Frederic Lardinois

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Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]

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Today is Data Privacy Day and the good folks at Opera used this as a chance to commission a survey of 1,000 web uers each in the U.S., Japan and Russia and ask them about how worried they are about online privacy.

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Google just announced that Google Earth now features high-quality 3D-models of virtually all the California Bay Area, including the city of San Francisco, Google's hometown of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Oakland, Redwood City, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Sunnyvale. To see this expanded 3D coverage, you will need to turn on "3D Buildings" in Google Earth.

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A few weeks ago, I wrote that your next car might just have its own IP address. Besides talking to the Internet, though, there is also a lot of utility in using short-range networks that can link multiple cars together into a single, ad-hoc network and alert drivers of potential hazards. Today, Ford announced a new initiative that will...

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For a lot of us, Skype is one of the most important applications on our computers. The early betas of Skype for Mac 5, though, were rough, as they introduced the same single-window interface that Skype for Windows users have had to live with for a while now. Many of the user interface choices the Skype for Mac team decided on also made the app much harder to use.

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Genieo is a piece of software that constantly watches what you read online and then builds a personalized newspaper-like startpage for you and alerts you when it finds new stories about topics that you are currently interested in. At launch, Genieo was only available for Windows machines. Now, the Israel-based company is finally launching its Mac version as well....

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In 2009, Google launched real estate listings as one of the search options in Google Maps. Apparently, this was not a major hit, as the company today announced that it is retiring this feature because of "low usage" and "the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites."

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About two years ago, Google launched a browser plugin that allowed users to opt out of the company's ads tracking mechanism. By tracking your moves around the Internet, Google - and most other advertising companies - can ensure that you see relevant ads (read: ads you are likely to click) on the pages you visit. Today, just a few hours after Mozilla announced its plan to offer a do-not-track tool for Firefox, Google announced a new Chrome plugin that allows users to permanently opt-out of personalized ads and data tracking from not just Google, but a wide range of other online advertising companies as well.

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Qwiki is an app that creates pretty slideshows based on Wikipedia entries. The service won the top award at the last Techcrunch Disrupt conference and just received $8 million in new funding from a group led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Personally, I never understood why putting together a text-to-speech engine with a Ken Burns effect was disruptive. The VCs...

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Living in the U.S. without a credit card is close to impossible and most of us probably carry more than one card around with us at all times. But what do you actually know about your card? The good folks over at Mint.com put together a nice little infographic that explains what those numbers on your card really mean. In...

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The good folks over at ClickZ just posted a story with the following headline: "Google's Version of Groupon is Live: How it Works." Problem is, that is simply not true. The image in the article - reproduced below - is from the Google Places interface which has allowed vendors to offer coupons for a long time now (since around 2008, if I remember it right). This tab used to be called "Coupons" at one point in the past.

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For a while now, one of the most persistent memes in the tech world is that Google is suffering from a major spam problem and that the quality of its search results have suffered greatly from this. Google today took its critics head-on in a post on its official blog. According to Google's Matt Cutts - the face of...

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Usually, when we talk about plugins that crash our browsers, chances are that we are talking about Flash. Today, however, Mozilla announced that it is blocking the Skype Toolbar from its Firefox browser as it "is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week." The Skype toolbar examines every page you load for phone numbers and then re-renders these as clickable Skype buttons that enable users to initiate Skype calls right from their browser.

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Groupon is the hottest thing on the Internet today. It doesn't come as a surprise that Google is preparing to launch a Groupon clone of its own now after an unsuccessful attempt to buy the company outright. But maybe it should come as a surprise. After all, the daily deal market is already full of competitors in every possible niche and Google is only a few months late to the party. There was a time where Google was launching innovative products - now it's just launching clones - and some of them, like Buzz, aren't even able to make much of a dent in their market.

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Remember Google's Knol? The company's answer to Wikipedia? If you don't, you are not alone. Indeed, it's questionable whether Google itself remembers Knol. As the intrepid Google-watchers at the Google Operating System pointed out yesterday, not only does the site seem to suffer from major performance issues, but its software hasn't been updated for over a year now.

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These days, you don't really have to ask kids to get off your lawn. Chances are, they have no interest in being on your lawn anyway and are playing computer games instead of wreaking havoc on your manicured lawn. According to a new study by Internet security firm AVG, today's kids are learning computer skills long before they are learning life skills.