Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Facebook delivers version 2.0 of its iPhone app

adapted from
Posted by Harrison Hoffman

Facebook on Tuesday released version 2.0 of its popular iPhone app (iTunes Store link). This release contains a lot of the functionality that is in the full version of Facebook, making the iPhone version much more attractive. Some key features added include friend requests, notifications, people search, photo tagging/captioning, full News/Mini Feeds, message attachments, and inbox search.

The application, overall, seems to be more snappy and definitely has a better look to it. The inclusion of friend requests and notifications is big here, adding a whole new level of usefulness to the app. People search is also an extremely useful addition to the app, allowing you to find people who aren't already your friends. Additionally, photo tagging is integrated very well and along with captioning, makes the photo uploading part of the app fully functional.

A point of pain and confusion among my friends since Facebook launched their iPhone app has been the lack of message attachments. Messages would not display their attachments, creating miscommunication between those using the iPhone app and those using the browser based version. Thankfully, that issue has been resolved in this update.

This is the version that a lot of people were expecting at launch for Facebook's iPhone app. Many were disappointed by the lack of wall posting (which was quickly added) and other features on day one and this update should do well to satisfy them.

Originally posted at The Web Services Report
Harrison Hoffman is a tech enthusiast and co-founder of LiveSide.net, a blog about Windows Live. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and is not an employee of CNET. Disclosure.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ten years and counting - Doodles

This is one thing about google I really like

So please read this bit.

from google blog

9/26/2008 09:00:00 PM
The Google doodle tradition started a long time ago (in summer 1999, in fact) when Larry and Sergey put a stick figure on the homepage to signify that they were out of the office at Burning Man. Nothing against stick figures, but our logo designs have become rather more varied since then. Today you'll see a special design that commemorates our 10th birthday. We've incorporated a little bit of history by using the original Google logo from 1998. And since everyone keeps asking what we'd like for our birthday (besides cake and party hats) -- the first thing we thought of was a nice new server rack.

Update: Added image.

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Indo-US nuke deal makes it through US House


Washington: The much debated nuke deal between US and India have been passed by the House of Representatives.

Deputy Clerk, House of Representatives Robert Reeves said that the bill is passed and the rules for the bill are suspended.

A majority voting of 298 to 117 in favour of the bill ended India's nuclear isolation. Hundred and seventy eight Republicans and 120 Democrats voted in favour of the deal.

At a gathering of Indian Americans in New York, Prime Minister Manmohan was effusive in his praise.

Singh said that India was on the verge of securing a new status in the global nuclear order after being liberated from the constraints of technology for 34 years.

The passage came in the early hours of Sunday when India was still asleep and in the last hours of the House session before it breaks for the November 4 presidential election.

Meanwhile, anti-deal lobbyists had mounted a final bid to derail it.

Influential Democratic leader Howard Berman has voted in favour of the bill. His turnaround favoured other Democrats.

Berman’s defection came after a phone call from US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Even so the assurance from Rice that the US will work to ensure no reprocessing technologies for India at the November session of the nuclear suppliers group (NSG) was an indication of the measure of the opposition and hinted at trouble ahead.

The next hurdle for the deal remains with the Senate.

However, the passage from the Senate is expected to be less problematic as the bill has already cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

American President George W Bush in a written statement congratulated the House of Representatives for passing the deal and urged the Senate to quickly take up and pass "this important piece of legislation" before their October adjournment.

As for Prime Minister Singh, his eyes are on the next stop on the nuclear highway, the EU-India summit in Marseille followed by the bilateral nuclear deal with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.

(With inputs from Neenaz Ichaporia)

Big-Budget, Futuristic Anime Series Is on Its Way to the Web

By Jenna Wortham EmailSeptember 25, 2008 | 6:45:41 PMCategories: Art, Sci-Fi, Video, Viral, Web/Tech

Enforcer2Is anime the next frontier for web serials?

Media company RDF, known for its work on cable reality shows like The Two Coreys and Wife Swap, is branching out into Japanese-style animation for its next project.

Details are scarce, as negotiations with several voice actors are still under way, but our sources at RDF tell us the series has already been optioned for a comic book, to be produced by indie comic retailer BloodFire Studios.

The show, a dystopian thriller, takes place several decades in the future in a downtown Los Angeles populated by cyborgs (pictures embedded).

The back story and characters were created by Max Benator, head of digital media at RDF USA.

The as-yet-untitled series is rumored to have a budget in the high seven figures, with a release date tentatively set for 2009.

It's a great time to get into the animated webisode business: It's a relatively untapped market with a hungry audience. Seth MacFarlane's Calvacade of Cartoon Comedy took online video by storm when it launched in early September, with several shorts nabbing coveted top spots on YouTube and raking in millions of pageviews.

Check out the hazed-out, Blade Runner-esque Los Angeles cityscape of RDF's upcoming series after the jump.


Toolbar No. 5 from Google for Firefox

Just got to know about this.
Really great return gift on the occasion of birthday (sorry for the poor joke)
anyway read on.
from google blog

9/26/2008 12:33:00 PM
A few months ago we launched several new features for Google Toolbar in Internet Explorer. Since then, we've received many emails asking us when we plan to support all our new features in Firefox.

Guess what: Starting today, you can download the latest version of Google Toolbar for Firefox, available in 29 languages. This new version is the first Toolbar launched out of our St. Petersburg, Russia office. It includes all the Toolbar features you know and love, such as Search, Bookmarks and Translate. When you install it, you can try out some of our newest features.

We don't like to play favorites among Toolbar's features, but it's hard not be wowed by Autofill. You can create several profiles with personal or business information including different addresses, email addresses and credit card details. So anytime you want to fill an online form, just click on Autofill and the right information will appear in the form automatically. All your information is safely stored only in your own computer, with your credit card numbers encrypted and protected by a password.

We also love Google Gadgets in Toolbar. Gadgets bring information from your favorite websites closer to you. For example, you can add the YouTube gadget to your Toolbar. When you want to have a quick break from work, click on the YouTube icon and search or view videos in a box that pops down from the Toolbar, without leaving the web page you are on. Close that box when you're done with it (or when your manager starts walking towards your cube). You can find the YouTube gadget and thousands of others in our gallery.

We look forward to get your feedback, or to hear your stories about the exciting ways you are using Toolbar's features. We hope that you enjoy the new Google Toolbar as much as our team enjoyed building it!

If you're interested in learning more about Google Toolbar, visit us at http://tools.google.com/firefox/toolbar/FT5 or check out our video:

Posted by Vladislav Kaznacheev, Head, St. Petersburg Engineering Office, and Igor Bazarny, Software Engineer, Toolbar team
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Image Makeover - gadget form

Guess google blog has had an image makeover- well not strictly so. But read on.

from google blog

9/21/2008 09:12:00 PM
Our corporate blog network is more than four years old now. We offer blogs about Google products and initiatives, local blogs (for 11 countries), blogs for advertisers and publishers, and a stable of blogs for developers. We hope you find the contents to be informative, timely, and, on occasion, fun.

To help you keep track of our news and updates more easily, we've created a new Blog Directory (which links from the main page on this blog) and an iGoogle gadget so you can stay current right from your dashboard. If you'd prefer to read recent posts by category, install our iGoogle blog tab (the customizable tab will load upon clicking), which will always show you the most recent blog updates by categories such as 'Open Source,' 'Mobile' or 'Publishers.' There are 16 categories, so you can pick and choose which ones to keep on your page after adding.

Software engineer Derek Collison built the gadget using the AJAX APIs. The current version is in beta; we plan to use the Language API to roll out translations for the blogs in 13 languages other than English and add new interface and navigation options. Developer Ben Lisbakken built the tab, and webmaster extraordinaire Champika Fernando built the directory with help from graphic designer Ryan Germick. A heartfelt thanks for all of their contributions in making our blog family more 'universally accessible and useful.'

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Democracy on the Internet

Here's how google is spreading democracy on the net. Read on.

from google blog

9/21/2008 03:57:00 PM
The Internet has had an enormous impact on people's lives around the world in the ten years since Google's founding. It has changed politics, entertainment, culture, business, health care, the environment and just about every other topic you can think of. Which got us to thinking, what's going to happen in the next ten years? How will this phenomenal technology evolve, how will we adapt, and (more importantly) how will it adapt to us? We asked ten of our top experts this very question, and during September (our 10th anniversary month) we are presenting their responses. As computer scientist Alan Kay has famously observed, the best way to predict the future is to invent it, so we will be doing our best to make good on our experts' words every day. - Karen Wickre and Alan Eagle, series editors

Information technology has enabled the "democratization of data:" information that once was available to only a select few is now available to everyone. This is particularly true for small businesses.

Fifteen years ago, only the big retailers could afford intelligent cash registers that tracked inventory and produced detailed daily reports. Nowadays cash registers are just PCs with a different user interface, and the smallest mom and pop retailer can track sales and inventory on a daily basis.

A decade ago, only the big multinational corporations could afford systems to allow for international calling, videoconferencing, and document sharing. Now startups with a handful of people can use voice over IP, video, wikis and Google Docs to share information. These technological advances have led to the rise of "micro multinationals" which can leverage creativity and talent across the globe. Even tiny companies can now have a worldwide reach.

These changes will have a profound effect on the global economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, "small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all firms, they create more than half of the private nonfarm gross domestic product, and they create 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs." Information technology has already had a huge effect on the productivity of large businesses, but the benefits from "trickle down productivity" may be even more significant.

We think that Google can play a significant role in helping small businesses utilize the power of information technology. Our search technology provides answers to questions that only companies with large research libraries could answer decades ago. Our advertising programs allow small business to sell their wares to consumers around the world, as well as providing revenue opportunities for small publishers. Google Docs provides productivity tools for remote collaboration.

Google also provides data for business intelligence that only large companies were able to afford a few years ago. For example, Google Trends can help businesses track the popularity of specific queries, enabling them to identify new business opportunities. Website Optimizer allows businesses to test different versions of a website to see which one works best. Rather than waiting a month for a sales report, businesses can instantly learn of spikes in traffic to their website using Trends for Websites. All these services are available for free, allowing even the smallest businesses to make use of these tools.

Technology available to large firms has traditionally trickled down to smaller enterprises, making it relatively easy to forecast the sorts of capabilities will become available to small businesses in the future. We just have to ask: what can big companies do now that small companies can't currently afford?
  • Today, only the largest companies can afford to hire consultants and experts. In the future, even small companies will be able to purchase on-demand expertise and other services via the Internet.
  • Today, marketing intelligence are costly reports describing data many months or years old. In the future, small businesses will have access to real-time data on market conditions.
  • Today, only the largest companies can run expensive experiments with their advertising campaigns. In the future, even small business will be able to run carefully controlled marketing experiments that will enable them to better reach their potential customers.
  • Today, only large companies can sell products in many countries. Tomorrow, businesses of any size can use online services and outsourced logistics to buy and sell in every corner of the globe.
Google will be a part of this global economy, helping both large and small companies to grow their markets and manage their information. Exciting times are ahead!

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