Google's not-so-secret gaming ambitions for its new social network are no longer under wraps.
Google today announced a gaming element for Google+, the social network the company launched at the end of June. The new offering lets Google+ users play games from within the social network, including some that can be played with other Google+ users.
Some of the launch games include Rovio's Angry Birds, PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz, and Zynga's Poker. It's a tiny collection compared to what's offered on Facebook, which has made a booming business by offering social games that players can … Read more
I'm writing this article with a large rescue cat draped across my keyboard (yes, it's hard to type). Not every feline is as fortunate to have a home.
Animal shelters have tried out kitty Webcams to boost adoption rates. AprioriControl is raising the bar with iPet Companion, interactive online kitten playrooms that put viewers in control of feathery, flighty, and fluffy cat toys.
The kitty playrooms are currently up and running at shelters in Idaho, Iowa, and Oregon. I stopped off at the site for the Clinton Humane Society in Iowa where kittens named Dori, Nemo, Marlin, and Bruce rolled, tumbled, and attacked the remote-control toys.
Each shelter determines certain play hours. You may end up in a short queue when you drop by to play with the furry critters. The toys are attached to motors. Push the button on your browser to make them dance and whirl.
When it's your turn, you also control the direction of the Webcam. A live chat box lets you join in all the ooing and cooing from other users. You'll see gems like: "they r sooo cute lookit the kittys look it look it." It's easy to turn into a pile of text-speak mush when you're watching kittens play.… Read more
Shares of Carbonite, a company that provides online backup services, are up today in their first day of trading.
The company's shares, which started the day at $10, hit a high of $13.40 today before leveling off at their current $11.88 per share. Although Carbonite might be happy with its first day of trading, the company's initial offering was substantially lower than it had originally projected. Rather than the initial $15 to $17 a share offering price, Carbonite said earlier this week that it had to reduce its opening range to $10 to $11 per share.… Read more
Microsoft's Bing is hanging onto its 14.4 percent of the search engine market, according to new data out yesterday from ComScore.
Looking at ComScore's U.S. search engine rankings for July, Bing stayed flat, Google lost just 0.4 of a percentage point, and Yahoo climbed slightly by 0.2 points. Overall, Google still led the way with an overwhelming 65.1 percent market share, leaving Yahoo in second place with 16.1 percent.
Drilling down to the actual number of searches conducted in the U.S. last month, Google took home 11.2 billion in total, … Read more
Hulu is going international for the first time with plans to expand its subscription service to Japan later this year.
The company didn't give too many specifics in yesterday's blog announcing the move. But it sounds like Japanese consumers will be getting their own version of Hulu Plus with access to films and TV shows across PCs, TVs, smartphones, and tablets, all for one monthly price.
Why Japan? The company cited a few reasons for expanding its service to Japanese customers.
Noting that Japanese audiences are "passionate" about video content, Hulu said it sees an "… Read more
Verizon Wireless could expand its unlimited $50 prepaid plan following a small but successful trial, according to a story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.
Known as Unleashed, the carrier's prepaid plan offers unlimited talk, texting, and Web access for $50 per month and was introduced this past April in Southern California and Florida.
"The trial has gone very, very well for us," Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said during a presentation in Boston, according to the Journal. "It didn't cannibalize the base and we actually evaluated our prepaid business and took some share.&… Read more
The U.K. government is considering whether social media services should be shut off at times of disorder, the British prime minister, David Cameron, has told Parliament.
Cameron's comments were made in a speech to the House of Commons today. Parliament has been recalled from its summer recess to respond to the violent disorder that has affected London, Manchester, Birmingham and other U.K. cities.
"Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organized via social media," Cameron said. "Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill."
"When people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them," he added in a statement.
Twitter is rolling out a couple of new features that should help you find more revelant tweets, especially those that involve you.
As of yesterday, the microblogging site is replacing the familiar Mentions tab with a new tab that displays your username, according to the company's official blog. Clicking on your username tab will reveal more than just tweets in which you're mentioned. You'll be able to see which of your own tweets are considered Favorites or are retweeted by someone also. You'll also see tweets directed to you and which tweets are popular among the … Read more
The start-up may or may not be motivated by vengeance, but it's tough to ignore the fact that Heello was launched a day after Twitter announced its own photo-sharing service, which competes directly with third-party photo services built on Twitter's API like Twitpic.
Still, Everett claims the launch date has more to do with a certain anniversary than a jab at the blue bird.
"We launched Heello the company one year ago today and today we're launching Heello the service," he pinged to his Heello listeners earlier today. Pings are the Heello equivalent of tweets and a listener is the same as a Twitter follower.
CNET has contacted Everett for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
Everett tells VentureBeat that the project started last year as a way to make Twitter "suck less" and revolve more around e-mail, but later opted to stay closer to Twitter's social formula.
If Heello's initial offering is any indication, they didn't change much in the formula, but Everett says video and texting integration are on the way, as well as a feature called "channels" that allows listeners to be grouped together in a manner that sounds awfully similar to Google+ circles.
Perhaps Everett really has no score to settle with Twitter. He's likely more focused on celebrating today anyhow--aside from the launch, it's also his 27th birthday, or so he just notified all his fans... on Twitter. … Read more