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YouTube debuts new live-streaming platform for game developers, will transcode video feed in real-time
Game Developers Conference 2013 - YouTube has announced a new platform for game developers that will allow real-time streaming of gameplay. The new platform will allow game developers to send a stream of content to YouTube's server where it will then be transcoded in real-time.
This isn't the first time that YouTube has helped game developers integrate live-streaming. Black Ops 2, which was touted by YouTube many times during the presentation, already utilizes YouTube for game streaming. This new platform will bring live-streaming support to iOS, Android, and a wider development audience.
Live-streaming gameplay seems to be all the rage. Sony put a major focus on it with the PlayStation 4 and it looks like YouTube doesn't want to be left behind. YouTube still has some work to do on the platform, but I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the coming weeks and months. Who knows, maybe it will be used in a majority of Xbox 720 games.
A new charitable experiment is being trialed at eBay which will allow users to split their fashion related sales revenue with the non-profit organization Goodwill. eBay will handle the sell in-house in an effort to reduce the "pain" of listing individual items.
The online auction giant will send sellers postage paid mailing bags that will return the item to be sold to eBay, where it will be listed for sale. If the item sells within two weeks, eBay will split the proceeds 50/50 with the seller and Goodwill. At the moment the new feature is only available to California residents of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin areas.
This new venture is similar to past "seller assistance" services that eBay has offered in the past, such as mall kiosk where one could drop off an item to sell and be paid a fixed price on the spot. Recently eBay launched a service in which an "auction expert" would come to your home and help pick out items that would sell better than others.
Facebook's Hacker Cup is a contest in which programmers from around the world are given tasks that they must program solutions to. The third annual Hacker Cup championship took place over the weekend at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters. This year's winner is the same as 2011's: Petr Mitrichev.
Mitrichev represents the first repeat winner of Facebook's Hacker Cup, though it's only been held for three years. Petr Mitrichev hails from Russia, though other countries were also represented at the finals. Contenders came from Australia, Belarus, China, France, Germany, Poland, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.
Mitrichev was awarded first place and $10,000. Second and third place were given to Jakub Pachocki and Marcin Smulewicz, who both hail from Poland. Now the question remains: why wasn't the United States represented in this competition?
Just like Google's update last month, Google has added an additional 100 ski resort maps to Google Maps. These trail maps can help ski and snowboard enthusiasts prepare for a trip to the mountain and scout the terrain and ways down the mountain before heading off to some distant ski resort.
The trails are represented by green, blue, and black lines, with the color corresponding to the difficulty ratings traditionally used by ski resorts. Lifts are represented by dotted red lines.
This latest update includes Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline Lodge, and Hunter Mountain. All 100 of the newly added resort maps are for mountains in the United States and Canada. Europe has been largely left out of these updates, aside from when ski resort maps were first introduced. Google Maps has maps for about 225 different resorts around the world.
Google is taking a page out of Facebook's book and is pushing images as a main part of Google+. As part of this initiative, Google has added support for Gifs to be used as Google+ profile pictures. Interestingly enough, Twitter dropped support for Gifs last September. It'll be interesting to see if they reverse their decision.
Animated Gifs will be supported on both the desktop and mobile versions of Google+. As Matt Steiner, the person who first posted that Gifs are now supported, said, "[it is] like newspapers in Harry Potter." We imagine some creative people will make use of this to do some funny and interesting things, much like people did with Facebook cover photos when they were first introduced.
Facebook is continuing to push its mobile-first approach as more and more users become mobile-only users. As means to this end, Facebook blocked desktop access to the social networking site for its employees. This forced them to use the mobile apps and figure out what's wrong with them.
Facebook Product Manager Josh Williams:
To be honest, a couple of weeks ago, myself and a number of other product managers had access to our website internally shut off. Basically it forced us to use only mobile devices for a week ... It forced us to say, 'Hey, we have these features that exist in one place but not in another, and we have to remedy.'
Facebook has previously forced its employees to switch from their iPhones over to Android devices to encourage development of the Android app. At the time, the Android app was far behind the iOS app in terms of performance, design, and overall functionality. This apparently worked well because the Android app of today is much better than it used to be.
Facebook is updating its commenting system with threaded comments and replies, a technology that has existed around the web for sometime. Reddit comes to mind as a site that has focused on threaded comments and replies. The new feature will roll out to Facebook Pages starting today.
This new commenting feature will allow users to more easily interact with Facebook pages and keep conversations more organized. Comments, and their subsequent replies, will be organized according to relevance to viewers. It will base relevance off of positive feedback, connections, and negative feedback.
Pages with more than 10,000 followers, such as ours, are said to have the feature automatically turned on. Other Page owners are able to opt-in to the update by heading to the Manage Permissions section of the admin panel. All pages will be forced into the new commenting system on July 10, 2013. Check it out and let us know what you think of the changes.
After a security hole was discovered in Apple's iForgot password recovery page that allowed passwords to be recovered with just an e-mail and date of birth, Apple has disabled the page for obvious reasons. Navigating to the page now returns a "Currently Unavailable" status message that suggests you "check back later."
Make sure to enable two-step authentication on your account to help protect from future vulnerabilities such as this.
At the time of writing, Apple's page continually timed out for both my coworkers and myself.
YouTube sees more than 1 billion monthly viewers, nearly 15% of Earthlings use the video sharing site
Google have an announcement for us all today, with YouTube now seeing one billion monthly users. Using Wolfram Alpha's estimate of the 6.79 billion people on Earth, this would equate to roughly 14.7% of the world using YouTube every month.
The Mountain View-based everything giant has said that YouTube feeds out to nearly one in every two people on the Internet, a staggering number. Google were once criticized over acquiring YouTube in 2006, where they paid $1.65 billion for the video sharing site. I'm sure now, critics have their lips closed, and tears running down their faces. It was only last year that Google saw their first billion-view video, PSY's Gangnam Style.
Sixty seconds on the Internet doesn't sound like much, but think of all the millions of users on simultaneously, all doing different things and the numbers add up very quickly. In only 60 seconds, around 640TB of data is transferred around the world.
The data comes from an infographic by chipmaker Intel, who breaks it down into even more interesting numbers. Google is a big part of these numbers, where more than two million searches are conducted every sixty seconds. YouTube pushes out around 1.3 million videos, while at the same time consumes 30 hours worth of uploaded video for public consumption.
Moving onto social networks, Facebook sees around 6 million views, and Twitter enjoys around 100,000 new tweets per minute. E-mail is still a huge number, with 204 million e-mails sent out every minute. Most of these are most likely spam, but they still count as data being transferred. Intel has also made some projections looking into the future, where they expect the number of networked devices to double by 2015.