Archive for September, 2011

YouToo

A US cable network Youtoo plans to put more than 150,000 people on TV over the next year, in 15 second grabs called “FameSpots” and “Social Shouts”.

Users record and upload the tiny videos of themselves using webcams, smartphones or tablets to be broadcast in between regular programming.

The channel advertises itself as “the next frontier of social networking”.

“Since millions of people want to be on TV, we created a website and an app for that,” it reads on their site.

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Google+ enjoys traffic increase of 1269 per cent

Posted September 28, 2011 By David Kolle

Google+ has opened its digital doors to the world and it seems people want in. A lot of people, according to web traffic tracking firm Experian Hitwise.

Google+ traffic stats.

“Google+ emerged as the third largest site in the Social Network and Forums category last Wednesday [in the US], a day after the site went from ‘invitation-only’ to ‘open access’ available to everyone,” said Heather Dougherty, a director of research at Hitwise in the US.

“Opening access created a massive spike in market share of visits for the site, with a 1269 per cent growth from the week ending September 17 to the week of September 24. The site … received nearly 15 million total US visits last week.”

Google+ traffic stats.

Australia was “no different” in terms of a traffic boost, according to researcher at Hitwise in Australia, Tim Lovitt, with Google “increasing market share for Google Plus more than 455 per cent compared to the previous week”. Lovitt appeared to attribute the market share increase to the fact Google advertised Plus on its homepage last week with a big blue arrow.

Heather Dougherty added in a blog post on the network’s traffic: “In just one week, Google+ went from ranking as [the] 54th most visited site in our Social Networking and Forums category to 8th place.”

To put this all in perspective, while Google+ seems to be on an upswing, and the general public seems to be rolling in and checking out Google+’s Circles, Hangouts and Sparks, Facebook is still far and away (at this point) the social networking king.
Google+ visits share in Australia.

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference last week, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook has more than 800 million users and recently saw a day with 500-million visitors.

While Google+ obviously needs to pull in a tremendous amount of users before it can really challenge Facebook’s dominance of the social networking space, the latest traffic boost helps, particularly in light of Hitwise reporting in July that Google+ was starting to see traffic declines.

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Microsoft launches Windows Phone Mango

Posted September 28, 2011 By David Kolle

The updated OS includes several upgrades to its suite of communication tools. Microsoft has improved the communication hub of Windows Phone.

It supported Facebook and Windows Live integration before, but Mango adds support for LinkedIn and Twitter as well. You can check out your friends’ social updates while browsing through your contacts. Microsoft has developed advanced algorithms for matching Twitter and LinkedIn handles to contacts in your phone.

Microsoft is also introducing upgraded Groups features, including the ability to send instant messages to small groups, and threaded conversations for Facebook and Windows Live messaging, in addition to SMS.

Apps are getting the bulk of Microsoft’s love, though. The upgraded OS is designed to make Windows Phone’s 30,000+ apps more discoverable, useful and accessible. To that end, Microsoft has introduced a web version of Windows Marketplace so that users can browse apps from the desktop. Its improved Live Tiles will deliver richer information from apps. Not only that, but users can create multiple Live Tiles from the same app. For example, if you love Glee, you can now pin that show from Netflix (not available in Australia) to your home screen.

Windows Phone is also getting a long-needed feature: app multitasking. Now switching apps doesn’t automatically close the app you were previously using, and it’s easier to switch between them. The new OS introduces Visual Voicemail and internet sharing (“tethering”) to Windows Phone devices. Carriers will control the introduction and pricing for these two features.

Mango introduces more than 500 changes in total. Windows Phone users will receive the update over the air.

Microsoft hasn’t been selling as many Windows Phones as it’d like, but withNokia’s Windows Phones slated to hit the market by the end of the year, it could soon see a boost.

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Apple set to launch new iPhone next week

Posted September 28, 2011 By David Kolle

Apple looks set next week to unveil its much-awaited new iPhone, which analysts say will have a bigger screen and work better with remote computing services.

Apple invited media to a “special event” called “Let’s talk iPhone” on October 4 at its Cupertino, California headquarters, an unusual location for a company that typically introduces major products at larger venues in San Francisco.

The invitation did not have any other details, and an Apple spokesman would not provide further information.

“This is the iPhone 5,” ThinkEquity analyst Mark McKechnie said of the event.

The new iPhone would be the first major product launch under Tim Cook, who took over full-time as chief executive after co-founder Steve Jobs resigned last month.

It was unclear if Jobs, who is now chairman, will take the stage at the event.

Though a good product, the current iPhone 4 could use some improvements, McKechnie said. “We talked about it having a bigger screen, a dual core processor, and probably integrates pretty well with the iCloud.”

The iPhone – introduced in 2007 with the touchscreen template now adopted by its rivals – remains the gold standard in the booming smartphone market.

The new model, which some have dubbed the iPhone 5, will have a bigger touch screen, better antenna and an 8-megapixel camera, one source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters in August.

Hon Hai Precision Industries Co Ltd  and Pegatron Corp of Taiwan will make the new phone, and have been told to gear up capacity for up to 45 million units in total, the source said.

NEW VOICE FEATURES?

Apple launched the iPhone 4 in June 2010 in black 16 gigabyte and 32 gigabyte versions, and added white ones in April. The company typically refreshes its iPhone lineup during its developer event in June, but delayed the new model this year.

Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the third quarter ended June 25, which analysts say helped it vault past Nokia and Samsung Electronics to become the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

Some analysts are expecting another version of the iPhone 4 to be launched along with the next model.

“The new (iPhone) 4 will tackle the prepaid market and the (iPhone) 5 will have the A5 chip that’s in the iPad and be faster, thinner and possibly with a bigger screen,” Colin Gillis, analyst with BGC Partners said. He cited possible voice-recognition features as well.

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