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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.
YouTube appears to be experiencing issues today after a site-wide global outage this afternoon. We were first alerted to the issues while trying to upload a video to the TweakTown channel about 45 minutes ago. At first, the videos manager page was down and a few minutes later the entire site was unreachable.
When visiting the site, users were prompted with a 502 error which translates into "the server is broken". The full error reads "502. That's an error. The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds. That's all we know". We have confirmed that YouTube was not displaying in the US nor in Taipei, Taiwan. As of this posting, YouTube appears to be back up, but issues could still arise throughout the day.
Google has really been stepping up their game when it comes to what they capture using their Street View cameras. With recent treks to the top of mount Fuji, the tallest building in the world, and even the Eiffel tower, the company has taking thousands of photos that were never used or were shots of behind-the-scenes activities.
Instead of letting these images go to waste, Google has put together a behind-the-scenes site that offers a plethora of extra information about the shoots which include photos, videos, audio tours and actual accounts of how the imagery was gathered by those who put in the footwork.
"Our first two multimedia adventures enable you to experience the Canadian Arctic in Iqaluit, Canada, and the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE," Street View program manager Deanna Yick says in a post introducing the new material. "We also invite you to enjoy photos and videos from our past journeys to the Grand Canyon, the base camp of Mount Everest, the Amazon Basin, the Great Barrier Reef and the NASA Kennedy Space Center - minus the extreme temperatures and long plane rides!"
The way Microsoft's Bing search engine displays results may be changing soon. A recent report over at Search Engine Land confirmed that Bing is testing displaying website favicons to the left of search results.
I tried to duplicate the results pictured above in every web browser I have installed and was unable to get any favicons to display, which is consistent with the results that Search Engine Land got. They were, however, able to obtain confirmation from Microsoft that Bing is indeed testing out this new feature.
In a statement to Search Engine Land, Microsoft had the following to say.
We're constantly updating and refining the Bing search experience, and before any changes are implemented they undergo intensive testing and experimentation to ensure the best possible user experience. We have nothing further to share at this time.