The Circuit: Google changes search algorithm, Huawei asks for investigation, PayPal explains WikiLeaks flap
LEADING THE DAY: On Thursday, Google announced it changed its search algorithms to improve search results. Although the company is constantly tweaking its methods, according to the Google blog, the latest change "noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries." The update is not based on data from the Personal Blocklist feature in Chrome that the company launched earlier this month, though a comparison Google made between the algorithm change and the block lists matched 84 percent of the time.
Over at The Washington Post's Faster Forward, Rob Pegoraro notes that Google has lost its way in search before and asks whether users have noticed a difference this morning.
Huawei asks to be investigated: The Chinese technology giant Huawei wrote a letter to the U.S. government asking to be investigated. The company recently reversed an acquisition deal with California company 3Leaf Systems after it failed to win the recommendation of a U.S. security panel. The company, clearly confident about what the government might find, said it would like the U.S. to follow up on any concerns it might have about Huawei's connection to the Chinese military or government.
PayPal explains why it temporarily shut down account to aid Manning: PayPal temporarily shut down an account linked to the Courage to Resist advocacy group, which is supporting U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of handing classified documents to the Web site WikiLeaks. The group released a press release accusing PayPal of censorship. But PayPal says it was not an act of censorship -- the account was suspended because of a dispute over PayPal policy.
"We recently placed a temporary limitation of the Courage to Resist organization’s PayPal account as they had not complied to our stated policy requiring non profits to associate a bank account with their PayPal account," wrote Anuj Nayar, PayPal's director of communications. The account is now restored and operational.
Survey says Android more popular than iPhone with new users: A survey by the research firm MarketForce released Tuesday found that 34 percent of those considering a new smartphone said they would opt for an Android phone rather than Apple's iPhone. The findings also found that 51 percent of those surveyed owned a smartphone and 33 percent of non-smartphone owners said they were planning on making the switch within six months. The survey was conducted in December 2010, with a pool of 5,600 respondents, approximately 70 percent of which reported household incomes of more than $50,000 a year.
Intel survey finds mobile manners on the decline: Do you think your neighbors need a few mobile etiquette classes? You're not alone. A new survey from Intel found that nine out of 10 Americans think that mobile technology is misused, and 75 percent think mobile manners are worse now than they were a year ago. And one in five adults surveyed admitted he or she practiced poor mobile etiquette but continued because "everyone else is doing it."
Intel provided some tips on improving your mobile etiquette in its press release: Practice what you preach; give your full attention to those out with you; consider how your mobile actions will affect others in public; set ground rules about mobile usage during personal time; and, please, don't use your mobile device in the restroom.
| February 25, 2011; 8:22 AM ET
Categories: AT&T, Apple, Google, International, Mobile, Verizon
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