Gawker Media Attacked By 4chan Members

The famous forum members of 4chan have struck once again with an attack on Gawker Media properties. According to reports, this was the second attempt from 4chan members on Gawker properties in two days.

4chan_logo

Though the attack yesterday was not successful, it looks like 4chan members were able to take down Gawker properties today through heavy DDoS type of attacks. 4chan members have been carrying out such attacks in the past too including on Verizon Wireless who had blocked 4chan.

Right now too some Gawker sites I tried to load have a very slow response time, it is not very clear whether the attack is still on or whether Gawker managed to do something about it.

(Village Voice and Gawker Blog Deadspin via Techmeme)

Google Image Search Simplified, More Like Bing Now

Google Image Search is definitely not my favorite way to find images and I have been using several other ways to download Stock images including the Creative Commons image search.

Google Image Search Simplified

The new Google Image Search refresh design provides a dense tiled layout which allows users to look at lot of images at once. In addition to that, it also provides users with Instant scrolling between pages allowing users to view 1,000 images in one scrolling page.

The new Google Image Search also provides users with a Larger thumbnail preview and also displays the full image when you hover over a thumbnail. Clicking on a image link will now take you to a new landing page which displays the large image in context with the website it was found on. And last but not the least, Google Image Search now also has optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through different pages.

Though these features are new at Google, they have already existed at Bing for a while. For example, Bing users will be familiar with the tiled layout and instant scrolling features. And yes, this is not the first time that Google has copied something from Bing. In the past, Google had also tried their hands at Custom backgrounds, which was again copied from Bing.

Google is also introducing a new ad format called Image Search as, which will appear only on Google Images. These new ads can include a thumbnail alongside the advertisement text.

The new changes are being rolled out across the world in the next few days, so you might not see the new interface right away. Nevertheless, it is definitely interesting that Google is finding a lot of inspiration from Bing these days. I wouldn’t mind that as long as my search results are not affected. What about you?

(Official Google Blog)

Check CSIR NET 2010 Results Online

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) National Eligibility Test (NET) has been declared for exams held on 20th June, 2010. Check CSIR NET Results June 2010 Online. CSIR National Eligibility Test Exam Results Declared. CSIR JRF NET merit list Online.

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India, a premier national Research and Development organization which is also among the world’s largest publicly funded R&D organization have announced the results for the National Eligibility Test (NET) exams held on 20th June, 2010.

CSIR NET test results for the exams held in June 2010 have been announced. The CSIR NET exam results held in June 2010 is now available for checking on the official CSIR website. Students can visit the official CSIR website to check their exam results online.

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Logo

CSIR has made available two merit lists, one compromising of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF NET) and one which consists of candidates chosen for the Eligibility Test for Lectureship. Both the lists are available as PDF downloads and can be downloaded from the official CSIR website http://csirhrdg.res.in/results.htm.

We wish all the students who appeared for the CSIR National Eligibility Test (NET) in 2010 the best of luck for their results and also best of luck in their future studies and career.

Amazon sells more eBooks than Hard Cover Books

Amazon has recently reported that sales of its Kindle eBooks have topped that of hardcover books for the last three months. This ration stands at 143 eBooks for 100 hardcover books. Even more stunning is the fact that the average over the last four weeks stands at 180 eBooks for 100 hard cover books.

Though, there are a mere 630,000 eBooks on Amazon, which forms small fraction when compared to the millions of hardcover books. Amazon has been selling hard cover books for the last 15 years and came into the eBook business with its flagship eBook reader Kindle only three years ago. Now,  Kindle has become an absolute hit with eBook buffs and even Apple iPad with its vast capabilities and the Apple mojo could not endanger the Kindle.

However, the record sale of Kindle eBooks does not reflect the sale and popularity of Kindle devices completely. Kindle books can be read on the iPad itself and numerous mobile devices as well. The advantage with Kindle eBook reader is that, every Kindle sale means Amazon gets a dedicated user who will buy books sooner or later.

Amazon Kindle initially competed against the Barnes and Noble reader Nook and the Apple iPad. The Kindle has won this race and is going to stay for long.

(Source)

Amazon Sells More Kindle After Price Drop, Kindle Books Outsell Hard Copies

Amazon Kindle, which got a price drop last month and now sells for $189 has been selling like hot-cakes according to a recent press release from Amazon. Kindle Books have also been outselling Hard Copy books in the past 3 months.

amazon_kindle

According to Amazon, the Kindle has been the best selling device for over 2 years and is also the most-wished-for, most-gifted and the product which has received the most 5 star ratings on Amazon.com.

"We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle–the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books–astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."

Amazon has had to cut the Kindle price thanks to competitors like Sony and Barnes and Nobles slashing pricing and also more direct competition from the Apple in the e-Book reader segment. However, the price drop has helped significantly along with some good sales in Kindle books too.

Amazon states that over the past three months, for every 100 hard copy books sold by Amazon, there are 143 Kindle books sold. The past three months Kindle books sale is 3 times that from the earlier quarter.

The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, including New Releases and 106 of 110 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 510,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 75 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.

More at the Official Amazon Press Release.

Indian Call Centers, an Emerging Social Hacking and Scamming Hub

India is popular for its call centers and no matter how crappy the Indian-American accent is it gets the job done. However, now, Indian call centers are doing more than getting the job done. They are reverse engineering their jobs to their personal advantage and this forms an excellent ground to run call-centre scams.

Consider this scenario. A person from India calls you telling that he is from Microsoft and quotes your correct address, phone number and name. Next, he goes on to say that Microsoft has released a fix for some problem and you need to download certain “Windows Event Viewer” software. This software is either a backdoor or, after this sequence, you are asked to pay up £185. Has this ever happened to you?

The Guardian is investigating into this and has figured out that the call center in question is located in Kolkata and has connections with a person from Kota in Rajasthan.

Microsoft has obviously denied making any such calls and having any tie-ups with any such call centers. The age group, which falls victim to this generally, includes the elderly and those people who are not involved and updated about such scams. More information will be revealed as the investigation proceeds.

(Source)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is on the CIA Wanted List

Julian Assange and his website, Wikileaks has become a phenomenon on the Internet. He has released numerous documents and videos over the last four years, the scale of which is unmatched with all other leaks combined.

wikileaks
He refuses to call himself a journalist though; his investigative journalism has made him a saga. All this heroism has however, got him in trouble with the US and he is on the top wanted list of CIA. They want to question him for posting a video of an American helicopter shooting and killing several  Iraqi  civilians and two Reuter’s journalists.

He has limited his movements out of Sweden and remains secretive about it. He has however, developed a likeness for Iceland where journalism is libel-free.

A report at  belfasttelegraph says,

What if publishing a document would threaten national security? “This phrase is so abused. Dick Cheney justified torture with it. Give me an example.” What about the movement of US troops? Would he publish a document that jeopardised their safety? “We’d have to think about it.” So that’s a yes? “It’s not a yes. If that fit into our editorial criteria which it might, if it was an extremely good movement then we’d have to look at whether that needed a harm minimisation procedure. We’d be totally happy to consider jeopardising the initiation of a war, or the action of war. Absolutely.”

Currently, Assange stays at a safe house. When being asked about his safety, he said,

Is it in the CIA’s interest to assassinate me? Maybe. But who would do it? Isn’t he brave to appear in public? Courage is an intellectual mastery of fear. It’s not that you don’t have fear, you just manage your risks intelligently.

Never heared of Wikileaks earlier? Have the taste of a Wikileaks controversy here.

Update: Here is a surprise interview of Assange by Chris Anderson:

Barnes and Noble Apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC, Mac

This isn’t newnews, but I’ve covered a few other eReader apps lately. I decided to try out the eReader apps that Barnes and Noble is offering.

I’m sure you’ve heard of BN. They’ve been in the book business for years. Currently they have a bookstore online at barnesandnoble.com. Here’s a screenshot:

BN-website

They also have a portable eReader device called the Nook similar to the Amazon Kindle and the Borders Kobo. Here’s what the Nook looks like:

BN-nook-ereader

If you already have one of the following; iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC or Mac, then you can download and run one of the free BN eReader apps. I recently tried out the PC version of the BN Reader. Here are two screenshots for you.

BN-reader

BN-reader-text

The BN eReader app for the PC doesn’t seem to have built in access to the online store. Instead, when you click on the store, it launches your default web browser to visit there. I don’t know if it works that way on other devices such as the iPad. ‘

Other than that, it seems to be just as easy to use as all of the other eReader applications I’ve tried.

If you like to read and you like Barnes and Noble stores, the Nook and the free BN Reader apps are going to be good tools for you.

See also:

Nook: Barnes & Noble Launches The Coolest eBook Reader

Borders Has a New eBook Store, eReader and Apps

Read e-Books on Your PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac or BlackBerry with Kindle Apps

Find and Read Free E-books with FBReader


Justin Bieber’s “Baby” Is Now The Most Watched YouTube Video Ever

You can either love Justin Bieber or hate him, but you just can’t ignore him. The teenage pop star’s music video “Baby” is now the most watched video on YouTube. After fighting it out for the past few days, Bieber has finally displaced the reigning champion Lada Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. At the moment, Bad Romance has 247,146,961 views, while Baby has 249,386,942 views.

Justin-Bieber

Justin Bieber’s supremacy is not restricted to YouTube. Earlier, his dominance on Twitter had forced the micro-blogging service to change its trending topics algorithm. He has also been declared as the most searched celebrity on the web.

The aforementioned videos are embedded below. Go ahead and knock yourself out. By the way, if any of you manage to decipher exactly what’s so captivating about Bieber’s music, feel free to enlighten us.

Google Search for ‘Vatican’ shows Pedophile Website as First Result. Did 4chan Strike Back?

A simple Google search for ‘Vatican’ displayed a  pedophile website as a search result for quite some time on Saturday morning. The website in question turned up as the first result on Google Search.  Google is still assessing the cause of this mishap, which happened early Saturday.

vatican-pedophile-google-search

The website named pedifilo’ is an Italian website and hence the name. However, with the Vatican having its official website of the same name, it is surprising as to how the first result can be different from that. This is clearly a hack carried out by some group.

What is funny is that Google Italy is not even sure if this is an attack or not and goes on to confess this! However, in my opinion, this looks like one of the things 4chan can do. We have seen similar stunts coming from 4chan earlier. With their take on religion, hackers all over the Internet are quite enjoying this momentary show.

The Vatican remains under constant controversy of such matters and this is a serious blow to its reputation.

(Source: Reddit and Source: Montrealgazette)