google-logo4Usually Google makes announcements about shutting down features and projects in a "spring cleaning" post on its blog. That's how it announced earlier this month it was doing away with the Google Reader RSS service, and that move generated a ton of talk, much of it negative, from long time web users.
  Today, it was discovered that Google has shut down another helpful service, but this time it did so quietly, with no advanced warning on its blog.

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ScammedThe U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding proposal to allow states to collect sales tax on Internet sellers that have no presence within their borders.
The proposal was an amendment to a 2014 budget bill that the Senate debated Friday. It was pushed by Senators Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, and Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and was designed to give backers a sense of whether they had enough votes to push forward with final legislation to impose an Internet sales tax.

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hacking-lockedA landmark document created at the request of NATO has proposed a set of rules for how international cyberwarfare should be conducted. Written by 20 experts in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the US Cyber Command, the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare analyzes the rules of conventional war and applies them to state-sponsored cyberattacks.

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In a show on Finnish TV station MTV3, Stephen Elop made an appearance to show off the Nokia Lumia 620 - but that's not the exciting thing. What's more interesting is that Elop decided to throw away the presenter's iPhone when he pulled it out of his pocket, exclaiming "oh, how embarrassing" before saying "I'll take care of that" as the iPhone landed off-screen with a thud. Luckily the presenter did want a Nokia phone, and Elop said he could organize this.

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youtube-logo(2)In late December, Google celebrated the fact that the music video for the song "Gangnam Style" was the first YouTube video to be viewed over one billion times. Now Google has announced that YouTube has achieved yet another milestone with the word "billion" involved.
  Today, the YouTube blog announced that for the first time, the site has brought in over one billion unique visitors per month. Google also announced today,

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microsoft logo2Two departments of the U.S government, the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are now reportedly looking into claims that Microsoft might have bribed government officials in at least three countries to obtain contracts for software deployments.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says that the DOJ and SEC are looking into claims that Microsoft's China subsidiary offered some kind of kickbacks to government officials in that country in exchange for signing contracts for software. An anonymous tipster alerted the U.S. government to the claims in 2012, according to the report.

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ballmerstanceMicrosoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has failed to make it into Glassdoor's 50 Highest-Rated CEOs for 2013 list, falling well short of the approval ratings of other CEOs in the technology industry. Many well-known names made it onto the list, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who ranked first with a 99% approval rating; Google CEO Larry Page, #11 with a 95% approval; and Apple CEO Tim Cook, #18 with 93% approval.
A quick peek at Microsoft's company page on Glassdoor reveals that Steve Ballmer's approval rating is only 47%, well short of the 80% approval required to make the Highest-Rated CEOs list. As employees of the company are asked whether they approve of their CEO's leadership, it's apparent that Microsoft workers have mixed reactions in regards to Ballmer and his ability to run Microsoft.

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thx logoAudio firm THX have entered into a lawsuit with Apple, alleging that the Californian tech giant infringed on one of its patents by releasing certain speaker units in the new slimline iMac.
The audio company, founded by George Lucas in 1983, holds a patent granted in 2008 for "a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions," according to the complaint details filed yesterday in San Jose, California.

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anonymous5Earlier this week, the US Justice Department indicted Matthew Keys, claiming that he helped members of the Anonymous hacker group to deface the Los Angeles Times website. Now the attorney for Keys, who currently works at Reuters as a deputy social media editor, claims that his client was working as a journalist and not as a hacker.

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anonymous guyIn one of the oddest cases yet that involves the Anonymous hacker group, a current employee of the Reuters news service was indicted on Thursday by the US Justice Department, claiming that he helped members of the group in their efforts to deface the Los Angeles Times website.
According to the Justice Department's press release, Matthew Keys, 26, of Secaucus, New Jersey, was charged on three counts: "one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer."

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