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The Karaoke Web Standard

KWS Side bar image

Well Microsoft has finally managed to get a leg up on all the current desktop web browsers available today with it’s new Karaoke Web Standard.

KWS Logo

To quote the KWS wiki entry:

This specification defines a new API, focused on semantic language processing for two-way communication with a remote host. Eschewing typical binary protocols, this new interface creates a system-to-system forced sonic recognition on the receiving party.

The KWS definition page goes on to discuss key points like pending API access to the libation ES codebase, and encourages modification from the base parameters noting that each user has unique aptitudes in variety of related skills.

Indeed while some users, such as myself, have a low threshold for personal embarrassment (regardless of how many times a week I write these posts), I could possess high vocal aptitude that would mitigate a fond user experience if I were to stick with preset templates.

The spec deals with concerns such as bitrate, throttling, error mitigation, audio auth rights, P2P connectivity, and semantic packet delivery, but fails to touch on less favourable issues like hackers that implement auto-tuning modules.

Included with the announcement were two YouTube videos, one that explains the need for the new standard:

[iframe width="550" height="309" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lD9FAOPBiDk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

 
And a second video that focuses on presenting the new KWS:

[iframe width="550" height="309" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dAecpAcyFCw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

 
Oddly the videos came along with a link “thebrowseryoulovedtohate.com” that’s got an extra ‘d’ in every instance?

Come back with my imaginary horse!
The theme is apparently along the lines of “Have you tried IE Lately?”, with the assumption that you’ll like what you see.

 
I’m personally assuming that next week someone on the IE marketing team will get a phat bonus for a spike in downloads that doesn’t correlate to actual user shift.
 

FireFox 64bit?

Waterfox Logo

In related news, FireFox has given up on 64bit development for now, listing a number of issues that make it a very wise decision, regardless of the folks that were ‘enjoying’ the struggle of maintaining a 64bit browser with very little 64bit extension support.

While a 64bit FireFox could theoretically run faster, the added expense of development was taxing the coders and holding back the progress of the browser vs. it’s competition.

If you MUST have a 64bit FireFox there is a build of FF with 64bit support, it’s called ‘WaterFox‘ and you can get it from Sourceforge.

Since I already had FireFox installed I grabbed the portable copy of WaterFox and it runs great, picking up most, if not all, of my FireFox profile/settings.

Personally? I’m using Chrome, and I am writing plugins for Chrome because I feel it’s going to win the browser war thanks to Android, Apple, and many other systems that use the WebKit engine by default.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:50 am on November 29, 2012


 

Happy Thanksgiving!

There seems to be a lot of spam vs. turkey this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for!

In fact just today I was reading about how Google is thanking Maps contributors with ‘Badges‘!

If you login to Google and head on over to the Map Maker section of Google Maps you can get started on either reviewing changes that need to be approved/disapproved, or make your own.

[iframe width="550" height="309" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/n8XVk1hWWok?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

The badges are apparently awarded as follows (stolen from IBF):

List of Google MapMaker badges

So Thanks Google, for being Thankful! This is going to work very well for trust factors on your G+ profile, which as we pointed out many times now, should also be the author link for your site content.

In Other News..

DuckDuckGo was trying to prove they could deliver better search results without learning anything about the user.

It would have been neat if it were possible, but I wouldn’t send a stranger out to buy me new shoes, and I don’t want a web search that doesn’t know me either.

At this point DuckDuckGo have been reduced to complaining about Google not selling them cool domain names like “duck.com”, and how many extra clicks it takes to change the search engine in Chrome vs. Firefox.

While I agree that making use of duck.com as a 301 to google.com is a bit ‘cruel’, my guess is that nobody offered Google a fair price for the domain, and it’s not bad business to improve the value by holding onto the name until a valid offer comes along.

If DuckDuckGo wants to disclose how much they offered Google, I may change my opinion, but for now this is just ‘big business’ vs. anything ‘anti-competitive’, and if this is the absolute worst mud that DDG can sling at Google then they have little to complain about.

Google Music Translate

While I have been eager to see someone like Wierd Al tackle the song Gangnam Style with some English lyrics, I am not sure I’m eager to see this ‘project’ come to life:

[iframe width="550" height="309" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0xchllP1W7g?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]
Heck this was meant to be a joke, but Google is so spooky with it’s tech that this is totally plausible?

Indeed some news sites this morning are actually getting flamed for discussing this as if it were a real service offered by Google.

Well ‘played‘ sirs.. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:53 pm on November 22, 2012


 

Wintergrate: Windows 8 Integrated

Steve Ballmer wearing a santa hat.

It’s fall and soon it will be winter, with Old St. Ballmer putting an integrated Windows 8, with integrated Internet Explorer, under the tree for Christmas this year, learning a new UI is all we have to fear.

Yes we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you’ll have to re-learn Windows to love Windows 8.

So then you might ask, “Why bother learning Windows if I have to learn something new?“, which is where this post becomes informative.

Windows 8 isn’t trying to teach old dogs new tricks for the sake of being different; that’s someone else’s logo/catchphrase. Microsoft wants to integrate your devices and applications so that your efforts with one product aren’t wasted in another product.

What’s all this integrated brouhaha? Well this video shows you a sample of it:

[iframe width="549" height="309" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NBGkSuaqWEE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

That’s pretty cool stuff, and if you have embraced Microsoft products, say you have an XBox based Car-PC, this sort of integration tech between your smart phone or your tablet would really make you glad you invested with Microsoft.

The thing that gets me is that if my phone is over in the corner recharging, and I don’t own a surface, how ‘attached’ will I get to touching my screen vs. locating a mouse and keyboard?

If you become hooked on touching what’s that going to cost in terms of a multi-touch screen?

Looking at my local suppliers, a multi-touch 1080p 21″ screen is $200 more than the same screen without the overlay.

While that’s a lot less than it used to cost for an touch overlay equipped screen, it still adds far too much cost to the screen price to justify the usability.

As someone who has worked with touch technology for over 10years, I can also point out that unless you are super careful your touches will wear the screen in the sections you are touching frequently.

So until they are making it easy to remove/swap overlays I’d predict that this will be a bust in a few years if people adopt the current touch solutions for desktop use.

Do you have a hankering to try Windows 8 even without a touch option? It’s really not recommended but you can challenge yourself to trying it out using VirtualBox and either of the ISO files from this handy page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download (No Signups Needed!)

Search for Life

Google seems to be one step ahead of us, and indeed they have done it again, just weeks after starting a project involving “Conway’s Game of Life“, where I’d suggested we use the algorithm to animate some tiles in a website background.

Having beat me to the punch, I used an image generated from a Google search as the background image of this post.

However, if readers suggest some good images to tile and animate for a fun use of the code, I’m keen for suggestions, as long as they aren’t all along the lines of: “Grab random puppy and kitten images from Google image search and use those for the squares!”

SEO news blog post by @ 11:10 am on October 23, 2012


 

SOON: Surface Tablet from Microsoft

October 26th 2012 will be remembered as the final day before all the snapping sounds started, the eve of the angry school girls holding images of devices they’ve never seen in real life.

[iframe width="549" height="309" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8mSckyoAMHg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]

 
Don’t get me wrong, I love the functionality that Microsoft has added to their tablet, and the effort they put into getting just the right amount of ‘snap’ feedback, probably cost them a lot more than we’d believe..

Animated GIF of a seal on an ice flow stalked by a polar bear

But, all too soon, the first users will be ‘snapping‘ these open and then hopping into ‘Bing‘ to find something while looking around the coffee shop to see who’s noticing them.. SOON!

All the play on word noises aside, with the 26th a mere 10 days away, the offer to get a Surface in your hands on the release date is pretty cool.

Microsoft is starting with 3 options:

- 64 GB with Black Touch KB Cover $699 (Sold Out)
- 32 GB with Black Cover $599 (Sold Out)
- 32 GB without a cover $499

You can buy the Touch Cover separately for $120 in 5 different badly photo-shopped colors, or buy a ‘physical KB’ style Type Cover for $129.99.

Clearly the discerning owner would have to opt for the ‘Type Cover’ so that it makes click sounds that will turn the heads of iPad users in the coffee shop.

That’s about where the envy will likely stop however, given the 1366×768 resolution, 2GB of RAM, proprietary NVidia T30 CPU, and applications exclusively supplied by the Microsoft Windows Store.

The Windows RT Surface tablet also comes with a trial copy of MS Office 2013 Home/Student RT Preview that you’ll have to upgrade to the full version later when it’s released.

Personally I’d hold off and wait for a NON Windows RT Surface.

- Good luck using a different OS if you find Windows 8 doesn’t match well with your needs
- Your choice of browser is currently IE10 or IE10 Desktop Mode
- Your sole provider of applications is Microsoft

It’s not news that I deeply dislike the idea of limited access/walled gardens/etc., but clearly this isn’t shared with everyone since nothing is slowing down the pre-sales; Heck Microsoft was actually having issues with page loading earlier today!

Oh speaking of which here’s the official link to the Microsoft Surface on the MS Store site.

Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 from the Get Smart TV Series

Get Smart!

Would you believe that Harvard University is giving away free diplomas for their doctorate degrees in Medieval Latin?

No?

How about a free Networking course from Stanford University that covers packet switching and queuing?

No?

Would you believe it’s online and open to anyone?

Yup! If you always wanted to put ‘Stanford University’ on your resume, you can now do it for free, online, and nice reasonable 10 week duration.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:04 pm on October 16, 2012


 

Windows 8 / IE10 and Flash Certification

Windows 8 is a tablet OS, and like any modern OS focused on tablets/touch/mobility options, there’s compatibility concerns with content not specifically written for a tablet/mobile device.

Apple’s famous for their certification process and using it for more than just the sake of ‘quality’ or ‘compatibility’ controls.

Indeed Microsoft has had certification for drivers, and applications in Windows for some time, but never to the point where something cannot be used without their certification.

If you wanted to install something that isn’t certified you’ll get a spooky warning, but I’ve never seen something completely fail to work due to a bad/missing certification on Windows.

Enter Windows 8 and IE10, a whole new ballgame, with two browser modes, one for normal use and a ‘desktop’ integration mode which has to play nice with the new Windows UI.

If you wish to publish web content that leverages the new ‘desktop mode’ you’ll want to visit Microsoft’s ‘developer guidance’ page for information on new meta tags and HTTP header codes that help flag such content.

In a nutshell they explain that either the header:

X-UA-Compatible: requiresActiveX=true

OR the meta tag:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="requiresActiveX=true" />

… work to create a handy little prompt explaining that the content on the page requires the page to be viewed in ‘desktop’ mode, and even gives a single-click shortcut to switch over:

IE10 desktop warning

The same page also deals with ‘Compatibility Verification’ and the steps to test/certify that your flash content is compatible with the extra features of a tablet OS.

Of particular interest is the option of a single registry entry that allows testing of your site for ‘debugging’ to see just how broken your flash content is.

The key is located here:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Flash\DebugDomain
.. and if you wanted to make a .reg file for easy access the contents would be:
REGEDIT4
**Blank Line/Carriage Return**
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Flash\DebugDomain] @="www.mywebsite.com"
**Blank Line/Carriage Return**

At that point you could right-click the .reg file you made and click on ‘install’ from within the pop-up menu.

Passing this .reg file to your developers would be fine, but since only one site can be specified, this is NOT a solution for your end users.

Obviously the best advice we can give, as SEOs, is to ditch your Flash content completely.

HTML5 with all it’s perks can replace almost anything you’ve done in Flash and Google’s even willing to help you make the switch by offering the Swiffy Flash -> HTML5 Conversion Tool.

If you feel your content is too sophisticated for Swiffy, or you haven’t tried the tool recently, you should!

Here’s an example of how well the tool works on a flash game with keyboard and mouse controls:

[iframe src="https://swiffypreviews.googleusercontent.com/view/gallery/example3_swiffy_v4.9.html"][/iframe]

SEO news blog post by @ 12:07 pm on October 11, 2012


 

Bing Maps : 500 Terabytes Better

Donald Sutherland from the 1978 version of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

There’s fat ladies crooning in the shower, swine are airborne, and I found something in Bing that’s better than the same option in Google!?

Don’t send NASA to check for alien life/body-snatchers, it’s just a few really small perks that I’ve come across and they are pretty darn specific.

500 Terabytes of new image data

Microsoft started it’s ‘Global Ortho Project‘ in early 2010 with the very ambitious goal of mapping the Continental United States and Western Europe at a resolution of 30cm.

The concept is simple, just fly around with high resolution imaging devices, in this case the ‘UltraCamG‘ which Microsoft acquired in 2006 after purchasing Vexcel Imaging, GmbH in Austria.

The data is thus detailed, and current, a great thing when you are competing with Google’s constantly updated (~2 weeks) satellite images.

With a deadline of June 2012 the project is wrapping up almost on time and today the news sites are abuzz with the headlines that the project is completed and available to Bing Maps users.

For a comparison of the results here’s a look at the Beanstalk Office in Google Maps and then in Bing Maps:

Beanstalk's Office in Google MapsBeanstalk’s Office in Google Maps

 

Beanstalk's Office in Bing MapsBeanstalk’s Office in Bing Maps

 
Can you see the difference? Even if Bing didn’t have the resolution bonus, they own their image data so they aren’t required to spam their name all over the map like Google has to with the Landsat image data.

I’d love to show off the difference between Google’s Streetview and Bing’s Streetside view, but Microsoft apparently couldn’t afford to send someone by to take some images of our office <rasberry>so I’m not going to be bothered to show that off</rasberry>.

Traffic Data?

While writing this article I stumbled upon another difference between Bing and Google, there’s traffic data for the highways in my city on Bing, but Google has no data for my city (the capital city of this entire province), instead they spent the time to build traffic data for our sister city, Vancouver.
Google Traffic view of Vancouver
Talk about a let-down from Google, and a surprising plus from Bing. Tsk tsk..

On that side of things though, Google’s traffic info is much better than Bing’s. Google Maps even lets you pick a day of the week and hour of the day for planning ahead vs. making the assumption that you’ll only looking moments before you travel, or as you travel.

Overall the user experience with Bing Maps still lags behind Google Maps, with each attempt to zoom/pan/adjust on Bing Maps feeling like a blurry and slow mess due to the bitmap labels that stretch vs. re-size.

I even loaded Bing Maps in Internet Explorer (64 bit version) and Google Chrome to make sure I gave them the best chance to compare to the very peppy results with Google Maps.

Building Maps

As I was wrapping up this piece I noticed that there was a funny ‘block’ covering one of the malls in town when using Bing Maps.

Being a curious fellow I clicked it and found that they have mapped out the mall’s floor plan and allow you to see where each store is located, floor by floor!

The Bay Center Mall in Bing Maps Building ViewOooh! A 4hr 40% off Sale!? I could get some cheap studded ballerina shoes!

 
To be really honest, both Bing and Google are developing some unique features that helps maintain the competition between them which is excellent for the consumers who can use either service or both.

Now if only I could get a service to tell me where my pens have gone..

SEO news blog post by @ 12:29 pm on August 30, 2012


 

Litigation vs. Innovation – The Apple Way

I’m really ashamed of my days of being an Apple loyalist, encouraging people to consider Apple solutions, and fighting for the ‘little guy’ computer company.

That ‘little guy‘ I once championed, has since grown up to be a thug making immoral decisions that I no longer agree with.

Apple is causing me deep personal embarrassment as they strut about the digital playground smashing things that compete with their creations.

A scene from the movie The Dictator where he wins by shooting his competition

You know something’s wrong with a company’s decisions when you’re watching a Sacha Baron Cohen movie (The Dictator) and the opening scenes of winning a race by shooting the competition reminds you of Apple’s choices to force litigation/product bans vs. accepting a financial settlement with Samsung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcu5sYxcEuo

Samsung will fight the decision and have already announced that they will counter-sue Apple.

Since Samsung successfully defended themselves in many countries (Germany, Korea, Netherlands, and United Kingdom), winning court battles which ruled that they did not copy Apple’s designs, a counter suit and appeal are likely to change the situation drastically.

On top of everything else, jurors in this recent court case are already making headlines stating that they were unable to properly review all the evidence, and ignored the prior art evidence that proved Apple clearly copied others in it’s iPhone design.

The jury actually took a defensive role, putting themselves in the mindset of innovators defending their patents. Velvin Hogan, the 67 year old jury foreman, stated that the jury :

“wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung.”

With any luck, the same feelings will hold true as Motorola (Google-rola?) continues it’s legal action against Apple’s unpaid patent uses.

Since the patents in the current lawsuit are non-essential, one would assume that Google-rola has the opportunity to give Apple a taste of how it feels to block a company’s products via legal nonsense.

However, the likely result will be that even after (2?) years of trying to get Apple to pay the licensing fees, Google-rola won’t turn-down an offer of fair payment, just to block all product sales, unlike Apple.

Speaking of a ban on products, Samsung is already talking about releasing updated products that are completely free of Apple’s patent bans.

Zero Day Java Vulnerability

According to a few reputable sources online, there’s a new browser-based exploit for Java that is ‘in the wild’ and a patch won’t be coming very soon.

When someone says ‘in the wild’ it means that there’s reports of the exploit being used publicly, which means that there’s a high risk of contact.

In this case the exploit has been used to remote-control Windows based PCs that visit websites with hidden code on certain pages. The hacker in this case picked a Chinese proxy/IP and the ‘control network’ is also believed to be located in Singapore.

Since ‘wise’ hackers usually pick a point of origin outside their own country, this info actually points to someone non-Chinese as the source of the hack.

While that exploit only works on Windows computers, the payload is totally independent of the hack, so the same strategy will work on any computer and any browser.

To avoid getting hit, you may want to disable JavaScript:

In Chrome:
- type “chrome://plugins/” into your address bar
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Javascript and disable it.

In Opera:
- go to “opera:plugins”
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Java(TM) Platform
- click on Disable
- also scroll down to Java Deployment Toolkit
- click on Disable

In Firefox:
- press the Firefox button
- go to Add-ons
- go to Plugins
- click the “Disable” button next to anything named “Java”

Finally if you are using Internet Explorer, you probably don’t care, but here’s some recent instructions stolen from the help desk over at Indiana University:

To enable or disable Java in Internet Explorer:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), select Internet options.

  • Click the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  • Highlight Java Plug-in.
  • Click Disable or Enable (located under “Settings” in version 7), as applicable.
  • Click OK twice.

To enable or disable JavaScript:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), choose Internet options.

  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Custom Level…
  • Scroll to the “Scripting” section of the list.
  • For “Active Scripting”, click Disable or Enable.
  • Click OK, and confirm if prompted.
  • Close and restart your browser.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am on August 28, 2012


 

The most valuable company ever? It’s Microsoft, not Apple.

Bill Gates holding an Apple Logo
Crushing your head..

The slew of now redacted articles claiming that Apple managed to take the title of ‘most valuable company in history’ is further proof that the internet is packed with people who will post anything without considering the facts.

Sure if you compare 1999 dollars to 2012 dollars with no adjustment in value for inflation (?!) Apple looks pretty impressive today, but if you want to say ‘Most valuable company of all time’, you have to factor ‘time’ into the equation.

After accounting for inflation the race between Apple and Microsoft isn’t even close, with Microsoft in the lead by over $230 billion even by conservative estimates.

At one point this morning I saw an article offering the corrected values and stating that, ‘Bill Gates would be upset that IBM was handicapped by inflation‘! This was quickly corrected after comments pointed out a few errors, ‘Bill Gates ran Microsoft, not IBM, and Bill Gates is still alive, stop talking about him like he’s Steve Jobs.‘.

I wanted to pounce on the author, calling them out for reporting on tech history they clearly never paid any attention to, but the sad truth is that it was a senior author who probably wrote the post before getting his morning coffee.

Most Valuable How?

“Money aside, what tech company is the most valuable?”

This was a good question that came up in the reaction threads to the news that Apple is doing so well financially.

If Apple went bankrupt the entire user base would have tons of options for Android tablets/phones/MP3 players/personal PCs. Linux would flourish a bit, and China would have a lot of people looking for employment. Not really a big deal.

If Microsoft went bankrupt there would be over a billion desktop PCs needing new OSes, millions of email/web servers that would need to be migrated to Linux, Hotmail/Bing/MSN/Maps users would have to upgrade to GMail/Google search/GTalk/Maps, and millions of cell phone users would either need to buy new phones or at the very least switch off Microsoft Exchange services and move over to GMail.

Sure as a web developer, we’d produce a lot more web-content without IE compatibility issues, and that’s just a quick ‘glance’ at the issue, so I could be overlooking massive problems on either side, but from a glance, the ‘value’ is clearly not in Apple’s favor, in both money and services.

Speaking of big money tech business..

Facebook is still making headlines for losses, this time one of the earliest investors, ex-PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel, has jumped ship selling over 20 million shares.

Slipery Slope Sign

 
When one of your primary investors pulls out and cashes in, it’s a pretty clear signal that you’ve peaked and the road ahead is looking very questionable.

Peter Thiel’s projected total for this cash out comes close to $400 million, which is a bit less than the stock options he sold when the company went public in May.

At this point investors are speculating that Peter has sold nearly all his Facebook stock, and he is apparently investing heavily in 3d Meat Printers.

Actually printing a full ‘steak’ is years away, but when they get there I want a steak where the fat is perfectly balanced with the meat ‘Kobe style’, and each little fat cluster is the shape of a tiny unicorn.

Nom nom..

SEO news blog post by @ 11:30 am on August 21, 2012


 

SOPA Friends: Internet League of America

The recording industry, agents, and vendors of music aren’t the only ones spending way too much of their profits on lobbying the government. Major internet companies that see the harm of bills like SOPA/PIPA are spending the time and money to fight back against this lobbying.

[jwplayer config="SmallThumb" mediaid="4737"]

Not to be confused with SuperFriends..

This organization is less about crime and more about reasonable expenses for making sure government is making informed decisions.

Google alone spent $3.9million in the second quarter of 2012, and $5.4million in 2012 total so far trying to help government see the internet as more than just a ‘series of tubes’.

Google isn’t alone in fighting for your rights, Amazon’s spending between Jan 2012 and June 2012 was pegged at $1.34million, EBay spent nearly as much at $827k, and Facebook also jumped into the fight for $650k of lobbying.

It stands to reason then that if they all had the same message a lot of time and money could be saved by joining forces, and this is how the Internet Association has come to be.

With Google, Amazon, EBay and Facebook already signed into the Internet Association it’s already huge and it’s still in the ‘coming soon’ phase of setting up.

This new group should not be confused with existing organizations like The Internet Defense League which are seeking other solutions to keeping people informed as to threats to online access/freedom.

A few sites (RIAA partners?) are panning this as ‘evil‘ and un-Google for companies to work together to support a shared message to the government, but I think anyone who knows the extent of SOPA/PIPA and other bills will see that spin for what it really is, fear and loathing of anything that stands in the way of an easy profit.

Google Fiber

Google Fiber Appliances
Remember us writing about Kansas City dark fiber, Google’s plans to light it up, and the various media/recording industry fears/objections?

While I was composing this article on the new Internet Association I managed to eavesdrop on the details coming from the live broadcast at the launch of Google Fiber in Kansas this morning.

Google Fiber Announcement Center

Here’s what I caught (again this was just details I overheard and not officially published):

  • Google Fiber is run right to your house
  • A fiber-conversion firewall appliance converts the optical signal
  • The Google fiber-wall has built in WiFi and 4 gigabit RJ45 ports
  • The WiFi radio is very fast (no specs given) and features a guest portal system
  • Google Fiber offers TV boxes that act as WiFi boosters
  • The TV boxes stream Netflix/Youtube in HD quality with more options to follow
  • Google’s TV boxes work with Bluetooth headphones and can be controlled by Bluetooth devices
  • Currently purchasing a TV box will including a free Nexus 7 Tablet that acts as a remote control for the TV box.
  • $300 is mentioned as the ‘construction fee’ to send a Google rep to your home to install the fiber cable.
  • $120/mth for the TV and Gigabit Internet package (on 2 year contracts the $300 fee is waived)
  • $70/mth for just Gigabit fibre internet (no install fee for 1yr contracts)
  • $Free/mth 5mbps down, 1mbps up, of capped fiber access to anyone who wants to pay the $300 install fee
  • The free service option is guaranteed for anyone in the service area for 7 years
  • You can pay the $300 fee off over time if you wish as an incentive to connect everyone regardless of income levels
  • 1TB of Google Drive storage (directly linked to the Fibre) comes with the $70/mth and up packages
  • No mention of monthly data use caps, but they would need to be fairly generous

Google Fiber Building in Kansas
Apparently they are deciding which homes get fiber first by running a lobbying contest where they reward the communities that lobby other communities the most. The speaker tried to sell this as ‘doing it for Kansas’ and ‘spreading the word about what fiber really means’, but of all the announcements, there was no applause for
this.

Clearly most of Kansas is tired of waiting for Google Fiber and would like to start actually using it vs. running around ‘competing’ with other communities for the first chance to get hooked up.

It’s an odd move for Google but you have to respect that they had to find a fair way to select the first communities to get connected.

UPDATE: They have published the official Google Fiber data plans and yes, there’s NO DATA CAPS. Wow.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:25 am on July 26, 2012


 

Chromecraft? Build With Chrome!

I’ve always said that Minecraft is like digital LEGO® that you can save and share with friends. Sure Minecraft is increasingly fun to play and actually ‘collect’ the bricks, but at it’s core it’s a lot like LEGO®.

The problem with Minecraft is that we don’t all share the same map. Some servers try to accommodate everyone, but I don’t think there’s any way that a single map could support everyone playing on it. This means that you could build something incredible, like Castle Black from Game of Thrones, that nobody ever comes across. Bummer.

Enter the new Build With Chrome website from Google and LEGO®! That’s right! My favourite browser mixed with my favourite game!

Right now the ‘world map’ is limited to Australia and New Zealand, but each tile of the map becomes ‘owned’ by the first person to build on it, so they will have to make the map bigger soon!

I gave it a go and started to get used to the controls pretty quick, but really found some polish lacking, at least on my work PC which isn’t rigged up for 3D graphics.
Build with Lego

What’s this got to do with SEO opportunities? Well web presence is all about putting your company on-line, and when the whole world map is available to build on, you can guess what’s going to be built on our square? :)

Already this morning there’s a land rush and the tiles are all getting claimed. So if you wanted to plant your flag in Australia, you better hurry up before all the shrimp are gone from the BBQ.

Heck you can just sit back and watch as people’s published ‘builds’ are approved and start popping up on the map. Really neat work from Google!

As the name suggests, it’s a lot of HTML5 web content that’s been designed to work well with Chrome. So far I’ve tried it on Opera and Firefox with errors both times, leaving me to suggest that ‘buildwithchrome.com’ is a ‘chrome only’ site for now. :)

Other news..

Yep it’s been a bit slow on our blog lately, but there’s lots of buzz from Google IO, and the latest services like Google Now that we’ll be talking about very soon!

I’ve also been working behind the scenes on the programming posts so if you enjoyed our last one there’s more to come and they all touch on SEO implementation so there will be something for everyone.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:26 am on July 3, 2012


 

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