Twitter’s Official Retweet Button is Coming Soon

There is a news that Twitter will be launching an official retweet button for websites and blogs at the end of this week. The button will work just the same way as the Tweetmeme buttons work presently, users will be able to retweet any page from your blog and the button will show how many times the page has been tweeted, reports Mashable.

Official Twitter buttons

The button will be available in three different sizes – 100 X20, 55 X20, 55 X63 with five different settings for customization.

The code for embedding the official Twitter button in your blog’s template is simple and available in both JavaScript and iframe formats. Here is how the code looks like:

Javascript:

<script src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>

<a href=”http://twitter.com/share”>Tweet</a>

Iframe:

<iframe allowtransparency=”true” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”

scr=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdev.twitter.com” style =”width:130px;height:50px;”></iframe>

The button can be seen in action below, although it might not work because the retweet feature isn’t live for everyone yet. Only a few sources have this ability activated and you may have to wait till Twitter activates the feature officially.

Tweet

It will be interesting to see the reactions of Tweetmeme and Topsy, the   two companies heavily rely on the “Retweet” buttons for promoting their brand.

We will update this post once we get more news or any other information regarding the official Twitter buttons.

Update: It’s official, Twitter has just announced the Retweet buttons and you can get the code from this page.

Google Experiments With New Adsense Formats

The Google Adsense team has announced a revamped design for some Adsense units. This includes some major changes to the Leaderboard (728 X 90), large rectangle (336 X 280) and medium rectangular (300 X 250) units.

Here is an image from the official Adsense blog which shows the changes that are on route:

Google says that they have implemented the change after analyzing publisher site layouts and reviewing requests from around the world. The newer Adsense units will be more space efficient and visually pleasing.

The changes are predominant, the links, title and description of the advertisements are now arranged in rows instead of columns. The ads are easier to read which is surely going to affect the CTR and performance. Of course, when only one ad unit is shown – the title, description and the links will take over the entire ad space.

In case of the rectangular blocks, the URL of the website will appear in the same line as the title of the advertisement. Font sizes have also been changed which adds up in easier reading.

One good thing regarding the Leaderboard unit is that the title of the advertisement appears in far left. Since a human eye scan a webpage from left to right, I think this change will encourage more Adsense publishers to test the newer Leaderboard units. Thanks to tabbed browsers, you can place a big Leaderboard unit at the top of your blog’s template because the portion near the tabbed area receives good attention.

Please note that until now, the changes are not reflected in all the existing Adsense accounts because the Google Adsense team is still testing the newer units and the final changes will be rolled out in a few weeks from now.

Facebook Will Reduce Tab Width Of Fan Pages And Applications From August 23

Facebook is going to change the tab width of all Facebook fan pages and applications from August23, 2010. The current maximum limit for tabs on fan pages and application pages is 760 px which will be reduced to 520 px, according to a blog post on the Facebook developers blog.

Facebook will roll out an app so that designers and page administrators can preview the transition from the older format to the newer one. This is to ensure that page administrators can test the newer settings before hand and make necessary changes to the source codes of their applications.

If you are a Facebook application developer, it’s high time you change the design of your apps because from August 23, the newer model will be implemented whether or not your application adheres to the latest design principles.

In the coming weeks Facebook will notify all page administrators via messaging in profile boxes. In the Help Center, the “Boxes” tab, boxes on profiles and Pages, and application info sections will be going away.

According to Facebook, the newer design is being implemented to simplify the navigational aspects of Facebook applications and fan pages. It will also reduce design complexity for developers. The developer roadmap will be thoroughly updates in the coming weeks.

So those who are on their way to coding a Facebook app or something, pack the bags till August 23rd. You don’t want your application to break in the middle, do you?

(Image credit)

Mozilla Plans to Enable Silent Update Mode in Firefox4

So Firefox is going the Chrome way and planning to enable silent updates for Firefox4 users? This feature is not live yet for the latest version of Firefox but you may expect the addition anytime soon.

Silent updates mean that the browser will automatically check for newer updates and install them when you are not running the latest version of Firefox. Thus, the user will not be asked whether he wants to upgrade to the latest version or not.

Firefox 4 Silent Updates

The silent updates will only be available for Windows, confirms Alex Faaborg (one of the designers of Firefox 4)

Alex adds “Firefox 4 will use the update dialog box for versions 4 and above, users will see the updating bar on load. The updates could also be applied in the background. Firefox wants to leave the final decision to the user and let him choose whether or not he wants to auto install updates, unlike Google Chrome. If you choose the auto updates setup, updates will be rolled in the background”. You can read the entire discussion at the Mozilla dev apps forum.

A Google engineer argues on a report (PDF) that any software publisher should enable silent upgrades in the background. This is to ensure that more users are running the latest version which will consequently keep them safe from malicious attacks.

The report shows a statistic that 97% of Chrome users were running the latest version of Google Chrome while 85% of Firefox users were using the latest version of Firefox. Safari users lag the race at 53%.

I don’t think that automatic updates do any good, the liberty should be on the user’s end on what version of a program he/she wants to use.

Via Computer World

Google Acquires Slide, eyes the Social Gaming Market

Google has just acquired another social application company named Slide, in an effort to make Google services socially aware.

Google announced the acquisition in an official blog post published earlier today. It’s interesting to note that Google is slowly expanding the company’s reach on “Social gaming” and ways people make fun on the internet. Earlier this year, Google invested in another company called Zynga which will lay the foundation of Google Games, expected to launch at the end of 2010.

The official blog post says that Google is working on open and transparent ways to allow the users take advantage of the technology which in turn helps them stay connected with family members and friends. With Slide, Google expects to make it’s services more socially aware. Long story short, Google is preparing to take a share in the social gaming sector which is currently dominated by Facebook, thanks to all the interactive and funny games Facebook has.

Coming back to Slide, the company started as a simple photo sharing website back in 2004(read wikipedia refrence). Initially, the startup tried to engage the Myspace audience by letting the users insert slide shows into Myspace pages. Realizing the power and reach of Facebook, the company diversified and started focusing on Facebook apps – some of the very popular being Superpoke and FunSpace.

The company’s   founder Max Levchin along with his team of developers will be soon joining the Google camp to integrate Slide with other Google services. Please note that Max is also one of the co founders of Paypal.

Techcrunch reports that along with $182 million purchase price, Google has also agreed to pay an additional $46 million for employee retention bonuses.

Memonic: Clip Portions of a Webpage and Share With Your Friends

Reading blogs and sharing content with your friends or readers is good but there are some problems when you want to customize the page you are going to share.

Some blog posts have lots of paragraphs and you may want to share only snippets from the post. There may be some websites with horrible designs, thus sharing only selected portions of the page makes sense.

There are quite a few web clipping tools out there but Memonic does the job perfectly. The site lets you clip and share selected portions of any webpage with anyone, through a bookmarklet, a WYSIWYG editor or from your email inbox.

Clip Content from a Webpage with Memonic Bookmarklet

First, sign up for a free account on Memonic. Once you are in, drag and drop the Memonic bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar.

When you want to clip a portion of any webpage, simply hit the bookmarklet and Memonic will open the following interface:

Hit “Save” and the snippet is saved to your Memonic account which can then be easily shared with anyone via Twitter, Facebook or email.

Your Memonic account behaves just like an email inbox – you can save all the clips, forward a clip to anyone, label a group of clips, create sets and so on.

Send a Clip to Your Memonic Account From Email

Another neat way to use Memonic is from your Email account. Works quite simple, compose a new email message and write your notes in the message window. Next, upload all the files and images as attachments and send the email to [email protected].

All done, your email message will be converted into a new clip which can then be shared with anyone from your Memonic account.

Memonic also has a WYSWYIG editor which lets you compose   clips from scratch, add hyperlinks or images. All Memonic items can be either made public or private, you can also combine a group of clips to create a “Set”. A “Set” can then be shared with your friends or contacts.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Brilliant. Memonic has all the tools you need for clipping content from blogs or editorials. You can use Memonic for organizing and aggregating information from different sources at one place.

The free account lets you store a maximum of 90 clips, which is enough if you keep deleting the older clips at regular intervals.

Techie Buzz verdict: 5/5. (Perfect)

Compare Loading Time of Two Websites with Which Loads Faster

Speeding up your website is very important because nowadays search engines take the average load time of websites as one of the factors for ranking. Moreover, faster sites create a good user experience and it’s very essential on the part of website owners to optimize their website for faster loading.

There are several tools to measure the load time of your blog or website, but have you ever compared the average loading times of two websites side by side ?

Which Loads Faster is a nice web service which lets you compare the loading time of any two webpage side by side. Just head over to the home page and enter the URL’s in the text box as shown below:

Hit the “Go” button and the site will split the screen and load both the websites side by side. When both the websites have finished loading, you will be shown the average load time of each and the comparison in percentage. This is very useful, when you are comparing the load times of two websites or may be comparing two pages of your blog to find out which one loads faster.

There is another “Race” feature which lets you compare a series of URL’s in both frames. This will be handy when you are comparing a group or set of pages and want them to load automatically when the previous one has finished loading.

To try the “Race” feature, click the Race link on the site’s navigation menu and enter the “sets” of URL’s one by one

The test results can be shared with anyone using the share button (see example). Thanks to DownloadSquad for the tip.

PhotoGrabber Lets you Download Tagged Photos of Facebook Friends

[Windows and MAC]: There is one problem with Facebook photo albums, you are not shown any link to download the entire photo album in your computer. To download all the photos of a Facebook photo album, you have to click through each photo, load them in a new browser tab and save the images one by one. This procedure can be quite tiring and time consuming as well.

We have previously covered a Facebook photo download tool , which lets you download entire Facebook albums in your computer. But what about “Tagged photos” in Facebook? What if you want to download all the tagged photos of yours or may be some of your friends?

Enter Photograbber, a simple Facebook photo download tool which lets you download tagged photos of any of your Facebook friends. Once you have downloaded the package, extract and run the utility. This will open a browser window where you have to login to your Facebook account and grant the necessary permissions.

You will then be shown an authentication code, simply copy and paste it in the Photograbber preferences as shown below:


Photograbber will then display all your Facebook friends in a list, you can select yourself or any other friend from the list and then download all the tagged photos of that person in your computer.

The application searches your friends wall posts for images where you have been tagged. One downside is that you are not shown the thumbnails or any preview of the images in the application window. Photograbber goes to work and downloads all the photos at once, you are also not given any option to select the images you want.

I think Photograbber does a nice job, you don’t have to search for all tagged photos of a particular friend and manually download them.

Note: You can download only those photos which have been publicly shared by your friend. The application works if the privacy setting for the particular image is “Everyone” or “Friends” , otherwise not.

Get Back The Old Google Image Search With a URL Trick

A few days ago, Google revamped their image search page by adding some cool features. The new Google image search provides a dense cloud of thumbnails which lets you look at lot of images at once. Just hover over an image and you are shown a greater sized thumbnail including the link to the website containing the image at the bottom.

Another feature worth noting is the automatic page scrolling, you scroll to the bottom of the page and the next search result page is loaded automatically in the same page. This is quite useful when are unable to find the perfect image and want to view more results quickly.

If you ask me, I am not quite comfortable with the newer design of Google Image search. The first annoyance is the automatic thumbnail preview, moving the mouse across the screen results in random thumbnails being shown. This can be a bit distracting, considering the fact that you prefer simpler things. Since I hardly look into deeper search result pages, the automatic page scrolling is again not required.

If you want to revert to the older image search interface of Google Images, you can click the “Switch to basic version” link at the bottom of the page.

However, here is another simple URL hack which will let you use the older Google image search layout. Just add &sout=1 in the search result URL and hit the return key.

That’s it, the older interface of Google Image search is back again.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the tip.

YouTube Adds HTML 5 Embedding of Videos

Here is some good news for YouTube fanboys, now you can embed YouTube videos using the new HTML5 embed code. The YouTube api blog recently announced that the team is experimenting with a new embed code that uses the iframe tag to switch between the flash and HTML5 interface.

YouTube added support for HTML5 earlier this year, followed by another popular video sharing site – Vimeo. The HTML5 video playback was limited to only a few browsers e.g Google Chrome, Safari and users were not given any embed code for the uploaded videos.

With the new iframe tag embedded in your website, the code will automatically detect whether you are using a browser that supports HTML5 or not.

The iframe code for embedding YouTube videos is as follows, simply copy the Video ID and replace in the code below:

<iframe type=”text/html” width=”640″ height=”385″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/VIDEO_ID” frameborder=”0″>
</iframe>

Here is an example video embedded using the new HTML5 embed code:

Users will be able to view the embedded video in both Flash and HTML5 players, this depends on their viewing environment and browser preferences. You can find a complete list of HTML5 video players at this page

Please note that those videos which contain inline advertisements will be shown using Flash because HTML5 can not play the videos containing advertisements. The advantage of the new HTML5 embed code is that it will allow embed codes to work on various mobile devices, which use a built in player instead of either Flash or HTML5.

The new embed code is just a testing feature, more improvements are on the way. [ via YouTube API blog ]