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Archive for June, 2011

Google Launches Google+ Social Network

June 28th, 2011 06:19 admin View Comments

Google

Randyll writes “Today, Google announced its decisive entry into the world of social networks by introducing Google+, a social network tied around Google services. Its aim is to be different from other networks with emphasis on privacy and a different kind of social networking. Instead of connecting with your friends, Google+ aims to center connections around specific groups—colleagues, projects, or groups of friends—with the ability to use high-quality video chats and an unique and rich web-based user experience. It is currently in beta with opt-in invites.” Several other readers submitted speculation about another mysterious new Google service as well.

Source: Google Launches Google+ Social Network

Biz Stone Steps Back From Twitter To Relaunch Obvious With Ev Williams And Jason Goldman

June 28th, 2011 06:06 admin View Comments

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone took some time to blog today a bit about his past. He goes back to Xanga, then Blogger/Google, then (though not directly mentioned) Odeo. He talks about how after they failed to sell Odeo, Evan Williams created Obvious, a parent company with the purpose of buying back Odeo from its investors. Around this time, Jason Goldman, another previous Blogger/Google guy, joined them. Among the assets of Odeo was a little side project created during a hackathon, called Twitter. The rest really is history.

But Twitter didn’t catch fire immediately. Instead, as it slowly began to grow within Obvious, Stone, Williams, and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey decided to spin it off as its own company, Twitter, Inc. And as all of them, including Goldman, began to spend more time on Twitter, Obvious faded into the background. Until now.

After his reminiscing, Stone announces at the bottom of his post that he’s going to be taking a step back from Twitter to re-team with Williams and Goldman (both of whom recently left their full-time duties at Twitter) to re-start The Obvious Corporation.

Stone writes:

My work on Twitter has spanned more than half a decade and I will continue to work with the company for many years to come. During this time—especially lately, it has come to my attention that the Twitter crew and its leadership team have grown incredibly productive. I’ve decided that the most effective use of my time is to get out of the way until I’m called upon to be of some specific use.

He says that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has been supportive of his decision, and that he’ll still step in to help out with Twitter as need.

Meanwhile, he, Williams, and Goldman will be focusing on incubating new ideas within Obvious. As Stone writes:

As for the bulk of my time day-to-day, I’m thrilled to announce that Evan Williams, Jason Goldman and myself will be relaunching The Obvious Corporation as co-founders. Our plan is to develop new projects and work on solving big problems aligned along a simple mission statement: The Obvious Corporation develops systems that help people work together to improve the world. This is a dream come true!

The Obvious Corporation website is also a bit vague as to what exactly they’ll be working on project-wise:

The Obvious Corporation makes systems that help people work together to improve the world. The proliferation of technology can seem superfluous, but with the right approach, technology can benefit individuals, organizations, and society. We are relaunching the company that originally incubated Twitter with a high level of commitment to making a difference and developing products that matter.

In more than a decade of developing large scale systems on the Internet, we’ve never been more excited than right now. The possibility to reach and connect expansive numbers of people fundamentally changes the nature of what’s possible when it comes to building businesses on the Internet. Also, there’s room for innovation in how businesses measure success and more meaningful definitions of ambition.

This will obviously be something to follow closely. See what I did there?

Source: Biz Stone Steps Back From Twitter To Relaunch Obvious With Ev Williams And Jason Goldman

Why Google+ Looks Good: Original Macintosh Team Member Andy Hertzfeld

June 28th, 2011 06:44 admin View Comments

When I sat down last week with Google’s Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz to get a tour of Google+, the new social project they rolled out today, my immediate reaction made them extremely happy. I told them that it looks great — Circles in particular — it was almost as if it wasn’t a Google product! That made them laugh. Then Horowitz let something slip.

“It’s Andy Hertzfeld, the original Mac guy,” he said.

Aha!

Hertzfeld, who has been working at Google since 2005, is indeed the one we can thank for the better-looking interface on Google+, as he’s the design lead on the project. You’ll likely recognize his name from his time spent at Apple (1979 – 1984) where he was a key designer for the original Macintosh software team.

Steven Levy details more about this in Hertzfeld’s new role in a great, in-depth report on the making of Google+ (which was, as we reported many months ago, codenamed “Emerald Sea”) done while researching for his new book, In The Plex:

With colorful animations, drag-and-drop magic, and whimsical interface touches, Circles looks more like a classic Apple program than the typically bland Google app. That’s no surprise since the key interface designer was legendary software artist Andy Hertzfeld.

Levy reports that with Emerald Sea (again, now Google+), Hertzfeld was given free reign to “flex his creative muscles” for the first time within Google. While traditionally, Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page has been opposed to lavish designs because he’s obsessed with product speed, he signed off on Hertzfeld’s work. “Maybe Apple’s resurgence had a little bit to do with is,” Hertzfeld tells Levy.

[image via attached]

Source: Why Google+ Looks Good: Original Macintosh Team Member Andy Hertzfeld

A Solar-Powered 3D Printer Prints Glass From Sand

June 28th, 2011 06:41 admin View Comments

Printer

Tx-0 writes in with a story in Colossal Art & Design. From the article: “Industrial designer and tinkerer Markus Kayser spent the better part of a year building and experimenting with two fantastic devices that harness the sun’s power in some of the world’s harshest climates. The first he calls a Sun Cutter, a low-tech light cutter that uses a large ball lens to focus the sun’s rays onto a surface that’s moved by a cam-guided system. … Next, Kayser began to examine the process of 3D printing. Merging two of the deserts most abundant resources, nearly unlimited quantities of sand and sun, he created the Solar Sinter, a device that melts sand to create 3D objects out of glass.”

Source: A Solar-Powered 3D Printer Prints Glass From Sand

Opera 11.50 Released

June 28th, 2011 06:18 admin View Comments

Opera

An anonymous reader writes “With a shiny new version of Presto that’s apparently up to 20% faster, cool tweaks to Speed Dial, and a bunch of other features and bug fixes, the crazy Norwegians have just launched the latest version of desktop Opera.”

Source: Opera 11.50 Released

InboxQ And New “Campaign Configurator” Move To The Web

June 28th, 2011 06:10 admin View Comments


InboxQ, the browser extension that attempts to turn Twitter into Quora by letting big brands like @Gap search for user questions to engage with, is launching its web interface today for all those that are browser extension shy. Previously the service, which searches for Twitter users asking “real” questions and allows people and brands to answer them, was only available through a Firefox and Chrome plugin.

In addition to the web interface, the YC-backed InboxQ is also launching an automated keyword retrieval service called “campaign configurator” which rounds up long tail of related search phrases for 3-10 keywords and eliminate the crawling of tweets that contain the phrases searched for but are off topic (like fruit-related queries for the word Apple, for example). Clients can use the campaign configurator to even further spot relevant questions.

“We wanted to make sure that every business can get value from InboxQ without having to become experts on keyword targeting,” said co-founder Joe Fahrner on the improvements to the product’s accessibility. While the service is currently free, Fahrner plans on eventually making money off of InboxQ by offering premium analytics services, and hopes to expand the service to both Quora and Yahoo Answers.

Source: InboxQ And New “Campaign Configurator” Move To The Web

InboxQ And New “Campaign Configurator” Move To The Web

June 28th, 2011 06:10 admin View Comments


InboxQ, the browser extension that attempts to turn Twitter into Quora by letting big brands like @Gap search for user questions to engage with, is launching its web interface today for all those that are browser extension shy. Previously the service, which searches for Twitter users asking “real” questions and allows people and brands to answer them, was only available through a Firefox and Chrome plugin.

In addition to the web interface, the YC-backed InboxQ is also launching an automated keyword retrieval service called “campaign configurator” which rounds up long tail of related search phrases for 3-10 keywords and eliminate the crawling of tweets that contain the phrases searched for but are off topic (like fruit-related queries for the word Apple, for example). Clients can use the campaign configurator to even further spot relevant questions.

“We wanted to make sure that every business can get value from InboxQ without having to become experts on keyword targeting,” said co-founder Joe Fahrner on the improvements to the product’s accessibility. While the service is currently free, Fahrner plans on eventually making money off of InboxQ by offering premium analytics services, and hopes to expand the service to both Quora and Yahoo Answers.

Source: InboxQ And New “Campaign Configurator” Move To The Web

France To Invest One Billion Euros In Nuclear Power

June 28th, 2011 06:00 admin View Comments

Earth

An anonymous reader writes “France will invest one billion euros in future nuclear power development while boosting research into security, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.” The Guardian has a more detailed article. It’s not a huge investment, but it is nice to see continued commitment to Generation IV reactors by at least one Western country.

Source: France To Invest One Billion Euros In Nuclear Power

Comex On JailbreakMe 3.0: It’s Been Far Too Long

June 28th, 2011 06:48 admin View Comments

JailbreakMe 3.0

Comex – developer of JailbreakMe – popular browser-based jailbreak tool, who is expected to release a new version of the tool to jailbreak iPad 2 had teased us by updating the website with a photograph of a ski slope with a sign that says “PDFâ€, which suggested that he has discovered a new PDF exploit – similar to the one used for JailbreakMe 2.0. This led to speculations that he may release JailbreakMe 3.0 to jailbreak iPad 2.

Comex’s solution is the mother of all jailbreaking solutions as an iOS device can be jailbroken using Mobile Safari.

Last week, he revealed that he has reduced the time it will take to jailbreak an iOS device by using unionfs approach instead of using the stashing approach that has been used by jailbreak tools, which he hopes to use the approach for iPad 2.

Comex has again updated the site with what looks like the commit history of the JailbreakMe source code on Github – a source code hosting and collaboration site.

We still don’t know when the new version of JailbreakMe will be released, but it is amazing to see that Comex has been working on it since August 31st, 2010 based on the commit history, no wonder it reads “It’s been far too long”. Kudos to him for working hard and so long to release a new version of JailbreakMe, which will support iOS 4.2.1 to iOS 4.3.3 and should be compatible with all iOS devices (including iPad 2).

As always, we’ll let you know as soon as there are any further updates, so stay tuned here at iPhone Hacks or join our Facebook Fan page or follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our RSS feed.

[via iDB]

Source: Comex On JailbreakMe 3.0: It’s Been Far Too Long

Alibaba’s Vendio Buys SingleFeed To Help Merchants List Products On Comparison Shopping Sites

June 28th, 2011 06:45 admin View Comments

Alibaba-owned Vendio has acquired SingleFeed, a startup that helps online merchants to submit, manage, and optimize product listings on sites like Google Product Search, PriceGrabber and others. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SingleFeed takes an online merchant’s products and delivers this data to comparison shopping engines. The virtue of SingleFeed’s service is that it helps merchants improve engagement, visits and transactions by being listed on more engines. As Vendio says, comparison shopping engines can drive between 15 and 40% of an online store’s monthly visits.

SingleFeed is backed by True Ventures, KPG Ventures, and NetService Ventures.

Vendio says that it will integrate SingleFeed into its multi-channel e-commerce platform, which helps merchants manage sales on an online store, Amazon.com, eBay, Google, and others. SingleFeed’s technology will now be offered to the company’s 250,000 merchants. SingleFeed’s technology and services will also be offered to merchants using Auctiva, Vendio’s sister company.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba acquired Vendio a year ago.

Source: Alibaba’s Vendio Buys SingleFeed To Help Merchants List Products On Comparison Shopping Sites

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