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U.S. Continues to Inundate Google with Requests for User Info

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Government requests for Google’s users’ data continues to rise globally but, once again, the United States is leader of the pack.

In the July to December period of 2012, Google received 8,438 requests for information from the U.S., a six percent increase from the first half of 2012, according to the search engine giant’s latest Transparency Report. Google received 21,389 requests for information globally, a two percent rise from the first half of the year.

Countries that made the most requests were:

• The United States — 8,438 requests for information about 14,791 users.

• India — 2,431 requests for information about 4,106 users.

• France — 1,693 requests for information about 2,063 users.

• Germany — 1,550 requests for information about 1,944 users.

• The United Kingdom — 1,458 requests for information about 1,918 users.

• Brazil — 1,211 requests for information about 2,526 users.

“User data requests of all kinds have increased by more than 70 percent since 2009, as you can see in our new visualizations of overall trends,” says Google’s legal director Richard Salgado in a blog post. “In total, we received 21,389 requests for information about 33,634 users from July through December 2012.”

The report also details the legal processes used by American authorities making the requests.

• Sixty-eight percent of the requests were via subpoenas. These are requests for user-identifying information, issued under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and are the easiest to get because they typically don’t involve judges.

• Twenty-two percent were through ECPA search warrants. These are, generally speaking, orders issued by judges under ECPA, based on a demonstration of “probable cause” to believe that certain information related to a crime is presently in the place to be searched.

• The remaining 10 percent were mostly court orders issued under ECPA by judges or other processes that are difficult to categorize.

Google complied with 88 percent of requests from authorities made by subpoena or search warrant.

“We’ll keep looking for more ways to inform you about government requests and how we handle them,” Salgado says. “We hope more companies and governments themselves join us in this effort by releasing similar kinds of data.”

Click here to read the complete report. Unlike previous reports, Google has opted to release data about requests for content removal separately. That report is to be released in the coming days.

 

 

 

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U.S. Continues to Inundate Google with Requests for User Info

New Android App IDs Phone Thieves

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Phone thieves and nosy friends beware: a new app has been released to catch you in action.

Lookout Mobile Security has released an update of its Lookout app to include a Lock Cam that snaps a picture of anyone trying to access a protected Smartphone.

“Lock Cam is a free feature that notifies you if anyone tries to access your device, whether it has been stolen, or if someone else may be trying to take a peek when you’re not around,” reads the company’s blog.

“Lock Cam takes a picture of anyone who enters an incorrect password three times into your Android lock screen with the front-facing camera on your device. You’ll then receive an email with the picture and the location of your device, giving you valuable information about who tried to access your device and where it happened. You can then use this information to take steps to further protect your device, like changing or strengthening your password.”

lookout_web_application_and_phone

So far, Lock Cam is only available in English. It is rolling out to users this week. Premium users will have immediate access to Lock Cam.  Then it is simply a matter of going to ‘settings’ in the app to ensure advanced protection and Lock Cam are enabled.

The new feature will only work on devices with front-facing cameras running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or above.

Premium users can also add a customized message of up to 300 characters to the Lookout Lock screen of their phones. If the phone is the lost, the new feature gives the person who finds it the information he or she needs to return it.

Simply log into Lookout.com from another Smartphone or computer, click the ‘missing device tab’ and select ‘lock.’

The new version of Lookout can be downloaded from Google Play.

To see the app in action, check out the video below from Lookout Mobile Security.

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New Android App IDs Phone Thieves

Huawei Places Third in Smartphone Race in Q4

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Latest News, test

Huawei, for the first time, is running third in the global Smartphone race.

The Chinese telecommunications company has left Nokia, Research In Motion and HTC in the dust although it is not even close to catching the No. 1 and No. 2 companies — Samsung and Apple.

Huawei shipped 10.8 million Smartphones in the fourth quarter, giving the company a 4.9 percent market share behind Samsung which shipped nearly 64 million devices for a 29 percent share and Apple with nearly 48 million iPhones shipped for a 21.8 percent share, according to researcher International Data Corp.

Fourth place was nabbed by Sony which shipped 9.8 million Smartphones for a 4.5 percent share while ZTE, which rounds out the Top 5, shipped 9.5 million units for a 4.3 percent share.

IDC estimated nearly 713 million Smartphones were shipped globally last year, a 44 percent increase from 2011.

“The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers,” Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said in a press release. “Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain market share, especially in emerging markets. A good example is Huawei, which overtook LG as a Top 5 vendor in the overall mobile phone market and passed HTC to become a Top 5 Smartphone vendor.”

To break out of the bottom half of the top 10, Huawei covered both the mass market with its simple and inexpensive Smartphones and the high-end of the market with its Ascend-branded product line, IDC said.

“Along the way, the company has demonstrated its innovative skills, having released the world’s thinnest (6.68 mm) Smartphone last year, the Ascend P1, and this year it announced the upcoming Ascend Mate, the first Smartphone with a 6.1-inch display,” the press release said. “At the same time, Huawei has brought its own software innovations, including Magic Touch, Guiding Wizard, Smart Reading, and Floating Windows.”

 

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2012
(Units in Millions)

Vendor

4Q12 Unit Shipments

4Q12 Market Share

4Q11 Unit Shipments

4Q11 Market Share

Year-over-Year Change

1. Samsung

63.7

29.0%

36.2

22.5%

76.0%

2. Apple

47.8

21.8%

37.0

23.0%

29.2%

3. Huawei

10.8

4.9%

5.7

3.5%

89.5%

4. Sony

9.8

4.5%

6.3

3.9%

55.6%

5. ZTE

9.5

4.3%

6.4

4.0%

48.4%

Others

77.8

35.5%

69.2

43.1%

12.4%

Total

219.4

100.0%

160.8

100.0%

36.4%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, Jan. 24, 2013

 

The Top 5 Smartphone vendors for 2012 are: Samsung 215.8 million Smartphones shipped for a 30.3 percent share of the market; runner-up Apple shipped 135.9 million units to take 19.1 percent of the market; Nokia was third with 35.1 million devices shipped and a 4.9 percent share of the market. HTC and RIM, which placed fourth and fifth respectfully, each sold 32.5 million of the handsets for a 4.6 percent share of the market.

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Huawei Places Third in Smartphone Race in Q4

Libraries Remain Relevant in Digital Age

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Latest News, test

In this digital age, libraries may be seen by many as a dying breed.

Not so, The Pew Internet and American Life Project has found.

Many libraries now offer free computer and Internet access, a service that is almost as important to patrons as checking out books, a recent Pew survey found.

Eighty percent of U.S. residents categorize borrowing books as a “very important” library service, while 77 percent say the same thing about using library computers and Internet services.

“In the past generation, public libraries have reinvented themselves to become technology hubs in order to help their communities access information in all its new forms,” said Pew research analyst Kathryn Zickuhr in a statement.

Of the 2,252 Americans aged 16 and older interviewed by Pew, 53 percent said they would like more eBook selections in their public libraries, and would be likely to check out e-readers already loaded with books — a significant increase from a survey a year ago.

Roughly 69 percent said they would like to be able to try new technology devices through libraries, and 63 percent said they would like to receive customized book and music recommendations from their libraries, much like they would from Amazon.com.

The survey also found library patrons were open to having even more technological options such as:

Online research services allowing patrons to pose questions and get answers from librarians: 37 percent of those surveyed would “very likely” use an “ask a librarian” type of service, and another 36 percent say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

• Apps-based access to library materials and programs: 35 percent of those surveyed would “very likely” use that service and another 28 percent say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

• Access to technology “petting zoos” to try out new devices: 35 percent of those surveyed would “very likely” use that service and another 34 percent say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

• GPS-navigation apps to help patrons locate material inside library buildings: 34 percent of those surveyed would “very likely” use that service and another 28 percent say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

• “Redbox”-style lending machines or kiosks located throughout the community where people can check out books, movies or music without having to go to the library itself: 33 percent of those surveyed would be “very likely” use that service and another 30 percent say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.

Reaction was mixed when it came to libraries moving printed books to free up space for tech centers, reading rooms and meeting rooms. Twenty percent were in favor, 39 percent said maybe and 36 percent were against moving printed books out of public spaces.

Internet use at libraries

Twenty-six percent of those surveyed say they used computers and Internet at the library. Here is what they did on their free Internet access:

• 66 percent of those who used the Internet at a library in the past 12 months did research for school or work.

• 63 percent said they browsed the Internet for fun or to pass the time.

• 54 percent said they used e-mail.

• 47 percent said they got health information.

• 41 percent said they visited government websites or got information about government services.

• 36 percent said they looked for jobs or applied for jobs online.

• 35 percent said they visited social networking sites.

• 26 percent said they downloaded or watched online video.

• 16 percent said they bought a product online.

• 16 percent said they paid bills or did online banking.

• 16 percent said they took an online class or completed an online certification program.

 

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Libraries Remain Relevant in Digital Age

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 28, 2013

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Latest News, test

Unlocking New Smartphones Purchased from Carrier Now Illegal

It is now illegal in the U.S. to unlock any Smartphone purchased from a carrier without that carrier’s permission.

Under the new law, first-time offenders could face fines of up to $500,000, be imprisoned for five years, or both. Repeat offenders face a fine of $1 million, imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both.

The Library of Congress, which handles the rulemaking for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, enacted the law in October with a 90-day transition period. That transition period ran out Jan. 26.

According to the Librarian of Congress, “there is now a wide array of unlocked phone options available to consumers. While it is true that not every wireless device is available unlocked, and wireless carriers’ unlocking polices are not free from all restrictions, the record clearly demonstrates that there is a wide range of alternatives from which consumers may choose in order to obtain an unlocked wireless phone.”

Phones purchased before the law was enacted can still be unlocked without consequences.

AT&T Shells Out $1.9B for Verizon Airwaves

AT&T is digging deep — to the tune of $1.9 billion — to acquire airwaves from longtime rival Verizon Communications.

The purchase is part of AT&T’s plan to give its network a boost.

The 700 MHz licenses cover 42 million people in 18 states — California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

“This acquisition complements AT&T’s existing holdings in the 700 MHz B band and will allow AT&T to continue to quickly deploy 4G LTE services to meet demand for mobile Internet services on a wide array of Smartphones, tablets and other devices,” the company said in a press release.

The company announced last November it plans to reach 300 million people in the U.S. with its 4G LTE network by the end of 2014.

In addition to cold, hard cash, AT&T will also give Verizon 10MHz of AWS spectrum in Western markets such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Fresno and Portland, Oregon.

Facebook Block’s Twitter’s New App

All is fair in love and war and it appears Facebook and Twitter are in a war of sorts.

Not long after Twitter announced it had purchased video sharing app Vine, Facebook blocked the app from using the social network’s ‘find people’ function. This means Vine cannot find friends with Facebook accounts.

The move does not come as a surprise. Twitter blocked Facebook’s Instagram app from using its API to find friends with Twitter accounts within Instagram last summer.

Facebook has also denied access to Russian search engine Yandex’s new Wonder app. The app enables users to search social data streams.

Facebook posted a blog Jan. 25 to clarify its position. It reads:

For the vast majority of developers building social apps and games, keep doing what you’re doing. Our goal is to provide a platform that gives people an easy way to login to your apps, create personalized and social experiences, and easily share what they’re doing in your apps with people on Facebook. This is how our platform has been used by the most popular categories of apps, such as games, music, fitness, news and general lifestyle apps.

For a much smaller number of apps that are using Facebook to either replicate our functionality or bootstrap their growth in a way that creates little value for people on Facebook, such as not providing users an easy way to share back to Facebook, we’ve had policies against this that we are further clarifying today (see I.10).

 

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Technology News Briefs — Jan. 28, 2013