Want to Know How Much Your Bitcoins Are Worth? Just Google It


Image: Flickr, Zach Copley

Google’s search engine has had a built-in currency converter for years now, and now it added an interesting addition to the mix: Bitcoin.

To find out how much a certain amount of Bitcoin is worth in any currency or vice versa, just Google “X Y to Bitcoin,” where “X” is the amount and “Y” is the currency. For example, Google will swiftly tell you that “300 USD to Bitcoin” equals 0.4829 Bitcoin.

Google Bitcoin

Image: Mashable, Google Search

Other syntaxes, such as “how much is 100 Bitcoin in British pounds” or “what is 50AUD in Bitcoin” also work. You can also simply Google “Bitcoin price” to get the current value of Bitcoin.

The new functionality was integrated approximately a month after Google Finance partnered with Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to add a Bitcoin chart into its service.

Other cryptocurrencies don’t work as of this writing, and Google by default mistakenly turns some of them, like Litecoin, into Bitcoin. Since there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies out there, we don’t expect Google to include them all in its currency converter any times soon.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/07/16/want-to-know-how-much-your-bitcoins-are-worth-just-google-it/

Local Newspaper Shows Why Google’s “Right To Be Forgotten” Rule Is Pointless

The Bolton News was told that a story from 2010 about the jailing of three men had been restricted in Google’s search results. Its response was to remind everyone exactly what the story was about.

1. In 2010, three British soldiers were attacked in a Bolton nightclub and said it was worse than facing insurgents in Afghanistan.

In 2010, three British soldiers were attacked in a Bolton nightclub and said it was worse than facing insurgents in Afghanistan.

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The trio faced punches and kicks while one was stabbed in the neck and leg with broken glass. Three of their attackers were jailed for their violent behaviour.

This was a big story in Bolton at the time, but someone doesn’t want local people – or anyone else – to read it. The Bolton News was told this week that the story had been affected by Google’s “right to be forgotten” rule, through which people can apply for stories that are outdated or irrelevant to be removed from certain search results.

The rule only applies in the EU and was the result of a narrow ruling in the EU Court of Justice in May.

2. The paper’s response? To call the article’s removal from search results a “completely pointless exercise”. The paper’s editor-in-chief, Ian Savage, says:

As the editor of a newspaper, I believe passionately in the freedom of the press and I will fight any attempts to remove legitimate content.

We are a responsible newspaper and our aim is to cover local news which is of both interest and importance to people.

Clearly, people who aren’t happy that stories which we have legitimately published should not have the right to have them removed from a Google search, in my view.

Moreover, it is a completely pointless exercise. Those who ask for these articles to be removed simply invite more publicity on themselves.

This was an extremely serious court case, which merited a front page when we ran it back in 2010.

To have this disappear from Google searches is frankly ridiculous, which is why I feel it’s so important to highlight this issue.

3. This is just the latest in a string of UK publishers to be affected by the “right to be forgotten” rule, and it won’t be the last.

These articles aren’t deleted from the internet, or even from Google entirely – they just won’t show up when you search for specific things mentioned in the article.

But because Google won’t say who is applying for things or which search terms are affected, we don’t know who is trying to suppress what.

We do know, however, that news publishers don’t like this ruling and every time one of their stories is affected they are going to make some noise and attract attention to the very thing someone wants you not to read.

Whether the EU legislators behind this rule are aware of the Streisand Effect they have created is unclear.

Don’t forget that if you want your search results free of EU meddling, the US-based google.com is unaffected by “right to be forgotten”.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/local-newspaper-shows-why-googles-right-to-be-forgotten-rule

‘PAGING DR. ORWELL’! Is Google straight-up TARGETING conservative sites?

If you’re a big Google user, you might want to take note of this:

Read more: https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2018/01/09/paging-dr-orwell-is-google-straight-up-targeting-conservative-sites/

Google+ Widens Rollout of Custom URLs


Google+ has started rolling out the custom URLs it first announced earlier this month to select users and brands — but the company says it may start charging for the shortened addresses in the future.

Instead of profiles being identified by a randomly assigned number string, the new wave of custom URL receivers are able to switch their profiles over to a simple, easy to find and remember URL. Mashable‘s own Google+ page, for example, can now be found at Google.com/+Mashable.

The Google+ team began notifying users Thursday morning of the option to claim a pre-approved custom URL or apply for a different one. Here’s an example of the emails users have received:

A look at the service’s updated Policies & Principles page, however, shows that Google+ users may eventually have to pay for their convenient, easy-to-use custom URLs.

“Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them,” the terms-of-use page reads. “However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first.”

Saurabh Sharma, a product manager at Google’s San Francisco office, wrote in a blog post earlier this month that the personalized addresses will eventually be “available to people and pages worldwide,” but did not specify an exact date.

Would you pay money for a custom social media URL, or is would that be an unfair charge? Share your opinion in the comments.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/08/23/google-plus-custom-urls/

How Social Media Helps Romantic Relationships Thrive


Once upon a time, all singles needed to worry about was waiting long enough in between dates to place the next phone call. Now, daters must think about the “right” time to send a Facebook request or start Twitter following the person you’re dating — in addition to refraining from Internet stalking a new crush.

Besides the obvious — like, not friending your new boyfriend or girlfriend’s pals before meeting them — we’ve spoken to leading relationship experts for the nitty-gritty.

Below are some modern social media guidelines that will propel new, and long-term, romantic relationships.

When Done Right, Social Media Is Like Glue

Self-described Internet geek, wife and mother Alexandra Samuel, Ph.D., believes that the Internet sustains and builds relationships.

Social media is a daily point of contact for Samuel, the director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University, and her husband of 12 years Rob Cottingham. Social media allows the busy couple to connect while apart.

“We’re all really busy and it’s very hard to find time for your partner,” Samuel tells Mashable. “Rob and I stay in touch throughout the day. We can also stay in contact indirectly because we monitor each other on Twitter.”

The couple uses Twitter to keep in touch, cheer each other on and “share the love.”

Their regular tweet conversations have garnered fans. The Twitter couple won a Shorty Award for the website WeTweet.ca that pulls all their tweets to each other into a stream.

“People will also tweet at us about what a cute Twitter couple we are,” she says. “These little reflections on your marriage or on your relationship from other people are incredibly valuable.”

For the couple, social media came naturally with equal interest. With other twosomes, one person could be more active on social media, Samuel says. If social media preferences are off balance, then couples will need to have a talk to lay out guidelines.

“You have to sit down and have a conversation about what you feel is private and what you feel like is enough attention when you’re together,” Samuel says. “What things about the relationship are okay to post and what hours it’s okay to be online.”

The duo has learned from experience to follow some guidelines. One rule prevents oversharing. “Our policy is I wouldn’t tweet something he said or vice versa without asking,” Samuel says.

Samuel also suggests that couples should not get mad at each other for missing or seeing public tweets. “You need to assume that anyone you see has read nothing that you’ve posted,” she says. “But equally, consider the possibility that anyone you know could have read or seen anything you’ve posted.”

Social Media Guide for New Couples

Meeting someone new used to be more exciting. Being able to Google someone and read their Facebook, Linkedin, About.me and Twitter profiles in full, takes all the initial mystery and intrigue out of getting to know someone.

This is the new dating mistake many are making, says Julie Spira, online dating and netiquette guru and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

“When your relationship is new, I say avoid connecting on social media sites at first,” Spira tells Mashable. “Sure he or she may be excited about your relationship and can easily follow you on Twitter, but if you receive a friend request before or after a first date, it’s best not to accept it.”

A Facebook request or Twitter follow may seem harmless. However, experts warn being fast friends on social media could result in hurt feelings.

“Remember that it’s a new relationship and one may still be playing the field while the other only has eyes for you,” Spira says. “Becoming friends prematurely may result in hurt feelings when you see his photo posted hugging another woman. Even though it may be his cousin, your feelings will be hurt and you might be jumping to conclusions.”

How long should love birds wait? It could take a couple weeks or a couple months. It really depends on the individuals in a relationship, experts say.

“I think once you’re dating somebody, if you’re not at the stage where you feel comfortable asking them if you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook, then you’re probably not ready to follow them on Facebook or Twitter,” Samuel says.

But, it’s important to remember, “there’s a difference between friending someone on Facebook and just seeing their stuff as it comes up and going through their entire Timeline. You don’t need to go through the archives,” Samuel says.

Guidelines for Long-Term Couples

Social networks are a place for sharing the great moments in life. But, experts warn not to overdo it.

Coupled up individuals may prefer to present themselves differently online, so it’s always best to talk about what to post and what not to post.

“One might want to post a photo with a passionate kiss, where the other may view social networking sites as a business networking tool, so don’t tag your sweetheart in a photo that his or her boss shouldn’t be viewing,” Spira says.

Even with serious partners, individuals should give each other some breathing space. It’s easy to obsess over a girlfriend or boyfriend’s every move. However, romantic duos should showcase trust by avoiding cyber stalking at all costs.

“Understand that every couple needs space, both online and offline,” Spira says. “Keep separate profiles and avoid staring at and obsessing about what they’re doing during your busy day by checking to see their whereabouts on Foursquare.”

Dr. Karen Ruskin, a licensed marriage and family therapist, believes social media is a great way to propel the relationship. But, like anything good in life, social media is only valuable with balance.

“I am thumbs up, high up there for the use of technology in connection for social, fun, pleasure, for growing a relationship and enhancing a marriage,” Ruskin says.

When it becomes too frequent or invasive for one person, the couple should take a step back, Ruskin says.

“It absolutely can be too much, if it’s too much for one partner and not the other,” Ruskin says. “If one person feels it’s smothering, that can be very uncomfortable. They can feel enmeshed rather than feeling individuated. You’re constantly together even though you’re supposed to be independent individuals.”

Even with social media, it’s important to maintain “healthy individuation,” experts suggest. Limits are up to the couple to decide.

“We often identity who we are in our relationships and connections with the other person or people we’re with,” Ruskin says. “We don’t want to lose ourselves in our connection with others through technology.”

Other Helpful Online Tips for Couples

  • Take down your old dating profile once you’re serious about someone.

  • Don’t do anything on social networks that you wouldn’t tell your partner about.

  • If mentioning the other person, ask before posting.

  • Reminder: Social networks are public. Always avoid posting details about your sex life.

  • Avoid airing dirty laundry or having “digital spats on Facebook and Twitter,” Spira says.

  • Be aware of the effects of social media on your lives. “No matter what type of romantic relationship you’re in, you want to think consciously about how you want your time spent online to support your own love life,” Samuel says.

How do you use social media in your romantic relationship? Share with us in the comments whether or not protecting your partner’s privacy and autonomy is a priority.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, IsaacLKoval

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/09/new-social-media-love-rules/

Here’s What the World Is Searching For


Around the world, search engines become a factor of daily routines, providing information and content to fuel lifestyles. Though online search is habitual in most countries, the way we search is as diverse as the people and cultures spanning the globe.

By looking at search trends from the past year (August 2011 to August 2012), it’s easy to see the popularity of the mainstream search engines — Google, Bing and Yahoo. This is not surprising since Google reports more than 100 billion searches on the site every month in 180 country domains. More surprising, though, are the search terms that filled Google’s queries, ranging from celebrities to news incidents and sports games.

The one thing that remained universal across the globe was the steady increase of mobile search across all search engines, proving that the future of search is in the palm of our hands, no matter where we’re dropping a pin.

United States

In the past year, residents of the U.S. satisfied their search needs mostly on Google — the search engine hosted 79.5% of the country’s searches, according to StatCounter. The U.S. was also one of the biggest users of Bing, with 9.5% of searches directed through Microsoft’s search engine. Yahoo was the third most popular at 9.2% and AOL squeezed in at fourth, still holding 0.8% of the country’s searches over the past year.

Google was even more popular on mobile, capturing 94.4% of searches, according to StatCounter. Yahoo edged up, fulfilling 3.9% of mobile searches. Bing had 1.5% on mobile and Ask Jeeves made an appearance, controlling 0.2% of searches. Though Google held strong through the year as most popular, its search slowly began to fall in January 2012, and Yahoo saw a slight uptick in hosting mobile searches.

The fastest rising search term in the U.S. on Google over the past year was, interestingly, Rebecca Black, the pop star who shot to fame for her song “Friday.” Other popular terms the U.S. searched for included “Hurricane Irene” (third highest), Pinterest (fourth highest), Casey Anthony (seventh) and Osama Bin Laden (9th), according to the Google Zeitgeist.


Google owned most searches in India in the past year with 98% of searches. Yahoo hosted 1% of searches and Bing had 0.8%, according to StatCounter. Similar rates occured on mobile, with Google taking 99.7% of mobile searches. Yahoo fell out of the race on mobile and Bing fell down to 0.2%.

The Google Zeitgeist reports that “Facebook” was the fastest rising search on Google.com over the past year. Other popular search terms included popular Bollywood movies Ra.One (6th) and Ready (10th). The World Cup was the fourth highest searched term.


In Brazil, Google once again owned the competition, holding 98.7% of searches, with Yahoo in second with only 0.6% of searches. Babylon held some popularity in the country, with 0.3% of the searches. According to StatCounter, Google’s popularity began falling in May 2012, and Conduit saw a slight increase in usage.

Google remained most popular in mobile search with 97.7% of searches, but Yahoo gained significant usage, rising to 1.9%. Bing stayed on the map conducting 0.3% of mobile searches.

As in India, “Facebook” was the most-searched term on Google in Brazil. Tumblr was another popular search (seventh highest). “Ddtank,” an online shooting game, was the third highest, and the Brazilian television soap opera “Cordel Encantado” was the 10th most popular search over the past year.


In China, Baidu hosted 62.3% of the country’s searches, ousting Google, which held only 32.8% of searches. Yahoo and Bing tied, each maintaining 2% of searches, according to StatCounter.

Google bounced back to first in China’s mobile search conducting 86.8% of queries. Baidu made a significant drop to 11.3%, and Yahoo inched down to 1.1%.

Google Zeitgeist reveals the Chinese were most interested in global events and politics. Reports show the fastest rising search in the country was for news on the deadly Japanese earthquake, and the fourth highest search term was “Libya.” But the animated movie Kung Fu Panda came in fifth, and “iPad2” was also a popular search term in the country as the sixth most searched on Google.com.

United Kingdom

In the UK, search engine uses didn’t fluctuate much — Google held the strongest usage at 92.7%. Bing saw more popularity in the UK countries than elsewhere, hosting 4.6% of searches. On mobile, StatCounter showed Google to be used most at 97.8%, and Yahoo maintained steady use at 1.4%. Ask Jeeves inched up surprisingly with 0.5% of mobile searches on the site.

The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was the most popular search in the UK on Google.com. The iPhone was the second most popular, seeing its peak of searches last October when Apple released the iPhone 4S (many thought it would be named the iPhone 5). Celebs Adele and Rebecca Black also made the top 10 list at seventh and ninth, respectively.

Were you surprised by the popularity of any search terms or engines? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Mashable composite: Photos courtesy Flickr, nsikander28, bfishadow.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/18/global-search-trends/

Google Is In Talks To Pay $1 Billion For Boob Cams And "League Of Legends" Fans

What really happens on Twitch.tv?

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Last night, Variety reported that Google is close to announcing a $1 billion acquisition of Twitch, the most popular game-streaming service. (The Wall Street Journal reported that negotiations are at a much earlier stage.) Twitch allows gamers to live-stream their gameplay, as well as capture and upload footage, so that other members can watch. Pending Federal Trade Commission approval, such a deal, as much of the coverage around this has rightly noted, would unite two of the major players in game streaming — YouTube and Twitch — and give Google further access to a booming new category of viewership. Twitch boasts nearly 50 million monthly viewers.

That’s the view from 20,000 feet. But Twitch is a very new, very weird thing, and most of the acquisition stories hardly pause to ask what happens on the network itself. What, exactly, is being streamed by Twitch users? What is Google really getting for its billion?

These are the most watched Twitch videos of all time. Notice anything?

These are the most watched Twitch videos of all time. Notice anything?

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Twelve of the 20 most watched Twitch videos ever prominently feature women in various states of undress. Each racy video corresponds to a different Twitch user, each the leader of her own small flesh cult of personality. A typical user page of this kind will feature calls for donation via PayPal and other micropayment sites, as well as Amazon wish lists and “honor rolls” of donors who tithe above a certain threshold. The content, per Twitch’s terms of service, is at most PG-13, and a lot of it doesn’t have anything to do with games, really, at all. The popular user KneeColeslaw, for instance, draws, for hours at a time, MS Paint portraits.

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The other eight most watched Twitch videos are all dudes playing League of Legends, the ubiquitous and impenetrable action game that, depending on who you ask, is the most popular game in the world. LoL, its closest competitor (the similar Defense of the Ancients 2), and their more charismatic streamers, dominate Twitch.

Despite the hype surrounding Twitch streaming integration into the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, you have to count all the way down to the 37th most popular Twitch channel to find a stream dedicated to a game that is primarily played on console (Dark Souls 2). Game streaming is hugely popular, but the point to keep in mind here is that the games and audiences who stream are still relatively niche. Twitch Plays Pokemon, the crowdsourced playthrough of Nintendo’s iconic role-playing game, attracted a lot of viewers and a lot of attention, but it’s hardly representative of what normally happens on the platform.

So, assuming the Variety report is true, Google is buying, for $1 billion, an audience of people who subsidize the lives of scantily dressed female gamers, and who are highly dedicated to an extremely popular but extremely esoteric form of gaming.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/google-is-in-talks-to-pay-1-billion-for-boob-cams-and-league

New Chrome Extension Lets You Save Web Content to Google Drive


Google has launched a new extension for Chrome called “Save to Drive,” enabling users to save web content to their Google Drive.

After installing the extension, users will get an additional icon in Chrome, letting them save an image, an entire page or an image of the visible page to your Drive.

Users can also save the HTML source code of a webpage or a complete webpage in web archive (.mht) format. Finally, they can simply right click on web content to save it directly to Drive.

save to drive

The extension offers several options to manage saved web content: Users can immediately open the file in Drive, rename it or view it in their Drive list, which provides additional options, such as sharing the file or placing it in a folder.

Google has also added new options for managing the images users store in Drive, including zoom by scrolling, new “fit to page” and “100%” buttons, as well as the ability to comment on a specific part of an image.

Have you tried the new Save to Drive Chrome extension? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/12/12/chrome-extension-google-drive/