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Online World gets first official glimpse of Windows 8

29/02 (2345 hrs IST): Microsoft today released the Beta of Windows 8 at the on-going 'Mobile World Congress 2012' in Barcelona. The new OS has new features including more Apps, the Windows Store, Internet Explorer 10 platform preview 5, the integration of SkyDrive Cloud services, among others in it. 
Going by what Microsoft said, there are over 100,000 changes since the release of the Developer Preview late last year. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview (CP) is available starting today at http://preview.windows.com.

This is the 1st Windows that will work across PCs, laptops & tablets. 

For Startups in America, here's an opportunity to grow, for Free

 29/02 (1345 hrs IST): The Startup America Partnership is a private organization built around a simple premise: young companies that grow create jobs.
It has 3 main goals:-

1. Provide valuable resources and connections to help young companies grow
2. Support regional startup ecosystems throughout the country
3. Recognize Startups as the drivers of the American economy & their founders as American heroest
If you have launched a Startup in America, then you can join this organization for Free, if you meet their criteria. Membership gets your Startup access to resources provided by over 50 partners of Startup America  in five key categories: Expertise, Services, Talent, Customers, Capital.
So, which Startups are these guys helping? They are focused on helping young companies that are currently Startups, rampups or speedups.
You can go to this URL http://www.s.co/get-registered to join the Startup America Partnership. 

Hack Chrome & get earn big bucks

28/02 (1238 hrs IST): Google's at it again. Once again, at the CanSecWest security conference, it will sponsor rewards for Google Chrome exploits, which is a polite word for "hack".  A BlogPost said this would be under the 'Chromium Security Rewards' program.

The aim of our sponsorship is simple: It enables Google to fix bugs, if any.

The Search Engine said it will directly sponsor up to US $1 million worth of rewards in various categories. Click here to catch up with the details.

'Startup City 2012' comes to South India

23/02 (1912 hrs IST): It is billed as oneof India's Startups events. After holding the event in Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi, the organisers, SiliconIndia will hold 'Startup City 2012' in Chennai in South India on February 25.

There will be over 20 Startups presenting their products & services at this event. Attendees can:

Watch live product demonstrations
Get a peek into cutting edge technologies
Lay hands on the best-of-breed solutions
Meet young, energetic, passionate geeks
Experience the culture of innovation

You can meet founders & the star engineers from these companies & see how they built cutting edge products. Some of the confirmed Speakers are Sridhar Vembu, CEO, Zoho Corp Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder & CEO , Consim Info (Bharath Matrimony) Ravichandran L,CEO, Chennaionline.

Buffer for LinkedIn

23/02 (1444 hrs IST): Social Networks Content sharing tool Buffer has announced that it is now available for LinkedIn updates, too.
According to a BlogPost by Leo, co-founder of Buffer, users can now 'Buffer' their posts meant for LinkedIn. Essentially, Buffer allowes users to stagger their tweets or posts across a time band to enable them to get more mileage out of their Social Networks. There are Free as well as Paid versions of Buffer.

Twitter's just got a new Search Engine

 22/02 (1213 hrs IST): It is being interpreted as a snub to Search major Google. Micro-blog Twitter has signed a deal with Russian Search company Yandex to provide access to its full feed of public tweets allowing the company to deliver tweet Search results in its Blog Search results.

This is similar to Google’s Social Search prior to it being dropped in July last year. According to a press release today, Yandex will also deliver a dedicated Twitter search engine at twitter.yandex.ru, showcasing messages posted in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian or Kazakh, & top feeds in any other language in its results.
Yandex search for Twitter, said the release, just like any other Yandex Search Engine, is word-form sensitive & corrects typos. The system's users can search by username or by hashtag.

“With more than 250 million tweets a day, Twitter is a valuable information source and the fastest way to find out what’s happening in your world,” said April Underwood, Twitter Director of Business Development. “Through this partnership, Yandex and Twitter will work together to make it easier for Yandex users in Russia and elsewhere to find real-time content about the people and things they care about most.”

Mobage in South Korea now

 21/02 (1448 hrs IST): Gaming enthusiasts in South Korea now have their own version of the famous Japanese Social Gaming platform, Mobage.
According to a press release, DeNA Co., Ltd., a leading operator of mobile Social Gaming platforms & Daum Communications Corp., South Korea’s major portal operator, today launched Daum Mobage, a localized version of DeNA’s Mobage Social Gaming platform for South Korea.
The Daum Mobage platform & Gaming Apps are now available for download on Android Market. With aggressive marketing and a slate of high-quality game launches planned, the two companies target attracting 10 million users for Daum Mobage in the first year.
You may go to this URL to read up the rest of the release http://dena.jp/en/news/2012/p120220_02.html

Google Maps gets a gaming element

20/02 (1656 hrs IST): Google Map's Latitude is a little used feature. It gives you a 'Real Time' update of exactly where your friends are & also allows you "check into" locations that you're visiting. But maybe because of it not being so popular, Google Inc has now gone and quietly added a feature called Leaderboard to it. This has a Gaming element added into the App.
Now, when you check into a location, you'll be taken to a Leaderboard screen that shows you just how many points you've accumulated for all of your various check-ins that week. New check-ins get two points; repeat check-ins get one point. It also includes automatic check-ins.
Now the thing is, there are already Online reports that Google may integrate the Latitude Leaderboard in its Social Networking Site, Google+. If that were to happen, another check-in Site FourSquare suddenly has competition on its hands. Watch this space for more on this front. 

Groupon: Coming soon to Thailand

16/02 (0635 hrs IST): Online Shopping & coupons Site Groupon is coming to Thailand. This was confirmed by the company itself after it's Website went Live recently, asking Thai customers to register in order to be intimated of the real launch soon. If you are in Thailand, watch this space for updates.

Now you can play a slot game by Zynga on Facebook

15/02 (2040 hrs IST): Online Social Gaming Co Zynga has teamed up with Game developer Slingo to launch a slot Game on Social Network Facebook titled Zynga Slingo, today. This is the first time Zynga has licensed a game title, said Online reports.

Slingo is played by over 55 million people across free Online games, retail, mobile & other platforms. Additionally, over 50 million Slingo Games have been downloaded.

Zynga Slingo is a slots/bingo game. It has 5 worlds with 9 stages each. Once you pick your world, you’ll be presented with what looks like a Bingo card. You press the spin button & match the numbers that appear with each spin with the numbers on the card. The goal is to complete matched numbers in a row, & earn points for each row.
The game is available in 14 languages, including: English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Danish, German, Swedish & Norwegian.

Hotmail goes down

15/02 (1235 + 1519 hrs(updated) IST): Email service Hotmail is up and working after experiencing problems earlier in the day. This is the 2nd time in the last week that the service has failed. Many users have called in to say that they are unable to sign in. We checked with Windows Live status & it clearly states that Hotmail users cannot log in due to an error.
You can continue to monitor the status here

Angry Birds comes to Facebook

15/02 (0635 hrs IST): Popular multi-platform game Angry Birds is now available on Social Network Facebook.

The Facebook App besides having the same features as the mobile & desktop versions of the game, will also feature added social components, brand new power-ups, & Facebook-exclusive levels.

Angry Games has been downloaded over 700 million times since its release for Apple’s iOS in December 2009.

Coming up this Wed: The Dublin Web Summit

13/02 (1913 hrs IST): The heat is on. The Search is on for Ireland's best Startup at the Dublin Web Summit which begins this Wednesday. Atleast 40 Startups are competing for the title.

The Summit is a 2-day affair. Already, 100s of votes have been cast to decide on the finalists. Three of 'em are Race Caller, a horse-racing tips Website; CoderDojo, which teaches young people how to code & Redeem and Get, a Startup that helps businesses manage Online group offers.

The finalists will be invited to pitch to more than 400 investors, entrepreneurs & professionals. A further three runners-up will get the chance to exhibit at the event for Free.

The Summit organizers are a collection of entrepreneurs, event organizers & creative people, who organize numerous events in Europe including the Dublin Web Summit. The latter is a tech event for 1,500 high level execs in Dublin each year & F.ounders, an invite-only event for 150 of the world’s top tech entrepreneurs.

The Dublin Summit started in 2009, & in just 2 years, they have brought the founders of Youtube, Twitter, Wikipedia & more to speak at the summit. Throughout 2012, these guys will be running a series of networking events for both the Startup community & the digital media and marketing communities.
You can read up more on the summit by going to this URL http://www.websummit.net/dublin/about

Firefox 10.0.1 released

11/02 (1736 hrs IST): Mozilla Firefox has just got an update - 10.0.1. Just a few days ago, Mozilla had released its latest version 10 & the update comes very early in the day.

Firefox 10.0.1 fixes critical issues that came to light shortly after Firefox 10 had been released to the public. This includes at least one startup crash when the Browser is opened by the user, and one Java related issue that is causing text fields to hang in the Browser. 

A paid version of Wolfram/Alpa

10/02 (1930 hrs IST): In an Online World used to following largely Google & Facebook, not many would have yet heard of the OnlineKnowledge Engine, Wolfram/Alpha.

Wolfram|Alpha's long-term stated goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable & accessible to everyone. Wolfram|Alpha is a fundamentally new way to get knowledge & answers — not by searching the Web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms & methods.

Free to use for long, this K-Engine has now introduced a paid version also at an introductory price of Us $4.99 per month. For students, its at a reduced price of US $2.99 per month.
Wolfram Alpha Pro essentially offers more options for both data input & output. Wolfram|Alpha Pro automatically applies a large number of algorithms as well as uses its built-in knowledge, to derive the most important conclusions from data, and generate an organized report for the user.
For more, you can go to this URL http://www.wolframalpha.com/pro/

Screenwise gets overwhelming response

09/02 (2009 hrs IST): Some time ago, Google Inc launched a programme to find out the Search pattenrs of users. Called Screenwise, it is a voluntary programme wherein participants will be monitored by Google to understand how people use the Internet every day. Each participant will be given a US $5 gift card from retail site Amazon on signing up & then a $5 gift card every three months. A BlogPost by Google said it has been overwhelmed by the response from surfers for Screenwise.

Internet usage through mobiles increasing year on year

06/02 (1919 hrs IST): Global internet usage through mobile devices, not including tablets, has almost doubled to 8.5% in January 2012 from 4.3% in the same period last year according to free Web analytics company StatCounter. The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats, in a press note here, highlighted the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet with market share doubling year on year since 2009.

"While global internet usage through mobiles is still under 10%, the pace of growth is remarkable," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.

StatCounter has also announced that new stats regarding mobile vendors are now available on its Global Stats website. The firm has been compiling and refining these stats for some time & has now made the Beta project public. Based on initial research covering all traffic to the StatCounter network, Nokia leads worldwide, most probably driven by its dominance in India. Apple is second globally but leads the US and UK markets. In the UK, RIM is 2nd only to Apple.

"Following repeated requests, we've decided to make our new mobile vendor stats publicly available," commented Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter. "As the mobile space is constantly evolving, we keep our detection under constant review." Anyone wishing to contribute to the detection project can submit feedback using the detect tool: http://gs.statcounter.com/detect

Amazon comes to India in another avataar

  03/02 (0350 hrs IST): Amazon, the Internet's largest retailer, has started an online shopping service in India called Junglee (meaning, of the Jungle or in the wild).

A press release by Junglee said the new shopping Website organizes product selection from Indian & global brands. It has features such as buy options from online & offline retailers including Amazon.com.

Customers can shop for over 1.2 crore products & view buying options from hundreds of online and offline retailers. The selection on Junglee includes more than 90 lakh books & 30 lakh products from more than 14,000 Indian & global brands. Junglee features more than 25 product categories, including mobile phones, cameras, toys & games, baby products, books, music, movies & TV, clothing & jewellery. Customers can also discover Kindle – the leading e-reader in the world.

“We are excited to give customers in India a single online starting point where they can shop a wide selection of products sold by local and global retailers, and make informed purchasing decisions,” Amit Agarwal, Vice President, Amazon.com, was quoted in the release. “We’re relentlessly focused on constantly improving the customer experience and growing selection every day, making it convenient for customers to find anything online.”

Facebook files for an IPO, finally

01/02 (1150 hrs IST): Finally, after months, even years of speculation, the world's largest Social Networking Site Facebook Inc., filed for an IPO today. The lead banker to the IPO is Morgan Stanley (MS).

Facebook filed the required S1 form with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission statng its intent of going to the public to raise funds. Thus, ordinary people may soon join the list of shareholders holding a pie of Facebook's management.
FB plans to raise US $5 billion in the current IPO. The company has chosen FB as its stock symbol. Morgan Stanley stands to earn a larger share of the fees collected by securities firms for arranging the IPO.
For all the details, views & comments related to the FB IPO, click here

The facts about Facebook to be out when its files for IPO tomorrow

01/02 (0503 hrs IST): All Online reports including one by the venerable New York Times (NYT) seem to suggest that Social Network Facebook is most likely to file the prospectus for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Wednesday (US time).
FB's IPO is one of the most anticipated event in the Web World in recent times, coming soon after the Social Gaming Site Zynga IPO. The size of the IPO in all probabilities, will not be over the US $10 billion mark, contrary to the expectations of some that its size would go pasta a staggering US $ 100 billion.

Experts say certain other issues related to FB will also come out in the open after it files the papers tomorrow. Facebook will have to disclose stuff like how well its business has been performing, its growth, its profitability & most crucial of all - who owns how much of the company.
According to some reports, the FB board met early Tuesday afternoon at its Silicon Valley HQ to give the go-ahead to a massive initial public offering.
Here are the URLs to some media reports in this connection: