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Google’s Santa Tracker Is Up & Counting Down Days Until Santa’s Annual Sleigh Ride Around The Globe

Now that we have Thanksgiving out of the way, it’s time to start tracking Santa’s whereabouts. To make it easy, Google launched its Santa Tracker today, reminding us there are less than 23 days before Santa makes his annual trip around the globe. This year’s Google Santa Tracker…

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Bing Maps Helps Drivers Avoid Traffic Around The World

Previously only available in the U.S., Bing Maps is now helping travelers around the world avoid traffic jams with its Clearflow technology. According to Bing, Clearflow can predict traffic on roads that do not include live traffic data. Traffic issues across the globe will now be marked with red…

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You Might As Well Get Used To Twitter Messing Around With Your Timeline

If you didn’t like Twitter’s recent move to throw random tweets into your timeline, you’re going to hate the future. Twitter is still struggling to make the service more accessible to the masses, a point underscored by its third-quarter earnings report—and that means more tinkering with things like the timeline Twitter fans have grown accustomed to.

See also: Twitter Is Officially Mucking With Your Timeline

While Twitter continues to grow, particularly on mobile, it’s not growing fast enough to make investors happy. Twitter now has 284 million monthly active users, up 23% compared to the year-earlier quarter. The majority of those—80%—access the social network on mobile. Timeline views reached 181 billion, up 14% compared to a year earlier. 

But the microblogging service’s user growth slowed over its previous quarter, and Wall Street was not impressed. Investors knocked down Twitter shares roughly 10% in after-hours trading.

Growth, Growth, Growth

Twitter otherwise turned in an unexceptional quarter. Its revenues more than doubled to $361.3 million compared to a year earlier. So did its losses, which expanded even faster than revenue, to $174.5 million from $64.6 million a year earlier. Those losses, however, weren’t larger than expected.

Twitter, which wants to position itself as a real-time information and discussion hub, remains small by the standards of major social-media networks. Its 284 million active monthly users are dwarfed by the billion-plus on Facebook, for instance.

In order to appeal to a broader audience—one that isn’t already familiar with the quirky and not completely user-friendly argot of tweeting—the company will have to make it easy to better understand how and why people need to use it. That may well current Twitter addicts who are happy with the way things are.

See also: Twitter Demystified: How To RT, MT, #FF And Fave Like A Pro

The company has made some significant changes in recent months, including dumping suggested tweets into your timeline. These posts might include favorited tweets from people you follow or tweets from accounts your followers follow. It might seem convoluted from that description, but the aim is to help newbies find interesting accounts to follow and, eventually, figure out how people and brands tweet.

Twitter said on Monday that new iOS profiles—a complete revamp of the Twitter profile that makes it easy to navigate by putting tweets, photos and favorites in three separate tabs, and the profile bio clear and up front—accounted for an 83% increase in “profile impressions.” That means people looked at other users’ profiles almost twice as much as they did before.

So What Will Twitter Do?

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo laid out some vague plans for change, some of which echoed what he’s been telling investors for the last few quarters

That includes improving things for new users by providing a “high-quality” timeline when they sign up for an account, likely by suggesting tweets and accounts to follow by forcing tweets in the timeline. That could also include an upgrade to Twitter’s direct messaging function, which has been in a dire need of an upgrade for years.

Costolo said Twitter will continue to “innovate on ways to better organize content to deliver best experiences.” Translated from the original Martian, that means more experimentation and continued shuffling of the timeline.

Anthony Noto, Twitter’s CFO, reiterated those expectations. He said on the third-quarter earnings call that while Twitter will continue to be a real-time social network by showing tweets in chronological order, it will begin to distribute tweets and updates that might be hours hold, but that the user might find helpful. Hello, algorithm-based feed!

The company is also working on improving the number of people that use Twitter that don’t actually have a Twitter account. That includes where tweets appear on third-party services like news websites or in applications. According to Twitter, the “logged out” audience, or people who see tweets outside of Twitter proper, is easily as large as the “logged-in audience”—and perhaps as much as twice that size.

Lead photo courtesy of Twitter

View full post on ReadWrite

5 New iOS 8 Features Developers Need To Get Their Heads Around

The latest iteration of Apple’s operating system is finally here, just a few short days before the iPhone 6 itself—both versions—makes its actual appearance.

Developers have had access to iOS 8 since June so they could explore new features, test their apps, and see what’s changed. If you’re just catching up now, here are some of the biggest changes you’ll encounter as a developer when you start working with iOS 8.

Adaptive User Interface

It’s time to start thinking differently about user interfaces.

In iOS 7 and previous versions, developers needed to consider different ways users might encounter their apps—primarily the landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) views. The introduction of Auto Layout, a tool to simplify the process of fitting apps to screens, in Apple’s developer suite Xcode minimized that particular headache.

See also: Hold Up! Here’s Why You Might Want To Postpone That iOS 8 Upgrade

Now, says Step Christopher, iOS team manager and instructor at Big Nerd Ranch, Apple wants to change the way developers think about designing apps completely. “Apple no longer wants us to be thinking of specific screen modes,he said during a demo. “Instead they want us to target general sizes and let them flow out to the different devices and orientation as appropriate.”

Christopher thinks this means that soon Auto Layout may be the only, or at least most way to design apps for Apple products. “If you’re not using Auto Layout it’s something you need to get up to speed on very quickly,” he said.

Context Sensitivity

Today’s Apple users increasingly want smarter devices. That includes day modes and night modes for apps that adjust their brightness according to the time.

Users may also notice that more apps want to access the phone’s location data. That’s already becoming a bigger thing, but as iOS 8 makes it an easier feature for developers to include, it’ll become even more popular.

iOS 8’s new capabilities allow for context sensitivity in regard to motion, too. Since the latest Apple devices have sensors to detect altitude and movement, those sensors are now fair game for app development. New apps, or apps converted for iOS 8 could potentially deliver different displays to users who are walking than to those who are driving.

Extended Functionality

Apple didn’t just release 4,000 new APIs for developers. In iOS 8, it also made it easier to add API functionality to apps in general.

See also: How To Download And Install Apple’s iOS 8 Beta

APIs allow developers to add new functionality to their apps without reinventing the wheel. However, testing the new apps has been challenging so far because developers are only able to see how they’ll look using the new software, not hardware.

Now that Apple has finally released new phones, testing how APIs work on the latest phones running iOS 8 will be a little less frustrating.

Outside The Box

The Notification Center is going to play a much larger role with apps in iOS 8. More developers may want to take advantage of the ability to display new kinds of notifications from different apps.

Some developers are even referring to one kind of new notification, which Apple calls “Today Extensions,” as “widgets” since they bring some of an app’s functionality outside the app proper.

Zach Waldowski, a software developer at Big Nerd Ranch, demonstrated that adding extensions to app functionality is as simple as opening up Xcode, clicking “Application Extension” and adding it to your app.


No discussion of iOS 8 is complete without a mention of Apple’s new in-house development language, Swift.

Introduced at the World Wide Developer’s Conference, the language is designed to be simpler to use than Objective-C, while still being compatible with Objective-C. Apple hopes an easy-to-use language will encourage more developers to build on iOS 8.

See also: Apple’s Swift Language Goes Pro, Reaches Version 1.0

Swift just got upgraded to version 1.0, which means it’s officially out of beta. Apps that include some—or more—Swift coding are now allowed in the app store. That gives more developers an incentive to try it out for new apps right as the new devices are coming out.

Photo by Global Panorama

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Dzine It, a Leading Online Marketing Firm, says It is Important to Shop Around … – EIN News (press release)

Dzine It, a Leading Online Marketing Firm, says It is Important to Shop Around
EIN News (press release)
According to Crisafi, most SEO firms may look good on paper and their so-called “online marketing professionals” may seem quite confident, even in person, but that doesn't mean that they don't engage in practices that might be detrimental to their clients.
Help customers find you through search engine marketingSpringfield News-Leader

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Google Provides More Clarity Around Sneaky Redirects Against Their Guidelines

Google announced on their Webmaster blog that they have updated two of their guideline documents to improve the clarity around what sneaky redirects are against Google Webmaster Guidelines. Google has expanded their guidelines to ensure webmasters are aware that using sneaky redirects through…

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Matt Cutts Stars In Parody “Spam Around The World” Video

Matt Cutts has been the subject of a number of parody/comedy videos during his tenure as the chief of Google’s webspam team, and the latest has him starring in a rap-style clip called “Spam Around The World.” It’s a collage of clips from past webmaster videos edited together…

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