos was coming to YouTube in the months following the announcement, the Google video service has remained faithful to its 24 FPS video support; that is until now. YouTube has begun to roll out support for 60 FPS videos across its entire service, and the results of its efforts are phenomenal. Due to the increased frame rate support, videos looks smooth and more fluid, especially for video game titles. In order to watch a 60 FPS video on YouTube, however, users must utilize Google Chrome and must watch the video at an HD resolution, such as 720p or 1080p.

Source: Kotaku



Bing Now Supports Emoji Characters

Category: Internet
Posted: October 28, 2014 04:02AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Bing has revealed that in all English markets, it now supports the use of emoji characters within search inquires. This means that users of Bing can now use emoji, which are small pictures that are used to express emotions or ideas, in their searches to find relevant information. Users can also search Bing with an emoji to figure out exactly what the small picture means if they are unsure, and can combine emoji with text for even more powerful searches. According to Nick Roberts, the Senior Program Manager for Bing Relevance and Intent, return results from Bing are based on the semantic meaning of the emoji, and the support for emoji itself was added due to its use by billions across the world.

Source: Bing Blog



Free Xbox Music Streaming Feature is Being Discontinued

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

Microsoft has revealed that on December 1, 2014, it will be discontinuing the free Xbox Music streaming feature that is currently available on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and over the Internet. According to Microsoft, the company is focusing its efforts on making Xbox Music the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience customers, and as a result, free music streaming over Xbox Music is being retired. Users of Xbox Music who want to continue using the service will have to purchase an Xbox Music Pass, which provides access to millions of songs on a PC, phone, tablet, Xbox, and the web.

Source: Xbox Music



Apple Launches Maps Connect

Category: Internet
Posted: October 22, 2014 08:39AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Apple has launched Maps Connect, a web tool that allows small businesses to manage their listings on Apple Maps. The new tool allows business owners to edit establishment details or insert additional information into their listing, such as an email address, phone number, and website. Businesses who meet certain qualifications, including but not limited to having over 1 million visitors per year and WiFi access, can even sign up for iBeacon, an indoor proximity system from Apple. Any updates that business owners make with Maps Connect will take roughly a week to show up on Apple Maps.

While Maps Connect is currently only available for business owners within the United States, Apple is promising that it will support more countries in the future.

Source: Engadget


Google Now Supports Security Key

Category: Internet
Posted: October 22, 2014 05:07AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Google has revealed that users of Gmail, Chrome, or any other Google account can now utilize Security Key for two-factor authentication if they are running Google Chrome version 38 or newer. The technology allows a USB key to be used to log into Google sites that have been verified as authentic, as long as the key makes use of the FIDO Universal 2nd Factor, or U2F, protocol. It provides better protection against phishing and also requires no mobile connection or batteries. Google account holders who choose to use Security Key simply plug it into their computer, and when prompted while attempting to login, press the button on the USB key itself for authentication. 

While using Security Key is free of charge, users must purchase a USB key from a third-party vendor that supports the U2F protocol in order to utilize it.

Source: Google and TechSpot


Spotify Announces Family Plan

Category: Internet
Posted: October 20, 2014 06:47AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Spotify has announced that it will soon offer its members a family plan subscription. Dubbed Spotify Family, the new plan is one of the most asked for features from the Spotify audience according to the Chief Content Officer for the company, Ken Parks. Spotify Family will offer household members with independent Spotify Premium accounts that feature separate listening histories, playlists, and recommendations. According to Spotify, the new subscription option will offer a 50 percent savings for each additional member, meaning that new members under the plan will only cost $5 each. The plan does feature a five person maximum, though that should not be an issue for most families access the music streaming service under Spotify Family.

Spotify Family is set to roll out globally in the coming weeks.

Source: Press Release


Rdio Converts Its Music Library to AAC

Category: Internet
Posted: October 17, 2014 11:09AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Rdio, an online music service that is currently available in 60 countries across the world, has converted its entire music library to AAC. The file format is generally more data efficient and offers better sound quality than a MP3 digital music file, and is available immediately through the audio quality settings menu within Rdio. In addition, the online music service now offers 320kbps streaming across web, Android, and iOS applications. Rdio previously defaulted to 96kbps MP3 streaming, but users can now choose streaming bitrates of 64kbps, 96kbps, and 320kbps, though Rdio Unlimited subscribers are the only ones who can access the 320kbps streaming bitrate.

This news comes roughly six months after Rdio announced a joint venture with Bob Weir that was aimed at improving audio quality while sparking discussions about the unfairness of streaming audio quality.

Source: CNET



Sprint Confirms WiMax Network Shut Down in November 2015

Category: Internet
Posted: October 9, 2014 04:20AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Sprint has confirmed that it will shut down its WiMax network on November 6, 2015. The wireless giant first introduced its WiMax network in 2008 in an effort to provide a mobile data network that would be faster than the 3G networks offered by itself and other national carriers. Although the network for WiMax was built and operated by Clearwire, which Sprint acquired in 2013 thanks to the Softbank takeover, LTE soon surpassed the Sprint data network and became the standard technology for 4G. Sprint has recognized this for some time, as both it and Clearwire revealed in 2010 that it would conform to the LTE standard, thereby leaving WiMax behind. Today, Sprint focuses all of its energy on its Spark network, an enhanced 4G LTE service that is currently available in 29 cities.

Source: PCWorld



Pre-Ordering Now Supported by Google Play Movies

Category: Internet
Posted: October 8, 2014 04:04PM
Author: Brentt Moore

Google Play Movies has been updated to version 3.3, which incorporates the usual bug fixes but also introduces support for pre-ordering. Google Play users can now find select films through the desktop website or the mobile platform that are available for pre-order and select whether to purchase the films in standard or high definition. Films that are pre-ordered through Google Play Movies will be added to the user's library and will be available to stream on the day that they are released. The following movies are the only titles currently available for pre-order through Google Play Movies: 22 Jump Street, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Into the Storm, Jersey Boys, Lucy, Maleficent, Planes: Fire and Rescue, Sex Tape, Tammy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Equalizer, and The Maze Runner.

Source: TechHive



Bing Adds Song Lyrics to Search Results

Category: Internet
Posted: October 6, 2014 10:55AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Bing has just announced that it has added the ability to view song lyrics directly within search results. When a user searches for lyrics to their favorite song, Bing will now show full lyrics on the mainline search results page, eliminating the need to sift through website links and third-party sites. According to Bing, the search engine will also provide users with artist, album, and other song related information alongside the main search results in a summarized, snapshot form.

Bing currently supports over half a million songs, but revealed that it will support more songs in the coming weeks.



Drive for Education Launched by Google

Category: Internet
Posted: September 30, 2014 09:15AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Google has officially launched Drive for Education, which is available to students who make use of Google Apps for Education. The new offering provides students with unlimited storage along with the ability to store files up to 5TB in size, which is more than virtually any user will need. In comparison, unlimited storage is also offered to Drive for Work users, the premium offering of Google Drive that costs business users $10 per month. Before this announcement, users of Google Apps for Education could only access 30GB of storage for free.

Google Drive for Education is available for all non-profit educational institutions at no charge and will be available to all Google Apps for Education users over the coming weeks.

Source: Google for Education



Spotify Launches in Canada

Category: Internet
Posted: September 30, 2014 06:15AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Canadian residents can now officially access Spotify, the extremely popular music subscription service that currently boasts a catalog of 20 million songs and 40 million active users. Music fans located in Canada can listen to music online, on the desktop application, and on a mobile device for free, though advertisements appear in between songs. For those who wish to use Spotify without the advertisements, a $10 CAD monthly subscription exists that removes the product and service commercials and also adds offline playback capability.

With the addition of Canada, Spotify now covers a total of 58 countries around the world.

Source: CNET



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