• September 27, 2020 /  Computer Technology, Internet Informations

    Launching a new website is hard. Launching a new brand with that new website can be downright madness.

    Just ask Moz. Or iAcquire. Apparently, 2013 is the year of the marketing agency rebrand, and I’m happy to announce we’re part of that list, too: Last week, 352 Media Group became 352.

    Those 2½ months spent building our new website and our new brand were the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life. They were also the most rewarding, and despite my incessant cursing, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Why? Because look at the old site:

    Holy wow.

    Whenever you launch a site, everyone just sees the design change, but rarely do you see the behind the scenes – and I’m not just talking about design iterations, although there were probably 13 of those – work that goes into a new website. We’re assuming you’ve already redid your keyword and market research.

    That’s A Lot of Redirects

    Thankfully, the domain didn’t change, but the URL structure did change to directory style. I used Ruth Burr’s template for domain migrations, but made some tweaks.

    First, pull every single URL that’s on your root domain. I used both Screaming Frog and our database to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Drop into Excel and start analyzing what’s going where on your new site.

    We work in agile web development, which accounts for short sprints of work (in our case, two weeks at a time) when at the end we’d be able to launch full functionally pieces of our website. Think of it like building a house one room completely at a time.

    Because this bad boy needed to be up before mid-July, the planned to launch with the Slim Fast version of our sitemap: A lot of pages weren’t going to exist yet, but they would soon. That meant a lot of pages of our existing site weren’t going to move yet, but they would.

    So, in addition to the 301s and 404s, I added a section of what was going to be in Phase II to make our support departments’ lives a little easier. I think it worked.

    Analytics

    I admit it: I didn’t remember to install the analytics code on our new site until 24 hours before the site launched. *Facepalm*.

    Seriously: Don’t forget it, but also, don’t settle for the basic version. There is so much more that you can see with a little customization, and you need to think about what makes most sense for you. For us, there were three big ones:

    • Enhanced in-page to see where people were clicking.
    • Page scrolling to see how far down people were going on our pages.
    • Event tracking to see how people interacted with our video.
    • Event tracking to see how often people clicked on our contact information.

    Sitemaps

    If your URLs are changing, so will your sitemaps. Don’t forget to generate a new XML sitemap and resubmit me that GWT to speed up indexation of your new site. We went the multiple XML sitemap approach, one of our main site and one for our blog.

    Holy Crap: We Aren’t No. 1 For Our Name

    That’s every SEO professional’s nightmare. We’re living that right now. We decided to change our name in January. In May, we took a match to our old site and started over from scratch. Around June, someone finally said “Hey, I wonder where we’ll be ranked with our new brand name.”

    Page 3. PAGE 3?!

    Logically, it makes sense. 352 is the area code of Gainesville, Florida, our headquarters and our namesake. Sure, we’ve been known simply as 352 (tree-five-two) for 15+ years both by clients and internally, search engines weren’t making that connection.

    Why would they? All of our brand links are 352 Media Group, and all of our content was 352 Media Group. We also don’t have nearly the social community that Moz does to blog, link and tweet the name change that would clued Google in sooner.

    While our new brand does come with a whole new keyword targeting – Pro tip: Start your new keyword research very early – I couldn’t care less about our exact-match anchor text until we’re showing up No. 1 for “352.” How do you do it? Pull your backlink using your favorite tool, go down and find all of the links with your brand name, and start contacting.

    Trust me: Start this process very early if you’re changing name, as in way before you officially launch. Start by reaching out to people who you know can queue up their change to go live on your exact launch date, for example, your author bio for any places you’re a contributor. Don’t forget to make sure your internal team changes any links they have on personal websites.

    I’m in the thick of this now, and you never really realize how many brand links you have until you’re staring at a 4-digit long Excel spreadsheet.

    Keeping Momentum Post Launch

    Last year, I went skydiving. There’s a moment about 30 seconds into your free fall where you convince yourself that the shoot should have opened by now, and this was going to be it. Then, the chord pulls, you shoot up vertically, and you feel the biggest rush of relief because you are, in fact, going to make it through.

    At 3:52 p.m. – see what we did there? – on July 16, 2013, I got that same rush from the launch of our site.

    And while the honeymoon of the new brand only lasted about 24 hours until my inbox was flooded with feedback, I needed that kick to keep up the momentum our team had with post-launch iterations.

    There will be things you don’t think of. There will be bugs you missed. There will be internal feedback that makes more sense. There will definitelybe user feedback you didn’t even know existed. You need an organized way to keep track of all of this.

    My agency used TFS and work through a backlog of items based off client priority and effort to complete the task. This helps us better see the cool things we want to do and where it lies based on priority.

    It’s not the most intuitive, and we’re searching for some something a little more user friendly, but it works well enough for now.

    If you’re going through a new site launch, I feel you, buddy. It’s long. It’s a pain in the ass. Sometimes, you just want to quit. It’s extremely difficult not to get discouraged, but the end result will be worth it.

    Don’t get disappointed if you forget something. There’s a lot to do, and we missed a few “Well, duh” things post launch, but it’s OK. That’s the beauty of constant iterations.

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  • Facebook offers the dummy’s guide to mobile advertising

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    September 16, 2020 /  Computer Technology, Internet Informations

    Facebook Inc’s mobile advertising success offers a ray of hope for Internet companies trying to make money within the confines of the smartphone’s small screen.

    The social network’s 75 percent surge in mobile ad revenue in a span of just three months not only doused skepticism on Wall Street and Madison Avenue about Facebook’s business prospects, some say it could serve as a how-to guide for other Web companies navigating a world where the phone and tablet have fast become the screens of choice.

    Facebook’s “Newsfeed” ads, which inject marketing messages straight into a user’s content stream and are tailored for mobile devices, were the stars behind the social network’s stunning numbers on Wednesday.

    “You’re going to see a lot of companies transitioning and trying to emulate this model because it’s working so well. That’s why last night was a true watershed moment,” said Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Research.

    Internet company executives have long been concerned that mobile advertising is inherently less lucrative than traditional desktop PC advertising, due to the smartphone’s limited screen size and possible consumer resistance to a flood of ads on their devices.

    Companies from Google Inc and Yahoo Inc to upstarts such as Snapchat are searching for the right formula to monetize mobile services. While Google has developed a mobile ad business generating an estimated $10 billion a year in revenue, it remains much smaller and less lucrative than Google’s desktop search advertising. Analysts expect Google to generate $60 billion in annual revenue this year.

    That wholesale exploration of “native ads” – or marketing messages intended to blend with a users’ personal content, rather than stand out as an ad – has met with varying success.

    Twitter, which pioneered the concept of the in-stream ad even before Facebook, may also be well-positioned to benefit from mobile ads. “Sponsored” messages now pop up abruptly in the middle of streams of tweets, but analysts say the frequency is much lower on Facebook newsfeeds.

    More than half of the privately held company’s revenue will come from mobile ads this year, reckons Clark Fredricksen, at industry research firm eMarketer.

    Some are just getting into the game. This week, LinkedIn Corp, the network for business professionals, rolled out in-stream ads on mobile and PC versions of its service. Yahoo has experimented with similar types of ads, and acquired blogging hub Tumblr for $1.1 billion in May, in part to jumpstart efforts at developing new formats.

    But it’s Facebook, which a year ago had zero mobile revenue, that has most aggressively promoted its mobile advertising business to Madison Avenue – with seeming success.

    “Compared to other companies, nobody has come right out and said mobile is our sole focus now,” said Angela Steele, CEO of Ansible, part of advertising holding company IPG. “Facebook put all their eggs in one basket.”

    FOLLOWING SUIT

    One longstanding question has been how much tolerance consumers have for ads that disrupt their stream of content. Facebook said it has steadily increased the number of ads in the news stream without noticing a drop in user satisfaction.

    Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that, on average, ads now account for 5 percent or one in 20 “stories” in the newsfeed. That ratio could now provide a baseline for calculating success, prompting other Web companies to raise the frequency of ads in their streams.

    “It wouldn’t surprise me if other companies would look at that and follow suit,” said Ansible’s Steele.

    Hussein Fazal, the CEO of AdParlor, which manages advertising campaigns on Facebook, guesses that the social network must have gradually opened the spigot, gauging user reaction and adjusting the stream all the while.

    They seemed to have hit on the right formula, but it’s one that differs across platforms, he said.

    “The reason Facebook can do it is, the rest of the content that’s there is so engaging that you don’t mind one out of every 20 ads,” he said. “If you have a newsfeed that’s not so engaging, and you keep seeing ads, then it doesn’t work.”

    Plus, the more ads in the stream, the less users will click on them, which can dampen ad prices, he added.

    Facebook’s seeming success on mobile devices contrasts with Google’s more gradual improvement in that area. The No. 1 Internet search engine has gradually managed to narrow declines in its overall ad rates from the mobile effect, but last quarter they reversed and went down again, disappointing investors.

    Google has avoided news stream ads entirely in its Google+ social network. Instead, its mix of mobile search ads, video ads and innovative formats such as “click-to-call” have delivered what RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney estimates is a $10 billion annualized run rate for its mobile business, about four times as much as Facebook.

    But mobile has driven down the average cost of Google ads, and some industry watchers consider the transition a long-term threat to the search giant. But other analysts say recent changes to the way it sells ads to marketers, blurring the distinction between the mobile and PC, could help bolster rates.

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  • Launch of Remodeled Website by limoserviceoakland.net

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    September 12, 2020 /  Computer Technology, Internet Informations

    Limoserviceoakland.net, a premier ground transportation provider, has recently launched their remodeled website. Their remodeled website aims to improve the user experience and offer better insight of their business model. Their remodeled website has tons of new features and user-friendly navigation structure to benefit the customers.

    “Any business has to keep up with the improving technology in order to stay in the business. The basic idea behind remodeling the website was to make our services and fleet information available to the customers with utmost ease. The customers will find complete specifications and technical details with the images of the fleet in the new website for determining the profitability of the vehicle. Additionally, we have included many features that can help the customers in comparing the vehicles and choosing the best one for the tours. Of course, the best search engine optimization was also the main aspect behind the remodeling of the website.” – said Ruben, a manager of limoserviceoakland.net

    They have used dynamic approach to remodel the website to make it visually appealing and informative for the customers. The remodeled website offers the benefit of accessing the required information with only a few clicks. Their remodeled website includes complete information about the services like wine tour, casino trips, airport transfers, concerts, sports events, night on the town and corporate events. Their website has dedicated pages focusing on the luxury transportation options for the occasions like wedding, birthday parties, proms, bachelor parties and bachelorette parties. Their new website has state-wise recommendation about the most popular destinations, hotels and restaurants for the benefits of the customers.

    They have showcased their wide ranges of limo collection that includes Escalade Limo, Lincoln Stretch Limo, Rolls Limo, Hummer Limo, Range Rover Limo and Chrysler 300 Stretch Limo in their fleet. Some other fleet information like features available in 20 passenger party bus, 28 passenger party bus and 45 passenger party bus are also listed on their website with the high-definition images. The information about their wide range of exotic cars such as Bentley Flying Spur, Mercedes-Benz S500, Ranger Rover SUV, Rolls Royce Phantom, Ferrari and Lamborghini Gallardo are now available on their new website.

    They have also included the complete information about the different tour packages and their features in the website for better understanding. The customers can now subscribe to their newsletter to know about the release of new packages, deals, services and fleet. They have also included the online vehicle reservation facility on the new website to offer the convenience of booking the most appropriate vehicle with utmost ease. The customers can visit http://www.limoserviceoakland.net to check out the new features of the remodeled website or book a limousine for tours and travels.

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  • Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser

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    September 3, 2020 /  Computer Technology, Internet Informations

    Mozilla Labs has outlined an experiment it’s conducting in improving the personalisation web publishers can offer readers who browse their sites using Firefox.

    The outfit says it’s been working on the idea since last year, when it “conducted a series of experiments in which a user’s browsing history could be matched with interests in categories like technology, sports and cooking.”

    In return for opting in to the trial, lab rats were offered “insight into how they spend time online.”

    Mozilla Labs is now wondering “what if these interests were also available for the user to share with the websites they visit to get a better, more personalized browsing experience” so that “content creators and consumers could benefit from Web-based interests”?

    Here’s one scenario the outfit has imagined as resulting from this line of thinking:

    “For example, let’s say Firefox recognizes within the browser client, without any browsing history leaving my computer, that I’m interested in gadgets, comedy films, hockey and cooking. As I browse around the Web, I could choose when to share those interests with specific websites for a personalized experience. Those websites could then prioritize articles on the latest gadgets and make hockey scores more visible.”

    Some publishers have already pressed the API for this kind of thing into service, according to the Mozilla Blog, but the code is not in the wild and is being tested – technically and conceptually – as Mozilla figures out how people will react to websites that dynamically change content based on readers’ past behaviours.

    One example of successful personalisation mentioned in the posts announcing the initiative is The Guardian’s offer to ensure its readers see no news about the birth of George Alexander Louis Windsor. That’s a service many will doubtless enjoy. Whether such personalisation can result in readers choosing only to encounter lines of inquiry and opinions they already agree with, and therefore deciding to consume media that re-enforces their feelings rather than offering broader perspectives, is a wider debate for another day. Or the comments.

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  • Zulu Creative Launches Redesigned Website For MAX’s Wine Dive

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    Zulu Creative is proud to announce the launch of a new website for MAX’s Wine Dive, the award-winning, rockin’ restaurant concept from Houston-based Lasco Enterprises that combines gourmet comfort food with retail wine sales and features unlikely pairings such as fried chicken and champagne. The new website is mobile-friendly for diners on-the-go and contains unique content for five MAX’s locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, plus corporate-specific content. The MAX’s website is the second of three that Zulu Creative is designing for Lasco. A new website for Boiler House, Lasco’s Texas grill and wine garden concept located at the historic Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, was completed in fall 2012. A complete redesign of The Tasting Room site is forthcoming.

    (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130723/MN51688)

    Taking its design cue from current branding, the new MAX’s site features a black and white color palette with red accents and bold typographical elements. Zulu Creative recommended key website enhancements to better convey MAX’s funky, eclectic brand vibe online. The website reflects each location’s unique ambience and personality through witty slogans on each page, graphical jukebox-inspired elements that evoke the restaurant’s dive-bar feel, and location-specific featured images.

    Site visitors can easily make online reservations and access key information such as each location’s address, hours, contact information and menus. In addition, visitors can view each location’s calendar of events, read chef and wine manager bios, see private event/catering options, purchase gift cards online, sign up for MAX’s newsletter and easily connect with MAX’s through their social media channels. Press+Awards pages tout each location’s accolades, while a corporate Employment page lists all job openings by location and serves as a useful recruiting tool.

    Designed and built on a content management system (CMS) platform with multisite functionality, the website is scalable, making it easy to manage multiple websites through a single interface and add new sites as Lasco opens new MAX’s locations.

    “We are extremely excited about the new website for MAX’s Wine Dive created by the talented team at Zulu Creative,” said Jonathan Horowitz, Chief Brand Officer of Lasco Enterprises. “Throughout the entire creative process, the Zulu team exercised intense attention to detail and introduced a new site that is easy for our guests to navigate, as well as met our goal to produce a product which mimics the energy, look and feel of the MAX’s Wine Dive concept.”

    “Designing sites for three award-winning Lasco brands is an exciting opportunity and huge honor,” says Tina Zulu, Founder and Creative Chieftess of Zulu Creative. “Our experience creating websites for other successful restaurants and bars made the Boiler House, MAX’s Wine Dive and The Tasting Room projects a perfect fit for us, and our teams work extremely well together. We couldn’t be more thrilled and congratulate Lasco on their continued success and growth. Cheers!”

    About Zulu Creative
    Fun! And smart! Zulu Creative is a boutique agency in Midtown Houston, Texas, specializing in marketing and brand development for lifestyle businesses that serve consumer niche markets. The Zulu crew is a dynamic team of intelligent professionals who are energetic, innovative, passionate and reliable. Clients who choose Zulu Creative get a big bang for their buck, benefit from a diverse team of experience and talent, and enjoy a smashing, cutting-edge image in the Houston community, nationally and globally. Whether a brand needs a kick-start, upgrade or extreme makeover, Zulu Creative is known for creating memorable experiences and making an impact. It’s all about positioning brands at the top of the target audience’s mind. Zulu Creative accomplishes it through innovative, integrated marketing. For more information, visit www.zulucreative.com

    About Lasco Enterprises
    Established by Jerry and Laura Lasco in Houston in 2003, Lasco Enterprises, LLC is the parent company for MAX’s Wine Dive (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Ft. Worth), The Tasting Room Wine Cafés, Lasco Events & Catering, Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden (San Antonio), and The Black Door online wine community, and now has more than 500 employees in five cities. In 2010, Inc. 5000 named Lasco Enterprises one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. In 2011 and 2012, Lasco was named as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Texas” by the Best Companies Group. The Houston Business Journal named Lasco Enterprises to its Fast 100 list of fastest-growing private companies in Houston in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012. In 2009 and in 2012, the publication awarded Lasco the Houston Business Journal’s “Enterprise Champion” award for the company’s commitment to its employees, the communities in which it operates, and for its contributions to its industry. For more information, visitwww.lascoenterprises.com

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  • NSA intercepted, Apple, Google, Microsoft alliance

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    Jakarta – A giant technology company formed an alliance to demand transparency from the U.S. government related information monitoring program of the National Security Agency (NSA) called PRISM.
    The alliance involves companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. In alliance was also a number of civic groups. In a letter that will be announced in a few hours, the alliance which amounts to 63 companies, investors, and non-profit organizations is asking for clearer rules about such things.
    “Basic information about the way the government enforce laws related activities have been published during this investigation does not interfere with the investigation,” read one of the points in the letter obtained by AllThingsD on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
    The Alliance requested that they be allowed the right to announce the number of government requests for data on the users of their services. They also requested that the number of users, accounts, and information held gadget that can be announced.
    Alliance also assess the amount of requests basic information about the content and the user, could be made public as part of their transparency.
    At the same time, the alliance will also ask the government to announce a number of requests and the number of individuals whose data is requested from the technology companies.
    This letter will be addressed to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders. Here are some names of firms and associations involved in this alliance:
    Yahoo, AOL, Apple, Digg, Dropbox, Evoca, Facebook, Google, HeyZap, LinkedIn, Meetup, Microsoft, Mozilla, Reddit, salesforce.com, Tumblr, and Twitter.
    Also there younow, Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, New Atlantic Ventures, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy & Technology.
    In addition, there are elements of the press and advocacy organizations such as Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Public Knowledge, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Reporters Without Borders, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

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  • Getting to know Jack Dorsey, the Twitter Author

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    Is one of the requirements to be successful is a must have dropped out of college? For those who do not agree with that statement, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg has proved the above statement is true.

    Now, a New York University student born 19 November 1976, Jack Dorsey, co-joined to the above statement agrees with being one of the success with the brilliant work; Twitter.

    Perhaps the name of the new Jack Dorsey first heard in your ears, or just this once you read it. In fact he was the one creating ‘toy’ in today’s internet era that could be very, very you gandrungi.

    He is the creator of a social network with the concept of micro-blogging, Twitter. That the college years never removed from the campus where he learned about the computer.

    Dorsey was born in St. Louis, Missouri, 37 years ago. And there precisely he grew up with curiosity about computers and communications were also great. Dorsey teen has started his desire to dive into programming since he was 15 years old.

    And continued when he was in high school, Bishop DuBourg High School name. Where he pursue any science, and especially, computers and programming.

    Dorsey teens start to find out and follow your passion when he was struck with a computer program that manages and coordinates a taxi passing by the system very well organized and quick.

    How cars taxi, or car delivery can regularly meet and work quickly calls. Of interest arises where a similar program to create a more sophisticated, when he was only 15 years old.

    Dorsey adults continue his studies at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The study period was completed and continued to move to New York University who also never finish it. Or in another sense, Dorsey dropped out of university.

    Because it takes time and concentration to build his company. Dorsey moved to Oakland, California, in 2000 and built a company engaged in the field of programming.

    He sold the software on line pengkoordinir taxi he had ever made as a teenager in the web that he made himself. And the company continues to grow by selling software creation via the Internet.

    Through his company is the way Dorsey met with people like Biz Stone and Evan Williams who later would become his partner in founding Twitter.

    What’s in your mind when you want to create a Twitter Dorsey? Narrated by Biz Stone, Dorsey has wild ideas in his head. “Just imagine if we could share with our friends about what we are doing and what we feel now, imagine. Is not it great? “Said Dorsey.

    Biz Stone, a former CEO of Odeo, and Evan Williams-one of the founders blogger, agrees that desire and build company called Obvious, who would soon be renamed Twitter.

    Social networking on the initial launch is not so attractive to everyone, but it has now become one of the most social media enjoyed by most citizens of the world. Which may also be one of the ‘toy’ bored repellent for you.

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  • Google Nexus Ready to Use Android 4.3

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    California – Google announced the Android 4.3 operating system in a Google event in San Francisco on July 24, 2013. Android 4.3 will be used on the Google Nexus 7 new and old.
    Since the announcement of Android 4.3, the operating system on a tablet computer Google Nexus 7, 10 and Nexus smartphone Google Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus will be upgraded to Android 4.3, said Hugo Barra, vice president of product manjemen Android.
    While the mobile operating system of the Samsung Galaxy S4 edition of Google Play and HTC will also be enhanced, Barra stated.
    Barra did not say when the other Android devices can get Android 4.3. At the operating system is not much change. There is only a little extra on the software. For example, the profile Multi-User Restricted, Smart Bluetooth technology and the higher graphics capabilities thanks to Open GLES 3.0.
    Officially, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is still in version. In accordance with the changes only slightly. This means, the fans still have to wait for Google’s Android operating system Key Lime Pie.

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  • Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

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    Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.

    “New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”

    The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.

    The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.

    “In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”

    About Maxthon

    Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries.

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  • Q&A: Microsoft Talks Changes to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1

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    When was the last time you had to delete a bunch of photos or apps on your mobile device to clear out space? With the massive amount of data generated every day, it’s easy to exhaust all the available storage on your phone or tablet.

    And this problem is only getting worse. Industry trends suggest that device storage capacities are growing at 25 percent per year, but the amount of data being produced is increasing even faster — by around 50 percent a year, according to Microsoft. The software giant is looking to address this problem with SkyDrive, which will be updated in Windows 8.1 with the goal of giving you access to your files at all times, without taking up all your available storage or Internet bandwidth.

    The updated service utilizes what Microsoft refers to as “placeholder files,” which look and feel like normal folders and files with one major change — you don’t download the full file until you access it. The placeholder file contains just a thumbnail image and some basic properties, making it significantly smaller than its actual size. This means that 100GB of files in SkyDrive will use up less than 5GB of storage on the hard drive of your Windows 8.1 device, Mona Akmal.

    “I have a Pictures folder in SkyDrive that’s 5.6GB in size but it’s only taking up 185MB on the local disk,” Akmal wrote.

    Another major change to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 deals with offline access to files. With the SkyDrive app, you’ll now be able to mark any folders or files you want remain available when you lose Internet connectivity.

    Any edits you make to a file while offline will automatically be synced back up to SkyDrive when you regain a connection. For added convenience, all the files you open or edit on your device will automatically be marked for offline access.

    As a reminder, new SkyDrive users get 7GB of storage for free. After that, an additional 20GB costs $10 per year, while 50GB will set you back $25 a year, and 100GB costs $50 a year.

    We sat down with Angus Logan, group product marketing manager for SkyDrive (pictured below), last week to get the scoop on the most important changes to the online storage service in Windows 8.1.

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