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September 13 2011

Microsoft Prepares Windows 8 for Battle Against the iPad

Microsoft is set to unveil the next generation of Windows Tuesday. The new operating system, currently known as Windows 8, is the tech giant’s attempt to regain ground that it has lost to Apple, which surpassed Microsoft last year as the world’s most valuable company.

It isn’t the MacBook or Mac OS X Lion that has Microsoft executives worried, though. It’s the sheer dominance of the iPad.

The iPad hasn’t skipped a beat since its debut last year. Thanks to Apple’s ingenuity, a shockingly low starting price and a strong marketing campaign, the device has sold more than 25 million units in less than a year and a half. More importantly, it has defined a whole new category of consumer devices. And it dominates that category with an iron fist.

iPad competitors have come and gone, but none have been able to make a dent in the iPad’s rapid growth. HP has given up on the TouchPad, the RIM Playbook has underperformed and countless Android tablets have fallen by the wayside. Nothing has emerged as the alternative to the iPad.

Windows 8: One OS to Rule Them All

This presents a dangerous problem and an opportunity for Microsoft. The tech giant cannot let Apple monopolize the tablet market like Microsoft did with the desktop OS. That would seal its fate as a technology power destined to diminish into a shell of its former self.

There is a need for a legitimate alternative to the iPad, though, and the company that gets it right will emerge in a strong position to take a big piece of the fast-growing tablet market. Success in tablets would boost Microsoft’s profits, ease investor concerns about the shrinking PC market and set it up for future growth.

That’s where Windows 8 comes in. The next generation OS, which will be unveiled at the Microsoft Build conference on Tuesday, is not only designed for PCs, but it is also made to work on tablets as well. We got a taste of its touchscreen capabilities at the D9 conference earlier this year, but we expect Microsoft to unveil the first Windows 8 tablet during Tuesday’s keynote. Our sources tell us that the device will be manufactured by Samsung but has been designed meticulously by Microsoft in an attempt to create the iPad alternative.

Will Microsoft’s gamble work? Can the company create an OS that works seamlessly on both tablets and PCs? And most of all, will it be useful enough, different enough and cheap enough to give the iPad a run for its money?

We’ll be closer to knowing the answers to those questions Tuesday morning. The tablet wars are about to begin in earnest.

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

More About: iOS, ipad, microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

Facebook Testing Feature to Reduce Email Notifications

Facebook has begun testing a new feature that lets active users group their email notifications into summary emails.

“We’re testing a feature for people who are very active on Facebook and receive lots of email notifications from us,” the company said in a post on its wall. “We’ll provide a new summary email and turn off most individual email notifications. If you want to turn them back on, there’s a control in your account settings.”

The feature, available to a small group of users in their account settings, is ideal for users that receive dozens of daily friend requests or are frequent participants in Facebook conversations. A daily summary is something more users will be able to handle.

What do you think of Facebook’s new email notification summary feature? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Facebook

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Soup.io will be discontinued :(

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September 08 2011

Why Launching a Startup Is More Expensive Than You Think

Dave Rosenberg is the CEO of Nodeable, which offers a social platform for systems data.

One of the things we hear a lot about in Silicon Valley is how cheap and easy it is to launch a startup these days. After all, high-quality open source software is free, the cloud makes computer power far less expensive, and anyone with an Internet connection can learn Ruby and CSS. Throw in a few YouTube videos and a Twitter account, and you’re golden — or so we are led to believe.

While all of these factors are true to an extent, the truth of the matter is that the reduced costs of hardware and software are easily offset by the expense of engineers and experienced business people. And no matter what the latest trends indicate, you will eventually have to spend money on PR and marketing.

I’m now in my second founder/CEO role, having raised more than $18.5 million in venture financing. In the last 10 years, I’ve been through three other venture-backed startups (two were IPO’d and one was acquired), and if one thing has become clear, it’s that no matter how inexpensively you think you can build a business, your calculations will be off — usually by a lot.

“The trick is determining the exact amount of money you’ll need in the first place, and figuring out where to spend the money to extract the most impact.”

No doubt early-stage companies can be started on a shoestring by low-paid entrepreneurs, but when financing a scalable, sustainable product, a free application server won’t make much of a difference. Nearly all of your costs will be headcount, primarily in the engineering department. And in case you haven’t heard, engineers are in short supply and get paid a lot these days, especially in the valley.

This is not to suggest that you can’t succeed on a budget with a skeleton team. The trick is determining the exact amount of money you’ll need in the first place, and figuring out where to spend the money to extract the most impact. For example, my company decided early on to hire a UI designer, which has helped tremendously with our product development.

We also soon decided that we wanted to outsource as much of our operations to hosted services as we possibly could. Then we allocated the saved money into hiring the highest quality developers available — especially those who have experience working with a distributed team.

SEE ALSO: 8 Crucial Elements of Startup Success

Many first-time entrepreneurs envision getting in the door with the right venture capitalists (VCs), financial deities who will nurture their ideas and lavish cash upon them. Sometimes this is true, but generally speaking, you will hold two to four meetings with a venture firm — even when you already have amiable contacts there. And that still doesn’t guarantee they’re going to fund your vision.

Getting funded is hardly the end-all. In fact, it’s barely even the beginning for most companies in their seed stage financings. That said, to secure funding, it’s vital to craft a coherent pitch, especially if you don’t already have a prototype or working product.

Early-stage seed and angel investors all realize that a business will encounter a huge range of flux very rapidly. What they’re evaluating is the quality and compatibility of the team, the overall market size and the feasibility that you and your crew can make something big happen. That doesn’t mean you’ll receive a blank check. Venture firms put their money into your company with the expectation (not just the hope) that you’ll create a substantial return.

None of this advice is meant as a scare tactic, or a suggestion that you can’t or shouldn’t start a company. In fact, I encourage everyone — even my own employees — to target a business passion that will make them happy and wealthy.

The availability of low-cost technology is just one piece of the puzzle. The path from seed idea to successful business is a long and arduous process — one that is simultaneously painful and hugely rewarding.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: business, finance, startup

For more Startups coverage:

September 07 2011

How Do We Get More Students Interested in Math, Science & Tech Careers? [INFOGRAPHIC]

In the next seven years, more than a million jobs will open up that require specialized technology skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But there won’t be enough qualified college graduates to fill them. Are we doing enough to get kids interested in math and science?

Harris Interactive conducted two surveys on behalf of Microsoft to understand the shortage of students entering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related fields. One survey focused on parents of K-12 students and the other surveyed college students pursuing STEM degrees.

Why do students choose to pursue math or science? The answer appears to vary by gender. Forty-nine percent of female STEM students say it was to make a difference, and 61% of male students said that games or toys in their childhoods sparked their interest. For 68% of the female respondents, a teacher or class got them interested in science, math, engineering or technology.

Many of the students surveyed said they majored in STEM for work reasons — 68% mentioned good salary and 66% mentioned job potential; 68% of those same students also said they majored in STEM because they found it stimulating and challenging.

SEE ALSO: Back to School: 42 Digital Resources for Students & Parents

Harris Interactive asked parents about their perception of STEM education in K-12. It found that 93% of parents believe that STEM education should be a priority in the U.S., but only 49% believe it is treated as a priority. And while 50% of parents want to see their children pursue careers in STEM, only 24% said they were willing to spend extra money to make their children successful in math and science classes.

For more information from the Microsoft-Harris Interactive surveys, you can check out the results or the infographic below.

More About: education, inforgraphic, microsoft, Tech

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

Happy Birthday, Television: 26 Essential Connected TV Resources

The high-definition Super Bowl replays and 3D animated films of today wouldn’t be possible without the genius of Philo Farnsworth, inventor of the electric television.

On Sept. 7, 1927 Farnsworth transmitted the first image via television — a simple, straight line. His image dissector camera tube created an electron image which, in turn, generated an on-screen representation recognizable by the human eye. Two years later, Farnsworth had tweaked his invention enough to transmit the first live images to television, one of which was a 3.5-inch portrait of his wife, who sat squinting into the bright light then necessary to transmit a picture.

Since television’s inception, the world has witnessed its impact on advertising principles, news distribution, the music industry, technological innovation, political coverage and, well, reality. In recognition of the first electronic television developed 84 years ago, we’ve compiled a roundup of resources that cover the latest in TV tech — today’s web-enabled platforms and the social viewing experience.

Facebook Adds Clinton’s Former Chief of Staff to Board

Facebook has announced that former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles has been added to its board of directors.

Bowles served as President Bill Clinton’s head of the Small Business Administration in 1993 before becoming deputy White House chief of staff in 1994 and chief of staff in 1996. Before that, Bowles founded his own investment bank and co-founded venture capital firm Kitty Hawk Capital and private equity firm Carousel Capital.

Bowles is also the president emeritus of the University of North Carolina system and is currently co-chair of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

“Erskine has held important roles in government, academia and business which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Along with his experience founding companies, this will be very valuable as we continue building new things to help make the world more open and connected.”

Bowles will join an all-star board of directors that includes Peter Tiel (PayPal, Founders Fund, Clarium Capital), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Donald Graham (Washington Post), Jim Breyer (Accel Partners), Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz, Netscape) and Zuckerberg. Hastings joined the board in June to guide the company as it prepares for its highly-anticipated IPO.

More About: erskine bowles, facebook

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5 Tips for Getting More Video Views

Justin Nassiri is the founder and CEO of VideoGenie, a company that helps brands gather, moderate and track customer contributed video. Prior to founding VideoGenie, Justin served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, directing the operations and navigation of a nuclear-powered warship. He is a graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Video is increasingly becoming a preferred medium for online communication. Current research suggests that the emotional connection of video is the surest way to the hearts of customers. Apart from the ubiquitous phenomenon of YouTube, ChatRoulette connected all types (and we mean all types) of people; Google+ now allows users to hang out via webcam; and Netflix and Hulu are challenging cable by streaming television.

The problem is, with so much video content out there, how do you ensure that yours gets noticed? Here are five steps to ensure your audience presses “play.”

1. Location, Location, Location

The location of video content on your site is more important than you may think. Just as newspapers strategize selling prime advertising space close to the headlines, you also need to think about locating your video. Therefore, embed front and center. You can’t hide your video below the fold (or in this case, below the scroll) and expect stellar pageviews. Furthermore, don’t publish your video to a microsite and then expect viewers to migrate. Give your video prime real estate by placing it on your landing page, and then post to the video tab of your site’s Facebook fan page.

2. Tap Your Fan Base

Fans are the best resource for spreading news, and therefore, video content. You know the ones: the die-hard followers on Twitter and Facebook who are always the first to comment, respond and retweet. Make sure they feel special — send your video to them directly before it goes live on your site, and make sure to emphasize their exclusive VIP access. Encourage them to share it with their followers soon and often. Turn your fans into marketers. They’re more likely to generate unique views than a simple company tweet, for example. Finally, engaging your ardent followers will ensure that they stay your biggest advocates.

3. Share Smartly

There’s no way to get noticed without sharing content. The majority of the time, dumping your video onto the web and hoping that people stumble across it will not generate a viral movement. Be diligent about sharing your video. That means using all the obvious channels like Facebook and Twitter, but it also means sharing smartly.

For example, assume that followers likely subscribe to more than one site channel. If you plan to repost content from one channel to the other (and you should), tweak the text of your message. You don’t want to make your biggest fans feel like they’re being spammed.

4. Gamify

People love a good contest, or at least, they love being rewarded for something easy — like watching a video. Therefore, offer an incentive, or notify fans that when your video reaches a certain number of views, you’ll release a follow-up “secret” video, for instance.

You could consider offering something of value, such as a discount code, but often the promise of extra or exclusive content is enough to incentivize sharing.

5. Be Authentic

Some videos have a really high clickthrough rate, while others get barely any clicks at all. Some of the most mundane videos appeal to the widest swath of a community (remember Subway’s Jared?). However, it’s not a crapshoot: The golden rule is to make your video authentic, more than just the subject you’re filming. Commit to that authenticity from the beginning of the recording process to the final publishing phase.

At the end of the day, you can never perfectly predict which videos will resonate with your community, but a metrics-driven approach can help to simplify the guesswork.

More About: business, Social Media, video

For more Video coverage:

September 06 2011

Miramax Adds Content to Netflix Latin America

Miramax announced Tuesday that it will bring hundreds of its titles to Netflix in Latin America.

Netflix announced its formal rollout plans for the Latin American and Caribbean markets Monday, the first part of its major international push.

The new Miramax deal is similar to the agreement the studio signed in the U.S. back in May. Latin American subscribers will be able to stream films like Chicago, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction across supported devices.

Since the Walt Disney Company sold Miramax’s film library and assets to Filmyard Holdings in December 2010, the studio shifted its focus away from new releases, and towards leveraging its library of films in the digital marketplace. In addition to deals with Netflix, the studio also brought movie rentals to Facebook last month.

As for Netflix, it’s betting a big chunk of its future growth on international expansion. With recent price hikes, the end of the Starz content deal and an increasingly competitive landscape, Netflix will need to provide its users across the globe with access to plenty of content. Meanwhile, its competitors aren’t sitting still. Hulu launched in Japan last week, with a big library of American films and TV shows.

More About: latin america, miramax, netflix, subscription streaming

For more Media coverage:

Andrew Belle Premieres “The Ladder” on Mashable [VIDEO]

Each day, Mashable highlights one noteworthy YouTube video. Check out all our viral video picks.

Indie musician Andrew Belle’s new music video, “The Ladder” — for the title track from his sophomore album — premieres today on Mashable. This animated video’s hand-drawn appearance and story fit the lyrics well. Visually, it is a bit reminiscent of Radiohead’s classic “Paranoid Android” from 1997.

Belle has been cited by MTV, Billboard and iTunes as a musician to watch and has an extensive social media following. He was a guest DJ in Mashable‘s Summer Fridays Turntable.fm room earlier this summer.

The artist maintains two Twitter accounts, @AndrewBelle and @team_belle. The @team_belle account is for the musician’s very active street team. On Facebook, Belle has more than 27,000 fans. Last winter, Belle embarked on a 20 Days, 20 Questions with his Facebook and Twitter followers, posting a new answer each day to YouTube.

We’ve seen independent and mainstream artists alike embrace a more multifaceted approach to social media. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube — and even Instagram — allow these artists to connect with the people who listen to their music, while also sharing a more personal part of their own work.

What do you think of the video?

More About: Andrew Belle, independent artists, music, viral-video-of-the-day, youtube

For more Video coverage:

September 03 2011

39 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

Summer may be lazing into fall, but we’re just ramping it up! Brought to Mashable readers exclusively, we bring you the weekly roundup.

This week seems to have a peculiar culinary theme, so we’re going with the flow. Two of our editorial picks involve browser cookies and Facebook tips for restaurants. Now that you’ve got the munchies, fix yourself a plate and kick back this weekend with our favorite features.

Editors’ Picks

Social Media

September 02 2011

Dish to Launch Netflix Competitor in October [REPORT]

tv image

Dish Network is preparing to launch its own movie streaming service to compete with Netflix, according to a new report. The company acquired most of Blockbuster’s assets in April for $320 million and will reportedly introduce the service under the Blockbuster name.

Bloomberg reports that the service is planned to launch in October as a bid to compete with Netflix. Though Netflix is the market leader, the company has experienced blowback from customers and on Wall Street, in the wake of its recent price increase.

On Thursday, Starz announced that it had ended negotiations with Netflix. Starz is responsible for most of the new releases — from studios like Sony and Disney — on the streaming service.

Bloomberg reports that Starz is expected to be part of the new Dish/Blockbuster offering. If true, that could give Dish a leg up on some of the competitors in this space. Bloomberg also says that Dish is looking into an option that might allow Dish customers to watch on-demand Blockbuster films via their TV sets. No pricing structure has been set.

Dish will enter an arena fraught with competitors. Hulu, Amazon’s Instant Video and various TV Everywhere initiatives like HBO Go are also currently fighting for a place in the living room.

More About: dish network, Movies, netflix, subscription streaming, tv everywhere

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The Black Keys Announce New Blakroc Album on YouTube [VIDEO]

Blues-rock duo The Black Keys chose YouTube to announce the upcoming album from their side project Blakroc, a collaboration with hip-hop entrepreneur Damon Dashon.

Blakroc features various emcees rapping over original music from The Black Keys. Per the trailer, Blakroc 2 will feature rappers such as Talib Kweli, U-God, the Cool Kids, Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Jay Electronica, Jim Jones, Sean Price and OC, all of whom appear in the recording studio during the video. It may not give much insight into what the album will sound like, but there’s a lot of smoking.

It’s common for artists to use free services like YouTube to preview and promote upcoming work. Recently, Tom Waits used the service to announce his new album, Bad As Me, which will be released Oct. 25. However, The Black Keys’ teaser doesn’t reveal its impending release date, simply saying “Coming soon.” The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney even tweeted last night, probably sarcastically, “There are no actual plans to release blakroc 2. We’ve been trying for months to work out a partnership with @redlobster…to no avail”

With the popularity of The Black Keys at an all-time high following the band’s Grammy-winning 2010 album Brothers, perhaps simply getting the word out early creates a success. The video already has more than 16,000 views.

Will you be looking forward to the release?

More About: entertainment, media, music, the black keys, youtube

For more Media coverage:

Apple Puts Old Version of Final Cut Pro Back on Sale

Apple has agreed to make older versions of Final Cut Studio 3 available for purchase, following several months of customer backlash against the radically redesigned Final Cut Pro X.

When Final Cut Pro X was released in June, Apple touted the release as “the biggest advance in Pro video editing since the original Final Cut Pro.” Video professionals disagreed.

After receiving negative reviews from customers, Apple promised to frequently update Final Cut Pro X in order to bring its features up to par with previous versions of the venerable editing software. Apple’s competitors in the space, including Avid and Adobe, used the opportunity to offer Final Cut Pro customers cheaper migration paths to their software.

Since July, we’ve been hearing that existing Final Cut Studio customers could purchase additional licenses to the old program by calling Apple directly. MacRumors confirms that any customer can now obtain the legacy version of the video editor by calling Apple.

Users will need to call Apple directly at 800-MY-APPLE and ask for Final Cut Studio, part number MB642Z/A. The product is not available in Apple Retail stores or at Apple.com.

Final Cut Studio is $999 or $899 for educational customers. The package includes Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, DVD Studio Pro 4, Color 1.5 and Compressor 3.5. In contrast, Final Cut Pro X is $299.99 from the Mac App Store and Motion and Compressor are $49.99 each.

As a longtime user of Final Cut Pro, I maintain that for new digital editors or editors who are working with primarily digital footage (4K footage notwithstanding), Final Cut Pro X is decent tool. For my own non-professional usage, the app is fast and the new features are slick.

However, for users that need a more robust system, support for a wider array of hardware cards and monitors and formats, Final Cut Pro 7 is still ahead of the pack. For users who are looking for a more modern successor to Final Cut Pro 7, I would seriously suggest checking out the trial versions of Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.

The Final Cut Pro X rollout is one of Apple’s rare execution fumbles. But perhaps existing customers will be appeased by having access to the legacy program.

What do you think of Apple’s decision to continue selling the older version of the program?

More About: apple, Final Cut Pro X, mac, mac software, video editing

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September 01 2011

Renewal Talks Break Down Between Starz and Netflix

Netflix is having a rough day. Not only did the movie rental and subscription streaming service invoke its controversial price hike today, but one of its biggest content providers announced that it has ended contract renewal negotiations.

Starz Entertainment, one of the major sources of newer movie content to Netflix, announced Thursday that its content will stop appearing on Netflix’s streaming platform as of February 28, 2012.

In October 2008, Netflix signed a landmark agreement with Starz to provide online streaming of Starz programming, including Hollywood movies and original programming. That agreement was devised out of a loophole that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings found that would allow Starz to provide its content to Netflix the same way it provides its content to traditional cable companies.

The net result was that content available at any given time on Starz would also be available on Netflix. Most of the newer releases and catalog films from Sony and Disney that are currently available on Netflix Watch Instantly are a result of the partnership with Starz. In fact, earlier this summer, some of Starz’s Sony content was pulled from Netflix because of a contract and usage dispute.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the Starz partnership. As Netflix battles competitors such as Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and TV Everywhere, keeping a stable of updated and recent content will become crucial.

Netflix continues to sign content deals with individual studios and content providers, however, the Starz deal was important based on its variety and timeliness.

In a statement, Starz said:

This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content.

Starz’s decision mimics statements from its competitor, HBO, which has brushed off Netfix’s licensing attempts. Instead, HBO launched its own wildly successful TV Everywhere venture HBO Go. Starz may be attempting to try its own hand at an HBO Go-like solution.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, Netflix stock shares are down nearly 10% in after-hours trading, as a result of both the price hike and the Starz announcement.

We think it would be in Netflix’s best interest to do whatever it can to restart talks with Starz. Losing Disney and Sony films from its library will mean that negotiations will have to take place directly with the studios, and we doubt the studios will offer a better deal than what Starz is peddling. As for Starz, HBO’s success is indeed enviable, but we’re unsure that the network has a brand presence that can encourage users to use a stand-alone digital solution.

We contacted Netflix for comment but had not heard back at press time.

More About: netflix, starz, subscription streaming

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Hulu Goes International With Japan Launch

Popular streaming service Hulu is now available to customers in Japan, as part of the company’s first international expansion.

Japanese viewers will not have free access to Hulu.com, but rather its Hulu Plus service, in which content can be accessed on the web, via connected devices and video game consoles, and on smartphones and tablets.

Hulu has secured licensing deals with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Japan, Warner Bros., NBC Universal and CBS. The company, which is currently on the sales block, says it will be working to bring Japanese-produced content to the service, as well as content from across the Asian region.

The price of Hulu in Japan is ¥1,480 per month, or the equivalent of $19.99. That’s more than twice the price of Hulu’s U.S. offering, but considering all the international licensing deals, it’s probably a bargain for Japanese consumers who want access to American content.

On its blog, Hulu notes it has localized its user experience, by making the service available in both Japanese and English. Hulu Japan has also partnered with NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile carrier. The details of this partnership haven’t been released yet, but we imagine it will likely integrate well with NTT Docomo’s other offerings.

During its last quarterly earnings call, Netflix mentioned plans for international expansion. Rather than going after markets like Japan that have a well-entrenched digital ecosystem, Netflix will first target Latin America. It’s clear that in this new world of content distribution, international partnerships are going to become important, if not essential.

More About: entertainment, hulu, japan, subscription streaming, tv

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August 27 2011

Twitter Boasts That It’s Faster Than Earthquakes [VIDEO]

Twitter has released a short promotional video that touts that it’s faster than an earthquake.

The 47-second short notes draws attention to the fact that Twitter messages hit New York City before Virginia’s 5.9 magnitude earthquake had a chance to reach the Big Apple. The man in the video, warned of the quake via Twitter, picks up his mug before the quake strikes. He easily ignores the Twitter pillows and napkins being thrown at him.

The quake, which caused minimal damage, has been the subject of countless social media jokes. We expect that some will find the video insensitive, while others will laugh at the video’s whimsical nature.

At the very least, we agree with the video: Twitter is faster than earthquakes. Check out the video above and let us know what you think of the social media service’s video in the comments.

More About: twitter, youtube

For more Video coverage:

August 26 2011

Google+ Lets You Ignore People [VIDEO]

Is someone annoying you on Google+, but you don’t want to resort to blocking him or her completely from your profile? Now there is an option to ignore what that person is posting to Google+.

“Ignoring someone is basically saying you’re just not interested,” Google’s Olga Wichrowska said in a Google+ post. “Maybe you don’t know them, or maybe you don’t want to see what they’re sharing.”

Ignoring a user will do three things. First, it will remove his posts from your “Incoming” stream. Second, you will no longer get notifications about his activity. And finally, ignoring someone will remove him from your Circles page. The user isn’t notified that he has been ignored.

Ignoring is different than blocking, though. A person can still see your stream and comment on it if you’re ignoring him. Blocking him will eliminate his posts from your stream, remove him from your circles and block him from seeing anything you post.

The addition of Ignore seems to be part of Google’s initiative to give users more control over their profiles and data. Facebook has been making moves to enhance user control as well. It recently overhauled its privacy features in an attempt to give users more control.

More About: Google, Google Plus

For more Social Media coverage:

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