Internet

Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google will change its controversial privacy policy in the UK, acquiescing to regulators who maintain the search giant's attempts to simplify its terms & conditions in fact left them half-baked. The agreement, announced today by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK, will see Google make changes to how it collects, uses, and communicates user data by June 30, 2015, with more adjustments over the coming two years. It's another pain point in what has been a nearly three year long headache for Google, which revealed its new approach to privacy back in early 2012.

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Reddit’s first Transparency Report shows few data requests

Reddit’s first Transparency Report shows few data requests

Because it's January, companies have been dropping their latest transparency reports detailing government data requests from the second half of 2014 -- we saw Dropbox's earlier this morning, for example. Reddit, being the massively popular website that it is, is no doubt hit with data requests, but as its first-ever Transparency Report shows, they're relatively few and far between. Despite having 174 million or so regular visitors, the site was the recipient of only 55 user data requests in 2014.

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Imgur just made GIF creation much easier with free online tool

Imgur just made GIF creation much easier with free online tool

Creating a GIF might seem like witchcraft to the uninitiated, but it’s really not that difficult. Apps like GIFBrewery for OS X make quick work of taking your videos from full-length to looping clips in seconds. Thanks to Imgur, you can do the same with any video, now. Via their GIF creation tool, which is now live, videos from a hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo can become GIFs. Keep in mind that whatever GIF you create becomes public domain.

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FCC rules broadband Internet must be 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up

FCC rules broadband Internet must be 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up

The FCC just took a bold step in the right direction. We’d previously reported the agency was discussing a reclassification on what broadband Internet actually is, with a proposal to raise the threshold to 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds for broadband. All the talk actually led somewhere, and the FCC is settled on that redefinition of 25/3Mbps as broadband. The previous definition of broadband was 4Mbps download, and 1Mbps upload. While this doesn’t change what your Internet provider offers, it does change how they present it.

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Google, others could be ‘accomplices’ to hate speech under French law

Google, others could be ‘accomplices’ to hate speech under French law

France is preparing to draft a new law, and under it Google, Twitter, and other tech companies like them would be considered accomplices to hate speech if extremist messages are hosted on their services. The announcement was made on Tuesday by France's President Francois Hollande, and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will be traveling to the United States soon in an effort to build favor among tech companies. This follows the nation's tragic terror attack earlier in January, and the subsequent efforts to squash extremist communications.

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Dropbox Transparency Report for latter 2014 adds more details

Dropbox Transparency Report for latter 2014 adds more details

Dropbox is one of many companies that provides regular transparency reports, something it started doing a few years ago with a steadily increasing number of details. The cloud storage company has released its report for the second half of 2014 (July to December), and with it likewise comes an increase in details, the most notable of which is the inclusion of data on government data requests that come from outside of the US, making it more relevant for non-US users.

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VexBox disciplines teens with slow internet

VexBox disciplines teens with slow internet

The device we're looking at today is a box that hooks up to your home internet network to slow it down. Madness, you say? This device is made for parents of teenagers. Parents who, apparently, do not allow their children to own smartphones. This box controls the internet speed of your router, slowing it down to the same speed you'd have had if you clocked in at the birth of widespread internet - 56k and dial-up. Instead of turning the web connection throughout your house off entirely, this device just cuts your internet speed down to a crawl.

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Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes: the strangest album you’ll ever hear

Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes: the strangest album you’ll ever hear

Pay what you like for this album made by Jeff Bridges - yes, that Jeff Bridges: the actor - and discover what it means to be famous. Discover what it is to be a person like Jeff Bridges, complete with Spoken Word interludes between songs played on wind instruments as well as the guitar. If you do pay, you'll find your cash going toward "No Kid Hungry", which does actually happen to be a real non-profit organization, despite its strange name and connection to this man.

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FCC to hotels on WiFi blocking: it’s illegal, don’t do it

FCC to hotels on WiFi blocking: it’s illegal, don’t do it

Marriott may have dropped its WiFi-blocking efforts, but that doesn't mean the FCC has forgotten about its petition and the WiFi-blocking habits of some other companies. In a warning issued today as an "FCC Enforcement Advisory", the agency made it clear that it is not acceptable to jam others' WiFi hotspots regardless of whether you're an individual or a company, and it specifically pointed toward hotels as an example. In addition, the FCC called hotspot-jamming actions a "disturbing trend" that must stop.

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Google Fiber expands toward East Coast

Google Fiber expands toward East Coast

Google's expansion of Google Fiber internet has been an affair to watch, that's for certain. What we've seen over the past several years is the lights turned on in Kansas City, Austin Texas, and Provo. Today, Google made clear that they intend to flip the switch on an additional four cities very soon: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham. This would more than double the amount of cities with the service and would provide the first cities east of Kansas City the option to move in with Google's services.

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