The End of Hotmail

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We all know what Hotmail is and we grew up using hotmail for many years. Do you remember when Windows/Microsoft had the chat rooms which were soon shut down because of users that abused the service.

Windows Live Messenger is one tool for chatting with friends we still used to use a 4-5 years ago but recently social networking has decreased the usage of the chatting tool. Much of the present world are using some sort of social network to communicate with other people. Social networks have benefits of having a ‘Timeline’ and many other benefits that Microsoft could not compete with in a timely manner.

I am not sure about other people but I do not use much of Windows Live Messenger or Hotmail because I integrated my email account with my GMail account. I did this because a few years ago GMail had a mobile App and I needed it to check my email on the go which Hotmail could not do.

Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regarding Windows Live Messenger I never use it because I have many social network accounts which take up much of my time. This certain tool does not help find any new or existing friends without their email address while a social network such as Facebook or Twitter suggests users that you might know and can add/follow.

However Hotmail is not Outlook and users can still access their email account.


Google TV: Need to Know

Vital information that you need to know before it is released in the UK in July. I previously created a video and blog post about Google TV, many months ago. Now there is new information and feedback from users who have tried this piece of new technology.

Google TV will launch in the UK this month, when Sony debuts a set-top box that makes it possible to access the interactive service from any television.

The service is Google’s crack at ‘smart TV‘, enabling users to browse the internet on their televisions, as well as accessing additional content using smartphone-style apps.

Here’s what you need to know about the Google TV service.

What is Google TV?
It’s an internet TV platform. Google TV turns your telly into an internet-enabled computer – so you can browse the web, read emails, watch YouTube videos and use smartphone-style apps. Up until now, Google TV has only been available in the US but now it’s coming to the UK.

How will I access Google TV?
Sony is going to launch a new set-top box in July. This set-top box will plug into your existing TV set-up and make it possible to access Google TV. For the time being, that’s going to be the only way to access Google TV in the UK – although don’t be too surprised to see other manufacturers getting involved soon.

So what’s this Sony product?
Sony is offering an ‘Internet Player’ set-top box (NSZ-GS7), which plugs into your existing TV set-up. It will also be launching a Blu-ray player (NSZ-GP9) with built-in Google TV, which will go on sale in the UK some time after October next year.

Does this replace my existing set-top box?
Probably not. Sony’s product is likely to be most useful as an additonal part of your home entertainment set-up, rather than a replacement for anything. Google TV does offer some content – but it’s ‘on-demand’ content accessed via partners such as Netflix and TV channels’ ‘watch again’ services, as well as additional content from the Sony Entertainment Network.

What will it cost?
The NSZ-GS7 Internet Player box will cost around £200. The NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player with Google TV is expected to cost around £300.

When can I buy it?
The NSZ-GS7 Internet Player goes on sale on 16 July. The NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player with Google TV support will go on sale in the UK some time after its initial October launch in the US.

Can I buy a TV with Google TV built in?
Not yet – right now the set-top box option is the only way to get Google TV.

How does the set-top box work?
It’s operated using a dual-sided remote. On one side you have a trackpad, which you can use to navigate web pages in the pre-installed Google Chrome browser. On the other is a full QWERTY keyboard, to make inputting text easier. It’s a universal remote that controls your entire entertainment system and it has a motion sensor for playing games.

As well as offering web browsing, the Sony box includes access to the Google Play store – so you can access apps such as YouTube or Twitter. Google expects app developers to come up with more programs specfically optimised for TV.

Do I have to use the supplied remote?
No – there is a free app called Media Remote that makes it possible to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control instead.

Is Google TV any good?
It has met with a fairly lukewarm reception in the US over the past couple of years and some manufacturers have found sales of their set-top boxes to be sluggish. However, if you want to be able to access a full web browser from your TV (as well as a host of additional features), it makes a useful addition to your front room set-up – especially if you’ve not yet invested in a smart TV.


Twitter Should Have Bought Instagram

I was not very happy when Facebook bought Instagram because I wanted Twitter to have made the acquisition. Personally I just feel Twitter would do better a job with Instagram and keep it simple and integrate it into the social network. Facebook does not plan to make any changes to Instagram and make it similar to it’s social network. Facebook has said it wants Instagram remain how it is and not be effected in anyway.

I guess Facebook knows Instagram’s potential and do not want to lose all the users that Instagram has at the moment. Post your opinions on my video on YouTube or on this blog post.

Google, Facebook Offer News Sites Lessons on Ad Targeting [Study]

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Only three news sites – CNN, Yahoo News and The New York Times – out of 22 appeared to use high levels of ad targeting, according to a Pew Research Center study. In these cases, 45 percent or more of the ads were different from one user to the next.

“By contrast, highly targeted advertising is already a key component of the business model of operations such as Google and Facebook,” the study found.

The study noted that Google had a strong advertising presence on news sites:

A popular style of ad on these sites, accounting for 38% of all ads captured, is the sponsored link box-small boxed-in ads that usually have between three and seven lines of text. On most sites this box is powered by Google.

Three other news sites – CBS, USA Today, and MSNBC – exhibited moderate levels of targeting where between 29 percent and 40 percent of the ads were different across users.

Sites with low levels or no apparent targeting included,,, and

When researchers revisited the sites in January, they found that two – and – showed slightly higher levels of ad targeting.


By not targeting ads, news sites miss an opportunity to serve up more relevant ads to website visitors; these targeted ads potentially command higher prices and bring more revenue to publishers.

The center, which studied 22 news sites, identified other trends:

  • 21 percent of the ads observed in the study were in-house ads, which are ads that sell a news organization’s own products such as subscriptions to print magazines or newspapers.
  • 18 percent of the ads were from financial services, more than any other industry sector observed in the study.
  • 46 percent of the ads on news sites were static banner ads. The Wall Street Journal had the highest percentage of these ads (100 percent) while the Washington Post relied less on banner ads (18 percent). Instead, Washington Post used sponsored links far more than others, 66 percent.
  • 1.3 percent of the ads on news sites studied had stand-alone video ads.
  • None of the top stories were in a video format, even on sites linked to television-based legacy media. As a consequence, there were no pre- or post-roll video ads. However, since the study Yahoo News created a content partnership with ABC News that includes plans to feature more video amid Yahoo News’ top news stories.
  • Discount or coupon advertising such as Groupon was fairly limited.

For the study, Pew Research analyzed 5,381 advertisements on the main websites and legacy outlets of 22 different news organizations – including national and local newspapers, broadcast, and online media in late June 2011. In January 2012, the researchers revisited the sites to review the levels of ad targeting.


Sony Google TV NSZ-GS7 Coming to the UK

Google TV launched in the US back in 2010 now it’s the UK’s turn, with one of the first products to arrive being the Sony NSZ-GS7

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Along with the Sony NSZ-GP9 network Blu-ray player, the Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV set-top box will be among the first UK products featuring the search engine giant’s TV service ( we still don’t know when the LG Google TV will be arriving).  We were recently treated to a brief demo of the service but it’s only now that we’ve had the chance to get our hands on the box itself and the innovative remote at Sony’s HQ in Tokyo.

The Google TV box can be connected to your TV via HDMI and enables you to watch broadcast TV (via a set-top box), use apps and browse the web, displaying more than one function on the screen at any one time. All TVs in the Sony Bravia range for 2012 will be upgradable to Google TV using the NSZ-GS7 box.

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box: Build

The box itself is very small and compact, sporting a minimalist design, although it’s bigger than the likes of Apple TV. The black chassis sports a textured dimpled design that’s been designed to match the bezel of the EX650 TV range (available in 22, 26, 32 40 and 46-inch screen sizes).

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box: Features

Running Android 3.1 Honeycomb, the NSZ-G37 incorporates Google Search and Chrome for easy web browsing. Bookmarks can be added and it’s also possible to add shortcuts to the homescreen, as you would on an Android phone or tablet. We’re told that the Google TV box will automatically update to Ice Cream Sandwich once it’s available.

The box has 4GB of built-in storage, although this is just for software updates and apps, and not for storing content. The NSZ-G37 supports both HD and 3D content.

Sony NSZ-G37: Remote

The Sony Google TV remote certainly looks impressive, and is different to Sony’s US Google TV remote. Along with a backlit QWERTY keyboard, it offers a touchpad (including pinch zoom for web browsing) and 3-axis motion control and can also be used as universal remote for basic functions on the latest Sony TVs.

Powered by two AA batteries, the remote fits neatly in the hand for one-handed control, while flipping the remote over to use the QWERTY keyboard is better suited to two-handed use (the QWERTY buttons won’t work while you’re holding the remote the other way up, so there’s no need to worry about pressing them accidentally). There’s also a mic input to enable voice search, although voice recognition is currently only available on the Sony NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player.

You’ll also be able to perform basic functions on the both the NSZ-G37 and the NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player, using the latest Bravia remote controls.

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box: Apps

Unlike the first generation of Google TVs, the Sony Google TV box will offer full access to the Android market, including a selection of TV-optimized apps. We’re told told that the there should be a substantial selection of TV-centric apps available at launch as they’re actually relatively easy to put together.

For apps that already exist for other Android platforms, most of the work is already done – developers merely need to port them across with larger images and text to fit the TV screen, and they don’t need to worry about touchscreen functionality and for tablet developers – the apps are already TV-friendly 16:9.

We don’t know exactly which apps will be available at launch, but the boffins at Sony told us to expect apps from “all the big content providers”.

There will also be integration for games across different devices, both Android and Apple iOS, and you’ll also be able to ‘throw’ the website on your mobile device to your TV and vice versa.

Sony NSZ-GS7: Verdict

On first impressions, the Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box itself fits in well with Sony’s design theme, so it’ll match any other Sony AV kit nicely. The remote is extremely impressive, as the designers have clearly had to cram a hell of a lot of functions into a relatively small device.

Overall, the Google TV experience appeared to be simple and zippy, much like the slick interfaces that we’ve become used to seeing on tablets, rather than the somewhat clunky internet TV options that have appeared over the last few years, so we look forward to seeing Sony’s Google TV offering when it’s fully operational (we’ve been told that the products will launch in the summer).

Although we managed to get our mitts on the product for a limited amount of time, we haven’t been able to give it a full run-through so stay tuned for a full review.

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box: Summer 2012

Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box: TBC