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MAY 2010 (News & Events)
Facebook attempts to control controversy over privacy issues               May 28, 2010
The news is all over the Web and also the acrid comments. Facebook's announcement on Thursday that it had "overhauled" its privacy controls has set tongues (or should we say social networks?) wagging.
Under the new plan, the amount of information that is always visible to others will be reduced. Facebook's 26-year-old Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes in a press conference at the social network's  Palo Alto headquarters in California. He dubbed it as a "big overhaul".  The announcement came a few days after the news that Facebook had beaten Google in the US market in the Search department.
Facebook also unveiled a re-designed privacy settings page to provide single control for content and "reduce" the amount of information that is publicly visible. Further, a mere click will now block any third-party sites from tapping into Facebook's data on a user. A similar one-click option will allow a user to stop all applications on Facebook from tapping user information, unless directed otherwise. Users will also be presented with simpler options on who gets to see what information.  
The changes will be effective over the  next few weeks.
Facebook surpasses Google in Search in the US                                         May 27, 2010

Looks like this was waiting to happen. Facebook recently surpassed Google as the most visited website, and has taken over the top organic search queries in all three major search engines for the four weeks ending March 27, 2010.

According to figures released on May 27, 2010, by HitWise, Facebook.com got the most U.S. visits for the week of March 13, 2010. The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% last week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame.
Yahoo+Nokia= Ovi                                                                                                           May 24, 2010
So, ultimately the cat was out of the bag on Monday. As announced on Saturday, the world's largest cellphone manufacturer Nokia and Internet major Yahoo announced their much-anticipated tie-up for Nokia's Ovi brand. Under this arrangement, Yahoo will take over Nokia's e-mail and SMS. So Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat will be powered by Yahoo, while Yahoo maps takes its power from Ovi. Both companies will also work towards providing users with a single logon to their combined services. To be called "Select", this co-branded product will be available off the shelves from early 2011.
Yahoo+Nokia= ?                                                                                                                 May 23, 2010
Okay guys, guess what we just heard? Come Monday, Yahoo  and Nokia are going to announce a major tie-up. The grapevine is abuzz with reports that Nokia will start integrating Yahoo's services into its products. The deal will be revealed Monday morning, when Yahoo's holding a press conference at the Nasdaq Conference Center in New York.  An official invitation has already been sent out announcing that Yahoo's Carol Bartz will be present at the conference. So, wait another 24 hours to find out.
Will you plug on Google TV?                                                                                           May 20, 2010

We have taken a vow never to mention any 'Real World' developments on the pages of this website. But occasionally, there is bound to be an "unavoidable" overlap. After all, even the Net is manned by 'Real World' people (okay, 50% at least if not the whole). Also, this one also has a direct bearing on how we surf the Net. In that spirit, we report the move by Google to launch Google TV. The search engine major has decided to go on the path on which many have tread before - that of a mix of Internet & Television - and failed. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt unveiled Google TV at a conference in San Francisco. It is pretty obvious to every body what Google is aiming for - the sweet $70 billion TV advertising pie. What we have gathered from yesterday's unveiling is that Google will sell TV sets which, like any other set, will beam TV programmes. But what it will also have will be an on-screen Search box, just like on the Google site. The viewer/user can use this TV search box to not only access Google's search engine to look for "Live" programmes but also the Web. The viewer can then click on the search result and access the required programme or the website. So, right there, in your living room, you can watch TV and surf the Net, all on your 48 inch Plasma. Internet's marriage with Television is a territory where even biggies like Apple Inc. have failed before. Now, lets see what happens to Google's ambition.
YouTube launches a new channel                                                                      May 17, 2010
Yup, you heard right. But we forgot to point out a crucial piece of information - see that birthday candle glowing above thefigure '5'?Yes, that's right.YouTube5 is a special channel from YouTube to mark the latter's 5th birthday! Celebrations are on full time at YouTube fromMay 16. YouTube5 is only one of the variousways to mark the most memorable moments in YouTube'slife. It was five years ago that YouTube’s founders had launched the first beta version of YouTube.com with a simple mission: give any one on the globe a platform to easily upload their videos and share them with the world. This simple mission has today resulted in page views of 5 bln and more.YouTube has also marked the occasion by launchingits first-ever African domain in South Africa. YouTube5 has a variety of features - video comments from guest curators commenting on YouTube videos, a timeline of events in the channel's life, a video wall view and what's more, a user can even upload MyYouTube Story.
Happy Birthday YouTube.
New things on Wiki                                                                                                             May 17, 2010

It happened on May 13 but we have been getting some e-mail queries. So we told ourselves, what the heck, why not? After all, every one of our readers should know about it. So here goes - the Wikimedia Foundation has made several changes to make the experience for visitors and contributors a better one. These are:

a) A new look and feel, which includes a refreshed puzzle globe logo.

b) Better navigation of pages for better reading and editing pages. The tabs at the top of each page now more clearly define whether you are viewing the page or discussion page, or whether you are reading or editing a page.

c) Formatting pages is now simpler with a reorganized editing toolbar.

d) A new tool that will allow surfers to easily add links to other wiki pages as well to external sites.
To be released next week: Hotmail's new avataar                                          May 14, 2010
Hotmail may have been first off the block in the e-mail race, but of late, there is general agreement that this e-mail service by Microsoft Corporation has lost some of its hotness (pardon the bad pun).  It has now been reported that next week, its designers shall release a new version, with some  features, aimed at bringing the users flocking back. We feel this battle between Microsoft and Google (one more) is worth watching. After all, after its introduction in 2004, gmail has come to near-smothering Hotmail. But Hotmail still has its loyal following. Hotmail v2 shall have instant connectivity with social networking sites. Users will be able to view a Flickr slideshow or a YouTube video, all from within the new service. The launch comes on the heels of  Microsoft's latest version of the application software, Office 2010, for customers across the world on May 12.
If you are a gmail user and in India, READ THIS                                                May 13, 2010
In the recent past, there have been reports on the vulnerability of gmail and how some of its e-mail accounts have been hacked or phised upon. On Wednesday, that section of India’s 71 million internet users who have gmail as their primary e-mail account, found themselves in such a spot once again. Many of them (we do not know how many yet, neither are there any confirmed figures floating around in cyber space) received a purpoted legal notice from the gmail team asking them to update their account details for "security reasons". The -email read along these lines: The gmail Team is working on total security on all accounts in order to make gmail better as ever and as a result of this security upgrade we require all gmail members to verify their account with Google. To prevent your account from disability you will have to update your account by clicking the reply button and filling the space below, the mail read.
Needless to state, all data filled in by gullible users is bound to be used for illegal purposes. Media reports emanating from India quoted a Google spokesperson as saying that some spammers do send fraudulent mass-messages designed to collect personal information, called ‘spoofing’ or ‘password phishing.’ Gmail has always advised its users to be wary of any such message that asks for your personal information.
We do acknowledge that Google or gmail has always insisted that they never send unsolicited mass messages asking for passwords or personal information.


Twitter de-bugged                                                                                                             May 10, 2010

Micro-blog Twitter (with a following of a 100 million) that was hit by a major bug, has said it has "fixed" the problem. Simply put, the bug allowed many people to force celebrities to follow them. Those who typed "accept" followed by a person's Twitter name, forced the user to be added to their list of followers.

Eg: By simply typing "accept @Obama", it would appear that US Prez Obama had chosen to follow you. Also, it could also inject a user's tweets into the Prez's feeds.

Well, the good news is Twitter has managed to lick the problem but at the same time, it was forced to temporarily reset many accounts. It was this that made many think that a a score of Twitter users suddenly had no "followers", and were also not "following" any one.

A Twitter post on its official blog said they had identified and resolved a bug....

Interestingly, the Twitter bug came days after the discovery of a high-security bug at Facebook.
Google gets sharper                                                                                                            May 9, 2010
As Google itself has put it, the Google design has been "turned up a notch." For those Google users who have still not noticed the changes, we explain: Last week, to be more precise on May 5, 2010, Google rolled out add-ons to its existing design, making it snappier, fun and quirky. To begin with, its designers tweaked its logo a bit which we have reproduced here:
The new logo ( the 2nd one above) is lighter, simplier, and brighter, claims Google's Senior User Experience Designer Jon Wiley.  The metamorphosis of Google includes revealing search tools on the left and updating the visual look and feel throughout. The changes, say designers at Google, is to showcase the latest evolutions in search technology, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for.
Microsoft goes Grrr...                                                                       May 7, 2010

The browser market is in a froth these days. Microsoft has decided to go 'aggro' and take the opposition head-on. On Wednesday, it released what can only be dubbed as a 'pre-beta' version of its Internet Explorer version 9. Now, the company says it will come out with "regular updates" till IE9 reaches the beta test stage. Eh? Whatever.....


The nascent version of IE9 went online this Wednesday on Platform Preview 2, and can be seen on Microsoft's IE Testdrive site. Incidentally, Platform Preview 1 was released mid-March. The company promises an update on this version every eight weeks till the day of the beta testing. But Microsoft is yet to give a date for the beta test. In fact, nobody is sure when the IE9 will be available in the free market.


All eyes are on IE9, even perhaps those of the top honchos of Microsoft. Industry experts say a lot is riding on it, given the fact that IE has lost some ground to Firefox and other open source browsers in the near-term.

Among the features being added to IE9 is support for HTML5.

Google vs Yahoo                                                                                              May 3, 2010
An online war has broken out between Google users and Yahoo lovers. The fireworks between the two groups was sparked off following Yahoo chief Carol Bartz's week-end comments on Google in an interview to the BBC. Speaking to Jonathan Fildes, the beeb's Technology reporter, Bartz said Google could soon have a problem on its hands if it did not grow beyond its search engine business.  Yahoo has a worldwide audience of 200 million according to Neilsen, the research agency. Bartza told Fildes that what Google was doing constituted only 50% of Yahoo's business. And went on to add that Google will have to grow a company the size of Yahoo every year to be "interesting". She was referring to Yahoo's 70 websites available in 20 languages. Bartz took over the company from founder Jerry Yang in January 2009 and since then has been trying her best to reverse some of the setbacks Yahoo received.
We wonder if the BBC interview was part of that effort.  

 Facebook is going places!              (29/4/2010) 
                                                                             Nisha, nish@in.com
Google is 2gud.                                (3/5/2010)
                                                                           nunet, nunet@in.com 
Yahoo, Google better watch it!        (3/5/2010) 
                                                                           Tina, t@yahoo.co.in
I think she does not know what she is talking about.        (4/5/2010) 
                                                                                                              Kishore, kkishore@in.com