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microsoftMicrosoft continues to push back against a controversial search warrant procedure that the U.S. government, as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, is using to demand emails stored in Ireland.

On Friday, Microsoft responded to a new court order by repeating its position that it would not comply with the data request, and insisting that the case go before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

While the details of the dispute are largely procedural, the case is significant because it comes at a time of heightened European sensitivity over how U.S. companies treat data stored on servers located in the European Union. As a result, Microsoft and others are anxious to signal to Europe that they will resist certain data demands from the U.S. government.

dropboxDropbox Pro users gain access to a raft of new features including automatically expiring shared links, password-protected sharing, and adjustable permissions. In recent times, Dropbox has moved away from being just a simple cloud storage platform into a cloud-based collaboration tool. Password-protected files sharing is the first line of security that's now available, but it has been bolstered by the ability to have the share automatically stop after a set period. This is something that is particularly useful for sensitive data, and is a helpful addition to the manual disabling of a shared link -- a set-it-and-forget-it option.

Catching up with other file collaborative tools, Dropbox Pro now also takes into account the fact that you might want to share files with others without giving them the option to edit those files. The new ability to add view-only permissions to files and folders has this covered so it is possible to share sensitive files without worrying about them being changed. For anyone using Dropbox on mobile devices, there is always the fear of losing a handset; a new remote wipe feature takes care of this.

Rounding off the news for Dropbox Pro users is a change to the pricing of storage options. Packages have been streamlined so there is now just a single option -- a 1TB tariff for $9.99 per month. This is a huge increase in storage, or a massive price drop depending on how you look at it. Until recently, $9.99 would have gotten you 100GB of storage, while $19.99 per month bagged users 200GB, and $49.99 was the monthly cost of 500GB of storage. The new pricing structure means that twice as much storage is now available for a fifth of the price, making Dropbox Pro and increasingly competitive option.

Source: Betanews

twitterFor a while now, verified users and advertisers have been able to check statistics about their Twitter account so they can see how many times individual tweets have been viewed, check what types of tweet encourage the most engagement, and so on. Now Twitter Analytics is available to everyone -- free of charge.

It doesn’t matter if you have a blue verified tick next to your name or not, now you can use the analytics dashboard to check the performance of tweets. While this is a useful tool for businesses, for the average Twitter user it is a tool that will satisfy an idle curiosity and provide a way to while away the time obsessing over what key phrases yield the greatest return.

For those with a fascination for figures, the ability to see how many people view individual tweets is a dream come true. It might not be quite as in-depth as you might expect, or hope, but it strikes a good balance between providing useful information and remaining easy to use. Of course, additional data would be great, but it would end up complicating things. There's an eye-pleasing graph that shows at a glance how many hits your tweets have earned you.

The point of any chat system is to make it easier to communicate with others. This is something that Google Hangouts has singularly failed at, for one reason. Rather than making it obvious which of your contacts are online, it has -- up until now -- displayed a chronological list of the conversations you have held with people. This is about to change. Rolling out over the next few days, is an update which will see your online contact move to the top of your chat buddy list.

This might seem like a small change, but it's one that has been requested for some time now. Google seemingly thought that the tried and true way of ordering contacts was due for a shakeup -- now we know that the experiment didn’t really pay off. There's another new feature to play with as well. Just as Chrome -- and other browsers -- make it possible to pin frequently used tabs so they are always available, now Hangouts users will be given the opportunity to pin contacts to the top of their buddy list.

Announced late yesterday, the update has already caused quite some excitement, with the Google+ post (but of course!) used to publicize the feature already receiving hundreds of thumbs ups. If you've yet to enable Hangouts in your Gmail account, just select "Try the new Hangouts" under chat settings to get started. If you decide you don’t like it, you can use the "Revert to old chat" link to go back to your preferred style.

Source: Betanews

You all know the drill. You buy a phone from AT&T or other wireless provider and the phone is tied down to their specific. For those looking to take their smartphone elsewhere, 1998′s Digital Millennium Copyright Act actually made it illegal for anyone to unlock their own cellphone. It wasn’t until 2006 that the Library of Congress provided an exemption that allowed consumers to unlock their phones for the sole purpose of changing providers. Only problem is that exemption expired in 2013 (late 2012).

If you thought consumers were just going to be SOL from here on out, Senate has passed a new bill that will once again makes cellphone unlocking legal. Announced in a press release by Senator Patrick Leahy, The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act allows consumers to unlock their cellphone — either “professionally” or by themselves — for use on different networks once their current contract is up.

So the war of words over interconnection has continued. Last week, we wrote about the back and forth between Verizon and Level 3 on their corporate blogs concerning who was really to blame for congestion slowing down your Netflix video watching. As we noted, Level 3 used Verizon's own information to show that Verizon was, in fact, the problem. Basically, in spite of it being easy and cheap, Verizon was refusing to do a trivial operation of connecting up a few more ports, which Level3 had been asking them to do so for a long time. In other words, Verizon was refusing to do some very, very basic maintenance to deliver to its users exactly what Verizon had sold them.

Earlier this week, Verizon went back to its blog with another blog post from David Young, this one even snarkier than the last. Snark can be fun, but if the underlying message is completely bogus, you're going to run into trouble. In fact, Young's underlying message is so weak, that he more or less admits to absolutely everything that Level 3 was claiming in its post -- while pretending it's Level 3 that actually admitted fault!

adblockplusEver since our start, Lunarsoft has taken great strides in avoiding having any advertisements on our website. Thanks to this, people do not have to worry about their privacy when browsing any part of Lunarsoft. This also means you don't need to worry about canvas fingerprinting.

Canvas fingerprinting is a new "unstoppable" method to track users online for advertising purposes. The data gathered includes graphic drivers, browser version, operating system and possibly some settings like ClearType. While some reports are claiming that it's impossible by bypass, the Adblock Plus team has found ways and methods to stop canvas fingerprinting.

Though Adblock Plus cannot stop a browser from receiving images used for canvas fignerprinting they are able to stop your computer from transmitting the "fingerprint". This stops the tracking that canvas fingerprinting uses in it's tracks.

The AdBlock Plus team has even stated that,

When you add the EasyPrivacy filter list in Adblock Plus this won't make Adblock Plus block tracking cookies directly. Instead, Adblock Plus will block the script that would try to set these cookies. And guess what: blocking that script doesn't just prevent cookie-based tracking, it also lets you deal with canvas fingerprinting or evercookie or any other tracking approach. In particular, the rules to prevent AddThis tracking were added to EasyPrivacy almost five years ago.

AdBlock Plus is available for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Android. Be sure to use EasyList and EasyPrivacy when you install AdBlock Plus. You can also check out our wiki page about Blocking Malware and Advertisements Safely along with our PC Security wiki page.

netflixReed Hastings recently stood before new employees packed into the company’s campus movie theater, pulled a gray hair from his head and held it up for all to see. A single fiber optic strand, as thin as that hair, could carry massive amounts of data — the equivalent of all of Netflix’s global video traffic at any given time, he marveled.

The co-founder of Netflix has been thinking much more about broadband providers these days, with his company spearheading a lobbying effort to get federal regulators to monitor how Internet service providers charge Web firms like his to move data around the Internet.

It’s a risky effort. Netflix, which gobbles up one-third of bandwidth during peak hours, doesn't think companies like theirs should pay extra to place its servers closer to the networks of Comcast and Verizon.

The issue reveals Netflix at an important turning point. It won kudos with television critics, nominated for 31 Emmys on Thursday. But it’s making enemies out of the companies it relies on most — the cable and telecom firms providing all those lightning-fast Internet connections as thin as his hair.

The following is an edited transcript of a recent interview in the “Hawaii Five-O” conference room at the company’s headquarters. Hastings had just returned from watching the U.S. play against Germany in an early World Cup 2014 match.