Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday that he's "very, very proud" of the key role that employee Wael Ghonim played in the recent Egyptian protest movement.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Schmidt addressed the topic of Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, who used Facebook and other online tools to help spark the protests in Egypt.
"They were able to use a set of technologies that included Facebook, Twitter and a number of others to really express the voice of the people," Schmidt said, according … Read more
Movie rental company Redbox is trying to improve its standing in the mobile market.
The company announced today that it has launched a new Android application that will allow its customers to look through available titles, find one of its kiosks around the U.S., and reserve films from the app. In addition, it updated its iPhone app to make the software more responsive to users when they rent movies. The app also now supports box art.
Redbox's iPhone app has performed well. The free application has been downloaded over 2 million times since its launch in December 2009, … Read more
BARCELONA--Apple gets plenty of praise for advancing mobile browsers with its iPhone's version of Safari, but an audience greeted its performance with some laughter as Microsoft compared it to an upcoming version of IE9 for Windows Phone 7.
Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft corporate vice president, showed off the browser here at the Mobile World Congress show during a keynote speech by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. Specifically, Belfiore showed it running a Microsoft fishtank demonstration that's been in widespread use since the hardware acceleration work began in earnest among personal computer browser makers last year.
Google has launched one of its first experiments aimed at fighting back against content farms, asking the public to help identify the worst offenders.
Chrome users can now download an extension from Google called Personal Blocklist that will allow users to block certain domains from appearing in a personalized list of search results. Google will also track the domains that users flag "and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results," wrote Matt Cutts, principal engineer at Google and a prominent anti-spam spokesman for the company, in a blog post.
Microsoft says a small new feature within Internet Explorer 9 is having a big impact on sites that have tweaked their code to make use of it.
"Site pinning," which is new to this latest major version of Internet Explorer, lets users add a shortcut to a site from any page of their own to sit on their Windows 7 task bar. On the surface this would just seem like any other shortcut, except that Microsoft has provided ways for sites to boost the interactivity, like putting site-specific notifications, navigation, and information in contextual menus that sit behind … Read more
It seems like everyone wants a piece of the restaurant industry. I don't know why. It's a brutal business with low margins, high employee turnover, no way to reach all your customers at once, and generally stressed-out business owners. At least existing inefficiencies make for creative solutions and some good start-up ideas. OpenTable proved that you can improve the simple act of booking a table. Grubhub is trying to bring the same concept to deliveries and takeout. And now Storific is trying to streamline the function of the waiter.
Storific turns your iPhone (other platforms in development) into an order-taking waitbot. You step into your restaurant and as you're seated you get a code for your table. You put that into the app, and then you can see the establishment's menu on your phone, pick things you want, and have those orders delivered to the kitchen. You can also ping the system to send over water, a salt shaker, and so on.
It may appear that this business is about making things better for diners, by making it easier to send orders in. It may also look like it's good for waiters since it makes them more efficient (they can come by to chat up customers and don't have to come back to take an order unless the diner wants that) and thus could improve their tips. But the real benefit of this app is bottom-line financial. It brings impulse buying to restaurant dining. Want another order of fries? Press the button. A second mousse, rapidement? Click.… Read more
The social-gaming company is currently trying to raise about $250 million, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. And if it gathers that much cash, it could see its valuation grow from the $4 billion it was worth in April to "between $7 billion and $9 billion" now, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.
Zynga's possible decision to take on $250 million in additional financing is somewhat surprising. According to the Journal's sources, the social-gaming company doesn't need the money. However, that isn't stopping it from being … Read more
It's been a work in progress for years, but there are a few more years to go yet before the next version of Hypertext Markup Language is finalized.
Specifically, the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML Working Group is set to announce today that it expects to anoint HTML5 as an officially recommended standard in the second quarter of 2014. That drawn-out schedule contrasts with another effort to make HTML a more fluidly updated "living standard."
Adobe may be leaving the flashy announcements to Nokia and Sony Ericsson this Mobile World Congress, but there are some plans pertaining to Flash that will impact a wide swatch of Android smartphones and tablets going forward.
Adobe shared mostly statistics in a press event before the show, but bobbing in the sea of performance numbers (like: more than 20 million Android Flash downloads in the first six months) were some nuggets of information that spell out Adobe's commitment to help fuel the high-speed Android train. (Don't worry, BlackBerry fans. There's news for you, too.)
Netflix may have thought about it, but the company won't be bringing ads to its streaming service.
Speaking to Fast Company in an interview posted today, Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey said the topic of bringing advertising to the company's streaming service has been brought to the table from time to time over at Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif., but the arguments in favor of ads haven't been all that compelling.
"Every time, we shoot it down," Swasey said.
Netflix's streaming service has relied on a subscription model since its … Read more