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Startup to get Google Plus Ones faster

31/01 (1325 hrs IST): All of us are familiar with the Google Plus One tab for Sites. Now, adding Plus Ones for Sites may get a little help from this Startup called GetPlusOnesEasy. It claims to have developed a "fast & powerful" Plus One exchange system for gaining free Plus Ones simply & effectively.

A press release said the US-based GetPlusOnesEasy.com offers more convenience for users by giving their Sites first priority placement in gaining Plus Ones through purchasing coins in lieu of earning free coins by "plussing" Sites in order to gain them. The coin purchase option, the company claimed, ensures faster accumulation of Plus Ones & give higher visibility placement to Sites.

Joomla releases version 2.5

 30/01 (1539 hrs IST): PHP-based Content Management System Joomla has confirmed the launch of Joomla 2.5. For the 1st time ever, Joomla CMS has got a multi-database support with the addition of Microsoft SQL Server, a press release said.

“Currently, Joomla powers over 1.6 million websites globally. I believe it is a smart move to free it for multi-database support. Previous versions of Joomla required to be integrated with other software to achieve compatibility with databases other than MySQL,” said Mr. Paresh Sagar, Joomla expert of OpenXcell Technolabs, a prominent Joomla web development
Version 2.5 is a long term support (LTS) release & will be supported till next 18 months. The previous version, Joomla 1.7 will end its six month cycle on 24 February, 2012, & will be phased out from then on.

Talk to your computer soon to go to Apps in your PC's menu

26/01 (0239 hrs IST): Your computer desktop & standard menu could undergo a radical change if Ubuntu Linux has its way.  For heavy users of the desktop PC, here's some news: Ubuntu version 12.04 LTS will include the 1st step in a major new approach to Application interfaces called the Heads Up Display (HUD). For those of you not familiar with this term, it is often found in fighter aircraft cockpits where an HUD is built in in a pilot's helmet & wherever his eye balls go, the HUD pops up, so he does not really have to keep looking at the traditional intruments panel. 
Explaining the concept further, Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth has said in his Blog Post that the standard computer menu has been around,unchanged for nearly 30 years. All that is about to change, at least in those PCs that use Ubuntu.
The HUD basically works on intent. That means what the user, you, intend to do, while using your PC. It will thus respond according to what you plan to do next. Shorn of technicalities, what this new tech aims to do is to get rid of the step-by-step approach to a Menu & set up a direct connect between the user & his PC. In 12.04 LTS, the HUD is a smart look-ahead search through the App & system (indicator) menus, based on what can be best described as a "fuzzy logic" approach.
The next step, said Mark, would be using voice commands to go to any Application in your PC Menu. Searching would get faster once voice recognition, gesture & touch were integrated, he said. Ubuntu's aim is to make it easy to talk to any application, & for any application to respond to an individual user's voice. The full integration of voice into Applications will take some time, though. But a start has been made by mapping voice onto the existing menu structures of the Apps.

Global contest for best Startup

25/01 (1422 hrs IST): It is positioned as the "Mother of All Startup competitions". Startup World has announced an international competition to spot the best Startup in the World. Applications will open soon.
Your Startup must meet the following criteria:
It should have been launched within the last 2 years
If your startup has received external funding, it can only be funding up to $2M USD
You must have a demostratable product or service
You must be prepared to talk about your product & service in public & have it demonstrated and recorded for public broadcast
Pitch & application documents must be in English or you must provide a translator
The Startup can be across any field; clean tech or consumer tech for example, but must be for profit
The overall winner of this competition, among other things, gets a 3 month incubation period at i/o Ventures while the regional winners will get to travel to San Francisco,USA, to battle it out at the finals.
For more information on the contest go to this URL http://startupworld.tv/prizes/

1 policy for all Google users

25/01 (0544 hrs IST): Google Inc is about to make changes to its privacy policy & terms of service documents in the next 1 month. According to a BlogPost, over 60 Google products will now have 1 common policy. Obviously, Google seems fed-up with the various privacy documents it had for its products, some 70-odd such. Now it has decided to trim them, keeping 'em short & simple.

An hour long video per second is being uploaded on YouTube

24/01 (1522 hrs IST): YouTube is going from one high to another. It has now announced that every minute, 60 hours of video is being uploaded on its Site, which makes it an hour of video every second! A BlogPost by the YouTube team today further said YouTube had exceeded the 4 billion video views a day, mark. 
Here's a graphical representation of what happens at YouTube every second
You can catch the rest of the Post at this URL http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2012/01/holy-nyans-60-hours-per-minute-and-4.html

Towards a more inclusive name policy on Google+

24/01 (0355 hrs IST): Social Networking Site Google+ has tweaked its rules for the use of names by users, based on feedback it has got so far from users. The Network will now allow the use of alternate names along with the common names for users. This also includes the use of other scripts or languages like Hindi. 
According to a post on Google+ by the network's Bradley Horowitz, if a name is flagged, the user can provide them with information to help confirm your established identity. This might include:

- References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc
- Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following 
The features will start rolling out in the next few days. 
For more details, check out the Google+ Names Policy: http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271

Social Media Summit in May

22/01 (2055 hrs IST): 'The Impact of Social Media' will be the focus of the 2012 Social Media Summit at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.  

A press release said the summit will be held on May 23 this year. Attendance is Free. The summit will consist of 9 panel discussions & 4 workshops featuring authors, academics & other leaders addressing various social media topics.  Now in its 3rd year, the summit sees attendance in 100s with attendees coming from around the U.S. & several foreign countries.

Register or get more info online at www.HarrisburgU.edu/SMS2012

Harrisburg University was founded in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering & math (STEM) fields.

Juxtapost's new features

22/01 (1109 hrs IST): While last week, a major section of the Web World was talking of Social Discovery Platform Pinterest, it's rival Juxtapost, has quietly announced new features for "a better experience".
A press release by Juxtapost on PR Log said the new Social Discovery Platform said it was making in-roads with the "intensely loyal audiences that frequent vision-board Websites."

"Juxtapost is a labor of love. We want to make sure the user-experience here is second-to-none," said company founder Monir Boktor. 
As part of its announcement, Juxtapost also revealed upcoming enhanced features for posting Content.  According to Boktor, "As we ourselves use our site we make fine-tuned adjustments to streamline the whole process.  We also actively listen to our member suggestions and constructive critiques,  because of this, we have a solid service that our members not only use regularly, but also really enjoy."  Boktor continued with “We know that part of ensuring our members enjoy bookmarking their finds is to enhance our application so that they can quickly and efficiently categorize the new content they find. We are keenly aware of the 'curation-fatigue' that sets in with the other social discovery websites because of the unnecessary steps to bookmark content.  We’ve already streamlined, but we have many more ideas in the pipeline that will automate the process and which we know will make our members very happy.”

Juxtapost's aim is to bring the Social Discovery experience to "a new level" by providing the public easy-to-use tools to bookmark photos while they browse the Web. Bookmarked images are instantly posted to a categorized curated collection on Juxtapost, where members can later view, share or export.

Twitter picks up Summify

20/01 (1943 hrs IST): Social news aggregator Summify has been acquired by Micro-blog Twitter. Summify, collects news stories that are being shared on your Social Networks & puts them into a daily summary.

Launched by 2 Romanian entrepreneurs, Summify for now has temporarily halted new account registrations & will remove some of its key features.

“Our long-term vision at Summify has always been to connect people with the most relevant news for them, in the most time efficient manner,” the Startup said in a Blogpost. “As hundreds of millions of people worldwide are signing up and consuming Twitter, we realized it’s the best platform to execute our vision at a truly global scale. Since Twitter shared this vision with us, joining the company made perfect sense.”

Google+ has 90 million users

 20/01 (0619 hrs IST): Google's CEO Larry Page today announced that there were over 90 million Google+ users globally  -- almost double over the last quarter. Over 60% of them engage daily, & over 80% weekly.
Google also announced its 4th quarter results which were not to the market expectations. The Search major reported a net profit of US $2.7 billion & said quarterly revenue went past $ 10 billion for the 1st time.

This was a 6 % increase over the same quarter last year. Revenue climbed 25 % from the previous year to nearly US %10.6 billion.

"Google had a really strong quarter, ending a great year," Page told reporters.

The Search engine is well on target of earning US $5 billion a year from display advertising, some Online reports seemed to suggest. 

Facebook officially launches 60 Apps in its Timeline feature

19/01 (1523 hrs IST): Social Network Facebook announced a tweaking of its existing Timeline feature by adding 60 more applications to it, a move pending for some time. At an event in San Francisco, USA on Thursday, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor & his colleagues unveiled the new "lifestyle" Apps, in partnership with 60 companies. These will allow users to  post new kinds of information to their Facebook Timelines, & thus give a unique identity to each user.
The Net is full of talk today around this feature. Facebook has broadened the Open Graph from its existing multimedia integration into the Social Network. The new Apps include travel, food, shopping, fitness, fashion & more. Announced back at the f8 conference 2011, Timeline Apps currently consists of Apps including TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, eBay, Runkeeper and Rotten Tomatoes. After today, there's one more, the clipboard App Pinterest.
For those of you who wanna catch up with the details on Timeline Apps, click here

Get rid of those spammy notifications from your InBox

18/01 (0925 hrs IST): Most of us are already members of a minimum 5 Social Networks. And that means all those 100s of notifications that you may get in your InBox every day. There is now a Startup called Notification Control that promises to manage your notifications & clean 'em up in a ziffy. Check it out.

20 million players on Minecraft...& growing

17/01 (1636 hrs IST): Under development since the time it was launched way back in 2009, block building Game Minecraft has just gone past the 20 million registered players mark. While writing this, it was 20,167,265 players, in fact.
Minecraft is being developed by Markus Persson. In his own words, Markus says he started Minecraft after "playing some Infiniminer with a couple of people from TigSource. I realized that a game that simple yet that dynamic had a lot of potential to turn into a really great game, and kept coming up with things I wanted to change and stuff I wanted to add."

Russia's own version of Twitter launched 

17/01 (0517 hrs IST): Is it Twitter? Is it a Micro-blog? No, it's Futubra ! Duh? Well, Twitter's got competition in Russia. A Micro-blog called Futubra is being launched today. Designed by Mail.ru – the multi-billion Russian company that operates the country’s popular email service, the new Micro-blog hopes to repeat the success of Twitter but in the non-English department.
We re-print URLs of news reports on the launch of Futubra in case you are interested in reading up the details:

Registrations open for Internet Society event

13/01 (1000 hrs IST): The Internet Society today announced that registration was open for the Global INET 2012, to be held from April 22 at the Centre International de Conférences Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. The Global INET, the keystone event in the Internet Society’s year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary, will focus attention on the evolution of the Internet & the opportunities and challenges that will have a profound impact on its future. 
The three-day conference will be a dynamic sequence of visionary keynotes, panel discussions, and networking with Internet pioneers, industry luminaries, and next generation leaders who are defining the future of the Internet. The Global INET will also include executive business roundtables, Internet Society Chapter workshops, a breakfast for women leaders and professionals, and many other programs that will develop a vision for the explosive growth of the Internet over the next 20 years. 
For more details on the Global INET 2012 & to register for the event, visit: www.internetsociety.org/globalinet.

Listen to what songs your friends are listening to on Facebook

13/01 (0941 hrs IST): Social Site Facebook has launched a "listen with" feature that many in the Internet community feel is similar to Turntable.fm. The addition allows users to DJ music with 1 or several friends in Facebook chat.

Here's how it works: You find a friend on your list & if you find them listening to music, you can listen along with them. It launches through whatever music service your friend is using. Facebook said you can listen to the same song, at the exact same time—so when your favorite vocal part comes in you can experience it together, just like when you're jamming out at a performance or dance club.

Sean Parker is back with a Startup

12/01 (0831 hrs IST): Remember Sean Parker of former Napster fame? Yup, the same one who was portrayed in the movie The Social Network? He's back with a Startup, still in a stealth mode called The Airtime.
The Internet is agog with reports of the launch of the Startup. Essentially, it is a video chat company started by Parker & his former Napster partner Shawn Fanning. The company already has over 20 employees.

The company is backed by big investors, including Michael Arrington, Yuri Milner & Marissa Mayer, according to Crunchbase.

There are 505 million plus users of the Net in China

11/01 (1915 hrs IST): The number of Internet users in China have crossed the half billion mark, reaching 505 million users at the end of November 2011, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reported.

A report filed by news agency Reuters today said the Internet penetration rate stood at 37.7%, up 3.4%  over the end of 2010, CNNIC said in a report released late last month. This compares with Internet penetration rates of more than 70% for China's more technologically advanced East Asian neighbors, Japan and South Korea.
You can read the rest of the report at this URL

Google+ Google = Trouble? 

11/01 (0900 hrs IST): Search Engine Google's announcement on Tuesday that it had made changes in the way its "Searches" by including info from Social Networking Site Google+ into its Search results does not seem to have gone down well with a section of the Internet community.

Micro-blog Twitter was 1st off the block. Twitter & Google, said Online reports, used to have an agreement to use Twitter information for Real Time Search & news results, but the agreement expired this summer. Twitter’s general counsel, Alex Macgillivray, said on his Twitter account that it was a “bad day for the Internet” saying that search has been “warped.”
Here are some links to what the Online & Real World thinks of the new Google move:
The Washington Post carried the following report (see URL below)
The Business Insider had the following to say:

Chrome to finally have malware download protection

09/01 (0850 hrs IST): The new version of Internet Browser Chrome will have filtering against inadvertently downloading malware executables, Google has announced.

In testing phase for thelast 9 months, version 17 Beta of the Chrome includes the ability to relate known malicious Websites detected using the software's Safe Browsing API, blocking downloads hosted on such domains. The release notes mention only .exe & .msi files as being covered. An earlier version touted improvements in malware-blocking, but other Browsers still beat Chrome's capabilities.

Facebook still No: 2 in these markets

07/01 (1058 hrs IST): There are still some countries where Social Networking Site Facebook plays second fiddle; in some cases not entirely of its own fault but due to external reasons.
Yup, you heard right. According to a rather incisive report in the Business Insider, FB is on its way to global domination, but there are still 7 major markets where it is not the leading Social Network, according to a new report from comScore. These are: Brazil, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Veitnam & China.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-around-the-world-2012-1?nr_email_referer=1#it-doesnt-look-like-facebook-is-going-to-win-russia-over-any-time-soon-4?nr_email_referer=1#ixzz1ijncaiFw

Aeria Games acquires free-to-play Gaming portal

06/01 (1710 hrs IST): Global Gaming conglomerate Aeria Games has acquired the free-to-play Online Gaming portal Ijji Games, the company has announced. A press release issued by Aeria said it had also received funding from Ijji's parent company, NHN Corporation, which is a Korean-based Internet company that specializes in Search & Gaming portals for the Asian market.
The release by Aeria said the agreement "boosts the company’s fast growing player base to over 35 million unique users worldwide while adding complementary titles including the popular shooters Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A.) and Soldier Front to Aeria Games’ robust portfolio of free-to-play games for mid- to hard-core players. Aeria Games is a global leader in producing high quality online free-to-play games in North America, Latin America, and Europe."

Aeria has been profitable so far & the fresh investment was the first fundraising the company had done from an outside investor. The Ijji acquisition will add about 10 million plus users to Aeria’s current 35 million core players base.

Founded in 2006, Aeria Games has offices in the US, Germany & Brazil, publishing in 9 languages across 30 countries.

 Women outnumber men gamers?

05/01 (2039 hrs IST): Women gamers now outnumber men who play games.

According to emarketer.com, there are studies to prove this. A 2011 study by market research firm Interpret LLC, showed console use among female gamers had increased “significantly” in the previous two years. Some 21% of women gamers had used an Xbox 360 & 16% had used a PS3. 
Women came out ahead in a comScore Media Metrix study of who plays Online games, said the report. The study, which included Browser-based Online games but not Social Games, demonstrated that about 48 million females vs. about 47 million males played them.
To read more, you may go the URL http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008767&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4

 Learn how to code Online

05/01 (1553 hrs IST): Computer programming education Startup Codecademy has launched an initiative called 'Code Year' for 2012. For anyone who wants to learn to code, Code Year is a program where every week, a new computer programming lesson is delivered to you via email. Of course,  you need to register first but that's Free.
Codecademy was created out of the frustrations two friends Zach & Ryan felt with learning how to program. Tired with less effective text & video resources, the two teamed up to create Codecademy, to educate all those who want to learn the code but don't know how. Among the options, you have are  Python or Java.
According to a report in TechCrunch, already in the 1st 3 days of 2012, 100,000 people have signed up. If you want to join in, click here

Major events to mark 20 years of Internet Society

05/01 (0927 hrs IST): In conjunction with its 20-year anniversary, the Internet Society will launch a series of initiatives to focus attention on the evolution of the Internet & the opportunities & challenges that will have a profound impact on its future.
The Society completes 20 years this year. The organization was founded by two of the fathers of the Internet -- Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn -- to facilitate and support the evolution of the Internet and its beneficial use.

Over the past two decades, the Internet Society has been committed to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. The Internet Society continues to serve the needs of the growing, global Internet community through championing public policies that enable open access; facilitating the open development of standards and protocols; and organizing events and opportunities that inform and bring people together.A press release said it has organized a global forum will be held April 22-24 at the Centre International de Conferences Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland. The event will feature high-powered speakers, thought-provoking panel discussions, & interactive workshops to develop a vision for the future of the Internet. Other highlights of the event include a Gala awards dinner & networking opportunities with key businesses, NGOs, & academics operating in the Internet space, as well as Internet pioneers and futurists.

"I am very proud to be part of this global organization and its important work to ensure that people in all parts of the world can enjoy the benefits of an open Internet," said Raul Echeberria, Chairman of the Internet Society's Board of Trustees. "This is a special milestone for the Internet Society, not only to reflect on our past but to look ahead to the future and the impact that we can have through our collective efforts to ensure that the Internet continues to thrive. In 2012, we look forward to continued collaboration with people from around the world to protect the Internet of today for the generations to follow."

More details on the Internet Society's 20th anniversary are available at http://www.internetsociety.org/20th . 

Citibank customers can pool rewards points on FB

04/01 (1603 hrs IST): It's a classic example of Real-Cyber World collaboration. Citibank customers can now use Facebook to pool their rewards points Online.

Based on an incentive that the bank had introduced in 2011, it launched a Facebook Application that allows users join up with others to use their points, whatever the purpose. 
Acording to the bank, it is the 1st ever to do so.

You may click here to avail of this service. 

Tanzania's Internet population up

04/01 (0903 hrs IST): Of its 42 million population, 11% of them are now Internet users in Tanzania, according to a report issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), appearing in The Citizen.

The report showed that as of October 2010, around 4.8 million Tanzanians had access to the Internet up from 1.6 million users in 2005. Out of the current figure, 2,663,200 were institutional users, 1,932,816 were households or individual users and 260,280 Internet café users.

In East Africa, in terms of Internet usage, Kenya is ahead of the other member states with 10.2 million users as at 2010, while Uganda had 4.1 million users by the same year. This is according to the Kenya Communication Commission and Uganda Communication Commission data respectively.
You may go to this URL for the rest of the report:

Apple's media event later this month sparks off rumors

03/01 (2040 hrs IST): A report in allthingsd.com by Kara Swisher sparked it off. The Internet is now agog with reports that Apple is planning an important event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement.

Kara's sources have said the event is not related to an upcoming version of the iPad 3, the next iteration of the popular tablet device that many expect to be launched in 2012.

The report adds that it was unlikely that the event could be to announce the rollout of Apple’s large-scale rethinking of the interactive television initiative that it has been working on.
So, what will it be? Anybody's guess for now.

Google+ got 49 million visitors from the US in Dec 2011

03/01 (1150 hrs IST): It may still be a far cry from its rival, Facebook, but December 2011 sure was a good month for Social Networking Site Google+. According to a tweet by measurement agency Experian Hitwise today, its total US visits reached over 49 million in Dec-11, the biggest month to date & up 55% compared to Nov-11.
You may click here to check out the measurement graph put out by Hitwise.

Internet Explorer continues at No: 1 in Browser war

03/01 (0850 hrs IST): The figures of 2011 for the best Internet Browser are out. 2 agencies - Net Applications & StatCounter have released their figures for the Browser market share. Not surprisingly, the leader is Microsoft Internet Explorer. Its share has dropped, depending on which agency's report you wanna follow. Net Apps said IE held a 52% share while it was 39% according to StatCounter.
The fun though is in the fight for the No: 2 slot. Google Chrome seems to have caught up with Mozilla Firefox real fast in 2011. According to Net Applications, Firefox held a 21.8% share of Browser users in December, while Chrome reached 19.1%, up just under 8%. StatCounter pegged Google's Browser at 2nd place for the end of the year, claiming 27.3% versus the 25.3% of Firefox.

Not a Website but a Mission

02/01 (2013 hrs IST): We came across Mixergy through an Online reference. Curiosity piqued, we investigated further. Turns out Mixergy is an Online platform where surfers & wannabe entrepreneurs can learn from a mix of experienced mentors.

Started by a 20-something Andrew Warner, an experienced entrepreneur, Mixergy was initally created on an informal basis in 2004 to "help ambitious people who love business as much as Andrew". So he started doing that by inviting speakers to "live" events & Online interviews.
In Andrew's own words, "....to be like the mentors who infected me with a passion for business and taught me how to build my company. I started speaking at colleges and even scheduled one-on-sessions with people who wanted my help. It was all very small, slow and not very fulfilling.

"Then, I read about this underdog who was running for president. His name was Howard Dean, and even though he was a nobody he was suddenly growing a movement. I thought the key to his success was his local meetups. So I figured I’d copy his idea and use meetups to help businesspeople. I called my events “Mixergy,” a combination of the words “mixer” and “energy.”
But then Mixergy failed. Andrew says because from the start, the events were a hit, but then he got distracted, becoming obsessed with building an online invitation to manage the events." To cut a long story short, he admitted failure & re-focused.  
But he kept getting emails from people who loved the interviews and told him what they learned helped their businesses. Later, Andrew met Neil Patel at a Mixergy event. Neil kept pushing him to talk about his Bradford & Reed experiences. After some hesitation, Andrew did so, & Mixergy was re-born.

So, today Mixergy is a place where successful people teach ambitious upstarts.

The people who speak on this web site or at "live" Mixergy events are businesspeople who take some time out of their schedules to help teach others what they learned from their own experiences. They include people like Jimmy Wales, who taught us how he got the world to help him make Wikipedia into a world-changing site, Greg Spiridellis, who told us how it felt to watch his company, JibJab, get reduced to almost nothing, & taught us how he turned his business around, & others from YCombinator, Groupon & such well-known Sites.
So, if you are planning to start your own business & wanna learn from such entrepreneurs or give lectures, feel free to contact Mixergy for more details.