Titanic victory for fair use: appeals court says Google's book-scanning is legal

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just dropped a bombshell, ruling against the Authors Guild in its bid to force Google to stop scanning books and making them searchable.

Elaborate spear-phishing attempt against global Iranian and free speech activists, including an EFF staffer

Citizenlab details an "elaborate phishing campaign" against Iranian expats and activists, combining phone-calls from fake Reuters reporters, mostly convincing Google Docs login-screens, and a sophisticated attempt to do a "real-time man-in-the-middle attack" against Google's two-factor authentication. Read the rest

The Internet may not be the question, but it's the answer

My latest Guardian column looks at the fiction and reality of "Internet Utopianism," and the effect that a belief in the transformative power of the Internet has had on movements, companies, and norms. Read the rest

Google anti-trust action is dumb, but the EU should be worried about online giants

My latest Guardian column, Can anything curb the dominance of the internet's big guns? points out that everything governments do to tame the online giants has no effect on them -- but makes it nearly impossible for new companies to compete with them. Read the rest

You autocomplete me

A letterpress Valentine from Paperwheel ($6.75). (via Dan Hon) Read the rest

Youtube ditches Flash, but it hardly matters

A year ago, the news that the world's biggest video site was abandoning proprietary software would have been incredible, but thanks to the World Wide Web Consortium's Netflix-driven DRM work, this changes very little. Read the rest

G+'s Real Names policy has moved to China

Google's dropped its dumbass Real Names policy for social media, but don't worry, the adorable little fella found a welcome home in China, where bloggers and other social media users are now prohibited from using aliases or parody names. Read the rest

Google's end-to-end email encryption moves to Github

Google's made some major announcements about End-to-End, their implementation of the best-of-breed email encryption tool PGP, which they're refactoring as a way of encrypting webmail so that neither they nor the spy-services can read it in transit or at rest. Read the rest

Secret history of the poop emoji

The 2007 project to bring emoji to Android -- and thence to the Web -- involved an epic battle over the inclusion of the much-loved "pile of poop" emoji, whose significance to the Japanese market was poorly understood by various reactionary elements at Google. Read the rest

Malware authors use Gmail drafts as dead-drops to talk to bots

Once you've successfully infected your victim's computer with malware, you want to be able to send it orders -- so you spawn an invisible Internet Explorer window, login to an anonymous Gmail account, and check in the Drafts folder for secret orders. Read the rest

Google releases set of beautiful, freely usable icons

They're licensed CC-BY-SA and designed for use in mobile apps and other interactive stuff -- there's 750 in all! It's part of Google's Material Design project. Read the rest

EU wants Google to extend "right to be forgotten" to global users

Right now, Google blocks "forgotten" articles on EU versions of its site. Read the rest

The apology letter Google SHOULD have used to announce the end of G+ "Real Names"

The sudden reversal of Google's years-long insistence on "real names" for G+ users came after a long fight about the biases inherent in such a policy. Read the rest

Infamous SF "eviction" lawfirm abuses DMCA to censor video of protest

The offices of Bornstein and Bornstein are notorious for running "boot camps" advising San Francisco landlords on legal loopholes for evicting long-term tenants so they can rent to the high-flying tech sector. Read the rest

Google Plus drops "Real Names" policy

After years of criticism, Google Plus has finally dropped its controversial, Facebook-alike "Real Names" policy. Read the rest

Indexing pages that Google must hide from Europeans

The controversial "right to be forgotten" European court ruling has Google removing embarrassing (and worse) search results from search-results served in the EU. Read the rest

Google's badass "Security Princess" profiled

Parisa Tabriz 's title at Google is "Security Princess" -- meaning that she runs the adversarial internal team tasked with continuously testing and probing Google's security to find flaws before the enemy does. Read the rest

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