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Microsoft to add new features to Hotmail over the coming weeks, Android app included

Microsoft are going to rollout a bunch of new features to their 365 million or so users over the upcoming weeks. These new features include two-way e-mail, contact and calendar syncing, a bunch of update to Hotmail's web interface and also, an Android app. The new interface will allow you to automatically categorize incoming mail as newsletters, and then either trash them or sweep them to a folder.

 

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There's now an "Unsubscribe" feature that also lets you do just that, with Hotmail handling the work of blocking future newsletters from that sender as well as asking that company to stop spamming you. Flagged messages will not sit at the top of the inbox so that they don't get lost in your sea or incoming mail. You can also set Hotmail to automatically flag messages with a particular subject line, from a certain sender, etc.

 

"Scheduled Cleanup" automatically deletes messages after a certain number of days past, while other updates include the ability to manage and edit folders and apply categories to individual emails - all inline. Instant Actions is also featured, which brings up options such as "delete" and "flag" when you hover your mouse cursor over them.

Bing has cost Microsoft $5.5 billion since 2009

Microsoft's two-year old search engine, Bing, is losing close to $1 billion per quarter. Since Bing launched in 2009, Microsoft have lost $5.5 billion, but their losses actually pre-date that. And while we're at it, did you know that Microsoft's online services division has never made money? Since Microsoft began breaking out that unit's finances in 2007, they've lost a total of $9 billion. In the past 27 months, Microsoft has proudly claimed that it has gained search market share from Google.

 

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Bing as it stands, has 14.7% of the search share market, up from 8.4% when it launched. Google currently has 64.8% down just two-tenths of a percentage point from the 65% it had when Bing launched. Microsoft has clawed market share traction from third-place rival, Yahoo. The rest of it has come from Ask.com and AOL. Also remember that Yahoo's search is Bing-powered, meaning that half of Microsoft's share growth has come from its search partner.

 

Microsoft President of Online Services, Qi Lu, said that Microsoft could not and would not try to "out-Google" Google. Instead they must "change the game fundamentally".

Kogan.com now sell Canon, Nikon, Apple and Samsung much cheaper than big retailers

Kogan have begun a new phase in their mission to make the latest technology affordable for all. How will they do it? They're now sourcing brands like Canon, Nikon, Apple and Samsung by cutting out the middle man and sourcing the products higher up the supply chain, then selling direct to customers via Kogan.com. Until now, Australian-based customers have been ripped off by consumer electronics with prices significantly above World averages.

 

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Kogan is already globally renowned as the place to go for best value consumer electronics that they design, assemble and deliver, including TVs, Blu-ray players, Digital Internet Radios, Home Appliances and more. The initial products that Kogan will add to their ever-growing list will include popular Digital SLR Cameras and Tablets. As with all Kogan products, they'll come with a 12 month warranty, extendable to up to 5 years.

Continue reading 'Kogan.com now sell Canon, Nikon, Apple and Samsung much cheaper than big retailers' (full post)

The Internet turns 20 today, legally allowed to drink next year

On August 6, 1991, British engineer and computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) unveiled a project for organizing information, which would later result in it turning into what we use today as The Internet. He dubbed it the World Wide Web and posted a short summary on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.

 

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The World Wide Web is really just a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. Within this, users can obviously access text, images, videos and other multimedia web pages. Navigation of these web pages occurs via hyperlinks. Berners-Lee is now the Director for the World Wide Web Consortium and back in March of 1989, he used concepts from earlier hypertext systems to write a proposal that would essentially become the World Wide Web.

Continue reading 'The Internet turns 20 today, legally allowed to drink next year' (full post)

CNN to debut 24-hour live streaming to desktop, iOS devices

CNN are set to stream its news broadcasts to viewers through the Internet. CNN is set to make its programming available all day, everyday on desktops, iPhones and iPads as well as existing customers who are subscribers to CNN be it through cable, IP or satellite TV. CNN are also launching a new video player that offers simultaneous multi-window HD streams.

 

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The 24-hour streaming will reportedly include both the core station and Headline News. CNN has been providing live streams to iPad users since December but this has only been for major events. Customers who subscribe to either through a provider such as Verizon, Comcast, Cox or Dish will have access to the streamed content. If you're an iPad or iPhone user, hit up the iTunes app store to download the enabling app.

 

CNN are also re-polishing their online viewing experience by offering up to four live streams of news and events, original video series as well as on-demand video clips with related CNN and HLN show information, both in HD.

Microsoft register both Microsoft-Sony.com and Sony-Microsoft.com, possible acquisition or purely for the LOLs?

I don't know what to do with this, so I'm just going to run with what I have. I saw this posted up and thought I'd share this "breaking story". Microsoft have just registered two new domains, Microsoft-Sony.com and Sony-Microsoft.com. What are they doing? Is this a possible Sony mobile handset coming out powered by Windows Phone 7? Are we seeing a potential "lets put it out there and see the response" from Microsoft? Could we see the end of the great console war between MS and Sony and a possible blend of both consoles?

 

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It's quite strange at the moment, but it's out there, I've reported on it. Let's wait to hear some more concrete info. Your move, Microsoft.

 

Side note: I find this funny after the whole Call of Duty MW3 website directing to Battlefield 3's website, and now this... what a week!

Hotmail bans common passwords, beefs up security

Ah, passwords. Most people are still surprised to learn that a majority of users continue to use common passwords such as 1234 or their last name. Microsoft know this and hence are beefing up security of their popular web-based e-mail, Hotmail. Microsoft are changing their password policy which will soon forbid the use of particularly common passwords. What this means is anyone who creates a new Hotmail account or changes the password of their existing account won't be able to use obvious passwords like "123456" or "password."

 

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The new security system will block common phrases such as "ilovecats." In the near future, Microsoft could also extend this ban on obvious passwords to existing accounts. If an account is compromised, and that account sends you spam or a fraudulent e-mail, you can report that their account has been compromised. The feature is called "My friend's been hacked!," and this will block their account so the spammer can no longer user it, when your friend tries to log in the next time they'll go through an account recovery process.

 

I now await every service that uses a password to implement these features. Your move, World.

Google trims off 11 million sites in latest anti-malware efforts

Google has known for a while that millions of websites registered freely (or very cheaply in bulk) through a Korean company are plagued as malware-hosting sites. The most notorious subdomain full of these types of sites was .co.cc.

 

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Kicking things into spring cleaning mode after rolling out several new products and freshening up existing ones, they knew they'd have a hell of a task on their hands isolating the bad sites from the good, especially when you're talking 11 million of them!

 

Easiest solution? Block the entire .co.cc subdomain of course, which is exactly what Google has just decided to do. As to how effective this drastic manoeuvre is long term, I can't imagine all that significant in line of the seemingly forever resident global malware war.

Gmail gets a new look, currently being previewed

Google are on a rampage this week, not only launching their social networking extravaganza Google+ (which is awesome btw) but now a new look Gmail is out and being previewed. The new look is virtually identical to Google+ which helps keep an overall theme for Google and has cut the clutter away and still keep it as a powerhouse e-mail solution. Google have stated it's a Google-wide effort to bring you, the user, an experience that is more focused, elastic and effortless across all of their products.

 

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They've said that they are not going to change everything at once and will work on the upgrades gradually over the next few months which will allow users plenty of time to get used to it and incorporate feedback that will go into the ever-evolving design. Google are starting with two new themes for users to try as a sneak peak of things to come. Currently there's "Preview" and "Preview (Dense)" themes in the Themes tab in Gmail Settings.

Continue reading 'Gmail gets a new look, currently being previewed' (full post)

Hotmail now has Instant email, 10x faster than before

The team behind Hotmail have revolutionized their speedy e-mail system, trimming content on their pages to speed up download time and eliminated a network round trip on login for further speed gains. Their goal was to make Hotmail feel instant and they knew by speeding up downloads that it would get close to their goal. But that's not the only thing they had to do, even with today's fast internet, the network is the bottleneck and Hotmail needed to keep their customers from experiencing that latency.

 

 

Their approach was to get user data closer to the browser, and when the data is not available on the browser, get it there more efficiency and most of all, without the user noticing. The team also took advantage of the super powerful modern web browsers like Internet Explorer 9 and made them more app-like, by doing more work in the browser and less work on the server.

Continue reading 'Hotmail now has Instant email, 10x faster than before' (full post)

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