China has blocked DuckDuckGo, the privacy-centric search engine. The service has become popular over the past two years in response to the NSA revelations and claims that Google may not be very safe for people trying to protect their privacy. DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg confirmed that the block had been established, but it is not clear why the Chinese government is targeting DuckDuckGo.
The Wikimedia Foundation, which is responsible for Wikipedia, has won a small but noteworthy victory against paid-editing services.
Yahoo’s photo-sharing and storage service, Flickr, has just announced the rollout of a new licensing program whose purpose is to help its users have their work discovered by the right agencies and generate revenue through commercial licensing.
Charles Farr, the United Kingdom’s top security official, has published a justification for the GCHQ’s data collection program that was revealed by Edward Snowden’s leaks. The program collects emails and posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter, yet the GCHQ doesn’t use specific warrants to collect the data. Farr’s justification for the lack of specific warrants is that those communications are “external” and detailed warrants are only ever necessary when dealing with internal communications between British citizens.
Amazon wants to take over everything. Whether you are trying to get your groceries, books, or electronics, Amazon now has a way for you to do that from a computer. The next step for the online retailer is reportedly local services like babysitters, according to sources close to the company. Reuters says that Amazon will move into the local services industry in a way that is similar to Amazon Fresh and will start in just one market for a test run.
Those who have tried to launch Kickstarter campaigns in the past will agree that the approval process can be very difficult to get through, but at the same time, that approval process is one of the best things about the crowdfunding website. Kickstarter is now changing its rules to completely remove the traditional approval process which will allow people to post their projects on the site without sending them to a moderator first.
One of the most popular search engines for pirated content, Torrentz.eu, has lost its primary domain name due to an order from the UK police. Major internet service providers (ISPs) inside of the UK have been blocking the Torrentz.eu domain for a while and taking it offline will make it more difficult for people to search the web for legal and illegal torrents.
Alibaba and Singapore’s national postal service provider SingPost have signed a deal that will see the e-commerce giant investing $249 million into the postal service. The goal of Alibaba’s investment seems to be securing new expansion areas and with the SingPost deal, it will have access to entirely new routes of shipping, faster last-mile delivery, and other logistics capabilities.
Amazon has confirmed that due to contract negotiations that are still underway, it is currently limiting the supply of Hachette books and their availability. For the time being, Amazon says that customers will no longer be able to pre-order any upcoming titles from the publisher and any orders will be placed with the retailer and then with Hachette, resulting in far slower shipping times and no discounts.
One of Rap Genius’ three co-founders, Mahbod Moghadam, has stepped down from his position at the site after he made insensitive and disgusting comments on the California mass shooter’s manifesto.
People who are interested in learning to code but do not speak English will at least be able to access all of Codeacademy’s resources in three additional languages, but more translations should be coming in the future.
There’s a pretty adventurous idea out there for an online community where consumers can connect directly with electronics manufacturers to pre-order product and provide feedback to product managers, marketers and designers as early adopters of product. It’s called Prelaunch, and it, um, launched at CES this year. Originally, the site, which looks a lot like its spiritual brethren Kickstarter, offered special pre-launch prices on upcoming products to individuals. Now the site has introduced “crowd discounts.”