Yahoo! Acquisition AdMovate, Develop Mobile Advertising Service

Internet giant head of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!, recently rumored to re-acquire a startup working in the areas of mobile advertising, AdMovate. The umpteenth time that the acquisition by Yahoo! Yahoo! is regarded as an effort to improve service advertisements that are considered “lackluster” lately.

Yahoo! via his blog on Tumblr, has officially announced the purchase AdMovate engaged in the mobile advertising services. AdMovate parties themselves have confirmed this issue by stating that they were aimed at helping advertisers to reach consumers at the right time and place via private message certainly be provide by AdMovate.

Quoted from a news release The Next Web today (18/7), Yahoo! states that carried AdMovate personalization technology can improve the ability of Yahoo! in advertising through the mobile platform. In addition, after the acquisition of all employees AdMovate instantly brought to the Yahoo! offices are located in Silicon Valley, USA.

Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo!, concerning this acquisition had expressed interest in re-focusing the Yahoo! mobile services that could be left behind. According to him, the future of Yahoo! ‘s business models will be on the mobile segment in which this segment continues to experience a significant increase, “Yahoo’s future is on the phone. So we put the products for mobile phones, “he said.

In a blog post on tumblr, Scott Burke who is SVP of Display Advertising and Advertising Technology Yahoo! said Yahoo! is now trying to focus on investments in the mobile segment, “Yahoo is currently investing more in the purchase program and advertising on mobile phones,” she called.

Description Scott was indeed not a hoax. Yahoo! is just a period of four months was reported to have acquired 10 startup that Summly, Astrid, Milewise, Loki Studios, Go Poll Go, PlayerScale, Rondee, Ghostbird Software, Tumblr, and most recently Qwiki, and it is almost entirely a startup working in the mobile field. With the acquisition AdMovate which is a provider of mobile advertising services, then shopping “wholesale” a la Yahoo! The Yahoo! could be an attempt to break through the mobile industry is growing rapidly these days.

Google’s Chromecast could throw your mobile and browser games onto your TV

Google was announced The Chromecast, a small WiFi-enabled HDMI dongle that may well prove big news for bringing mobile and browser games to your living room.

The Chromecast plugs into your television’s HDMI slot, and allows you to send content from Android and iOS devices to the TV screen via Wi-Fi, while also supporting Chromebooks, and the Chrome web browser for Mac and Windows.

The device that is connected to the Chromecast then controls everything you see on the TV. The one caveat is that mobile apps need to integrate the Googlecast SDK to be able to send content across (apps in a Chrome web browser will work via “Chrome tab projection.”)

The device costs $35, and is already available to purchase directly from the Google Play Store. Notably, the possibility of projecting mobile and browser games via the device is not mentioned on the official website, which focuses on the video and music capabilities of the device.

As such, there’s no word as-of-yet regarding whether games will be fully supported, or whether input lag will cause issues for this particular line of fire.

Revealed, Microsoft SkyDrive Allow Skype and Tapped

A document reveals how Microsoft is working with U.S. intelligence agencies to read messages from users, including helping the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) secret unlock code Microsoft, Australia Guardian reported on Friday (07/12/2013).

Confidential documents obtained by the Guardian of Edward Snowden, U.S. intelligence whistleblowers, said the level of cooperation between Silicon Valley and American intelligence agencies in the last three years.

The document, among others, suggests, Microsoft helped the NSA to read the conversation at the new portal Outlook.com by giving the company secret code. NSA has access to Outlook.com including Hotmail before the messages are written in the form of a code (encrypted).

Microsoft is working with the FBI this year that the NSA get easier access to the data warehouse via Prism SkyDrive which has 250 million users in the world.

Microsoft is also working with the FBI to the intelligence agencies “understand” the issues that potential Outlook.com that allows users to use the e-mail alias for them.

In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA is proud to mention that the NSA has been able to increase the amount of video that they can access through Skype as much as three times through the Prism program. The materials obtained from Prism program routinely accessed by the FBI and CIA. One of the documents referred NSA has the name “team sport”.

Snowden documents also reveal the tension between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. Leading technology companies lobbying the government to be allowed to express the depth of their cooperation with the NSA to address customer concerns in terms of privacy.

Corporate leaders are not trying to claim that they have collaborated and worked with intelligence agencies like NSA documents mentioned in the argument that the process is carried out according to the lawsuit.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “If we increase the capacity (upgrade)-prudok and updating our products, we are not exempt from having to comply with applicable laws, both now and into the future.”

Microsoft reiterated his argument that they provide the customer data “only in response to government requests, and we only serve the demand for specific address or identity”.

Last June, the Guardian reported that the NSA claims to have “direct access” program through the Prism system leading internet companies including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.

Facebook’s Balancing Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good news: Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) turned fabulously profitable in the just-reported second quarter thanks to a redesigned ad flow on mobile Facebook apps. Revenues jumped 23% from the first quarter to the second. Last year, the same comparison yielded just an 11% seasonal gain. The year-ago quarter’s net loss turned into a tidy profit.

In response, share prices jumped more than 30% overnight and sit very close to all-time highs that were set during the stock’s IPO.

The bad news: The ad assault is interfering with the user experience. A fresh survey (free registration required) from the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows Facebook dead last among online media sites in terms of user satisfaction. “Facebook users find the numerous changes to the site’s interface taxing,” says the ACSI. Twenty-seven percent of users surveyed complained that ads are ruining their Facebook experience these days.

The ugly news: The good news may not last very long. Facebook had better dial back the ad blitz if it wants those disgruntled users to stick around.

It’s a high-wire balancing act between monetization and user satisfaction. Lean too far in one direction, and you won’t make any money from those billions of page views. Err too far in the other direction, and those profitable page views will melt away as unhappy users find greener pastures.

Don’t think it couldn’t happen. Facebook is not too big to fail. Unless the company strikes that crucial balance before it’s too late, we could very well see another mass exodus from one leading social network to another.

Facebook itself killed MySpace by launching a better service in the same genre. Before that, MySpace trampled all over social pioneer Friendster in much the same way.

And there are Facebook alternatives waiting to crush the current king at the first opportunity, believe it or not.

Chief among these is Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) and its Google+ service, which benefits from tight integration with the world’s most popular search engine as well as with leading video site YouTube.

Twitter sings a somewhat different tune but can fill many of the functions of a Facebook account. LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD  ) is basically Facebook for corporate users and could very well expand into the consumer side of things if it wanted to.

All of these alternatives offer fewer ads and a cleaner experience than Facebook. LinkedIn ties with Facebook at the least satisfied end of the ACSI survey; everyone else runs miles ahead. Yes, even the much-maligned Google+ “ghost town.” And even LinkedIn reports fewer ad-taint complaints than Facebook.

That’s why I’d take this week’s Facebook share-price pop as a temporary boost, and not as a sustainable clean bill of health. The service currently leans far too heavy on the monetization side of the fence and runs a very real risk of finding out that the next era of social networking doesn’t include much Facebooking.

So my bearish CAPScall on Facebook stays in place until Mark Zuckerberg and company adjust their strategy again. If you can’t keep your users happy, the money will very quickly cease to matter.

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Google Maps Can Detect Traffic Accidents

Jakarta – Google has just updated the Google Maps application with new features. This feature comes reports of traffic accidents and the number of ways to access the various facilities.
Google Maps with accident information can be used on Android and iOS based devices. Overall, this application displays maps and their reliable navigation and traffic information.
Warning about the accident will appear on the map showing traffic flow and road construction. This information is also recommended that these options are not stuck in traffic around the accident site.
Last June, Google bought Waze, the creator of popular apps that inform traffic flow. But Google has not confirmed whether Waze’s data associated with this application or not.
The new application also allows users to find out if the place you want to target viable or not. Features »Explore” display greeting cards enjoy a meal and good night.
Through these features, users can be helped with a variety of information about the place in detail. There is also a rating system that allows users to find somewhere assessment.
Google Maps with navigation devices had previously been released for the Android and iOS platform. Product Manager for Google Maps, Nobuhiro Makida, said the superior feature of this application is the My Location, search, and referrals.
“Through My Location, users can know of its existence through the map, even if the device does not have GPS,” said Makida.
Next is a local search to find a business category. While referrals are the best route to a destination, even if the user is driving, walking, or taking public transportation.
Features can indicate the distance and direction of travel time to get to the destination. The Google Maps Navigation can be run via voice commands.

Twitter Yields 25,300 Tweets ‘Royal Baby’ per Minute

London – Twitter flooded with tweets about the birth of the couple’s first child Prince William-Kate Middleton. These social media platforms stating royal baby be a global trending topic with 25,300 tweets per minute.

Peak in the global conversation on Twitter came in at 20:37 am London time, a few minutes after the official announcement of the birth holds a couple Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Since Monday night, more than 2 million people mention news of the birth of her baby’s future king on Twitter.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the number of royal baby tweet tweet beat 120 thousand while Andy Murray won the prestigious Wimbledon tennis match.

Residents Twitter using the hastag specifically to associate with the royal birth. Generally, they use a hashtag like # RoyalBaby, # RoyalBabyBoy, and # RoyalBabyWatch.

According to a statement Twitter, since Middleton entered the hospital Monday morning with Prince William at her side, the hashtag # RoyalBaby itself has been used more than 900 thousand times on Twitter on Monday night. Tweet about royal baby news sent from all over the world, with the highest volume of conversation coming from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, and Italy.

Google releases Chrome 28 with Blink browser engine

Google on Tuesday released Chrome 28, the first polished version of the browser to use the company’s home-grown “Blink” rendering engine. On Windows, the upgrade also sported Google’s new notification service that lets developers of Chrome apps and add-ons display messages and alerts outside the browser window.

The upgrade was the first since May 21, when Google shipped Chrome 27 and touted some minor performance improvements.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Bug bounty programs provide strong value for Google, Mozilla. | Get your websites up to speed with HTML5 today using the techniques in InfoWorld’s HTML5 Deep DivePDF how-to report. | Learn how to secure your Web browsers in InfoWorld’s “Web Browser Security Deep Dive” PDF guide. ]

Google announced in April that it was dropping the open-source WebKit browser engine — at the time also used only by Apple’s Safari — and was instead launching Blink, a WebKit variant, to power Chrome. Since then, Opera Software’s Opera has also adopted WebKit as an interim step before it eventually moves to Blink.

Google cited difficulties in adapting WebKit to Chrome, and in the first weeks after the announcement, stripped copious amounts of unnecessary-for-Chrome code from the fork that became Blink. Previously, only the rougher “Dev” and “Beta” builds of Chrome relied on the Blink engine. Users can verify that Blink is present by typing chrome://version/ in the Chrome address-search bar, dubbed the “Omnibox.”

Also included in Chrome 28 is new support for more sophisticated notifications that appear outside the browser pane and display even when the browser’s not running. “Packaged apps” — ber-Web apps that look and behave like “native” code written specifically for the underlying OS — and add-ons can push brief messages and alerts to Chrome users after their developers have enabled the feature.

Only the Windows version of Chrome 28 currently supports these next-generation notifications, but Google promised that the feature would soon make its way to OS X and Linux. On a Mac, Chrome notifications are not integrated with OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.

Along with the debut of Blink and notifications, Chrome 28 contained patches for 15 security vulnerabilities, one of them rated “critical,” Google’s most serious threat ranking. According to Google’s terse security advisory, that flaw was a memory management bug — dubbed a “use-after-free” vulnerability — in the browser’s network sockets code.

But while Colin Payne, who reported the bug, received an impressive reward of $6,267.40, another researcher was handed triple that. Andrey Labunets was paid a record $21,500 for filing several vulnerability reports, including two in the Google synchronization service and an unknown number of others that Google said were “…since-fixed server-side bugs.”

That last phrase and the amount paid were clues that Labunets discovered one or more flaws in a core Google service. In April, Google boosted bounties for vulnerability reports in its core websites, services and online apps, resetting the top reward to $20,000 for remote code executable bugs, those that attackers could use to slip malicious code onto a server or into an app or site.

Labunets is no stranger to large bug bounties. Earlier this year, after reporting a string of weaknesses in Facebook’s authentication protocol, Labunets was awarded $9,500 by the social networking giant.

Altogether, Google this week paid bounties totaling $34,901 to six researchers, including Payne and Labunets, for reporting eight different bugs. Through Tuesday, the Mountain View, Calif., company has awarded nearly $250,000 thus far this year in bounties or hacking contest prizes.

Users can download Chrome 28 from Google’s website. Active users can simply let the automatic updater retrieve the new version.

Internet Wars: Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer & Samsung beats Apple to mobile top-spot

Website analytics company StatCounter have revealed its latest report covering global trends of internet access and software popularity. Dubbed ‘Internet Wars’ the report contains two major power shifts: in terms of mobile internet access Samsung has overtaken Apple whilst Chrome have has stolen Internet Explorer’s browser crown. See below for a full break-down of the report:

Mobile: Samsung & Chrome lead the way

In terms of mobile vendors the changes have been somewhat expected. 12 months ago Nokia was the number one vendor for connecting to mobile internet but they’ve now dropped to third place as Samsung overtakes Apple by a small margin.

In terms of mobile browser usage the global market shows Android’s default browser out in front with 29% compared to Safari’s 25%; but in the US and the UK the Apple products are clear leaders – taking 55% and 48% of the market share respectively.

This is a direct reflection of mobile OS trends where Android are ahead globally (38%, up from 26% last year) but with the US and the UK showing a pretty clear preference for the iOS. In the US Apple takes 55% and Android 39%; in the UK Apple gets 48% and Android has 30%. The UK also proves to be a bit of a hold-out for Blackberry – holding on to a respectable 15% of the market.

Browsers & Operating Systems: Internet Explorer beaten, but Windows remains dominant

The browser wars have seen Google overtake Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for the first time in June this year, with Firefox and Safari taking third and fourth place respectively. Chrome took 34% of the market, compared to IE’s 32%.

StatCounter’s report also took in the balance of power with operating systems, showing Windows 7 actually increasing its internet usage share to 51% despite the fanfare-launch of Windows 8. And 12 years after its launch, Windows XP is still hanging in there with 21% of the global market, comfortably above Apple’s consistent third-place OSX (over 7% share).

In the UK specifically Windows 7 still keeps its top-spot with a 49% market share, but – unlike in the global market – Mac’s OSX takes second place with 11%, beating out Windows XP’s 10% share.

It was also revealed that despite reports of Facebook’s declining appeal amongst teenagers the site has still managed to increase its market share – at least in terms of referall traffic, the metric that StatCounter uses.

Social media: Facebook still king, though UK has a soft spot for Twitter

Worlwide Facebook has increased its referral influence from 61% in June 2012 to 71% in June 2013. Other social networks still barely register on this scale – with StumbleUpon falling from 9% to 5%, Pinterest taking the number two slot with 8% and Twitter taking up third place with 7%.

In the US Pinterest had a far more dominant position, climbing to a healthy second place in terms of referral traffic with 22% of the market share compared to Facebook’s 52%; whilst in the UK it was Twitter that took the number two spot, with 16% of referral traffic compared to Facebook’s 62%.

However, it should be noted that referral traffic – whilst a useful metric – is by no means the be all and end all of social media influence.

A recent essay by Ethan Zuckerman for the Atlantic pointed out that whilst Facebook may dominate in terms of user figures, the influence it create tends to be fairly insular – with links spread amongst individuals that are already friends. Zuckerman counterpoints this with Reddit – which is far less popular in terms of actual user figures but might be considered more influential as it manages to  spread content amongst strangers, reaching further flung areas of the web.

No space for over-30s as relaunched MySpace erases its past

Did you pour your heart out on a MySpace blog and make hourly checks on your Friends total? Now the social network has been accused of erasing the personal histories of its dedicated members after a $20 million relaunch designed to bury its past and attract a new teenage audience.

The music-centred platform, which helped launch Lily Allen to fame and attracted 100 million users at its 2007 peak, is seeking to climb out of the social network “graveyard” after years of being a source of digital derision.

The site, lacking innovation and overtaken by Facebook, shed users and was abandoned by Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation had bought the company in a disastrous $580 million deal.

Backed by new investors, including singer Justin Timberlake, Myspace (after dropping the capital ‘S’) has been rebranded as a music-streaming service, with a new sleek interface, and an iPhone app for radio play and animated GIF creation.

The new Myspace has shown signs of life, attracting 31 million unique visitors and one million app downloads since a high-profile relaunch last month.

However its owners do not appear to want those loyal users, who stuck around even when MySpace became a tarnished brand, to spoil the party for its new target audience of young “millenials”.

Furious users complained that Myspace has erased all of their blogs, private messages, videos, comments and posts, when they try and log-in to the new site.

Myspace veterans, whose lives have been marked out by the blogs and photos posted daily over nearly a decade, are threatening a class-action lawsuit over what they see as the destruction of their personal histories.

One disgruntled member wrote: “I was a loyal user who never deserted Myspace. I used it almost everyday since 2006. I wrote hundreds of blogs that, to my horror, were simply gone as of last night with no prior warning given. That is no way to treat us. Please give us a chance to recover old blogs. This is like losing family photographs, and it is really horrible.”

Another posted on the site’s forum: “This is no different than losing one’s writing or photographs in a house fire, and I am feeling awful right now.” “You in essence just stole our blogs without permission to delete them. How dare you!,” complained another user.

Myspace, bought for just $35 million in 2011 by Timberlake and the Specific Media Group, told users that it had made changes to create a “better experience.” The company said: “That means you won’t see a few products on the new site. We know that this is upsetting to some but it gives us a chance to really concentrate on creating a new experience for discovery and expression.”

The “year zero” approach extends to stars who once built huge followings through MySpace. Britney Spears, who enjoyed 1.5 million Friends on the old MySpace, found her new “Connections” count set to 0.

Myspace won’t mind irritating 30-somethings who enjoyed sharing family photos if the network maintains a positive buzz from younger users since the relaunch, which featured the rapper Pharrell in a major advertising campaign.

The new app is ranked among the Top 20 social networking apps and the site makeover received positive feedback on Twitter.

Yet Myspace has been forced to respond to the backlash from its loyal users.  “Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately,” the company said. It told angry members: “We understand that this (blog) information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.” Pictures and music playlists can be located and transferred over to the new Myspace, the company added.

Founded in 2003 by a team of California web pioneers led by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, MySpace generated $800 million in revenue by 2008. Arctic Monkeys were among the bands who used the network’s music-sharing feature as a springboard for success.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Pushes Beyond Second Screen To Companion Web

“We’re at a tipping point with connected devices,” a recent blog post from Microsoft Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer team reads. “Every day, 3.6 million mobile devices and tablets are activated worldwide. That’s over five times more than the number of babies born each day!” They’ve got a point, but it is a sad irony for Microsoft that so few of those mobile devices run their software.

But Microsoft has sold more than 70 million Xbox 360s and has a very TV-centric followup, the Xbox One, coming in November. As Forbes.com contributor Tristan Louis points out in today’s post on Smarter TVs, ”the upcoming battle for the living room is a chance to redeem itself and turn its fortune around.” The parody video that Louis refers to shows all of the instances of the words “TV,” “television,” “sports” and “Call of Duty” in the launch announcement. Although the announcement raised the ire of hard core gamers, the emphasis on TV (and perhaps the two things TVs are most used for, watching sports and playing Call of Duty) must have been highly intentional.

Games have been Microsoft’s route into the living room, but that strong association is now an impediment to its more generalized assault of the living room. Non-gamers are probably thinking more about the future AppleApple TV than about the Xbox as their upgrade path to interactive TV. In response to this perception, Microsoft has launched a new program called “Companion Web.” The idea is to facilitate real time interactions between different devices. And because Microsoft has no footprint to speak of in the world of mobile, they are now trying to emerge as a unifying force between iOS and Android.

The problem Microsoft is trying to solve (other than the risk of their own irrelevance) is that “the majority of sites on the web are built for only one device at a time.” The user can search for related information to what they are watching on their TV, for instance, but real time it ain’t. And content owners can make second screen experiences, but they have tended to be operating system (and sometimes even device) specific. Microsoft is after a more generalized solution that does not impose an unmanageable burden on developers.

“Regardless of who makes the device or software that powers the device, the Companion Web enables the internet to bridge the gap between these devices,” the IE blog post reads. “For developers, Companion Web represents an opportunity to reuse code that works across multiple scenarios, enabling greater reach and ways to engage an audience. For consumers, Companion Web means you’ll seamlessly move from one device to the next, interacting with your photos, videos, music, movies, television shows, files, and more.”

Companion Web would seem to be a more generalized version of the Xbox SmartGlass, which also allowed you to interact with your TV via Windows devices and select iOS and Android devices, but only on very specific games and content. The promise of the Companion Web is of a much broader range of experiences that the user could have between devices.

So far, Microsoft has released three such “Companion Web experiences” working with outside developers. I became aware of the program through Luke Wroblewski who has created a version of his Polar app that works in this companion manner with Internet Explorer. As you can see in the video below, Polar uses IE’s snap mode to assign a “sidebar” portion of the screen (in this case a Surface tablet acts a s a proxy for a Windows 8/Xbox One enabled TV) to itself while the user uses the balance of the screen to watch Futurama.

Wroblewski demonstrates the ways that you can find polls with Polar about Futurama and watch the results update in real time while you are watching the show. You can imagine something like this being a lot of fun for big live TV events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, where the amount of real time activity would be high and seeing how other people are reacting becomes part of the entertainment. Similarly, you can make up your own hashtags for polls in Polar so that the reactions you are monitoring are only a select group of people. Either way, mass or niche, the real time linkage with the content on the big screen really extends the idea of the Polar app by making these interactions available to a room full of people—each potentially interacting with their own mobile devices.

And, important to note (since this is IE, after all, that we are talking about) that this all uses standard open web technology. Specifically, Wroblewski tells me, Companion Web uses web sockets to create the real time connections between devices. He says, “you can make a connection between pretty much any two ‘modern’ Web browsers regardless of device.” One of the other really interesting things about the Polar demonstration is that, as I described in a recent post, it uses a multi-device web page that enables all kinds of input (touch, mouse and keyboard) depending on device. And in the Companion Web experience, all all of these inputs can be used to control the connected screen.

What the other “modern” browsers don’t have that Internet Explorer 10 has is this snap mode. If there was one thing that iOS 7 should have copied from Windows (instead of all that flatness stuff) it would have been snap mode. So these Companion Web experiences will work across virtually all devices (because they use standard web tech) but the Xbox One will retain an advantage of being the only way to uses these “companions” on the screen simultaneously with other activities. And Polar, I think, has shown how this could become a really powerful feature.

The other two Companion Web experiments released so far do not make use of this snap mode feature. DailyBurn, see video below, uses a smartphone or tablet to get real time data related to workouts you view on your TV. This app is clearly trying to appeal to users who may need some constructive excuse to get an Xbox One.

Mix Party, introduced in the (purposely?) obnoxious video below, allows people at a party to create real time, collaborative playlists with their phones. As with Polar, the real time aspect of this is part of the entertainment value. I’m not sure if DailyBurn is intended as a solo experience or if multiple people could monitor their own individual performance of a shared video workout or not, but Mix Party and Polar clearly have real time, fact to face interactions in mind.

What is interesting to me about this strategy is that there are some extra capabilities that Microsoft has built into IE 10/Xbox One (and likely will build more) that will give it an advantage as an app enabled web TV platform, but the apps developers write will also work well on all devices. This strategy of “progressive enhancement” is a comfortable one to developers because it keeps their options open. Allowing for these entropic possibilities is a smart way to get developers on board, which, in turn, could be the means to Microsoft’s resurgence through the big screen.