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Google+ ‘fastest-growing’ ever

Google is a latecomer to social networking but its new site, Google+, is growing much more rapidly than Facebook, Myspace and Twitter did in their early days, technology experts said Tuesday.
While Google+ may be the fastest-growing social network ever, it remains to be seen, however, whether it can pose a serious threat to the social networking titan Facebook, which has more than 750 million members.
Andrew Lipsman, vice-president for industry analysis at tracking firm comScore, said Google+, which was launched by the Internet search and advertising giant on June 28, had 25 million unique visitors as of July 24.
During a panel discussion on Google+ hosted by Wedbush Securities, Lipsman said it took other social networks much longer to reach 25 million users: 22 months for Myspace, 33 months for Twitter and 37 months for Facebook.
“Obviously, this is a very strong growth trajectory,” Lipsman said.
He cautioned, however, that Google “has a really large user base it can build off of” with its one billion users worldwide.
And it still has a “really long way to go to be competitive with Facebook,” Lipsman said.

Important
“Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it’s important to realize that fastest may not always be best,” he said. “Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends.”
Most Google+ users — 6.4 million — are in the United States, followed by India with 3.6 million, Canada with 1.1 million, Britain with 1.1 million and Germany with over 920,000, according to comScore.
Lipsman said many Google+ users appear to also be users of Google’s email program Gmail and display a “very strong early adopter profile.”
He said the ratio of men to women is about two to one and that 60 percent of Google+ users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
In the United States, the highest numbers of Google+ users are in the tech-savvy cities of San Francisco and Austin, Texas, he said.
Steve Rubel, executive vice president for global strategy and insights at public relations firm Edelman, said Facebook is not “vulnerable immediately” to Google.
“I don’t see (Google+) taking significant share from Facebook in the next 18 months,” Rubel said.
At the same time, “what we have seen is that over the years there’s never been a social network or community that has had significant staying power,” he said. “There’s always a shuffling every two or three years, a changing of the guard.

“We saw it with Myspace,” he said of the one-time social networking leader that has been eclipsed by Facebook and hemorrhaging users ever since.
Rubel said Google was compelled to try its hand at social networking because Facebook is restricting the access of its search engine to Facebook content.
“What’s happening is more content is being created behind Facebook’s walls than ever before and a lot of that content is invisible to Google,” he said.
“Conceptually, at least, they’re building kind of an alternate Web… There’s also an entire Web that is app-based on mobile phones. That is also invisible to them.”
Rubel said it was conceivable that more content would be invisible to them in five or 10 years than what the search engine can see today when created on Facebook or inside apps.
“So they had to make a play to get more people to create content on their site,” he continued. “It’s to get more people to spend time on Google.”
In unveiling Google+, Google stressed the ability it gives users to separate online friends and family into different “Circles,” or networks, and to share information only with members of a particular circle.
One of the criticisms of Facebook is that updates are shared with all of one’s friends unless a user has gone through a relatively complicated process to create separate Facebook Groups.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Google Now Detecting Viruses, For At Least One Form Of Malware

Google has just announced something pretty interesting, that it is using its own data to detect viruses and will as of today be using Google Search results pages to warn users if their computers are infected with a specific form of malware. Users infected with the virus, which is apparently rerouting traffic to Google and other sites through a proxy, will see the below warning.

From the Google blog post mysteriously titled “Using data to protect people from malware”:

“Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or “malware.” As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.”

Google’s Matt Cutts offers more details about the virus on his Twitter account, apparently it only affects Windows computers and hijacks Google results. “That’s how we learned about it,” Cutts says about the “results hacking” thing, without offering many more details. Google is recommending you follow the advice in its Help Center if you do receive the notification.

This is the first time major search engine turns its results pages into what is ostensibly a malware alarm. Of course this is in the company’s best interests; if proxies are intercepting communications they could also potentially access Google accounts, thus creating more headaches for Google.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Facebook facial recognition draws ire of Connecticut Attorney General

Facebook‘s facial-recognition feature for automatically tagging uploaded photos with the names of those pictured sparked a backlash from privacy advocates. Now it’s coming under scrutiny from Connecticut‘s attorney general, who sent a letter to company officials this week requesting a meeting.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said he has “deep concerns” about Facebook’s choice to make the tagging feature opt-out, not opt-in.

“The potential uses of facial recognition on this scale remain unclear but concerning,” Jepsen wrote. “This important privacy issue needs to be addressed promptly. There may be some fairly simple changes that can be implemented to make certain that consumers are fully aware of the implications of ‘Tag Suggestions.'”

Facebook first introduced its “Tag Suggestions” tool in December, but it has recently accelerated the feature’s worldwide roll-out to the site’s 500 million members. Four privacy advocacy groups, including the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), banded together last week and filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. They asked the FTC to require Facebook to cease using facial recognition technology without users’ explicit, opt-in consent.

A Facebook representative said the company is in contact with Jepsen’s office and is “eager” to explain more about how Tag Suggestions works. However, Facebook is standing behind the tool and its widespread deployment.

“Since last December, we’ve been gradually rolling out the feature and millions of people have used it to add hundreds of millions of tags,” Facebook said in a written statement. “This data, and the fact that we’ve had almost no user complaints, suggests people are enjoying the feature and are finding it useful.”

Facebook members who don’t want their name to come up in the suggestions tool can disable it in their “privacy settings” panel. Facebook offers instructions for how to do that in its blog and in its “help” pages. Members can also un-tag themselves from a photo at any time.

But EPIC and other critics say those tools are too difficult to use, and that the onus should be on Facebook to expressly confirm users’ consent — not the other way around.

That issue is also at the heart of Jepsen’s gripe.

“In Facebook’s desire to promote photo sharing and tagging among its users, it appears to have overlooked a critical component of consumer privacy protection — an opt-in requiring users to affirmatively consent,” Jepsen wrote in his letter.

Government regulators and policymakers are growing increasingly concerned about how tech companies handle user privacy

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Electronic Arts merging big games, gadgets

“Historically, as a publisher, you developed a game, packed it on a disk, shipped it and then started work on your next game,” said EA vice president and managing director of Southern Europe Pascal Brochier. “The Web has helped us expand with multi-player and downloadable content to extend incredible gaming experiences,” he continued during an interview at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week in Los Angeles. “Multi-platform enables us to follow gamers where they want to be.” Crowds of industry insiders and press jockeyed for behind-closed-doors glimpses at eagerly-awaited EA releases such as “FIFA 12” and “Mass Effect 3.”Long queues formed for looks at hot shooter title “Battlefield 3” and a new installment to racing franchise “Need for Speed” that for the first time gets virtual drivers out of their cars. EA is taking the beloved “Star Wars” science fiction saga to a new frontier in the form of a “massively multi-player online” game that people around the world will be able to immerse themselves in using personal computers.

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More than a million people signed up for a test phase of “Star Wars: Old Republic,” which EA is due to release later this year. EA has been focusing its resources on fewer, bigger games and working to adapt versions of titles to popular smart gadgets. “I think we are in a very sweet spot in the sense that we embraced multi-platform fairly early on,” Brochier said of EA’s strategy of publishing versions of games for a variety of consoles and other devices. “You can start ‘FIFA’ in the living room on your TV and then engage with it on the go,” he continued. “The iPad, iPhone, social gaming… It’s not the same play, but it is the best football game available.” EA last week launched an Origin.com online shop for videogame offerings. Origin will have exclusive limited edition copies of hot games, including “Battlefield 3” and “FIFA 12,” as well as upcoming titles such as “Alice: Madness Returns” made by the California company’s partners. Origin will eventually let people see what friends are playing and where, according to EA. “We’re committed to offering consumers direct access to great content and community in a way they have never experienced before,” said EA chief executive John Riccitiello. Origin will also link to smartphones to let people connect and play games such as “Scrabble” and “Battlefield 3” with friends on the move. “We think the growth of this industry is correlated to the social element of it,” Brochier said. He saw social games as being in their infancy with much potential to grow. Popular online social games such as “Farmville” or “Words With Friends” tend to be “asynchronous” with friend’s not playing together when moves are made. Brochier believed social play would become more real-time and personal. For example, EA released a “Need for Speed” title that challenges a player to complete a course and then shows a shadow of that car as a competitor when a friend takes on the same virtual track at another time. “I definitely think elements that allow you to share are the future,” Brochier said. “We are going to start seeing socially relevant experiences.” In the coming months, EA will launch a “Sims Social” game on Facebook that lets people play a version of the virtual world game that features friends at the social network and evidently allows for activities such as flirting. EA has reportedly sold about 140 million copies of “Sims” videogames. “It is not just technology, you have to have great content,” Brochier said above the din of the packed EA booth. “A lot of companies have exited the business; it is difficult to have content and technology.”

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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 AMD Bulldozer “FX-8150P Black Edition”

 

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A Chinese site has leaked details on AMD’s upcoming Bulldozer based Zambezi-FX Processor. The Processors which is called “FX-8150P” would a top of the line “Black Edition” offering from the A-8 Series lineup which consist of 8 Cores. We already know that AMD has postponed their Bulldozer Launch to July-August due to performance issues with the current CPU revisions, Newer B2 Revisions will arrive shortly in early Q3 2011. Some websites detailed that the delay was part of AMD’s marketing strategy.

The CPU “FX-8150P Black Edition” is built on a 32Nm SOI process and will feature a base clock of 4.2Ghz and can turbo upto a staggering 4.7Ghz clock. Keep in mind that the fastest AMD CPU we knew till now was the FX-8130P with a 3.8Ghz stock and 4.2Ghz T.C but the Black edition breaks the barrier. The Processor features a whopping 140W TDP. Other specs are 1866Mhz DDR3 Memory support, Unlocked Mutiplier, 8C/8T and 8Mb L3 Cache. Reaching 5Ghz+ clock speeds wont be a biggie on this monster.

As far as the price goes, Not much has been detailed but considering the FX-8130P which will be available for 320$  The price of FX-8150P would be set at a 350$+ mark.

 

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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SOFTWARE ENGINERING GOALS

  • All programming projects should begin with functional descriptions which become the highest level pseudocode. Every module and every routine, high or low level, should have a functional description approptiate to its level of abstraction.
  • Functional descriptions determine high level pseudocode should be iteratively refined to low level pseudocode. The pseudocode becomes internal documentation.
  • Pseudocode should be organized into modules, thus ultimately organizing the project into modules.
  • Computer code for all routines and main programs should be generated from low level pseudocode. The pseudocode should become internal documentation.
  • Module interface specifications should be created so that modules may be created independently.
  • Programs should be constructed from modules.
  • All support routines should reside in separately compiled modules.
  • Each module should only contain routines whose functions are related.
  • Inter-module communication should be accomplished solely through passing parameters. No global variables should be used. Parameters should be passed “by value” where required access is read-only.
  • Communication between routines in the same module should also only be accomplished through parameter passing.
  • Low level routines should have simple and explicit functions. For example low level routines should not do any I/O (especially interaction with the user) unless that is the sole function of that routine.
  • Support routines should be evaluated with respect to flexibility and efficiency.
  • Include files should be used where required to effect inter-module independence and consistency. For example data-type definitions should be included to attain consistent definitions global to all modules.
  • Changes (such as changes to underlying data structures) in low level routines should not require source code changes in high level routines. This is accomplished by carefully constructing the calling interface to adhere to data abstraction principles.
  • Changes (such as changes to the driving application) in high level routines should not require source code changes in low level routines. This is accomplished by carefully constructing the calling interface to adhere to data abstraction principles.
  • Changes to high level routines should not require low level routines to be recompiled.
  • Changes to low level routines should not require high level routines to be recompiled. (This is generally very difficult to achieve.)
  • Modules should be constructed so that private support routines are not accessible outside the module. This may be accomplished using submodules or language-dependent protection mechanisms.
  • Modules should be constructed so that internal data structures can be accessed only through authorized routines.
  • All program changes should start with a change to the highest level pseudocode appropriate to that change. This ensures that pseudocode accurately reflects the structure of the underlying code.

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Ballmer: ‘Windows 8 is coming!’ Microsoft: ‘Eek!’

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer this week let slip what was already a poorly kept secret: Windows 8 will go on sale next year.

But that’s not a message Microsoft wants to let out so soon, apparently: The company issued a retraction shortly after Ballmer’s speech.

Windows 7 had been the fastest-selling version of Windows ever, but sales started to slump last quarter. Knowledge that a new product is on its way may soften demand even further, analysts say.

At a developers conference in Tokyo earlier this week, Ballmer spoke about Microsoft’s current product successes as a launching point to talk about what he believes will be an even brighter future. When he came to Windows 7, he noted that the next version of Windows will be even better.

“We’re obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows,” said Ballmer said, according to a transcript. “As we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there’s a whole lot more coming. As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.”

Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) declined to comment to CNNMoney about Ballmer’s remarks, but many news organizations received an amusing backtracking statement from the company’s PR team earlier in the week.

“It appears there was a misstatement,” Microsoft’s representatives told CNET, PC Magazine and others. “We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.”

Until this week, Microsoft’s top brass have been unusually secretive about Windows 8. The company is typically is unafraid to discuss or even release beta versions to the public, but this time it’s working quietly.

Ballmer’s speech was even the first time a Microsoft executive publicly called the product “Windows 8.” Microsoft hadn’t officially confirmed the name of its next Windows iteration — internally, Microsoft refers to it as “Windows.Next,” though many Microsoft employees on LinkedIn refer to the new OS as Windows 8.

It’s understandable if Microsoft is hesitant to give consumers and businesses any reason to put off their purchases of Windows. But it’s more than a little unusual that the company is going to such lengths as to call the CEO’s long, articulate comment about Windows 8 a “misstatement.” To top of page

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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