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Google are not finished with their quest of revamping the entirety of Google with their new 'minimalistic' theme. Today intros a new splash of paint for the Google Bar. The usual thin dark gray strip of text will leave us, and be replaced by a persistent UI element that combines the search and Google+ tools, including a share button and notifications.
Quick access to other services is still available in the Google menu, all you need to do is hover over the logo and you'll be happy to see more links. Love it or hate it, it's coming. I don't like the new Reader layout - I hate it. I've kept the old Gmail layout, for now (until its probably pushed in by default).
Internode have a pretty good offer for games.on.net, where they've offered a no signup fee, with the first two months free. Internode! Internode really cater to gamers, and push this obviously through their gaming portal, games.on.net, but also in their services they offer to gamers.
Internode have a dedicated games network in games.on.net which offers patches, videos, demos and more, your favourite Internet TV shows and podcasts where you can download them all, unmetered, as fast as your Internet connection can handle. Internode even have two Steam content servers, where you can buy your Steam games, download them and get playing faster than ever - with everything above all quota free.
Telstra BigPond Cable customer? Live in Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney or Perth? You'll soon have the option of taking up plans offering download speeds of up to a maximum of 100Mbps into the home, which should cater to most people with the need, the need for speed.
Telstra Director of Fixed Voice and Broadband, John Chambers, said the upgrade is expected to hit Perth customers from 30th November, with Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney getting access from the 12th of December, he added:
This upgrade provides additional capacity to Telstra's network and will provide one of the fastest broadband services available in Australia today. With speeds of up to a maximum of 100 Mbps, BigPond Ultimate Cable means the whole household can do more things at the same time, like downloading movies on the computer while streaming internet radio on the T-Hub® - all at high speed. BigPond customers also enjoy no peak or off peak restrictions and peace of mind that they won't incur any additional usage charges - as speeds are slowed once the monthly usage allowance is reached.
Google have been on a stampede of change lately, first Google+, then the updated looks of Gmail and Reader have made their way to most of us, and now, YouTube.
The new design is currently rolling out, but if you want to jump ahead of the queue, there are some instructions below to help you. The downfall? This trick only sets a temporary cookie which is removed upon the browser closing.
The new look is definitely slick, with the left navigation panel very clean and simple, videos from your subscriptions or YouTube trends list fill the middle up, while related or recommended videos are on the right. It looks very, very swish.
Google have just unleashed Google Music from its beta hold, and have also announced a music store that is built into the Android Market. Google Music is available to anyone in the US without an invitation requirement, and includes the ability to upload 20,000 songs to the cloud for free.
Google Music will have an app for Windows, Mac and Linux devices that will help you upload songs to the cloud, and the songs uploaded to the cloud can be either streamed or "pinned" for offline listening. The Android Market music store will include millions of songs, sortable by genre, sub genre, top albums, and top songs.
There are Staff Picks and a New Releases section, song prices range between $0.99 and $1.29 and every song is 320kbps MP3s with 90 second previews for each song. There will be a new free song every day and the first one is David Bowie's "Sound and Vision", Google have said there will be hundreds of free songs from the get-go. Big major labels have joined in, such as Universal, EMI and Sony music, as well as a number of smaller, independent labels.
Microsoft are set to roll some changes into their Xbox.com site over the next few days in anticipation for the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update. "My Xbox" will be replaced by a forward-thinking "Social" area, which will feature Metro UI styling. This new Social section will also give Xbox.com users the ability to be the first to try the new Beacons feature, which lets you mark games you want to play with others, making it easier to find friends who want to play the same game.
Microsoft have baked in a bunch of other extras such as the ability to search the Zune video catalog and buy movies and TV shows directly from your browser. At the top of the replacement of 'My Xbox', which is now "Social", will be the ability to be taken directly to the Social page when visiting Xbox.com.
At the top of the Social page, there will be a group of tiles that you might find familiar, this is the new Metro UI. This is where Microsoft will have Xbox LIVE events, preview articles with all of the latest details on the hottest new items on the Marketplace, new video and game releases, Gamer Spotlight, and more. To the left of these are quick links which display how many friends are online, and how many messages you currently have.
Steam's official forums are currently offline with a message reading "The Steam forums are temporarily offline for maintenance. Your patience is appreciated." Is maintenance the actual issue, though? It is believed that the site's vBulletin forum software may have been hacked, with Valve not yet to comment on the issue, with some gamers noticing a suspicious message on the forum last night that leads most to believe it was a security breach.
Eurogamer was contacted by a Steam user who said a group known as fkn0wned changed the text on the forum and spammed some user's e-mail addresses. Below is what was said:
Ever wanted to dominate the servers you play on with guaranteed results, but you were too afraid to cheat because of ban risks? Visit Fkn0wned.com. It's safe, secure and undetected. Along with hacks, we've also got some general discussion sections, hacking tutorials and tools, porn, free giveaways and much more. This site has been conditioned to meet all of your needs in terms of resources so be sure to take a look and tell us what you think. Thanks again, the fkn0wned team.
Google completed their Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows them to crawl and index the web from fresh content quickly on an enormous scale. Google have just announced that they're making quite a significant change to their ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35-percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.
Obviously, in today's world, information is power. But information can be from today, last week, the last minute, or thirty years ago depending on the search terms. Google's algorithm needs to be able to work out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.
Google have rolled out their new Reader design over the last few days and it now sports the Google+ features that were mentioned a week ago. Reader now features a new look that is cleaner, faster and nicer to look at. It also includes the ability to +1 a feed item (which replaces "Like"), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (this replaces "Share" and "Share with Note").
Google say that integrating Reader with Google+ helps them streamline Reader overall, so with the rollout, Google have cut away friending, following, shared items and comments and replaced them with similar Google+ functionality. Google are loving the new layout and have also rolled the layout onto GMail also. Personally, I use Reader every single day for my news here at TweakTown and I really don't like the new layout.
Naughty, iiNet! iiNet's recent ad on TV has been taken down after it was found it breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice as it included a subliminal message. The message in the ad read:
Wow. Impressive. You not only spotted this in our TV ad, you found a way to read it. That can't have been easy. This whole page only lasted two frames. That's less than one tenth of a second. Well done, sir or madam. We're going to reward your awesome pausing powers with a little gift. Type this link into your browser: iinet.net.au/2framefreebie. And yes, you can tell your friends. But let's keep it to a minimum of a hundred, OK? And hey, watch for more two-frame freebies in our next TV campaign.
The link sends you here, but the limit of 100 entries has already been met. You can however, still enter your details for the chance to win one of five iPads. The message itself is fine, it won't make you a zombie for iiNet products, but it was enough of a breach to enable Free TV Australia to take it down. The Code of Practice states that information conveyed in a manner that is "below or near the threshold of normal awareness" is unacceptable.