Jul 302012

If you work from home, you owe it to yourself to set up a proper office space. It’s vital you have somewhere to concentrate that’s separate from your home life — and is hopefully a nice space to spend time in. A good working space is even more important if you operate your small business out of your home.

To help you out on this rather specific front, we have pulled together some useful tips from experienced home-workers and chatted with home office expert Lisa Kanarek, founder of WorkingNaked.com. Also keep in mind that having a home office can entitle you to certain tax breaks, so your investment can end up right back in your pocket.

MORE:  10 Tips for a More Beautiful and Functional Home Office.


Jul 302012

Gmail users will soon be able to use the same video chat technology that Google uses for its Google+ social network. Earlier today the company began rolling out the newer Google+ Hangouts functionality to Gmail, which has had video chat for the last three years.

This is mostly an under-the-hood announcement of an effort that’s slated for completion within the next few weeks. The biggest difference is that unlike the service’s previous video chat, which was based on peer-to-peer technology, the upgraded service will offer improved reliability and also let users connect with people using Google+, according to the company.

MORE:  Gmail gets video Hangout | Internet & Media – CNET News.


Jul 302012

In a recent interview, Facebook Head of Audience Insights “Robert DOnofrio” had explained  about 85% of those monthly active users are creating some form of content. It needs to be said that Facebook defines content creation broadly and includes everything from uploading a photo or video to writing a status update to less time-intensive actions such as becoming a fan of something or liking a friends post. Messaging and check-ins arent included.


MORE:  Online Marketing Trends: 85% Facebook Users Are Content Creators.


Jul 272012

An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, user HaveBlue from the AR-15 forum, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear.

HaveBlue’s custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal.

The lower receiver was created using a fairly old school Stratasys 3D printer, using a normal plastic resin. HaveBlue estimates that it cost around $30 of resin to create the lower receiver, but “Makerbots and the other low cost printers exploding onto the market would bring the cost down to perhaps $10.” Commercial, off-the-shelf assault rifle lower receivers are a lot more expensive. If you want to print your own AR-15 lower receiver, HaveBlue has uploaded the schematic to Thingiverse.

MORE:  The world’s first 3D-printed gun | ExtremeTech.


Jul 272012

Like. Read Later. +1. Tweet. Tumblr. StumbleUpon. For the last few years, little chiclet buttons have been spreading like measles across the web, appearing and vanishing as new tools and services rise and fall in popularity. The popular ShareThis button, which offers site owners the chance to at least corral all these social services into one pop-up box, currently offers over 120 potential destinations – and while nobody ever actually lists them all outright, it’s often hard to tell exactly who all the options are helping.

It’s a problem in need of fixing, and one that both Google and Mozilla have solutions in the works to handle – Web Intents and Web Actions/Activities respectively. Their executions vary, but the basic goal is the same: to move away from the site/app creator having to link to specific services to get things done, in favour of simply enabling them to provide verbs that the browser can handle on a user-by-user basis.

What would this mean in practice? Well, for example: at the moment, there are many different bookmarking tools, with two of the most popular being Delicious and Pinboard. To integrate a bookmark button on the end of an article, the site owner has to add two different chunks of code. In a Web Intents/Actions world this would simply become one ‘Bookmark This’ button. When the user clicks it, their browser sees the verb, consults its list of registered services, and hands over the data.

That’s only the simplest possible scenario, though. What stops Web Intents/Actions being a glorified ‘mailto: link’ is that they’re capable of far more, including two-way interaction that make them suitable for full web applications as well as simply chiclet replacements. Current Web Intents specifications handle the verbs Discover, Share, Edit, View, Pick, Subscribe and Save. With very little coding, for example, you can both send an image to an editor and receive the touched-up version back, just as easily as pulling information like contact details out of an external address book and into a specific form – all without a single custom API call or even knowing what the second party actually is.

MORE:  Web Intents: the future of web apps | Feature | .net magazine.


Jul 272012

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today that more than 1 billion stories are being shared from Open Graph apps per day.

Open Graph apps are those that share users’ actions, such as reading, watching, listening and other custom activities to Timeline, Ticker and News Feed. These were first introduced in September 2011, but only began to be widely developed and used as of January 2012, when the social network began approving third-party integrations.

Open Graph is an important aspect of Facebook’s growing platform, which Zuckerberg repeatedly referred to as being core to the social network’s strategy. The CEO also said that Facebook’s vision for the platform is “bigger than most people perceive.” He urged investors not to think about the platform as being solely about games on Facebook.com, even though that is the vast majority of the company’s $192-million payments business. Zuckerberg believes his platform will actually extend beyond the web itself. He talked about the future possibility of buying a new car, logging in with Facebook, and having the car populate with your favorite music, your friends’ addresses, restaurants you like and stores your friends have been to.

MORE:  Facebook users are sharing 1B stories from Open Graph apps per day; Zuckerberg discusses options for future monetization.


Jul 272012

Google on Thursday detailed its high-speed Internet network called Google Fiber, which runs 100 times faster than today’s average broadband connection.

The search engine giant is bringing the ultra-high speeds first to Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. In addition to offering two paid packages, Google is also rolling out a virtually free service for at least the first seven years. (Note: You still have to pay a $300 installation fee).

“No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting,” the company notes on its blog. “Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven’t even dreamed of, powered by a gig.”

To get things started, the company divided Kansas City into small communities called “fiberhoods.” Each fiberhood needs a high majority of their residents to pre-register to get the service. Those communities with a high pre-registration percentage will be among the first to get Google Fiber. Households in those communities can register for the service throughout the next six weeks.

Households in fiberhoods that qualify will be able to select from various subscription packages. Internet will cost $70 a month, while Internet along with television will cost about $120. The free Internet service (with the $300 installation fee) is also available for $25 a month for 12 months.

MORE:  Meet Google Fiber, the New Lightning-Fast Internet Network.


Jul 262012

Defining an organization’s digital strategy is the ultimate test in balance, creativity, and prioritization. For nonprofits, throw in the added constraints of a limited budget, sometimes limited manpower, and goals and tactics that differ from for-profit businesses (such as collecting donations as opposed to selling goods or services). I recently authored a white paper titled “Creating a Digital Strategy for Nonprofits – Part 1: Building Blocks of your Digital Strategy,” drawing on both my digital strategy expertise and track record of success with my agency’s clientele. The purpose of the paper is to give marketing leaders in nonprofit organizations a practical, step-by-step guide to defining and auditing the building blocks of their digital strategy and putting the foundations of a program in place to make it a living document that can be continually refined.

The white paper covers the process of auditing and defining the components that fit in your digital strategy and serve as the basis of your strategic recommendations. This process consists of six steps of goal-setting and identification, and a seventh step that outlines a plan, which you can analyze and adjust over time. It’s not rocket science; it’s just a simple and organized approach to creating a digital strategy to help grow your organization.

The first step in the process is to make sure you understand both your organizational goals and your audience goals,

MORE:  A step-by-step guide to digital strategy creation


Jul 252012

Google has added a calculator to its search results.

After typing in a formula into its search, Google will spit out the answer in a new calculator it has brought to its results. Once the calculator is displayed, users can tap numbers and scientific functions to send it a new equation. The company’s search box will also still work.

Prior to this addition, Google allowed users to type into its search any equation. The search engine would then spit out the answer. However, this is the first time that Google has displayed an actual calculator its users can interact with.

MORE:  Google adds calculator to search results | Internet & Media – CNET News.


Jul 252012

Global revenues from social media are projected to hit $16.9 billion in 2012, a 43.1% jump over the previous year, according to Gartner.

The bulk of that will come from advertising, which will contribute $8.8 billion. Social gaming revenue is next at $6.2 billion and subscriptions account for another $278 million. The researcher predicts “moderate growth” for the segment in coming years, though Gartner declined to share specific figures.

MORE:  Social Media is Now a $16.9 Billion Business [REPORT].