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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.
Google will pull the plug on Reader Sunday at midnight, users scramble to Feedly and other alternatives in preparation
Sunday night after the clock strikes midnight, Google will shut down its Reader service for good. That's right after eight long years the search giant is pulling the plug on its popular RSS feed importer. The project was created back in early 2005 by Google engineer Chris Wetherell and after two years of development was released to the public through Google Labs in 2007.
With the pending shutdown, many alternatives of popped up with big-name sites such as AOL and Digg both developing their own replacements. Other alternatives have been around for quite a while now such as The Old Reader, Pusle, and my personal favorite, Feedly. All of these alternatives except for Pulse allow for the importation of your Google reader feeds via XML file.
Here at TweakTown most of us have already switched over to Feedly which seems to be winning the race as the most popular Google reader replacement with more than 8 million new subscribers being added since Google announced Reader's shutdown. This is partially because Feedly makes the importation process so simple as all you need to do is log into your Google account and it will import your Google Reader settings automatically. Additionally, the interface is very Google Reader like with some UI improvements for a more refined experience.
Google has announced that they are opening up their Street View Trekker program to third-party non-profits. Google is looking to expand Street View imagery off the beat path. To do this, they need to take their Trekker backpacks by foot into areas not accessible by cars or other imaging devices.
So, who better to trek into the unknown than the tourism boards or non-profits responsible for protecting those areas? This is exactly why Google has opened their program up to the public. Google is now accepting applications, though the details of the program aren't exactly clear. You can fill out an application at Source #2 below.
It was leaked today that Facebook is working on a Chat Room feature. This feature is currently in testing, so don't expect it to be coming to a profile near you for quite sometime, if at all. Facebook confirmed that the feature is being tested, but wouldn't confirm any details regarding the feature.
Luckily for us, someone who has the new feature was more than happy to talk. The option to start a chat room would be above the Update Status box. Clicking "Host Chat" would open up a chat box that then anyone could join. A status update would be pushed out to your friends inviting them to join.
The host would have the ability to set a topic for discussion, expel people, and set privacy options, though these chat rooms could ultimately end up connecting friends of friends. Privacy details could prove troublesome and could result in the project never seeing the light of day, however, it could end up being a valuable way to discover new friends via trusted mutual friends.