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Google dominates so many services it's not funny, but Microsoft isn't going down without a fight when it comes to search engine wars. The Redmond-based software giant is very much committed to Bing, and it seems like that is a relationship that will keep on keeping on.
Since 2005, Bing has cost Microsoft's Online Services Division a hefty $11 billion, but the company are still continuing to maintain it, and pump money into the search engine. AllThingsD's Kara Swisher says that all of Microsoft's board members, including recently appointed activist shareholder firm ValueAct, think that Bing is a key part of Microsoft's future in online revenues.
I guess we'll see going into the future, but Microsoft's recently acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division might just have a helping hand in the future of Bing, or vica versa.
Have you ever ordered a paperback or hardcover book from Amazon and wished that you could get the digital copy for your Kindle in the same purchase at a discounted price? If so, an announcement today is sure to make you quite happy. Amazon today announced a new initiative called Kindle Matchbook that will allow customers to include the Kindle edition of physical books in with their order at a highly discounted price.
Customers will now be able to pick up the Kindle edition of their book for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or for free anytime they purchase the physical copy of the book. Amazon has made this feature retroactive as well, and any books you have purchased since Amazon first opened its online bookstore now qualify for this deal. This means that you can go back through your Amazon purchase history and pick up the Kindle edition of your favorite books at a highly discounted price.
"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase-18 years later-to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish."
It appears that YouTube has been quietly changing its logo across the various social networking platforms it uses to promote its content. Additionally both the Android and iOS apps now feature the new logo. We're still not sure though, if this is an official permanent logo update as YouTube.com still features the old bubbly style logo.
The new logo as seen above appears to be more Windows 8 friendly and looks like it would fit in perfectly with the live tiles on any Windows 8 home screen. Additionally the logo does appear to more closely align with other Google-owned services such as Chrome and Drive, which both are quite minimalist and features double drop shadows. I have sent a request to YouTube for more information and will update this post as soon as I know more.
Finally! Google is switching Google+ Hangouts to HD video, which should result in a large increase in quality. The news comes from Google's Senior VP, Engineering for Google, Vic Gundotra, reports GigaOM.
Google is switching from H.264 to VP8, which should result in better quality video, with Google's VP of Engineering, Chee Chew, stating "it will be cleaner, better video." One of the main benefits of VP8 within Hangouts in HD is it is capable of doing more, at better quality, with less horsepower. H.264 would not be capable of handling HD streams from 10 users, as it would require too much processing power.
Everyone's favorite crowdfunding website Kickstarter will be heading to the land down under in the coming weeks! That's right, Kickstarter is coming to Australia and New Zealand and is expected to be ready for Aussie and Kiwi campaigns by the end of September.
Kickstarter is preparing some training events in Sydney and Melbourne on the first and second of September. The crowdfunding website extended an open invitation to all Aussies and New Zealanders wishing to use the service in a post on the website that read: "We'll be in Australia the next few weeks hosting Kickstarter Schools with Australia-based creators interested in Kickstarter. If you have a project in mind and want to run it by us, or if you just want to learn more about Kickstarter, we hope you'll join us!" Those looking to attend these events can head over to the Kickstarter source listed below.
I'm a daily user of feedly, and by daily, I mean that I have a tab with feedly open in it on my desktop as much as I do Gmail and Facebook. Feedly has just unveiled a new feedly Pro service, which has some cool features and a new $5 per month fee.
What do you get for $5 per month? You get Article Search, which lets you search within your feedly feeds, Evernote capabilities built into feedly Pro, which let you one-click save to any of your Evernote notebooks. Premium Pocket lets you one-click save to a pocket and Premium Support, which is quite self-explanatory: you get 'bumped to the front of the support line.'
If you want to pay yearly, you'll get it discounted to $45 per year which gives you three months for free.
Yahoo began doling out good news (or bad) today to its users who applied for a recycled username back in July. The company began firing off emails today notifying users if a username they wished to recycle has been reserved for them are not. Today also marks the beginning of the new policy in which Yahoo will begin recycling user accounts if they go dormant for more than 90 days, so remember to keep logging into your account even if you're not using it if you wish to keep your name.
If you did not receive an email today, do not worry as it is expected to take several days for Yahoo to completely notify everyone who signed up. Additionally, if you did not have the chance to sign up for the original wish list of names, Yahoo will now allow you to do so at the cost of just $1.99. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky few who received my very first request, but apparently was denied for my other four. We want to know how many of you received your requested username, so drop us a line in the comments below!
Early this morning, Apple customers around the world began experiencing outages to several of Apple's services including iTunes, iMessage, and iCloud. The outages started around 12:30 AM EST on August 22 and persisted for some users throughout most of the day.
According to Apple, the outages were only experienced by 1 percent of its user base, but other reports suggest that as many as 16.6 percent of users were unable to reach services such as iTunes. As of this writing, it appears that full functionality has been restored to all affected services. I have reached out to Apple for a comment but have yet to receive a reply. Did any of you experience an outage this morning? Let us know in the comments!
A new report out from comScore says that last month for the first time in more than two years, Yahoo managed to best Google in terms of overall monthly traffic. Yahoo was able to coax in 196.6 million unique monthly visitors during the month of July, while Google only managed to attract 192.3 million unique visitors.
Interestingly enough, these numbers did not include traffic from Yahoo's newly acquired social network Tumblr, which sees more than 38 million unique visitors every month. If these numbers were included, it would put Yahoo far ahead of Google in overall web traffic. However, the report did not include mobile traffic either, and with Google's Android being the dominant mobile OS, we're sure that Google would have topped Yahoo if the mobile numbers were included.
It looks like Google pressed a wrong button on Friday, most likely in the TGIF celebrations, taking down every single service that the Mountain View-based giant has to offer. This obviously includes Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, and every service in between.
According to analytics firm GoSquared, worldwide Internet traffic dropped by a whopping 40% during those hectic 120 seconds, as you can see in the graph, above. Most companies and website owners were scratching their heads for a few minutes, because when Google goes down, it would be like not being able to breathe oxygen for those two minutes - sheer panic. Google came back online two minutes later, to the relief of, well, everyone.
Google should hopefully come out with a report next week, which should stun, and scare thousands across the world.