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Google has expanded the reach of its Maps product by adding biking navigation to six additional European countries. Biking instructions are very similar to Google's normal directions, though they take into account busy roads, bike paths, and other factors to make your outing safer and more enjoyable.
Today's update adds Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. The new maps have been generated with the help of partner groups in some countries and the cyclists themselves in other countries. Google notes that the cyclists themselves are the ones who know the best routes and Google encourages cyclists to add, update, and change biking directions.
For more information, you can head over to Google's Europe Blog announcement post.
Yahoo could buy Hulu for as much as $800 million, could a Tumblr and Hulu rally save the once great search giant?
With its recent acquisition of Tumblr still cooling down, Yahoo is looking at making another major purchase. The once giant of internet search is reportedly looking to pick up the streaming service Hulu for an astounding $600-$800 million.
The reports come from All Things D which has a record of about 99.9% when it comes to Yahoo rumors. Their report states that Yahoo's bid would change depending on licensing deals and the amount of control the current owners would like to maintain over their programming.
DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are also looking to pick up Hulu, but again, their bid for the service would depend on what ABC, Fox and Comcast wish to do with the current content they feature on the service. With many industry analysts still of the mindset that Yahoo is a sinking ship, it leaves one to wonder if these high profile acquisitions will be the salvation or damnation of the company.
Most of the must-see movie trailers reach Apple's trailers.apple.com website first, but it looks like Apple have very quietly removed both the 1080p trailer availability, and the download option. Before this, Apple let you stream and download trailers in varying resolutions.
You could watch it in 480p or 720p, and download it in 480p, 720p, 1080p and iPod/iPhone quality. Trailers uploaded to the website after May 22 (or so) will no longer include the download ability, and can only be streamed in-browser at the low res of just 480p or 720p. It's not known why Apple are doing this, especially when they have their Retina-based MacBook Pros, that can now just stream 720p video from their own website.
It looks as though Google could be readying a user interface revamp for Gmail on the web and its app. Several screenshots have been leaked and in them a radically different Gmail can be seen. The question is, are they real? TheNextWeb was provided with the following screenshot by a source:
It seems to show that there will be a few default tabs at the top to help you sort through your e-mail. The categories are reportedly Main, Social, Offers, Notifications, and Forums. It would appear that e-mail will automatically be categorized by Gmail into these various tabs.
Google's spokesperson said that they don't comment on rumor or speculation, so for now, take these images with a grain of salt.
Amidst the launch of Google's Trend Visualizer, Microsoft has launched several new features to its Bing search engine. The most notable are in the service's news search where a new Trending Topics section is displayed in carousel form.
This new feature displays trending topics in a carousel of images with related personalities being displayed in a box to the left. These new features do not take one to a specific page, but rather to a new page of search results based on the topic you chose.
Bing has also extended its trending results to include data from the last several years and not just the last two weeks as previously done.
Google takes design cues from Windows 8 in new Trend Visualizer, shows what searches are trending in real-time
Everyone always complains about the amount of data that Google collects from our searches and for the most part, there is nothing to be concerned with. While Google does use that data for targeted ad placement, they also use it to improve their products and create exciting new things.
This morning Google released one of those new exciting things, and they are calling it the "Trend Visualizer". The new web app is a full screen real-time wall of the most popular searches entered by people all over the US.
The actual effect is pretty trippy and while it may not be of use to everyone, it would be really cool to toss up on a large screen display in an office or workroom.
Facebook is so yesterday. The hip site among teenagers is Tumblr, at least according to a Pew Research study. The study says that teenagers are looking for a more "real" experience that isn't offered by Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, teens are acutely aware that their parents are now on Facebook and monitoring their activities.
By switching over to Tumblr, these teens are looking to escape the drama, watchful parents, and "unnecessary pictures" that are ever-present on Facebook. Several teenagers were interviewed during a Pew Research focus group:
Anonymous female, age 15:
I have a Facebook, a Tumblr, and Twitter. I don't use Facebook or Twitter much. I rather use Tumblr to look for interesting stories. I like Tumblr because I don't have to present a specific or false image of myself and I don't have to interact with people I don't necessarily want to talk to.
Anonymous male, age 18:
OK, here's something I want to say. I think Facebook can be fun, but also it's drama central. On Facebook, people imply things and say things, even just by a like, that they wouldn't say in real life."
It will be important for Yahoo to keep Tumblr fairly intact or the company risks creating another Facebook.
Twitter continues to increase advertising on Twitter to try to increase revenues. The latest advertising change will allow select advertisers to gather contact information directly from tweets. This should help companies identify how much return on investment they are seeing from advertising with Twitter.
Select advertisers will be able to collect contact information from users who click a customizable "call to action" button. A user's information is already filled in, making the process painless for both the advertiser and Twitter user. The advertiser will then receive the e-mail, Twitter name, and name of prospective customers.
The feature is currently being tested by Priceline, New Relic, and others, but the group remains small. It's currently available to managed clients, but a global launch is coming "soon."
Twitter has finally introduced a rumored--and much needed--feature: two factor authentication. For those who don't know, two-factor authentication relies on two different pieces of information. Generally, one is a password (something you know) and the other is a code e-mailed or sent to you via text message (something you have).
This technology isn't new. Banks have used it for years with ATM cards requiring a PIN number. After a string of high-profile hackings, including the AP's account, Twitter has introduced this technology for everyone. You are highly encouraged to enable two-factor authentication as soon as you're done reading this article.
You'll be required to register a phone to send codes to. When attempting to log in from an unknown computer, you'll be required to enter a code that is sent via SMS to your registered device.
Google has announced that Google Checkout will be closed in six months. Google is encouraging users to switch over to their Wallet product instead. Merchants who make use of Google Checkout will be able to keep using the service until November 20, 2013.
If you don't have your own payment processing, you will need to transition to a different solution within six months. To make things easier, we've partnered with Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks to offer you discounted migration options.
If you are a U.S. merchant that does have payment processing, you can apply for Google Wallet Instant Buy, which offers a fast buying experience to Google Wallet shoppers.