Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blekko Launches Early - Tells All (Update)

There's already been a lot written about the new search engine, Blekko, but up until a few hours ago, you needed an invite to try it out.

Unlike the days when I had a lot more time on my hands, I didn't have an invite or request one, but after watching the buzz on Twitter tonight, I decided to give it a spin.

While Google and others might be data-mining, Blekko is giving a lot of it away.

First, I wandered around the search engine a bit.  It didn't take me long to find co-founder Mike Markson and wish him luck.  It was obvious that Mike was not only monitoring the launch and adding content, but in Googley-style, he was actively interacting with users:

Blekko seemed, at first blush, to be all about content curation and I subscribed to a bunch of topics (Yes, I was creating a profile but if 1000+ companies don't already have that on me, I'd be surprised).

Robert Scoble, Danny Sullivan and others appeared on my Blekko front page, before signing up.  It was soon apparent why Sullivan was there.

Well, I suppose he should be.  Danny has probably been following search engines for more years than anyone on the planet but there's more.

I searched for this blog and found a few choices under the result:

Clicking the SEO link, I was presented with a fairly accurate group of SEO tools and graphs.

(click to enlarge)

I remember the first time this blog was featured on Techmeme.  I was humbled, even a little excited .... but I always wondered how many times it had been mentioned.  According to Bekko? Well .....

While I only remember 2 or 3 headlines (that's where the Techmeme traffic comes from folks :), it was refreshing to see the premier Tech aggregator had picked up 363 stories from here in the discussion links.

Almost enough to get me writing more often again .... almost.

There's A LOT more to explore in Blekko, not only for your own sites, but for others as well.

While much of this information is readily available using other tools, both free and pay-for, Blekko is a gold mine for advertisers, SEO's and many, many others .....

..... and the search works too!

We'll see how all this goes .... but for now, Kudos to Markson and company on a fascinating launch ...
and I guess, while I'm at it, Thanks to Gabe Rivera and the gang at Techmeme for the recognition.

Shows how often I look at my own analytics :)

Update: Responding to a few chat comments, I think Blekko may find a place in the market with it's toolset as it grows .... and improves.  So far, I completely agree with most others that, for now, it's NOT a Google killer.  It's different and it remains to be seen how many people become editors (ala Mahalo?) and/or create new slash tags. 

Here's a few more takes:

Good week you guys

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Windows 7 SP1 Graduates from Beta to RC

Microsoft quietly rolled out Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate yesterday.

The software is a one-year trial version (It expires Nov 11, 2011) and will ultimately replace the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Beta introduced a while back and currently in use by many public testers.   Installation of the new RC requires a licensed and validated copy of Windows 7 for installation.

Available in a variety of downloads, the new 'test' service pack embraces Dynamic Memory and Remote FX, rolls up many of the security and other enhancements introduced since the Beta, and generally seems targeted at businesses.

The catch?  You're going to have to uninstall that very stable and just solid copy of Windows 7 SP1 Service Pack Beta (which you would have had to do at some point anyway).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More About That Google Doodle

In a follow up to the earlier Google Doodle post, I thought it might interest some of you (that may not be seeing it?) to know that Google maintains an archive of previous logos (or Doodles :) along with which specific countries they have appeared in.

"There have been 300 designed by the team and 700 internationally".

IE: There are a lot more 'Doodles' than most people probably have ever seen .... and they're posted very often.

The archive can be found here, along with an explanation and history here ... and even a Google Doodle Store (?!) here.

Firefox Updates Stable Version to 3.6.11

Mozilla has released a security and stability update for Firefox 3.6 bring the current 'stable' version to 3.6.11.

While many users will be auto-updated over the next few days, the complete list of language specific versions for Windows, Mac and Linux can be found here.

Alternatively, current users can simply tap 'help' at the top of the browser, then 'check for updates'.

Update Oct 28, 2010 11 PM ET - Mozilla has fixed a heavily publicized security issue and has moved today to Firefox version 3.6.12.

Latest Google Doodle celebrates Dizzy Gillespie

When it comes to Google's Doodles, you never know what the search giant is going to do next.

Whether it's an interactive display that captures the imagination of an entire generation, or recognition of times and dates and birthdays that many people wouldn't even think about, Google's front page 'occasional artwork' is usually a pleasant surprise.

Today's Doodle is no exception.  Celebrating what would have been his 93rd birthday, Google paid tribute to jazz great Dizzy Gillespie.

An excellent rundown of Gillespie's life can be found at Wikipedia here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friday launch for webOS 2.0 from HP and the Palm Pre 2

H-P this morning confirmed the launch of their new mobile operating system, webOS 2.0 to be released for the Palm Pre 2 first in France, the United States and Canada.

The device and software will be available on Friday.

webOS 2.0 could revive sagging Palm sales as it brings to market a host of competitive features, some of which include HP's Synergy which simultaneous connects you to a variety of social services including Facebook, Google, Microsoft Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo!.

True multitasking is on board, and for those who crave Flash (Hello Apple users ?!), the latest version of Adobe's Flash Player is included as well.

SFR will do the France roll-out and Verizon Wireless will market the phone in the United States and Canada.

Verizon users with have a native Skype app.

Other features include a full (HTML5) web browser with geo-location support, Facebook 2.0, a multi-service messaging client app and a variety of unique features and available apps.

The launch comes one week after Microsoft's announcement of Windows Phone 7 and will also compete with a host of smartphones including Apple's iPhone 4 and the dramatically growing selection of Google Android powered phones.

Update Oct 19, 2010 10 AM: H-P has just confirmed the Friday launch date via Business Wire here with additional information and more links.

Update 2 (Clarification): The Palm Pre 2 will be available Friday in France and then in a 'couple of months' here in the states from Verizon Wireless (Thanks for the notes :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Google and Techmeme Break News Simultaneously

I was taking a brief read of the headlines for Monday (Sunday night) on Google News when I noticed something new.  A red tag depicting 'Breaking News':

I clicked and wandered over to tomorrow's edition of the Wall Street Journal to see who the Female  'Models of Sadness' were .... and why it was breaking news??

Firstly, whatever Google is experimenting with, the link took me to an article about .. ugh ... Facebook.  I   double checked it (with cookies cleared) on several browsers ... before it disappeared entirely.

The WSJ Facebook article was a new chapter in the ongoing Facebook privacy issue discussion ... so I tweeted it to my personal stream.  It was news.

When it appeared in my Twitter stream, it looked this way in TweetDeck:

Techmeme had auto-posted the Facebook story about the same time I did both to their main stream and the Techmeme firehouse.

Nothing about those models of sadness though. 

This is all getting weird.

I'll usually turn to Techmeme and my Google Reader collection for updates on the latest a couple of times a day.

This time, I had decided to go for a general news overview at Google News. (I've made no secret of the fact that I liked the 'old' Google News a LOT better than the 'try to fill the page up with everything we can' version).  That hasn't changed.

What apparently has is that Google News is now 'breaking' aggregated news, or at least trying to.

Have to wonder what the reaction to this is going to be .... and how long it'll take to fix it? :)

The other question, of course, is .... Is Google News using Techmeme to break .. ugh ... breaking news?

Think I better leave it there? ... :)

Good week all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Huge Set of Windows Updates Today

With the live telecast from New York yesterday introducing Windows Phone 7 still in the news (which is getting generally good reviews on Techmeme), any other Microsoft news might seem pale.

On the other hand, you should be aware of what's coming to your computer TODAY, assuming you're using just about anything from Microsoft.

October has generally been a big month for 'Microsoft Updates', and this year apparently is no different.

Depending where you are around the world, and how your updates are configured, you'll see at least a portion of this significant group of updates appear at different times.  In most cases, you can visit Windows Update mid-day on Tuesday (October 12) to see if your particular updates are available to you. (Don't forget to update The XP Mode in Windows 7 too!)

IT Managers can visit Microsoft's TechNet and chances are, by the time you read this, the updates will also be posted to the Microsoft Download Center.

Numerous Microsoft Operating Systems and Programs will see updates including:

Windows XP Service Pack 3
Windows XP Professional x64
Windows Server SP3 2003 (32 and 64 bit versions plus Itanium based systems)
Windows Vista SP1 (32 and 64 bit)
Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32 and 64 bit and Itanium)
Windows 7 (32 and 64-biit versions)
Windows Server 2008 R2 (all)
Microsoft Office XP, 2003, 2007 and for the first time, Office 2010
Office 2004 and 2008 for Mac
Sharepoint 2007
Sharepoint Services 3.0 and Sharepoint Foundation 2010
Office Grove 2010
and Microsoft Office Web Apps

Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal tool for October is also included.

Updated: October 12, 2010 11:59 PM ET with additional content

Monday, October 4, 2010

What is Google TV ?

Chances are you've heard about one of new and somewhat ambitious initiatives from the leader in search.  Google has been prepping Google TV , but up until now the details have been sketchy.

Earlier today, Google announced (a lot) more on the relatively new Google TV blog.

Details?  There's also now lots more on an all-new Google TV website.

A barrage of high profile content partners and two different ways to get it.

We know that broadband Internet is the new delivery system.  The question still remains unclear what devices (or devices) will dominate user habits.

While the world seems concentrated on mobile for now, there are numerous ways that people will interact with the Internet over the next few years.  In fact, the predominant device many in fact end up being bigger than any single web service or social network.

Apple has already showed that it's not just the software.  The hardware and various 'twists' such as the iPod and iPad have changed the landscape.

It's just the beginning.  It is also the most important phase in the next chapter of the Internet.

It appears Google is covering all bases with a rather impressive launch today (and a pretty cool website :)

Here's one of the videos demonstrating some of the upcoming Google TV apps:

Google Launches New Display Ad Campaign

There's a good chance that if visit any of the major advertising, tech or social media sites today, you're going to see a banner ad similar to the one at the left.

Google is, once again, building a buzz for a change (or new) initiative using the phrase "Display ads are big. They're gonna be HUGE".

The preview page takes you here, and apparently the  new (and/or improved) product is going to be launched in a keynote at the 2010 MIXX Conference (not to be confused with Microsoft's MIX10).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Will 500 Million Users Go To The Movies? - The Social Network Debut

The reviews were mostly already last week, after the New York Film Festival.  They were in my Twitter stream, my inbox, and, of course, all over Facebook.

As goes the usual migration goes these days, the next day (earlier in some cases :), they were all over what we still call 'the mainstream media'.

The Social Network, the movie depicting the start-up and proliferation of Facebook was already a hit. I literally couldn't find one person who didn't like it.

The PR machine went into high gear yesterday.  There weren't too many places you could go where there wasn't an ad for the movie.  TV, Radio, ... ugh even the Internet ! :)

My wife asked me if I wanted to go. That told me something. Although she does frequent Facebook (for the old fashioned reason .... keeping up with friends ?!), we usually don't do movies. If we do, it's usually in the living room.

That was my first signal (among many). The movie, which debuts in LOTS of movie theaters across America today (prediction) is likely to tip the scales of first weekend blockbusters.

I went over to the movie's official website just now. There's a remarkable accurate 'theater finder' (apparently powered by I say remarkably accurate because if it can deliver showtimes here in the back country of Pennsylvania (and in not one, but two theaters), these local ticket networks have come a long way.

Unlike Major League Baseball or NASCAR, movies overall haven't seen dramatic declines in ticket sales.  They've simply adjusted to the Netflix, pay-per-view, and DVD aftermarkets.

Apparently, The Social Network is just about everywhere here in the US beginning today.

My guess is, if you're reading this (and knowing the demographics of this blog), you probably will too.

Feel free to chime in here (or at The Faster Times which has ongoing permission to syndicate anything written here) with your review.

... and do everyone a favor while you're out with your special someone.

Turn your iPhone or Droid-powered thing off.

Update: Oct 3, 2010 10 PM ET - Recently acquired TechCrunch (Yes, by AOL) is pointing to the box office rundown from the LA Times with The Social Network in the No. 1 position at $35.9 million.