TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
This morning, Google announced that it will once again allow users to make phone calls from within Gmail through the use of Google Hangouts. The company says that it doesn't matter whether its users are on Gmail or on the web; all users will be able to call the US and Canada for free.
Google says that it heard the cries from many users who were disappointed that they could no longer make calls from within Gmail and this was the major factor in their decision to return the service. Calls can be made to anyone in the US and Canada for free from any country in the world where Hangouts are available. Calls can also be placed outside of North America through the use of Google Voice. A call to India will cost users $0.02 per minute while a call to Mexico will run users $0.15 per minute.
Users do not need to make calls through Gmail alone as Google+ and Chrome extensions also support the feature. The company tells us that with Hangout calls up to 10 people can converse through the video chat while up to five people can participate in voice only. This gives the ability for 15 people to be on the same call it one time.
When it comes to US electronics resellers Newegg.com only comes in second to retail giant Amazon.com. Up until now The Egg as is affectionately known, has only been available in the US, Canada, and China. That is about to change as the company has just announced an expansion into Taiwan that will take place between July and August of this year.
Newegg.com already operates an office of around 200 people in Taiwan and is expected to expand their employment to around 300 to 400 employees in the next few weeks. The company says that it will initially offer its existing range of products and will eventually expand to incorporate more local goods as time progresses.
Website Bit-Tech.net is also reporting that it sources have confirmed that Newegg will begin expanding into the UK shortly as well. There sources however state that the UK expansion will take place before the Taiwanese launch which means that we can see a Newegg.co.uk domain pop up any day now.
A few months back, Yahoo announced the creation of a new menu bar that would be shared across all of its desktop website services such as mail, search, and photo sharing. Many scoffed at the idea, but others pointed out that Google has been doing the same thing for some time. This morning, Yahoo rolled out the new menu bar to its recently reinvigorated photo sharing service Flickr.
While the new menu bar is technically a useful feature, many Flickr users are not so convinced and as a result, they have taken to the Flickr help forums to vent their disdain. One user wrote "Gosh, what a design disaster...if that annoying bar would at least fit the site design wise at little. Yahoo has learned nothing in the last decade as it seems. Dropping pro account now. Sorry guys, this is just too much."
Historically, I have not been a major fan of Flickr, but have recently flipped a 180 when the service began offering 1TB of free storage to its users. As an ex-professional photographer who still does small shoots on the side, this new amount of storage was very appealing to me. The new integration of this menu bar in its current form is definitely not appealing to the eyes, nor is it in any form inline with the refined, dark theme that Flickr has been sporting since the update.
Facebook first brought its stickers to its mobile applications back in April. Those same stickers will soon be available to web users. Stickers are larger pre-made images that are similar to the simple smiley but can be animated and are quite a bit larger. Stickers are just another way for Facebook to ensure that users don't head to alternative messaging platforms.
To use stickers on the web platform, simply click the usual smiley button to open the smiley menu. Click the basket icon to open up the Sticker Store where you can select from up to 16 different sticker packs. Contrary to what the name might suggest, all of these sticker packs are free. Facebook could possibly charge brands to put sticker packs into the Sticker Store, bringing in more revenue for the company.
In related news, TechCrunch is reporting that the person behind the whole sticker idea has left Facebook. Sophie Xie has only been with Facebook from 2012, but it appears that she will be moving on to bigger and better things. She originally conceived the idea during one of Facebook's famous hackathons. Her team will have to carry on without her.
Google has added new and updated 3D imagery for 50 cities in the United States. Google has promised to bring 3D buildings to the majority of large United States cities, and today's update appears to be a great step towards that goal. Today's update brought new or updated imagery for 50 US cities. New additions include Las Cruces, NM and Bend, OR, while San Francisco, CA and others received updates.
The full list directly from Google:
Anniston, AL; Auburn, AL; Barstow, CA; Bastrop, TX; Bend, OR; Birmingham, AL; Boulder City, NV; Buffalo Core, NY; Cape Girardeau, MO; Casper, WY; Cheyenne, WY; Chicago, IL; Chico, CA; College Station, OH; Delano, CA; Desert Hot Springs, CA; Dubuque, IA; Edmonton, NY; Enid, OK; Farmington, NM; Grand Forks, ND; Grand Junction, CO; Great Falls, MT; Hanford, CA; Healdsburg, CA; Helendale, CA; Hot Springs, AR; Idaho Falls, ID; Kelso, WA; Killeen, TX; Las Cruces, NM; Lawton, OK; Leeds, OK; Madera, CA; Malibu, CA; Merced, CA; Modesto, CA; Ocala, FL; Odessa, TX; Ojai, CA; Picture Rocks, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Prescott, AZ; Rapid City, SD; Redding, CA; Riverside, CA; San Angelo, TX; San Francisco, CA; St George, UT; Texarkana, TX; Twentynine Palms, CA; Victoria, TX; Winnipeg, TX; Yuba City, CA.
Today, Microsoft announced that it has added a "Search by Rights" filter to its Bing search engine. This new feature will allow users to search images by use rights so users do not have to worry about copyright infringement when using them in blog posts, presentations, and other non fair use work.
Before this feature was implemented, when searching for an image, users had to individually cycle through the details of each photo to verify if there was any license information provided. Now the process as simple as clicking a drop-down and sorting by the license type attached to the photos.
In the image above, you can see that there are multiple options: All, public domain, free to share and use, free to share and use commercially, free to modify/share/use, and free to modify/share/use commercially. Microsoft says these choices should cover bloggers, teachers, students, publishers, and small business owners.
[Editors note: Google has had this ability for a while now]
Russia's massive internet service provider Mail.ru has announced today that it will be dropping Google in favor of using its own proprietary search engine for all queries searched through its service. We first heard rumors that this may take place back in November of last year when Mail.ru suggested it would be canceling are Google contract.
Mail.ru is essentially the Google of Russia and operates a range of online services including 2 social networks, instant messaging services, online gaming properties, its own proprietary browser, and of course it's very own search engine. That search engine for the most part has been powered by other search engines in the past including Google and most recently fellow Russian search engine Yandex.
"It's remarkable that there are fewer countries with their own search engines today than those with their own space program," says Dmitry Grishin, Co-Founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group. Mail.ru says that in the past few years it is expanded its search engine team from just 15 people to well over 200 while its index volume has doubled in size from 5,000,000,000 to 10,000,000,000 documents.
Newegg.com announced today that it has launched a new members-only sale site that features daily bargains in a variety of product categories including consumer electronics, home electronics, jewelry, fashion, and much more. The new site, NeweggFlash.com will focus around so-called "flash sales" which are much like the existing Deal-of-the-Day sales that existing Newegg customers have grown to love.
Newegg says that through this new site quick online shoppers can now snap up a very wide an exciting range of popular consumer products at extremely low prices. Customers will have to be ready to move fast as the offers are designed to sell out fast with discounts of up to 75 percent. While the new site is members only, membership is free and only requires a quick and simple sign up.
Soren Mills, chief marketing officer at Newegg:
We're thrilled to launch NeweggFlash and join in on the flash sale phenomenon. Newegg is proud of the deep relationships we've built with our vendor partners over the years. It's these relationships that allow us to offer very compelling deals on NeweggFlash and give us an edge over competing flash sale sites.
You would have thought Nintendo owned WiiU.com, but they don't, as it's owned by a cybersquatter. Nintendo submitted a complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organization, but have been denied.
WiiU.com was registered quite some time ago, on January 13, 2004 to be precise. No reason has been given by WIPO, with WiiU.com currently a placeholder page that redirects its visitors to a bunch of links, some of which are related to the WiiU, some to other sites.
Yahoo announced today that they would be doing a Google-like summer cleaning in which they sunset older and out-of-date products. One of the most notable products to make Yahoo's sunset list is the ancient search engine AltaVista. There are many other products on list, which you can see below. Most of the product closures take place by the end of July, though two don't happen until the end of September.
CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Googler, appears to be taking the Google approach to these products. Many of these product shutdowns aren't surprising. Previous rumors had suggested that AltaVista was going to be shut down in 2010. Many of these products are legacy or duplicate a function provided by another aspect of Yahoo's offerings. As such, they are just costing the company money.