Shakedown 2.0?

This is my second test blog where you'll find news and opinions on the latest happenings surrounding the internet, technology, entertainment, et. al.
Why the name? "Shakedown" is a period of testing or trial journey undergone by a ship, plane or other craft before declared operational. 2.0 simply because it's my second trial blog [see the first blog here]

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Pentagon doesn't want Google mapping out their bases

The US defence department has banned the giant internet search engine Google from filming inside and making detailed studies of US military bases.

A message sent to all Defense Department bases and installations around the country late last week told officials to not allow the popular mapping website from taking panoramic views inside the facilities.

Close-up, ground-level imagery of US military sites posed a "potential threat" to security, it said.

The move follows the discovery of images of the Fort Sam Houston army base in Texas on Google Maps.

"Images include 360-degree views of the covered area to include access control points, barriers, headquarters, facilities and community areas," said the defence department in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.

It said such detailed mapping could pose a threat.

Google spokesman Larry Yu said the decision by a Google team to enter the Texas base and undertake a detailed survey, had been "a mistake".He said that where the US military had expressed concerns, images had already been removed.

source: bbc tech news


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Mozilla Firefox reaches 500 million downloads

Firefox, the open source web browser from Mozilla, is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate, and has now passed the 500 million download mark since its launch in November 2004.

According to the Spread Firefox web site, there had been 500,168,448 downloads as of 6:15 a.m. PST. About 12 hours earlier, there had been more than 499,900,000.

In September 2007, Firefox crossed the 400 million download mark, indicating an average rate a bit shy of 20 million per month at present.

Firefox is the only browser in the market to have somewhat managed to put a dent in the market share of Microsoft Internet Explorer. But even with this level of success, Firefox is still a long way behind Internet Explorer as web browser of choice. While IE has a market share of about 75%, Firefox can only manage 17%.

The developers behind the project have been working on the version 3 of Firefox which is expected to come out in the near future.

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China censures its own popular search engine Baidu

Chinese Internet search engine was asked by Beijing's Internet self-discipline organization to make a public apology for spreading Hong Kong star Edison Chen's pornographic photos.

China's top Internet search engine,, has been censured by a government-sponsored watchdog for allegedly helping spread sexually explicit photos that appear to feature several Hong Kong stars.

The photos, which appear to show actor Edison Chen and several female stars performing sex acts or in sexually suggestive poses, are believed to have originated in Hong Kong. They have circulated widely here.

"'Key-words searching' and 'Tieba', a picture-sharing section of became a platform to show and spread the obscene pictures and Baidu failed to block the photos after other Beijing-based websites had taken actions against the pictures' spreading," said in Beijing Association of Online Media's statement.

The association praised other Chinese websites, such as, and for urging their users not to spread the photos. is the most popular internet search engine in the China and even dominates the global leader Google. China's online population has soared to 210 million people, and was said could surpass the United States this year to become host to the world's biggest online community.

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Happy Hearts Day!


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The Story Behind the Google Logo

Ever wondered why they made Google's logo like that? Who made that simple but catchy face logo that has represented the most popular search engine on the internet? And do you have any idea what Google's first logo look like when it was still a Stanford project?

Well some of us probably don't really notice Big G's logo that much unless it was doodled by the creative Dennis Hwang for some special events or holidays. But who really is the brain behind Google's primary logo? It is Ruth Kedar, who was teaching design at Stanford when she was introduced by a friend to Google founders Sergei Brin and Larry Page.

Google at that time wanted a unique logo that would clearly differentiate them from the other existing search players (Yahoo, Excite, HotBot, etc.), as well as embody their unique vision. But these other websites mentioned were commercial portals first, and search engines second. Google on the other hand wanted to convey that it was as a search provider first and foremost.

On an interview at WebProNews, Kedar explained on how they ended with the now popular Google logo:

* It was playful and deceptively simple. The design subtle as to look almost non-designed, the reading effortless. The colors evoke memories of child play, but deftly stray from the color wheel strictures so as to hint to the inherent element of serendipity creeping into any search results page and the irreverance and boldness of the “I am feeling lucky” link. The texture and shading of each letter is done in an unobtrusive way resulting in lifting it from the page while giving it both weight and lightness. It is solid but there is also an ethereal quality to it.

* Times-Roman was the font of choice for the web at that time, while sans-serif fonts were the darling of the printed world. I wanted the readability of a serifed font, but looked for a typeface that had the same qualities we were looking for – subtly sophisticated, but with some humor and irreverence . The chosen typeface is a based on Catull, an old style serif typeface. Catull borrows elements from traditional writing instruments such as the quill and the chisel with a modern twist. Search, by nature, is an activity that requires we look into the past. Therefore Catull’s historical ties seemed appropriate, as did the bridging between the old analog world and the new emerging digital era.

* Visually, there were two main schools of thought at the time: those wanting to emulate the conventional non-web giants such as Sun and SGI (bold all-caps sans-serifed fonts), and those who viewed the irreverence of Yahoo’s non-designed approach as “the look" for the new medium. This design managed to break with the existing conventions landing Google with the unique visual expression it was looking for.


Does the name scare you? Or is it the hands? Well, that hand right there is of Larry Page. When Google was a Stanford research project, it was nicknamed "BackRub" because the technology checks backlinks to determine a site's importance. For more info regarding this, read the BackRub FAQs page. The logo evolved to other designs when they used "Google," here's a demo page of their early Google search engine.

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