About a year and a half ago, Google
censored the Internet on their own and removed the word "torrent" (and all related terms) from their Autocomplete and Instant searches. This set off an uproar throughout all different types of online communities, including the beloved pirates, and Google then began to censor other words as well, but backed down on a couple, like MegaUpload, although that site is now shut down. Well, RIAA and MPAA have ramped up the pressure to crack down on piracy and, per the usual spineless actions from Google, the company has responded in fear of RIAA potentially taking away their iTunes library at the Googleplex.
Just days after one of the co-founders
of The Pirate Bay has been deported back to Sweden from Cambodia, the search giant has removed "The Pirate Bay" from Autocomplete and Instant searches. Doing some random searches also show that Zippyshare and Mediafire have also been removed, but YouSendIt remains. Again, as we reported 18 months ago, the removals seem arbitrary, with Google removing whatever site or group RIAA and/or the MPAA seem to be mad at that week. There's really no method, rhyme or reason to their removal process. The good news is that The Pirate Bay knows this and doesn't seem to be phased by it. Plus, they even made a small mention of censorship of their search results in a blog post back in June.
Right now about 10 percent of our traffic comes from these competing search engines. With that ban in place that means that our traffic numbers probably will increase. Users will go directly to us instead and use our search instead. We'll grow even more massive.
The Pirate Bay has a very good point. Most people who know of the site will go directly to that site and users will typically refer each other to sites like this and won't end up there via a web search. Will Google fess up to the actual reasons why it has removed TPB? Probably not. Instead, we're left with this on their help page,
While we always strive to algorithmically reflect the diversity of content on the web (some good, some objectionable), we also apply a narrow set of removal policies for pornography, violence, hate speech, and terms that are frequently used to find content that infringes copyrights.
All of this is simply more fuel for several things going against Google right now, including the
anti-trust investigations. Perhaps it's time for users to switch search engines on a greater scale? While we're on the topic, maybe our loyal readers should try and Bing It On. See if you end up on the better side of web searching. Post your results in the comments section below.
It was only a week ago that Sprint continued to add onto its 4G LTE network, which started up
back in July, and made high-speed data available in four more cities. Compared to Verizon's launch, it's been pretty dismal for the guys in yellow, however, Sprint looked to change that with a big announcement this week.
Sprint has officially announced that it is pushing out LTE in more than 100 cities nationwide in the next few months, adding onto the enhanced 3G services in those cities. This more than quadruples its current catalog of 19 cities that are benefiting from true 4G LTE but still is nowhere close to Verizon's 337 current markets. However, this is a strong second step for Sprint, as the company still has unlimited data plans that can make good use of the new speeds.
For a list of the cities and some more breakdown of the news, including how the launch will happen, read on after the break.
Gottfrid Svartholm, co-founder of The Pirate Bay, was
arrested last week in his riverside home in Cambodia. This week we have an update for you. Officials close to the matter have said that they are deporting Svartholm. However, there is no word as of yet on when or where they are sending him.
A spokesperson for the police, Kirth Chantharith, said,
We will deport him based on our immigration law. We just know we will deport him. As to which country, that would be up to the Swedish side.
Currently, there are no extradition agreements in place between Cambodia and Sweden, where the pirate was originally convicted. Media outlets in Cambodia have speculated that the deportation would occur very soon, so long as the police commissioner signs off on everything. We have also learned that one of the main reasons Cambodia is pushing for the immediate deportation is because of the pressure Sweden is trying to put on countries that are housing the convicted Pirate Bay founders. Only $50,000 US have been recovered from the drawn-out case and while the CEO Carl Lundstrom has served time and paid for his part of the ruling, the remaining three reside outside of Sweden and are still evading police in several countries, but occasionally
popping up on Twitter to let everyone know they're okay.
We will keep you up to date as soon as we hear what happens next to Svartholm, who was hiding in his own home in Cambodia for four years before police found him. It may be 2020 before the other two are brought back home to Sweden.
Earlier this year, over
$228,000 worth of Bitcoins were stolen. For those who don't know, Bitcoin is a digital currency, similar to Microsoft Points. However, Bitcoins are acquired via "mining" from an idle PC. What it comes down to is that you are being compensated for your time and your computer's usage. The theft marked the second time in under a year that the new currency's security was breached, both through a Bitcoin exchange server and from Bitcoin servers directly. Unfortunately for those involved in Bitcoin, more theft has occurred.
The founder of the company BitFloor, which is an exchange service for Bitcoins, has reported that a hacker was able to access the company's servers and walk away with 24,000 Bitcoins, which is worth close to about $250,000. Because of this, the exchange now is out of money to make good on all of its deposits and BitFloor is under a temporary suspension of operations while it investigates the matter.
For more on this breach and what's being done about it, click that break.
The Nokia Lumia 900 has been the source of a lot of conversation since its release. Many people were incredibly excited about the flagship handset for Windows Phone 7, but there was only one major problem - it came out just ahead of the announcement that Windows Phone 8 was right around the corner and current model handsets would not be able to run it. Add to that a marketing campaign about the smartphone beta test and there is a lot of potential for unhappy customers and comedic fodder. At least WinPho 7.8 will bring some of the enhancements to the existing handsets.
Luckily Nokia has provided a solution to the problem, and they call it the Lumia 920. If you are under contract with a 900 you are out of luck, but for those of us who waited it out will get the ability to get a hold of the successor to the original flagship handset, and it will certainly be worth the wait. One of the new features of the Lumia 920 is wireless charging, using the
Qi technology. This is a feature that is exciting to me as a webOS device owner. None of my devices ever really get plugged in, they all charge through induction. Fulton Innovation has been fighting with the Consumer Electronic Association to bring induction charging through their Qi standard to new devices and this indicates that the concept is catching on.
What else does the new Lumia 920 offer to Windows Phone customers? Hit the break for the details and photos.