Michigan man could serve 5 years for reading wife's email
December 28th, 2010
07:42 PM ET

Michigan man could serve 5 years for reading wife's email

For a Michigan man, reading his then-wife's email account was not only eye-opening, it may be criminal, according to prosecutors in Oakland County, Michigan.

Leon Walker, 33, is charged with a felony after accessing his spouse's Gmail account, according to the Detroit Free Press.

While the case may seem like a legal gray area, prosecutors are going after Walker based on a Michigan statute usually used in identify theft cases, the Free Press reported.

"This is one of those cases where it seems the facts aren't in dispute," John R. Levine, an expert on cybersecurity and co-author of  "Internet Security for Dummies," told CNN Tuesday.


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Filed under: Google • Michigan • Security breaches
The Adventures of Unemployed Man
November 17th, 2010
04:33 PM ET

WebPulse: Unemployed hero, Google's fashion, Sexiest Man

The Unemployed American

Time has nominated The Unemployed American to be Person of the Year. And today, CNN.com published a supercool cartoon called "The Adventures of Unemployed Man," a parody of the classic superhero comic in which our jobless hero and his team of down-but-not-out friends battle the invisible forces of the bad economy. Check out the official site of creators Erich Origen and Gan Golan. In the real world, there was much buzz about jobless benefits and just how much that's cost the U.S. so far. But, as this Washington Post story and others reports have reminded us, the job forecast is improving.

Speaking of spending money you don't have... Ever imagine a world where you never have to go to a store again? A world where you can stay in your apartment, cower in a dark, cool corner with a can of Pringles and click on your mouse until you build a wardrobe of such piecemeal perfection, such haute originality at bargain-basement prices, that Kim Jong Il calls and asks for the secret to your evil fashion surfing genius? Apparently, Google has had the same fantasy. Boutiques.com uses algorithms to help people dress like Ashley Olsen. More precisely, the site "uses computer vision and machine learning technology to visually analyze your taste and match it to items you would like," according to Munjal Shah, Google product management director, PCmag.com reports.

Hey, good-look'n

Guess who's feeling extra sexy today? Scarlett Johansson's husband. Like this guy needs the ego boost, but start the ticker-tape parade, it's Ryan Reynolds' year! He is People's "Sexiest Man Alive." Apparently, his "mean omelette" and abs helping to nab the title. The 34-year-old "Green Lantern" star will probably trend high on Google,  Twitter and supermarket waiting lines this week as everyone flips open the mag (we know you do it!) to judge whether Reynolds is truly worthy. Disappointingly, unlike past Sexiest Men - Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt - Reynolds is not planning to reproduce anytime soon.

Eva and the Big D

From good news to bad: Scarlett and Ryan, in love. Eva and Tony, not so much. "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria has filed for divorce from her NBA-playing husband, Tony Parker. Not-so-nice tweets about Tony are appearing on Twitter. The couple were married for three years, after getting hitched in a ritzy, star-heavy extravaganza in Paris.

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Filed under: Google • Ryan Reynolds • Showbiz • Twitter • Web Pulse
November 15th, 2010
10:46 AM ET

Tech's big day: The battle to see who will change your Web

Facebook is expected to introduce an e-mail service that some are calling a "Gmail-killer."

It's a big day in the tech world and, depending on which company you favor, they are about to change the way you work and live online.

At least, that's the hope.

Several companies will be announcing or unveiling major products Monday that they hope will revolutionize the Web - again. To help you keep them straight, our tech gang will be breaking down each of the announcements and what they mean.

First up, Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg's company is expected to make a big move today against rival Google by announcing its own e-mail service. So, if you're one of the 500 million active Facebook users, your online activity may become even more streamlined. Depending on the depth of the service, it could mean that your chats, posts, photos and e-mail will all come from the same window - or app. It's been dubbed a possible "Gmail killer," a tough name to live up to, but if it can pull it off it may solidify Facebook's spot atop the tech mountain.

Time.com: Facebook e-mail? Escalating the war with Google

Facebook's announcement comes on the heels of AOL's announcement regarding Project Phoenix - a revamping of its own fading e-mail service. That's right, all of you who only use your AIM screen name, the company is looking to court you back to that old @aol.com e-mail address you had in 199-something. After all, they were once known for declaring, "You've Got Mail."

Time.com's TechLand: AOL's Project Phoenix: E-mail is innovative again

In a time of old battles new, our tech folks will be taking a look at what your e-mail address says about you. They're looking at Gmail, Hotmail and MSN users. Check out CNN.com/Tech this afternoon to find out what your handle means about your personality.


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Filed under: Facebook • Google • Technology
November 10th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Eric Schmidt

The Google CEO wrote in an e-mail to employees that the company wants to lift morale. What better way than with across-the-board pay raises?

Beginning in January, every Google employee on Earth – that’s about 23,000 folks – will receive a 10 percent raise, according to media reports.

That’s not all, though. Business Insider reported that employees will also receive a raise equivalent to their annual target bonus and performance-based “merit increases.” If that isn’t enough to give you employer envy, Google is also paying the taxes on its employees’ $1,000 holiday bonuses.

Business Insider, which printed an e-mail it believes to be from Schmidt to employees, reported the CEO also said a recent survey showed employees valued salary more than other components of their pay so a portion of their bonuses is being moved to their base salary.

“Googlers, you are what makes this company great, and our goal here is to recognize you for your contribution, in a way that’s meaningful to you. Thank you for all that you do, and for making Google a place where magic happens,” Schmidt reportedly wrote.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the pay hike is an attempt to stave off competition for its talent, especially from Facebook Inc. About 10 percent of Facebook’s workers are Google veterans, it said.

While the raises are sure to be a hit with Google’s workforce, the newspaper said that they are also sure to raise concerns among investors about Google’s expenses.

It’s difficult to estimate what the raises will cost the search giant, but the holiday bonuses alone will run more than $20 million.


October 4th, 2010
11:50 AM ET

'Steve Jobs, Ninja Assassin' and other imagined movies

Apple's Steve Jobs IS the "Ninja Assassin"

"The Social Network" topped the box office this weekend, proving there's an appetite out there for movies about technology - or at least, movies about technology involving good-looking young actors screwing each other over and having sex. This got us thinking about other tech tales or topics that would make juicy fodder for Hollywood.

Give thumbs up or down to "Steve Jobs, Ninja Assassin" and "Google: The Musical" here.

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Filed under: Apple • Facebook • Google • Showbiz • Technology
September 8th, 2010
10:19 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Asteroids narrowly miss Earth: Two small asteroids passed within the moon's distance from the Earth about 12 hours apart on Wednesday, NASA confirmed.

Google unveils Google Instant search: The search giant introduced Google Instant, which will give users suggested results before they're even done typing.


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Filed under: Animals • Crime • Earth • Google • Showbiz • Space • Technology • Uncategorized
September 8th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

New Google Instant shows search results as you type

Tired of waiting the tenths of a second it takes to get Google search results?

Google promises it'll get faster.

The search giant on Wednesday introduced Google Instant, which will give users suggested results before they're even done typing.

"It's not quite psychic, but it is very clever," said Othar Hansson, a senior software engineer at Google.

Using the new system, as a query is typed, the search box immediately jumps to the top of the search page, and a constantly changing list of suggested pages appears. If the user finds the right site, they don't need to finish typing or hit "enter."

Google Instant will begin rolling out on most browsers to users in the United States on Wednesday and be introduced afterward in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and other countries.

If someone doesn't like the feature, they can disable it from the search page.


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Filed under: Google • Technology
August 21st, 2010
08:38 AM ET

Is Assange the target of a U.S. smear campaign?

[Update 11:30 a.m.] Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is "no longer wanted" and "is not suspected of rape," Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne said in a statement published by the Swedish prosecutor's website Saturday.

[Original post] Reports of criminal accusations against  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange brought instant suspicion of a U.S. government-led smear campaign.

Assange, a citizen of Australia, has been accused in Sweden of rape and molestation, or harassment, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.

Read a rough Google translation of the Expressen report.

WikiLeaks recently published tens of thousands of U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan and has said it is preparing to publish another batch of 15,000 documents soon.

"We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks.' Now we have the first one," WikiLeaks' Twitter page said Saturday.


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Filed under: Afghanistan • Crime • Google • National security • Sweden • Twitter • WikiLeaks
August 13th, 2010
02:57 PM ET

It's Friday the 13th, as luck would have it

As luck would have it, Friday happened to fall on, well, you know by now.

Much has been made about the superstitions of this fateful day. Having a bad time at the office? Blame it on Friday the 13th. Starbucks barista screwed up your white chocolate mocha? Blame it on Friday the 13th.

If you're dreadfully afraid of all things Friday the 13th, there's even a word for it: friggatriskaidekaphobia.


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Filed under: Google • Twitter
March 23rd, 2010
09:46 AM ET

Google and China: Breaking down the chess game

Google has stopped censoring search results in China, the search giant said, finally ending the chess game between Beijing and Google and speculation to whether Google would pull out of China entirely and set up a showdown with the Communist leadership there.

On its official blog, Google said it stopped running the censored Google.cn service on Monday and was routing its Chinese users to an uncensored version of Google based in Hong Kong.

The problems between Google and China reached a boiling point when Google disclosed that it had been the victim of a cyberattack that security experts believe was carried out by hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government, something China has denied.

Google's decision to stop censoring its China Web Site angered China's state media which said the move "violated its written promise" and was "totally wrong." The reaction was no surprise - the media there launched a volley of articles attacking the "politicization" of Google in the days before the announcement.


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Filed under: China • Google • Technology • World
March 23rd, 2010
09:27 AM ET

On the Radar: Signing health care into law, Toyota docs

President Obama will sign the health care reform bill into law today.

Here’s a look at some of the stories CNN.com reporters are working on Tuesday:

Health care - President Obama will sign sweeping health care reform legislation into law at the White House at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the planning. Once signed, the Senate will take up House fixes to the law, which Republicans are already trying to stop. Their first attempt to prevent debate was knocked down last night by the Senate parliamentarian, according to Democratic and Republican sources.

The signing comes as ten states plan to file a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new health care reform bill, according to Florida's attorney general.

Obama will continue to discuss the reform in hopes of pulling in line many members of the skeptical public. We'll continue to provide live coverage and today we'll take a look at what the health care bill means to you, when things will begin taking effect and whether Obama has used up much of his political capital on this one issue and how it might impact the rest of his agenda.

Toyota hearing - CNN looks into internal Toyota documents given to us by a group of attorneys now seeking a nationwide class-action lawsuit against the company. One attorney said the document - not previously made public - indicates Toyota knew much earlier about an electronic connection to sudden acceleration problems when they sent a memo to dealers in 2002.


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Filed under: Barack Obama • China • Congress • Google • Health Care • Israel • Justice • Middle East • On the Radar • Toyota • U.S. • World
March 22nd, 2010
03:31 PM ET

Google leaving China ... sort of

In a long-awaited announcement, Google said Monday that it will stop censoring search services on google.cn, its Chinese search site.

Google said it is now redirecting its Chinese users to Hong Kong site google.com.hk, which offers uncensored search results, according to its company blog.


March 22nd, 2010
09:49 AM ET

On the Radar: Health care reform, Israel, Google

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden react to the passing of the health care bill.

Here’s a look at some of the stories CNN.com reporters are working on Monday:

Health care - The House of Representatives passed a measure overhauling the U.S. medical system late Sunday, delivering a historic victory to President Obama, who had made it his No. 1 domestic priority. The bill passed in a 219-212 vote after more than a year of bitter partisan debate. All 178 Republicans opposed it, along with 34 Democrats. The bill will be sent to Obama's desk to be signed Tuesday.

While Sunday night's vote was a landmark moment, the health care reform fight is far from over. Among the questions being asked: What does the bill mean for you and when will you start feeling its impact? What does it mean for your business? What does Obama's executive order on abortion funding that helped bring some Democrats in line mean? What happens when the bill goes to the Senate - will it turn into a ping-pong match of roadblocks? Will there be political consequences for Democrats or Republicans come midterm elections? And what does this mean for Obama and his agenda? Is it his second wind, or has he spent all his political capital on this one issue? We'll also be looking for reactions from Americans on both sides of the issue as well as insurers and doctors.


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Filed under: Abortion • Barack Obama • Congress • Google • Haiti • Health Care • Israel • On the Radar • Politics • World
March 19th, 2010
09:18 PM ET

Report: Google-China decision on Monday

Google will make an announcement on its plans to leave China on Monday, according to a Friday report in China Business News.

The Shanghai-based publication reported that Google is expected to announce on Monday it would shutter its China operations on April 10, quoting an unnamed Google employee and a Chinese sales agent for the company.


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Filed under: Google • Technology
March 16th, 2010
01:23 PM ET

Web Pulse: Tiger Woods, IE9, QR codes and Facebook

Here’s a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Tuesday:

Tiger Woods and the Masters - Let the speculation end. Tiger Woods has put all of the rumors and rampant speculation to rest with his announcement today that he'll be returning to golf at the Masters in April. Lots of chatter surrounding the announcement - both on the kind of role model Tiger was, whether he still should be one as well as the strategy behind choosing the Masters as his return event because of its controlled nature.

Internet Explorer 9 – At Microsoft's Mix conference they announced a platform preview of Internet Explorer 9 - which they tout as a prototype for how they plan to interact with the Web currently, but also be able to adapt to quickly changing Web technologies. Most of the buzz is from the tech community on Twitter, a majority of who appear to be downloading a "Test Drive" version Microsoft has made available on its site.


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Filed under: Apple • Google • Microsoft • Technology • Tiger Woods • Twitter • Web Pulse
March 15th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

Web Pulse: Rielle Hunter, NCAA tourney, SXSW, Google

Rielle Hunter, John Edwards' mistress, has a new interview in GQ magazine.

Here’s a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Monday:

Rielle Hunter: John Edwards' mistress spilled details to GQ magazine, saying that she slept with the former Democratic vice presidential nominee only hours after meeting him in 2006 and that she still loves the father of their child. "You're so hot," Rielle Hunter tells the magazine she said to the former North Carolina senator when she met him at a New York hotel. News of the interview has sent traffic to the magazine to high levels and her name skyrocketing on trends this morning.

#SXSW: The interactive portion of the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, ends today. With some of the most tech-savvy people in attendance, Twitter (and, by extension, foursquare) have been the go-to place for the latest announcements, awards and information out of the conference. Speaking of Twitter, which became a real giant at its first SXSW, the company is expected to announce plans for an advertising platform at the conference  today.


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Filed under: Google • Showbiz • Sports • Technology • Twitter • Web Pulse
March 15th, 2010
09:55 AM ET

Google may shut down in China

Google appears to be getting closer to shutting down its strictly monitored search engine in China, according to news reports.


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