My advice to speaker shoppers who prioritize sound quality is go for a good set of big speakers. They conjure the sound of music more realistically than tiny ones. I know all too well that most folks settle for something smaller, and usually it's a case of the smaller, the better. That's why designers are always trying to get bigger sounds out of smaller speakers. Enter the Vanatoo Transparent One, a 10-inch-tall powerhouse armed with a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, a separate rear-mounted 5.25-inch passive radiator, and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This little speaker made a … Read more
The top tech companies are sharpening their blades in their battle with the National Security Agency. While they've been doggedly asking for transparency on the agency's mass surveillance program for months, they're now calling for reform.
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and AOL penned a letter (pdf) to the lead members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday urging the lawmakers to substantially reform the NSA surveillance practices. The companies also asked for additional oversight and accountability mechanisms for the spying programs.
"Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is … Read more
The number of URL takedown requests Google receives from copyright holders has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. And now, a new high has been reached -- Google received 21.5 million takedown requests in September.
The new data comes in Google's Transparency Report, which not only gives the numbers but also shows who is requesting the takedowns, the copyright owners, and the targeted domains.
During the last week of September, Google received the highest amount of requests to date -- a whopping 5.9 million. For comparison, not much more than a year ago the search engine … Read more
A group of some of the biggest names in technology and advocacy has written an open letter to Congress demanding greater transparency when it comes to government requests for user data.
In the letter (PDF), companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Microsoft, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reporters Without Borders, and others wrote to Congress to promote the passage of the Senate's Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, and the House's Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013, "each of which would clarify that companies have the right to publish basic … Read more
Governments keep wanting more and more information from Twitter.
The company's latest transparency report, now a biannual affair, shows a steady increase in information requests from governments around the world, including those for user account information, which Twitter said typically are made in connection with criminal investigations or cases. For the first six months of 2013, Twitter received 1,157 requests, up from 1,009 in the second half of 2012 and 849 in the first half of 2012.
Web sites you think are safe but have been compromised to distribute malicious software are far more prevalent than sites that are intentionally dangerous, according to a new Transparency Report from Google released on Tuesday.
The new Safe Browsing section of the report reveals some of the security trends that Google has been seeing. While Google reiterated that its Safe Browsing program flags up to 10,000 sites a day, the report showed that hacked sites remain a major problem -- with about 60 percent hosting malware and 40 percent being used for phishing attacks.
Dedicated attack sites numbered in … Read more
Requests by governments worldwide to remove content from Google's services have hit an all-time high, according to the company.
Between July and December 2012, Google received 2,285 government requests for the removal of content on its services. In total, 24,179 pieces of content were asked to be removed by the government entities, setting a new record, according to Google. In the first half of 2012, Google received 1,811 requests to remove more than 18,000 pieces of content.
Google's release, which is part of the company's Transparency Report launched three years ago, indicates that … Read more
Transparency in images files can be quite convenient, especially if you need to place the same image over different backgrounds and want it to properly blend in. While having a white or other solid color background may help you view the image on the screen, with this setup if you embed it in a document with a different-color background then the white will stand out as an obtrusive rectangle.
To help reduce this, you can both manually remove backgrounds from images using Apple's Preview application or use a transparent canvas to compile images that already contain transparency.
To create … Read more
Google today became the first Internet company to shed light on a highly secret -- and controversial -- warrantless electronic data-gathering technique used by the FBI.
The technique allows FBI officials to send a secret request to Web and telecommunications companies requesting "name, address, length of service," and other information about users as long as it's relevant to a national security investigation. No court approval is necessary, and disclosing the existence of the FBI's request is not permitted.
Because of that legal prohibition, Google was able to disclose only the numerical ranges of requests it receives … Read more
The Preview application in OS X has an excellent option for capturing handwritten signatures and inserting them into PDF documents. This is great for signing forms, letters, and other items that require a signature. The process for doing so simply involves capturing a written signature with a Web cam, after which you can append them to any PDF document open in Preview.
Signatures that you associate with Preview in this manner are stored in an encrypted form, which is great for security but also means that Preview is the only program that can access them. Even though an inserted signature … Read more