A couple of months back, in the month of April, if I remember correctly, we informed you guys about YouTube testing a new design for its channels. Uptill now there has been no official word or date from YouTube as to when the new channel design will be made available to the general public, however it is believed that it would be released pretty soon. Here is an exhaustive list of all the features that have been implemented so far. These features were implemented and improved thanks to the precious feedback from all those users who were lucky enough to test the new channel design. The exhaustive list of features coming to the channel design include:
- Sort controls sort by most viewed, date added, or highest rated
- Clickable rating stars
- Counts for the number of videos in each section (when in “all” view)
- When playing a video, the video title now links to the non channel video watch page
- View a small number of video comments as well as leave a quick comment. All this can be done by just clicking the comments tab when watching any video
- Font size is now larger when browsing through videos
- You can make the list of your playlists your features content set (like the new White House Channel)
- New share controls underneath the video
- Endless loading circles should now be gone
- No more channels with messed up layouts
- Search box when looking at uploads
- Honors are back
- Video thumbnails are now larger
- More interaction options under the video player
- You can now feature a video by URL
- The subscribe button is yellow again
- You can choose a featured video
- You can link directly to a specific video and a specific playlist on your channel
- You can rearrange boxes on your channel with little arrows
- You can message users
- You can delete recent activity items
- Subscribe button appears when you’re looking at your own channel
- UI improvements
- Tons of bug fixes
Coming to the part as to what are the things that YouTube is currently working on in relation to the YouTube channel design. These are:
- Providing the user with the flexibility of reordering your uploads or lists of playlists.
- Displaying the upload date in the video description
- More and more bug fixes
A big thanks to Chris Crum of WebProNews for coming up with this long list of impressive features.
Motorola and AT&T has announced the latest social messaging slider, named as Motorola Karma QA1. Karma is designed for 24/7 mobile socializing and following multiple conversations.
From the homescreen of Karma you have one-click access to Facebook and MySpace for easy status updates, checking out friend profiles and picture/video uploads. The phone has a slider QWERTY keyboard and a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator. Motorola Karma QA1 will be available on June 28 at select AT&T stores.
Certain features offered in this cell phone are:
Update Social Status
You can keep your favorite social networks close with one-click, home screen access over amazing 3G speed1. You can use Facebook to connect and share with features that allow you to update your status, activities, or post pictures and videos.
You can also keep track of conversations with an all-in-one view of messages and easy scroll navigation1. IM-style texting on the slide-out QWERTY keypad makes it easy to follow the conversation flow from morning until night.
You can locate your friends using on-board aGPS1 that speaks turn-by-turn directions. A high-speed connection1 brings you the info fast, so you can make your fashionably late entrance on time.
Watch and hear this
Media is clearly seen and heard with a vibrant 2.5” display and high-quality speakers. Motorola Karma is designed to be propped on its edge when watching TV shows or movies, so you can easily see the screen and hear crisp audio.
Microsoft has kept its promise and has launched Beta of Microsoft Security Essentials just today. The antivirus and antispyware utility codenamed Morro replaces Windows Live OneCare subscription service. It is a product that is intented to support users of Windows 7 , Vista and XP. Built on Microsoft’s Forefront 2.2 enterprise technologies, Security Essentials has the vision of providing an economical and friendly way to encourage protecting your Windows PC.
Microsoft Security Essentials is available free of cost. Well there might arise an argument that there are antivirus softwares such as AVG and others which are also free. So why Microsoft wants to offers its security suite free of cost. Well Microsoft is in no way competing with commercial or freely available security products. Instead Microsoft Security Essentials is essentially for those persons who do not use and install an antivirus software at all or keep an outdated/expired one. At Microsoft Connect, they stated:
You’re too busy to spend a lot of time worrying about protecting your PC. With Microsoft Security Essentials Beta, you get high-quality protection against viruses and spyware, including Trojans, worms and other malicious software. And best of all, there are no costs or annoying subscriptions to keep track of.
Here are the features that stand out:
- Easy to install
- Easy to use
- Automatic updates and upgrades
- Runs in the background
- Will require your attention only when needed. (No more disturbance caused by needless alerts)
Currently the Beta has been made available to users based in United States, United Kingdom, Israel (English only), China (Simplified Chinese only) and Brazil (Brazilian Portugese only). Presently only 75,000 lucky users will get their hands on the Beta version.
Google alongwith its partners has decided to launch a new site called All for Good. The other entities that partnered with Google include Craigslist Foundation, YouTube, FanFeedr and UCLA. The main purpose behind this site is to provide a platform which would enable volunteers to connect with the charitable organizations in their local communities.
This website assists, helps and guides people in finding and revealing ways in which they can become useful, get involved within their community and do noble deeds. These ways include serving as a mentor or designing a website for a nonprofit. It also allows people to sign in to their Google or Facebook account and share their volunteer activities with others with the means of attracting them to do the same. Paul Rademacher, a software engineer at Google and a tech lead on the project stated the vision behind this project:
By bringing together amazing service opportunities from existing volunteer organizations, we hope to amplify their efforts and share ways to do good across the web.
Rademacher, also informed about the project being open source. His exact words were:
Built as a free, open-source project, the All for Good platform and search API allow the community-at-large — from software developers to community organizers and local activists — to contribute innovations to the site and drive the direction and growth of the platform.
The API related to the All for Good platform allows community organizers and non profit leaders to reach more volunteers. Developers looking to volunteer and build volunteer applications can visit the All for Good Apps page provides examples and various instructions.
In relation to this, YouTube is also launching Video Volunteers a platform aimed at connecting non-profit organizations with video needs and skilled video makers who can help and assist in promoting their causes via video.
All for Good project was part of the Google 20 percent project. In addition to that the search provided on the recently launched site is powered by Google.
One of the many glaring omissions still not featured on the iPhone is support for Flash. Rumors keep circulating that Flash will be coming to the iPhone, but that has failed to happen and unless something big changes this isn’t the year of flash for iPhone fans.
Adobe has announced it will be released the beta version of Flash Player 10 for smartphones in October.
During a recent earnings call, Adobe CEO Shantanu Naraye revealed to investors that a beta version of Flash Player 10 for mobiles will be released in October of this year.
The new Flash player will support Android, Nokia Symbian, Palm Web OS, and Windows Mobile powered devices, notice that OS for iPhone is missing, and is expected to be unveiled at the Adobe MAX conference for developers that is scheduled to take place in October.
“We are bringing Flash Player 10 to smartphone class devices to enable the latest web browsing experience. Multiple partners have already received early version of this release and we expect to release a beta version for developers at our Max conference in October. Google’s Android, Nokia’s Symbian OS, Windows Mobile and the new Palm Web OS will be the first devices to support web browsing with the new Flash player…”
Earlier this year Adobe was planning to bring Flash 10 to the Android platform by the end of 2009. Now Adobe is almost there, as October is not so far.
Google scientists announced a new technology today that might bring big improvements to how Google processes and understands images. For now, it’s limited to images of landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Eiffel Tower, but conceptually, at least, its promise is much broader.
Jay Yagnik, Head of Computer Vision Research said:
To be clear up front, this is a research paper, not a new Google product, but we still think it’s cool,
This is no easy task when the engine has to rely on images of the landmarks, which are incredibly varied by angle, lighting, photo quality, etc.
According to Google it has managed to achieve 80% of the total accuracy on more than 50,000 landmarks. Google demonstrated that how it did this with the Acropolis. Google began with an unnamed, untagged picture of it, entered the web address into the recognition engine, and the computer identified it as “Recognized Landmark: Acropolis, Athens, Greece.”
Google generated a list of landmarks based on GPS-tagged photos from Picasa and Panoramio, and online tour guide webpages. Google then found “candidate images” for each landmark using those resources as well as Google Image Search.
Images were “pruned using efficient image matching and unsupervised clustering techniques, Yagnik explained.
Google said in that research paper:
Here, we build a world-scale landmark recognition engine, which organizes, models and recognizes the landmarks on the scale of the entire planet Earth, constructing such an engine is, in essence, a multi-source and multi-modal data mining task.
The most popular social network Facebook has received a number of complaints from Facebook advertisers in relation to the undesirabe situation of click fraud. Click fraud has taken up a notch in the last few days. As always, Facebook has been responsive and has acknowledged the issue. There have been claims from the social networking site that they are doing something about it.
A thread at the WickedFire forum highlighted this issue, and this issue got the ignition once TechCrunch mentioned about it. Facebook’s McCormick gave TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington a statement related to this subject. His statement was:
We take click quality very seriously and have a series of measures in place to detect it. We have large volumes of data to analyze click patterns and can identify suspicious activity quickly.
McCormick acknowledged the fact that have seen the number of suspicious clicks increase. He also mentioed the fact that Facebook has been working towards a solution. His exact words were:
Over the past few days, we have seen an increase in suspicious clicks. We have identified a solution which we have already begun to implement and expect will be completely rolled out by the end of today (06/21). In addition, we are identifying impacted accounts and will ensure that advertisers are credited appropriately.
During the later part of last year, Click Fraud reached a considerable and significant level, but was thankfully reduced during the beginning part of this year. Let us hope that this issue is resolved very soon and Facebook can keep its advertisers happy.
Coming straight from Microsoft PressPass, Microsoft Live@edu just keeps on gaining momentum worldwide among institutes offering Higher education. Various universities continue to become part of the no-charge suit of communication and collaboration tools for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Once they become the members of Live@edu, educational institutions gain access to
- Microsoft Office Outlook Live for e-mail.
- Microsoft Office Live Workspace to share documents and collaborate.
- Windows Live Messenger for instant messaging.
- Windows Live SkyDrive for 25 GB of online data storage space.
Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Office Product Management Group stated the goal and purpose of Live@edu. His words were:
Our goal with Live@edu is to equip the next generation of leaders with a rich set of productivity and collaboration tools as they move from campus to business environments. It is exciting to see students, educators and IT administrators choosing Live@edu to enrich the learning experience and to prepare students for future success.
The latest addition of universities to an already impressive list of colleges, schools and universities who have joined Live@edu include:
- Washington State University – The university expects to save more than $100,000 by providing Live@edu with Outlook Live for its 25,000 enrolled students.
- University of Sydney, Australia – Around 46,000 students will be introduced to the new Live@edu system. This decision was taken by the reputed university after a thorough technical evaluation and consultation with the student representatives
- Alexandria University, Egypt – One of the most popular universities in Egypt with 130,000 students.
- SriLankan Universities – Students of universities such as University of Colombo, University of Peradeniya, University of Jaffna, University of Kelaniya, University of Moratuwa, University of Ruhuna, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Uva Wellassa University and Eastern University, Sri Lanka will be getting access to Live@edu program
This impressive program provides the benefits for institutions in terms of reduced email costs and increased student experience.
Prior to Bing, Microsoft provided search facilities through its search engine named Live Search. Its mobile version was also available for users to use on their mobile phones. The mobile application was titled Live Search Mobile application. The mobile version of Live search provided Voice based and location based search capabilities. Since Bing has replaced Live Search quite successfully (which is safe to say at the current time), there arises a question when will be the Mobile version of Bing become available for use. That is where Long Zheng of istartedsomething comes to the rescue.
According to Long Zheng, the mobile version of Bing is just around the corner and is expected to be released and made available very soon. The mobile edition of Bing is not a mere rebranding of its predecessor Live Search Mobile. The mobile version will be supporting not only Windows Mobile and Blackberry based smartphones, instead the support has been extended to include Sidekick and BREW supported phones. The Bing application for mobile phones is expected to be rolled out in November for all Verizon BREW phones.
Furthermore the service has been extended and expanded to the European Market, with plans of distributing local content to the UK, French and Italian users. Modifications to the design of the applications are also expected. Shown below are a few images which were taken during the late part of April 2009.
A big thanks to Long Zheng for providing us with these cool pics and information.
During the course of last year, Google took an initiative and started crawling and indexing Flash content. In relation to that, Google has made an announcement which essentially strengthens the Flash Indexing capabilities. The announcement declared that from now on Google will be indexing external resource loading. In simpler terms, Google would now be indexing external content that loads within an SWF file and associate that indexed content with the particular file, so that it may appear in the search results.
Janis Stipins at Google’s Webmaster Central Blog shed light on what Google can now do with the added 0n capability. Whenever a Google encounters SWF files, it will:
- Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.
- Discover links within Flash files.
- Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.
- Index sites scripted with AS1, AS2 and AS3 even if the ActionScript(AS) is obfuscated.
In regards to AS3, Stipin said:
The ActionScript version isn’t particularly relevant in our Indexing process, so we support older versions of AS in addition to the latest.