Jun 23rd

Internet Speeds Dropping, But Net Neutrality Won't Help

By Andy

 

Internet Speeds Dropping, But Net Neutrality Won't Help

A set of FCC imposed net neutrality rules went into effect last month, aimed primarily at protecting Internet speeds across broadband and mobile networks.  The Internet is slowing, however, yet it's not because mobile carriers are throttling customers with no-limit plans or broadband providers are selling preferred space for data hog companies that pay for the privilege.  According to Web data tracker HTTP Archive, websites are growing in size, thus taking longer to load, all across the World Wide Web.  The HTTP Archive report said that the average size for websites has increased 40 percent over the last two years, from 1.5 megabytes (MB) to 2.1 MB.  The reasons for websites growing at this pace vary, but the impact is perpetual because when one website adds a specific type of content, rivals eventually follow suit and websites expand for companies in that entire industry.

Jun 16th

Net Neutrality Rules Enacted as ISPs Fight to Overturn Them

By Andy

Net Neutrality Rules Enacted as ISPs Fight to Overturn Them

The Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules officially went into effect on Friday, though there si still quite a bit of confusion as to what the rules actually do.  The rules were published back on April 13th, but a two-month waiting period was observed before they went into effect.  Several internet Service providers, including Verizon and AT&T, have filed an appeal, though it could take years before that action is eventually decided by the Supreme Court.  The ISPs asked a judge to halt several sections of the rules until their appeal is resolved, but a court denied the request last week, on the same day the net neutrality rules were enacted.

Jun 9th

Apple Goes Social to Differentiate New Streaming Service

By dallaseste

Apple Goes Social to Differentiate New Streaming Service

Apple finally unveiled its new streaming service on Monday at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.  Dubbed Apple Music, the service will be available on multiple platforms on June 30th for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 per month.  In an effort to differentiate their product from rivals like Spotify and Rdio, Apple execs said that the service will be an all-in-one destination for music fans.  In addition to providing instant access to all of the millions of titles on iTunes, the service also features a 24/7 radio broadcast and a platform for artists to communicate with fans.  Called “Connect”, the communication feature excited some artists and music managers, who complain that there has not been a good social platform for music since the early days of MySpace.  Within the Connect feature, artists will be able to have their own hubs featuring bios, pictures and videos of the artist, in addition to links to all of their songs and albums on iTunes.  The pages appear pretty similar to profiles on Facebook or other social media outlets, except fans won't have to leave Apple Music to find out more about their favorite artists.

Jun 2nd

Dept. of Justice Sides with Oracle in Lawsuit Versus Google

By Frank Galvano

Dept. of Justice Sides with Oracle in Lawsuit Versus Google

Oracle scored a huge victory last week in its ongoing lawsuit against Google over the company's Android operating system. The Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in the case last week which essentially confirms a lower court's ruling siding with Oracle. The brief also recommended that the Supreme Court not take up the case, effectively putting an end to the matter if the Supreme Court follows the DOJ recommendation. The nation's highest court had asked to take a look at the matter after a pair of lower courts issued opposing rulings, but the US Solicitor General is now asking the Supreme Court to hold off until the lower courts rule on Google's Fair Use argument.

Jun 2nd

Another Court Rules that Eyeo's Adblock Software is Legal

By Kelly Curtis

Another Court Rules that Eyeo's Adblock Software is Legal

The makers of AdBlock plus scored a key victory in court this week when a judge ruled in their favor in Germany.  Marketed as the world's most popular ad blocking tool, AdBlock Plus allows users to block display ads when browsing the Internet.   RTL Interactive and ProSiebenSat1, a pair of German broadcasters, filed a lawsuit claiming that blocking ads was illegal.  The companies also took issue with  Eyeo, the company that makes AdBlock, and its white-listing service for ads.  Under Eyeo's Acceptable Ads policy, publishers are required to follow certain guidelines and often pay pricey fees in order to have their ads white-listed, meaning they wouldn't be blocked under normal use of the AdBlock product.  Of course, AdBlock users can still opt to block all ads, meaning white-listed ads wouldn't even appear for those users.

Jun 2nd

Bing No Longer the Forgotten Step Child of Web Search

By Andy

Bing No Longer the Forgotten Step Child of Web Search

Microsoft's Bing search engine has come a long way since it debuted in 2009, according to the latest figures from online research specialist Gartner. Back then, Bing accounted for just 8.4 percent of Internet searches, compared to more than 65 percent for global search leader Google. According to the latest report, Bing's share of US searches has surpassed 20 percent for the first time. That puts Bing in second behind Google, whose share has basically held steady for over a decade. Bing has managed to increase its share without impacting Google thanks to the declining popularity of Yahoo, Aol and Ask.com. While Bing is still well behind Google, many insiders believe there's room to grow as Google continues to battle antitrust allegations and other Public Affairs issues.

May 26th

Tracking Protection Feature on Firefox Improves Browser Performance

By Ronnie

Tracking Protection Feature on Firefox Improves Browser Performance

The Tracking Protection feature on Mozilla's Firefox browser certainly takes care of privacy and security concerns, but can also improve browser performance, according to a study conducted by former Mozilla software designer Monica Chew with computer science researcher Georgios Kontaxis. According to the study, the Alexa top 200 news websites experienced a 67 percent reduction in the number of HHTP cookies set, a 44 percent median reduction in page load times and a 39 percent slide in data usage. The duo cited several examples, including the home page at Weather.com, which loaded in 6.3 seconds without Tracking Protection and 4.3 seconds with the feature on. The researchers loaded each site 10 times with and 10 times without Tracking Protection.

May 26th

New Android App Could Hurt Google's Ad Revenue

By Mike Goldman

New Android App Could Hurt Google's Ad Revenue

 A German company released a new mobile browser this week that has execs over at Google concerned about their biggest source of revenue. Based on the Firefox browser, the new AdBlock browser allows Android users to search the web without seeing the mobile ads that Google earns most of its income through. The app is currently in beta, and comes from Eyeo, the same German firm that developed AdBlock Plus, a PC-based ad-blocking browser extension. According to PageFair, some 28 percent of Internet-using Americans use AdBlock Plus, costing Google a whopping $887 million in ad revenue in 2012. While only 2 percent of the company's ad revenue that year, the total was enough that Google paid Eyeo to “whitelist” some ads. If the mobile version catches on, it could cost Google even more as Americans increasingly turn to mobile devices for their online browsing.

May 12th

Facebook Takes Another Stab at Google with New Search Engine

By Dave Simmons

Facebook Takes Another Stab at Google with New Search Engine

The world's largest social network rolled out a new feature this week that's designed to keep users from browsing over to Google something in order to share a story with friends. The feature has only been rolled out so far for a handful of iOS users, who are seeing an “Add-A-Link” option next to the buttons for adding photos or locations. When users type in a query, the feature shows a series of links related to the query. The user can then preview the pages or select one to add to your post. The results appear to be based on what users are most likely to share, as the links are mostly from publishers that have a lot of content shared over Facebook.

May 5th

Microsoft's Bing Gains Ground on Google and Yahoo

By Ronnie

 

Microsoft's Bing Gains Ground on Google and Yahoo

 

Microsoft's Bing Internet search engine is continuing to gain on market leader Google according to the latest figures from ComScore.  For the first time ever, Bing accounted for more than 20 percent of US-based, desktop PC Internet searches in March, the report showed.  Google and Bing's former partner Yahoo each saw their share of US searches slide 0.1 percent last month, while Bing's share gained 0.3 percent, apparently snatching searches from smaller sites as well as from its two biggest rivals.  Of course, even with last month's gain, Google still controls the US web search market, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all searches last month (64.4%).  But Google's dominance is falling, as shown by not only Bing's gains last month but also the gains Yahoo made several weeks ago after reaching a settlement with Mozilla to be the default search engine for the browser.

 

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