According to Om Malik and the Wall Street Journal, AOL is in the process of acquiring TechCrunch, arguably the world’s foremost technology blog. For the time being, this is only a rumor, but with sources like GigaOm and the WSJ, it sure feels like a very sold rumor. It’s worth noting, though, this is not the first time we’ve heard about a possible sale of TechCrunch and none of the other possible sales ever worked out.
Apple just released a new version of iTunes for Mac and PC that makes some much-needed changes to how the company integrates its social network Ping into the application. Until now, not only was Ping somewhat hidden in iTunes, but you could also only really interact with it from within the iTunes store and not from within your iTunes library. Unless your friends are compulsive music shoppers, chances are that few of them ever went through the store to mark their favorite songs. Now, however, in the new version of iTunes (10.0.1), you can very easily like songs right from within your music library and you can choose to see a sidebar with the latest activity from your Ping friends while browsing your library. Chances are that this will raise the activity level on Ping, though it remains to be seen if this will be a dramatic change.
Whenever I hear people discussing Microsoft, it usually doesn’t take long before somebody mentions that the Redmond-based giant is like a huge oil tanker. It takes a while to turn such a huge company around and get it back on track. When Microsoft stumbled after the dotcom boom and couldn’t even produce a viable browser to compete with the open-source offerings of Mozilla, quite a few pundits assumed that the age of Microsoft was about to come to an end (the less said about the disaster that was Windows Vista, the better).
Works just as advertised, but here are a few observations: the new phone icon is inconspicuously placed in the “Chat” box – if Google didn’t point it out so clearly when the feature is activated, you could almost miss it Gmail doesn’t auto-recognize phone-numbers and so you can’t just click on a number in an…
There are already numerous Twitter bookmarklets and browser extensions on the market that make it easy for Internet users to share any site with their Twitter friends. Today, Twitter itself is joining the fray with its own, official Twitter Tweet Button.
Google just announced that Linux users can now finally use voice and video chat in Gmail. For now, this is an Ubunutu-only feature, though the company plans to add support for other Debian– and RPM-based Linux distributions (like Red Hat and Fedora) in the near future.
Just a few months ago, Google finally introduced categories for its Chrome extensions library. Today, the company is adding a number of additional categories, including News and weather, Photos,Productivity, Search tools and Social. Nothing too exciting here, but good to see that Google continues to improve the extensions library.
Yesterday, Facebook launched Facebook Places, its new location-sharing service. As a location-sharing service, Facebook as about as barebones as they come. The functionality is limited to checking in and sharing your location with your Facebook friends.
Most Android phones allow users to protect their phones from unauthorized access by drawing a pattern on their device’s touchscreens. According to a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, however, these graphical passwords are actually extremely easy to crack, as “oily residues, or smudges, on the touch screen surface, are one side effect of touches from which frequently used patterns such as a graphical password might be inferred.”
During his keynote speech at QuakeCon 2010, id Software’s John Carmack demonstrated Rage on the iPhone, running at 60 frames-per-second and able to “kill anything done on the Xbox or PlayStation 2.” via id Unleashes Impressive Rage On The iPhone.
If you own an Android phone with the latest Android 2.2 Froyo update, you can now use your voice to control almost all of the most often used features of the phone. With Voice Actions for Android, users can use voice commands to perform actions like sending text messages (” “send text to Allison Miller Running late. I will be home around 9″), play specific songs from their music collection (“listen to the New Pornographers”), go to websites, send email, write a note, search Google and view a map and get directions.
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Tweet Looks like Twitter is launching its own Tweet buttons later this week. While you can already embed the code (see below), not everybody can actually use the button to retweet the post yet. Just for the sake if it, I have embedded the code (courtesy of Mashable) here. I’m guessing we will see a…