This is huge news: Google Now is going to be integrated into Google Chrome.
Basically, Google Now Cards will appear in Chrome via Chrome Notifications.
This is huge news: Google Now is going to be integrated into Google Chrome.
Basically, Google Now Cards will appear in Chrome via Chrome Notifications.
Virgin Gaming, Xbox 360 and 343 Industries are joining forces to launch the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” on Xbox LIVE starting Dec. 17, bringing gamers the biggest and most accessiblefree-to-enter “Halo” tournament in the world.
Starting today, players can register for the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” by visitingwww.halo4infinitychallenge.com (localized registration sites available on Dec. 12). Launching on Dec. 17, the free-to-enter tournament will track your personal score in War Games and the number of Spartan Ops chapters you complete on global leaderboards, giving players of different preferences and skill levels all a shot at the more than 2,800 prizes. For the War Games leaderboard winner, the grand prize will be a UNSC-themed, V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor truck designed by 343 Industries, and for the Spartan Ops winner, the grand prize will be an appearance in a future “Halo” game.
During the qualifier phase (Dec. 17 – Jan. 10), players will need to climb the ranks of the global leaderboards by competing in either the Spartan Ops or War Games leaderboard. After the qualifier phase, players will be tiered into three groups (based on their results on the qualifier phase leaderboards) and will enter the finals phase (Jan. 12 – Jan. 19). In addition, players can also participate in Weekly Challenges found on Halo Waypoint athttp://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/intel/challenges for a chance to win great prizes.
During the finals, the leaderboards will reset and prizes will be awarded to the top performers in each tier. While terrific prizes are available within all three tiers, the grand prizes will be offered exclusively for those that have battled their way to the top tier.
“HALO 4” CRIMSON MAP PACK
Comprised of three brand new multiplayer maps (Wreckage, Harvest and Shatter), the “Halo 4” Crimson Map Pack will launch on Dec. 10 on Xbox LIVE for 800 MS points (or at no additional charge for those that purchased the “Halo 4” Map Pass or “Halo 4” Limited Edition).
Timed just before the launch of the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge,” the new map pack gives players more reason than ever to stay online and prepare for the upcoming competition by exploring these stunning new battlegrounds.
SPARTAN OPS SEASON CONTINUES IN JANUARY
Clearing the way for the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” and the “Halo 4” Crimson Map Pack, Spartan Ops will go on a mid-season break starting Dec. 10. During the week of Dec. 10, 343 Industries will re-enter five chapters from the first half of the season into Matchmaking as a “Best of Spartan Ops” compilation. From Dec. 17 – Jan. 14, episodes 1-5 will be re-entered into Matchmaking (one episode per week) to support the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge,” and allow anyone who missed or wants to replay a previous chapter to easily find teammates online. (Check outhttp://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/intel/spartanops for more information.)
The second half of Spartan Ops Season One will resume later in January with brand new episodes, chapters, locations and maps. Be sure to tune into the Spike TV 10th Annual Video Game Awards, live on Spike TV, Dec. 7 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT for more information and an exclusive first-look at the continuation of Spartan Ops Season One. The Spike TV Video Game Awards will simulcast on MTV 2, MTV Tr3s, Xbox LIVE, spike.com and gametrailers.com.
More than a billion people use Google Maps each month to find their way around town and around the world. To help these people get exactly the information they need, the Google Maps team works constantly to ensure that the geographic data behind our maps is comprehensive and accurate. As part of this ongoing effort, Google has just released updated maps for 10 countries and regions in Europe: Andorra, Bulgaria, Estonia, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
Today’s update is part of a project called Ground Truth that began in 2008. Through this initiative, we acquire high-quality map data from authoritative sources around the world and then apply a mix of advanced algorithms, supplemental data (including satellite, aerial and Street View imagery), and human input to create a map that corresponds as closely as possible to the real-world facts that you’d find if you were to visit that location.
For example, this update adds a new 70-km section of Bulgaria’s Trakiya motorway, which opened recently to drivers but hasn’t been reflected on most maps of the region until now.
But roads and highways alone don’t define the character of a place, and they aren’t always sufficient to help you get around. So Google Maps also integrates information such as walking paths, ferry lines, building outlines, park boundaries, university campuses and more—providing a richer, more comprehensive and more realistic experience for locals, visitors and armchair travellers alike.
Our new map of Spain, for example, not only shows the famous Museo del Prado and Parque del Retiro in Madrid, but also includes additional building models in surrounding neighbourhoods, the well-known “Estanque” (or pond) in the centre of the park, and detailed walking paths throughout both the park and the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens.
Of course, the world is always changing, and we want Google Maps to change with it. So when you notice something on the map that needs updating, let us know through the simple “Report a problem” tool in the lower right corner of the map.
This tool launches today in the 10 places where we’ve updated our maps, and is already available in dozens of other countries around the world.
With today’s release, the maps that we’ve built through our Ground Truth initiative are now available in a total of 40 countries worldwide. To see the progress we’ve made to date, take a look at the image below (click for a full-size version).
More than 400 customers, partners, media and dignitaries attended an event on Nov. 19 to explore the global and business benefits of Windows 8. Attendees saw a range of new Windows 8 apps developed in the Middle East, including Time Out Dubai, Al Jazeera and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.
Keynote addresses by Ali Faramawy, corporate vice president for Microsoft and president of Microsoft Middle East and Africa, and Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president for Windows Web Services, highlighted early deployment customers including Emirates Airlines, BT and UAE Smart Learning.
“‘Re-imagining Windows’ – where could this be a better fit than here in Dubai?” Faramawy asked. “This region is full of imagination and inspiration – just like our newest version of Windows.”
The guest speaker at the event, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, UAE minister for foreign trade, stressed how the competitiveness of the UAE economy has been greatly improved due to technology investments, and noted that Windows 8 will play a key role in continuing that development.
The event was held in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made building in the world.
Those of you who use YouTube most have learned the secret to making it even better—find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. Last year YouTube began to make it easier to subscribe to the channels you care about by introducing a Guide on the home page. When you add subscriptions to your Guide, you organize YouTube around what you like, available whenever you watch YouTube. Today, YouTube is taking the next step by bringing your subscription-filled Guide with you across both the site and all devices, as your best source of what to watch on YouTube.
Your Guide to YouTube
Just subscribe to your favorite channels and the Guide lets you know when there are new videos waiting for you to enjoy, suggests the latest and greatest channels you might like, and shows you what your friends are sharing across the web. You’ll also find the Guide and your subscriptions on apps across hundreds of millions of devices including Android, iPhone, Playstation 3, Google TV and more.
A cleaner, simpler look
You come to YouTube to watch the videos you care about, so it’s important that the videos stand out. In this new layout, you’ll find the most crucial elements are front and center when you watch a video: the video is right at the top of the page and the subscribe button, social actions and video information are all combined directly below the player. Playlists are now available to the right of the video so you can browse through while you watch. You’ll also see this cleaner and simpler design across the entire site.
As we approach 2013, LinkedIn has refreshed its popular buzzwords analysis from previous years. Do members still describe themselves as “creative” and “effective” professionals with “extensive experience” or did the most overused words in LinkedIn Profiles change from last year’s analysis?
When they ran the analysis in 2011, we had 135 million members around the globe. Now LinkedIn has more than 187 million. Even though they added more than 50 million new members since they did the last ranking, the data tells us that the number one buzzword globally is “creative” once again.
Taking a look at more than 187 million profiles members have worldwide , these are the top buzzwords for a selection of countries:
Creative: Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, U.S.
Motivated: Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Multinational: Egypt, Indonesia
Responsible: France, Italy
Here are the top 10 buzzwords used in the United States in 2012:
As was the case last year, “creative”, “organizational”, “effective” are in the top three. This year though, more members this year described themselves as “responsible” and “analytical”, which made an appearance on our ranking for the first time. As a result, “dynamic” and “communication skills” got knocked off the list. “Motivated” is now ranked higher than “extensive experience” which was the top buzzword in 2010.
Your LinkedIn Profile is an opportunity to define your professional identity. Set yourself apart in the new year by wiping your profile clean of buzzwords!
 Methodological details: They followed the same methodology as last year, they included non-English profiles in the analysis after translating them. We aggregated the adjectives in the summary section of their member’s public profiles and removed some overused nouns (e.g., “mobile”) and other irrelevant words. From that list they sorted words by frequency and took the top 10 for each country.
Move Your Excel Files to the Cloud, we thought we’d share the reasons we believe everyone can benefit from moving their spreadsheets online.
Although the Xbox 360 console itself is now over seven years old, people seem to know a good deal when they see one. During the Black Friday seven-day sales period two weeks ago, Microsoft managed to sell 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles, more than any other console–even much newer ones. Many of those sales were part of specially-priced bundle packages, where users could get some free games and other content.
Today, Microsoft, via the Major Nelson website, announced yet another special Xbox 360 bundle, but this one is being aimed at a different audience. It’s the Xbox 360 Nike+ Kinect Training bundle and it includes the 4GB version of the console, the Kinect motion gesture add-on, one month of Xbox Live Gold service and a copy of the Nike+ Kinect Training “game” for $249.99.
Yes, Microsoft is selling a bundle designed not for people who want to sit on the couch, but for folks who want to get off that couch and work out in front of the TV screen. Launched earlier this year, Nike+ Kinect Training offers users a number of different exercises that use the Kinect sensor device to track a person’s movements. You can also compare your results with other Nike-endorsed athletes and celebrities.
Microsoft also announced that Nike+ Kinect Training will be available to download via Xbox Live for all Xbox 360 owners on December 25th. The next day, it will release an add-on for the game called Fast and Focused: Upper Body and Core Pack, for $4.99 or 400 Microsoft points.
Google Apps started with the simple idea that Gmail could help businesses and schools work better together without the hassles of managing software and servers. As we grew from a handful of customers to a few hundred, Google expanded to offer a premium business version of Google Apps. Fast forward to today and Google Apps is used by millions of businesses. We’ve also added versions for governments, universities and schools.
When they launched the premium business version we kept our free, basic version as well. Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn’t quite right for either group. Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes. Similarly, consumers often have to wait to get new features while we make them business-ready.
With this in mind, Google has decided to make things very straightforward. Starting today for all new customers:
Please note this change has no impact on the existing customers, including those using the free version. And as before, Google Apps for Education will be available as a free service for schools and universities. Also, as the first cloud productivity suite with FISMA certification, Google will continue to offer Google Apps for Government for $50 per user, per year.
Here is the email i got from Google
Hello from Google,
Here’s some important news about Google Apps—but don’t worry, there’s no need for you to take any action. We just want you to know that we’re making a change to the packages we offer.
Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free.
Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month.
You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the Enterprise Blog.
Thank you for using Google Apps.
Director, Google Apps
Social Media has in 2013 become a key marketing tactic for businesses seeking to build brand equity. Once seen as merely a pastime, social media has evolved into a way to leverage data on consumers and reach them as never before.
Marketers are now not just the qualified business people who name themselves so, we have all become marketers in some form. Social shifts have dictated this trend and a firm dialog now exists between companies and their customers. Agencies have developed new models to deal with this change and advertising campaigns now reflect this. Targeting customers directly has become far more effective than marketing to the masses and social media provides the perfect avenue to do this.
Social media now allows for something never seen before; consumers marketing to fellow consumers. The ‘Like’ trend made popular on Facebook has evolved into incentive marketing and is proving far more effective. Rewarding customers for sharing content, offers and prizes allows marketing to go ‘viral’ without relying on outside factors. These sharable marketing strategies incentivize social media users to market to their friends, family and more ensuring a wide reach for any campaign.
Social media channels have begun to integrate with one another and become distinct in their roles. The top five are still; Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin and blogs. There are of course other players such as Pintrest and Google+ and these also have their place. Blogs can be more keyword focused and integrate with social channels easily. Facebook is looking to shift to social search and paid content is growing rapidly as a better alternative to paid advertising. LinkedIn is the most important social HR tool a company can use and Twitter is aligning itself as the newsroom of the future. Social television has become more common too. Air time is now being given to social media users and is fast becoming a hybrid of content sources.
Traditional advertising online is changing too. Sponsored content in social media is becoming increasingly popular in the move into digital social advertising. Google remains the king in the online advertising sector and has the tools to provide personalized and targeted campaigns for their customers. Premium links are still the best performers in search and Google will continue to support content hierarchy in its ever changing algorithms. So too has SEO seen a shift in recent times. Good marketing is rewarded more so now and the past SEO tricks are becoming less effective.
Marketing strategies now need to be aware of social reputation management as the sector continues to grow. Focus must be placed here as online social media is now one of the first places consumers search. Technologies such as NFC have encouraged big companies like Google and Microsoft to advance their digital wallet services. These are still in their infancy but could see rapid growth in the near future. The same goes for Augmented Reality (AR), with Google leading the way here.
What do you think? Leave us your comments…
Over the past several months, Facebook’s engineering team has been working on improving the quality of their documentation. Today, we are excited to announce that a significant portion of our reference documentation is now automatically generated from source code.
This new process makes our documentation more accurate, complete and keeps it up-to-date over time. Today’s release includes FQL, Android SDK and iOS SDK reference docs. They are currently working on converting the Graph API and other reference docs.
With this release, Facebook has also revamped the documentation format and added a more intuitive navigation structure for easier browsing. Please check out new documentation and let us know what you think.