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Google, YouTube, Twitter Get into April Fools’ Action (USA Today)
Tired of all those vowels clogging up your tweets? Twitter announced a solution late Sunday night, saying it will shift to a two-tiered service, dubbing its basic, consonant-only plan “Twttr.” The April Fools’ Day joke kicked off with Twitter tweeting out, “Trd th nw Twttr yt? Mr tm fr mr twts! The New York Times YouTube’s central prank is a video. It reveals YouTube’s entire existence has been a contest to find the best video ever and that YouTube will shut down — the submission deadline will be over — and the winner will be announced. AP Google, having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, on Monday also showcased Google Nose to add scents to it search results. It urged visitors to lean in close and take a deep whiff for search results such as “unattended litter box.” SocialTimes It’s no secret that the Internet loves cats. Some of Monday’s cleverest pranks involve the furry creatures. Here’s a rundown of a few we thought were the cat’s meow. Mashable YouTube channel SourceFed managed to stop the hearts of an entire Internet nation Monday when they announced the death of Grumpy Cat. While it produced a pretty convincing news segment mourning the world’s most famous — and beloved — meme, we remained skeptical because the reporters weren’t weeping uncontrollably at the horrible news.
Judge Not Impressed with Facebook’s Argument in ‘Timeline’ Lawsuit (AllFacebook)
Facebook is battling a lawsuit from Timelines.com., and U.S. district judge John W. Darrah ruled recently that Facebook has not demonstrated that “timeline” is a generic enough term to own exclusively. Darrah wrote in a ruling Monday that Facebook hasn’t been able to prove that: “At this stage in the proceedings, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as to this group of users, ‘timeline(s)’ has acquired a specific meaning associated with plaintiff.” CNET The social network, which was first sued in September 2011 by Chicago company Timelines Inc. for infringement, now faces a jury trial, scheduled for April 22, over the mark. The company, which has 1,000 active users, is seeking damages equivalent to advertising revenue generated from Facebook’s Timeline, Timelines attorney Douglas Albritton told Bloomberg. Bloomberg Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook, said in an email that the company declined to comment on Darrah’s decision. “We’re happy with the ruling,” Albritton said in a phone interview.
Saudi Arabia to Track Twitter, Ban Skype (The Daily Dot)
Saudi Arabia, one of Reporters Without Borders’ “Enemies of the Internet,” has plans to track and monitor Twitter users and block Skype, according to a report from Reuters. The microblogging service has proven extremely popular among Saudi users, understandable in a country where free speech is blocked by custom, law and the influence of the fundamentalist clerical class.
Twitter Cooperates with Vladimir Putin to Block Access to Blacklisted Content In Russia (AllTwitter)
On the heels of the announcement that Twitter archives would now be available in Russian comes an announcement from Moscow that Twitter has cooperated with czar Vladimir Putin to block access to blacklisted content in his country. According to The Moscow Times, Twitter has “actively been engaged in cooperation” since early March with Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications.
Vizible for iOS Lets You View Photos Shared on Twitter Nearby (The Next Web)
In related news, APIs empower developers to build things they otherwise wouldn’t get a sniff at, such as Instalook, which we previously reported lets Instagram users discover photos by location. And now there’s Vizible, which surfaces photos shared on Twitter based on their proximity to you.
HBO ‘Game of Thrones’ Exhibition Honors Tumblr Fan Art (LostRemote)
The Game of Thrones exhibition opened last week in New York City to fans’ delight. In addition to amazing Iron Throne photo opportunities, a star-studded opening party and an interactive arrow shooting game, Tumblr art was one of the main parts of the exhibit.
Why Facebook Home is Potentially Brilliant (TechCrunch)
Facebook’s allegedly building a launcher. A launcher can, like the dozens of launchers already on the Google Play store, be installed on any Android phone once Facebook flips the switch.
Michael Arrington’s Ex-Girlfriend Alleges That He Physically Abused Her Via Public Facebook Post (BetaBeat)
Jenn Allen, a startup founder and ex-girlfriend of Michael Arrington revealed on Facebook that her relationship with the TechCrunch founder and investor was so wrought by physical and emotional abuse that she can’t get out of bed. Allen said that Arrington cheated on her several times during their eight-year-long relationship and threatened to murder her.
Barry Diller and Aereo Win Another Legal Battle (AllThingsD)
Another legal victory for Aereo, the Internet video startup that wants to upend the TV industry: A federal appeals court has rejected a request from broadcasters and TV station owners to halt Aereo’s TV-over-the-Web service. By a vote of two to one, the Second Circuit appeals court denied a preliminary injunction motion filed by big media companies including Disney, CBS and News Corp. (which also owns this website), upholding an original decision from last summer.