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Rebecca Greenfield

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What the future without passwords could look like

January 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The end of the password is near. The brains at Google are experimenting with new authentication technologies for email, but it's not just our email that needs saving. Passwords everywhere don't work. The most optimistic thinking goes that with every new massive account info hack, companies will start adopting better...

Why Amtrak's new Wi-Fi upgrade won't fix Amtrak's terrible Wi-Fi

January 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Amtrak has announced plans to test an upgrade of its notoriously inconsistent onboard Wi-Fi to faster 4G networks, but because the fix still uses Wi-Fi from a wireless company on a moving train, the best commuters can hope for is very fast Internet... very occasionally. For now, the updated Wi-Fi...

European version of FTC accuses Google of abusing its dominant search results

January 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google and its very expensive Washington lobbying efforts may have wiggled away from the Federal Trade Commission's anti-trust investigation without major penalties a week ago, but that doesn't mean the Europeans are going to take it easy on the search giant. The European Commission has not yet finished its parallel...

Auto industry drops robot chauffeurs in favor of the safest car of all time

January 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What's the difference between a robotic car made by Google, and the ones made by actual carmakers? The future, as always, was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show today, where Toyota and Audi unveiled their new autonomous cars of the future — concepts that should not be confused with...

Why Google's Street View project will be good for Staten Island

January 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While residents worry about what the Street View photos will do to property values, if Google's Staten Island project looks anything like what it did for New Orleans following Katrina, it will raise the kind of awareness the "forgotten borough" will need as it continues to rebuild. Like the awareness...

Facebook's new plan could make your cellphone bill disappear

January 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The just released "voice message" feature for Facebook's Messenger app lets you add audio to your text-based conversations — but if an additional testing phase of the app goes worldwide, it could let everyone replace their phone bills with Facebook calls over the Internet, for free... and forever. As of...

FTC clears Google on anti-trust claims

January 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google is getting off pretty easy: after a two-year investigation into Google's possibly anti-competitive antics, the Federal Trade Commission has ruled that Google hasn't done anything wrong, saying "evidence does not support a claim" that Google unfairly favors its own products in its search results. Even with that, the search...

Can the government really ban Twitter parody accounts?

January 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Arizona is entertaining a law that will make it a felony to use another person's real name to make an Internet profile intended to "harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten," which to some sounds like a law against parody Twitter accounts. The legislation, if passed, would make Arizona one of a...

What happened to the 2012 tech bubble that never was

January 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Turns out Facebook's fizzled IPO was a pretty good microcosm for 2012 in startup land: it was all one big fizzle. The final numbers for last year in venture-capital IPOs and acquisitions are in, and while there was no dot-com-era type of explosion, the much hyped new tech bubble appears...

Why Google really wants you to use Google+ this year

January 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google has always made it all too easy to join its not so beloved social network, but now it's forcing users to log in with Google+ in order to get better (and more lucrative) data for advertisers. For example, people who post restaurant reviews on Zagat, which Google bought in...

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