Google should have taken a page from The Outer Limits and told anyone with an Internet connection, "There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission. If we wish to change the font, we will change the font." And that's exactly what Google did -- the sultan of search changed its search page fonts, in part to accommodate an easier way of identifying ad-supported links.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, though if you post a copyrighted image without the owner's consent, it can actually be worth more than that. Much more. One of the most difficult parts about running a frequently updated website or blog is finding amusing images that are legal to use (hello, Creative Commons!). However, it's about to get a lot easier thanks to Getty Images, the world's largest photos service. In a surprise move, Getty Images is freeing up around 35 million photos from its collection spanning over a hundred years so that websites and bloggers can post them without getting smacked in the face by a lawsuit.
The convenience of cloud storage is undeniable: your data and media at your fingertips from any Internet-connected device—what’s not to like? And there’s certainly no shortage of options to choose from, most of which are totally free up to a certain capacity. The trick is deciding which cloud service to use. After all, there are notable differences between them. Some are ideal for security mavens who want to preserve their anonymity (and the anonymity of their data). Others are better for folks just looking for a massive dumping ground for a ton of data. And still others are geared toward those keen on sharing all sorts of files with their friends and colleagues. In this roundup, we’ll break it all down for you and identify the strongest cloud storage services. We’ll also show you how to encrypt files that you store online and how to combine multiple cloud-storage accounts into one unified pot.
Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.
Bizarre hacking incident comes to a happy conclusion
Naoki Hiroshima, original owner of the @N handle on Twitter, claims he routinely fielded offers for his coveted username, including one that was as high as $50,000. People have also tried to steal the rare username from him, though those attempts were unsuccessful until a hacker applied some social engineering skills to ultimately force him to hand it over. It's a bizarre story that involves ineptitude on the part of both GoDaddy and PayPal, though there's a happy ending -- Hiroshima has his username back.
We use nothing but Google's lightweight, cloud-based OS for a week
When Google announced Chrome OS, many people scoffed at the viability of a browser-based OS. Currently, however, Chromebooks are among the most popular inexpensive computing devices today. The search giant has done a great job of making an OS that is light enough to function on entry-level Atom-based SOCs and even low-powered ARM silicon. With the launch of many new Chromebooks (click hear to find out which one we think is the best chromebook) we wanted to see if a person could survive with a Chromebook playing games, videos, word processing and more for an entire week. Read on to see how the OS fared against Windows in our seven-day challenge.
Microsoft's rebranded SkyDrive service, now known as OneDrive, is now available globally, the Redmond outfit announced in a blog post today. If you're already a registered SkyDrive user, don't fret, your data is still there. Furthermore, there are a few incentives to sign back in (or sign up to OneDrive), such as a new automatic camera backup feature for Android, along with different ways to increase your storage ceiling.
Notice to new Firefox users: You've been served (ads)
Mozilla has decided that the best course of action going forward is to fill all those blank squares in new tabs with sponsored content (ads, for the layman). The new initiative is called Directory Tiles and it's intended to "improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience," or at least that's the sales pitch from Darren Herman, Mozilla's Vice President of Content Services. It's his job to diversify revenue and sustain Mozilla's mission through innovation in content and personalization products, and this is one way he plans to do that.
Microsoft co-founder makes his second Reddit AMA appearance in a year
It was almost a year ago to the day when Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates jumped into an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit. There have been a lot of changes since then culminating in the promotion of Satya Nadella to Chief Executive Officer, who replaced outgoing chief Steve Ballmer. Bill Gates addressed that topic and more in another Reddit AMA today, and also revealed his "most expensive guilty pleasure purchase."
Attention Surface owners and anyone else rocking a touchscreen display with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, there's a version of Firefox you might be interested in. Mozilla today made its "Firefox for Windows 8 Touch" beta available to download, so you can tap and swipe your way through cyberspace the way you do on the Start screen. The browser has a new tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to Top Sites, Bookmarks, and History.
Google has reached a settlement with the European Union that effectively ends an antitrust investigation that had been ongoing for more than three years. Under terms of the deal, Google agreed to alter the search results shown in Europe so that competitor's webpages are "clearly visible" when users look up specialized services such as lodging and restaurants. Going forward, European users will see services of three rivals in the same way that Google shows its own services.