The LulzSec Manifesto

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Here it is, on the occasion of their 1,000th tweet, and here are the highlights: More

Google introduces search-by-image

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Google today will make widely available a new “search by image” feature. It’s up and running and I typed “Ed Rendell,” former Guv of Pennsylvania. This was the first image that came up. I did a search-by-image and came up with this. Pretty cool. The Google Goggles image-recognition function on its mobile app is very impressive: Analyze a picture of, say, a Coke bottle, and you get a link to a Google search for Coke. There are limitations. With the new image-search feature, it would be interesting to search a photo of an unidentified person you are trying to identify. However, Google is not keen on such a feature, according to Wired.com:

Google says it won’t be using any facial recognition technology and that the search works best when an image has some sort of “fame” — so that for instance, Google wouldn’t be able to tell you who lived in a given house in a photo, unless it was something like Graceland.

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More clouds in your computing forecast

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Gotta dig up the "Forever Alone" guy meme (see below).

Today was all about clouds. Music stored in clouds. Imaginary girlfriends billowing about. I’m not certain the “cloud girlfriend” site isn’t a hoax, but I signed up to be a beta tester or something. The big news was the launch of the Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. You take about 5 gigs of music – about 1,000 songs – and you upload them to Amazon, where they’ll be accessible via the Cloud Player from any computer or Android device. (It isn’t Apple friendly, so I haven’t been able to try it out.) If you want more storage space, then you pay. Otherwise, it’s free. Storing data is cheap. Moving it around the Internet is cheap. Think about streaming movies via Netflix. No DVDs. No stores. Amazon is trying to shift toward digital content. All the big players are. Both Google and Apple are expected to unveil cloud “lockers” for your music later this year. Amazon was first, but it may have jumped the gun because it hasn’t formalized licensing agreements with the major music labels. It will all be worked out eventually. Everything is shifting to the clouds. More

Which governments are blocking the Internet?

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Worst Colonel Ever

Google’s Transparency Report is an excellent way to find out what is happening to Internet activity around the world (except China). You select the country and then a Google service, such as search or YouTube, and then get a pretty good idea of whether the people in that country are able to access the Internet or not. If unencrypted searches drop to near zero, you know something is up – like in Libya, on Mar. 3 around 11:30 a.m. EST (my time). More

Is Digg dead? Do you still listen to podcasts?

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Podcast!

When I got my first iPod – iPod! – Nano (okay, not the original iPod), I subscribed to Leo Laporte’s “This Week in Technology” podcast and to “Diggnation.” From the latter, I learned about Digg.com. I never got into it, but millions of others did. I did enjoy Digg founder Kevin Rose in the podcasts trying out beers and talking tech. It was cool. Then I had some changes in my life that eliminated much of my commute, and my podcast listening time. Last year, Digg made the news with a much reviled redesign, which turned into a boon for Reddit, which has now eclipsed Digg in relevance. On Thursday, Michael Arrington at TechCrunch noted that Rose was hardly using Digg himself anymore. Well, does mark Zuckerberg really use Facebook that much? I think he has bigger fish to fry than updating his FB status. But then it was reported Friday that Rose had resigned from Digg. More

Infographics are everywhere!

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Venn Diagram!
Image credit: Think Brilliant

First, an update on the Gmail mess. Based on a report on the Washington Post’s website, I said the problem was fixed. However, it apparently lingered a few days. Google says it’s fixed now. I highlighted the fact that Gmail accounts are backed up on computer tapes, which means that the software update error that caused the latest outage was not physically connected to the backup. So it’s reassuring to know your data is not lost. But if you haven’t been able to access it since last weekend, that’s a problem, especially for businesses. The solution to that is to have your own backup and also have contingency plans in place, as you would for other mishap/disaster scenarios.

Now let’s turn to infographics. I’ll use an infographic if it is well done. Mashable loves infographics. They are supposed to help you understand data, but some aren’t so good at that. And some are just ridiculously confusing. Infographics are more likely to fail if they are overloaded with information. All that said, I want to learn how to make simple ones that I can use here as original illustrations. But I fear I might be wasting a lot of time making graphics, as is mentioned in my favorite infographic after the jump. More

Gmail is Safe

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Mainframe computer
Image credit: scriptingnews via Flickr

Your Gmail is safe. This is important. Do not sweat it. Cloud computing, done right, works. I was wondering if Gmail was compromised this weekend when news first broke that as many as 500,000 accounts had been reset. You shouldn’t worry. I did for a bit this weekend when the news circulated about people losing their email accounts. Google took care of business. But I have since learned that it is something that is easily manageable. Why? Because everything is on tape. It took a bit of time to get everything back. As far as I know, the naysayers look stupid. However, those who lost precious hours were screwed. If you are still worried, there are plenty of solutions in the mix. I added my main Gmail account to my Mac email client and downloaded my emails.  That was my backup system. I feel so much better about Google right now. Trust in cloud computing is all that matters. And they have you covered, so far. More

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