All posts by Tehseen Baweja

Tehseen likes to write about Internet tools that make life easier. Check out his blog at Ijaar.com for more good stuff or follow him on Twitter @tehseenbaweja

US Internet Users Watched 30 Billion Videos In April [More Stats]

According to the latest online video metrics by ComScore Inc, a total of 30.3 billion videos were watched by US based internet users in the month of April 2010. As expected, a the largest contributor to online video viewing was YouTube with 13 Billion video views, making up 43.2% of the total views. This was followed by Hulu 3.2%, Microsoft Sites 2.1% and Viacom at 1.3%.

Interestingly, out of the 178 Million people who watched online videos in April, 43.6 Million watched videos using Vevo, a video service that just launched in late 2009 and focuses on music videos.  Google sites, however, were still #1 at 136 Million unique users, followed by Yahoo!, Fox Interactive and Vevo on number 4th spot. For a service that hasn’t even seen its first birthday, jumping to #4 rank in unique number of online video viewers is something remarkable.

On average, each viewer watched a total of 171 videos with Google again #1 at 96 videos per viewer and Hulu following at #2 with 24 videos per viewer.  Facebook, the social media giant, which is one of the top sites for hosting photos does not do very well in terms of videos. Total number of video views for Facebook were less than 230 Million for the month of April 2010 for 41 Million unique users averaging 5.6 videos per viewer.

The report also notes that 83.5% of all US internet audience viewed a video online in April and the average duration of an online video was 4.4 minutes. The detailed report can be viewed here.

IE6 Almost Gone! Holds Less Than 5% Market Share Now

IE6 is probably the most dreaded piece of software on earth. Web developers don’t hate anything more than this silly browser full of security holes, bugs and not conforming to much web standards. Once heavily used, the market share for IE6 was almost 90% back in 2002 and 2003, however, with the introduction of new browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Opera, users started ditching Microsoft’s  disastrous  browser.

According to StatCounter, a free web analytics tool, the market share of IE6 in the US has fallen to 4.7% down from 11.5% a year ago. Similar stats resonate in the European market. These usage trends were identified by analyzing over 15 Billion page views in May 2010. The browser with larges market share currently is IE8, followed by Firefox 3.6 and IE7 respectively.

IE 6 Obsolete

One large reason IE6 is taking so much time to become obsolete is the corporate users who are usually the last one to switch to a new software due to potential issues and related costs. Moreover, a lot of corporate tools that were built 5-6 years ago still don’t work with Firefox or latest versions of IE, leaving the users with no other choice than to hang on to the dreaded IE6. It is probably the only piece of software against which several online campaigns have taken place. Most of the large websites like YouTube have already dropped support for IE6 and ask you to use an alternate browser if you try to access using IE6.

Did Twitter Really Censor Gaza Flotilla Keywords?

When Israel Navy attacked convoys carrying provisions and supplies for people in Gaza today, Twitter was immediately abuzz with the news of the incident and the hashtag #flotilla immediately started to trend. However, after a few hours, the hashtag #flotilla disappeared from the trending topics despite the issue being discussed by everybody and their grandma.

Many theories exist on what might have happened. The first one obviously includes the preposition that Twitter has censored the topic like it has allegedly done before. However, some other keywords related to the topic like “gaza flotilla” and #freedomflotilla kept trending which is a strong argument against the possibility of Twitter censorship. Users have also suggested that for at least a few hours earlier today, the Twitter searched stopped working for keywords such as flotilla and gaza flotilla. This outage however, is not reported by people throughout the world and is only limited to certain countries like Indonesia.

A post from TechCrunch suggests that Twitter may be taking #Gaza and #Flotilla as part of an old news and hence excluded them from trending topics which sounds like an absurd idea since one would expect a team as intelligent as Twitter’s to factor that in. Plus, if this was true, anything related to Justin Beiber would never trend.

TechCrunch later updated the post with an official Twitter statement:

We are investigating a technical issue that caused search errors for a short period of time this morning. Twitter facilitates the open exchange of information and opinions worldwide so when that is hampered for any amount of time by a bug, we take it very seriously.

There is still no word of what exactly happened today and why the keyword related to the Israel attack stopped trending suddenly. However, with so many theories aboard, users are picking-and-chosing their favorite one while the image of Twitter as an unbiased and free medium of speech gets tarnished. This has also added to an overall increasingly negative image of social media sites since it adds fuel to the privacy and security issues Facebook is already dealing with.

Facebook ‘Hilarious Video’ Phishing Attack Spreading Fast

Facebook has been seeing an increasing number of phishing and malware attacks recently. The latest in series is a phishing attack that lures you to watch the ‘most hilarious video ever’ but when you try to click on it, it asks you for your login credentials and installs the ‘Media Player HD’ app on your Facebook account. The app not only compromises your Facebook account but also installs malware on your computer leading to a potential leak of sensitive information.

To avoid it, simply DON’T click on any such link inviting you to watch a hilarious video and if you think you have already, change your Facebook password and uninstall the ‘Media Player HD’ app. The message for the hilarious video may appear on your wall or come in as a message from one of your friends. To save yourself from such attacks you can also install a free app Defensio that will protect your wall from messages like these.

Woman Sues Google Over Bad Directions

With the advent of every new technology comes a variety of lawsuits. The “Walking Directions” feature of Google Maps is no different in this regard. When Lauren Rosenberg used her Google Maps on her BlackBerry to get walking directions, she claims she was misled to a busy highway and as a result hit by a car.

Lauren has sued both Google and the car driver Patrick Harwood for damages in excess of $100,000. Usually, when the “Walking Directions” feature is used at Google Maps, a warning message displays letting users know about the beta status of the feature and the potential of routes missing pedestrian paths. In other words, Google does a good job of warning users but apparently this is only limited to the web version of Google Maps and hasn’t made it yet to the iPhone/BlackBerry version.

Here is a detailed copy of the case filing.  This is yet another example where the plaintiff ended up relying more on the superficial guidance than her common sense. What would she have done if the bad directions were provided by another pedestrian or a gas station attendant, would she have filed lawsuits against them too? The scenario is no different than getting to a road block while following your GPS, do you sue your GPS company in that case or just take a detour?

Switch To Chrome Incognito Mode and Vice Versa With a Single Click

The Incognito mode in Google Chrome is a great option for browsing websites privately and prevent your browser from recording all your information. However, launching Chrome in the Incognito mode takes a couple of steps and requires you to open a new browsing window and then go to the desired website.

IncognitoSwitcher is a Google Chrome extension that makes switching to the Incognito mode easier.  Once you install the extension, an incognito icon is added next to your address bar. Now, whenever you want to switch to the incognito mode, click on that icon and it will switch the mode without opening a new window. This way the browser mode is switched without interrupting your browsing experience. Whenever you want to switch back to normal mode, just click the icon once again.

Double clicking the icon would switch the whole window to incognito mode. You can also set keyboard shortcuts and switch between the two modes with a single key stroke. By default, Ctrl +i functions same as a single click and Ctrl + Alt acts as the double click.

Download IncognitoSwitcher from here.

[Via Ghacks]

MyStain: An iPhone App To Remove Stains On The Spot

Many iPhone apps claim to be useful but very few come close to MyStain when it comes to being handy. This app by Clorox is a quick yet detailed guide to remove clothing stains with simple things, no matter where you are. You can search for a particular type of stain by using a keyword or browse through the alphabetical list of various stains that commonly occur such as beer, wine, ink e.t.c.

MyStain

Selecting a stain would show you a simple solution for removing the stain with minimum number of items and effort. For every stain, the app offers two different solutions; one for on-the-go situations and other when you are at home. If you like a tip, use the sharing feature to easily post it to your Facebook account.

If you are not looking for something in particular, just take app for a spin and see random stain removing tips that can be helpful later on. The app is offered free of cost and be downloaded using this iTunes link. It is a great example of a company using social media to reach out to people and ultimately increasing its market share. As more such apps come into limelight, smart-phones will turn into a more useful breed of gadgets.

[Via Appolocious]

Bing To Replace Google For iPhone Search

Techcrunch reports that Microsoft’s search engine Bing will replace Google in the upcoming version of iPhone. The news isn’t 100% confirmed yet but seems to be coming from a number of reliable sources at Google and Microsoft. Google has been paying Apple $100 Million each year for exclusive search rights on iPhone but with the recent brawl between the two giants and the ever growing rivalry between iPhone and Android, that deal seems to be falling off.

With that said, how can Microsoft miss a chance to step over Google and increase their market share in the mobile search market. There is no news yet of how much Microsoft will be paying Apple for this deal, but more details will probably be revealed on June 7th at Apple’s WWDC event. With Bing already gaining market share in mobile search with its Windows Mobile phones, this move can be a serious threat to Google.

Google Publicly Releases List of Top 1000 Sites

As a part of offering more options to companies using AdWords, Google has publicly released a list of top 1000 sites on the web. The websites have been ranked based on several factors including  unique visitors, pageviews and  reach. Not surprisingly, Facebook tops the list with  540 Million unique visitors, followed by Yahoo!, Live and Wikipedia.

Top 1000 Sites

Google AdWords partners can now specify to restrict their ads on these 1000 sites only. This can be done by going to your AdWords account, going to the “category filters” section and then choosing “non ad planner 1000″ as the category. Doing this will only run your ads on these top 1000 sites and not on any other website unless specifically mentioned.

Clicking on any of the websites gives you a more detailed report on the traffic including average visits per visitor, average time spent on the site and top keywords used to search for the site. The report also includes a list of top sub-domains as well as a list of audience interests. However, the most interesting part of the report is the ability to drill down and see traffic details for each website at a country level. Simply pick a country from the drop down list and Google will show a detailed report on traffic coming from that specific country. The report was last generated in April 2010 and is supposed to be refreshed every month to reflect updated data.

Top 1000 Sites On The Web

Next Apple TV To Be Sold For $99, Will Work On iPhone OS

With Google TV being the center of the attention since last week or so, people have started terming Apple TV as a relative failure. Not so fast friends. As the popular blog Engadget reports, Apple TV is coming back with a bang with a bag full of surprises.

Not only will the next version of Apple TV be smaller, it will also be based on cloud storage and will work with the iPhone OS. However, the most surprising part of the news is the price. This next Apple TV is supposed to sell for $99. With this low price and new features, Apple TV will have a greater chance to penetrate the living room market and more so if it is launched before the recently hyped Google TV.  The Apple TV will have the A4 CPU just like iPhone 4 and will stream videos upto 1080p HD. The shape and size of the device is also supposed to resemble an iPhone and will come with very few ports.

There is no information yet about a possibility of third-party apps similar to iPhone or iPad, but something like this cannot be ruled out given that it has become a significant source of revenue for Apple. Moreover, availability of apps on the Apple TV will make it more attractive for an average customer who will then be able to optimize the viewing experience on his large TV screen.

Apple TV

[Image Credit Engagdet]