Google intentionally sidestepped privacy settings in Apple’s Safari Browser by using a backdoor to insert cookies that would allow Google to track users browsing habits. This was brought to light after the Wall Street Journal exposed the practice in an article that was posted Thursday night. After the posting of the article, Google said that they had immediately stopped usage of the technique.
Safari, which accounts for about 6% of desktop browsing and more than 50% of mobile browsing, is the only major browser to block so-called third-party cookies by default. When you visit a website, all browsers, including Safari, allow that site to put a small tracking file on your computer, which allows the site to identify a unique user, track what they’ve done and remember settings. However, many sites also have Facebook “Like” buttons, ads served by third parties, weather widgets powered by other sites or comment systems run by a third party.
Google said it used the backdoor so that it could place +1 buttons on ads it places around the web via its Adsense program, so that logged-in Google+ users could press the button to share an ad. Without the work-around, the button wouldn’t be able to tell Google which Google account to link the button to.
As for the repercussions this will have on Google, I have a feeling they will be hearing from the FTC quite soon.
Tonight, starting at 8:00 CST, you will be able to watch President Obama give his annual State of the Union address. The online-only enhanced version of President Obama’s third State of the Union Address features charts, stats and data that helped inform President Obama’s policy decisions. You will be able to watch it at the link I’ve provided below.
Ready or not, Facebook is rolling out it’s new timeline profile layout to all users over the next couple of weeks. Today, in an updated blog post, Facebook said that over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline. When you get timeline, you’ll have 7 days to preview what’s there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it. So are you ready for the new timeline? Let me know in comment section below.
Yesterday, YouTube announced that they have recorded an astounding 4 billion views daily, and that users upload 60 hours worth of video every minute. That’s 1 hour of video every second! It was only in May of 2011, that YouTube had recorded 3 billion views per day. The numbers announced today, show an increase of 25% in just eight months, which is quite an achievement. With some users upset about the new changes YouTube has made to its interface, we will see if this growth continues, All I have to say is that Google has to have some serious bandwidth to handle these types of numbers. Sheesh!
According to a story posted over at Escapist Magazine’s website, an unidentified source has gotten word out that Microsoft is planning to phase out Microsoft Points, in favor of an actual currency based system. Microsoft Points have taken some flak, due to users having to purchase them in pre-determined amounts, in which they have to sometimes purchase more points than they actually need for a particular piece of content. I think this will be a welcome change to the Xbox LIVE community.
Yesterday, Google announced that it would be shutting down the photo editing site Picnik on April 19, 2012, along with a few other services. Google said that the shut down of Picnik is part of their effort to focus their attention on other projects. Picnik, which Google acquired in March of 2010, had seen quite a bit of success in the last year. Many bloggers and social media users were puzzled at Google decision to close Picnik, and were left wondering what service will they use to edit their photos. Picnik has hinted that their image editing features will be implemented into Google+, Google’s newly launched social network. In the time being, all users of Picnik can now access the premium features usually only available to paying subscribers, and all paying subscribers will be refunded. You can read Google’s official announcement at the link below.
Today, Facebook announced on their blog that they have started rolling out a new service that lets you listen to music with a friend who is currently listening to a song through either Spotify or Rdio. If you want to see if a friend is listening to music, just take a look at the chat bar on the right side of your screen. If one of your friends happens to be listening to music on one of the two services, a music note will appear beside their name. To start listening along, simply click on their name, and click on “Listen With (friends name here)”.
You can also chat about the song you are listening to. Multiple people can join, basically forming a party of sorts.
It is almost reminiscent of the music service turntable.fm, where one person acts as the DJ, and decides what music to play. Facebook has said the feature will start rolling out today, but it should be available to everyone on Facebook in a week or two. Let me know what you think of it in the comment section below!
As many of you on the Internet have heard, Congress introduced a bill (2 of them actually) that would give the U.S. government the authority to shutdown any website accused of hosting Pirated content. Fears quickly spread across the internet that it passing this bill would in effect “censor” the internet, and put the United States at the same level of internet censorship as nations such as China and Iran. I personally don’t support the bill, mainly because I want the Internet to be open and free. That is why the Internet has grown into what it is today. It’s single most powerful tool that citizens have in the fight against tyranny.
At CES 2012, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), have been pushing for alternative legislation. Both believe that these two bills will radically change the Internet that we have come to know. Sen. Wyden said,”This bill is going to turn websites into web cops. Instead of having three guys in a garage launching a web based business, you are going to be three people with an upstairs full of lawyers telling you whether or not you can operate a website.”
If you want the internet to stay free and open, please don’t hesitate to contact your State Representatives and tell them why they should not support SOPA. – https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Earlier today, Google unveiled a new search feature that integrates results from your circles on Google+, into your normal Google search. The feature is called “Search, Plus Your World”. Google is touting that this feature will give you more personalized search results, directly from the people you know. Here are some screenshots I captured showing the new feature in use.
As you can see, relevant posts show up according to your search query from those whom are in your Google+ Circles. It even lists users on Google+ who are related to what you searched for. And, if you don’t want posts from Google+ appearing in your search results, there is a button at the top right of the page that looks like the silhouette a person. All you have to do is click on that, and it will toggle off all Google+ results.
If you want to learn more about “Google Search, Plus Your World”, you can visit Google’s official page right here – www.google.com/insidesearch/plus.html