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We haven’t heard much in the news about Google+ this year, but this week the social network that set out to take on Facebook is back. According to Google, its Google+ social network is growing as fast as Facebook did at its peak. The number of Google+ active users has jumped to 135 million, a 35% increase in its user base in three months. Now Google+ has added a new feature called Communities. Communities are formed around special interests. So, for example, users who enjoy cooking can join the Google+ cooking community. When a user wants to post about cooking, he or she can post to the cooking community, where it will be most appreciated. Likewise users can go to communities when they want to read what others are posting. Any user can create a community as well. Time will tell if this new feature will help Google+ lure more users away from Facebook.
- Google+ shows 35% growth, adds Communities [Computerworld]
- What’s so great about Google+ Communities? [Computerworld]
and elsewhere in Tech News.
- A new startup company run by ex-NASA officials called Golden Spike has announced its intention to organize manned commercial expeditions to the moon by 2020, selling seats or cargo space to wealthy individuals, nations, and corporations. Want to go to the moon? It’ll set you back around $1.5 Billion.
Two Tickets to the Moon: Yours for Just $1.5 Billion [Tech Review]
- The House has unanimously passed a Senate resolution that calls on the U.S. government to oppose United Nations control of the Internet. The vote sends a signal to countries meeting at a U.N. conference on telecommunications this week where some proposals could allow U.N. regulation of the Internet.
House approves resolution to keep Internet control out of UN hands [The Hill]
and in Information Security news this week…
- Security firm Sophos has discovered that Android has overtaken Windows as the most targeted operating system for malware attacks. Sophos found that during a three-month period this year, 10 percent of Android-based devices experienced some form of malware attack, while just 6 percent of Windows PCs were attacked.
The Changing Face of Security: Android Overtakes Windows As Top Threat [TechnologyReview]
- Another hacker associated with the hacker collective Anonymous is going to jail. Twenty-two year old Christopher Weatherhead was convicted in a London courtroom of conspiracy to impair the operation of computers. Weatherhead’s attacks hit the sites of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and several others. Weatherhead, who will be sentenced at a later date, could face up to 10 years in prison.
Student Convicted in Anonymous Cyberattacks [NewsFactor]
and in Tech Industry news…
- Amazon is rolling out a new Kindle service aimed at kids ages 3 to 8. Kindle “FreeTime Unlimited” gives kids the freedom to explore age-appropriate content on their own and pick for themselves what they want to watch, play or read next. Amazon is selling the service at a monthly rate of $2.99 per child or $6.99 for the entire family.
Amazon Offers FreeTime Unlimited for Kindle-Using Kids [NewsFactor]
- TMobile has announced that it will begin carrying the iPhone and other Apple devices beginning in 2013.
Apple devices coming to T-Mobile USA in 2013 [Computerworld]
- Apple CEO, Tim Cook has announced that starting in 2013, a line of Macs will be manufactured in the US. Apple has suffered criticism for its reliance on the manufacturing giant Foxconn, which had a string of suicides at one of its plants, and where there have occasionally been reports of unsafe working conditions.
Made in USA: Your Mac? [TechReview]
- Soon ads may follow you from device to device thanks to a startup named Drawbridge. The new company is run by a former Google advertising scientist that has developed a technology that is able to match people across devices to serve more targeted advertisements, while promising to protect their privacy.
You from One Device to the Next [Technology Review]
- Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, seems to have come around to Apple’s point of view. Speaking to shareholders, Ballmer said that Microsoft needs to acknowledge that “getting the innovation right across the seam of hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them.” Ballmer says the future of Microsoft is in hardware.
Is Microsoft Really A Hardware Company Now? [Technology Review]
- The Pope is Tweeting! Pope Benedict XVI now has a Twitter account under the name Pontifex and will be tweeting in eight languages on a regular basis.
Pope Joins Tweeting Masses with Pontifex Handle [NewsFactor]