Should you happen to be stuck in Carmageddon this weekend, you won't be able to curse at Google Maps. Not even if, when you looked a couple of weeks ago, Google's driving time estimate was "100 hours."
For it seems that Google, in an act of self-flagellation rarely seen in the tech world, has decided to remove the "driving time in traffic" estimates from its esteemed maps.
Is it pride in pulchritude? Is it pressure from the opposite sex? Or might it even be that not so many people like to see men naked?
In an intellectually titled piece of research--"Let My Fingers Do the Talking: Sexting and Infidelity in Cyberspace"--Diane Kholos Wysocki, a professor of sociology and women's studies at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Cheryl D. Childers, a professor of sociology at Washburn University, create a snapshot that some might find intuitive and some might find depressing.
Their numerical conclusions appear clear: two-thirds of the women surveyed said … Read more
At first glance, Google Badges, a feature released this week on the Google News platform, smacks of kindergarten.
Read enough stories on a certain topic and you get a badge. Read even more and you rise through the levels--bronze, silver, gold, and ultimate. I'm picturing gold stars pasted on crayon drawings.
Google has a help page that explains the new feature, complete with a short, happy video.The badges are fairly fine-grained. There are 500, including one for stories about Harry Potter and one for stories about your favorite baseball team. See the video below.
Commenter SuperJohnMitchell's reaction to the video: "Seriously?! I don't need to get an achievement after I read the news."
At second glance, however, I see some utility here. And to be fair, I should mention that some people did write nice comments about the video. Badges is automatically parsing what you read into categories, then making it possible for you to click on a category to get that type of news. People who take advantage of Google's news categories are doing this to some extent already. I suspect there are a lot of folks, however, who aren't that organized. Once you have a badge, you can click on the hover menu to turn the badge into a section.… Read more
After failing to strike an agreement to re-up its "fire hose" data stream licensing deal with Google, Twitter is now trying to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to a similar arrangement with Microsoft's Bing search service, said sources close to the situation.
The outcome could mean a lot to both Twitter and Bing. Without a deal, the San Francisco microblogging service would be without two major paid distribution outlets for its full live stream of user tweets, a significant source of its revenue to date.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Bing--which is waging an expensive battle … Read more
The future of Google+ as the only, open, pure, revolutionary social network was placed in jeopardy when it appeared, just a couple of days ago, that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had shut himself away on the site.
He wasn't the only famous technological face that had disappeared. So had Larry Page and several other Google luminaries.
It seems, though, that Google has had to perform a technological about-face, as its SVP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra (one of those who had allegedly shut himself away) admitted that the sudden walling off of famous faces was a mere oversight.
Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton is leaving the company in the wake of the PhoneGate hacking scandal. Hinton is the second high-ranking News Corp. executive to step down today, and the first major figure from the company's American operations.
Hinton has been under scrutiny in the past couple weeks because he oversaw News Corp.'s News International unit, the group that publishes its British newspapers, from 1995 through 2007. That's the same time that News Corp.'s News of the World tabloid is alleged to have engaged in systemic voicemail hacking, among other offenses.
Rumor has it that Research In Motion is working on a media-streaming device.
BlackBerry enthusiast site NerdBerry has supposedly confirmed with a trusted source that RIM will soon offer a digital media receiver, code-named BlackBerry Cyclone and destined for the market this fall.
Details on the device are a bit slim at this point, but NerdBerry reports that it will have access to Netflix and YouTube (not the most compelling lineup; we'd like to assume there would be more content providers upon launch). Other rumored features include HDMI, Wi-Fi, and DLNA/home network content playback.
As for aesthetics, NerdBerry says the media hub will resemble the BlackBerry Presenter, a small device capable of displaying PowerPoint and PDF files from a BlackBerry onto a monitor/projector. No word if it will feature the next-generation QNX interface found on RIM's PlayBook tablet.… Read more
There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks about Amazon releasing an Android tablet to take on the iPad. But much less has been said about a smaller tablet, a 7-inch model, that the company has been rumored to have in the works.
Now Taiwan's DigiTimes, which we can't say is terribly reliable, is reporting that Foxconn will deliver the larger 10.1-inch Amazon tablet in early 2012 but that Quanta Computer has already begun shipping a 7-inch model to Amazon.
We've been hearing similar reports on that 7-inch model. A major app and content … Read more
You talk to friends on Facebook. You play games on Facebook. You even watch movies on Facebook. And according to a new report, you could soon be catching up on your news reading from within the social network as well.
Forbes reported today that Facebook is at work with a number of media companies including The Washington Post, CNN, and News Corp.'s The Daily to cook up something called "Facebook editions," which would launch later this year. Forbes' Jeff Bercovici described them as something akin to "app versions" of the news outlets that live inside … Read more
When Twitter first came out, there were a lot of skeptics. No one was quite sure what to do with it. Nevertheless, five years later, it's still here and continuing to grow.
The San Francisco-based start-up first launched on July 15, 2006, and it was initially self-dubbed as "Twttr." (Thank goodness that Twitter execs abandoned the whole Web 2.0 trend of dropping vowels from the brand name to seem cool.)
It didn't really gain in popularity on the way to what we see today until about two years later. But now look at it. Everyone … Read more