Judy’s Tech News Digest

Kind of a slow week techwise…

Yahoo Bests Google

yahooChalk one up for Yahoo. comScore announced this week that, for the first time since May of 2011, Yahoo! had more of its sites visited in the U.S. than Google. Yahoo had 196.6 million visitors to 192.3 million for Google. While this is definitely good news for Yahoo, you need to put this into context. The comScore rankings are for desktop traffic only to U.S. properties. Mobile activity, of which Google is the major player, is not included in these rankings. Still, Yahoo has seen a 20% increase in unique visitors since CEO Marissa Mayer took the helm last July so she must be doing something right.

Yahoo’s CEO can use some good press on the heels (pun intended) of her somewhat controversial photo for Vogue magazine showing her sprawled out upside down on a lounge chair with her hair fanned out and wearing stilettos. This follows up some work-related controversies she has had, such as her two-week maternity leave, complete with a crib in her office upon her return, and the elimination of Yahoo’s work from home policy.

Microsoft Merges Skype and Outlook

skype outlookMicrosoft announced on August 16th that Skype is now available for all Outlook.com customers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, the U.K. and Brazil.  For the rest of the world, this feature will be coming ‘in the near future’.

For more information on how to use Skype in Outlook, go to Microsoft Support.

Mark Zuckerberg wants to Connect the World

connectivityFacebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has started an initiative, internet.org, to bring the Internet to the five billion people in the world who are currently offline. 2.7 billion people, almost half of which are Facebook users, are online today.

Facebook has committed $1 billion to this effort and will be joined by Ericsson, Mediatek, Nokia, Opera Software, Qualcomm and Samsung.

Samsung and Sony to Unveil New Products

samsungSamsung and Sony will be unveiling new products on September 4th, less than a week before Apple’s new iPhone (and possible new iPad) announcement.   According to Bloomberg, Samsung will be showing off two new products: Galaxy Gear, a ‘smart’ wristwatch-like device, and Note 3. Sony’s latest Xperia handset will be unveiled on the same day.

Released in plenty of time for the holiday shopping season, the two companies may be trying to steal some of Apple’s thunder by announcing their products a scant six days ahead of Apple’s announcement.  Apple has hinted that several new products will be coming out this fall.

The announcements also come two days before the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years!

bradley-manningThe news is finally out on Bradley Manning’s sentence: a total of 35 years in the slammer. Manning, 25, is a US army private who famously (or infamously, depending on your point of view) spilled secret US data to WikiLeaks, including a massive number of diplomatic cables from the US State Department.

Manning, who was arrested in May 2010, has already served more than three years while awaiting trial and sentencing. He still faces more than three decades behind bars, although he may be eligible for parole in 10 years time. I wonder how Edward Snowden might be feeling after hearing this news.


Microsoft attacks Google with a fresh round of “Scroogled” ads

bing for schoolsMicrosoft has stepped up the pace of its “Scroogled” attack ads, releasing a new ad just 12 days after the last. The latest wave in the “Scroogled” campaign, timed to coordinate with the announcement of “Bing for Schools,” is aimed fairly and squarely at Google search engine’s practice of placing advertisements on results pages.

As an alternative, Microsoft has offered schools an ad-free version of its Bing search engine. The Redmond giant is also offering parents the opportunity to participate in a ‘Bing Rewards’ program, redeemable by the schools in return for free Surface RT tablets.

This quote from the Scroogled site: “When students use Google for searches in school, they are shown ads that can distract from their studies. Bing for Schools removes all ads from searches on the school’s network, adds strict filters to help prevent adult content, and enhances privacy protections.”


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