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Google

Submission + - DRM Lawsuit Filed By Independent Bookstores Against Amazon, 'Big Six' Publishers (huffingtonpost.com)

concealment writes: "Three independent bookstores are taking Amazon and the so-called Big Six publishers (Random House, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) to court in an attempt to level the playing field for book retailers. If successful, the lawsuit could completely change how ebooks are sold.

The class-action complaint, filed in New York on Feb 15., claims that by entering into confidential agreements with the Big Six publishers, who control approximately 60 percent of print book revenue in the U.S., Amazon has created a monopoly in the marketplace that is designed to control prices and destroy independent booksellers."

Google

Submission + - Dangerous: European Courts Considering Requiring Search Engine Filters Over Emba (techdirt.com)

concealment writes: "That did not stop Mosley, however, who first used the recent "Leveson Inquiry" (a response to the later story of News of the World hacking into phone lines) to push for new rules requiring search engines to delete the photos from ever being found online. And thus began phase two of Mosley's response to the article: he went on a campaign against search engines, believing that if he could somehow force search engines to ignore the photos from that original story, the world might forget about it. Even though, in the Leveson hearing, Mosley admits that he was warned that by taking this issue to trial in the first place, it would renew interest in the issue, including putting such private information into official public court documents:"
Google

Submission + - Your Own Private Google: The Quest for an Open Source Search Engine (wired.com)

concealment writes: "The company guards its search platform like the crown jewels. It’s not about to release a paper describing how it all works, so producing an open source clone is more difficult. But there are options, and the push toward open source versions of the Google search engine has gathered some steam in recent months, with the arrival of a new company called ElasticSearch.

These projects aren’t trying to compete with Google’s public search engine — the one you use every day. They’re trying to compete with Google’s search appliance and other products that help enterprises — i.e., big businesses — find stuff inside their own private networks."

Databases

Submission + - NoSQL: The Love Child of Google, Amazon and Lotus Notes (wired.com)

concealment writes: "As they grew their enormously successful online services, Google and Amazon needed new ways of storing massive amounts of data across an ever-growing number of servers, so each created a new software platform that could do so. Google built BigTable. Amazon built Dynamo. And after these internet giants published research papers describing these sweeping data stores, so many other outfits sought to duplicate them.

The result was an army of “NoSQL” databases specifically designed to run across thousands of servers. These new-age software platforms — including Cassandra, HBase, and Riak — remade the database landscape, helping to run so many other web giants, including Facebook and Twitter, but also more traditional businesses."

Advertising

Submission + - Social Media Has A Black Friday (wsj.com)

concealment writes: "Given the amount of attention paid by brands and retailers to building up their buzz on social platforms, consumers don’t seem to clicking through and buying much: just 0.34% of all online sales on Black Friday came from referrals from social networks like Facebook FB -0.86%, Twitter and YouTube"
Businesses

Submission + - Revealed: Google's manual for its unseen humans who rate the web (theregister.co.uk)

concealment writes: "Technology? Yes, but also toiling home-workers

Exclusive It's widely believed that Google search results are produced entirely by computer algorithms — in large part because Google would like this to be widely believed. But in fact a little-known group of home-worker humans plays a large part in the Google process. The way these raters go about their work has always been a mystery. Now, The Register has seen a copy of the guidelines Google issues to them."

Google

Submission + - How Google Plans to Find the UnGoogleable (technologyreview.com)

concealment writes: "If Google is to achieve its stated mission to “organize the world's information and make it universally accessible,” says Wiley, it must find out about those hidden needs and learn how to serve them. And he says experience sampling—bugging people to share what they want to know right now, whether they took action on it or not—is the best way to do it. “Doing that on a mobile device is a relatively new technology, and it’s getting us better information that we really haven’t had in the past,” he says.

Wiley isn’t ready to share results from the study just yet, but this participant found plenty of examples of relatively small pieces of information that I’d never turn to Google for. For example, how long the line currently is in a local grocery store. Some offline activities, such as reading a novel, or cooking a meal, generated questions that I hadn’t turned to Google to answer—mainly due to the inconvenience of having to grab a computer or phone in order to sift through results."

Google

Submission + - Will Google Go the Way of Microsoft? Ask the FTC (cio.com)

concealment writes: "The biggest threat to Google isn't Apple, Microsoft or Amazon — it's the U.S. government. Within the next several months, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission may sue Google for antitrust violations. If it does, Google will most likely end up like Microsoft after the government filed suit against it in the 1990s — distracted and unable to plan for the future.

The biggest potential antitrust issue is whether Google unfairly manipulates its search results to point at its own services rather than competitors'. So, for example, the suit might charge that Google manipulates search results to direct consumers to Google Places rather than Yelp or to Google Shopping rather than Pricegrabber or Shopzilla. Another potential issue is whether Google's AdWords marketplace discriminates against ads from services that compete with Google's services."

Google

Submission + - Google after antitrust: The good, the bad, and the ugly (cnet.com)

concealment writes: "Google has had regulatory run-ins before. It overpowered objections and acquired DoubleClick, AdMob, and ITA, but it knuckled under when the U.S. Justice Department threatened to sue over a Google-Yahoo search-ad deal.

But unlike the earlier antitrust fights, today's investigations are aimed at Google's heart: search and search advertising. After more than a year of investigation in both the EU and the United States, it appears regulators are ready to make a move, and most expect action by the end of the year. FTC Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz is pushing Google to make a settlement offer "in the next few days" or face a lawsuit, Bloomberg reported last week."

Google

Submission + - Google's server cooling plan produces 4-ft-alligator (postandcourier.com)

concealment writes: "In addition to potentially keeping Google’s search and email programs from overheating, the pond also has become home to plenty of algae, which meant Google had to stock it with fish. And since this is the Lowcountry, the food chain didn’t stop there.

“So we now have a 4-foot alligator that has taken up residence in our pond as well,” Kava said, clearly amused. He added that government experts have said it’ll have to be removed once it grows to six feet long."

Google

Submission + - Gaping hole in Google service exposes thousands to ID theft (theregister.co.uk)

concealment writes: "A security flaw accessible via Google's UK motor insurance aggregator Google Compare has potentially exposed vast numbers of drivers to identity theft.

The vulnerability, the existence of which has been verified by The Register, made it possible for comprehensive personal details — including names, addresses, phone numbers and job — to be harvested at will."

Android

Submission + - Study finds 25 percent of Android apps to be a security risk (itworld.com)

concealment writes: "According to a new report from Bit9--a security vendor with a focus on defending against advanced persistent threats (APT)--there is a one in four chance that downloading an Android app from the official Google Play market could put you at risk. Bit9 analyzed 400,000 or so apps in Google Play, and found over 100,000 it considers to be on the shady side.

Does that mean that the sky is falling, and everyone with an Android smartphone or tablet should abandon it immediately? No. The research by Bit9 illustrates some issues with app development in general, and should raise awareness among mobile users to exercise some discretion when downloading and installing apps, but it's not a sign of any urgent crisis affecting Android apps."

Google

Submission + - Google loses Australia 'gangland' defamation lawsuit (bbc.co.uk)

concealment writes: "A jury in Australia has found Google liable for damages after a complaint that its search results had linked a local man to gangland crime.

As a result of the attack Mr Trkulja said that entering his name into Google Images brought up images of other people beneath which his name appeared.

He said some of these figures were allegedly murderers and one a drug trafficker. In addition the caption "Melbourne Crime" appeared beneath several of the photos, including one of Mr Trkulja himself, which he had alleged might lead users to believe he was a criminal."

Businesses

Submission + - Google-Like Interview Questions May Be Costing Employers Their Best Hires Read (businessinsider.com)

concealment writes: "The "puzzle interview is being used with greater frequency by employers in a variety of industries," wrote Chris Wright, associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, in a recent study.

After examining 360 participants, the researchers found that brain teaser questions are "discouraging otherwise qualified workers" because many candidates feel the potential employer is treating them unfairly or setting them up for failure.

"If candidates give one bad answer, it could change their entire career trajectory,” Heidi Golledge, CEO and co-founder CareerBliss.com, told Martha C. White at Time magazine. “Candidates should have the ability to shine without putting them through questions designed to scare."

Encryption

Submission + - How a Google Headhunter's E-Mail Unraveled a Massive Net Security Hole (wired.com)

concealment writes: "The problem lay with the DKIM key (DomainKeys Identified Mail) Google used for its google.com e-mails. DKIM involves a cryptographic key that domains use to sign e-mail originating from them – or passing through them – to validate to a recipient that the header information on an e-mail is correct and that the correspondence indeed came from the stated domain. When e-mail arrives at its destination, the receiving server can look up the public key through the sender’s DNS records and verify the validity of the signature.

Harris wasn’t interested in the job at Google, but he decided to crack the key and send an e-mail to Google founders Brin and Page, as each other, just to show them that he was onto their game."

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