Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Emoticons for GMail

Apparently the gang at GMail didn't think the last round of emoticons were enough, and just announced a few more.

Among them, one for amateur meteorologists, an animated dancer, and well, your cat.

The GMail team was quick to point out that this 'high priority project' was not done on company time but used with permission "from the secret underground labs of some Japanese mobile carriers".

More on this breaking innovation from Google can be found in the Official Gmail Blog here :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Microsoft plunges into Lifestreaming with Windows Live

As promised last week, Microsoft's Windows Live team this morning rolled out the ability to import more (a lot more) updates, favorites, posts and comments from a host of new services to Windows Live.

Windows Live had already supported importing from Twitter, as well as a few other popular services including Yahoo's Flickr.,

The new roll-out takes aim at services like Friendfeed (and more recently MyBlogLog and Facebook) by turning your 'shares' into a virtual 'lifestream' of your comments and posts to a large variety of web platforms.

From Rob Dolin on the Windows Live Blog:
  • "If you use a social networking service worldwide, you can add your updates from:
    Facebook, Twitter, Arto, Daum, Fotolog, Hevre,, Zoo, and more
  • If you share photos online you can now add updates to Windows Live from:
    Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, SmugMug, Metroflog, Bilddagboken, and more
  • If you have a blog, you can add it to Windows Live from:
    Wordpress, LiveJournal, Typepad, Overblog, and a custom blog activity, which works with Blogger and others.
  • If you use any of these sites for information, music, video, or radio service, you can add them to Windows Live:
    MSN, iLike, Pandora,, Dada, and Dailymotion, and more
  • And if you use a variety of different review sites, you can add them to Windows Live from:
    Digg, Flixster, StumbleUpon, Tripit, and Yelp, and more"

(click to enlarge)

The new Windows Live also now allows contact imports from Facebook, Hi5, LinkedIn, MySpace and Tagged.

More information is being updated to the Windows Live blog here.

Updated April 28, 2009 9 AM ET
Update 2: Links fixed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Windows 7 rollout gets better

Microsoft confirmed yesterday that the next publicly available test version of Windows 7 will be coming this week.  First to subscribers of MSDN and TechNet and then, again, to the general public.

Numerous blogs are reporting that the Windows 7 Release Candidate have already been 'leaked'.

What's really interesting amongst all the buzz?

If the numerous websites that are displaying screenshots (and more) of the torrent version are right, Microsoft has pulled off nothing less than a few strokes of brilliance to bring Windows 7 to the masses as the economy begins to turn around.

1) Microsoft is now making the product available to even more Beta testers, potentially millions, raising the bar on the ongoing press.

2) Despite a very extensive onboard collection of drivers, the new release will allow even more manufacturers to get on board before the actual RTM.  This was, in fact, the biggest problem with Windows Vista.

3) The XP 'dual-mode' being displayed at winsupersite would eliminate any and all fears of upgrading. If this does come packaged with the actual release, it will simply be a HUGE plus. 

4) Again, assuming that the other blogs and websites are correct, the new RC will extend the expiration of the testing program until Spring of 2010, not only setting aside concerns of current Beta testers but also providing a longer window for promotion, OEM testing, drivers, and more.

The release of any Microsoft Beta product directly to the public was pretty unheard of until last year. 

Here's a few tips for the more technically literate if you haven't already picked up on them.

1) Got a dual-core?  From the command line, launch MSCONFIG.exe, tap 'boot', then 'advanced', and turn on the second core.

2) Try ReadyBoost in Windows 7.  Plug in a flash drive or memory card, allot at least 4 MB, and you will fly a little faster.  The Vista ReadyBoost feature has been brought to Windows 7 and it's plug n play.

Update: April 28, 2009: Microsoft confirmed the addition of  'XP mode' in a press statement here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Google Profiles now in the main index

Throughout the week, there's been some controversy over Google's newly-introduced Google Profiles.

Very simply, it's a Google space where, if you wish, you can enter who you are, what you do, your networks, and more.

While this may not work for everyone, I had no problem setting one up the day the service launched.  In my case, as usual, it was more a test of what Google would be doing with the information.

The first answer appeared a short time ago.

Doing a quick 'ego search', I found this at the bottom of the page:

If you want to be found (business, etc), you can set-up your own Google Profile here.
Good weekend all!

Generations X, Y, Sarah Perez, and here we go again?

Earlier this morning Sarah Perez posted a piece on ReadWriteWeb citing a LexisNexis study about the differences between Generations X and Y.

Those of you that have been around the blogosphere for a while know that this 'generational divide' has caused more than a few debates on blogs and social networks before.

This time it's different.

First, the LexisNexis study is the first (that I know of) to actually divide us into THREE groups.  Boomers (ages 44-60), X (ages 29-43), and Y (28 and younger).  Since that has been an ongoing part of the debate, the distinction as drawn by LexisNexis is important.

So what does this 'mid-boomer' (that still feels like a 'Y') think?

"Two-thirds of all Boomers agree that Personal Digital Assistants (like the Blackberry, for example) and mobile phones contribute to a decline in proper workplace etiquette"

It depends entirely on the job.  If you're in tech (and not constantly texting or making personal calls), it can be PRODUCTIVE.  If you're working in a retail store, building roads, or managing an apartment complex ... the cell phone stays in the car.  Unless it's there for emergencies, there are gobs of industries where you don't need and/or shouldn't have a cell phone ringing at all.  On the other hand, if you're a news reporter ... By all means, text away!

....Speaking of cars ... if you're texting in front of me at 65 MPH, I'm worried about you.....

"Only 17% of Boomers believe using laptops or PDAs during in-person meetings is "efficient," while more than one third of Gen Y do"

No argument (Me?) but many of the 'Boomers' that I know find it totally intimidating to have a laptop in front of them during important one-on-one meetings.  I don't.

"Only 28% percent of Boomers think blogging about work-related issues is acceptable, while forty percent of Gen Y workers do".

The most important one of all but not because of what it said.

Reality check on this one.  Again, it depends on the industry, but if you work for a Fortune 500 company and blog negatively about your company or industry, don't be surprised if a little time passes and then you get a pink slip?  Obvious? Maybe.  Do people do it?  All the time.

In many cases, all three groups need to be careful about what they put online, depending on what they do for a living or expect to do in the future. 

Generalizing ...

Boomers:  Have a tendency to be less self-involved and are objective, especially those that have been up and down a few times (economically).  It may sound corny but we're all still learning.  Boomers have the most experience.  Nothing's changed here.  It's called WISDOM.

Generation X: Quantifying this group in these times is almost impossible.  Of course, they 'get it' as far as tech.  Most grew up with it and  ... The younger you are, the more apt you are to embrace change.  That's extremely important especially in these times.

Gen Y is the group is the one I worry about the most.

Some brilliant minds out there but, in general, some parents (and/or mentors) needed.  Sorry kids, the answer you're looking for probably isn't on MySpace. Obviously, this doesn't apply to everyone, some of whom are working their way through college, etc.

You have the most amount of time to do YOUR thing  (statistically). Stop listening to the gloom and doom on the news and/or worrying about peer pressure and start dreaming.  If you know what you like, work hard and go for it!  There's a better than even chance that if you LOVE what you do, you'll be successful.

We're all individuals across all three groups.

Sarah Perez, like Tamar Weinberg, Shana Albert, Louis Gray and so many other members of the Generation Y 'family' are all stellar examples, in their own ways, of 'getting it' and making it work for them.

I could cite examples in the other groups.  I'm sure you can to.

The key is communication.  The Internet is facilitating that (in good and bad ways).  Boomers SHOULD engage the other groups. Positive, insightful bloggers should blog.  We can all learn from each other.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Firefox pushes out Security Update / Stability Updates

Mozilla pushed out a security update this morning bringing the current stable version of Firefox to Version 3.0.9.

As of this post, users were not being automatically updated but, as in the past, simply tap 'Help' at the top of your browser, then 'Check for Updates' and you'll receive the patch.

Release notes can be found here.  The full Firefox download in all languages and operationg systems is located here.

The Mozilla team is already working on Firefox 3.6 (Yes, SIX) in Alpha, and version 3.5, a major upgrade, is expected soon.

More our re-launch, which regretfully got a little delayed, later today.

Happy Earth Day you guys!

Edited 4/22 11:42 ET US

Update 4/27 PM : Another interim release of Firefox 3 (with bug, stability and security fixes) was issued on April 27, 2009.  The latest version is currently 3.0.10 and the release notes can be now found here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Google AdWords New Beta Interface now available

Earlier this morning, Google placed a link at the top of many AdWords user accounts as an invite to try the new Beta interface they have been developing. Note: I'm not sure if this is available to all AdWords users yet, but it appeared on mine (and several others) :

The new interface is more user friendly and provides easier navigation and more 'data at a glance'.  For me, the timing couldn't have been better.  Drilling out a new PPC campaign, it was nice to have an alternate look.

The AdWords Beta is not a finished product but is mostly functional. Some links will take you back to the original online interface but,so far, it's looking pretty good.

Google product manager Bhanu Narasimhan provides a walk-through in this video:

While there is no post (yet?) to the Adwords Blog (I suspect this is a slow roll-out), I would encourage regular users to start getting used to it.

Important Sidenote for PPC administrators:  In the event the you PPC guys (and gals) missed it, the Adwords log-in will be down for system maintenance from approximately 10AM - 2PM tomorrow.

Update 1: More information about the AdWords Beta can be found here.

Update 2: Adsense publishers should also be aware the the Google Adsense interface is also expected to be offline from approximately 10-2 PT tomorrow.

Great Weekend all

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Test post of Disqus New Import Features

This is simply a test post to check out some of the new features in Disqus subtly 'launched' today by being noted in Fred Wilson's blog.  A few tweets, Friendfeed comments, etc. to follow.

Feel free to ignore ...

Testing 1, 2, 3 .... :)

Update:  Thanks to the crew on Friendfeed for chiming in.  (The WP blog seems to be picking up 'some' stuff and it appears a little tweaking here ..on Blogger ..may be in order ....).  Still lovin' Disqus.....

Monday, April 6, 2009

CBS MoneyWatch Beta goes Live on BNET

If there's one thing that can make money during a financial downturn, it's reporting on it.

CBS in cooperation with BNET (part of CNET Networks which was acquired by CBS last year), has relaunched the financial website

Sporting a launch video featuring Katie Couric interviewing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the site is differentiating itself from other financial websites.

"The site blends the business and finance expertise of BNET, one of the leading Web sites in the category, with the information powerhouse that is CBS News. Unlike most financial Web sites, which focus on stock picking or market news, CBS News aims to help you make better decisions in every area where your money and your life intersect." was part of the introduction received from CBS News Editor-in-Chief Eric Schurenberg and CBS News Product Director Mike Morello earlier today.

Our reaction - For now, they've got a clean and easy-to-navigate layout with excellent start-up content.  It looks like there will be a place in the increasingly crowded online financial field for yet another player.

You can check out the launch of CBS MoneyWatch 'Beta' at BNET here.

Updated 10:28 PM ET Apr 6, 2009

Friendfeed: Hey Twitter. Can you do this?

Earlier today, Friendfeed announced a new test user interface at .

Addressing concerns that I (and numerous others) have voiced,, the beta is not only easy to use (for those that don't have time to create lists or visit rooms) but goes Twitter one better.

As close as you can get to real-time (no delays or refresh), Friendfeed allows you to control the speed of the updates by simply moving your mouse cursor up or down.

Warning: If you follow as many people as I do, you may want to down a little caffeine before checking it out.

Move the cursor to the comment bar at the top and you're in hyper-mode. Just slide it down to page to slow it down.

Add the fact that the Friendfeed already has the ability to embed images (No TwitPic necessary), import and export feeds from over 40 different platforms and more, and the 'crew that listens' has developed an interface that will appeal to a wide audience (and not just those that have been messing with the product since the earlier 'cozy' days).

Assuming Friendfeed integrates the new interface so both those that wish to engage in ongoing dialog AND those that want a steady stream are both satisfied, both Facebook and Twitter now have some catching up to do.

Can't you just feel it? "Hi, I'm Rick Sanchez and I'm on Friendfeed" ....

Welcome to the real-time web ..... almost.

Update 4/29/2009 10 PM ET: - A few short hours ago, Friendfeed threw a little surprise and made the new 'hyper Friendfeed' the default for all users.  Details can be found on the Friendfeed blog here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The all-new SEO and Tech Daily

The ink is still drying on the 'plan' but since quite a few of you have picked up the feed lately and some have never been here before, I thought this passing note might explain things a bit.

The history and reason for this blog has been well documented (and very transparent), most recently here.

Hedging the economic mess, I spread myself pretty thin over the past year.  I enjoyed every minute of it, got to meet many of you in person, and .... have finally decided on a few projects on the front burner, finish others, and bring things back into focus a bit.  (More on all of that soon).

Can you hear the buzz ???? :)

SEO and Tech Daily will return to a more frequent publishing schedule beginning on or about April 12th!

I'm really looking forward to it.

Some changes ...

A quasi -journalist at heart, I'm going to try to avoid the so-called echo chamber.  While the blog proudly has broken Tech and Internet news (without sensational headlines) numerous times in the past and been featured either as a headline or discussion on TechMeMe and elsewhere, there are plenty of good tech news websites and blogs out there.

The posts you find here soon will focus more on SEO, Internet and Search Marketing, PPC, and yes, something I love to mess around with, and will continue to write about, reliable and time-tested Freeware.

Occasional opinion spots on Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! Apple and the new round of 'browser wars' will probably be unavoidable :)

Grab the feed.

Drop a note.

As I've said many times in the past, if a post helps just one person, it was worth it.

Have a Great Week all ... and stay tuned!

Update April 14, 2009 11 PM ET :  The all-new SEO and Tech Daily will premier April 19th.  Thanks to all for your notes!