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Google drops Google+ profile link from its online services

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If you opened any Google service in your browser, say, Gmail or Maps, then you’d have noticed your name at the top right that would link to your Google+ profile.

If you look now, though, you’ll notice that it is, in fact, just your name and is no longer linked to your Google+ profile. Google has unlinked all its services from Google+ so you will no longer see profile links while using other Google services. Read more »

Amazon Stream offers an endless list of products to discover

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Amazon has just launched a new discovery-style shopping experience. Stream is quite reminiscent of a Pinterest board, featuring an endless list of Amazon products. They can be filtered according to sex, which doesn’t sound very concrete and it really isn’t. But, seeing how the idea behind the service is to give eager users the ability to browse through new products, it is perfectly adequate.

The offers that make it into the service, however, aren’t picked at random – instead they are all sponsored. This is an important note to make and means that things you pick out within the interface might not always be competitively priced. Still, if you really like something, you can always dig around in the conventional search interface to see if you can get a better deal. And if you are an Amazon seller, you might want to consider promoting some items in the new service. Read more »

Ross Ulbricht, founder of online drug marketplace Silk Road, sentenced to life in prison without parole

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Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was convicted in February of creating and operating the online drug marketplace, has been sentenced by a US federal judge to life in prison without parole. He was facing a minimum prison sentence of 20 years.

“It was a carefully planned life’s work. It was your opus. You wanted it to be your legacy—and it is,” said Judge Katherine Forrest. “You are no better a person than any other drug dealer.” Read more »

Gmail API gets push notification support

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Finally. After a long time, Google has finally added support for push notifications in the Gmail API.

Until now, if an application wanted to add support for Gmail, it would have to resort to polling the service after set intervals to see if there were any new changes. Polling is a bad idea on mobile, as it consumes a lot more power than push notifications, which are pushed directly to the device without it constantly having to check for changes. Read more »

Here pokes fun at Google Maps, says it had offline maps first

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Well, this was bound to happen. Yesterday during its annual I/O developer conference Google announced that it would finally offer full offline support in Maps for Android by the end of the year. Nokia’s Here Maps division has obviously heard about this, and decided to make fun of the fact that Google Maps is still pretty much useless offline at the moment.

Here has had offline maps since the moment it launched. Even its predecessor, known as Nokia Maps (and Ovi Maps at one time), came with this feature built-in. Read more »

Google is getting so good that it can answer your questions before you type them

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Not many technologies can boast turning into every day, household terms and even the select few that can are nowhere near as revolutionary as Google’s world changing search platform. This one-of-a-kind information hub that drives most of today’s online traffic is constantly getting better at what it does and is receiving a lot of much-deserved care and attention by users and developers alike.

A new update to Google search now delivers answers so fast that it is kind of creepy. The concept is simple enough – if Google can give you a concise and definite answer as you type your question, why wait for you to do so? It does precisely this and quickly appends short answers straight into the suggestion interface as you type. Read more »

Russia to Google, Twitter, and Facebook: Comply with local laws or face sanctions

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US-based technology companies, including Google, Twitter, and Facebook have been warned by Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor against violating the country’s Internet laws.

The agency has sent out letters to the firms asking them to comply with the rules. “In our letters we regularly remind (companies) of the consequences of violating the legislation,” said the agency’s spokesperson Vadim Ampelonsky. He also said that the Russian government could block access to the services being offered by the companies if they do not fall in line. Read more »

YouTube now supports 60fps livestreaming through its new HTML5 player

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YouTube recently launched 60fps playback and now it’s enabling the smoother framerate for livestreaming videos too. This update comes thanks to the new HTML5 player for livestreams, the old one used Flash.

The YouTube team has also worked with the developers of screen capturing tools that support livestreaming. Read more »

Rdio launches on-demand Select subscription service at $3.99 a month

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Music streaming service Rdio has announced a new subscription service called Rdio Select for those seeking on-demand, affordable music. The new Rdio Select will cost $3.99 a month against the standard $9.99 a month for unlimited access.

Rdio Select is almost like a diet music subscription plan that offers streaming without ads and capability to skip tracks. However, the catch here is the you can only download 25 songs a day. Read more »

Facebook’s Internet.org now available to over 1 billion people worldwide

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A few weeks after it was revealed that Facebook’s Internet.org has benefited over 800 million people in nine countries, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the service, which was recently launched in the African country of Malawi, is now available to over 1 billion people around the world.

“Giving people free access is the right thing to do,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We will keep connecting more people and more countries, and we won’t stop until every person in the world can connect to the internet.” Read more »

Update to Gmail for Android brings new functionality, improvements

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Gmail for Android received a major update. The new version of the popular email client brings new functionality and improvements based on feedback from users.

The new version of the application allows users all their recent conversations with a contact by tapping on its avatar. Read more »

Spotify offering 3-month trial of its Premium service for just 99 cents

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Music-streaming company Spotify is now offering a 3-month subscription of its Premium service for a total of just 99 cents. The offer is only available to new subscribers in the US.

Needless to say, after the three-month period, you’ll be charged the normal rates – $9.99 a month. For those who aren’t in the know, Spotify Premium lets you stream ad-free music, with unlimited skips, and even download and listen to your tunes offline. Read more »

FBI arrests two men for allegedly breaking into Photobucket accounts

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested two men for allegedly breaking into accounts of some Photobucket users and selling off access to their private information without authorization.

According to the US Justice Department, 39-year-old Brandon Bourret from Colorado Springs, and 26-year-old Athanasios Andrianakis from Sunnyvale (California) developed, marketed, and sold a software application, dubbed Photofucket, which allowed viewers to circumvent the website’s privacy settings and hence enabled them access to users’ private and password-protected information. Read more »

Music-streaming company Spotify reportedly planning to enter online-video business

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Spotify, the popular music-streaming company, is planning to venture into the online-video business, according to a report by Wall Street Journal.

The Swedish company is currently looking for partnerships, and has even approached companies that create content for YouTube, the report notes, adding that the video service will be available to both subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Read more »

Flickr redesign brings new Uploadr, Camera Roll, Search and other features

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Yahoo!-owned photo-sharing service Flickr just rolled out a complete design overhaul of its service for web, desktop, and mobile. The new Flickr also includes new features to make the experience more than just a cosmetic facelift.

New unified search is one major improvement in the new design, which makes image search fast and intuitive. Read more »