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Google tests the ‘do not track’ waters with a Chrome extension

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/24/google-tests-the-do-not-track-waters-with-a-chrome-extension/

Keep My Opt-Outs

Well, that didn’t take long. One day after agreeing to implement a do not track button as part of a new consumer bill of rights, Google has given the people what they want… sort of. Keep My Opt-Outs is a Chrome extension, developed by the Mountain View team, that will prevent advertisers from using your browsing history against you. Presumably, this function will get built straight into the browser one day but, for now, you have to go dig it up in the Chrome Web Store — far from an ideal solution. Still, a tepid step into the shallow end is better than no step at all. You can install the extension yourself at the source.

Google tests the ‘do not track’ waters with a Chrome extension originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5883325/amazon-prime-now-has-a-lot-more-tv-shows-thanks-to-viacom

Amazon Prime Now Has a lot More TV Shows Thanks to ViacomLike Netflix and Hulu before it, Amazon has inked a deal with Viacom to bring TV shows from all its networks (MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, Spike, etc.) to the Prime streaming service. Beavis and Butthead marathon, anyone?

Amazon isn’t saying how many episodes will arrive in the deal, but they did say that Prime now has 15,000 movies and TV shows. But the bulk of their offering is god awful, so this new deal will help. Considerably. And now that Teen Mom is available, I think Sam might be one step closer to canceling his Netflix subscription. [Amazon]

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Social Gaming Network OpenFeint Coming to Android

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5581997/social-gaming-network-openfeint-coming-to-android

Social Gaming Network OpenFeint Coming to AndroidGood news for Android users who are miserable due to the limited game selection on their devices: Social gaming network OpenFeint is coming to Android and it’ll hopefully encourage development of more games for the mobile operating system.

OpenFeint To Bring World’s Largest Mobile Gaming Developer Community To Google’s Android Platform

Mobile Social Games Network’s Expansion to Android will Accompany Titles from Glu Mobile, Digital Chocolate, And Hudson Entertainment.

Burlingame, CA – July 8, 2010 – OpenFeint, the leading mobile social gaming ecosystem for iOS devices, today announced that its 9,200 member game developer community with thousands of published games will soon have a complete solution to thrive in the Android apps economy. Launching later this summer, the company’s complete solution will include its de facto standard SDK, a game discovery store and mobile payment options. It will also include high quality content from leading publishers Astraware, Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile, Hudson Soft and independent studios like Distinct Dev (Moron Test), ustwo (Dot Dot Dot), Pik Pok (Flick Kick Football) and RocketCat Games (Hook Champ).

With a strong set of partners at launch, OpenFeint’s ecosystem provides Android users the most compelling way to discover and buy high quality online games. In addition to incorporating Google Checkout and leading community features into its developer SDK, OpenFeint will extend its wildly successful Game Spotlight discovery app to Android. Interested parties can register at www.openfeint.com/developers/android for details as they emerge.

At the same time, OpenFeint continues to invest in and expand its efforts on Apple’s iOS devices and maintains the largest mobile social gaming ecosystem on that platform with over 28 million users and a presence in over 2,200 live games.

“Android is an evolving gaming platform that will greatly benefit from OpenFeint’s industry leading online gaming and community technologies,” said Niccolo de Masi, CEO of Glu Mobile. “OpenFeint is leading the charge for game developers on Android, helping simplify and improve the game discovery and purchase process for players on the platform.”

OpenFeint also announced that its expansion to Android is backed by a recent strategic investment by leading Chinese online gaming company, The9. This marks the path for a significant expansion for the company as it rolls out its cross platform strategy. As always, OpenFeint will remain open source and free for both developers and players.

“OpenFeint continues to demonstrate leadership and innovation in building community technologies which drive considerable discovery and monetization for publishers,” said Jason Loia, COO of Digital Chocolate, one of the industry’s most highly-rated publishers of mobile and social games. “We are excited about their entry into the Android ecosystem and we look forward to partnering with them to bring the best gaming experience to the Android platform.”

With over 160,000 Android powered devices shipping daily, Google’s mobile platform is growing rapidly and leading game developers recognize the tremendous opportunity to bring quality content to the platform.

“This is a big step for OpenFeint and an even bigger step for Android as it becomes a serious mobile gaming platform,” said Jonathan Goldberg, Analyst at Deutsche Bank Equity Research. “OpenFeint ushered in mobile online gaming for iOS devices and we think they’ll lead the revolution on Android.”

OpenFeint also re-affirmed its continued commitment to the Apple iOS device community where thousands of games are in development and several games are approved in the App Store daily with OpenFeint enablement.

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Friday, July 9th, 2010 news No Comments

Microsoft Is Still Huge

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5573995/microsoft-would-like-to-remind-you-that-theyre-still-quite-ginormous

Sure, Microsoft may have given away its lead and legacy in mobile and probably jumped into too many hyper-competitive sectors, but they still have the widest reach in technology. And they’re still pretty damn successful.

In recent years, Microsoft may be a step or two behind, but they’re relevant in nearly every sector. And with Office 2010, a new Xbox 360, Kinect, and perhaps most importantly, Windows Phone 7, all receiving substantial upgrades this year, 2010 is shaping up to be absolutely huge for them. And that’s coming off a 2009 where Windows 7, Bing and the Zune HD were introduced. We’re just so used to Microsoft being around that we sort of take them for granted for all the good that they do.

So Microsoft revealed some numbers to serve as a reminder:

• 150 million Windows 7 licenses sold

• 7.1 million projected iPad sales in 2010
• 58 million projected netbook sales in 2010
• 355 million projected PC sales in 2010

• less than 10% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2008
• 96% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2009

• 16 million subscribers to the largest 25 US daily newspapers
• 14 million Netflix subscribers
• 23 million Xbox live subscribers

• 173 million Gmail users
• 284 million Yahoo Mail users
• 360 million Windows Live Hotmail users

• $5.7 billion Apple net income for fiscal year ending in Sept 2009
• $6.5 billion Google net income for fiscal year ending in Dec 2009
• $14.5 billion Microsoft net income for fiscal year ending in June 2009

Yes, they’re patting themselves on the back a bit but the numbers are just staggering. If you’ve forgotten, now you know: Microsoft will always be a very, very big deal. [Official Microsoft Blog via Bits]

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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 news No Comments

Symbian^3 reviewed in exquisite and ruthless detail by Eldar Murtazin

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/symbian-3-reviewed-in-exquisite-and-ruthless-detail-by-eldar-mur/

No folks, those mythical N8 review units still aren’t on our doorsteps, but we can offer you the next best thing: a thorough (we mean thorough) overview of the Symbian^3 environment that will be front and center on Nokia’s next great phone. Eldar Murtazin of mobile-review reports on everything from the sophisticated handling of contacts and caller ID pictures, through the noticeable speed improvements, past the limited utility of online widgets that display only two lines at a time, beyond the “weak spot” web browser, and all the way to Symbian’s unhealthy habit of “clinging to continuity.” It’s an enlightening read, which pulls no punches with its conclusion: Symbian^3 is an evolutionary step up from S60 5th edition, which brings nothing new to the market and offers no comparative advantages. Strong words from Eldar, paricularly when he doesn’t disclose what build of the OS he’s using; his rationale, however, is that his analysis relates to overarching design decisions and ignores software bugs and version-specific foibles. Make of that what you will.

[Thanks, scotsboyuk]

Symbian^3 reviewed in exquisite and ruthless detail by Eldar Murtazin originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 24 Jun 2010 06:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010 news No Comments

How Google Crunches All That Data

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5495097/how-google-crunches-all-that-data

If data centers are the brains of an information company, then Google is one of the brainiest there is. Though always evolving, it is, fundamentally, in the business of knowing everything. Here are some of the ways it stays sharp.

For tackling massive amounts of data, the main weapon in Google’s arsenal is MapReduce, a system developed by the company itself. Whereas other frameworks require a thoroughly tagged and rigorously organized database, MapReduce breaks the process down into simple steps, allowing it to deal with any type of data, which it distributes across a legion of machines.

Looking at MapReduce in 2008, Wired imagined the task of determining word frequency in Google Books. As its name would suggest, the MapReduce magic comes from two main steps: mapping and reducing.

The first of these, the mapping, is where MapReduce is unique. A master computer evaluates the request and then divvies it up into smaller, more manageable “sub-problems,” which are assigned to other computers. These sub-problems, in turn, may be divided up even further, depending on the complexity of the data set. In our example, the entirety of Google Books would be split, say, by author (but more likely by the order in which they were scanned, or something like that) and distributed to the worker computers.

Then the data is saved. To maximize efficiency, it remains on the worker computers’ local hard drives, as opposed to being sent, the whole petabyte-scale mess of it, back to some central location. Then comes the second central step: reduction. Other worker machines are assigned specifically to the task of grabbing the data from the computers that crunched it and paring it down to a format suitable for solving the problem at hand. In the Google Books example, this second set of machines would reduce and compile the processed data into lists of individual words and the frequency with which they appeared across Google’s digital library.

The finished product of the MapReduce system is, as Wired says, a “data set about your data,” one that has been crafted specifically to answer the initial question. In this case, the new data set would let you query any word and see how often it appeared in Google Books.

MapReduce is one way in which Google manipulates its massive amounts of data, sorting and resorting it into different sets that reveal new meanings and have unique uses. But another Herculean task Google faces is dealing with data that’s not already on its machines. It’s one of the most daunting data sets of all: the internet.

Last month, Wired got a rare look at the “algorithm that rules the web,” and the gist of it is that there is no single, set algorithm. Rather, Google rules the internet by constantly refining its search technologies, charting new territories like social media and refining the ones in which users tread most often with personalized searches.

But of course it’s not just about matching the terms people search for to the web sites that contain them. Amit Singhal, a Google Search guru, explains, “you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning.”

Words are a finite data set. And you don’t need an entire data center to store them—a dictionary does just fine. But meaning is perhaps the most profound data set humanity has ever produced, and it’s one we’re charged with managing every day. Our own mental MapReduce probes for intent and scans for context, informing how we respond to the world around us.

In a sense, Google’s memory may be better than any one individual’s, and complex frameworks like MapReduce ensure that it will only continue to outpace us in that respect. But in terms of the capacity to process meaning, in all of its nuance, any one person could outperform all the machines in the Googleplex. For now, anyway. [Wired, Wikipedia, and Wired]

Image credit CNET

Memory [Forever] is our week-long consideration of what it really means when our memories, encoded in bits, flow in a million directions, and might truly live forever.

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 news No Comments

Popular Posts Week Ending September 26, 2009.

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 digital No Comments

How to make a viral video – a 5-step guide

1. select a product that is a low consideration product (e.g. a song) whose primary missing link is awareness

2. create a funny and entertaining video that features that product or a key attribute of the product

3. [ contact us for the "secret sauce" of step 3 ]

4. continue to build the momentum and build further social amplification by real people (won’t happen if the content is not funny, entertaining, useful, or unexpected)

5. use analytics to determine how to further optimize the content itself to match what characteristics actually went viral (based on how people talked about it when they passed it along)

Examples of videos whose viral effects were successfully manufactured over time. Obama Girl; Lonelygirl15 Brea Olson; Notice the shape of the stats curve of the more recent lonelygirl15 video from 2008. It is much flatter, which is a characteristic of non-viral videos. This is after they revealed that the original lonelygirl15 was a fake; now they have to support the view count through traditional paid media and continuous PR to accumulate the views.

obama-girl-viral-video

lonelygirl15-brea-viral-video

lonelygirl15-recent-non-viral-video

How the JKWedding Viral Video was A Manufactured Success

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 SEO, social networks 2 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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