Alan Buckingham

Twitter explains its legal approach against ban in Turkey


Social media is frequently the first victim of internet censorship when nations begin attempting to lock down citizens. We have seen these efforts fail time and again. Turkey has been no exception during the past week -- Twitter was blocked, and users flocked to change DNS settings to Google, though that has now also been locked out.

Twitter, for its part, has filed legal action within the country, in an effort to have the blockade lifted and give a voice back to its users, including dissenters of the current government. Now the company details its current efforts in a blog post from Vijaya Gadde, general counsel for the social network.

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Rocking the dorm room -- Spotify offers student discounts

students celebrating

Students are sometimes in need of breaks on prices, as school eats into the time required for a job. To that end, many software and hardware makers offer discounts to allow those we consider our future to be able to attain what they need in order to get through classes. But that isn't all that's required, unwinding with some entertainment is also sometimes necessary.

Now Spotify wants to help out, offering discounts for students. The service has announced it is cutting the price in half, slashing $9.99 down to $4.99 for college students.

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Yahoo Screen launches on Roku, brings comedy clips to the set-top box


Roku seems to be on a recent roll of sorts, adding many new options, or channels, to its popular set-top box. But, this is an increasingly tough market with competition from Apple and Google, as well as smaller contenders like WD. So getting more deals is in the best interest of the company, but also benefits the customers. Now Roku announces Yahoo Screen.

What is Yahoo Screen? It's a video service that provides clips from top US comedy shows. You’ll find the best moments from such top-rated titles as Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, South Park and The Colbert Report.

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Forget the iWatch Apple, it's another race you've lost to Android

horse race

Apple has rarely been first to market with a product -- it did not build the first MP3 player or tablet, but it does have a history of revolutionizing those markets, as it did with the smartphone. There isn't anything wrong with stepping into an existing market and bringing along fresh and innovative ideas. In fact, it has worked out quite well for the company over the years.

However, more recent history shows that Apple can also lose the markets, as both tablet and smartphone have fallen behind rival Android, which entered the scene later. Openness plays a part in this -- a multitude of devices to choose from, along with more customizable options, is a big deal when compared to a closed system with one device released annually.

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Rapoo T120P Touch Mouse brings better functionality to Windows 8.x [Review]


When it comes to technology, many things are personal. Some prefer an iPad, while others opt for an Android or Windows tablet. The best thing is choice, and there is no shortage of that on the market -- in fact, the amount of new products amounts to sensory overload.

Oddly enough, few things are more personal than a mouse. That seems an odd item, but it rings true -- there are ones that are travel-size, while others are designed for the PC gamer and offer a dizzying amount of buttons. There is the standard model, the wireless USB and the Bluetooth. The options are almost overwhelming, though the average computer user likely just opts for a standard size, wired USB model -- probably the one that came with the computer.

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Opera-powered smart TVs from RCA set for US launch

watching tv

The home theater environment continues to evolve. We have set-top boxes from the likes of Google, Apple and Roku, along with gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, DVRs and Smart TVs. All are capable, in one way or another, of getting more media into the home. But a move to consolidate through the TV would be welcome, at least to me.

One of the biggest forces behind-the-scenes in the Smart TV world is now Opera, which is frequently thought of in the web browser world. But the company has a thriving app store system for this, and it now announces adoption by RCA to release panels to the US market.

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Yahoo introduces Games Network with touch-friendly playable classics

yahoo classic games

The gaming industry continues to move forward. While consoles and PCs are still popular platforms, mobile has become a growing force for game developers, with smartphones and tablets providing the perfect platforms for casual touch-based entertainment. The market becomes a bit more crowded today, as one more major name jumps into the ring.

Yahoo announces a new Games Network that will feature classic titles that it hopes will spark interest and nostalgia. It comes in two parts, really, because it is also for developers who wish to distribute new titles.

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EA Games server compromised, breach targets Apple IDs

hacker malware

Nothing on the internet is safe these days. Even point-of-sale systems in stores we regularly shop in can be accessed and stolen from -- witness Target to name only one recent high profile example. However, when it comes to computers, some users see Apple as more secure. While that may be a result of simply being less targeted, there is also nothing that the company can do to protect people from themselves.

Security firm Netcraft, which boasts customers that include British Telecom, Microsoft and Cisco, has detailed a sneaky new attack. EA, the popular game maker, has had one of its servers compromised so it can host phishing attacks that target Apple IDs.

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New College Humor video tackles Google, Bing and the NSA


Thanks to the likes of College Humor and Funny or Die there is no shortage of comical entertainment on the web these days. The former has got laughs before with a video showing what the web would be like if Google were actually a guy, and now it follows that success up with a sequel.

The new video contains the expected humorous search queries from everyday people, as each gets a turn to enter the office and pose a question. However, this time the comedy troop has given things a more modern twist.

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Pandora One raises subscription price, existing users immune to new cost

music woman tablet headphones

Pandora is one of the grandfathers of the streaming music service, and it has remained one of the better deals among paid music apps. Granted, being a radio-only service limits the capability and, therefore, the potential price that can be charged, but many customers find that it's quite useful and all they really need.

Now Pandora is being forced to raise prices. Even though the increase is minimal, the service is making it as painless as possible for loyal customers -- in fact, completely painless. The current subscription cost for One (unlimited and ad-free) will rise from $3.99 to $4.99 per month beginning in May, but those who already have a One account need not worry, as things will not change for them.

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Android Wear -- Google brings its mobile OS to your wrist

time watch laptop waiting impatient

Wearable technology is not a brand new innovation, it's not even new to Google. We've long become accustomed to Android-powered products like Google Glass, and Pebble and Galaxy Gear smartwatches. While I've had no real desire to foray into the Glass market, I am on record as wanting a Pebble, though I've yet to convince myself to shell out the money.

Now Google is diving into this market a bit more officially -- no more dipping in toes to test the water. The company announces wearable Android, and it begins with watches.

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Amazon lands major textbook distribution deal in Brazil

students celebrating

Amazon began its retail life as an online book distributor, though it's something we rarely consider the company now -- unless you choose to count digital versions for Kindle and Kindle apps. However, a thriving market for textbooks exists and that has become a recent focus for the company -- also in digital format.

Amazon now lands a major contract in that market, announcing it has reached a textbook deal with the Brazil Ministry of Education. "National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE), has been working with Amazon to convert and wirelessly distribute more than 200 textbooks to hundreds of thousands of public high school teachers via Whispercast", the company states.

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Corporate greed in the face of disaster must end, stop capitalizing on grief


I will pull no punches here. It’s plain and simple to explain -- just days after Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing, with whereabouts and outcome still unknown, the pack of wolves began to attack. Emails arrived at BetaNews desks advertising corporate solutions to family grief. Are they mad?

Do the families of missing people really worry about the lost password to Facebook or Twitter? This sort of ambulance chasing, as it was long ago named, should have died with the era in which the phrase was coined.

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Amazon Prime officially gets a price increase, customers safe for now


Rumors have abounded for weeks that Amazon would bump up the pricing of its Prime service -- the program that awards free two-day shipping on all purchases, provides a lending library to Kindle owners and a video streaming service that competes with Netflix.

Today, rumor becomes fact as existing customers awake to an email that gives the bad news. While cries of gloom over the price possibly doubling were, thankfully, not true, it is still an added fee to the annual subscription rate.

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Google Street View paddles down the Colorado River


Despite its name, which stems from the location of origin, the Colorado River is most famous for its winding path through the Grand Canyon in Arizona. From there, it makes its way on to Baja in Mexico and finally a terminus at the Gulf -- a 1,450 mile journey.

If you haven’t seen the river, or the canyon (and I highly recommend doing so) then Google Street View will now give you a sense of what it is like. The search giant teamed up with American Rivers to capture the images seen in this latest update.

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