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  1. Reportedly, the Xperia Z3 will sport a 5.15-inch display with 1,080 x 1,920 pixels - so it’s not going to be larger than the 5.2-inch 1080p screen of the Xperia Z2. The new smartphone should be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.4GHz, helped by an Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM. There’s 16GB of memory inside, while the rear hosts a 20.7MP camera, and the front includes a 2.1MP camera. Android 4.4.4 KitKat should be on board. All in all, the Z3 doesn’t appear to be too different from the Z2, although it’s said that its body is a bit thinner (only 7mm). Rumor has it that Sony intends to announce the Xperia Z3 in September. That’s also when the company might unveil a smaller version of the new device, possibly called Xperia Z3 Compact. Until we hear more on this, you can see some photos that allegedly show the Xperia Z3 below: Source
  2. Google has identified and blocked unauthorized digital certificates for a number of its domains issued by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) of India, a unit of India’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. National Informatics Center (NIC) holds several intermediate Certification Authority (CA) certs trusted by the Indian government’s top CA, Indian Controller of Certifying Authorities (India CCA), which are included in the Microsoft Root Store and so are trusted by a large number of applications running on Windows, including Internet Explorer and Chrome. The use of rogue digital certificates could result in a potentially serious security and privacy threat that could allow an attacker to spy on an encrypted communication between a user’s device and a secure HTTPS website, which is thought to be secure. Google became aware of the fake certificates last Wednesday on July 2 and within 24 hours, the Indian Controller of Certifying Authorities (India CCA) revoked all the NIC intermediate certificates and also issued a CRLSet to block the fraudulent certificates in Chrome. CRLSets enable Chrome to block certificates in an emergency. The search engine giant believes that no other root stores include the Indian CCA certificates, which means that Chrome on any other operating systems, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and OS X were not affected. “Additionally, Chrome on Windows would not have accepted the certificates for Google sites because of public-key pinning, although misused certificates for other sites may exist,” saidGoogle security engineer Adam Langley. Langley added that “Chrome users do not need to take any action to be protected by the CRLSet updates. We have no indication of widespread abuse and we are not suggesting that people change passwords.” It’s the second high-profile incident of a government agency caught issuing fake SSL certificates since December, when Google revoked trust for a digital certificate for several of its domains, mistakenly signed by a French government intermediate certificate authority. Google has taken many measures to advance the security of its certificates, as SSL certificates are still one of the core elements of online security and still, since hundreds of entities issue certificates, it makes the company difficult to identify fake certs that aren’t following proper procedures. One such measure is Google’s recently launched Certificate Transparency project, which provides an open framework for monitoring and auditing SSL certificates in nearly real time. Specifically, Certificate Transparency makes it possible to detect SSL certificates that have been mistakenly issued by a certificate authority or maliciously acquired from an otherwise unimpeachable certificate authority. DigiCert was one of the first Certificate Authority’s to implement Certificate Transparency after working with Google for a year to pilot the project. Google also upgraded its SSL certificates from 1024-bit to 2048-bit RSA to make them more secure and unbreakable. Because longer key length would make it even more difficult for a cyber criminal to break the SSL connections that secure your emails, banking transactions and many more. Source
  3. A recent report shed light on a major bug in Google’s Chrome web browser that causes the batteries in Windows laptops to drain much faster than normal. In fact, the issue could cause laptop batteries to die 25% quicker. The bug causes laptops’ processors to wake up and look for tasks 1,000 times each second instead of 64 times per second, as they should, and users have been advised to avoid using Chrome on Windows machines if they value battery life. But help is on the way: A new report states that Google has acknowledged the issue and is currently working to fix it. A report on Thursday from PCWorld stated that Google is not only aware of the issue, it has a team working to fix it and has made it a top priority. “In a statement to PCWorld, the company noted that the bug has been assigned internally, and that the Chrome team is working to fix it—though only after Morris shined a spotlight on the issue,” PCWorld’s Jared Newman reported. “The long-standing bug report has been bumped up to priority one.” Unfortunately, no timeline was given for a fix. Source
  4. Not too long ago, Microsoft-owned Nokia decided to try a new approach in order to be a bit more competitive in this app-driven market. With that, they released the Android-powered Nokia X and Nokia X2 models. While not “Google Android,” these emerging market devices allowed users to sideload standard Android apps, as well as connect to Nokia’s (and Opera’s) Android app store. This allowed users looking for a Nokia device to enjoy a much wider app catalog than what is available on Windows Phone. Now, this is likely to be coming to a close, as Microsoft refocuses its portfolio to better position Lumia in the affordable smartphone segment. This will be done by repurposing upcoming Nokia X devices as Windows Phone-powered Lumia smartphones. As stated by Executive VP of Microsoft Devices and Services Stephen Elop : We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products. At this point, it is unclear what “select future Nokia X designs” means exactly. Technically, there could be more Android-powered Nokia X devices in the future. But due to the product line’s precarious position in the first place, we wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the case and the X2 is the last Android-powered device we see from Nokia. Source
  5. geeteam

    Motorola Moto G2 Leaked

    Motorola have decided to revisit the G-series of phones with a successor that intends to capitalize on the simple and cost-friendly features of the first G. The model 1068 XT, or Moto G 2nd Generation. The panel of any device is usually the most expensive single piece and the G2 looks to have kept the resolution at 1280 x 720 pixels with a dpi of 320. In a world where 1080p screens and even QHD displays (2560 x 1440 pixels) are becoming standard, the 720p screen still doesn’t look all that bad. Just five years ago, I thought the 320 x 480 (180 dpi) on my HTC Hero looked fine. Heck, even Apple makes such a big deal about having a 326 dpi screen that they gave it a fancy name like Retina Display. The internals of the new Moto G2, however, have been beefed up. The processor is now a quad-core ARM V7 (VFPv4 NEON) with an Adreno 305 GPU. The main, rear-facing camera, will be an 8 megapixel sensor and the phone will have dual-SIM capabilities. That’s all we know right now. No word on physical dimensions, amount of RAM, internal storage or even battery cell size have been leaked as of yet. About the only thing I think is safe to assume is that the Moto G2 will be running at least Android 4.4.x, but, depending on when it’s released it could actually feature Android L. While the first Moto G was $179 when it was released, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside hinted that the Moto G2 could cost even less. Personally, if the phone was announced for around $100 unlocked, I’d really see no reason against picking one up for a “just in case” spare. What do you guys think? Is Motorola on the mark with this budget phone, or is it still not enough? Source
  6. As part of an agreement between Google, the European Commission and its Member States, Google is no longer labeling an app as being free if it contains an in-app purchase. The tech titan is also changing its default setting to make sure that payments are authorized before each in-app purchase is made, unless there is a change made by the phone's user to the default setting. EU Vice President Neelie Kroes, who is charge of the Union's Digital Agenda, said, "The Commission is very supportive of innovation in the app sector. In-app purchases are a legitimate business model, but it's essential for app-makers to understand and respect EU law while they develop these new business models." Besides not calling games "free" when they contain in-app purchases, Google will author guidelines aimed at its developers, telling them not to promote apps and in-app purchases directly to children. Changes are expected to be made before the end of September. It is not clear whether Google plans on making these changes to its Google Play Store sites outside of the EU. "This is the very first enforcement action of its kind in which the European Commission and national authorities joined forces. I am happy to see that it is delivering tangible results. This is significant for consumers. In particular, children must be better protected when playing online. The action also provides invaluable experience for the ongoing reflection on how to most effectively organise the enforcement of consumer rights in the Union. It has demonstrated that cooperation pays off and helps to improve the protection of consumers in all Member States." - Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy Apple also is expected to agree to similar changes for the App Store. Unlike Google though, Apple has yet to commit to making changes, although it has said that it will address the EU's concerns. Obviously then, there is no time frame for when we might see action from Cupertino. The EU and its Member States have also invited game developers to join in the conversation. Source
  7. With the advent of mobile payments and more and more users storing sensitive information on their smartphones, security is becoming a greater concern. That is why the following story is so harrowing: a man’s son was able to reset his Android phone’s password, and all he needed was access to his phone. The following exploit doesn’t require any knowledge of a user’s Google account; all you would need is access to the person’s phone. A Reddit user recounts the process in detail: “I just discovered what seems to me a massive security loophole. Please someone tell me if the following makes any sense. My son was playing on my phone (Galaxy S3). He tried to purchase in app items on Subway Surfer but didn’t know the password. So, he followed the following steps to reset my password from my phone without having to enter any information about the account: Starting from the screen after you click “buy,” 1. Click the question mark next to the password box when asked to confirm password for a purchase.2. Click “forgot password.”3. Click “I don’t know.”4. Leave the selection on the page at “Confirm password reset on my Android Samsung SCH-I535 phone.”5. Click “Yes”6. Click “Allow Password Reset.7. Enter and confirm new Password. And that allowed someone with absolutely no knowledge about my Google account, and access only to my phone, to reset a new password for my entire Google account.”– karcirate (reddit)This exploit has been around for quite some time, however, now that users realize how easy it is, maybe Google should work on beefing up this loophole. What can you do to protect against this? Well, someone would need access to your phone in order to make purchases on it, or rest your password and gain access to your account. Putting a lock-code is probably your best bet against strangers. Hopefully the friends you’d allow access to your phone can be trusted enough to not rack up your cell phone bill or mess with your Google account. Source
  8. Chilling Effects is the largest public repository of DMCA notices on the planet, providing a unique insight into the Internet's copyright battles. However, each month people try to de-index pages of the site but Google has Chilling Effects' back and routinely rejects copyright claims. Each week many millions of DMCA-style copyright notices are sent to sites and services around the planet. Initially the process flew almost entirely under the radar, with senders and recipients dealing with complaints privately. In 2001, that began to change with the advent of Chilling Effects, an archive created by activists who had become concerned that increasing volumes of cease-and-desist letters were having a “chilling effect” on speech. In the decade-and-a-third that followed the archive grew to unprecedented levels, with giants such as Google and Twitter routinely sending received notices to the site for public retrieval. However, while Chilling Effects strives to maintain free speech, several times a month rightsholders from around the world try to silence the archive in specific ways by asking Google to de-index pages from the site. As can be seen from the tables below, Home Box Office has tried to de-index Chilling Effects pages 240 times, with Microsoft and NBC Universal making 99 and 65 attempts respectively. The ‘problem’ for these copyright holders is two-fold. Firstly, Chilling Effects does indeed list millions of URLs that potentially link to infringing content. That does not sit well with copyright holders. “Because the site does not redact information about the infringing URLs identified in the notices, it has effectively become the largest repository of URLs hosting infringing content on the internet,” the Copyright Alliance’s Sandra Aistars complained earlier this year. However, what Aistars omits to mention is that Chilling Effects has a huge team of lawyers under the hood who know only too well that their archive receives protection under the law. Chilling Effects isn’t a pirate index, it’s an educational, informational, research resource. Thanks to Google, which routinely throws out all attempts at removing Chilling Effects URLs from its indexes, we are able to see copyright holder attempts at de-indexing. Earlier this month, for example, Wild Side Video and their anti-piracy partners LeakID sent this notice to Google aiming to protect their title “Young Detective Dee.” As shown below, the notice contained several Chilling Effects URLs. Each URL links to other DMCA notices on Chilling Effects, each sent by rival anti-piracy outfit Remove Your Media on behalf of Well Go USA Entertainment. They also target “Young Detective Dee”. This is an interesting situation that offers the potential for an endless loop, with the anti-piracy companies reporting each others’ “infringing” links on Chilling Effects in fresh notices, each time failing to get them removed. The seeds of the “endless loop” phenomenon were also experienced by HBO for a while, with the anti-piracy company sending notices (such as this one) targeting dozens of Chilling Effects pages listing notices previously sent by the company. While publishing notices is entirely legal, the potential for these loops really angers some notice senders. On April 10 this year a Peter Walley sent a notice to Google complaining that his book was being made available on a “pirate site” without permission. Google removed the link in its indexes but, as is standard practice, linked to the notice on Chilling Effects. This enraged Walley. None of these rantings had any effect, except to place yet another notice on Chilling Effects highlighting where the infringing material could be found. It’s a lesson others should learn from too. Source: TorrentFreak
  9. Over the past few months we've seen much controversy about whether there will be another Nexus smartphone. That's because Google has been rumored to drop this program, and focus on Android Silver, which will incorporate a few devices from more manufacturers than one - but is only said to take shape early next year. Now a new rumor claims that there could in fact be another Nexus phone, and it will launch in November. Interestingly, Motorola is apparently going to be making it. Its codename is Shamu, which fits with the sea creature theme that Google has used so far to assign codenames to Nexus devices. The fact that a product with that codename is in active development has been confirmed, more or less, by the filing of a bug which references it in Google's issue tracker. And Android Police also has another source that talked about it, saying that it will be targeted at US carriers, as well as some in other (yet unnamed) parts of the world. The Shamu has a 5.9-inch touchscreen, which would make it the biggest Nexus phone ever - though phablets have been growing sales at a very fast pace lately, so making one part of the Nexus program would make sense. Perhaps the Nexus 5 will still be sold alongside this new device (which may be called Nexus 6 when it launches). If that happens, we can see a price drop happening for the currently sold phone, so that it becomes even more competitive in that regard. The Shamu will also reportedly feature a fingerprint scanner. Where that will be placed is still a mystery, however. And unfortunately, aside from its screen size and the presence of that sensor, nothing is known about the Shamu just yet. But if it will in fact become the next Nexus smartphone, then we should start hearing a lot more about it soon. All of the above should not be taken for granted, though, for even if at the moment Motorola does have a handset codenamed Shamu in the works, it may not get launched at all, or it may not be a Nexus. Hardware development plans change all the time. If all of this does pan out, then the Nexus 6 may be unveiled by Google alongside the rumored HTC Nexus tablet, to both go on sale when Android L is finally released. Source
  10. The world's biggest copyright holders send Google millions of DMCA notices each week, many of them sent by the most notable anti-piracy companies around. But for reasons best known to themselves, hundreds of thousands being processed by Google are completely useless and a waste of time and money. A major Internet anti-piracy strategy is to trawl the Internet for infringing content in order to send sites a DMCA-style notice. This, if all goes to plan, results in the content, or at the least a link to it, being removed from availability. The world’s largest recipient of these notices is Google and in the interests of transparency the company publishes a report detailing the requests it receives. But while the majority of the requests are processed without further issue, increasing numbers serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Last year alone, Google discarded 21 million takedown requests, either because the claims were invalid or were duplicates of previously sent notices. In 2014 the duplication problem appears to be getting worse, with even the BPI (who in all fairness are more accurate than most with their takedowns) sending large volumes of notices that contain high percentages of links that have already been taken down. Across the Atlantic, Fox – which is the fifth all-time greatest sender of notices (28 million) – is also having difficulty remembering which URLs it has already asked to be erased. How Google can remember what takedowns Fox has already sent and why the studio cannot isn’t clear, but the high percentages in the refusal column suggests the numbers are significant. That being said, these numbers should be put into perspective. The BPI has asked Google to take down more than 86 million URLs and Fox 28 million, so even many tens of thousands of duplicates are a relatively low percentage of the total. However, there is a far more depressing trend that suggests that some anti-piracy companies don’t check to see if the links they’re complaining about are actually infringing copyright at all. The image below shows a selection of notices sent to Google this month by NBC, with a percentage of each rejected by Google. The reason for that is that they’re directed at isoHunt.com, a site that was shut down by NBC’s Hollywood allies last year. The links and the site itself simply do not exist. Another instance, shown below, lists several TV and movie companies plus software companies Adobe and Lynda looking to take down URLs from another allegedly infringing site. Except this one, Hotfile.com, is not only dead, but was actually taken down by the studios themselves. For reference, these notices were sent four days ago and Hotfile closed down last December. To see how prevalent this problem is we dug through the TorrentFreak archives to find sites that have been closed by copyright holders or the police in the last couple of years, to see if anti-piracy companies have updated their records. Despite huge publicity, even now plenty of companies are wasting Google’s time with notices for content hosted on Megaupload, even though it has been closed for two and a half years. Just last month on the Usenet front, publisher Lynda targeted dead-since-last-year NZBsRus. Also living in the past are the people at Viacom, who this month sent a flurry of notices asking for content to be removed from BTjunkie, a site that shut down 30 months ago in the wake of the Megaupload fiasco. Viacom are definitely not on their own though, as this link shows. Finishing up, Warner Bros., whose UK-based anti-piracy group FACT shut down streaming site SurftheChannel in 2012 and helped to get its owner jailed, sent a notice to Google in March asking for it to remove links to The Big Bang Theory. And Fox (shown earlier to be sending lots of duplicates), plus HBO, Evil Angel, NBC and Viacom are apparently still unaware that the UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit shut down Filecrop back in May. Why this activity continues is anyone’s guess, but these takedowns either aren’t subjected to scrutiny or are deliberately passed with the knowledge that they’re invalid. Both options are causing unnecessary workloads for those employed to process them and putting money in the pockets of anti-piracy companies in return for zero effectiveness. Some might argue that’s nothing new. Source: TorrentFreak
  11. Google has decided to do more in the area of Internet security. To help combat this ever increasing problem, they're offering up Project Zero. Essentially, Google will begin hiring "the best practically-minded security researchers and contributing 100% of their time toward improving security across the Internet." Their work will not be limited to just Google products, but will instead be focused on "any software depended upon by large numbers of people." The idea is that researchers will find the threats, then inform only the software developer. Once the OEM has a patch ready, a public bug report will be filed in an external database accessible to anyone. The database will include information on the issue as well as time-to-fix data, discussion about exploitability, etc. The implications of this are huge considering how much money and resources Google has at is disposal. With a major player such as this throwing its hat in the ring, this really can be nothing but a positive to everyone who uses the Internet and has put sensitive information thereon. These days, that's pretty much all of us. Source
  12. geeteam

    An LG Nexus tablet pops up

    According to manifest documents from Indian imports tracker Zauba, somebody has brought a prototype LG Nexus tablet into the country. It sounds pretty reasonable to guess that this may as well be the Nexus 8 we saw mentioned earlier this month in a similar manifest. It may as well be a 10-inch slate as it’s been a while since Google released theirs. The Nexus 8 is anticipated to rock NVIDIA’s 64-bit Tegra K1 chipset along with 2GB of RAM, as well as 16 or 32GB of internal memory. At the back, it should sport an 8MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, along with a 3MP front-facing one for selfies and the likes. There are also rumors of a Nexus 9, an 8.9″ slate with an affordable price tag featuring an Intel Bay Trail-T chipset. Earlier rumors point to HTC as the tablet’s manufacturer, but we’re yet to see any further evidence about that. Source
  13. In the battle of the mobile personal assistants, Google Now seems to have the edge compared to Apple’s Siri. At least that’s what a study conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has found. Google’s service has become slightly more accurate than Apple’s, despite the situation being the opposite last December. Munster used 800 questions about local information, commerce, navigation, general information, and OS commands. Half of those were asked indoors, and half outdoors. Google Now and Siri were tested in both how well they understood what was asked of them, as well as the accuracy of their answers. Google Now managed to give accurate answers to 86% of the questions it heard correctly, compared to 84% for Siri. Back in December, when a similar test was conducted, Apple’s assistant had the lead with 83% to 81%. This time around, Google Now was best at finding navigation data and local and general information. It fared worse than Siri at OS commands, though it has improved in this area lately. Siri was able to answer 4% of queries on its own, without directing the user to a search engine or website. That’s a marked improvement from December’s study, when it managed to do that in less than 1% of the cases. In the end, Google Now went home with a grade of B (up from C+ last year), and Siri had to make do with a B- (also an improvement compared to its C+ from 2013). Source
  14. Google is promoting legal movie services to people who search using piracy related keywords such as torrent, BitTorrent, DVDrip and Putlocker. In what appears to be a bid to steer pirates on a straight course, prominent ad banners are placed above search results, pointing people to Google Play, Netflix, Hulu and other video platforms. Over the past few years the entertainment industries have repeatedly asked Google to step up its anti-piracy efforts. One of the most often heard complaints is that pirated content sometimes ranks better than legal alternatives. Copyright holders want Google to remedy this situation by promoting legal content through higher placement in search results. “Search engines should address the distortive search practices that result in listings and rankings that favor substantially infringing sites,” the MPAA complained earlier. While it seemed that Google had rejected the boosting of legal offerings in results, it appears that the company is now taking measures to address copyright holder concerns. Google has quietly rolled out an update that places banner ads for Google Play and other content platforms above the regular search results if people search for piracy related terms. The banners in question show up on searches for a title of a movie or TV-show in combination with keywords such as “torrent,” “BitTorrent,” or “DVDrip.” As shown below, the first organic result is still a “pirate” site, but the legal options are now clearly visible through the inserted banner. “Breaking Bad Torrent” Initially these new ads were displayed in most of the US and UK. The availability was limited after TorrentFreak reached out to Google before the weekend, but they are still visible to us from a California IP-address. It’s unknown how Google picks the keywords but the banner is also shown when searching for the video format “avi” and even “putlocker,” a popular file-hosting service. The ads do not appear when searching for the movie or TV-show titles alone. They are specifically triggered by the extra ‘piracy’ keyword. For example, the banner shows up when searching for “Noah DVDrip” but not for “Noah DVD,” “Noah rent“, “Noah buy” or Noah paired with a random word. Noah DVDrip In addition to piracy related keywords the ads also appear for more generic searches where pirate sites traditionally rank very high. These include words such as “download,” “watch,” “online” and “view” which often have unauthorized sites in the top results. The “Noah watch” search below is a good example where a banner is placed above the first result, which in this case links to infringing material. Noah Watch TorrentFreak contacted Google but the company couldn’t say why the ads are displayed for these piracy related keywords. A spokesman did confirm that the ads appear for “various searches” and that they are the same format as the Knowledge Graph ads that were rolled out late last year. “These ads will appear after various searches that include specific movie, TV, and music titles,” a Google spokesman told us. Since the availability of the banners was limited overnight the company may still be experimenting with the setup. Unfortunately, Google couldn’t comment further on our findings. Promoting legal content through ads would make sense for Google, as that would satisfy some of the copyright holders’ demands without changing the actual search results. On top of that, it can be quite useful to users as well. Whether the banners will be able to steer people away from pirate sites has yet to be seen though. Source: TorrentFreak
  15. Google is often admonished by music companies for not making pirate music harder to find, but does it deserve that criticism? Tests carried out by TorrentFreak on the Billboard Top 10 reveal that in the majority of cases finding authorized content is quicker and easier than finding pirate downloads. For the past several years Google has been under the hammer for supposedly providing easy access to pirated content online. Criticism has flooded in on both sides of the Atlantic, with record labels and their Hollywood counterparts blaming the search giant for infringement they have little do with. The argument is that Google should take responsibility for what the wider Internet is doing by doctoring its search results and AutoSuggest/AutoComplete features in order to promote legal content while relegating pirate sources to the poor leagues. The record labels claim that little has happened on this front so we decided to carry out some tests of our own. How quickly could we find both legal and illegal popular music using only Google’s search and suggestions? The rules Searching for the current Billboard Top 10, we carried out two searches for each track. One would aim to find infringing content and the other only legal options. We entered no more letters of a song than needed and stopped when Google began guiding us with its AutoSuggest options which we accepted. Any more than ten keypresses or clicks overall would be classed as an abort. Track #1 – Fancy – Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX Search for unauthorized download Google Search Entry – “fancy_” AutoSuggest offered – “fancy mp3″ Best offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 9 Search for authorized track Google Search Entry – “fan” AutoSuggest offered – “fancy” Best Offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 5 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #2 Rude – MAGIC! Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “rud” AutoSuggest offered – “rude mp3″ Best Offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 6 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “rud” AutoSuggest offered – “rude magic” Best Offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 5 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #3 Problem – Ariana Grande Featuring Iggy Azalea Search for unauthorized download Google Search Entry – “probl” AutoSuggest offered – “problem ariana grande mp3″ Best Offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 7 Search for authorized track Google Search Entry – “prob” AutoSuggest offered – “problem ariana grande” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 5 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #4 – Am I Wrong – Nico & Vinz Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “am_” AutoSuggest offered – “am i wrong mp3″ Best offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 6 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “am i w” AutoSuggest offered – “am i wrong nico and vinz” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 8 Winner: Pirate option (MP3Skull) ————————————————————————————— #5 Stay With Me – Sam Smith Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “stay_w” AutoSuggest offered – “stay with me sam smith mp3″ Best offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 9 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “stay” AutoSuggest offered – “stay with me” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 5 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #6 Wiggle – Jason Derulo Featuring Snoop Dogg Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “wigg” AutoSuggest offered – “wiggle jason derulo mp3″ Best offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 7 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “wig” AutoSuggest offered – “wiggle jason derulo” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 5 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #7 – Summer – Calvin Harris Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “summer_” AutoSuggest offered – “summer calvin harris mp3″ Several ‘pirate’ results failed. Total keypresses and clicks before listening = Aborted (more than 10) Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “sum” AutoSuggest offered – “summer” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 5 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #8 All Of Me – John Legend Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “all_o” AutoSuggest offered – “all of me john legend mp3″ Best Offer: MP3Fon (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 8 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “all_of_me_j” AutoSuggest offered – “all of me john legend” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 13 Winner: Pirate option (MP3Fon) ————————————————————————————— #9 – Maps – Maroon 5 Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “maps_maro” AutoSuggest offered – “maps maroon 5 mp3″ Best offer: MP3Skull (second result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 12 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “maps_m” AutoSuggest offered – “maps maroon 5″ Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 8 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— #10 – Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon Search for unauthorized download Google Search entry – “turn_d” AutoSuggest offered – (turn down for what mp3) Best offer: MP3Skull (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 9 Search for authorized track Google Search entry – “turn” AutoSuggest offered – “turn down for what” Best offer: Vevo (top result) Total keypresses and clicks before listening = 6 Winner: Legal option (VEVO/YouTube) ————————————————————————————— Conclusions From the above results we can see that when using only a song title and then taking Google’s suggestions, most of the time those searching for pirate content will take longer to access it than those looking to go legal. However, what we’re talking about here is a difference of a handful of clicks, which is hardly the accessibility chasm the RIAA and BPI were aiming for. Pressuring Google and sending millions of DMCA takedown notices every month appears to have had little effect on pirate availability. Also, it’s also worth noting that if the YouTube/Vevo results were ignored in our tests or removed from Google results altogether, finding legal alternatives would become much harder since iTunes and similar sites are rarely, if ever, on the first page of Google results following either a ‘pirate’ or ‘legal’ search for music. Google has told the record labels that they need to do something about that themselves, by making their sites more crawlable, but it appears that security concerns have hindered progress on that front to the point that sites like MP3Skull with relatively tiny budgets can beat them at every turn. It’s difficult to blame anyone but the labels and their partners for that problem. Source: TorrentFreak
  16. An announcement later this week will confirm Google as a member of a new coalition to cut off "pirate" sites from their ad revenue. Following similar initiatives in the U.S. and UK, a Memorandum of Understanding between the online advertising industry and the music and movie industries in Italy will signal a creation of a central body to tackle the piracy issue. There is a theory in the entertainment industries that if running torrent, file-sharing or streaming sites makes no commercial sense to their operators, then they will soon wither and die. Every week there are often aggressive opinions published on why cutting off revenue is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the online piracy war. This crescendo has already grown into notable action in both the United States and United Kingdom. Later this week a new initiative will be presented to the public, and the fact that Google is onboard will no doubt help to promote the completeness of the effort. Continuing the European effort after the UK, this Thursday in Rome, Italy, a coalition of key advertising players plus the main anti-piracy groups of the music and movie industries will announce the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding. The announcement, taking place at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s IAB Events 2014 conference, will see the IAB, music industry anti-piracy group FPM and Fapav (the Italian MPAA) announce a new coalition to deprive revenue from pirate sites. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Enzo Mazza, chief at music industry group Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI), explains how the initiative will work. “IAB Italia, the local branch of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has been very active in discussing with music and movie associations a self-regulation approach to promote an effective action to prevent advertisers from posting ads on rogue sites,” Mazza explains. “IAB already educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. In our goal the agreement should promote a cooperation in order to implement effective measures to prevent ads being placed on rogue sites and to quickly remove any ads that are found to have been so placed.” Having Google on board is also a plus, Mazza says. “Google is already doing a lot of efforts in this area and the company promoted a strategy so-called ‘follow the money’ which we consider part of a general strategy based on enforcement on one side, self-regulation and legal offer on the other side.” Mazza says that a joint committee compromised of MoU signatories will be created to oversee the technical implementation of the project, with consideration given to how similar schemes are operating elsewhere. This will include the auditing of advertising companies and networks for compliance with a code of conduct respectful of intellectual property rights. On a day-to-day basis the committee will receive complaints from rights holders detailing the appearance of advertising on “rogue sites” and take action on these with brokers and the advertisers themselves. Whether they will be able to cut through the complex and labrynthine mechanisms often employed by such sites will remain to be seen. The Memorandum of Understanding has been passed to the Italian competition authority for approval and while the project is clearly in the early stages, momentum is clearly there. Source: TorrentFreak
  17. Following in the footsteps of the movie and music industries, media conglomerate News Corp is now going after Google over the copyright infringement issue. Chief executive Robert Thomson urges Google to change its algorithms to demote and remove pirated content, to stop the ever increasing piracy rates. Slowly but steadily various entertainment industry groups are applying increasing pressure on Google. Previously the movie industry and record labels have highlighted that Google has a significant stake in pointing the public to pirate sites, and they are now joined by News Corp. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation spin-off owns various major newspapers and also has a significant stake in Foxtel, the Australian pay television network which airs the heavily pirated Game of Thrones series. News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson says its a thorn in the side of the company that hundreds of thousands of Australians pirate the popular TV-show, instead of buying a Foxtel subscription. With the piracy numbers increasing year-after-year it’s now time for action, and Thomson believes that Google should step up its efforts. “For a company to have a sophisticated algorithm that knows ­exactly where you are and what you’re doing and maintains ignorance on piracy is an untenable contradiction,” Thomson said in an interview with The Australian. Thomson notes that Google could easily demote links to pirate sites in their search results, and eventually remove these sites altogether. Implementing these anti-piracy algorithms would be a significant step to address the ongoing piracy problems. “There’s no doubt that search giants need to be held to account. It’s obvious that it is illegal content or content accessed illegally,” Thomson says. Thomson is backed by Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein, who sees no excuses for the rising piracy rates now that they’ve made the show available in a timely manner. “We made Game of Thrones available at a good price on Foxtel Play and yet it was still heavily illegally downloaded. The longer this goes on the more people don’t seem to think of it as theft which is what it is,” Freudenstein says. The good price Foxtel’s boss is referring to is roughly $500 USD to access the fourth season of Game of Thrones, or $50 USD per episode. Needless to say, this is still rather expensive for the average teenager. Thus far Google has taken some steps to address the piracy issue, but the search giant refuses to remove entire domains from its search results without proper takedown notices. Contrary to Foxtel and News Corp, Google previously advised the Australian Government not to implement draconian ant-piracy legislation. According to Google piracy is mostly an availability and pricing problem, which is best tackled with innovation instead of legislation. “We believe there is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem. We would encourage the Government to promote new business models and a free marketplace for legal purchasing of content,” Google noted. Source: TorrentFreak
  18. The future of technology well and truly lies in wearables. And at the forefront of this race are big names like Pebble, Motorola with their recently announced Moto 360, and LG with their G Watch offering. The announcement of the Moto 360 and LG G Watch came when Google unveiled its Android Wear smartwatch OS back in March of this year, giving manufacturers and developers alike a platform to come up with interesting smartwatches with great smartphone-connected features. The aforementioned smartwatches gained storm due to their unique form factors and unique feature sets, but at this point many key details are missing in action, such as the internal specifications of the smartwatches themselves. But today, thanks to a leak courtesy of UpLeaks on Twitter, we can get a fairly good idea about the muscle which the LG G Watch packs once it lands on our wrists this summer. So, what will we get when the G Watch manifests itself this summer? For starters, it will come with a 400mAh lithium-polymer battery giving it a stand-by time of 36-hours, and has the capability to charge from zero to full in under 2 hours. On the display front, the G Watch features a TFT LCD display (no OLED, sorry), and packs a screen resolution of 280×280 on a 1.65-inch panel. Coming to the wireless end, the G Watch will be able to pair with your smartphone using Bluetooth 4.0, assuring that you get through your day thanks to its low power nature. Source
  19. The 2014 FIFA World Cup fever is at an all time high and we’re looking for ways to keep tabs on our favorite team as they make their way to the top of the charts, and if you’re a user of Google Now on iOS and Android, then tracking your favorite team just got a lot easier. Just moments ago, the official Google Search for iOS app was updated which allows users to see live score updates in form of cards in real time as each game unfolds. Android users also get the taste of the action, and adding your teams on both iOS and Android is as simple as scrolling all the way down on the Google Now interface and then tapping on the little magic wand button, from there you can add the teams you want to follow. And users don’t need to update anything on their device to get in on the action. According to the changelog of the Google Search app on iOS: Google Search is getting ready for the Soccer World Cup with Google Now cards that keep you updated on every match. You can tap on cards showing a match to get details: scorers, match statistics, group standings and more. Make sure you are signed in to Google, and have your Google Now turned on in your settings. Swipe up to see your Google Now cards and follow your favorite team! Source
  20. Are you a Google Wallet user on iOS that has been looking for a faster way to use the service to buy your stuff? Well you’re in luck, as Wallet’s 2-tap instant checkout’s been made available for Apple’s mobile platform. Android users have had access to the fast buying fun for quite a while now, but now iOS users can get in on the action as well. It’s known as Google’s Instant Buy API, and with it enabled, when you shop on your mobile device all you need to do is click the “Buy with Google” icon on the checkout page, click twice, and make your purchase. All of this quick buying may seem insecure, but your data should be safe with Google. Big G houses your information on their private servers and only shares them with the merchant until after you verify the transaction. Just don’t let your phone get in the hands of anyone who is a click-happy fiend. The implementation of Google Wallet’s instant buy has encouraged mobile payments more frequently, so merchants are more than happy to support it on their sites. It’s been reported that many shopping carts were ditched when it came to the checkout page, as many mobile users get annoyed with inputting credit card information on their mobile devices. This doesn’t mean that just any company will be given Google Wallet support. They need to apply to Google to gain access to using the service, and right now, there is a waiting list for Wallet integration approval. Watch Google Wallet in action Source
  21. In what is being viewed as an over-broad action with serious implications, a Canadian court has ordered Google to completely block a group of websites from its worldwide search results. The ruling was handed down despite Google's protestations that the court has no jurisdiction over Google locally or in the United States. Google’s dominance of the Internet, particularly in search, has seen the company become embroiled in the disputes of countless other companies. Day after day, Google is expected to take action in third parties’ intellectual property complaints to avoid becoming liable itself. Prime examples can be found in the millions of DMCA-style notices the company processes each week. Google must remove those entries or face being accused of facilitating infringement. Another case that Google has become involved in, Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, sees two Canadian entities face off (the latter previous employees of the former) over stolen intellectual property used to manufacture competing products. While Google has no direct links to the case, the plaintiffs claim that the company’s search engine is helping to direct people to a network of websites operated by the defendants which are selling the unlawful products. Google already removed links from its Google.ca results voluntarily, but that wasn’t enough for Equustek who wanted broader action. In a ruling handed down in British Columbia, Justice L.A. Fenlon agreed, ordering Google to remove the infringing websites’ listings from its search results. Despite protestations from Google that any injunction should be limited to Canada and Google.ca, the Judge targeted Google’s central database in the United States, meaning that the ruling has worldwide implications. “I note again that on the record before me, the injunction would compel Google to take steps in California or the state in which its search engine is controlled, and would not therefore direct that steps be taken around the world,” the Judge wrote. “That the effect of the injunction could reach beyond one state is a separate issue. Even an order mandating or enjoining conduct entirely within British Columbia may have such extraterritorial, or even worldwide effect.” Noting that Google did not complain that an order requiring it block the websites would “offend” the law in California where it is based, or any other country from where a search could be carried out, the Judge said that the search giant acknowledged that most countries would recognize that dealing in pirated products was “a legal wrong.” Further detailing her decision, Judge Fenlon compared Google to an innocent warehouse that had been forbidden from shipping out goods for a company subjected to an injunction. That local order not to ship could also have broader geographical implications. “Could it sensibly be argued that the Court could not grant the injunction because it would have effects worldwide? The impact of an injunction on strangers to the suit or the order itself is a valid consideration in deciding whether to exercise the Court’s jurisdiction to grant an injunction. It does not, however, affect the Court’s authority to make such an order,” she wrote. The Judge also touched on the futility of ordering a blockade of results only on Google.ca, when users can simply switch to another variant. “For example, even if the defendants’ websites were blocked from searches conducted through www.google.ca, Canadian users can go to www.google.co.uk or www.google.fr and obtain results including the defendants’ websites. On the record before me it appears that to be effective, even within Canada, Google must block search results on all of its websites,” she explained. The nature of the ruling has raised concerns with lawyer Michael Geist, who notes that despite being issued by a local court, the ruling has attempted to match Google’s global reach. “The issues raised by the decision date back to the very beginning of the globalization of the Internet and the World Wide Web as many worried about jurisdictional over-reach with courts applying local laws to a global audience,” Geist explains. “While there is much to be said for asserting jurisdiction over Google – if it does business in the jurisdiction, the law should apply – attempts to extend blocking orders to a global audience has very troubling implications that could lead to a run on court orders that target the company’s global search results.” While Google has a little under two weeks to comply with the injunction, its representatives told The Globe and Mail that the decision will be appealed. Source: TorrentFreak
  22. Today Nokia rolled out an update for the Store making it even easier to browse the app catalog and install new apps. The new Store comes with new fresh and easy to use user interface and navigation. There are now buttons for quick install/update apps right from within the app lists. There is a dedicated widget for your homescreen that displays some of the most popular apps of the week. The Nokia Store update is now available on Nokia X, X+ and XL and weighs about 1.5MB. You can get it by just opening the Store and agreeing to update. Source
  23. geeteam

    SwiftKey goes free on Android

    Popular Android keyboard application SwiftKey today decided to drop its $3.99 price tag and go free on the Play Store. The change comes with the latest update, that also brings with it many other features. One of the features is a new content store that will let you download premium themes for the keyboard. SwiftKey previously came with a handful of themes built-in, but now you can download more from their store. Those who previously purchased the keyboard will get premium themes worth $4.99 for free. Other than that, there is also now support for emoji, so if you have a phone running Android KitKat, you won’t have to switch over to the stock keyboard to be able to enter emoji. There will also be an optional new number row now that lets you enter numbers without having switch to the special characters mode. Other features include an improved prediction engine, new languages support (Belarusian, Mongolian, Tatar, Uzbek and Welsh), new and improved flow trails and a new default theme – ‘Nickel’. Download Link Playstore Alternative http://www.tusfiles.net/l6sdivkw0ise Source
  24. Google Inc said on Tuesday it is acquiring satellite company Skybox Imaging for $500 million (298.41 million pounds) in cash, the Internet company's second high-profile acquisition of an aerospace company this year. Google said that Skybox's satellites will provide images for Google's online mapping service. Google, the world's No.1 Internet search engine, said that Skybox's technology could also eventually be used to provide Internet access and help with disaster relief. The acquisition of the five-year old company comes as Google and rival Facebook Inc (FB.O) are racing to snap up satellite and drone companies in an expensive effort to expand the reach of their businesses. In April Google acquired Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based maker of solar-powered drones, for an undisclosed sum. Google has also launched a small network of balloons designed to deliver Internet access over the Southern Hemisphere. Facebook, the world's No.1 Internet social network, announced in March that it had created a special "Connectivity lab" project tasked with developing satellites, drones and other technology that could be used to beam Internet connectivity to people in underdeveloped parts of the world. Skybox has built satellites packed with sensors and camera electronics that take high-resolution images and video of the earth but which it says are smaller and lighter than traditional satellites. The company, which like Google is based in Mountain View, Calif, has launched one satellite and had planned to launch a constellation of 24 satellites, according to the company's website. "The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision," Skybox said on in its Website on Tuesday in a message announcing the deal with Google. Google said the deal's closing is subject to regulatory approvals in the United States. Shares of Google were down less than 0.5 percent at $568.07 in midday trading on Tuesday. Source
  25. Google started rolling out a massive improvement to voice search in the Google Search app last week by enabling "Ok Google" hotword detection everywhere. Really cool, but it has been slowly making its way to users on a per-account basis. Tired of waiting? Just a few taps, and you can (maybe) get instant access to the feature. Just open the search app and do a text search for "Okay Google Everywhere." That's it. Seriously. Go back to your Google Now voice settings and you should see the Ok Google section now has options for detection on any screen and the lock screen (yes, they are separate toggles). "I know this sounds a little crazy, but we tested it ourselves and are three for three so far. One minute the option isn't there, and the next it is. Crazy, no? It might not work for everyone, but it seems to at least work most of the time. It's still totally possible that we're suffering from some sort of mass delusion, but give it a shot anyway." - AP Source
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