Breakfast briefing: Metro goes “Modern”; Google piracy

Welcome to our new daily breakfast briefing – links to news and intriguing tech stories from around the web. Today, Metro has been renamed Modern (maybe), Google punishes piracy sites, and more.

Forget Metro, it’s ‘Modern UI’ now

The Windows 8 UI formerly known as Metro is now being called “Modern UI”, according to The Verge. Whether that means they’re now called “Modern apps” remains to be seen. Microsoft has yet to name an official replacement for the Metro branding, with some suggesting it may just be called Windows 8.

Google starts pushing piracy sites down rankings

Earlier this year, we revealed illegal download sites rank higher than legal ones for the vast majority of music searches, asking if Google could do more to punish piracy sites in its search rankings. As it turns out, that answer is yes.

Google has said it will allow takedown notices to be used as one of its search “signals”, pushing illegal sites down the rankings. “We’re now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices every day than we did in all of 2009 — more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone,” Amit Singhal, senior vice president of engineering said in a post on the Google blog. “We will now be using this data as a signal in our search rankings.”

Motorola Mobility slashes 4,000 jobs

Motorola Mobility will cut 20% of its staff and shut 94 offices worldwide following its acquisition by Google, according to All Things Digital. Two-thirds of the cuts will happen outside the US, the report said.

Pixar open sources graphics software

Cartoon maker Pixar is to make some of its graphics and animation software open source, with rival studio and games developers able to access code that adds detail to surface textures. According to The Register, Open SubDiv will be opened up later this year with a license system for related patents made available to save developers from future legal problems.

CCTV used as spy cameras via Trapwire

It’s enough to make government plans to snoop on email message headers look unimpressive: a story coming out of Wikileaks suggests the US government is watching everyone with CCTV cameras as part of a huge surveillance effort called Trapwire.

According to Russia Today, Trapwire is a facial recognition system that pulls footage from US CCTV cameras into a central database, as parts of anti-terrorism efforts.

Video of the day

A former Apple staffer has revealed a previously unreleased Mac commercial from 1983, featuring interviews with Apple designers. Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original Mac designers, said on Google+ that the ad was never run because “Apple deemed it too self-congratulatory”. Yes, that’s right: the company behind marketing claims such as “magical” and “resolutionary” once thought it went too far.

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