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WordPress launches WordAd

 
30/11 (1507 hrs IST): For Bloggers who use WordPress, this is welcome news. WordPress has teamed up with Federated Media to launch WordAds, allowing advertising on all WP-run Blogs. Of course, the choice remains with the Blogger. But WP says it was one of the oft-made requests to them - to allow advertising on Blogs. Now, its been done. Google better watch out.
 
Here's the post on WP Blog. 

Yahoo! launches video service in India

24/11 (0310 hrs IST): Yahoo! India has launched its premium video service Yahoo! Video, available at video. yahoo.in.
 
The service offers Content across multiple genres including news, entertainment, lifestyle & movies. Yahoo! India has partnered 35 leading Content producers & shall rope in more later.

Yahoo! Video offers content acquired from original sources, spanning short & full-length movies, entertainment, lifestyle & sports. 

300 million people in China have Micro-blog accounts

 
23/11 (0617 hrs IST): Over 300 million people in China now hold Micro-blogging accounts, a state-run newspaper has said on Tuesday.

According to statistics released by the State Internet Information Office at a conference in the central city of Wuhan, China had more than 300 million registered users of weibos, the local newspaper Changjiang Daily reported.
China has the world's largest online population with more than half a billion users.

Facebook reduces 6 degrees to 4 degrees of separation

22/11 (2039 hrs IST): A new study by Social Networking Site Facebook & Università degli Studi di Milano has shown that a theory floated in the '60s by psychologist Stanley Milgram claiming that every human being is separated from another by only 6 friends is no longer valid. According to this study, Facebook has reduced the six degrees of separation to only four, making the world even smaller.

The study posted by Facebook on Nov 21 said using state-of-the-art algorithms developed at the Laboratory for Web Algorithmics of the Università degli Studi di Milano, the researchers were able to approximate the number of "hops" between all pairs of individuals on Facebook. It was found that six degrees actually overstates the number of links between typical pairs of users: While 99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (5 hops). And as Facebook has grown over the years, representing an ever larger fraction of the global population, it has become steadily more connected. The average distance in 2008 was 5.28 hops, while now it is 4.74.
 
If you are interested in reading up on the complete survey, click here.

Submit Websites to Bing to get into Yahoo! organic search results

22/11 (1422 hrs IST): This piece of news is for Webmasters. With the completion of the algorithmic transition to Bing, Yahoo! Search has merged its Site Explorer into Bing Webmaster Tools.
 
This essentially means that Webmasters should now use the Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure that their Website continues to be "Searched" & "indexed" on Yahoo! & Bing in order to get organic search traffic. Site Explorer services have been discontinued from November 21, 2011.

YouTube experimenting with new Home Page

 
21/11 (1932 hrs IST): The Web World is agog with reports of YouTube testing a new Home Page today. It makes it easy to filter the videos from users' subscriptions, Social Networks & users account from the
Home Page. YouTube apparently calls the new Page "a guide", say these online reports. You may click on the URLs below to read more & find out how to access the new Home Page:
 
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2011/11/youtube-tests-new-homepage.html
 
http://www.ghacks.net/2011/11/20/how-to-get-the-new-youtube-homepage-right-now/

A Publishing platform for Writers that pays

 
 
 
19/11 (1940 hrs IST): Content writers have a new platform for earning some money off the Internet. Seekyt.com is a Publishing platform which serves as a hub for writers to publish a variety of articles & earn advertising revenue.
 
Writers can keep a mini-blog (they are called Journals) to organize their thoughts. They can include rich Content such as videos & images quickly & easily in their articles. Contributors then need to add their AdSense ID by clicking on "Account" & then clicking on "Settings," they can share 70% of the AdSense revenue on your articles. Contributors can also enter their Amazon Tracking ID to earn 70% of the Amazon Associates Program revenue on their articles.
 
Where Seekyt makes its money is by running its own ads across your articles 30% of the time. 

Russia No: 1 in Internet use in Europe

16/11 (0940 hrs IST): 50.8 million Russians used the Internet in September, thus preceding Germany, which has been Europe’s No 1 Internet user for a long time. 50.1 million Germans used the Internet in September, Vedomosti reports, citing the research company Comscore.

The other countries in the Top 5 list were France, United Kingdom & Italy. The British spent most amount of time on the Internet, averaging 35.6 hours in September. Russians, on the other hand, spent 22.4 hours.

The web site that Russians spend most time on is the Social Network Vkontakte, the report said.

Majority of Online Americans use Social Media to connect friends, family

16/11 (0708 hrs IST):Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn, shows a survey by Pew Internet. These users said that connections with family members & friends (both new and old) were a primary consideration in their adoption of Social Media tools. Roughly two thirds of Social Media users said staying in touch with current friends and family members was a major reason why they used these sites, while half of 'em said that connecting with old friends they had lost touch with was a major reason behind their use of these technologies.

14% of users said that connecting around a shared hobby or interest was a major reason they used Social Media, while 9% said that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures & finding potential romantic partners were cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively.

Read or download the full report: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Why-Americans-Use-Social-Media.aspx


Trapit goes public Beta

 
 
15/11 (1945 hrs IST): Some months ago, we had reported on the private Beta launch of open-source Personalised Content Discovery Engine, Trapit. Well, the Startup went public Beta from today.

Trapit uses Artificial Intelligence to "discover" Content, either based on keywords, URLs or reading habits that a user keys in. At one time, it throws up 100 results or "traps" with short, mouse-over briefs. Like Stumbleupon, you can also rate the Content by clicking on a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down button & even keep the "trap" for future reading. Users can create "My Traps", which are basically categories which interests you, which can get updated .
 
Trapit has a Search bar on the top of the page. There is also a real-time activity feed that makes it easier to find the newest articles within a specific search or trap.
 
We took Trapit for a test drive & the results it threw up were about 75% accurate.There are some glitches which we believe will eventually get ironed out. Are we seeing the birth of a genuine competitor to Google?

Diaspora co-founder passes away

14/11 (1938 hrs IST): Open-source Social Network Site Diaspora has launched a redesigned alpha version, hours before it was confirmed that co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, had died. TechCrunch reported Zhitomirskiy passing away. llya along with Dan Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg & Raphael Sofaer created the open-source software as part of a project while they were students at New York University. Diaspora was created as a response to Facebook’s controversial privacy changes in 2010. The team was able to raise US $200,000 on Kickstarter to launch the project.
 

Seven-year-old's doodle adorns Google's search task bar today to mark Children's Day in India

 
14/11 (0841 hrs IST): Google users in India today see a doodle marking Children's Day, an annual event in that country.

The doodle competition for the occasion ( which users today see on the Google Search task bar) was won by Varsha Gupta, a 7-year-old student of Ryan International in Greater Noida near the Indian capital of New Delhi on the theme “India’s contribution to the world”. The doodle is a simple portrayal of six traditional musical instruments to form the word, “Google”.

“Varsha Gupta’s doodle of the Google logo artfully depicts how India is a land of different cultures and music plays an important role in it. The doodle artfully represents many musical instruments that India has introduced to the to the world- Tabla, Sarod, Veena and Shehnai,” wrote Robin Joseph, Google’s Consumer Marketing executive on Google’s blog.

Here comes the Firefox 8

 
09/11 (0850 hrs IST): Mozilla announced the official release of Firefox 8, the latest version of the open source Web Browser. V8 has new security features plus a number of minor improvements to its underlying HTML renderer.
 

Firefox for Mac, Windows & Linux
Microblog Twitter is now included as a search option in Firefox for Windows, Mac & Linux. Twitter Search in Firefox will make it easier to discover new topics, #hashtags and @usernames. Twitter Search is currently available in English, Portuguese, Slovenian & Japanese versions of Firefox, with more languages to come in future releases. The built-in search box in Firefox’s navigation toolbar has been extended to support Twitter searches. Users can now select Twitter from the drop-down list of available search engines. Mozilla partnered with Twitter earlier this year to release a special build of Firefox that ties into the social network. The search box integration from that custom build is now part of the official Firefox release.


Another user feature in Firefox 8 is stricter control over side-loaded add-ons. Mozilla is cracking down on 3rd-party Applications that install add-ons in Firefox without the user’s knowledge or permission. Such add-ons have caused serious problems for users in the past. Mozilla itself has listed on its Blog the Skype toolbar which Mozilla had to remotely disable earlier this year when it caused 33,000 Firefox crashes in one week.
 
If you wanna catch up with the rest of the V8 features, click here

Getting reading for WP v3.3

06/11 (0907 hrs IST): In just a few days from now, Blogging platform WordPress will come out with its version 3.3. Before the rollout, we thought we could bring to you some of the features that will be part-n-parcel of 3.3.
 
 
 
The most important feature, we feel, will be the new administrator's bar. It will be less gray & more black. There is supposedly a "marked improvement" in its functionality, too. There will be no need of clicks, it will respond to a user's needs just by hovering his/her cursor over a tab.
 
Then, a little bird told us, the WP guys are gonna introduce the 'WordPress pointer'. This is essentially a notification system. Whenever a new update is added, WP pointers shall displays a tooltip to let you know that a change has been made.
 
All the widgets will carry on from one theme to another when you decide to change your WP theme. In earlier versions, these, too, would disappear when you changed themes.
 
Next - there will be a revamp to its media uploader by adopting Plupload, a sytem developed by TinyMCE that will suppose huge improvements, many of them already using HTML5 within the uploader.
 
As some of you would know, WordPress 3.3 Beta 2 was recently launched with fixes to bugs noticed in the 1st Beta. As of now, there is a "feature freeze" in place, which means developers cannot add any more features to the Beta 2.
 
There are 2 dates doing the round of the Internet for the official release of v3.3: Nov 15 & Nov 30.
Watch this space for updates.

YouTube top destination for online viewing, Facebook slips to 4th position

05/11 (1842 hrs IST): This no great surprise. Google's YouTube was once again the most popular destination for online viewing among US consumers in September but what is surprising is that Social Networking Site Facebook was slipping in popularity as a video-sharing platform.

This was part of the findings by analyst firm Nielsen's latest edition of its regular report, Top U.S Online Destinations for VideoVEVO took 2nd place & Yahoo! was next.

The report also indicated that Facebook could be declining in popularity as a platform for viewing online video. Zuckerberg's Social Site was, in terms of unique visitors, ranked 4th in September, a slight decline from the 3rd place it held in June, May & March.

Twitter catches on like wild fire in Korea

04/11 (1118 hrs IST): From about 10,000 posts to about 3 million postings a day. Microblog Twitter seems to have caught on in Korea. A report by Chosunilbo said 3 % of these were political.
 
If you wana catch up with the details, here's the link to that report:
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/11/04/2011110400359.html

Yahoo! launches tablet, App

03/11 (1644 hrs IST): Yahoo! has launched a handful of products to bolster its Mobile & Social Networking offerings, reports Reuters.

The portal has introduced new multimedia applications for tablet personal computers & Smartphones on Wednesday.

Among the new products unveiled were a multimedia newsstand for tablets dubbed Livestand, a weather application for Android mobile devices, & a new version of IntoNow, a Social Application related to television, for the iPad.

Click on http://news.yahoo.com/yahoo-unveils-tablet-smartphone-apps-201258100.html

If you use WordPress & have used Tim Thumb image re-sizer, you must read this

02/11 (1940 hrs IST): There are some serious reports doing the rounds of the Internet that millions of WordPress powered Sites have been compromised. According to one such report in PC World, a "serious code injection vulnerability" affecting the script of an image resizer, Tim Thumb, used in many WordPress themes & plugins, was exploited in the past few months to "compromise over 1 million Web Pages."
 
Another report in Techleash said the vulnerability  caused "a spike of malware infecting a huge number of WordPress Sites that used that tool to access images from Flickr & Photobucket. Many vulnerable users were redirected to malicious sites."

The reports say the fallout from this was not easy to calculate but analysts were doing their best to provide an answer to the question. ThePC World report said Sucuri Security, a Website integrity monitoring vendor, suggested that with the help of Google, it had managed to estimate roughly the huge number of Web Pages affected.

Sucuri Security had asked Webmasters to take immediate action to get rid of the problem by replacing the timthumb.php file from the WordPress themes or plugins with the latest version, which, they claimed, is safe.
 
Here's the link to the PC World report:
 
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/242851/old_image_resize_script_leaves_1_million_web_pages_compromised.html
 
Here's the link to the Techleash story:
 
http://techleash.com/2011/11/warning-1-million-wordpress-pages-compromised/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techleash+%28TechLeash%29

 

Research paper claims Socialbots stole personal data from Facebook user accounts

02/11 (1427 hrs IST): It comes as disturbing use, for users of Social Networks. According to a research paper prepared by some students of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, programs designed to resemble humans infiltrated Facebook recently & made off with 250 gigabytes of personal information belonging to the social network's users.
 
A news report of this research paper has appeared in CNet. The report said the 8-week study was designed to evaluate how vulnerable Social Networks were to large-scale infiltrations by programs designed to mimic real users.
You can go this URL if you want to read the rest of the report:
 
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20128808-83/socialbots-steal-250gb-of-user-data-in-facebook-invasion 

New version of Google Reader being rolled out

02/11 (0643 hrs IST): As promised last week, Google Inc has started the roull out of the new version of Google Reader. The main feature of this is of course, its integration with Social Network Google+.

Google has replaced the 'Like' button with the +1 button, which lets users share Content to their Google+ accounts. Reader users with a Google+ login can choose which Circles they’d like to share articles.
 
You can click here for details of the design features.

Here comes a project that may soon decide on the credibility of all Internet Content

 
01/11 (0634 hrs IST): Hypothes.is, an open-source platform for a collaborative evaluation of information over the Net, was launched just a few days ago. Hoping to position itself as a community-driven Startup, Hypothes.is says it "will enable sentence-level critique of written words combined with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use model of community peer-review."
 
To easy-explain: Ordinary Net users & experts will decide on the overall value of a particular piece of Content on the Web including News, Blogs, scientific data, books, even some one's Terms of Service, thus helping improve the overall quality of information available on the Net. So, this new peer review system will check, verify & critique Content all over the Web
 
The way it will work is this - It will be positioned as an overlay on top of any stable Content, including news, blogs, legislation, regulations, software code, etc, etc, without requiring participation of the underlying Site.
 
Hypothes.is is based on a new draft standard for annotating digital documents currently being developed by the Open Annotation Collaboration, a consortium that includes the Internet Archive, NISO (National Information Standards Organization), O'Reilly Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, & a number of academic institutions. 
 
Leading the team of the Internet community members behind this new venture is Dan Whaley. Dan is the coder & entrepreneur who built the first web-based travel reservation system & the company around it - Internet Travel Network (ITN). The company (later renamed GetThere) went public in 1999 & was purchased in 2000 by Sabre. It still handles over 60% of the B2B market for online travel services & is one of the largest online transaction processing systems in the world.
 


Dan is also a Director of Sauce Labs, leaders in open-source functional testing, as well as GetAround, the 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt Cup winner (started as his student's class project at Singularity University).


Hypothes.is will be a non-profit project & is raising money till Nov 13, 2011, on Kickstarter right now through crowdfunding means. The goal is to start an Alpha version by 2012.
 
If you are interested, you can pledge any where between US $1 to US 10,000 or more to Hypothes.is. Click here to do that.
 
From the Editor's Desk: Normally, it is not our policy to endorse brands or Startups; we think our peers are intelligent enough. Yet, we cannot help but opine that this could turn out to be an incredible project if it comes through the way it is envisaged. The C of Credibility could soon be added to the C of Content on the Web, which is the need of the hour. Of course,  like in all cases, we leave it to our Readers to judge.