Spring began on Wednesday, but it doesn’t look like it around here! The snow is back and is apparently sticking around all weekend, so wrap up warm everyone! Here’s our round-up of this week’s digital stories for you to enjoy:
Youtube reaches one billion landmark
Video-sharing site Youtube this week announced on their blog that they now have over one billion active users.
The site said that the recent growth in smartphone use has helped increase the number of people visiting the site every month.
Youtube was launched in 2005 and was purchased by Google in 2006 – the popularity of the site offers Google a lucrative platform through which to sell advertising. Google paid $1.76 bn (£1.16bn) for the site, which then had around 30-40 million users.
Now it has reached the one billion milestone, Youtube poses a threat to Facebook, which hit one billion users back in October, as the world’s largest social media channel.
Google launch ‘Google Keep’
Ever jotted down a note on a piece of paper and then lost it pretty much straight away? You might be interested in Google’s new offering, Google Keep, which allows users to keep checklists, voice notes and photos all in one place.
‘Keep’ is Google’s challenge to other services such as Evernote, the market leader, and Microsoft’s OneNote. Services such as these are becoming increasingly popular with people who find themselves increasingly swamped by information.
‘Everyday, we all see, hear or think of things we need to remember. Usually we grab a pad of sticky notes, scribble a reminder and put it on the desk, the fridge or the relevant page of a magazine,’ said Google software engineer Katherine Kuan on the Google blog.
‘With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you.’
Currently, Google Keep is only available online or as an app on mobiles or tablets running Android 4.0 or above.
BBC Twitter accounts fall victim to hackers
Twitter celebrated their seventh birthday yesterday, but that’s not all that’s been going on there this week. This year has already seen a whole host of hackings on the site, including Burger King and Jeep, and yesterday several BBC accounts, including the weather feed, fell victim to a group of pro-Syria hackers.
A string of tweets reporting fake weather conditions in Middle-Eastern countries began appearing on Thursday afternoon.
Around the same time the attacks began, BBC employees were alerted to a phishing email that had been sent to some BBC accounts. The email contained a link that, once clicked, could expose passwords and other sensitive information. It is unclear if this email is related to the hacking.
BBC announced yesterday that they had regained control of the accounts, and apologised for the ‘unacceptable material’ that appeared under the BBC’s name.
Apple boosts security against hackers
Apple is adding extra security measures for users of iCloud and other services – changes in personal details and purchases will now require mobile phone verification.
The introduction of two-factor authentication brings Apple into line with Google’s Gmail, which has offered ‘2FA’ for a number of years.
It was announced coincidentally only a few hours after the BBC Twitter hackings begun, where the weakness of single-password systems was made very clear. Twitter is also looking at introducing the 2FA technology, but has set no date yet.
Two factor authentication relies on the user having a mobile phone under their control, although users are also given a back-up code in case they lose their phone or do not have any network coverage. Any changes made to personal details online have to be verified by using a code which is sent to the mobile phone. Without this code, any changes made will not be approved.
Download-only hit thwarts record collector
And finally, while a study out this week revealed that digital downloads have no impact on record sales, here is someone who has fallen victim to the era of digital music. Simon Wratten has a physical copy of every UK No.1 single since 1952, but has admitted defeat after the latest No.1, Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, was released on digital only.
Simon started collecting in 1998, and has amassed a huge collection of over 1,200 records, but his quest to own every No.1 hit on record has now come to an end.