Blogging And Beyond | Week 12

Blogging And Beyond | Week 12

Blogging And Beyond | Week 12In the news this week? We find it and curate the good stuff so you won’t miss it. This week we have the US Government looking at an internet sales tax (again), A news aggregator faces copyright infringement for news excerpts, Take snap shots in G+ Hangouts, Facebook’s new Reply Feature, The Google Keep app, Search for animated and transparent gifs on Google, Google Babble coming soon and two big-money grants.

Uncle Sam Wants His $20 Billion In Internet Sales Taxes

It’s still in the early stage but the US Senate overwhelmingly support (75 to 24) the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 in a symbolic vote on the internet tax proposal this week. It’s estimated that $20 Billion in sales taxes go uncollected each year in the United States from online sales. US Senate votes in favor of proposed nationwide internet sales taxes.

See: US Senate votes in favor of proposed nationwide internet sales taxes (The Verge)

News Aggregation Is Copyright Infringement?

Apparently, even a short excerpt can get you into legal trouble when it comes to copyright infringement. Meltwater‘s Online Media Monitoring service helps businesses keep track of their industry news, much like a souped-up Google Alert that includes excerpts of the mentions. A federal judge sided with AP news (Associated Press) showing that type of news aggregation is in violation of copyright law and, if upheld on appeal, could have a big impact on the way news is curated.

See: News-scraping service can’t copy AP stories without permission, says judge (The Verge)

Hangouts Capture – Snap Shots During Google+ Hangouts

Google Plus has added a hangouts capture app to Hangouts that allows you to snap a still photo shot, via a camera button, of your live video conference.

See: Candid camera: Google+ adds Capture app to Hangouts (CNET)

screenshot - Google Plus Hangouts Capture App

You Heard It Here First! The Facebook Reply Feature

A big “Thank You” goes out to Brad West and Sheryl Loch for getting the ‘Facebook Reply Feature‘ news out to our readers WAY before the media. Back on February 25, 2013, Sheryl posted, Nested Comments on Facebook

See: To Improve Conversations, Facebook Will Launch A Reply Feature And Most Active Threads On Pages And Popular Profiles (TechCrunch)

Google Keep – Better Productivity?

I installed Google Keep on my Galaxy smart phone today and I’m not sure if it will be ‘all that’ yet but I will try to improve my productivity with it. It’s very late Saturday night and I’m just writing this week’s Blogging and Beyond post so there’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to better use of my time.

Google Keep


New Google Search Filter For Animated and Transparent Images

Under the “Search Tools” tab of a Google Image search, you can now filter your search to look for animated gifs and transparent images. Caution, just because you can find these images does not mean you can legally use them.

See: Google Adds Search Filter for GIFs, Transparent Images (Mashable)

Screenshot - Search Filter For Animated and Transparent Images

Google Babble – Coming To A Conversation Near You Soon

Years ago I registered the domain, that went nowhere. I let it go a long time ago and now I wonder if I couldn’t have been one of those lucky startups that get boocoo bucks from Google, now that they may launch the chat service ‘Google Babble.’

See: Google Babble: The One (Rumored) Chat Service to Rule Them All (Mashable)

Your Chance To Get Rich – Make A Better Condom Or Improve Gun Background Checks

In the news this week was a couple of huge money opportunities for the innovative.

$1 Million For A Better Condom

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is offering a $1 million grant for an improved condom. Many men don’t use condoms because the ‘feeling’ isn’t as good as it is without it. Can you make a better condom? One that ‘improves’ sensation? Give Bill a call; tell him Brian sent you. 😉

See: Gates Foundation puts out call to make better condoms (The Verge)

Firearm Background Check Improvement Grants

The US Justice Department announced it will invest $20 Million in Government grants to improve the firearm background check system.

See: Justice Department offers $20 million in grants for improving gun background check data (The Verge)

About Brian D. Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. Now that’s some serious news compilation! I don’t like the thing about copyright infringement of snippets. After all, they do the same thing, copying local news sources word for word. What a crock this is.

  2. Hey Brian,

    Thanks about the heads up on what is going around.

    The snapshot that you can do during a hangout is pretty cool. Can it be used as a video preview and be set as one?

    Just curious.

    Nope, couldn’t create a better condom lol.

    Mad funny that you included that in this article. 🙂

  3. Utkarsh Bhatt says

    Saying that the news aggregators are infringing the copyrights is pretty stupid. I mean, most of the time, I don’t have the patience to go to a website. And, at that time, I make the use of RSS. It is the best thing to get news about everything on the web without breaking a sweat.

  4. I agree Mitch, who’s to say I’m not in violation with this very post with standards like that? It’s my own words and I never copy and paste and even with the source links, I’m sure someone can find fault in it.

  5. Not up to the condom challenge Samuel? lol The snapshots can’t be used as video thumbnails on YouTube, they’re added to your Google Plus profile photo album.

  6. Well put Utkarsh, that’s what we’re trying to do here with Blogging and Beyond. I try to sort through the thousands of news reports and link to items I think other bloggers will want to see. We do the same thing for our newsletter subscribers and, between the two, it takes an incredible amount of reading time. Hopefully our subscribers and readers will save a little time and still keep up with relevant news.

  7. John Gibb says

    hey guys,

    I think the web should be a secure place for eCommerce, and the rules are there to help both the vendor and the buyer… however, the big dogs seem to get greedy with these new tax laws…

    Did you ever have the feeling that the law makers have no clue about this Internet thing and blogging per se?

  8. This goes to show why it is important to stay up to date with the latest IM related laws and rules, and reason why I keep reading your blog, Brian.

    Keep curing the web, and present us with the key news that affect us. The ones who neglect them, will do at their own peril I guess…

  9. Hi Brian, Love this piece of great information. The most hilarious part of improving condom. If anybody can make the improvement on condom nowadays, you should definitely try it and say that Brian inform you this.

    Thanks – Ferb

  10. Google Keep is something I need to put my hands on sometimes this week. Guess it works or tries to work almost like Evernote – but I’ll have to see. I’m a heavy Evernote user myself – so completely switching to Keep wouldn’t be quite possible. But you know when something new pops in, I always want to try it out.

    But there’s also one more thing – will Google keep Google Keep? Only time will tell!

  11. Like the new image results filter for Google. Bing has actually made some big strides for image searches, I feel like Google has fallen behind a little bit on that, their new layout is more convoluted and filters out a lot of would-be useful things. Hopefully they are seeing their errors and are making improvements, will be interesting to see how this filter works out.

  12. I’m not really a big fan of what’s new on Google unless it has something to do with entertainment and Hollywood gossip but I certainly admire how you compile these news tidbits all in one blog post. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to meet someone who has passion to compile what’s hot and what’s not on the SEO giant.

  13. Nice collection here, Brian; I had no idea you publish these updates.

    I did see FB reply button; should’ve taken a screen shot before opting into in.

    If you take a snapshot of the Google+ hangout, don’t you need to obtain a permission from the other parties to post it; otherwise, I might be perceived as an infringement of sorts? 🙂

  14. Hey Brian,
    Your presentation skills are very good. The condom story you have included is very funny.

  15. Your compilation of news and updates on what’s happening in the world today is very impressive. I do like the part where the government would want to spend so much as a million dollars for a stronger condom.

  16. it matters for all the bloggers as for blogging dedication and interest is the most important thing

  17. I was definitely captivated with the $1 million for a better condom. I mean, is that really necessary? There’s Durex, Trojan, which are familiar and durable brands. Why does the government need a whopping million dollars to fund for a better-quality condom?

  18. Google+, Google Keep, Google Babble, etc. — thanks for bringing in all together here Brian.Quite overwhelming for a newbie like me but it’s really a great read.

  19. You read that wrong Stacey, it’s the Gates Foundation that’s offering a $1 million, not the government.

  20. I would think so Ana, even if the people in the Hangout don’t see it as infringement, it would be a little rude to just start snapping pics without notice. Everyone can see that you are taking the screenshot but that’s exactly asking permission.

  21. Hi Paul, Bing is certainly on the roll lately. Google’s priorities seem to be changing.

  22. Exactly Jane, it’s hard to trust a google product when you know they’ll just yank the carpet out from under you eventually. I have both Keep and Evernote on my phone and don’t really use either one. I carry a notepad and pen around with me. lol I’m so old. 🙂

  23. Thanks Ferb, I’d take that credit. lol

  24. your blog is too addictive,interesting and unique and i am regularly visiting your blogs thanks for it

  25. I came across about Google Keep, Google Babble, Google’s new search filter with the help of your unique post Brian. Hangout in Google+ is also a new thing. Thanks for updating.

  26. Glad to help Jennifer 🙂

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