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Internet Explorer 9 official launch on Feb 10?

31/01: Now we cannot confirm or deny this piece of news but United Kingdom's PCPro has reported today that Microsoft could release the official version of Internet Explorer 9 within a fortnight. The report is based on a tip off that reporters in the United States have been sent invitations by the software maker asking them to attend an IE event in San Francisco on Feb 10. Here's the link http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/364807/internet-explorer-9-ready-to-roll-in-february
 

Facebook Messages roll out to be completed in next 2 months

28/01: Last November, Social Networking Site Facebook had announced the launch of Facebook Messages or a "Social Inbox". At that time, there was massive talk in the online community that this was the start of the end of traditional e-mail, as we know it. Now, the engineer at Facebook who is the moving force behind Messages, Andrew Bosworth has told Mike Swift of Mercurynews.com  that the product would roll out to almost every user within the next 2 months. The reason Facebook was taking some time to do this was because it was not starting from scratch but from being one of the top messaging systems on the Internet. As he put it succintly, Messages was a" new product with 500 million existing users." Over the past two months, the Palo Alto-based Facebook, says the report, has been "painstakingly moving existing content over to the new service, a transition that will ultimately encompass more than 100 terabytes of data." Click here to read the full story on Mercurynews.com
 

Launch of a new online ad format called VooDoo

27/01: Indian ad network co Tyroo Media & MediaMind, one of the top global providers of digital advertising campaign management solutions recently announced a partnership. The 2 also launched a new ad format called VooDoo. The format combines video with Social Media to create a brand communication vehicle.
Tyroo Network is one of India's largest horizontal ad networks.
 

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook account hacked

26/01: This could be quite an embarrassment for Social Networking Site Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page, said reports on the Net, was hacked. The hacker posted a message calling on the company to transform into a “social business”.

The message was quickly removed, so also the Fan Page.

A report by Mashable.com said the message read, “Let the hacking begin: If Facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011″

Till the time of the writing of this story, Facebook has not released an official statement on this.



Tencent sets up investments fund

25/01: It is one of the leading Internet Service Providers of China. Tencent has announced that it is setting up an investments fund, hold your breath, translates into approx US $ 759.5 million. The fund would be used largely for gaming portals, along with other online funds. Tencent runs China's largest instant message service called QQ. In November last year, we had reported on how Tencent was contemplating implementing Facebook-like features in its own Social Site QZone.
 

Qwiki launched  

 

25/01: So, just after we wrote about the Internet community being agog with news of a yet-to-be launched Search Engine called Qwiki, the site went online on Monday. Qwiki is incidentally funded by Social Networking site Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. He has put in US $8 million in the 1st round of financing. This website has also managed to get its own invitation to join Qwiki, so await our story on it soon. 

So, will Qwiki be a game changer? 

23/01: Even with all this Google talk going around, the Online World has taken note of a  soon-to-be-launched Search Engine called Qwiki. Recently, ABC News featured a write-up on Qwiki, saying it could become a game-changer in the "lucrative Search market." Qwiki is in an Alpha stage - meaning it is inviting users to register, following which its management decides to accept or reject the application. Obviously to use this Search Engine, you need to have been "accepted" by Qwiki. The guys at this place deliver Search results not in the traditional way, as we know it, but in the form of story telling. It is a combo experience - an interactive experience that combines the text of a typical search engine with  video & the encyclopedic data to create a personalized search experience that talks back to you.We are trying to wrangle an invite to check it out. Success will mean Qwiki being featured on these pages, too.
 

Sound, Smell, Action

21/01: Although this website is primarily about the Content part of the Internet, we just couldn't resist bringing you this story as reported by Gizmowatch. It seems very soon there is gonna be a gizmo available in the market which will bring the long elusive component of Smell to virtual gaming. Meaning - gamers will be able to smell the cordite in an online shooting game or the gasoline of an F1 car in a racing game. How? A company called Scent Sciences will soon launch a product called ScentScape which will come with 20 "pre-loaded" scents. This is a machine which will have pre-bundled smells in it. After plugging it in into your console, it will release the appropriate smell, depending on the game you are playing. The cost will be about US $70. The machine is likely to come out later this year.
 

Eric Schmidt to step down as CEO, Google

21/01: In a move that has caught many in the online community unawares, Search Engine major Google Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Schmidt has decided to step down. He will be replaced by co-founder Larry Page from April 2011. Schmidt will continue as Executive Chairman. The outgoing CEO has put up the announcement on the official blog.
 
Larry, according to Schmidt, will lead product development & technology strategy, "his greatest strengths", & starting from April 4, he will take charge of the day-to-day operations as Chief Executive Officer. In this new role, Larry will merge Google’s technology & business vision.
 

Kabam raises $30 million 

20/01: Looks like it's raining funds for Startups. Social Gaming developer Kabam has announced that it has raised US $30 million in its 3rd round of funding. Read story
 

2010 was "most treacherous" year for mobile users

20/01: Mobile security services NetQin today released findings on the top mobile security threats that plagued Mainland China mobile device users in 2010. In its analysis of attacks and mobile security threats from the past year, NetQin found 2010 to be the "most treacherous" year on record, with almost triple the number of viruses specifically targeting mobile devices compared to the previous year, according to a press note issued by PR Newswire.
 
NetQin indicated that as of November 2010, it had identified over 2,000 mobile viruses and approximately 1,500 new viruses for 2010, representing a 193 % increase compared to the same period in 2009 - or almost triple the number of threats from 2009. Research by NetQin also indicated that the total number of mobile viruses captured in 2010 is expected to exceed 2,500 and a total of more than 800 million mobile phones are estimated to have been infected by viruses in 2010.

The release said the most widespread virus identified by NetQin in 2010 was called the Zombie Virus infecting more than approximately 150 million mobile phones. Zombie Virus variants also infected approximately 400,000 mobile phones in 2010.
 
NetQin has said smartphones were expected to become a growing target in 2011, as hackers increasingly view smartphones as well as tablet PCs as a new attack platform. The increasing number of applications that can be downloaded on mobile devices is a contributing factor to this trend.
 

Collecta does course correction

20/01: The Santa Monica, USA-based Startup, Real time Search Engine Collecta has decided to close shop. In an interview to Mashable.com, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gerry Campbell has said his team had decided to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new "product".  At present, Collecta website serves just as a sign-up platform. Launched in 2009, the Startup had managed to get  US $4.7 million in funds. Gerry was quoted as saying that  the market had changed today as cmpared to 2009. Real time technology was just a part of an ever growing list of Applications.
 

Komli Media bags fresh rounds of funds

 
 
20/01: Mumbai, India-based ad network Komli Media has got a fresh round of funding amounting to US $15 million. The funds come from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners. 

Komli had raised US $6 million in July 2010 from Nexus, Helion, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson & another US $7 million from the same in January 2008, bringing the company’s total funds raised to $28 million.

The ad network claims to have over 100 advertisers in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America & a target audience of  30 million unique users through its 200 partner websites.

In October 2010, Komli acquired UK-based Indoor Media. A year ago, it acquired Post Click, an Australia-based site representation firm.
Komli Media said it will use the fresh funds to expand in India and Asia Pacific.
 

Ybrant Digital snags more funds

19/01: India-based digital marketing firm Ybrant Digital has said it had received $ 48 million through a fresh round of funding from investors, including Oak Investment and one of India's leading bank, ICICI.

According to India's Press Trust of India (PTI), Ybrant Digital, has received the capital as combination of debt and equity. The firm is expected to use the fresh funds to develop new technology & expand internationally.

The current round of funding has seen participation from Oak India Investments , an affiliate of Oak Investment Partners , Asia Pacific Capital and ICICI Bank. he company has received about $ 53 million in earlier rounds of funding. Ybrant Digital provides digital solutions to brands like SAP, Porsche , Ford , UPS, Swissair, Chevrolet, 3M , Jeep, US Army, LaSalle and Lufthansa.

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in India, Ybrant Digital has offices in 20 countries, including US, Argentina, UK, Germany, Israel, China and Australia.
 

Stumbleupon touches record 27.5 mln Stumbles in 24 hrs

 
19/01: Websites discovery engine Stumbleupon yesterday tweeted that  on Monday,  it had set a new record of 27.5 million stumbles in one day. It was only in December last that the site had seen over 700 million in a month.
StumbleUpon was launched in 2001 & was part of the eBay family. After it broke ranks with eBay, & became a Startup all over again, 2010 proved to be a big year for StumbleUpon, as it crossed the 12 million users mark in November that year. It now has over 13 million users.
 

Is it hip? Is it hot? Yup, it's Hipster

 
 
18/01: It is a Startup from San Francisco, USA, which is yet to be launched. Hipster has been in the news even before it has told Netizens what it is all about. Most of the online media like TechCrunch, Portfolio.com & others have written about it, wondering what Hipster is all about, & also talking of the large number of signups (between 10-20 K) that its managed to get without revealing its form. The only thing right now working on Hipster is a Sign-up page for an "early invite" to join it.  Nothing else. Potential (& obviously curious Netizens) can try & wrangle an invite.That's how  this yet-to-start Startup has managed to attract early members. Online reports have dropped hints of course, to what Hipster could be all about. Some have said it could be a social site revolving around San Francisco itself, others say it could be a Q&A site.  When you go to Hipster, it asks you to key in your e-mail ID in order for you to get your early invite, then, it puts out a code, asking you to share it with 3 of your friends, to make the process of getting your personal invite quicker. Here's ours: http://usehipster.com/?referred_by=14776.
We will be closing tracking the developments on this front. Obviously, as soon as we know what Hipster is all about, you shall be the 1st to get to hear it.
 

This Kamasutra file passes on a virus

17/01: If you see a file in your e-mail Inbox called "Real kamasutra.pps.exe," please do not get carried away & click on it. According to a warning put out by security firm Sophos, the file masquarades as a legitimate PowerPoint deck but as you click through the presentation, it places a Trojan in your PC, allowing hackers to take control of your computer. All of us know once that happens, the hackers can do anything with your PC including send out spam mails in your name.
 

Online & offline worlds uncork the bubbly, Wikipedia completes a decade


 
16/01: The world's biggest online open source encyclopedia Wikipedia completed 10 years of its existence yesterday. As part of the celebrations, Wiki (not to be confused with WikiLeaks) groups around the globe are holding offline events. Read about them. 
 

Firefox 4 Beta 9 is ready for testing

 
 
15/01: Here's some bit of news for its 400 million users around the world. The next major version (9th) of Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta is now ready for testing. Announcing the release, a blogpost by Mozilla said V 9 has a new look, & of course makes it that much more easier to navigate the Web. Features include App Tabs and Panorama. This website is keeping a constant tab on the on-going browser wars between the major players in this sector. Firefox 4 Beta also includes performance enhancements to make everything faster from start-up time to page-load speed. 
This Firefox version also enables developers to create Web apps and websites. This includes WebM and HD video, 3D graphic rendering with WebGL, hardware acceleration and the Mozilla Audio API to help create visual experiences for sound.
 
For those of you who wanna test it out, click on http://www.mozilla.com/en-GB/firefox/beta/
 

Google gains in U.S. market in Search in Dec 2010

15/01:  Google Sites accounted for 66.6 % of total core Search queries conducted, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 16.0 % & Microsoft Sites with 12.0 %. Ask Network comprised 3.5 % of total search queries, followed by AOL LLC Network with 1.9 %, according to digital online measuring agency comScore, which released its results for Dec 2010 today. According to a press release by PR NewsWire, Google Sites had improved upon its Nov share of 66.2 %.
 

Cisco launches Videoscape: TV + Online Content

14/01: Cisco has launched a TV platform called the Videoscape, combining digital TV with online Content, which will have social media and communication applications. Videoscape is part of Cisco's video strategy to provide next generation of television sets, creating market opportunities for service providers. Click here for the full report.


Social Gaming business set to cross US $1 bln mark in 2011

13/01: eMarketer, a research & analytical agency on digital marketing & media has said the Social Gaming business is all set to become a $1 billion business in 2011. In its newsletter, the agency has said 27 % of the online community or roughly 62 million of U.S. users (up from 53 million) would have played one Social Game monthly atleast in this new year.
 

Disqus explains recent incidents of interruptions

 
 
13/01: For all those users of online communications platform Disqus who have been finding something "strange" happening to their accounts including a time lag, the official reason is this - the replication machines used to "mirror" its data base had reached "critical point" that stopped them from making data changes while responding to users. Shorn of the techie stuff, the way we have read the explanation given on its official blog, Disqus' architecture perhaps failed to keep up with its growing traffic. While things have been sorted out, the fellas at Disqus are now talking about installing a new Status Page "to help ensure everyone has a better understanding of what’s going on when these events happen. We plan to include as much information as possible about each service under our umbrella. With this in mind, it should let us communicate future problems much easier, and quicker.
 

SmallRivers announces $2.1 mln financing round to expand Paper.li

 
 
12/01: SmallRivers SA, creator of Paper.li, a well-known social news publication application, has announced that it has raised US $2.1 million in financing from Highland Capital Partners, SoftBank Capital and Endeavour Vision.
 
In conjunction with the financing, Dan Nova of Highland Capital Partners and Ronald Fisher of SoftBank Capital will join the Company’s board of directors.
 
In a blogpost the Switzerland-based company's CEO Edouard Lambelet has said,Paper.li has generated extraordinary traction since its launch, and we are thrilled to welcome these world-class venture capital firms as investors. Our new partners will be instrumental in helping us to enhance our team, build strong partnerships with major service and content providers, establish operations in the US and Asia, and accelerate growth on all continents.”

We had written about Paper.li way back in April 2010. The site aggregates, curates, categorizes  & transforms social media news and activity streams from Twitter & Facebook into personalized online newspapers. Launched last summer, Paper.li currently has 2 million uniques, operates in four languages (English, Spanish, German and French) and publishes 140,000 user-created daily newspapers. 
 
Part of the funds will also be utilized to shift part of the Paper.li team from Switzerland to California, USA.
 

Content delivery network BitGravity to be acquired by Tata Comm

12/01: India's Tata Communications Ltd has announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire the privately-owned BitGravity, the Content network delivery system over the Internet, which is primarily into high-definition video services.
 
Tata Comm told the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that on completion of the contract, Tata Comm (Netherlands) will be 100 per cent owners of Bitgravity. In 2008, Tata Comm had entered into a strategic partnership with BitGravity for licensing content delivery network (CDN) technology and federation of networks of both entities.

The US-based BitGravity was founded in 2006, and launched its services in 2008. BitGravity initially raised a total of US $13.5 million in two rounds of funding from angel investors and Tata Communications.
 

Facebook decides to extend new Profile Page to all users

10/01: In December, we had reported that Social Networking Site Facebook had tweaked the design of its user Profile Page, & had given users the option to switch. That's no longer the case. The Facebook engineers have decided to make the new Page official, claiming millions had already done the switch.
 
The new profile features:
  • A quick summary of who the user is (like where you live, etc) will now be at the top of the profile
  • A row of recently tagged photos so friends can see what a user has been up to lately
  • The ability to tag your friends in important life experiences
For more information about the new profile, go to www.facebook.com/about/profile
 

 India's 1st Search Marketing Summit in Bangalore

 
10/01: International search marketing whos who will share tips & advice on the entire spectrum of Search Marketing Strategies, including SEO, PPC, local, Mobile & international Search at India's 1st-ever Search Marketing Summit. The 2-day meet will be held in Bangalore from Feb 2, 2011. Click here to read the full story.
 

Flocking to Zynga

 
 
10/01: Net analysts are saying it is the "right buy" for Social Gaming vendor Zynga, well-known by now for its Social Games like Farmville. A couple of days ago, the guys there went & acquired Social Web Browser Flock for an undisclosed amount. Flock has been around for around 6 years. Analysts say the synergies of the 2 match, hence, Zynga's acquisition is a "good buy". Writing on his blog, Shawn Hardin of Flock said his team would now help Zynga achieve its goal of building social games available "to anyone, anytime".

 

 

Spam! Someone's counting it now

 
08/01:Tick, tock, tick, tock....Spammers, beware. One Search Engine out there is actually counting the number of spam pages being generated on the Internet from January 1, 2011. You will be amazed to know that till the time of the writing of this piece, which is what, all of 8 days & some hours, Blekko, the Search Engine's Spam Clock had already counted a total of 176,183,120 spam pages. We had written about Blekko when it was born last year. Blekko claims as many as 1 million pages of spam are generated online every hour. Wow! So, they caution, check the URL before you click. Here's the link to that Clock for all those who are interested - http://www.spamclock.com/  Blekko co-founder Rich Skrenta, while explaining the need to start such a clock on his blog, has sought the support & help of the entire Internet fraternity in this exercise.
Rick, You have our full support.
 

Experian Hitwise in India

07/01: One of the world's well-known information service company, Experian has launched its  Hitwise Internet Measurement Service for India. Experian Hitwise will report on more than 200,000 sites across 119 industries and over 6 million search terms in India. Click here for the full story.
 

Windows 7 use only limited by imagination, claims Ballmer

06/01: It was expected. Increasingly facing competition from Google & Apple, CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, today did what was expected of him - plug the Windows 7 Operating System (OS). Addressing the audience at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA, Ballmer said W-7 drives new & innovative products. A user can write on a Windows-run PC, draw on it, even hang it, he said, adding that only imagination was the limit to its use. You can get the rest of Mr Ballmer's speech by clicking here
 

"Yes, I.Explorer does have a bug", say French experts

06/01: At first, it was a software security engineer from Search Engine Google who went public by saying he had developed a tool which had established over 100 bugs in all the 5 major Net Browsers - IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera & Safari. Michel Zalewski had also published the bugs in IE which he believed could be exploited. Expectedly, this had sparked off a war of words between IE & Google. Now, Michel stands vindicated. According to a French IT security research firm VUPEN, " .....a vulnerability has been identified in IE 8 which could be exploited by remote control to take control...." VUPEN has given credit for reporting this bug to Michel. Under the Solution section, it says there is no known patch to resolve this by Microsoft. So the ball, it would seem, is now in Microsoft's court, it has some explaining to do. 
 

This may be a historic 1st - Firefox beats IE in Europe in Dec

 
 
04/01:Web analytical company StatCounter has issued a press release today that says that the firm's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats has established that the Mozilla Firefox browser had overtaken its Internet Explorer counterpart in the European market in December 2010. CEO of StatCounter Aodhan Cullen was quoted in the release as saying that this was for the 1st time that Firefox had by-passed IE in a major territory. It's been over a year now since the major players in the browser wars have started launching newer versions to try & increase their user base, sparking of a new "war". It is also no secret that world over, IE has been steadily losing ground, most of it to the open source Firefox.
 
According to the release, Firefox had registered 38.11% share of the European browser market, just beating IE, which managed to still retain 37.52% market share in Dec.
 

Reddit grows by leaps & bounds

 

04/01:This is one growth story that has set off a buzz in the online community. Today, social news website Reddit, a subsidiary of Conde Nast released partial traffic figures for 2010, more so between the 1st & the last month. In Jan 2010, while the site had registered 250 million page views, in December, the figure was up to 829 million. That is a whopping growth of over 231% within a year. The guys at Reddit are celebrating. Incidentally, the website will also open up, from tomorrow, entries for the Best of Reddit awards.  
 

Glitch resolved: Microsoft

03/01: The world's largest software company Microsoft today said it had restored full e-mail access to all users of it's Hotmail e-mail service. Scores of users had complained at the turn of the decade that they were unable to retrieve their old e-mails. 
 

Hotmail users complain of disappearing e-mails

02/01: News agencies like the Associated Press (AP) have reported that complaints from Hotmail users related to their old e-mails have started to come in. Microsoft's online forum is full of such complaints where users say after the turn of the year, all their old e-mails have disappeared. Windows Live support technicians in online conversations threads have said they were aware of the problem with a few Hotmail accounts, and were working on it.