search en Firefox 34 Arrives with Yahoo as Default Search Engine, Doesn't Switch Automatically <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/firefox_yahoo.jpg" alt="Firefox yahoo" title="Firefox Yahoo" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Mozilla chooses the less obtrusive path</h3> <p>It's the end of the Google era at Mozilla. <strong>Firefox 34 is available to download today</strong>, and with it comes Yahoo as the new default search partner in the U.S. However, don't fret if you're not cool with the change -- Mozilla isn't forcing Yahoo down anyone's throat. If you're content with whichever search engine is currently your default, Firefox will courteously leave it alone, so there's no need to make any changes following today's update.</p> <p>At least that was case when we updated our browser installs. In multiple instances, Firefox left things alone and simply asked if we'd like to switch to Yahoo the first time we fired up the updated build. It's a pretty unobtrusive way of making the transition, especially since it was <a href="" target="_blank">previously reported</a> that Firefox would switch over to Yahoo automatically.</p> <p>Also new to Firefox 34 is the One-Click search functionality. When you type a query into the search field, you'll see a grid of icons appear representing different search engines, like DuckDuckGo, eBay, Bing, and so forth. Just click on any of them to conduct a search for whatever you typed into the field and it will use that search engine without changing your default -- pretty slick.</p> <p>You can find more of what's new in Firefox 34 in the <a href="" target="_blank">release notes</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> browser firefox firefox 34 Mozilla search Yahoo News Tue, 02 Dec 2014 18:12:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 29021 at Microsoft Sends Clip Art into Retirement, Wants You to Use Bing Images <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/clipart.jpg" alt="Clip Art" title="Clip Art" width="228" height="271" style="float: right;" />A casualty of the Internet</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft just shut down its Clip Art library</strong>, and going forward, the company suggests using Bing's image search functionality instead. No problem, most people have already made the transition to web-based image searches when they're in need of a graphic or photographic, just not everyone has been using Bing to hunt down images. In an initial draft of the blog post announcing the change, Microsoft was blunt in saying that usage of the image library in Office has seen a steady decline as users turn towards search engines.</p> <p>Prior to its closure, Microsoft's Clip Art library contained stock pictures of objects, people, animals, scenes, and more. Many were drawn in stick figure form. They were popular additions to school presentations, though as time went on, the rudimentary art became dated.</p> <p>"The Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their devices (phones, tablets, and PCs), OneDrive, and SharePoint. Customers also still have the ability to add images to their documents using Bing Image Search," Microsoft <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>.</p> <p>Microsoft also provided a bit of guidance on how to track down images that are legal to use. The company points out that Bing Image Search uses a copyright filter based on the Creative Commons licensing system and returns links to sources of images provided.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing clip art images microsoft search News Tue, 02 Dec 2014 17:14:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 29020 at Mozilla Picks Yahoo Over Google as Default Search in Firefox for Next Five Years <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/yahoo_firefox.jpg" alt="Yahoo and Firefox" title="Yahoo and Firefox" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Google will become an alternative choice in Firefox, as will DuckDuckGo</h3> <p>There are few things you can count on in life -- death, taxes, and blowhard analysts incorrectly proclaiming the death of the PC. A year ago, we would have added another entry, one that says Google will be the default search in Firefox until the end of time. No one would question it because the two have been so close for so long, but anything can happen when a contract comes up for renewal. And what happened this time is <strong>Mozilla chose Yahoo to replace Google as its default search provider for the next five years</strong>.</p> <p>It's not entirely clear why Mozilla made the decision to end its long-time relationship with Google, though there are some hints if you read between the lines.</p> <p>"In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the Web. In the end, each of the partnership options available to us had strong, improved economic terms reflecting the significant value that Firefox brings to the ecosystem. But one strategy stood out from the rest," Mozilla stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>The very next section in Mozilla's blog talks about "Promoting Choice and Innovation." Going forward, Firefox will do away with having a single <em>global</em> default search provider -- Yahoo will be the default option for searches in the U.S., though not necessarily in other parts of the world. For example, Yandex Search will be the default in Russia and Baidiu will remain the default in China.</p> <p>For Mozilla to be motivated to switch, it's likely Google was either unwilling to budge on being the global default, or offered Mozilla significantly less money to go that route. Either way, Yahoo is giddy as can be over supplanting Google in Firefox, which it hopes will increase its search market share.</p> <p>The reason this matters is two-fold: For one, there are tons of advertising dollars at stake, which makes it highly advantageous to whichever search engine is the default option. And secondly, most of Mozilla's revenue has historically come from these search deals.</p> <p>Yahoo and Mozilla didn't disclose how much the deal is worth, though it's clear Yahoo is the more flexible choice. In addition to supplanting Google, Yahoo will support Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox. Additionally, remember DuckDuckGo, which was featured in our recent <a href="" target="_blank">search engine scuffle</a>? It's growing up fast and is being added as a built-in alternate search option.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Yahoo</a>, it's working with Mozilla to build a clean, modern, and immersive search experience that will launch first to Firefox's U.S. users in December, and then to all Yahoo users in early 2015.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> browser duckduckgo firefox Google Mozilla online search News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:46:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28964 at Use 'Where to Watch' to Search for Legal Video Streaming Options <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/wheretowatch.jpg" alt="Where To Watch" title="Where To Watch" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />New video search site points you in the direction of legal feeds</h3> <p>The six member studios of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have put together a <strong>new website that makes it easy to search for legal streaming sources for TV shows and movies. It's called Where to Watch</strong> and it's currently in beta form. It also works rather well for what it's intended to be, which you'll have to excuse us if we seem surprised -- Hollywood studios haven't exactly been streaming's biggest ally.</p> <p>"We created this website to make things easy for you. We have given you a way to access the creative content you love quickly, simply, – legally and in an ad-free environment," the site's <a href="" target="_blank">About Us page </a>reads. "Using our search tool, you can connect to your favorite films and television shows as they become available across a variety of different channels."</p> <p>If you want to fork over information about where you live, Where to Watch will also provide you with theater times and locations for all the newly released movies that are playing nearby. You can also search for availability in stores and at kiosks, as well as watch trailers and see what's happening behind the scens via original content that gets produced on a daily basis.</p> <p>At present, the search site is only available in the U.S. with no word on whether or not there are plans to go international with it. There's also no app available, though the creators say the site was designed to work well with any size device.</p> <p>As for the sources it runs through when looking for legal streaming options, they include Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Flixster, Paramount Movies, Bravo Now, CNBC Full Episodes, E! Now, Esquire TV Now, Oxygen Now, Sprout Now, Syfy Now, ABC, ABC Family, Disney Movies Anywhere, Vudu, Xbox Video, Sundance Now, SnagFilms, Fandor, Wolfe on Demand, Target Ticket, Movies On Demand, Reelhouse, and IndieFlix.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to give it a test drive.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> movies search streaming tv shows videos where to watch News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:21:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28905 at You Haven't Lost Your Marbles, Google Search Results DO Look Different <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_search_ads.jpg" alt="Google Ads" title="Google Ads" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Google changed its search page fonts</h3> <p>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 <strong>Google did -- the sultan of search changed its search page fonts</strong>, in part to accommodate an easier way of identifying ad-supported links.</p> <p>The good news is, you're not crazy, things definitely look different and it's not because your cat walked across your keyboard and changed some obscure setting, so stop pulling your hair out trying to find it. If you don't like the new look, the bad news is, once again, it's not a setting on your end, so you're mostly stuck with the new look.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post</em></a>, not all users are seeing the new look just yet, though it's likely they will soon. It's part of an ongoing effort by Google to make its search results appear simpler and more unified on mobile devices. Google's senior vice president of search gave us all a heads up in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> last year.</p> <p>In addition to a bigger font size, Google now identifies ad-supported links with a yellow box that says "Ad" underneath a search link. Previously, these links sat on top of a lightly shaded background.</p> <p>Are you seeing the new look? If so, what do you think about the redesign?</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> font Google Internet online search web News Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:04:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 27433 at Rumor: Microsoft May Offer Free Version of Windows 8.1 Bundled with Bing <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_bing.jpg" alt="Bing logo" title="Bing logo" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />Would you upgraded to Windows 8.1 if Microsoft gave the OS away for free?</h3> <p>There are some interesting things happening in Microsoft's world right now. The company has a <a href="">new CEO in Satya Nadella</a>, co-founder Bill Gates figures to <a href="">devote more time</a> as Nadella settles into his new role, and there's an update to Windows 8.1 on the horizon. Depending on what impact that update has on Windows 8.1, <strong>some big changes could be in store, including a free version of Windows 8.1 with Bing</strong>. Here's the scoop.</p> <p>We've already heard rumors of Microsoft <a href="">lowering its Windows 8.1 licensing fee</a> by 75 percent to OEMs who install the OS on machines that retail for less than $250. Microsoft employed a similar strategy in the netbook era, though the Redmond outfit may be even more determined to move more copies of Windows 8.1 this time around since it's only sold <a href="">200 million licenses</a> to date. Compared to Windows 7, that isn't all that impressive.</p> <p>Now we're hearing chatter that Microsoft may offer a free version of Windows 8.1 called "Windows 8.1 with Bing." There are two separate reports, one from <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a> and one over at <em><a href="" target="_blank">ZDNet</a></em>. According to the former, Windows 8.1 with Bing would be offered as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users, with Microsoft's goal being to increase its userbase.</p> <p>Alternately, the Bing-powered version of Windows 8.1 could end up the hands of OEMs in place of discounted licenses. Both sites report there are likely to be some minor changes associated with the freebie SKU, though what exactly they changes would entail isn't yet known.</p> <p>Image Credit:</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing microsoft operating system OS search Software windows 8.1 News Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:38:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 27363 at Google Inks Deal with EU, Dodges Potentially Hefty Fine <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/european_union.jpg" alt="European Union" title="European Union" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />As one dispute ends, another could open up</h3> <p><strong>Google has reached a settlement with the European Union</strong> 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.</p> <p>The deal won't affect search results in the United States, <em>The Washington Post</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a>. However, let's say a user in Europe looks up a gas grill (the example EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia shared during a news conference today). Two boxes would appear, one that shows Google Shopping results and another that's labeled "Alternatives."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Reuters</em></a>, Google avoided what could have been up to a $5 billion fine, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue, by inking this deal, which is valid for the next five years. That's the good news for Google. So what's the bad? The EU may still target Google in a second investigation, this one in relation to Android, though it's unclear exactly what regulators would be looking into.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> antitrust eu Google online search settlement News Wed, 05 Feb 2014 19:30:54 +0000 Paul Lilly 27207 at Google Doodle 4 Art Contest Gives Kids a Chance to Score a $30,000 Scholarship <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_doodle.jpg" alt="Google Doodle" title="Google Doodle" width="228" height="121" style="float: right;" />Creating a doodle with a theme</h3> <p>We've all sat around and doodled during our grade school days, and some of us still do it during board room meetings and any other time our minds wander. Kids today have it better than we ever did -- while our doodles all ended up in the dust bin, <strong>Google will award a $30,000 scholarship to one lucky artist as part of its 2014 Doodle 4 Google competition</strong>, the search giant announced.</p> <p>The winner will also see his or her school receive a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant. However, the contest is themed. Google requires participants to ask themselves the following question: "If I could invent one thng to make the world a better place..."</p> <p>Students in grades K-12 are eligible to submit a single entry (if more than one are received, only the first will be considered and the rest discarded). There are no limits to how many doodles can come from each school, Google states in a related <a href="" target="_blank">FAQ page</a>.</p> <p>You can find more information on the <a href="" target="_blank">2014 Doodle 4 Google</a> website.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> contest doodle education Google online scholarship search News Wed, 05 Feb 2014 15:57:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 27204 at Stephen Elop Mulls Selling Xbox Business and Bing if Chosen CEO of Microsoft <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/stephen_elop_0.jpg" alt="Stephen Elop" title="Stephen Elop" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />A candidate for Microsoft's CEO position is already thinking about big changes</h3> <p>Former Nokia chief Stephen Elop is reportedly on <a href=""><strong>Microsoft's</strong></a> short list of candidates to take over as Chief Executive Officer of the Redmond software giant. He faces some stiff competition -- most notably, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who has a history of turning around big companies -- but if Microsoft ultimately chooses Elop to replace Steve Ballmer, it doesn't appear he would be afraid to make some big, controversial changes.</p> <p>According to a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Bloomberg</em> report</a>, Elop's first order of business would be to emphasize Microsoft's lucrative Office business. Beyond that, however, he would also consider killing or selling off Microsoft's Bing search engine, as well as sell the company's Xbox business. It's not set in stone that he would do that, but according to <em>Bloomberg</em>, he would certainly consider both options if he deemed them non-critical to the company's overall strategy.</p> <p>These are pretty drastic changes, making Elop a sort of wild card if he takes over. Assuming <em>Bloomberg's</em> information is solid, it will be interesting to see if it has any influence on Microsoft's decision. No doubt some big changes are needed and Microsoft is in the midst of a restructuring effort, but selling off its Xbox business and bidding farewell to Bing may not be what Ballmer and company had in mind.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (j_baer)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing console Hardware microsoft search stephen elop xbox News Fri, 08 Nov 2013 18:06:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 26661 at Google Under the Microscope in Brazil for Possible Antitrust Violations <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/brazil_flag.jpg" alt="Brazil Flag" title="Brazil Flag" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Brazil thinks Google may be up to no good</h3> <p>Another day, another antitrust suit. Granted, not all of them are focused on <strong><a href="">Google</a></strong> -- Microsoft's had its fair share of antitrust lawsuits, too -- though this one is, and it's coming from Brazil. Over in Brazil, Google is under investigation for alleged anticompetitive practices involving the use of rivals' content, discouraging their advertisers, and favoring its own product listings in its search results.</p> <p>Microsoft was first to cry foul, according to a statement by Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Reuters</em> reports</a>. However, Microsoft isn't the only one calling shenanigans. Buscapé and Bondfardo, a pair of comparison shopping sites in Brazil, have accused Google of "scraping," or reproducing product reviews from their users.</p> <p>The two sites also allege that Google plays favorites to Google Shopping on its general web search by making it the only price comparison tool that includes photos, prices, and evaluations.</p> <p>Google said it is cooperating with Brazilian regulators in the investigation.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> antitrust brazil Google microsoft search News Fri, 11 Oct 2013 18:22:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 26484 at Facebook Changes Privacy Policy, Makes Nearly Everyone Searchable <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u162579/fb_icon_325x325.png" alt="Facebook logo" title="Facebook" width="140" height="140" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal;">Opting out of search is now impossible—unless you’re a minor</span></h3> <p>At one point in time, it was possible to keep your <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;</strong>profile nearly invisible. Using a now defunct setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” users were able to remove their name from search results. The feature’s been gone for people who weren’t using it, but it’ll be permanently removed for everyone in the next few weeks.</p> <p>In an official blog <a href="" target="_blank">post</a>, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Michael Richter says “the setting made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results.”<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u162579/megaphone_x.png" alt="Facebook change reminder" title="Facebook Change Reminder" width="600" height="228" /></p> <p>If you’ve been using the feature, you should be seeing a notice on your homepage reminding you about the change. For everyone else, it’s yet another privacy feature that we can’t make use of.&nbsp;</p> <p>What do you think about the change? Is it enough to make you quit Facebook? Tell us in the comments.</p> <p><em>Follow Ben on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</em></p> facebook graph search privacy policy search News Fri, 11 Oct 2013 16:31:45 +0000 Ben Kim 26478 at Steve Ballmer Believes Google Has Reached Monopoly Status <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steve_ballmer_10.jpg" alt="Image credit: D.Begley/Flickr" title="Image credit: D.Begley/Flickr" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Ballmer drops the "M" word at Google</h3> <p>There was a time not all that long ago that when you heard the word "monopoly" being used in tech circles, it was often directed at Microsoft. Some would still argue that Microsoft is a monopoly, but underscoring the changing of the guard as the market transitions to mobile, Microsoft chief <a href=""><strong>Steve Ballmer</strong></a> tossed the "m" word at Google during an annual meeting with financial analysts.</p> <p>In response to a question about how Microsoft can make money in consumer services, Ballmer pointed out that Google has found a way, and then added a bit of a quip in some followup remarks.</p> <p>"They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with," Ballmer said, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>Ballmer points out that Microsoft with its Bing search engine is the only company in the world attempting to compete with Google's dominance in search and advertising. Even though Bing is in second place with a 17.9 percent share of the search market, there's a tremendous gap between it and Google, which commands a 67 percent share.</p> <p>"I do believe that Google's practices are worthy of discussion with competition authority, and we have certainly discussed them with competition authorities," Ballmer added. "I don't think their practices are getting less meritorious of discussion."</p> <p>Ballmer has never been once to mince words, though now that he's <a href="">announced his retirement</a>, there may be even less of a filter between what he's thinking and what he says.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing microsoft monopoly search steve ballmer News Fri, 20 Sep 2013 16:17:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 26348 at Microsoft Revamps Bing for the Modern Era, Makes Search Smarter and Faster <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bing_revamp.jpg" alt="Revamped Bing" title="Revamped Bing" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Building a better Bing</h3> <p>Microsoft spent a considerable amount of time and effort re-imagining Windows into what you see today with Windows 8, but at the same time, the company hasn't forgotten about search. <a href=""><strong>Bing</strong></a> is getting a makeover inside and out, and not a one-and-done type of deal, either. Instead, Microsoft is building the backend of Bing in such a way that it can dynamically evolve with the web and the way people search.</p> <p>To start with, <a href="" target="_blank">Bing has a new logo</a>. It sounds like a simple enough change, though Microsoft claims it conducted hundreds of studies looking at motion, font, color, size, and form. In the end, it settled on a new logo that's "simple, real, and direct."</p> <p>Looking beyond the logo, Microsoft set out to modernize Bing's interface, making it faster, cleaner, and more visually appealing. It also boasts improved predictive search as part of a feature it's calling "Page Zero." What this does is show you popular search results as you're typing in your query. Start typing "Katy Perry," for instance, and you'll see search options for her songs, music videos, her appearance on Sesame Street, and so forth.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/bing_jon_stewart.jpg" alt="Bing Jon Stewart" title="Bing Jon Stewart" width="620" height="495" /></p> <p>Going a level deeper, Bing will help you narrow down search results through "intelligent disambiguation." Let's say you search for Jon Stewart. You might be looking up information about his talk show on Comedy Central, or you could be investigating the host himself. When you type in his name, you're given the option of choosing which of the two you're more interested in, right from within the search box.</p> <p>There's plenty more to digest, which you can read about in <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft's blog post</a> on the topic, or take a test drive of the <a href="" target="_blank">revamped Bing</a> search engine.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing Internet microsoft online search Software News Tue, 17 Sep 2013 16:56:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 26323 at Everyone Exhale, Google is Up and Running Again <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_data_center_0.jpg" alt="Google Data Center" title="Google Data Center" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Southern states briefly affected by Google outage</h3> <p>Have you ever wondered what would happen to the Internet if <a href=""><strong>Google</strong></a> suddenly decided to shut down its operations? It wouldn't quite be on the scale of what some people feared prior to Y2K (planes wouldn't drop from the sky, for example), but it sure would lead to online chaos, given our dependency on Google's varied services, Users in several southern states and parts of the midwest got a taste what a Google-less life would be like yesterday during a temporary outage.</p> <p>Google search and other services were down for more than an hour yesterday morning, from around 9:20 AM ET to 10:40 AM ET. <a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>CNN</em></a>, Google received reports of problems of its service being offline from users in West Virginia, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Georgia. <em>Maximum PC</em> can also confirm that the outage affected parts of South Carolina as well.</p> <p>"The issue was quickly resolved and is now over. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our users there," Google said in a statement.</p> <p>According to updates posted in Google' <a href=";v=status&amp;ts=1373465698089" target="_blank">App State Dashboard</a>, the outage was ultimately caused by a failure of a Google networking component in the Atlanta region. Google says the outage affected less than 0.5 percent of its traffic.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Google outage search News Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:36:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 25903 at Flashback Fun: Type "Atari Breakout" Into Google Image Search <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/breakout.jpg" alt="Breakout" title="Breakout" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Google goes old school.</h3> <p>The wily programming nerds at <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Google</strong></a> are all about Easter eggs, and if you type "<a href=";source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=xlaSUc3JDvOp4APC9ICACA&amp;ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&amp;biw=1042&amp;bih=755" target="_blank">Atari Breakout</a>" into Google's image search, you'll spy the latest one. This isn't just a random flashback to an old school arcade game, it's also a shout out to the 1976 title's 37th anniversary, though the timing is a little curious. Breakout (PDF) originally debuted in April, so if someone knows the significance of today's date specifically, feel free to enlighten us in comments section below.</p> <p>Regardless, Google's Easter egg is a fun excursion into arcade gaming from nearly four decades ago. You may not have been alive back then or even heard of Breakout, which was developed by Atari and heavily influenced by Pong, which came out four years prior.</p> <p>It's also a historically significant title, as it influenced Steve Wozniak's design for the Apple II computer. Here's what Wozniak was quoted as saying about the Apple II:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">A lot of features of the Apple II went in because I had designed Breakout for Atari. I had designed it in hardware. I wanted to write it in software now. So that was the reason that color was added in first — so that games could be programmed. I sat down one night and tried to put it into BASIC. Fortunately, I had written the BASIC myself, so I just burned some new ROMs with line drawing commands, color changing commands, and various BASIC commands that would plot in color. I got this ball bouncing around, and I said, 'Well, it needs sound,' and I had to add a speaker to the Apple II. It wasn’t planned, it was just accidental… Obviously you need paddles, so I had to scratch my head and design a simple minimum-chip paddle circuit, and put on some paddles. So, a lot of these features that really made the Apple II stand out in its day came from a game, and the fun features that were built in were only to do one pet project, which was to program a BASIC version of Breakout and show it off at the club.</p> <p>Pretty neat, eh? As the late Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/breakout_google.jpg" alt="Atari Breakout Google" title="Atari Breakout Google" width="620" height="495" /></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> arcade atari breakout games Google search Software video games News Tue, 14 May 2013 15:28:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 25536 at