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Tech News: Google Takes Cue From Apple and Plans to Build Retail Stores


In other news, online game companies focus on gamblers, and HuffPost Tech interviews ex-New York Times reporter Victor Elheny.


This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology from around the Web every day.

HuffPost Tech
Link: Life As a Tech Reporter in the 1970s, at the Dawn of the PC Age

"Victor McElheny was the New York Times' go-to tech reporter in the 1970s, a decade marked by a series of tech-world firsts that moved computing beyond labs and into homes, including the release of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) first computer, the introduction of the digital camera and the debut of the Altair computer.

"For our 'Life As' series, McElheny talked about being a tech journalist at the dawn of the PC era."

Link: Google Wants to Starve Piracy Sites to Death

"Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is looking into a new strategy for cracking down on piracy sites: cutting off the sources of their funding so they'll wither and die.

"The Telegraph says Google is in cahoots with Visa (NYSE:V), MasterCard (NYSE:MA), and PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) to stop supplying money to websites that host links to illegally obtained books, movies, and TV shows. This plan would also stop feeding cash to sites that don't respond to legal requests because they're offshore or out of the country.

"It would be the first time Google has taken such a drastic step to cut down on piracy, but not the first for financial companies. PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard, among others, stopped donations to WikiLeaks in 2011 to cease donations to the document-dropping site. Although WikiLeaks hasn't gone away entirely, that move seems to have severely hampered its operation, which seems to be exactly what Google would like to do for pirate sites."

The Wall Street Journal
Link: Google Works on Launching Retail Stores

"Google Inc has been developing plans to launch retail stores in the US, said people familiar with the matter, in another sign the company is studying Apple Inc.'s playbook for building a consumer-electronics brand.

"The stores would likely sell Google-branded hardware, these people said. But it isn't clear when or where any stores would open, and one of the people said the Internet giant might not move forward with the plan this year.

"Apple's stores have been a big factor in the success of the company's iPhones and iPads, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) has also opened its own retail outlets. Inside Google, the idea of opening retail stores has long been debated as the company has become a major player in mobile devices, said people familiar with the discussions."

The New York Times
Link: Tech Industry Sets Its Sights On Gambling

"Look out Las Vegas, here comes FarmVille.

"Silicon Valley is betting that online gambling is its next billion-dollar business, with developers across the industry turning casual games into occasions for adults to wager.

"At the moment these games are aimed overseas, where attitudes toward gambling are more relaxed and online betting is generally legal, and extremely lucrative. But game companies, from small teams to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), have their eye on the ultimate prize: the rich American market, where most types of real-money online wagers have been cleared by the Justice Department.

"Two states, Nevada and Delaware, are already laying the groundwork for virtual gambling. Within months they will most likely be joined by New Jersey.

"Bills have also been introduced in Mississippi, Iowa, California and other states, driven by the realization that online gambling could bring in streams of tax revenue. In Iowa alone, online gambling proponents estimated that 150,000 residents were playing poker illegally."

Link: A Porous Perimeter Perplexes Security Pros

"While it's a nasty pill to swallow for old-line security folks, the perimeter isn't what it used to be. The days when a company could hide behind its firewall and feel secure are gone.

"Pockets of resistance to that notion still exist, but the message is getting through to security pros. 'It's a painful message to receive if you're someone in traditional information security,' Hugh Thompson, senior vice president and chief security strategist at Blue Coat Systems (NASDAQ:BCSI) told TechNewsWorld.

"'It's harder to draw where the line is in the sand between the good guys and the bad guys,' he said.

"Security pros aren't the only people who find the world behind the porous perimeter unsettling. 'It's harder and harder for an employee to make good security choices,' Thompson said.

"'I'm almost nostalgic for Nigerian prince scams,' he quipped, 'because now we're seeing very personalized attacks. Attackers will research a person, create a very compelling sounding ruse and get you to click on a link, so it's getting harder and harder for people to make good choices online.'

"Perimeter defenses are just a part of the picture, noted Seth Goldhammer, director of product management for LogRhythm, a Boulder, Colo. log management and SIEM vendor.

"'Security has never been a single product, a single technology,' he told TechNewsWorld. 'A layered security approach has always been best for a good security practice. Having the right collection of technologies coordinated correctly is the best chance an organization has to defend itself.'"

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