The team at Skype recently published an infographic that shows the vast usage numbers associated with its free calling services.
According to the infographic, based on daily stats gathered in July, Skype usage represents more than 255 billion minutes (or 4.25 billion hours) of calls annually, which is roughly four times more than the service saw in 2008.
Despite the tremendous growth in usage, Skype may have as many detractors as it does proponents. Its services have suffered from a number of hiccups over the last few years, including a serious bout of downtime in December 2010.
Google has added the ability to control who can see and edit specific Web pages in its Google Sites service.
Google Sites hosts Web pages and is available to personal users or those using the Google Apps service. Previously site permissions were an all-or-nothing affair, but yesterday Google enabled the finer-grained controls.
"Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see," programmer Eric Zhang said in a blog post. "For instance, let's say you have a Google Site that you've shared with your … Read more
Cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced AWS GovCloud, a new AWS Region designed to allow U.S. government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements.
Amazon's move reflects the ongoing adoption of public cloud services by government entities, including the U.S. Treasury's Recovery Accountability and Transparency board, which hosts Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov on AWS, as well as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which processes telemetry data and high-resolution images on an array of EC2 cluster compute instances.
Maybe everyone really is shifting to building mobile sites in HTML5. Adobe Systems recently debuted its Edge tool set in public preview mode for developers interested in creating motion and interactive graphics written natively in the language.
Although this isn't quite the same as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and others being relatively forced into HTML5 by Flash-resistant Apple for selling products on mobile sites, LinkedIn is getting on board with HTML5 with a new "experience" that can be viewed in nearly any mobile Web browser.
The HTML5-optimized version, along with updated iPhone and Android apps, are … Read more
Google Docs users can now upload and work with files and documents as large as 10 gigabytes.
In a Google+ post from yesterday, Google product manager Scott Johnston announced the latest enhancement that boosts the maximum Google Docs file size from 1 GB previously.
However, the increased file size will mainly benefit users with paid accounts.
People who use Google Docs for free are still limited to 1 GB of storage space in total for uploaded files, though documents created directly online don't count toward that quota. But users with paid accounts that range anywhere from $5 a year … Read more
The popular note-taking service Evernote today announced it has raised $50 million in a new round of funding by Sequoia Capital and Morgenthaler Ventures to develop a growth and acquisition strategy.
"Even though we've built a profitable and successful business in the past three years, we still have a long way to go to achieve our goal of becoming everyone's second brain," Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote said in a statement.
Ken Gullicksen, vice president of corporate development of Evernote, will head the development and acquisition strategy.
Since the software company's inception, Evernote has grown … Read more
I wouldn't call myself a spreadsheet ninja, but I do use spreadsheets on a daily basis--and Google Docs, specifically--to track roommate bills, plan vacations and conferences, and keep tabs on work projects.
Today Google updated Google Docs for the mobile phone and tablet browser to make it easier for the tool's users to share multiple documents and sort spreadsheets, text docs, presentations, PDFs, and drawings you create online.
Log in from any mobile browser and you'll immediately see two drop-down categories on the navigation bar. One sorts documents by name, modification date, and the date you last … Read more
When Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati needed a nine-page English document translated to Arabic, the children's advocacy organization turned to Sparked. Someone living in Jordan logged on and translated the prose in a few hours. Then someone from California confirmed the accuracy of the piece. Crowdsourcing skills and bite-size volunteering is what Sparked is all about.
Sparked connects corporate employees with nonprofits via the Internet, giving employees a way to volunteer right from their cubicles. Sparked co-founder Jacob Colker calls this micro-volunteering, a term he's trying to coin.
When I visited the small, barren Sparked office in San Francisco's hip SOMA neighborhood, Colker showed me the company's volunteering platform, which it licenses to major corporations. Employees from companies including new client LinkedIn or Google, Frog Design, Kraft, and SAP can sign in and volunteer during their lunch breaks--and people can focus on certain regions or specific issues. But the volunteer work is not limited to corporate partnerships. Individuals can also sign up at their leisure to help nonprofits with all things digital, from branding issues to blogging advice.
Originally, Colker thought people would volunteer their time while sitting on the bus or lounging by the pool. As it turns out, people out and about are probably not going to be able to help a nonprofit with a branding issue, Colker said. Instead, he maintains, people would much rather help others from their office, right at their desktop, during the free time they have between work-related tasks. The company started as The Extraordinaries in 2008 and within the past eight months rebranded itself to switch its mobile focus more to the Web. … Read more
I'm told that when you're attractive, it can go to your head.
You believe everyone is interested in you and it's therefore hard to decide who deserves more than a glance and a sneer from your perfect visage.
A start-up called Hipster has decided that it knows how to make attractive job seekers believe it should be their first and only date.
Unfortunately, we're only talking engineers here. So Hipster is offering some touchingly precise inducements to show its intentions are good: $10,000 and beer, for example. Yes, a year's supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
It doesn't stop there. Hipster's Web site adds that new recruits will get a bike, a pair of Buddy Holly glasses, a pair of authentic skinny jeans, a pinstriped bow tie, mustache-grooming services, and a pair of (worn, brown) boots.
Hipster is, so it says, "building a fun way to uncover the vast amount of information about real-world locations." Which sounds like a sort of local question and answer thingy on the go.
Doug Ludlow, one of the founders of Hipster, told the New York Times: "As you know, recruiting is insanely competitive right now, so we wanted to do something that would break through the noise, and get the attention of the people we're trying to reach."
Hipster is reportedly proud that this sort of incentivizing is far more effective than the hundreds of thousands the company would have to pay those slightly leechlike little middle people known as recruiters.… Read more