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Google just granted $1 million to a team of Georgia Tech researchers in order to enable them to build a "suite of web-based, Internet-scale measurement tools that any user around the world could access for free." Once released, this test will include traditional speed measurement tools, but most importantly, it is also meant to tell users if their ISPs or governments are tampering with the data they send and receive. The project is funded by Google's Focused Research program

Mozilla just released Firefox 4, the next generation of its popular Internet browser. The new version is not just significantly faster than Firefox 3, but it also features a new, highly streamlined interface and a number of new tools that should make Firefox 4 even more popular among power users (many of which moved to Google Chrome during Firefox 4's prolonged development phase).

Firefox 4's official release data is tomorrow, but the final version of Mozilla's latest browser is already available on the project's FTP servers. Just pick the right version and language for your system (Windows, Linux or Mac) and you are ready to go.

In a few years time, the story of Digg – the once popular social news/bookmarking service – will likely be a textbook case of a big brand didn’t manage to change with the times. For now, Digg is still a decently large site, though down significantly from its heights pre-Digg v4. The end for Digg as we know it could be near, though. According to TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington, Digg founder Kevin Rose has resigned from the company. Rumor is that he is closing a $1 million financing round for a new startup.

To my surprise, I just received free access to NYTimes.com for the rest of 2011. Sponsored by Ford's Lincoln brand, the New York Times is offering free accounts to "an exclusive group of frequent visitors to NYTimes.com."

The majority of modern webpages today don’t just get content from their own server but also load numerous scripts for ads, analytics and other features like the ubiquitous Facebook like buttons from across the web. Often, loading these scripts from third-party services can take a while and browsers often have to wait for these services to respond before they...

The New York Times today erected an online paywall for its readers in Canada and plans to roll this system out worldwide on March 28. NYTimes.com readers will be able to access 20 articles per month for free. The New York Times will also charge users of its smartphone and tablet apps, though the Top News section in these apps will remain free. Monthly subscriptions will start at $15 per month for access to the website and smartphone app. For access to the website and tablet app - but not the smartphone apps - user have to pay $20. Full access to NYTimes.com content on all platforms will cost $35. There is no website-only subscription.

The developers of Readability, the service that makes reading text online better by stripping sites down to their basics and allowing readers to just focus on the text, just launched their newest project at the SXSW conference in Austin. This new application, Donahue, provides conference attendees and presenters with a new way to interact during talks. The idea behind Donahue is based on the reality that the audience members at most tech conferences today often spend more time looking at their screens than at the presenters.

The Internet today is brimming with social sharing buttons. As social networks now drive more traffic than virtually any other kind of site, there is hardly any site left today that doesn't at least feature a Twitter and Facebook button to make sharing stories easier. Spread.ly is the latest entrant in the market of third-party sharing buttons and introduces an innovative twist to social sharing: deals.

A few weeks ago, Google introduced a Chrome plugin that allowed you to block sites you didn't want to see in your results pages. Now, the search giant is taking this concept a step further and allows anybody to block sites right from the search results page. There is a slight twist to this, though. The link to the block feature will only appear after you have visited a site. So if you want to block a site that you deem to be offensive or of low quality, you first have to visit it before you can block it.

Just a few years ago, a massive scandal rocked the FM radio world when internal memos from Sony Music showed that the major record labels routinely bought "spins" for their artists. Earbits, a new YCombinator-funded music startup, is now bringing a more sophisticated version of this system to the web. Over 1,300 bands have already signed up for the service that will ask bands to pay to get their music to the ears of Earbits' users.

WordPress wants to bring the worlds of WordPress.com and WordPress.org closer together. Automattic’s WordPress.com, the popular blog hosting service, is also the company behind the open-source WordPress software for hosting blogs on your own server. While most of the features Automattic introduces to WordPress.com eventually make it to the self-hosted version, some rely on being hosted on the WordPress.com...

Google just announced that mobile users on Android (2.2+) and iOS devices (4.0+) now have access to Instant Previews, a feature that Google launched on the desktop last November. Google launched a small test of Instant Previews on iOS about a month ago and has now rolled this feature out to all of its mobile users. On mobile, Instant Previews...

FarmVille's star is slowly fading. Zygna's former flagship game is now only the third-most popular app on Facebook. Even as more and more crops wither due to their owners' neglect, over 20 Million Internet users added to Zynga's bottom line yesterday by getting into the virtual construction business with the current #1 on FaceBook: CityVille.

Google just put another nail in the coffin of dedicated GPS units and paid mobile apps. Google Maps Navigation now offers users the ability to route them around traffic jams. Until today, Navigation would simply calculate the most efficient route and send you on your merry way without checking traffic conditions. The new version, however, will look at both current and historical traffic data to calculate the best route to take. According to Google, Navigation users now use the app to drive more than 35 million miles per day.