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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.
Today at Yahoo's press conference, the recovering Internet company unveiled an updated Flickr product. Flickr is Yahoo's photo sharing and storage offering. Yahoo's senior vice president, Adam Cahan, announced that Flickr will now offer a massive one terabyte of free photo storage space.
Flickr had become about words, little images, blue links. It was not about the photo anymore.
Flickr's new homepage does away with words. It features a clean photostream that makes use of full-resolution images and puts the emphasis on the pictures. New features also include iPhoto-style slideshows and new sharing options. Users can now push photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest.
Android will also be getting a new Flickr app that has similar features to Flickr's iOS app. According to Cahan, "Upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend, any follower, on any service, and make it absolutely beautiful."
At this year's Google I/O, Google introduced a unified chat platform under the Hangouts branding. For most, this is a great thing, however, for some, it's terrible. As discovered by danib62 on Twitter, switching to the new Hangouts removes the ability to use Google Voice from Gmail.
If you'll recall from last summer, I wrote about traveling with technology. While abroad, I made extensive use of this Gmail Voice calling feature to make free calls home. Removing it seems like either a gross oversight by Google or a directed attempt to shy away from the Voice product.
Luckily for those who use Google Voice in Gmail, Google is allowing users to revert to the old Google Talk. This doesn't mean that Google won't eventually force all users over to the new Hangouts, but it does help those who accidentally upgraded without realizing it takes away the Google Voice ability.
Google have been tinkering with their Blink engine, and have removed a crazy 8.8 million lines of code. Blink is a rendering browser engine, with the team behind Blink removing those 8.8 million lines of code in just over a month.
Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome's Open Web Platform, spoke to a group of Google I/O attendees that removing so much code had more than one improvement - not only did it improve the engine itself, but it had a huge effect on the engineers, too. The engineers are more productive and the team is now exploring new rendering techniques and code contribution requests from Abode, Intel, and Microsoft.
Google is well-known for hiding Easter eggs within its products and the new Hangouts is no different. There are at least six Easter eggs present in Hangouts that have been detailed by a Google+ user. You'll need to be using the desktop version of Hangouts on Google+ or the Chrome Extension.
Head on over to Google+ Hangouts and try these Easter eggs out. Some people have reported a few issues with the web interface for Hangouts, but these same reports say the Chrome app works flawlessly.
Yahoo has scheduled a product event in New York City for Monday, May 20. This comes at a time where rumors are flying around that Yahoo is interested in picking up Tumblr. It follows that Yahoo could use this event to announce a buyout, partnership, or something else related to Tumblr, which gives the Tumblr rumor a bit of fire.
There are plenty of other things Yahoo could be planning for the event, but the rumored Tumblr deal seems the most likely, especially since this event has been hastily thrown together. Of course, we'll cover the event and let you know just what happened at the event. Until then, we'll keep speculation to a minimum.