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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google to shut down Google.cn?

Google today anounced on their blog that, they may close google.cn and their offices in china, according to a post from official google blog

We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that "we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China."

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised

You can read more about from google blog

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Twitter Search Deal

The deal between Twitter and search giants Google and Microsoft to blend the microblog into their search results will have a big impact on the search marketing industry. Doug Platts, head of natural search at iCrossing, tells you what you need to know

Its important for travel brands :-

Travel is already one of the biggest sectors in search, both paid and natural, and these deals have potentially massive implications for the sector. One of the big issues for travel marketers is trying to communicate last minute deals in real time. At the moment the best routes are by constantly updating paid search inventory and communicating via your own website. Now that Twitter results are going to be feature in Google and Bing's search engine results pages, however, travel brands can potentially just tweet their latest deals and let the search engines do the rest.

Its going to be big for retailers this Christmas :-

This Christmas online is going to be all about price, and retailers will ideally want to be able to price reactively and in real time, and to be able to communicate these price changes quickly. At the moment they're relying on search engines spidering their sites quickly, but that's never guaranteed. With tweets feeding directly into the search engines, you can now just release new pricing information via Twitter and it will appear in relevant search results in real time.

Twitter becomes important for transactional sites :-

Hitwise recently unveiled figures showing that, while 55.9 per cent of outbound traffic from Twitter goes to media sites, only 9.5 per cent of traffic goes to transactional sites. This is going to fundamentally change with these deals. The attractions of marketing via the newly-increased distribution of Twitter mean that this is likely to fundamentally change as brands jump on board. This could have significant implications for Twitter's business model - instead of covering their service with ads they could potentially just look to sell it as a qualified traffic driving tool.

Customer service becomes more important :-

A lot of brands are already using Twitter as a customer service and research tool - monitoring for negative brand comments and trying to resolve customers' issues raised on the service. With tweets appearing in mainstream SERPs then this is going to be more important than ever as negative customer comments could potentially be exposed to massive audiences via the search engines. You don't want a customer tweet saying ‘I'm never going to shop there again' appearing against your search results. There's a also a black-hat spam opportunity here for the less ethically minded - if you post negative comments about your competitors on Twitter, those tweets could then appear against your competitor's brand search terms.

Twitter's only going to get more important for marketers :-

This announcement shows how important Twitter is becoming to the internet ecosystem. If both Microsoft and Google have decided that Twitter is the only game in town when it comes to this sort of real-time search, then you can take it that it's going to be an ever more important part of the way people navigate the web. If you haven't already got a Twitter strategy in place then you're going to need to get one quickly - Twitter's audience is going to jump massively as a result of this announcement and if you're not on board then you're going to miss the boat.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Web 2.0 crowned one millionth English word

A U.S.-based language monitoring group crowned Web 2.0 as the one millionth word or phrase in the English language on Wednesday, although other linguists slammed it as nonsense and a stunt.

The Global Language Monitor, which uses a math formula to track the frequency of words and phrases in print and electronic media, said Web 2.0 appeared over 25,000 times in searches and was widely accepted, making it the legitimate, one millionth word.

It said Web 2.0 started out as a technical term meaning the next generation of World Wide Web products and services but had crossed into far wider circulation in the last six months.

This list included "Jai Ho!" an Indian exclamation signifying victory or accomplishment, and "slumdog," a derisive term for children living in the slums of India that became popular with the Oscar-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire."

Other linguists, however, denounced the list as pure publicity and unscientific, saying it was impossible to count English words in use or to agree on how many times a word must be used before it is officially accepted.

There are no set rules for such a count as there is no certified arbiter of what constitutes a legitimate English word and classifying the language is complicated by the number of compound words, verbs and obsolete terms.

"I think it's pure fraud ... It's not bad science. It's nonsense," Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, told reporters.

Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, brushed off the criticism, saying his method was technically sound.

"If you want to count the stars in the sky, you have to define what a star is first and then count. Our criteria is quite plain and if you follow those criteria you can count words. Most academics say what we are doing is very valuable," said Payack.

He has calculated that about 14.7 new English words or phrases are generated daily and said the five words leading up to the millionth highlighted how English was changing along with current social trends.

The list also included "cloud computing", meaning services delivered via the cloud or Internet, "carbon neutral", a widely used term in the climate change debate, and "N00b," a derogatory term from the gaming community for a newcomer.

"Some 400 years after the death of the Bard, the words and phrases were coined far from Stratford-Upon-Avon, emerging instead from Silicon Valley, India, China, and Poland, as well as Australia, Canada, the U.S. and the UK," said Texas-based Payack.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

YouTube to show Movies, TV shows

YouTube has reached agreement with Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios to show full-length movies and television shows on the video-sharing website, leading technology blogs reported.

TechCrunch, a well-connected Silicon Valley blog, said other studios and media companies which have agreed to allow their content to be posted for free on the Google-owned site include Metro Goldwyn Mayer, CBS, Lionsgate, Starz and the BBC.

The move by YouTube is its latest attempt to bring more professional content to the site known for its amateur videos and to generate revenue.

YouTube already has agreements with MGM, CBS and Lionsgate, but they concern the hosting of only a few shows from their vast archives.

Earlier this month, Universal Music Group and YouTube announced plans to launch a music video website, VEVO.com, featuring artists from the world's largest music company.

Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars and has been searching for ways to translate its immense popularity into a money-making venture.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft on Thursday released Internet Explorer 8, a new version of its ubiquitous Web browser, adding features which the US software giant claims makes it safer and loads pages faster.

Internet Explorer 8 was available for downloading in 25 languages starting on Thursday at www.microsoft.com/ie8, the Redmond, Washington-based computer software giant announced in a statement.

Microsoft said IE 8 was faster than previous IE browsers and included "leading-edge security features in direct response to people?s increasing concerns about online safety."

According to the Internet research firm Net Applications, IE had a total browser market share of 67.5 percent in January.

Mozilla's Firefox was next with 21.53 percent, followed by Apple's Safari with 8.29 percent and Google Chrome with 1.12 percent.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Planet Announces Reseller Hosting Promotions

The Planet(www.theplanet.com), a privately held dedicated hosting company, announced a promotion to help resellers increase hosting revenues. The company states that beginning today and through March 31, customers who purchase five or more select servers will receive per-server discounts up to 68 percent.

It further states that resellers can use these bulk servers to provide an upgrade path for their larger customers who require a dedicated platform. The company adds that the additional servers can also accommodate an expanded infrastructure for resellers looking to provide shared or value-added offerings, including applications and custom services.

''In the competitive hosting landscape, resellers are tasked with offering their customers a wide range of options, coupled with the best value for their dollar,'' said Urvish Vashi, General Manager of dedicated hosting for The Planet. ''With this bulk-discount offering, resellers can move their customers to a dedicated environment cost effectively.''

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Google Ocean

Google Ocean (http://earth.google.com/ocean/), which is included in the newest download version of Google Earth, allows users to explore the high seas with thousands of images of underwater landscapes from volcanoes to sea life.

Users can also watch videos, read stories and contribute photos as they explore the ocean.

Google Earth, which combines satellite photos, maps and information to enable users to explore streets and cities around the world, has been downloaded 500 million times since it was introduced in 2005.

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Microsoft’s online employment resource

Microsoft Corp on Sunday announced the creation of a website, Elevate America, aimed at improving access to job training tools.

www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica, provides resources to help individuals gain the technical skills needed for acquiring jobs, the world’s largest software company said.

The economy has shed 3.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007 with about half of the decline occurring in the past three months, recent Labor Department data showed.

The website provides access to several Microsoft online training programs, including how to use the Internet, send e-mail and create a resume, as well as more advanced programs on using specific Microsoft applications.

“We are also providing a full range of work force development resources for state and local governments so they can offer specialized training for their workers,” said Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Microsoft Global Corporate Affairs.

Microsoft tapped Washington state as the first state to provide Elevate America to its residents.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Microsoft To Kill Vista, XP Upgrade Blockers

Microsoft wants users of its Windows operating systems to move to upgraded versions of the software, so it's killing a tool that prevents upgrades from automatically self-installing.

"I have some important information for those of you who have installed the Service Pack Blocker Tool for Windows XP or Windows Vista," wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a Friday post.

"The Service Pack Blocker Tool temporarily prevents the installation of a service pack through Windows Update, typically for one year after general availability of the service pack. We are announcing the upcoming expiration dates for the Service Pack Blocker Tool for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3," LeBlanc wrote.
LeBlanc said the blocker for Vista SP1 will expire on April 28, while the blocker for XP SP3 will expire on May 19.

Despite the tools' expiration, LeBlanc noted that companies that don't want to upgrade to the Windows service packs won't be forced to do so. Users that have the Automatic Updates feature turned on will receive an alert from Windows Updates indicating that an important update is available for installation. Users can then elect to install the service packs or ignore the update.

Users that don't have Automatic Updates turned on will receive the alert only after manually checking for updates in Windows Update.

LeBlanc said Microsoft is urging enterprises that haven't already done so to install the service packs. "Microsoft strongly recommends all customers move to Windows Vista SP1 if they are running Windows Vista or Windows XP SP3 if they are running Windows XP," he wrote.

Software makers typically issue service packs to improve security, stability, and other product attributes.

"Our goal in announcing the removal of the blockers early is to provide you with an early notification to ensure you're prepared to deploy the appropriate service pack when the blockers expire," wrote LeBlanc.

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