The biggest news to come out of Google this week is the beta version of their new social networking website Google+. Google+ will go in direct competition with many social networking websites, a market which is dominated by Facebook. The new website allows users to share photos, messages and comments, integrates Google Maps and images and helps users organise and share information with contacts in specific groups.
Google has also given many of its features a makeover this week, with Google Search, Google Mail and Google Calendar being just a few taking on the new style interface. The Google homepage has a smaller logo and links moved to the top and bottom edges of the browser. On top of that, Gmail account users will experience a new interface, designed to accommodate different screen sizes and user preferences, and changes will continue as the months continue.
We also came across a new Google multi search feature called WDYL.com (What Do You Love?). The new interface collates previews of specialised Google searches and compiles them in one easy to manage place for the user. All you simply have to do is search for any of your hobbies/interests, and Google will return with results which include videos, blogs, books, plugins etc, and links to all the relevant services.
As well as new launches, Google is also retiring two of their features in Google Health and Google PowerMeter. The two products, which were designed to aid the energy and healthcare sectors, has appeared unpopular with users, prompting Google to pull the plug on the projects.
Sticking with social media and Facebook has shut down tens of thousands of apps with active users, as they hadn’t previously been monitoring these “small” apps for spam. A new algorithm was rolled out which automatically shuts apps down if they post too often on a user’s wall. However, once again Facebook has disgruntled some by not informing app makers of the changes.
MySpace has been sold to advertising firm Specific Media by News Corporation for a staggeringly low $35 million. The sale means a massive financial loss for News Corp who purchased MySpace back in 2005 for $580 million. At the time of purchase, MySpace was the leading social networking website, until the introduction of Facebook and Twitter gripped the internet. Specific Media also confirmed that pop star Justin Timberlake now has a stake in the business.
This week saw HP’s TouchPad tablet hit the market for $499 (the same price as an iPad) with mixed reviews. Features praised on the new device included its crisp images, dual speakers, however the weight of the device was an issue, and many experts believed it did not have the capability to compete with the iPad.
A computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has designed an algorithm which can solve a Rubik’s cube of any kind. The algorithm will aid Rubik’s cube enthusiasts to solve their hardcore puzzles at an even quicker rate. The current World record of a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube is an amazing 5.66 seconds!