What's New on the Net



Q&A site Quora down, then up                                                                        Oct 30, 2010
Wikipedia-style Q&A site Quora was down for some time on Oct 29(approx 7 p.m. EST). TechCrunch initially reported that the service was patchy. There were scores of Tweets and complaints on Facebook by Quora users, too. Later in the day we checked and found the service back. There were no explanations forthcoming from Quora itself. Started by 2 Facebook employees in January this year, Quora Q&A is managed by humans rather than any computer alogarithm. This was its first outage.  
Google commissioned study on UK Internet throws up interesting facts Oct 28, 2010

It could be the 1st-ever study of its kind. Search major Google had recently commissioned the Boston Consultancy Group to find out the nature and the size of commercial activity on the Internet in the United Kingdom(UK). Some interesting facts were thrown up by the study, which was out today. 
1)  The Net contributed 100 bln pounds to UK's economy in 2009, which was 7.2% of its GDP
2) 60% of the Net economy in that country is consumption driven
3) Internet economy in UK will grow at approx 10% annually
4) Atleast 1/3rd or 31% of total Net users in UK had accessed the Web using their mobile phones in 2010, up from the 23 % in 2009
5) Atleast 1/5th of UK's adult population, i.e. 9 million people have never ever gone online.
19-year-old entrepreneur raises 300K as fresh round of funds       Oct 28, 2010
He is 19, is setting up a mobile gaming Startup called Kiip, is one of the most sought after speakers on the global Internet circuit and could easily give Mark Zuckerberg a run for the money. Meet Brian Wong....the teenager who is already a sensation in the online world. This is his story......
MySpace puts out a new version of its website                                    Oct 27, 2010
The Web World was abuzz with news of social networking site MySpace re-launching its website, primarily centred around music and entertainment. Internet analysts say this seems to be yet another effort by MySpace to re-gain its foothold in the social networking market. MySpace claims to have approx 130 million users per month compared to Facebook's 500 million. With traffic to MySpace declining in the last 2 years, the re-launch of  it's website represents a fresh move to re-invent itself. News Corp had bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million, at the height of its popularity.

Make your pitch in 2 minutes                                                                                    Oct 26, 2010
Social Networking publishers Mashable and Under the Radar, network of innovators, are once again partnering to hold the annual competition for Startups called Fast Pitch. The competition will be held on November 12 at the Microsoft Conference Centre in California in USA, and you can start sending in your application from today.The Last date is Oct 29. Mashable will select 8 entries from all those who apply. The idea behind Fast Pitch is to give Startup owners 2 minutes to make their pitch personally in front of the panel of judges. You can catch up with the details at  http://www.undertheradarblog.com/ and fill in the form here https://undertheradar.wufoo.com/forms/under-the-radar-fast-pitch/ 
Australians getting Net savier                                                                   Oct 25, 2010
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that the Neilsen global online consumer survey has revealed that in the next 12 months, many more Australians will buy Internet linked gadgets like TVs, mobile phones and computers. The expected proliferation of such gadgets, it says, shows the way the average Australian had started thinking about the Internet. You can read the rest of the story here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/australians-joining-the-rush-to-internet-gadgets/story-e6frg996-1225942956466
"Ship to Houston, this is a check (in)." NASA astronaut uses mobile-based social network Foursquare in outspace                                                                                Oct 22, 2010
Internet history was created today when NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock became the 1st person to 'check in' using mobile-based social networking application Foursquare from outer space. Well, for those of you who don't know this, the first Tweet from outer space was already sent some time ago. Doug's check-in was part of a new partnership between NASA and Foursquare to acquaint its followers with the well-known space agency. Click here to read NASA's version. For the non-Foursquare users, a 'check in' is when a 4square user logs in to let his friends know where he is, and to find out if any one of them is around, among other things.
Chinese Govt launches Earth Mapping service                                            Oct 22, 2010
China seems to really be on Google's case. First Baidu, the Chinese Search Engine like Google Search; now Map World, like....you guessed it right...Google Maps. The Chinese Govt today unveiled a State-sponsored online map, far better that any offered by Internet players in China. The service will be managed by the State Bureau of Surveying & Mapping. Click here for the entire story.
The sun, the sand, and Sex.com?                                                                           Oct 21, 2010
Looks like the sordid saga of Sex.com is about to end. Reports by various news agencies including AFP suggest that the owners of the domain name may settle for a bid of US$13 mln, out of the 12 bidders who had shown interest. Sex.com was up for grabs since earlier this year after its present owner Escom LLC went bankrupt. The 13 mln bid came from the St.Vincent, Caribbean-based Clover Holdings. Sex.com, from the time it was registered in 1994 by US citizen Gary Kremen, then re-sold, has remained one of the world's most expensive domains in the world. There was a lot of controversy surrounding its ownership including a legal case. Kremen had sold the name to Escom LLC for US$12 million in a stock-cash deal.

Microsoft goes into the Cloud with Office 365                                      Oct 20, 2010
The Microsoft-Google war just got turned up a notch. Software giant Microsoft, which has been losing its marketshare to Google Apps, launched its "fully online" version of Office on Tuesday (EST). Called Office 365, President of the Microsoft Office Division Kurt DelBene hailed it as a "transformative move in Office". He said the 365 tag was added because clients could rely on the "most comprehensive product" throughout the year. Now, customers of all sizes can access for a subscription fee all Office programs like Outlook Express, and simplified versions of Word. Office 365 is initially available in 13 global markets and sales will gradually be extended throughout the world.Office 365 will be available to small companies with less than 25 employees for as less as US$6 or 5.25 euros per user per month. For larger companies and government organizations, prices will start from $2 per user per month for basic e-mail. A fuller "professional" version will cost up to $27 per user per month. All this means that customers can now access Office on their PCs and mobiles without actually installing the software on to their devices.The "obvious" marketing strategy is to counter Google Apps service, which provides a low-cost, web-based alternative to the traditional Office software for $50 per user per year.
Total Internet users: 2010: 2 billion.....and counting                        Oct 19, 2010
This news report is predictably all over the Internet. A report released by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) today said that global online users in 2010 are set to cross the 2 billion mark. Which means 1/3rd the earth's total population will all be wired, matter of speaking, to each other. Catch up with the rest of the report here....
Yet another privacy leak accusation against Facebook                           Oct 18, 2010
Sunday (EST, US) saw social networking site Facebook facing yet another privacy leakage charge that has sent the entire online community into a tizzy. An investigative report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said many popular Facebook applications had been "transmitting" information that could identify a user. Which means a person's name, and sometimes, even his friends name, were being tracked by advertising and Internet tracking companies. Applications are plugins(software) that allow a user to do additional stuff on Facebook such as play games, for example. Almost all were "leaking" info, the WSJ investigation found. The report once again questions Facebook's ability to keep information relevant to its users' activities, private. The report quoted a Facebook spokesman as saying the "leakage" could be in an individual surfer's browser which could "inadvertently" share the information on the Net, or by an application. He said steps were being taken at the social site to plug the hole. You can click here to read more

 1st batch of events for Internet Week 2010 Europe is out                Oct 15, 2010
First, there was Internet Week, New York. Started in 2008, the 5-day calendar of web-focused events will this year cross the ocean and move into Europe, London, specifically, for the 1st time. Click here for the pre-event details.
Skype releases new beta version for Windows, becomes more social Oct 15, 2010
 Skype, the company that allows you to make free video phone calls, has just brought out a 5.0 beta version for Windows. The highlight is that it is Facebook integrated, making it more "social". But Apple Mac users will probably have to wait another day for their own upgrade. Read on....
Microsoft, Facebook sign deal to make Bing more "social"             Oct 14, 2010
One is a giant software producer, the other a global social networking site. Microsoft and Facebook have announced a new deal in which the former will use Facebook data such as the 'Like' button or Preferences and use it on the Bing Search Results Page. The tie-up, says Microsoft, will allow Bing to throw up more user relevant search results. The new alignment was announced by Facebook bossman Mark Zuckerberg at the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus on Wednesday. Microsoft has already invested US$240 million in 2007 in Facebook, fetching it 1.6% equity in the network. In a new one, a search for a friend on Bing will now also throw up his Facebook profile, if it exists. Zuckerberg has said user information in public domain will be shared with Bing.
Drrop gets great feedback, design tweaking on                                    Oct 12, 2010
Remember Drrop? Yes, the new social networking site from Japan? Some of you may recall that we had written about Drrop at the end of last month. Drrop is in it's pre-Beta stage and is getting a great response from users and testers alike, we are told. Drrop allows you to text on anything you like, be it the new browser, the new TV show or something as basic as the weather. Each post is called a Drrop (like in a drop of water or rain drop)and remains online for 24 hours. Users can see other Drrops, save them or wipe (eliminate) them, if they so wish. Hiro Kobayashi, one of the 2 guys behind Drrop told www.whatsnewonthenet.com today that based on the inputs received from users, they continue to fine-tune the site and tweak its design. For example, the earlier 'Gleaning View' Page is now called as 'Drrop Cloud'. Now when you first log in to the site, the page you see is the 'Drrop Bowl View'. On top of this page, there is a link to 'Drrop Cloud'. Click on it and you can start surfing Drrop
The other important development is that Drrop's Development Team is slated to visit San Francisco next week to attend an event called 'SF New Tech Japan Night', where they will get to talk about Drrop and the idea behind it. 

Microsoft launches its answer to Google Android                              Oct 11, 2010
Microsoft today launched the Windows Phone 7 OS for smartphones. Here's the story....

Google launches contest to encourage teenagers to code                    Oct 9, 2010

For teenagers around the world between 13-18 years of age, search engine Google has come up with a unique contest that asks them to contribute in any manner to the Open Source software. Under this, students can produce code, documentation, training materials and user experience research for the participating organizations. The contest starts from November 22. In 2007-08, Google had run a program called the Google Highly Participation Program on similar lines in which 400 students had helped out with the open source code.
Google up in Sept in U.S. search market                                                 Oct 9, 2010
Online intelligence service provider Experian Hitwise has said Google accounted for 72.15% of the United States search market in the 4 weeks ending Oct 2. This was slightly up compared to the August figure of 71.6%. In comparison, Yahoo! was at 13.5% and Bing at 10.1%. While the former's share in the U.S. saw a drop in the said month as compared to the 14.3% registered in August, Bing's share rose from the 9.9% of August. 
ULR shortner Bit.ly completes 2nd round of funding                          Oct 8, 2010
 Heard of services that shorten URLs? Then, you must have heard of the most popular one - Bit.ly. Well, it has announced the completion of Series B funding, which means it has raised money in a 2nd round of funding. The fellas at Bit.ly has written on their blog that the funding was led by REE Ventures and General Partner Eric Wiesen will be joining the Board. The blogpost claimed that so far, approx 4 billion unique URLs have been shortened using Bit.Ly. The post also added that the site stood at No: 69 in the Google Ad Sense List of 1000 most visited websites in the world.
Networking site Orkut continues to lead in Brazil                                Oct 8, 2010
Surveys like these make us wonder whether Google fails to realize the import of its own products sometimes. It's social networking site Orkut continues to be at the helm in Brazil, says a recent survey by comScore. Orkut saw 36 million unique visitors in August. Facebook, on the other hand, drew in 9 million visitors, up by 1.5 million compared to the same period a year ago. This is big, believe online experts, since an average 20% of Brazil's online time is spent on social sites. Unfortunately, Orkut never got its due. Besides Brazil, it was No:1 in India where too, the social networking market is growing in leaps and bounds.But in August 2010, as we reported, Facebook replaced Orkut as the No:1 site there. Will all this make Google get up and take note, we wonder? 
Yahoo! betters its Search results                                                                Oct 7, 2010
Beginning Oct 7, Yahoo! has tweaked its Search results by putting in additional features. The result is a more streamlined and visual search. Yahoo! said the search results would even be displayed faster as compared to before. When you key in a search word, instead of the previously thrown up page with a long  list of results, users will see a box with vertical tabs, making the Page much more visually appealing. Further, Yahoo! has improved its Search for mobile phones. Also, the aim is to give more News & Entertainment in one spot for the searcher. There are also now "shortcuts" to News & Entertainment on Search which will allow users to see trailers/video clips or listen to songs on certain subjects. There is also a "Trending Now" section which will take searchers through a slideshow of the most popular subjects being searched.
Facebook announces changes                                                        Oct 6, 2010
Social networking site Facebook today announced 3 changes including an enhanced Groups to draw in more users and more revenue. Read the entire story here...
India, East Europe drive global Internet traffic 2009-10                     Oct 6, 2010
India and East European nations led the growth in global Internet traffic 2009-2010. Traffic internationally grew by 62%, down compared to the 74% registered in 2008-09, yet in line with the impressive growth figures of the last few years. Data research firm Telegeography, while releasing the figures for 2009-10, said in a statement that growth in India and East Europe in the said period was over 100%. These were followed by the West European markets at 66% and U.S. and Canada at 54%.Internet traffic in India, said the firm, was up because of the 43% growth in social network users ( approx 33 million) till July 2010. 
After Foursquare, Facebook down; recovers partially                               Oct 6, 2010
Social networking site Facebook went down at approx 12:30 a.m. (EST) Oct 6.  The website shows and error message. The Like button and applications, too, were not working. This is the 4th time from August that Facebook has faced an outage. The last time it faced this was between Sept 22-24. Catch up with the story......
Foursquare takes a knock twice over                                                                      Oct 6, 2010
Mobile phone based social networking application Foursquare  took a tumble twice over in 12 hours between Oct 4-5. It suffered the 1st outage in the late hours of Oct 4, and then once again, at about 6:00 p.m. (U.S. time) on Oct 5. In the wee hours of Oct 6, access to the Foursquare website was restored.
On Monday, the service was down for 11 hours before it could be restored. But at about 6:00p.m. (U.S. time) on Oct 5, the service went kaput again. Both times, it is believed that the database management could be a reason for the outage. Foursquare had recently scaled up and the downtime is said to be a direct result of this. If you are interested in catching up with the details, click on this link to read the official version http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-our-app-was-down-for-11-hours-yesterday-2010-10
SlideShare's 4th birthday                                                                            Oct 5, 2010
SlideShare, the business site that allows individuals and companies to save/share their presentations online using an in-house interface, completed 4 years yesterday. Four years and 40 million visitors - that is a notable achievement for any site, leave alone one which is so niche. SlideShare's business is about slide presentations and largely revolves almost around PowerPoint. You can put up your slideshow on the Internet using the SlideShare service. The site is focused on business networking and business Content. Some have even dubbed it the "YouTube of slides".  In May this year, it went and added a new feature - video, allowing users to upload even their video presentations.
Happy Birthday SlideShare. 

Google on Google TV                                                                                     Oct 4, 2010
Google has released a preview of its forthcoming Google TV today. And it's website has gone Live too. This is Stage-1 of TV meets Web, Web meets TV. The guys at Google TV have said it will be a combo of TV with the power of the Internet. Click the button on your remote to catch up with the rest of the story....
Facebook flick wins over screen friends                                                               Oct 4, 2010
Sony Pictures bet on a feature film on the Internet and Facebook seems to be paying off. The Social Network, which opened in U.S. markets over the week-end gone by, is said to have had a good opening. Initial reports coming in say the film had grossed a collection of US$ 23 million at the box office over the 3 days. BBC, MSNBC and others have quoted Sony head honchos as saying they are hoping that the movie would gross US$ 100 million +. The Social Network traces the journey of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg  and his best friend Eduardo Saverin from their Harvard University days to the legal fights involving the former.
Will your big idea help you grab this chair?                                                       Oct 3, 2010
 Heard of the Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Awards? It is a global platform launched in 2004 by Yahoo! U.S. to "recognise & celebrate excellence in online digital creativity", as the folks at Yahoo! describe it. The mauve-colored 'Big Idea Chair' is a much coveted trophy, a token of recognition of talent in the online community in the sphere of advertising, marketing, media planning, and such. In India, the awards were introduced some years ago, while it is in the 2nd edition in Hong Kong. For this year's entry submissions, Yahoo! India has said the earlier stipulated deadline of Sept 30, 2010, has now been extended to Oct 8. There are 3 major award categories covering among other things, display advertising, copywriting and integrated campaign, across India.   

Facebook 'Like' button virus continues to spread                                          Oct 3, 2010

Social networking site Facebook has once again been hit by a 'Like' button worm. The worm, said online reports, first hit in the closing hours of Oct 1, 2010. It continues to spread on the morning of Oct 3. There is no official word from Facebook, though. The last time something like (sorry for the pun) this happened was in June 2010. Shorn of the mumbo jumbo, going by the reports online, it seems that scammers have found a way to exploit the 'Like' button through Java script and send out a worm to Facebook users. The virus is found on the Wall of a Facebook user, saying something like, " Shocking! This girl killed herself after her Dad posted this photo." Click here for more on this story......
Google Street View now on all 7 continents                                                       Oct 1, 2010
Remember that project by Google, which involved capturing street photographs on webcams? Yeah, the same called Street View. Started sometime in 2007, Google has announced that the project has captured street-level views across all the 7 continents; you bet, even from Antartica. But there are no streets in that frozen piece of land, right? Well, read on.....