While writing this post, I said and wished that I had an O2 connection. After going through this post, I am sure you might wish for the same. Well here is the news. Starting from first day of August, O2 will be offering its UK based customers free twitter alerts via SMS. A spokesperson from O2 has confirmed the fact that O2 has teamed up with Twitter to turn Twitter updates into free text messages meaning @replies and direct messages just got a little more direct.
From the beginning of August, each and every customer of O2 will be able to switch on text notifications within Twitter and also be able to receive replies and direct messages. In additon, users can also send updates to Twitter as part of their normal text message bundle or for the cost similar to that of a text message. Once users have enabled this amazing service, users will receive alerts whenever there is an @reply or a direct message.
Want to turn off notifications at certain times. Well you can also do that. O2 is also placing a fair use policy for Twitter texts. The company wants its users to respect and urge them to stay below 600 messages per month.Antony Douglas, Head of Content at O2, believes that step was taken considering the increasing use of mobile for connecting to social networking sites. His words were:
We believe that mobile will soon become the most popular way of accessing social networking sites, giving real time access to tweets and status updates wherever you are.The agreements we now have in place with Twitter and the other key sites brings this a step closer, making it quick and easy for O2 customers to access their favourite social networks straight from their mobile.
Razorfish is a digital advertising agency by Microsoft. Razorfish is based in Seattle and have 2000 employees worldwide.
Rumors have circulated for months that Microsoft was looking to sale Razorfish. Now a report claimed that Microsoft is formally moving ahead with the plan, hiring Morgan Stanley to help them find a buyer.
It is also been reported that the discussions are not only limited to selling Razorfish, but also to utilize Microsoft ad technologies and purchase “hundreds of millions of dollars” of ad space across its Web properties.
Razorfish’s clients include Travelchannel.com, Levi Strauss and Starwood Hotels which will make Razorfish an interesting playing card in Microsoft’s pursuit of Google in the online advertising world.
Potiential buyers include WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group and Dentsu. reported by The Financial Times.
The Wall Street journal reports that those ad companies should be carefull if they are entering in deep partnership with Microsoft.
Aligning too closely with Microsoft could pose a threat to a big advertising company’s status as a neutral third party supposed to seek out the best deals for marketers. The winning bidder could have a conflict of interest when choosing between search engines to buy ad time on, for instance. said Reporter Emily Steel.
The Wall Street journal also reported that Razorfish could only fetch as little as $400 million to several hundred million dollars based on the other advertising elements of the deal. Whereas previously, The Financial Times reported that Razorfish could sell for $600 to $700 million.
Microsoft acquired Razorfish as part of its $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive.
Mozilla’s Firefox is a widely used browser for internet suffering. It save temporary Internet files on user’s hardisk while surfing the internet. Firefox provides a menu to clear out the junk files after browsing.
The process is too simple.
1) Click on the menu bar item Tools, then on the Clear Private Data item
2) In the dialog box select the time range to clear and items to be cleared. Select from browsing history, Cache, Cookies, Offline Website Data, Saved Passwords, or Authenticated Sessions. Items can be selected and unselected before the ‘Clear Now’ button is clicked.
3) Click on ‘Clear Now’ button.
Users can also let the Firefox do the same by enabling the feature of ‘Clear history when Firefox closes’ in the option’s privacy tab.
Doing so will let the Firefox clear everything as soon as you close the Firefox window.
I use Twitter everyday, but I never noticed all Google accounts on Twitter. Do you want to know and follow every Google tweet on Twitter? In order to do so, Google’s Karen Wickre, offered this list earlier today:
twitter.com/Google – Google’s central account
twitter.com/Blogger – for Blogger fans
twitter.com/GoogleCalendar – user tips & updates
twitter.com/GoogleImages – news, tips, tricks on image search
twitter.com/GoogleNews – latest headlines via Google News
twitter.com/GoogleReader – from Google’s feed reader team
twitter.com/iGoogle – news & notes from Google’s personalized homepage
twitter.com/GoogleStudents – news of interest to students using Google
twitter.com/YouTube – for YouTube fans
twitter.com/YouTubeES – en Espanol
twitter.com/GoogleAtWork – solutions for IT and workplace productivity
twitter.com/SketchUp – Google SketchUp news
twitter.com/3DWH – SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse
twitter.com/Modelyourtown – 3D modeling to build your favorite places
twitter.com/EarthOutreach – Earth & Maps tools for nonprofits & orgs
twitter.com/GoogleMaps – uses, tips, mashups
twitter.com/GoogleSkyMap – Android app for the night sky
twitter.com/AdSense – for online publishers
twitter.com/AdWordsHelper – for AdWords questions and tech issues
twitter.com/AdWordsProSarah – Google Guide for AdWords Help Forum
twitter.com/GoogleAnalytics – insights for Website effectiveness
twitter.com/GoogleAdBuilder – re building display ads
twitter.com/GoogleRetail – for retail advertisers
twitter.com/TechnologyUK – for U.K. tech advertisers
twitter.com/InsideAdWordsDE – for German AdWords customers
twitter.com/GoogleAgencyDE – for German ad agencies
twitter.com/AdSensePT – info for Portuguese-language publishers
twitter.com/AdWordsRussia – AdWords news & tips in Russian
twitter.com/DentroDeAdWords – Spanish updates from the Inside AdWords blog
twitter.com/AdWordsAPI – AdWords API tips
Developer & technical:
twitter.com/GoogleResearch – from research scientists
twitter.com/GoogleWMC – Google Webmaster Central
twitter.com/GoogleCode – latest updates for Google developer products
twitter.com/GoogleData – Data APIs – protocol for reading and writing Web data
twitter.com/app_engine – Web apps run on Google infrastructure
twitter.com/DataLiberation – initiative for complete import/export of all data
twitter.com/GoogleMapsAPI – about using Google Maps embedded in Websites
twitter.com/GoogleIO – Google’s largest annual developer event
twitter.com/googletalks – notes from our @Google speaker series
twitter.com/googlejobs – the voice of Google recruiters
Country or Region:
twitter.com/googlearabia – news from the Google Arabia Blog*
twitter.com/googledownunder – Google activities in Australia & New Zealand
twitter.com/GoogleDE – Google in Germany
twitter.com/GoogleLatAm – Latin America (en Espanol)
twitter.com/GooglePolicyIt – Notes on Google policy issues in Italy
But my all time favorite account is twitter.com/Google. All of Google events are kept here. It is also been good for a few story tips.
There are certain questions questions for you guys:
Do you follow Google on Twitter?
If so, what is your favorite Google Twitter account and why?
Will you follow Google Twitter accounts now that you have the account list?
If so, which one(s) and why?
Many of you will surely be available of the browser offered by Google: Google Chrome. This post is related to Google Chrome. The news is that the developer version of Chrome has enabled the updated new tab page. This recently updated tab page is more customizable and allows you to remove, reorder and pin thumbnails and has got interesting things within it.
One of the new sections of new tab page is Tips and Suggestions. Currently it is empty. However a recent Chromium build brought to light the functionality that this empty container might provide:
Google shows popular web pages from the iGoogle gadget “What’s popular”. The gadget uses algorithms to find interesting content from a combination of your submissions and trends in aggregated user activity across a variety of Google services, like YouTube and Google Reader.
No one will discourage the suggestions part of this new tab page, but one thing which many will expect is that it should be related to the user’s browsing history. Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer 8 provides a feature called suggested sites which monitors the browsing activities of a user and based on that shows related web pages. Google itself has a Web History service which uses Google Toolbar to track the visited web pages, and at the same time offers searchable browsing history, stats and recommended web pages.
China will be getting their required iPhone from Apple earlier than expected. However when the iPhone arrives, it will be lacking an important feature: WiFi. From sources it is gathered that Apple has applied and requested for a network access license so that iPhone can be sold in China.
Interestingly, the license is for customized iPhone model in which WiFi support has been disabled. If that comes out to be true, then that would imply one thing: Apple has finally accepted the demands of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. China’s Ministry demands that iPhone runs only on cellular networks.
This comes out as a surprise since Apple previously signalled its intention to provide Wifi enabled iPhones only. However since Apple has seemingly accepted China’s demand, iPhone might be coming to China 2-3 months earlier. Matt Mathison, an analyst at Wedge Partners stated:
We now expect it to come before the Spring Festival in [January] 2010
Picasa Web Albums added some new features which will be welcomed by many of you. Infact these features might be the one that many of you were looking for. Basically these features are management oriented and will enable you to manage your favorites and fans. Many of you might be possibly aware of the fact that you can add any Picasa Web user as a favorite so that you recieve notification when your favorite(s) add/upload new pics. Similarly once you add someone as your favorite, you will become a member of his list of fans and he will get an email for notification purposes
Previously, you were unable to remove users from the list of fans, but that is the thing which Google has changed. If anyone in your list of fans happens to be a spammer, now you do not need to stick with them. Yes, you can block them. Once done, that user will no longer will be able to comment on your photos and add you as a favorite. However a warning appear once you block a user which stats Blocking someone cannot be undone. Besides blocking spammers, you can also block users who post offensive comments.
Also, Picasa Web Albums added a list of suggested favorites. This list includes all of your contacts that themselve use Google’s photo sharing service. What this feature does is that it provides you an opportunity to find interesting photos uploaded by your contacts and to add them to your favorites.
If there is a list of favorite users, similarly there should be a feature to tag some image as your favorite. Well, luckily Picasa Web Album realized and allowed you to declare some image as your favorite. It did so by adding a link below each photo which says I like this. In addition it also show the number of likes. Sadly, in the current scenario there is no way to track the photos you like.
Microsoft besides releasing version 3 of Silverlight, also released Release Candidate for Expression Blend 3. In this post, I intend to bring to you the essential features that the Release Candidate brings for you. One of the interesting and my favorite feature is the Sketchflow. Expression Blend is seen as a major update and is expected to increase and enrich tooling support. More notable improvements include:
- Sketchflow: SketchFlow makes it significantly easier to create prototypes, experiment with dynamic user experiences, and incorporate feedback from customers. If you haven’t seen or tried it yet – you must. It really is a game changing new way to create great user centric applications.
- Intellisense: Blend 3 includes C#, VB and XAML intellisense support. You can now write code and event handlers within Blend without having to switch to VS.
- Behaviors: Blend 3 includes behavior support which can encapsulate complex design interactions into reusable components that can be directly applied to a control within the design surface. This enables designers to quickly add functionality and behavior to applications without having to write code.
- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator Import: Blend 3 now has built-in support for importing Photoshop and Illustrator files. As part of the import process you can view and pick individual Photoshop layers to import, customize and regroup layers, and have Photoshop/Illustrator elements retain their original formats within XAML: including layer positions, editable text and font settings, and vector element conversion to XAML.
- Sample Data: Blend 3 adds design-time sample data support which makes it easy to mock up data-connected applications and see what they look like without requiring access to live data. You can generate sample data or import sample data from an XML file and it is available to controls on the artboard at design-time. You can customize your sample data details, and you can easily switch between using sample data and using live data at run-time.
- TFS: Blend 3 now includes Team Foundation Server (TFS) support – allowing you to use source control and enlist within projects. Blend shares the same project and solution format as Visual Studio – allowing both VS and Blend to work simultaneously on the same projects and enabling seamless editing between them.
- Other Improvements: Additional enhancements including improved animation and easing function support, 3D transform support, visual effects support, and an improved visual state manager designer.
Expression Studio 3 final release is expected during the upcoming 29 days. Expression Studio 3 will comprise of
- Blend with Sketchflow
Many of you might have heard about the release of Silverlight 3. Well this post is not about that. It is somehow related to that. Expression Encoder 3 is a part of the Silverlight 3 release. So what is Expression Encoder 3 what interesting features does it bring. This is what is exactly the contents of this post. Wait, one more thing this post will not provide the exhaustive list of features that Expression 3 Encoder provides. These details come straight from the silverlight team blog.The more significant or the highlights of the encoder package includes:
- IIS Smooth Streaming – Encode your content in high quality to multiple bitrates to take advantage of Smooth Streaming, a feature of Internet Information Server 7 Media Services. Take a look at the results at http://www.iis.net/media. Encoder 3 adds a brand new dedicated VBR VC-1 Smooth Streaming codec that has been engineered for extreme high-performance and high-quality encoding.
- Improved H.264 Support – The H.264 encoding support for devices that were introduced in Encoder 2 was extended. VBR,Main Profile support and custom resolutions has been added, Enabling you to encode full HD 1080p sources. Encoder 3 also enables you to produce H.264 content for Smooth Streaming.
- Video Screen Capture – The 3rd version brings a very efficient video screen capturing tool. This tool happens to be quite efficient in compression and processor usage. It does consume the whole CPU time. Whenever you capture a high quality video, that captured files reflect the actual quality of the experience. The captured files can be opened up directly in Expression Encoder or even Export it.
- Redesigned User Interface – The User Interface has been modified and brings a different look. The interface will enable you to find the intented items more easily.
- Silverlight 3 Templates -For Silverlight 3, all the templates have been written. Those interested in doing Smooth Streaming, we have included the Smooth Streaming Graphing Player has been included which will provide you with the visual representation of smooth streaming and the ability to simulate different bandwidths
- Software Development Kit and Object Model -As expected and needed, the SDK and Object model have been enhanced. This enhacement was performed to ensure that you guys can get all the powerful features of the advanced encoding. There is an object Model for Live Encoding mode. What more do you want, just for your convenience, SDK is included with the Encoder 3 thus eliminating the need to download it separately.
The more significant or the highlights of the encoder package includes:
IIS Smooth Streaming
Encode your content in high quality to multiple bitrates to take advantage of Smooth Streaming, a feature of Internet Information Server 7 Media Services. Take a look at the results at http://www.iis.net/media. Encoder 3 adds a brand new dedicated VBR VC-1 Smooth Streaming codec that has been engineered for extreme high-performance and high-quality encoding.
Improved H.264 Support
The H.264 encoding support for devices that were introduced in Encoder 2 was extended. VBR,Main Profile support and custom resolutions has been added, Enabling you to encode full HD 1080p sources. Encoder 3 also enables you to produce H.264 content for Smooth Streaming.
Video Screen Capture
The 3rd version brings a very efficient video screen capturing tool. This tool happens to be quite efficient in compression and processor usage. It does consume the whole CPU time. Whenever you capture a high quality video, that captured files reflect the actual quality of the experience. The captured files can be opened up directly in Expression Encoder or even Export it.
Redesigned User Interface
The User Interface has been modified and brings a different look. The interface will enable you to find the intented items more easily.
Silverlight 3 Templates
For Silverlight 3, all the templates have been written. Those interested in doing Smooth Streaming, we have included the Smooth Streaming Graphing Player has been included which will provide you with the visual representation of smooth streaming and the ability to simulate different bandwidths
Software Development Kit and Object Model
As expected and needed, the SDK and Object model have been enhanced. This enhacement was performed to ensure that you guys can get all the powerful features of the advanced encoding. There is an object Model for Live Encoding mode. What more do you want, just for your convenience, SDK is included with the Encoder 3 thus eliminating the need to download it separately.
The monitoring service StatCounter has showed that for the second time since the launch of Microsoft’s Bing, it has surpassed Yahoo Search as the second most used search engine in the United States. Bing has proven to be a very solid product that many seem keen to try out even after a month.
According to the new stat, Bing took 12.9% of the U.S. market like comScore had earlier measured. With the good progress, Bing comes out ahead of Yahoo Search (10.15%), while Mountain View remains the undisputed king of the mountain with a U.S. market share of 75%.
“The jump in Bing?s share may reflect a positive review of the search engine compared to Google which appeared online in the New York Times on the 8th and in the print version on the 9th July.” said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen.
After all, Microsoft has shown a remarkable drive to keep the momentum for its decision engine going, recently adding Twitter messages to search results and bringing the search platform to its Hotmail service.
Microsoft’s Bing had being working hard on its feature which initiated a layer of worries between the competitors. Google is not worried about losing its market in search market yet, while the other share holders in the field better be watching Bing’s progress very closely. Microsoft is doing it right, and users are noticing it too.