Pinterest Hires Tim Kendall, the Man Behind Facebook’s Monetization Strategies

Nearly one and a half years ago, Facebook lost its key person, the man behind Facebook’s monetization strategies, Tim Kendall, who seamlessly helped Facebook to monetize the site particularly in the development of the ads business. Today, the same person has been hired by the slowly growing and puzzled on how to raise profits – pin board styled social photo sharing site – Pinterest, in order to help the company convert their engaged users into real money.

Kendall worked at Facebook from the year 2006 to December, 2010 where he was designated as the Director of Monetization. Kendall mainly architected Facebook’s early monetization strategies, which certainly shot up the company’s revenue in no time. In the year 2011, Facebook’s advertising revenue was about $3.2 billion, which was 85 percent of its total revenue!

Tim Kendall Hired by Pinterest

When Kendall was leaving Facebook, David Fischer, VP – Advertising and Global Operations at Facebook, sent out an email highlighting Kendall’s contributions to the company –

Over more than four years at Facebook, Tim has had an incredible impact on the company, and in particular on the development of the ads business. Starting back in 2006, Tim wrote the blueprint for our monetization strategy. In all seriousness, it is safe to say we would not be where we are today without Tim.

Tim recognized early on not only that advertising could be social, but that it should be social on Facebook. What began as “sponsored stories,” social advertising has transformed the marketing business. And again, Facebook has Tim to thank.

Tim is truly a renaissance man. All of us who have worked with him have seen his strong intellect, quiet intensity, and complete focus on the mission at hand, with little tolerance for distractions or bureaucracy. He balances that with a more lively side that seems to come out after dark and has been displayed over the years at fine Palo Alto establishments like Rudy’s and the Old Pro. We will greatly miss all sides of Tim.

Since leaving Facebook, Kendall has done some venture capital, investing in Turntable.fm and SneakPeeq, a social shopping site.

Now that the man behind Facebook’s revenue has been hired by Pinterest. This eventually leads to a question in mind whether Pinterest is planning to slot in advertisements on the site. If not, Kendall has to think another way out to generate revenue for Pinterest.

Currently, Pinterest has no steady income. The site currently exists because of the outside investments from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Although Pinterest has tried out several different approaches to make money such as affiliate links, they haven’t really been successful enough. Pinterest team has stated on their site that they will try out advertisements, and perhaps this is why Kendall has been hired.

Google Plus Has Nearly 195 Million Profiles Including 25 Million Blank Profiles

When Google launched its social networking site Google Plus, it made every profile visible to search engines by default. With this, every profile on Google Plus gets indexed by search engines and the profile links will be displayed in the search results accordingly.

Like every other website, Google too maintains a sitemap file for Google Plus that basically contains all the records and links to every Google Plus profile. A sitemap is a file that consists a list of pages of a website listed accordingly, which will enable crawlers or users to know the hierarchy of a site.

Amit from Labnol discovered that the main sitemap of Google Plus has over 39,000 sub-sitemap files with each of the sub-sitemap file consisting of 5,000 Google Plus profiles each. Therefore, calculating the total number of profile links in the sitemap file – 39,000 * 5,000 which is equivalent to 195 million profile links.

This clearly shows that Google Plus has nearly 195 million profiles as of March 16th, 2012 (the last sitemap update). However, yet another interesting discovery was the number of blank profiles out of the 195 million profiles.

When a new profile is created, the “About” section of the profile will be left blank with the message – “[Name] has not filled in his profile yet.” Performing a quick site search with the query – “site:plus.google.com “has not filled * profile yet” inurl:about ” reveals that Google Plus has nearly 25 million blank profile pages.

Google Plus Blank Profiles

Therefore, the total number of active users on Google Plus (or at least those who have their profile information filled) is 170 million users.

Facebook currently boasts that it has over 850 million users, while Twitter records shows that it has 140 million “active” users. Earlier in January, Google’s Larry Page posted a public note (citing a quote from the Google Earnings report) on his Plus profile revealing that Google Plus has recorded over 90 million users globally.

Within over a span of nearly 2 months from the disclosure of official profile count, it looks like the newly launched social networking site has increased progressively with the current record of 170 million active users (as calculated above). It is predicted that Google Plus will have nearly 400 million users by the end of 2012.

Oh well, if in case you want to hide your Google Plus profile from search engines, then here’s what you need to do. Go to your profile page and click on “About”. Click “Edit Profile” and scroll down to the end where you’ll see “Profile discovery: Profile visible in search”. Click on it and uncheck the “Help others find my profile in search results” option and save the setting. Done! Your page will be taken off the search index and will no longer appear in search results until you come back and enable it again.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta Available for Free Download with All Features

Adobe has released the beta version of the most eagerly awaited photo editing tool – Photoshop CS6. The preview version of the upcoming PS CS6 is now available for free download on the official Adobe Labs site. The final version will go on sale later this year for $700 for new users and $200 upgrade fee for existing users.

The beta version of Photoshop CS6 unveils a fully redesigned user interface and sports several new features and fun tools including the iris blur and title shift. Adobe says that the new Photoshop CS6 sports over 60 percent new features than the CS5 including 65 user-requested features such as a Paste Lorem Ipsum option to fill up text blocks.

The most striking feature in the Photoshop CS6 is the improved Content-Aware tool. With the new content-aware tool, you can seamlessly move or remove objects from an image. The new feature includes a whole lot of improvements to the CS5 Content-Aware technology.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta

Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Senior Project Manager of Photoshop, tells Wired that Adobe’s focus in this release has been on making Photoshop more productive – “We’ve been fine-tuning workflows,” Hughes says, “not just adding, adding, adding. There’s a lot of working with what we’ve got and making sure it works as best it can.”

Here are some of the features (full list) available in the Adobe Photoshop CS6 –

Brushes

  • HUD brush resize and hardness can now change opacity
  • Increase brush size to 5000px
  • Change color dynamics to per stroke instead of per tip (user option for old behavior)
  • Brightness/contrast slider for textures when painting
  • Brush projection for static tips
  • Brush cursor reflects brush dynamics for round and captured tips

File formats

  • Read common stereo image pair formats (JPS, PNS) Allow for more bit depths in TIFF files
  • Read BIGTIFF format
  • Give the user choices regarding how they want transparency treated in OpenEXR on file open

Layers

  • Add a contextual menu item that deletes a layer effect not just disables it
  • Add dither options to Layer Styles for Gradient Overlay and Gradient Stroke
  • Allow 00 or Shift 00 to work when setting layer/fill opacity (previously no way to get 0%)
  • Add bicubic sharper & bicubic smoother options when free transforming layers
  • Allow changing of blend modes for multiple layers at once
  • Multiple layers locking and allows changing color labels to multiple layers at once
  • Layer tooltips to include layer name (if defined)
  • Show blend if/Blending Effects badge on layer
  • Tab goes to next layer on inline layer rename, SHIFT + TAB goes to previous
  • New command to raster layer effect into layer, merging the selected layers into themselves
  • Reorder effects in the layers palette to match the Z-­­order style/blend mode (bottom most effects in terms of blending order, drop shadow is below the other effects

SDK

  • Add the ability to return an array of guides in a document from the scripting SDK
  • Add ability to access tool name associated with the tool preset name via scripting
  • Selections
  • Make the marquee, lasso, and mask panel feather values support decimal places like the feather dialog
  • Remember feather radius when showing dialog for selection from a path

Download Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Free

The Photoshop CS6 beta is available to free download for both PCs and MACs, and you will not require a serial number to install the product. All you need to do is select the “Try. I want to try Adobe Photoshop CS6 for a limited time” option in the welcome screen when you start the installation process.

The download is around 1GB in size and comes with all the features in the Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CS6 Extended. The (minimum) required system configuration for PC is 2GHz or faster processor with 1GB of RAM, and a multicore Intel processor also with 1GB of RAM for Mac.

Google Celebrates 125th Birthday of Jaun Gris with a Cubist Doodle

Google is celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of the famous Spanish painter and sculptor, Juan Gris, by posting a cubist Google Doodle on its home page signifying the abstract art of Cubism, which was the most revolutionary art movement in the last century.

The Google Doodle dedicated to Juan Gris is now available in Australia, New Zealand, India and many other countries, and will be available to the rest of the world later this evening and early morning. Due to the variations in time zones, Google Doodle usually appears in other countries first – way ahead of the United States.

Today’s doodle is quite abstract and basically replicating the art of Cubism. Generally every Google Doodle will have the letters “Google” hidden within it, but unfortunately in today’s doodle, I really couldn’t find these letters. Well, abstract art is more like a mystery to me –

Google Doodle - 125th Birth Anniversary of Juan Gris

According to Wikipedia, Juan Gris was a famous sculptor and painter who discovered his own personal “cubism” style 100 years ago in Paris, France.

Born in Madrid on March 23, 1887, the birth name of Juan Gris is José Victoriano González-Pérez. He studied mechanical drawing at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904. During the year 1905, José González adopted the more distinctive pseudonym Juan Gris.

Juan Gris first painted in the analytic style of Cubism, but eventually after 1913 he began his conversion to synthetic Cubism, of which he became a steadfast interpreter, with extensive use of papier collé or, collage. His top auction price was $20.8 million which was set by his 1915 still life titled, Livre, pipe et verres, until Christie’s Imp/Mod sale in November 2010, when “Violon et guitare” sold for $28.6 million.

Here are some of his works featured on Wikipedia –

Juan Gris Selected Works

Since October 1925, Juan’s health started to get complicated and frequently fell ill with attacks of uremia and cardiac problems. He died on May 12, 1927, at age 40.

Facebook Now Supports High Resolution Photos and Can Be Viewed Fullscreen

Facebook just got better! The social networking giant has just announced that the site will now allow users to upload high resolution photos and eventually enable full-viewing (full resolution) of images. Photos on Facebook will now be crisp, sharp and of high quality with up to 4x larger than before. This is perhaps the best and one of the greatest photo update that Facebook has ever rolled out.

Facebook made this happy announcement on their blog today and stated that users can now expand the photo viewer to take up thier entire computer screen. However, this feature is currently available on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Facebook High-res Photo Viewer

Facebook hasn’t revealed as to why this feature is supported by only the two browsers. However, we assume that Facebook is still testing this new photo feature and may eventually start supporting on other browsers as well.

To use the new photo feature, users can click the double headed arrow placed at the top-right corner of a photo to expand it.

Facebook View Large Photos

Technical Information About the Update

There is a motive behind this update. The Internet standard color profile is called “sRGB.” Most of sites, including Facebook, support this sRGB format. Since not every browser recognizes images as sRGB, site developers ought to redefine every single image as sRGB. Although Facebook’s photo feature system is capable of defining sRGB in every image, the problem occurred as the sRGB definition was very big, which eventually caused the loading of pages to slow down by 30 percent.

Facebook Engineers identified the problem and stated that it was caused due to the repeated details of the definition and also the “tone response curve” (2060 bytes), which added to a total of 3KB. Once they figured out on how to cut down the numbers, the sRGB definition became quite manageable, as Ryan Mack explains in detail.

There are over 250 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day. Many amateur and semi-professional photographers have started to upload their creativity on Facebook. No doubt that Facebook has already become a popular photo-sharing site, however, with this new photo feature, the social networking giant has put forth a new challenge for Flickr and other popular photo-sharing sites. It will also be interesting to see how corporate and business pages on Facebook will make use of this new feature.

When Facebook rolled out its new photo viewer, everyone complained that it was a copy of the Google Plus photo viewer. No doubt about that, but Facebook has taken a step ahead by updating its photo feature by enabling users to view larger versions of photos. My guess is that this update will eventually be carried out by Google Plus in the near future.

Facebook “Deactivated Friend Attack” Disclosed by Researchers

A pair of researchers from the University College London – Shah Mahmood (student) and Yvo Desmedt, Chair of Information Communication Technology, have discovered and revealed a “zero day privacy loophole” in Facebook. The duo has named the loophole as “Deactivated Friend Attack”, and revealed details about it yesterday during the IEEE International Workshop on Security and Social Networking SESOC 2012, held at Lugano, Switzerland.

According to the pair, “Our deactivated friend attack occurs when an attacker adds their victim on Facebook and then deactivates her own account. As deactivation is temporary in Facebook, the attacker can reactivate her account as she pleases and repeat the process of activating and deactivating for unlimited number of times. While a friend is deactivated on Facebook, she becomes invisible. She could not be unfriended (removed from friend’s list) or added to any specific list.”

This particular attack is simple enough and easy to execute, however, the main challenge the attacker faces is to trick the user into accepting the attacker as a “friend”. However, once the attacker has achieved this task, he can deactivate the user’s account and also make it impossible for the user to remove him from his friend list.

Facebook Friends

Once the attacker can activate/deactivate the user’s account, he can also access the information contained in the victim’s account. According to the researchers, the attackers have some sort of back entry into the victim’s account and can access the account any time he wants.

“No user was able to unfriend us during this time due to cloaking and short de-cloaking sessions,” the researcher said during the workshop. The “deactivate friend attack” works well, since Facebook does not allows users to keep a count on how many time a user’s account was deactivated and activated. It also does not send any notification to the user’s friend about the deactivation of the account.

To demonstrate how this works, Mahmood and Desmedt made 4,300 Facebook friends and maintained access to their profiles for a period of 261 days. Because most of the time their test account was deactivated, none of the 4,300 individuals was able to unfriend them. The short de-cloaking sessions were enough to get updates about the victims.

Currently, there has been no resolution on this yet, but we expect that Facebook will look into this matter and come up with a feasible solution. Meantime, it is advised that you do not add any unknown person to your friend list. Also, make sure you approve trusted Facebook apps that seek permission to access your publicly available information.

[via]

Google Misspells Its Own Product Name

Earlier today, Google sent out an email to all Google Wave users, stating that the product has been put in read-only mode and would shut down on April 30, 2012. However, did you notice anything strange in the email? If not, go check that email again. Google has misspelled the name of its own product as “Google Wage” instead of “Google Wave”.  Well, looks like the Google Wave team is under high distress!

Although Google hasn’t responded to this yet, but users across the Web claim that this is just a PR faux pas. It definitely looks very unprofessional, and it is most likely a typo because of the close proximity of the “g” and “v” keys on the keyboard. Users buzzed Twitter with jokes about this embarrassing event, and even created a Twitter hash tag – #googlewage

As the email indicates, this is a reminder email from Google about the shutdown of Google Wave. Google announced over a year ago that development on Wave was ceasing, and the product would be shut down by the end of April, 2012.

Google Wave Typo Email

Dear Wavers,

More than a year ago we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. Back in November 2011, we shared the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. Google Wave is now in read-only mode. This is reminder that the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.

If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave. There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.

For more details, please see our help center.

Yours sincerely,

The Wave Team

© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Wave account.

Please note that once Google Wave shuts down, users will be unable to read or retrieve anything on its servers.

Google Celebrates Akira Yoshizawa’s 101st Birthday

To mark the 101st birth anniversary of Akira Yoshizawa, popularly known as the Grandmaster of origami, Google has come with a colorful origami-themed Google doodle, which has replaced the company’s usual Google logo on its homepage.

Happy Birthday Akira Yoshizawa

Origami is a Japanese art, which is a composite of two smaller Japanese words: “ori”, meaning to fold, and “kami”, meaning paper, which started is early 17th century AD and was then popularized in other cities outside Japan in the mid-1900s.

Akira Yoshizawa was born on 14 March 1911 in Kaminokawa, Japan, to the family of a dairy farmer. From his early ages itself, Yoshizawa was self-learnt man and took interests in teaching himself the art of folding papers or origami. When he was 13 years old, Yoshizawa got his first job at a factory in Tokyo. When he was promoted from a worker to a technical draftsman, Yoshizawa revived his passion for origami.

Yoshizawa then resigned from his job in mid-1930s in order to pursue his passion for art.  For the next two decades, he lived a real hard life, selling preserved fish door-to-door. In 1951, things started to lucky for Yoshizawa as he was commissioned by a magazine company to fold the 12 signs of the Japanese zodiac to illustrate its next issue, which helped him reach out to the world.

Happy Birthday Akira Yoshizawa

In 1983, Japanese emperor Hirohito named him to the Order of the Rising Sun, one of the highest honors that can be given to a Japanese citizen. In 1989, Yoshizawa made an estimation that he had created more than 50,000 models, of which only a few hundred designs were diagrammed in his 18 books.

Akira Yoshizawa died on March 14, 2005 in hospital in Itabashi Ward of complications of pneumonia on his 94th birthday.

Meanwhile, watch this simple videos demonstration of the paper folding project, done in computer graphics using the OpenGL as Platform –

This is Funny, Facebook Blocks Indian Users for Using the Slang “Ch****”

This sounds funny, but Facebook has done it. The social networking giant has literally blocked over thousands of Indian accounts for using the word “chutia” in their name. For those who don’t know what the slang is – “chutia” or “chutiya” is equivalent to what is considered by many to be the most offensive word in the English language – “c***

According to The Times of India, user accounts of the All Assam Chutia Students’ Union in India (AACSU) community on Facebook were blocked, while the the AACSU community were left confused as to why the accounts of their community members were taken offline. Although there hasn’t been any response from Facebook, the Union thinks that the Facebook Security team believes that these accounts were fake or were created in order to spread spam messages.

Facebook Blocked Users for Using the Word "Chutia"

Addressing a press conference in Jorhat, AACSU general secretary Jyotiprasad Chutia said: “‘Facebook has blocked the accounts of all the subscribers belonging to the Chutia community of Assam thinking the names are false and fabricated. For Chutia being an abusive word in the Hindi language, Facebook authorities thought that the account holders are fake and fabricated. But, they are still unknown to the fact that Chutia is an ethnic tribe of Assam which has a rich historical background in the state history.”

According to the Wikipedia page, The Chutiya kingdom (pronounced Sutiya) was established by Birpal in 1187 in north-eastern Assam, with the capital at Sadiya. The Sutiya are an indigenous ethnic group that speak a Tibeto-Burman language. According to tradition, Birpal at first became the chief of sixty families.

The student’ protested against Facebook and burned a Facebook effigy in the five upper Assam districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, and Golaghat on Monday and have demanded a public apology from the social networking giant.

The students not only demand for a public apology, but also expressed its intention to undertake demonstrations pressurizing the Government to accept its 26-point charter of demands. This includes the demands for “tribal status and reservation for the Chutia community in educational institutions and preservation of historic monuments of the Chutia dynasty.”

This particular photo has been shared a million times on Facebook and I’m sure most of the users have seen this –

Facebook Blocks "Chutia"

Apart from this, there is yet another famous Facebook Page – KyaAapChutiyaHain, which is quite popular on Facebook and in India. I wonder if Facebook is going to take down this page as well.

“Chutia” is the most commonly used slang (among friends) in India. It basically refers to a fool or an idiot.

Facebook, Google+, and other social networking sites have requested new users registering for an account to use their real name. Failing to abide by this, the accounts of such users will be taken offline without any prior warning or notice.

Google Celebrates International Women’s Day with a Symbolic Google Doodle

Google today is celebrating the 101st International Women’s Day by featuring a colorful doodle on their home page by replacing their standard Google logo with a simple colorful symbolic illustration that forms the word “Google.”

The first letter in the Google Doodle for Women’s Day is the female gender sign, which appears like the letter “G”. The “O” in Google is significant of the “bindi”, a forehead decoration worn in South Asia – particularly in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, while the third symbol is a marigold-yellow flower, representing the second “O” in Google. The colors are in sync with Google’s official logo colors – blue, red, yellow and green, except that the violet shades visually depict the Women’s Day logo itself.

Google Doodle - International Women's Day

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 of every year is an event for “globally recognizing and applauding women’s achievements as well as for observing and highlighting gender inequalities and issues.”

International Women’s Day is a celebration of women that ranges from culture to culture, remembering women’s achievements socially, economically and politically. It was first observed in the United States as National Women’s Day on 28 February 1909.International Women's Day 2012

IWD was first celebrated on March 18, 1911 in four European countries – Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The United Nations began officially supporting and sponsoring the event since 1975, the year that was designated as International Women’s Year.

There are over thousands of events conducted worldwide to celebrate and honor women’s causes and achievements in every field.  The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty. The European Parliament has come up with the slogan – “Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value.”

International Women’s Day is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, China (for women only), Ukraine, Vietnam, and many other countries. Here are some of the Google Doodles dedicated to Women in the past several years –

This is the fifth Google Doodle dedication for International Women’s Day. The first dedication appeared in 2005, while the other three were done consecutively from 2009 to 2011. This doodle also marks the 1324th Google Doodle, since the first ever doodle dedicated for the Burning Man Festival back in August 30, 1998.