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First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening 198

umdenken points out that the first batch of generic Top Level Domains will go live within the next several days, including .bike, .guru, .clothing, .holdings, .singles, .plumbing, and .ventures. (Early access began Jan. 29th.) ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade says there is currently huge demand for ICANN to reopen their program to let companies run their own gTLD. He said, "Many, many brands and many, many communities didn't know about the GTLD program. I get significant amounts of questions about when can we open the next round, because certainly there is a bit of angst that if Canon [who applied for the .canon gTLD] uses this to do an incredible mass customization campaign to win users to their product, I'm sure the brand next to them will say "Why aren't we doing this?" So I do believe this will snowball. But many will find a .com or whatever they have now will be good enough, and I believe that one excludes the other." He also said the $185,000 price tag to do so is likely to drop.

Mozilla Launches Persona Identity Bridge For Gmail 114

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today announced the Persona Identity Bridge for Gmail users. If you have a Google account, this means you can now sign into Persona-powered websites with your existing credentials. The best part is of course Mozilla's pledge to its users. 'Persona remains committed to privacy: Gmail users can sign into sites with Persona, but Google can't track which sites they sign into,' Mozilla Pesrona engineer Dan Callahan promises."

Audi Gives Silent Electric Car Synthetic Sound 402

itwbennett writes "Audi's electric cars are quiet, maybe too quiet, which is why Audi spent 3 years creating replicated engine noise for its electric car models. We're so conditioned to the noise of an engine revving that a driver behind the wheel of a too-quiet car may not realize how fast he's driving, and a pedestrian relying on auditory clues may be unaware of an approaching vehicle, says Ralf Kunkel, Head of Audi Acoustics." Nissan's been on this for years (as has Honda); one day, you may only get to choose which noise your car makes, rather than whether it does.

Browser Wars Redux: This Time It's the Apps 170

itwbennett writes "Yesterday's release of the Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader brought to mind the bad old days of the browser wars, but with a new twist: while the app works on any iOS device, it only works on computers with Safari and Chrome. Blogger Brian Proffitt knows as well as anyone that 'this isn't a deliberate snub of the other browsers. Clearly the developers of this web app had to get it to work on Safari, because that's the only vector to get it onto an Apple device. And, since both Chrome and Safari have a shared ancestor in WebKit, it makes sense that what would work in one browser would work in the other.' But it raises an interesting question: 'If HTML5 and other web technologies are supposed to be open and standardized, then will web app developers have to continually tweak their apps in order to accommodate deficiencies or advantages between browsers, or will browsers have to constantly stay in sync with each other's features just to be able to run all the web apps out there?'"

US May Issue Terror Alerts On Facebook, Twitter 104

CWmike writes "The US government may start issuing terror alerts using Facebook and Twitter, which were thrust again in the spotlight recently as lifelines in Japan. An AP report Thursday, based on a 19-page draft of the plan that the news service obtained, said DHS is working to overhaul the current color-coded terror alert system. 'The new terror alerts would ... be published online using Facebook and Twitter 'when appropriate,' the AP reports, 'but only after federal, state and local government leaders have already been notified.' Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at the Yankee Group, said the government entrusting something as critical as terrorist alerts to Facebook and Twitter shows how important social networking sites have become to people's lives. 'There are hundreds of millions of people using Facebook and Twitter. For many of them, it's their primary communication tool,' Kerravala said. 'That means it's a great way to get information to a massive number of people. Maybe the best.'"

Amazon Releases Cloud-Based Music Service 222

c0lo writes "Right after rumors that Google was preparing to take on iTunes service with a digital music store of its own, Amazon has announced that it's entering the fight with a cloud-based music service of its own. From the article: 'Amazon Cloud Drive is a "personal disk drive in the cloud," while Amazon Cloud Player is, well, a Web-based music player. That's right--Amazon Cloud Drive will be something like Google's rumored digital music locker, a cloud-based storage system for all of your tunes.'"

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