Archive for January, 2012

Want to add a Virtual 360-degree panoramic Tour of your Business it maybe a Restaurant/Hotels/Pubs, Offices or anything.. you can now bring your business to life with a 360-degree, interactive tour. Showcase all the details that your customers love. Perfect for restaurants, retail shops, gyms, salons, and more with Google Business Photos pilot program.

The search giant just unveiled an expansion to its Business Photos program, which aims to put indoor images of businesses on Google Maps and Google Places profiles. The program now has a clear way to hook business owners up with local photographers with its “Trusted Photographers” initiative.

If you’re interested in getting better photos of your establishment online, all you have to do is head over to the Google Business Photos page, then click on “Get Started” to see a list of photographers in your area who Google know can do the job. That job includes both high-res pics of your location (inside and out) as well as 360-degree panoramic views, like this one.

Google says shoots should take about an hour, and the price is between the business and the photographer. Once the shoot’s done, the photographer uploads the images “shortly thereafter” to Google services, including Maps and Places.

Google has chosen trusted photographers in 14 U.S. cities, as well as some in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and France. If your area’s not listed, you’ll have to wait, but Google provides a way to tell them where you’d like the program to expand.

Are you a business owner? Do you see a lot of value in Google Business Photos? Is this program something you’d use? Let us know in the comments.

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SOPA: Dead and Alive

Posted: January 22, 2012 in All Categories
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SOPA

SOPA

As we may know Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) may be dead: but I feel they are still waiting in the shadows to make a comeback soon. But atleast for now lets bid farewell to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act; hats off to wikipedia on there blackout the one org which stood out from the rest. Both PIPA & SOPA are being tabled and sent to legislative limbo. How did that happen when just a few days ago it seemed like debates about the bills only existed online?

First some background: SOPA and PIPA were both billed as anti-piracy bills, designed to combat digital copyright theft. Detractors argued that the twin pieces of legislation would do more harm than good, destabilizing the Internet and stifling online freedom of speech.

By the mid-November, the legislation was opposed by such tech heavyweights as AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga. Fast forward to last week when things really got interesting:

Friday, Jan. 13: SOPA and PIPA Authors Remove DNS Provisions

On lucky Friday the 13th, support for SOPA and PIPA seemed as sturdy as ever. A few days earlier, SOPA’s author, Rep. Lamar Smith (R.-Texas) said that fears of the bill were “unfounded.” Media Matters reported that the bills had been mentioned during prime-time evening news broadcasts only once, suggesting that most people just weren’t talking (or hearing) about the anti-piracy bills.

For the anti-SOPA crowd, the threat was real and the challenge intense. But there were a few weak spots in the armor. Even if most Americans weren’t in the know about SOPA and PIPA, the Internet community certainly was. The Go Daddy boycott and anti-SOPA activity on Reddit started to catch the public’s attention.

On Friday, the first pieces of the SOPA and PIPA wall began tumbling down. The authors of both bills, Smith for SOPA and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) for PIPA removed the Domain Name System (DNS) blocking provisions of their legislation.

DNS acts as a sort of “phone book” for the Internet. When you type an address into your browser’s address bar, DNS translates that address from a website name (like http://www.google.com) to an IP address (like 192.168.2.1), which your computer then uses to find the server you’re looking for.

Many critics of SOPA and PIPA claimed that interfering with DNS would destabilize and slow down the Internet while failing to prevent online piracy. After all you could always type 192.168.2.1 into an address bar to bypass the blockade.

The removal of the DNS provisions was a small victory for SOPA detractors. It was the first indication that Congress was listening to the bill’s critics.

Monday, Jan. 16: The White House Takes a Stand

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and called for continued debate on PIPA. However, Congress was still on its winter break so the debate was put on hold.

The White House was not on break and on Monday, and it took an official position by responding to an online petition posted on We the People. In a blog post, the White House said online piracy was a real problem but that SOPA and PIPA were too imprecise and too dangerous to American cybersecurity.

It wasn’t a complete victory for SOPA and PIPA opponent, but it was another headache for its supporters. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a major supporter for the bills, responded with a press release:

“While we agree with the White House that protection against online piracy is vital, that protection must be meaningful to protect the people who have been and will continue to be victimized if legislation is not enacted.”

Tuesday, Jan. 17: Wikipedia Announces Blackout, Google Plans to Censor Logo

On Tuesday, the anti-SOPA movement gained some serious steam.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, announced that Wikipedia English (which gets 25 million visitors every day) would be going dark on Jan. 18, leaving only information about SOPA/PIPA and methods to contact elected officials. And Google decided they would be using their front page to protest the bill on the same day.

They would be joining a long list of sites who promised blackouts or changes on Jan. 18. Tuesday was shaping up to become the eve of “the day the Internet went dark,” the calm before the digital storm.

SOPA’s author called Wikipedia’s blackout a “publicity stunt” that did a “disservice” to its users. He announced a new markup session for February, when the bill would be opened up for debate in the House Judiciary Committee.

Meanwhile, Hollywood reassured everyone that DNS blocking was “off the table.”

Wednesday, Jan. 18: The Day The Internet Went Dark

On Wednesday, millions of people awoke to an Internet which just wasn’t quite right.

Wikipedia visitors were greeted with blacked out screens and calls to actions for fighting SOPA and PIPA. Visitors were encouraged to learn about the bills and call their elected officials to voice their opinion about the legislation. By the end of the blackout, Wikipedia actually saw above-average traffic as people flocked to the site to see what all the commotion was about.

Googlers could still use the site normally, but the company’s logo was “censored” with black bars. The company launched an anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA public petition, which went viral and gained more than 7 million signatures in one day.

Reddit was dark for 12 hours but, like Wikipedia, users could access information about SOPA and PIPA and find out how to contact their elected officials.

On Facebook, users could read all about SOPA and PIPA on a tab featured on the site’s politics portal. Mark Zuckerberg took the opportunity to break his silence on the bills and publicly decried the legislation.

During “The Day the Internet Went Dark,” almost all of the online conversation around the bills was in opposition to them. According to Twitter, people tweeted about SOPA a total of 2.4 million times throughout the day.

In the offline world, approximately as many as thousand people took to the streets of New York City to protest the bills.

But did the coordinated blackout have any impact?

Congressional websites were flooded by people looking to contact their representatives. By the day’s end, PIPA and SOPA’s co-sponsors were beginning to abandon ship, while approximately 30 elected officials who were previously on the fence took the opportunity to announce their opposition to the bills.

Thursday, Jan. 19: SOPA and PIPA Enter the Mainstream

Did the Internet blackout change minds? Thursday night, we had our answer. During the CNN Southern Republican national debate, every Republican presidential candidate took a stance against the bills. When SOPA and PIPA were mentioned during the debate, it was an indication that the issue had gone mainstream.

Thursday also saw an Anonymous attack on several pro-SOPA organizations. There was no word from Congress on the status of either bill. That would come on Friday morning.

Friday, Jan. 20: Congress Tables SOPA and PIPA

If Wednesday was the day that the Internet spoke, then Friday is the day that Congress listened.

Friday morning, Reid canceled a PIPA vote that would’ve moved the bill forward in the Senate. Hours later, Smith announced he was tabling his bill as well.

With those decisions, both bills were cast into Congressional purgatory. Could they be resurrected? Perhaps. But for now we can say “adieu.”

The Fallout

SOPA and PIPA are off the table, but is there any one event or day that turned the tables? Was Wednesday’s Internet blackout the true victor? I persoanlly don’t think so because Lamar Smith, the chief sponsor of SOPA, said that he is pulling the bill “until there is wider agreement on a solution. “We need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products. The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60% of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.”

Countries which tweet the Most…

Posted: January 15, 2012 in All Categories
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Tweets by Country

Tweets by Country

Social Media cartographer Eric Fischer has created this map illustrating physical movement and the movement of tweets: green denotes physical movement; purple is @replies from someone in one location to someone in another; white is a combination of the two.

One surprising feature of Fischer’s map is the traffic in and out of Indonesia. According to a 2010 study, about 21% of Indonesians are on Twitter, making them the most Twitter-addicted nation. Possible reasons for this might include their large population (nearly 240 million), cheap access to mobile devices and English as a commonly spoken language.

Just took a quick look at Alexa it seems Indonesia does not even comes under top 10 countries that sends traffic to twitter. Here is the percentage break up for some countries on top- United States 25.3% , Japan 7.7% , India 6.0%, United Kingdom 5.1% , Brazil 4.0%, Spain 3.8%, Mexico 3.7%, Russia 3.4%, Germany 2.8% France 2.6% and so on, so the credibility of this map remains debated..

Tiesto Live Stream on Twitter

Tiesto Live Stream on Twitter

This is something I am really excited of with some unusual advances in twitter where HP and Intel will be teaming up with twitter for hosting the first-ever live stream of a concert on Twitter next week at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. The headliner: who else electronic music master Tiësto.

The concert will kick off the launch of a new 10-episode series on YouTube called “In the Booth” — a behind-the-scenes look at Tiësto’s life and his impact on the electronic dance movement. The private event at the nightclub XS at Encore in Las Vegas will stream live from HP and Intel’s newly enhanced Twitter brand pages.

Tiësto will play a 90-minute set on Wednesday, January 11 starting at 10:00 p.m. PT. It will then play on a loop on HP and Intel’s Twitter page for the following 48 hours.

I remember Twitter had even offered streaming on the site, but this is the first-time ever that the site will feature a live concert as I have heard, and with this I expect new brand pages for companies more widely available by the end of the first quarter of 2012, go Twitter I think the Sheik investment is doing well for them 🙂

Twitter users will also be able to interact with others on the site while watching the live stream next week. HP and Intel execs will also be live tweeting from the show via the hash tag #TiestoLive.

This will change the way fans interact with brands on the site. Companies can tell fans to check out their pages and features by saying @HP or @Intel, instead of giving a long URL that doesn’t roll off the tongue, yipeeee In addition, this is a concept that isn’t even available on Facebook, since it’s a closed community. Here, anyone can watch the live stream and chat with anyone else with the same interests. I expect to see some powerful things come out of brand pages in the future

The Web series – produced by Believe Entertainment Group – will launch Tuesday, Jan. 17 on YouTube and each video will be between five and seven minutes long. I will tuning into this for sure.. Check me out on twitter in this LINK

How is the new year treating you guys, hope its rocking. C U next week..