SOPA author withdraws controversial anti-piracy bill

Law Lamar Smith, the author of America's proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), has withdrawn the controversial bill. According to Reuters, the Texas congressman decided to pull the bill in the wake of mass online protests from people in the US and abroad. Smith's decision comes shortly after US Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said, "in light of recent events" he would postpone a critical vote that had been scheduled for January 24. Smith said that similar legislation would not be considered ...


SOPA is dead, Twitter cheers

The internet rejoiced as news of Stop Online Piracy Act's (SOPA) death spread like wild fire. The controversial bill has been the talk of the internet for the last week. A call to action from internet titans such as Google and Wikipedia saw the web go black on Wednesday in protest of a bill that they said would threaten the very nature of the net. Following Texas Congressman Lamar Smith's decision to pull the bill late Friday, "SOPA is dead" ...


Google cans Picnik, Social Graph API and open sourcing Sky Maps

Google’s spring cleaning campaign continues. The company just announced the closure of a number of products, including the popular Picnik online photo editor which, until recently, was integrated into Yahoo’s Flickr, for example. Google is also shutting down a number of underutilized services like the Google Message Continuity email backup service for enterprise customers, its Social Graph API and Urchin, the company it bought in 2005 and that formed the basis for Google Analytics. Needlebase, a database product Google acquired ...

General Tech

4 non-mobile tech trends to look out for in 2012

innovation Everybody is talking about mobiles. If the trends in 2011 were anything to go by, 2012 will revolve around mobile phones and tablet computing. So making predictions and talking about what there is to look forward to is pretty easy if you just want to stick to safe topics. Of course, with Solar Maximum all set for 2012, major solar storms could make it a tricky year for the mobile. So I've decided to take a look at non-mobile related ...

Google, SEO

Why Google’s bid to push G+ might harm search quality

Google Google recently introduced search results heavily influenced by relevant signals from people's social circles and promoting G+ content in its search results. The move is an attempt to boost its nascent Google+ social network, which has had a rocky start. I predicted that this strategy would attract legions of marketers hoping to boost traffic to their client sites through new forms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. A torrent of spam on G+ could risk alienating early users of the social network. It ...

Online media

Angry Birds, Harry Potter: 10 interesting fan fiction sites

Angry Birds The worst moments of a good book, movie or television series are when those final words play out and there is nothing more. The agonising pain you feel when a story you've dedicated seven years of your life to ends and there are still so many unanswered questions. When a network cancels a show without so much as a final all-inclusive episode, what do you do? Enter the world of fan fiction, where no matter what the networks or the author ...


Bill Gates is better than Batman [Infographic]

Batman's pretty damn cool, with his cowl, cape and gravelly crime-fighting voice, but is he as cool as Bill Gates? Anyone under the spell of Christopher Nolan’s reignited version of the franchise might just be staring at their screens in beggared disbelief at the idea that anyone could even ask that question. An infographic by financial blogger Frugal Dad, however, looks to make a case for Microsoft's billionaire co-founder. "Obviously most of us don't have the kind of ...


App of the week: AVPlayer HD

This week I take a look at AVPlayer HD, a fully functional and easy to use video player for the iPad that completely blows away the competition with its uncluttered usability and unrivalled format support. I'll be honest, when I first decided to get an iPad 2, I justified it to myself by saying that it would be a great addition to my working life and be used to take and effortlessly share notes in meetings, present strategies to potential clients ...


Russian answer to Twitter sees phenomenal early growth

Russia’s answer to Twitter is reportedly attracting users in their thousands. Owned by the group, Futubura attracted some 17 000 users within 24 hours of launching, Russian state news agency Ria Novosti reported. When the public beta launch of Futubura was announced, CEO Dmitry Grishin released a statement saying: "We are excited by the opportunity facing Futubra as microblogging is a fast growing segment which fits well into the Mail.Ru Group vision of the growth in internet communications. ...


Google+ ‘growing tremendously’, Android still on top

During Google's fourth quarter report on Thursday, Larry Page announced that Google+ now has 90-million global users, showing a 100% growth over the past three months. Page also said that the social network has a 60% "daily engagement" rate. The report showed that the search juggernaut's stock price dipped after "four straight quarters of accelerating growth" in after-hours trading on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Nonetheless, Page is still "excited" about the company's growth. "Google had a really strong ...






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