- British digital music downloads pass 500 million mark
- Facebook Creates Multiple Account Dashboard for Advertisers
- ‘Halo:Reach’ racks up $200M in first 24 hours
- Does Your App Know Where You Are? Maybe the Yellow API can help.
- Touching Base With: Jeremy Wright
- Google channels Flickr with its new Places page photo galleries
- Facebook Alternative Project Diaspora Releases Source Code
- Yelp Deals To Launch In NYC Tomorrow
- iPad owners to reportedly get a few welcome surprises in iOS 4.2
- Bing to get “more beautiful” with launch of IE9.
- Photoshop Doctoring Rule #1: Never Hire Egyptian Newspapers
- Freshbooks Adds New Project Tracking on the Dashboard
- Twitter looks to sign up big-name UK brands
- Everything You Need To Know About (The New) HTC Sense
- IE9 Gets Download Manager and Better Add-on Management
- TNW Quick Look: Motorola Droid 2
- The 2010 Social Networking Map : Cartography of computer clubs.
- Microsoft Reveals IE9 Beta With HTML5 Apps
- Adobe releases “Square” Flash Player with native 64-bit and IE 9 Beta support
- iOS 4.2 beta now available to developers
Posted: 16 Sep 2010 03:57 AM PDT
Reuters is reporting that Britain has just passed the 500-million mark for digital music downloads, with figures suggesting that 2010 will be another record year for music downloads, according to the Official Charts Company (OCC).
With nearly 70 legal music download services, a number higher than any other country, consumers are now starting to embrace digital downloads over physical purchases, even when music industry analysts note that music piracy is damaging artists and their music.
The OCC published data on Thursday showing that by the end of August 2010, 102 million legal had been registered with rough estimates suggesting a total of 170 million by the end of the year. These figures are up from 150 million in 2009 and 110 million in 2008.
According to the OCC, Britiain’s favourite track of the year thus far is Owl City’s “Fireflies” which has sold more than 600,000 copies with the Black-Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling,” being the biggest selling download and the first to sell a million copies since the official digital sales began in 2004.Image Credit
Original title and link for this post: British digital music downloads pass 500 million mark
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 11:18 PM PDT
As Facebook becomes more of a force in the online advertising space, it has to also step up to the plate with analytics and reporting. One of the hallmarks of a mature advertising platform is that it recognizes that often one person is managing multiple accounts. Google has this with the My Clients Center and now Facebook has an “All Accounts Dashboard” for similar circumstances.
In a post on the Facebook Advertising page simply says this:
Not a lot there, but enough to see that Facebook recognizes that customers require more data, more tools, and control over their advertising accounts. It seems that like AdWords, Twitter, and now Facebook, marketers are managing several different accounts and social media profiles at once. Perhaps the next big thing will be more holistic social media profile management pulling all these facets in together into a giant dashboard.
I just hope that dashboard comes with a triple-shot Americano to take it all in.
Hat tip: Inside Facebook
Original title and link for this post: Facebook Creates Multiple Account Dashboard for Advertisers
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 10:06 PM PDT
We don’t typically cover gaming news, but this is a pretty impressive milestone: ‘Halo: Reach’ brought in $200 million in combined US and European sales in the first 24 hours of its release according to Microsoft.
The XBox 360 title was released yesterday, and eclipsed the previous Microsoft mark of $170 million set by ‘Halo 3′ in 2007.
According to TechFlash, a Microsoft Game Studios VP said in a statement, "Every major installment has grown in scope and popularity, firmly cementing the 'Halo' franchise as one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world over the past decade."
Hard to argue to much with that statement when you’re talking about $200 million in sales in 24 hours.TechFlash
Original title and link for this post: ‘Halo:Reach’ racks up $200M in first 24 hours
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 08:17 PM PDT
In the new online dominated world one of the clear causalities has been the humble phone book. Gone are the days of flipping through the phone book to find a business or number, now we hit Google or the phone book online. At this point phone books have often been relegated to temporary monitor stand duty, if not just outright recycled. At the same time however, people want a lot of the information found in the phone book as an app on their phone, and thus Yellow Pages Canada has launched the Yellow API.
You can sign up as a developer to use the Yellow API and be able to tap into daily updates to their listings and then be able to build apps based on that data for consumers to use. Having an API to tap into local business info is great, it could be a real plus for people who just want to find the closest hardware store or something, but for developers there is also a potential benefit in earning revenues when people click on the listings or ads served up.
For me Yellow API is really a case of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. They see that more and more people don’t use phone books, so in order to stay in business and sell listings you need to change to put your information where people actually want to use it, and in this case that place is the phone already in their hand.
Yellow API is in beta right now, but if you happen to be in Toronto this week, there will be a session during FITC Mobile 2010 showing how the new Yellow API works.
Original title and link for this post: Does Your App Know Where You Are? Maybe the Yellow API can help.
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 06:15 PM PDT
Jeremy gave me my start in professional blogging when I was employee #1 at Inside Blogging (that he started with Darren Barefoot) back in 2004. Since then I’ve worked for Jeremy several times, most recently while he was CEO of b5media. Since Jeremy is one of those restless entrepreneur types, I figured touching base with him would be a good idea, because Jeremy often has the instinct of what will be hot in the social media space before it happens. Without further ado:
You’re a busy guy, it’s hard to keep up with what you have going on, so what’s your latest project?
You’ve been in the Canadian tech scene for a long time, what do you think is hot right now?
I got my first gig as a professional blogger with you (making you and I Canada’s first professional bloggers), do you see “blogging” as something unique to itself, or is it all just writing and reporting now?
The entrepreneur’s life is a hard one, what’s your #1 tip for people running startups?
We both earn our keep by staying on top of all the latest stuff, what tool is most useful to you?
Thanks to Jeremy for touching base with me…I’m looking forward to what he has on the go, well except for that karaoke part. He and I did that once. Never, ever again.Jeremy Wright
Original title and link for this post: Touching Base With: Jeremy Wright
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 06:09 PM PDT
An often-underused function of Google Places is the ability to explore new and interesting locations that aren’t your everyday businesses. As people add photographs to the Places pages for different locations, Google has now given them a slick UI for browsing the photo galleries.
According to the Google Lat Long Blog, the idea was this:
So what does this have to do with you? Well the obvious answer is that Google wants your help. You can upload your Places photos using Panoramio, and get them included into the geo-tagged collection.
Original title and link for this post: Google channels Flickr with its new Places page photo galleries
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 06:06 PM PDT
Diaspora, the “anti-Facebook” has released its source code today, saying “This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control.”
Right now, Diaspora can do the following according to the Diaspora Blog:
The blog post says that Diaspora will be working on – get this – Facebook integration for its October Alpha release, as well as internationalization and data portability – yep, the anti-Facebook will certainly be doing everything it can to make it easier for disgrunteled Facebook users to make the switch. Here’s the code on Github, you can read our previous coverage here and here, and below is some more from the Diaspora blog followed by some screenshots of what Diaspora apparently looks like now:
Original title and link for this post: Facebook Alternative Project Diaspora Releases Source Code
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 03:48 PM PDT
We just got word from Yelp that the ratings and listings site will launch its first New York City Yelp Deal tomorrow.
The NYC site will go live at 12:01 am EST tomorrow and Yelp will send out emails to its NYC users tomorrow at 6am. Below is what that email will look like - as in San Diego where the service launched, Yelp is offering a spa deal. Yelp of course is going after Groupon with Yelp Deals, and as we pointed out a while back, it certainly is well positioned to take on the market leader. Yelp Deals have also been launched in San Francisco as well.
Original title and link for this post: Yelp Deals To Launch In NYC Tomorrow
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 01:55 PM PDT
CNET is reporting that the developer’s release of iOS 4.2 shows a couple of very interesting changes that will be coming to the iPad that haven’t as of yet been announced: the screen lock switch will turn into a mute switch, and folders will be able to store up to 20 icons instead of the 12-icon/app limit of the iPhone and iPod Touch, among other surprises.
To lock the screen in iOS 4.2 on the iPad, users will have to bring up the multi-tasking toolbar and then slide it to the left, which will reveal the orientation lock as well as a brightness level that will allow users to stay within any app and adjust the brightness of the iPad. Right now, iBooks is probably the clearest example of how useful it is to have the option to adjust brightness without leaving the app, and this should be a popular feature with many.
As far as the orientation lock goes, we’re glad that this is being transfered to the software – many iPad cases cover up the switch and even when it isn’t covered up, it really isn’t the easiest of things to use (especially depending on how you are holding the iPad at the time). Putting this in the software really does make a lot of sense.
CNET found a few other surprises, including the ability to change fonts in Notes and the larger 3G signal bars that the iPhone now has, but both of those are pretty minor. Hopefully, these aren’t the last good improvements that Apple will surprise us with by the time of the public release of iOS 4.2.CNET
Original title and link for this post: iPad owners to reportedly get a few welcome surprises in iOS 4.2
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 01:53 PM PDT
In addition, on their Bing Community blog, the company, while speaking to the entire IE9 product, outlined some very interesting features regarding Bing and how IE9 will make the search experience "more beautiful."
Using HTML5 as its backdrop, Microsoft believes that developers will now be able to accomplish things faster, use the entire power of their PC, and bring to consumers " richer, more immersive and more beautiful online experiences."
Touted as a "Discovery Engine," IE9 and Bing, in concert, will offer the following features, which are not yet available to all:
According to the blog post, all of the features previewed by Microsoft today will be made available on a preview site later in the month.
For now, here's a teaser video to wet your palate.
What do you think of IE9 if you’ve downloaded the beta version? What about Bing? Are you excited about the forthcoming changes and if so, what most excites you?
Original title and link for this post: Bing to get “more beautiful” with launch of IE9.
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 01:51 PM PDT
You must forgive the delayed notice, as most of our Egyptian readers are sore from, but we learned that Al-Ahram newspaper was caught red handed publishing a doctored image of Egyptian President Husni Mubarak leading heads of states into the recent Sham Al-Sheikh negotiations. Which he most certainly didn’t.
The incident earlier reported by every respectable publication in Egypt and the BBC not directly related to the web you might think, has turned into one of the most talked of topics on Facebook. Millions of users passing along the news that the Egyptian state run publication placed their Editor in Chief’s boss, His Excellency President Husni Mubarak leading all Presidents participating in the negotiations.
The original image however shows President Obama leading the group with Mr. Mubarak treading behind.
What’s most disappointing about this incident is that it’s probably the first time a regional newspaper of the size and popularity of Al-Ahram gets associated with a major technology like Adobe Photoshop, which our immaculate analysis powers have deduced they used, in an incident that clearly shows someone needs to introduce the Editor to Google Image Search instead.Source
Original title and link for this post: Photoshop Doctoring Rule #1: Never Hire Egyptian Newspapers
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 01:45 PM PDT
Toronto-based Freshbooks is the gold-standard for online accounting, invoicing, and expense management. It is no exaggeration that without Freshbooks, I don’t think I would have been paid regularly over the last four years (recurring invoices rock). If you manage several, or any, projects and need to be able to see at a glance how you’re doing against your time budget, today’s Freshbook update should bring a smile to your face (and maybe a happy dance).
When you log into your Freshbooks Dashboard now you’ll see the projects you’ve created and a nice, color-coded bar giving you the at a glance if you’re green, red, or blue (no time charged against it yet). The bars move, of course, so you can be “green” but close to the end of your budget and we all know what red is all about.
If you have projects already, but no time estimates, you can add your time budget in right from the Dashboard. So if you know the project is budgeted fro 15 hours…just click “Enter budget” and put in the number. When you create or edit projects you can easily add this information there as well. This is a great feature that makes Freshbooks even easier to use for the busy project manager.
You can quickly sign up for a free Freshbooks account and see how the system works for you. Freshbooks works on a SaaS, freemium model where free accounts have a limited number of clients (three) and projects allowed. For $20/month you get 25 clients at $30/month you get unlimited clients. As I said, I’ve been using Freshbooks for years, but at the free level. The only complaint I have about the Freshbooks model is that the jump from 3 to 25 clients is pretty big for $20/month. I would love a smaller step between 3 and 25 for $5/month or something, just to help the smaller consultant folks for whom $20/mont is a lot for just a couple more clients.Freshbooks announcement, Freshbooks
Original title and link for this post: Freshbooks Adds New Project Tracking on the Dashboard
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 12:51 PM PDT
Twitter is planning a trip to the UK next week to tie in with the AdTech London advertising conference.
Twitter offers a number of opportunities to businesses, including ads via Promoted Tweets in search and Promoted Trends, along with Early Bird promotional offers. Until now, Twitter has restricted itself to Stateside advertising partners. It appears that it is likely to expand its horizons soon.
A Twitter spokesperson tells us, “Our monetization efforts have been very US-centric thus far and that will change in the future. It make sense to talk to key brands in the UK sooner rather than later. Now that we have launched the new Twitter, the timing is better than ever.”
Twitter’s new design is designed to make on-site media consumption easier. That’s ideal for making users stick around on-site longer, increasing the chance of them seeing and clicking on more ads. More on that here.
New Media Age reports that staff including product manager Shiva Rajaraman and director of sales Amanda Levy will be addressing the UK digital industry throughout next week as part of what the publication calls a “roadshow” for Twitter.
Original title and link for this post: Twitter looks to sign up big-name UK brands
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 12:30 PM PDT
We were front row at the HTC launch event today, taking in all that HTC had to offer. Unfortunately we experienced some major website technical issues which meant we were unable to update our live blog as events unfolded.
Three main products and services were announced, the HTC Desire HD, the HTC Desire Z and the HTCSense.com service.
In an effort to bring you all the information you should have read fresh off the press, we are going to include everything HTC Sense related in one huge post, in true TNW style.
HTC has completely revamped its Sense UI and services, offering clever widgets, orientation tricks and ways to distinguish when your phone is in your pocket or handbag. If it detects you have placed your phone in said pocket, the phone will ring louder so that you are able to hear it.
Your inboxes are unified across different services, meaning you don’t have to worry about opening different applications to access your messages.
HTCSense.com is a new service from HTC, one that is very similar in nature to Apple’s MobileMe, in the fact that it can be used to identify the location of your phone, lock the device to stop people who either found or stole your device from using it and a multitude of other location aware features.
HTCSense.com works as a cloud-based platform that replaces typical HTC executables. New HTC customers will be able to sign up for an HTC Sense account and log into the service. Once registered, these credentials can be entered into the phone to pair the device to your cloud-based dashboard.
Here’s a rundown of the features located in your HTCSense.com account, both on the dashboard and the HTC device itself:
Find My Phone
You’ve lost your phone, or maybe someone has stolen it when you left it on a barstool in a bar. You ring the device to try and locate it but you placed the phone on silent, meaning you have absolutely no chance of locating your prized possession.
Using HTCSense.com, you can find out where your phone is located using the map located on your main dashboard. As your phone moves, the map updates. It also has the option of ringing the device, completely bypassing the silent setting on your phone and allows it to ring at the maximum volume.
Here’s a quick demonstration of the service in action:
Lock My Phone
You tried to find your phone using the service mentioned above but you couldn’t find it, it’s safe to assume your phone might have been stolen instead of mislaid. Luckily for you, HTCSense.com has your back covered.
On your dashboard you have the option to lock your phone. By clicking the button, you can specify a message, an alternative contact number and issue a PIN, locking the device and only allowing the thief or finder of your phone to contact you and return your phone back to you.
The great thing about this service is that you are able to offer the recipient of the message a reward, as well as a way to contact you so you can get your phone back without any excess hassle. If the phone is returned to you, simply enter the PIN and the device becomes usable again.
Again, we have prepared a demonstration video showcasing how this feature operates:
All of your phone contacts are synchronised to your dashboard, keeping all of your important information available anytime that you might need it or are away from your phone temporarily. You can add, delete and organise your contacts into groups, a service very similar to Google Contacts on existing Android smartphones.
Your HTC Sense account will automatically synchronise all of your SMS and MMS messages to your HTCSense.com cloud-based dashboard, allowing you to view any of them at a glance but also to reply to the messages without needing your device to be at hand.
Navigation and Footprints
Navigation features are also included in the dashboard, as well as on your phone. By default, you can pre-plan trips and journeys using on HTCSense.com, pre-caching the directions to your phone in the process. This is invaluable because it allows you to navigate without needing to have to rely on a data-intensive application, all of the directions are stored on the phone instead of having to update and download the routes as you drive (unlike Google Navigation for instance).
You can add new trips and “Footprints”, syncing them to your phone for later. These can be shared on a multitude of different services so people can view the maps and route details without having to have access to your HTC Sense account.
Discover And Download Apps
App discovery isn’t limited to your Android device when you have your HTC Sense account. Logging in, you will be presented with a number of different apps that HTC recommends.
If you like the look of the app, click the button and it will automatically queue the app for download on your device. Take a look at the video below to see it in action:
We have been told this is due to evolve before it is released so you may find this includes a lot more categories at launch.
As you can see, HTC Sense has moved beyond the UI and incorporated a bevy of fantastically useful features. The service will launch when the HTC Desire HD and Desire Z are released, expected some time in October.
Original title and link for this post: Everything You Need To Know About (The New) HTC Sense
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 12:16 PM PDT
After 8 versions of IE, Internet Explorer 9 finally introduces the download manager. The neat implementation is the download pop-up isn't annoying anymore. Screenshots:
Before the release of IE9, the IE team talked about developing add-ons that are efficient and don't affect system performance. Realizing the add-ons problem, IE9 introduces a screen to disable add-ons based on load times. Screenshot:
Original title and link for this post: IE9 Gets Download Manager and Better Add-on Management
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 12:03 PM PDT
Original title and link for this post: TNW Quick Look: Motorola Droid 2
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 11:31 AM PDT
Flowtown.com has cartography on the brain with their latest creation The 2010 Social Networking Map. The map is a grand visualization of the state (yes, intended) of social networks, however the discerning map/infographic fan will notice a few new social networks are absent from the map.
My theories as to why the likes of Apple's Ping, and Google Me aren't included is because either they are too small to include on a map, or given that this world is flat, Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt sailed to the edge of, and eventually off the map entirely (both theories unconfirmed).
That said, the map is certainly worth a good, hard, look and if you want to zoom in on it at your leisure, click here. What strikes you most about the map, if anything?
Original title and link for this post: The 2010 Social Networking Map : Cartography of computer clubs.
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 11:28 AM PDT
Microsoft introduced their latest version of Internet Explorer 9. HTML5 and standard compliance were at the top on the IE Team's priority list. According to Fast Company's article one of the new features coming with IE9 is websites running as HTML5 apps. For example, the Ebay website will be running as an application with its own icon in the taskbar. One can pin these "apps" to the taskbar in Windows 7 to launch and browse rather than starting IE9 and visiting the website. Microsoft has lined up several content providers like CNN, Amazon, IMDB as launch partners who'll be introducing their HTML5 IE9 apps. Redbull will be launching their own social media platform. Screenshots: Screen shots Courtesy, Image Courtesy
Original title and link for this post: Microsoft Reveals IE9 Beta With HTML5 Apps
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 11:27 AM PDT
In conjunction with Microsoft release of IE 9 Beta, Adobe is releasing a preview of a new Flash Player called “Square”. The new player offers native 64-bit OS support for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as taking advantage of the hardware acceleration in IE 9 Beta.
The Adobe Flash Player Blog has this to say about its collaboration with Microsoft around Square and IE 9:
35% speed improvement is certainly impressive, especially for a preview (but of course, that is over the not-so-great IE 8). That said, it seems as if the largest improvement might be on well, ads being displayed (“bitmap-heavy content”), and not on videos.
Saying that the demand from users was high for a native 64-bit Flash Player, Adobe has added Windows and Mac to its Linux 64-bit Flash Player. The new 64-bit version can be downloaded here. We’ll take a look on Windows 7 64-bit and let you know if we see any improvements.
Original title and link for this post: Adobe releases “Square” Flash Player with native 64-bit and IE 9 Beta support
Posted: 15 Sep 2010 09:49 AM PDT
As we figured, once we heard about a November launch date for iOS 4.2, the beta is being made available plenty early. Of course, if you want the beta, you’ll need to be enrolled in the iPhone Developer Standard or Enterprise programs.
What’s new in 4.2? Among other things, the iPad will finally get multitasking and of course there is the HDR photo option as well. 4.2 is primarily about the iPad, but expect to see some iPhone and iPod touch improvements as we get closer to release.
Hat tip goes to Covering Web
Original title and link for this post: iOS 4.2 beta now available to developers
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