Google has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging the sultan of search placed tracking cookies on computers running Apple's Safari browser that effectively bypassed the browser's built-in privacy measures. It's the largest fine ever handed out by the FTC, and one the government organization hopes will serve as a deterrent to other companies who might look to profit at the expense of privacy.
Online encyclopedia site Wikipedia was generally unavailable around the globe this morning after two cables stretching between Tampa, Florida and Virginia were cut this morning. Depending on location, Wikipedia was either completely dark or extremely slow loading, It took a little over an hour to repair the severed cables, and then another hour to restore service.
Demonoid, one of the Web's largest torrent tracking sites and one of the most popular online destinations overall, has been snuffed out by Ukrainian officials. Demonoid's destruction doesn't come as a complete surprise following a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that knocked the site to the mat last month. Fans of the site hoped it was just a temporary blip and that it would be back up and running before long, but it doesn't appear that's going to happen.
Facebook's much anticipated initial public offering (IPO) turned out to be a pretty big disappointment, and things have only gotten worse since then. The social network's share price fell to $20.88 by the end of Wednesday's trading session, which is 45 percent below its IPO price of $38 and a new low price, dipping below the previous low of $21.61, which occurred a day earlier.
Giving the Web a sense of scale, a guy named Ruslan Enikeev plotted 350,000 of the most popular websites and 2 million links from 196 countries on a colorful, bubble filled map, forming a giant cluster viewers can zoom in and out of on a whim. As you get closer to any particular bubble, the web address it represents comes into view, or you can punch in an address in the search field and Scotty will beam you there.
PokerStars, the largest Internet poker site on the planet, has agreed to acquire former competitor Full Tilt Poker and fork over $184 million in owed money to overseas poker players in order to settle civil charges brought on by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which accused the site of sidestepping U.S. regulations related to online gambling and money laundering. As part of the settlement, PokerStars will also forfeit $547 million to the U.S. government.
In the second Back to the Future flick, Stephen Spielberg envisioned a future with flying cars, one that according to the date on the DeLorean's dashboard is just three years away. That gives GM and company several months to get on the ball, but in the meantime, there are still trains, planes, and land-based automobiles to get from point A to point B. Getting with the times not a moment too soon, Amtrak announced it's now accepting eTickets on all of its trains. Welcome to the Internet era, Amtrak.
They say bad things come in threes, and that was definitely true for folks who rely on the Internet for communications and cloud-based data centers today. The woes started this morning when Google Talk went down and stayed down for several hours. Then Microsoft's Windows Azure service went belly up in Europe, followed by some users running into outage issues with Twitter. And without Twitter, how are you going to complain about the other services being down?
It might be awhile before there's an officially certified 802.11ac standard, but in the meantime, companies are ready and willing to forge ahead with router models based on draft specifications, just as we saw in the draft 802.11n days. Asus is one of them, having just announced the launch of its RT-AC66U 5G Wi-Fi router with greater than gigabit wireless speeds on the 5GHz band.
Just three days after Mozilla released the final version of Firefox 14 to the general public, the browser maker announced that Firefox 15 is available to download in beta form. With Mozilla's rapid release schedule in place, you won't have to wait long for the new build to go gold. Just over a month, in fact, assuming Firefox 15 is released on August 28, 2012 as currently scheduled. Should you wait for the final build to upgrade?