1. Google+ Grows To Become 2nd Largest Social Platform Globally

Google+, who despite being branded a failure or ghost town by large portions of the media, grew in terms of active usage by 27% to 343m users to become the number 2 social platform. Interestingly for Google, YouTube (not previously tracked by us as a social platform) comes in at number 3, demonstrating the immense opportunity of linking Googles services through the G+ social layer. This is also a key indication of why Google+ integrated with the Google product set is so key to the future of search and the internet. We've got more coming on Google+ later this week as well.
-- Global Web Index



2. Unlocking Your Phone Is Outlawed In The USA

Consumers can buy phones unlocked at full price. Or they can get their phones unlocked if their carriers permit it. AT&T, for example, will unlock an iPhone at a customers request if his contract is up and his account is in good standing.

Mr. Feld of Public Knowledge compared this to paying someone to unlock a closet.

"It's like if I took your stuff and locked it in a closet and said you are not allowed to break the lock"
-- New York Times

3. Doubling Twitter Frequency Has No Real Effect On Follower Number

Tweeting twice as often had little effect on follower growth and slightly increased interaction while more than doubling referral traffic. Tweet as often only if you maintain a high standard of content quality and usefulness.
-- Slingshot SEO

4. Visualize Twitter In Real Time, On A Global Scale


Tweetping.net (via The Atlantic).

Seriously cool. Oddly addictive....

5. Exact Match Searches Return More Results Because They Search Google's Index Deeper

"... this actually may happen because of the way we fetch results for you. With the high volume of sites available to search, Google separates its index into tiers so that more relevant documents can be refreshed at a higher rate. If you use quotations, we will search through more of the tiers to find as many results that fit your specific search. That means that it's possible for a search with quotations to dig deeper than a similar search without, and potentially return a higher number of results because of it."
-- Kousha Navidar, Community Manager for Google Search

(via Search Engine Roundtable)

See also: The Ultimate Fate of Supplemental Results from 2007 on the Official Google Blog.

6. Duckduckgo, The Geeky Cool Privacy Respecting Search Engine, Grows Steadily

    • 30 million searches in February 2012
    • Averages over 1 million searches a day
    • 12M API requests per day
      -- High Scalability

7. US Law Allows Warrantless Access To Data Of Any Non-US Person Outside The USA As Long The Data Is On American Servers

An obscure section in a US law is said to entitle authorities to access, without a warrant, data stored by any EU citizen on clouds run by American companies.


Rather than case-by-case snooping, the law authorises mass-surveillance of non-Americans, for purely political purposes, said Caspar Bowden who is the former chief privacy adviser to Microsoft [...] [Bowden says] FISAAA essentially makes it lawful for the US to conduct purely political surveillance on foreigners' data accessible in US Cloud providers.

It doesnt have to be a political party, it can be an activist group or anybody engaged in political activity or even just data from a foreign territory that relates to the conduct of foreign affairs in the United States, he said.
-- EU Observer

See also: Silicon Valley technology companies and the United States government are pushing hard against Europes effort to enact sweeping privacy protection for digital data.

8. Most Social Advertisers Rely On Free Channels, Free Tools


-- Nielsen Wire

9. Chinese Hackers, Likely Government Backed, Have Hacked Into The New York Times For The Past 4 Months

The persistent attack seemed to be in reaction to the Times' reporting October 25, 2012, of the billions of dollars family of China's prime minister have accumulated through various business deals.

"For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.

After surreptitiously tracking the intruders to study their movements and help erect better defenses to block them, The Times and computer security experts have expelled the attackers and kept them from breaking back in."
-- New York Times

10. Google Faces Legal Action In The UK Over Secret iPhone Tracking

10 users are in the process, dozens more lining up; an estimated 10 million Britons could have grounds to launch a privacy claim.

"Google has admitted it intentionally sidestepped security settings on Apple's Safari web browser that blocked websites from tracking users through cookies " data stored on users' computers that show which sites they have visited. Security researchers revealed last February that Google's DoubleClick advertising network intentionally stored these cookies on users' computers without their consent."
-- The Guardian