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Google, Microsoft ramp up fight against online child pornography

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In response to the alarming proliferation of photos and videos containing child pornography on the Internet, Web search giants Google and Microsoft plan to introduce measures to block the content from their search results.

The modifications will prevent more than 100,000 search terms from generating results that link to images and videos associated with child sex abuse and instead trigger a warning that the associated content is illegal. The restrictions, which apply to English-speaking countries, will be expanded to more than 150 languages in the next six months, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote in an article for the Daily Mail on Sunday.

“We’ve listened, and in the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem,” Schmidt wrote. “We’ve fine-tuned Google search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results.” more

Google Offers Help to Webmasters Whose Sites Were Hacked

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Google has launched a page and a set of tutorials aimed for webmasters whose site was hacked.

Specifically, Google explains webmasters how to deal with Google’s search warning that a site is dangerous, which usually appears if a hacker has infected the site with harmful code.

“Every day, cybercriminals compromise thousands of websites. Hacks are often invisible to users, yet remain harmful to anyone viewing the page — including the site owner,” claims Google on the site titled “Webmasters help for hacked sites.

Google starts with a video tutorial (above) which explains the basics of how and why sites get hacked, and then goes into more advanced territory with info on how to quarantine a site, identify its vulnerabilities and clean it up from harmful code.

How do you like Google’s latest initiative? Do you think the material is too advanced or perhaps too simple for the average webmaster? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image credit: Google MORE

Meet Google’s secret weapon for fighting Apple and Microsoft

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Motorola Lapdock 500(Credit: Photo by: Jason Hiner/CNET)

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha pulled off one of the most difficult things to do in the technology industry: He surprised people at a press conference.

When Jha took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 and revealed the Motorola Atrix smartphone and the “Lapdock” that made it act like a laptop computer, it sent reporters scrambling. They expected the unveiling of the Motorola Xoom, the highly anticipated and already-leaked first official Android tablet to take on the Apple iPad. But, it was the Atrix and the Lapdock that stole the show.

The key was Motorola’s homegrown software called “Webtop” that made the Atrix act like a computer once it was docked. When Webtop launched with the Atrix two months later, the obvious question was how Motorola beat platform giants Microsoft and Apple to the converged smartphone-PC device?

The answer is complicated but fascinating, and on the eve of Motorola Mobility’s merger with Google, it leaves the combined companies in an enviable position. The success of Android has established Google as a key player in mobile computing devices, and once consumers and business users start looking to consolidate their many devices, Webtop could make Google the company that’s best positioned to make that consolidation possible.MORE

Fake Instagram app infects Android devices with malware

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InstagramTempted to try out the much talked about Instagram app? Well, be careful where you get it from – as malware authors are distributing malware disguised as the popular app.

It’s a rain cloud on a summer’s day for the Instagram photo-sharing smartphone app, which is otherwise having a glorious time right now.

First of all, Instagram released a first version for Android and managed to get five million downloads in less than a week.

Then the 13-employee firm managed to sell itself to Facebook for a cool $1 billion, making some of us wonder about privacy, and others think – “to heck with that, do I have a program that’s never earnt any money that I might be able to flog to Mark Zuckerberg?”.

Naturally, the Facebook acquisition news raised Instagram to even higher levels of public awareness and that’s where the bad guys stepped in.

Cybercriminals have created fake versions of the Instagram Android app, designed to earn money from unsuspecting users.MORE

How to Set Up a Google+ Brand Page

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It’s been a long time coming, but Google has finally given the official go-ahead for businesses to create profileson the Google+ social network.

We have gone hands-on with the new option to offer you a simple walkthrough, demoing just how quick and easy it is to get set up on the service.

Take a look through our image gallery above for our no-nonsense how-to. Once you’ve got yours set up, link us in the comments to your brand’s Google+ page.

If you’re looking for inspiration, then take a look at what other brands have created in the gallery below.MORE

Google+ Adds More YouTube and Chrome Features

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Google announced further integration of YouTube and Chrome into its Google+ social network.

The search giant made the announcement in its official Google blog on Thursday, showing how it has continued its integration of YouTube into Google+.

Last summer, Google incorporated the ability to play YouTube videos in Google+ Hangouts. Now it takes that a step further, offering a YouTube icon on the top right of the Google+ interface that does a cool slide move when you mouse over it, asking “What would you like to play?”

Once you’ve entered the name of a video, topic or your favorite musician or band, a pop-up window appears, displaying a list of related videos that might interest you. I tried it by entering “Beatles,” and a Beatles video started playing in a dynamically re-sizing window, while offering more like it underneath. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Mulls Buying Yahoo [REPORT]

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GOOGLE is mulling purchasing Yahoo and has contacted at least two venture capital firms to help buy the company’s core business, according to a report.

Google and prospective partners have held discussions, but haven’t put forth a formal proposal to buy the search giant, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited “a person familiar with the matter.”

As the story notes, any such deal is likely to raise red flags among antitrust regulators. Google’s not the only one rumored to be interested in buying the troubled Yahoo. Microsoft, which has a 10-year search deal with Yahoo, is also said to be interested.

What do you think? Would this be good or bad for the Internet economy? Let us know in the comments. Read the rest of this entry »

Google publishes web safety advice for ‘Good to Know’ campaign

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Google cartoon

Google has launched a campaign promoting online safety, in association with the UK’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The campaign, which will include adverts in newspapers, on public transport and online, is being run with the hope of encouraging internet users to take more care over their online activities – including using more secure passwords, and remembering to log out of websites when they have finished using them.

Awareness campaigns about online safety like this are important, as it’s clear that most internet users are pretty clueless about how to best secure their computers and surf safely online.

This isn’t because the public is disinterested in protecting themselves, but due to the fact that many people simply don’t know where to turn, or how to translate complicated buzzwords, geek talk and terminology into simple easy-to-understand English.

So, campaigns like Google’s “Good to Know” one are a *good* thing, as they translate sometimes complicated safety advice into simple terms.

Google, of course, has an interest in people not turning their backs on the internet – it wants users to feel safer online, as that will ultimately increase the popularity of the internet and help Google grow.

GmailTo their credit, Google provides a number of technologies to help users defend their accounts from being hacked – but only a minority of users seem know about them. If you haven’t already done so, check out my advice on how to stop your Gmail account being hacked, for instance.

It’s notable that part of the “Good to Know” campaign appears designed to reassure internet users about the data that Google collects about them to provide its services.

The critical thing, however, will be what I call my “Aunty Hilda test”. If the only people who hear about this advertising campaign are people who are already techie geeks or people who work in information security then it will have failed.

If, however, my Aunty Hilda hears about the campaign – and genuinely learns something about how to protect herself online – then it truly will have succeeded.

With cybercrime and internet fraud on the increase – it’s never been more important to raise awareness and give people simple instructions on how to be safer on the net.

You can find out more about the “Good to Know” campaign atwww.google.co.uk/goodtoknow.

Twitter security, Google fined, Bomb hoax, busts, skimming – 60 Sec Security

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In this episode:

* Australian bomb hoaxer tracked via information hedidn’t intend to share.

* UK bank account holders ripped off via data theydid intend to share.

* An educational look at ATM skimming.

* Twitter edges towards HTTPS by default.

* Google agrees to cough up an enormous fine.

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Google’s Picasa and Yahoo! Groups used to spread spam

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No spam mailbox

One of the most effective techniques anti-spam products have to block spam messages from reaching your inbox is reputation filtering.

Yes, to a degree, anti-spam solutions may still look for v1@gr@and Mrs. Gaddafi offering you $40 million, but the biggest bang for your buck comes from reputation.

What do you do if you are a spammer? Figure out a way to get a legitimate mail provider to deliver your messages for you…MORE