Google’s PAC-MAN Doodle Annoying Users To No End, May End Up Increasing Bing’s Market Share

I must start out with the fact that the PAC-MAN Doodle was probably one of the best I have seen in a long time, but for the next 48 hours there will be so many annoyed users who will switch from using Google to Bing, just because of the nuisance it creates.

Google Pacman Doodle

Google is no doubt celebrating PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday with a bang, however, the same bang can cause it to lose a good chunk of the search engine market in the next two days, which is how long the search giant is planning to run the Doodle on their home page.

There is no doubt that the Google Doodle is really cute and gives many people a chance to play the age-old popular game which is still famous, however, once everyone has had their fills, the annoying sound of the PAC-MAN game will come to haunt you when you want to search.

Take for example this recent comment where Julesc was so annoyed with the Google homepage that she decided to use another search engine, along with pointing us out to the fact that many users are now searching for ways to stop that annoying sounds.

This goes on to show that no matter what you do, you are bound to irk quite a few people on the way, however, I must admit that I personally don’t visit the Google homepage to search and use address bar to satisfy my needs, however, there will be several annoyed users who end up on Google.com and quietly make their way to Bing.com.

What was Google’s mistake in this, plain simple, they forgot to add an option to allow users to turn off the sound, which is forcing users to turn their speakers off. Now thanks to Google, you can expect Bing to rejoice with the sound :-).

Update: Google has now finally added a mute button to the home page, if you have found the PAC-MAN sound annoying just go and click the sound icon and the problem should be solved.

Buy/Sell Discounted Gift Cards With CardPool

Gift cards are better than cash, or are they really? Often times people get gift cards for stores they don’t like or would have preferred receiving cash instead. One way to turn your gift cards into cash is to sell them on sites like Craigslist, but another much smoother way is to use a site like CardPool.

CardPool buys your unwanted gift cards at a discount price as long as their is no associated fees or expiration date attached to your card. You fill the online form, mail in your card and get a check in mail. It is a great way to liquidate those unwanted cards and get some hard cash to spend.

On the other hand, you can also buy gift cards at a discounted price via CardPool. Browse through different categories or go through merchant names to see something you like. Cards are offered at a discount of 3% to 30% depending on the vendor and some other stuff. Once you make the payment, CardPool will mail you the card free of cost and give a 100-day purchase guarantee.

It is a great resource built around a very simple idea and will probably do even better as more people learn about it.

Buy Sell Gift Cards

[Via LifeHacker]

FTC Approves Google’s Admob Acquisition

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has approved Google’s $750 million acquisition of the mobile advertisement network AdMob. After a six month review, FTC concluded that the acquisition “is unlikely to harm competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks”.

This move would come as a relief to Google, whose growing prominence has brought it under the FTC’s scanner. Even as late as last month, FTC appeared to be swaying against the deal that raised “serious antitrust issues”. Yet, when it came to making the final decision, the acquisition sailed through with 5-0 votes in favor of closing the inquiry. So, what changed?

It appears that Apple may have inadvertently helped Google through their purchase of the mobile ad network Quattro Wireless. “As a result of Apple’s entry (into the market), AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not,the Commission’s statement explains. During the investigation, FTC reached out to several developers, who opined in favor of the acquisition. In fact, some of these developers even voiced their opinion in their blogs and publicly hinted at FTC’s anti-Google bias.

AdMob, founded by Omar Hamoui in 2006, is a dominant player in the Mobile advertising market and reportedly serve more than 7.1 billion mobile banner and text ads per month. Google acquired it in late 2009 after winning a bidding war against Apple.

New Version Of Nokia Ovi Maps Released

Nokia has released a new version of their popular Sat-Nav software the Ovi Maps. The new version is numbered 3.04 and is said to improve performance. Nokia had made Ovi Maps Walk and Drive Navigation free for selected phones back in January, 2010. The response that Nokia got was overwhelming, with more than 10,000,000 downloads in 3 months.

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The new version also features Wi-Fi positioning. This will allow Ovi Maps to detect the location of its users in a very short time. Nevertheless, Wi-Fi positioning is still a work in progress, according to the Ovi Blog. Another major change in this new version of Ovi Maps is the improvement in Zooming in and out of the maps. It is now much more smooth and fast. Nokia has also worked with Qype in Europe, local yellow pages, NAVTEQ, and Lonely Planet to add more places of interest in the Ovi Maps.

In a bid to promote the Ovi Maps, Nokia has started shipping car holder and a car charger with the Nokia N97, N97 Mini, 6710 Navigator and the Nokia X6. The Nokia 5800XM, 5230, E52, and the E72 ship with a car holder.

Adobe Prereleases Adobe Air For Android

is probably one of the best inventions by Adobe in my opinion and there are several apps which have made good use of it, take for example . The best part about Adobe Air is that the applications are platform independent just like Java apps, and only require a runtime to run the app.

Adobe Air Android

Now, Adobe is taking the same platform independent flexibility to mobile devices with the prerelease of the Adobe Air for platform, which will allow developers to create applications using the platform and run in natively on the Android OS.

If you are a developer who uses Adobe tools and are excited about this news, you can visit http://www.adobe.com/go/airbetasignup to get a prerelease of the development tools required to build an app for Android.

Though Flex 4 is not fully supported, developers can build Android apps using the Adobe Air platform with Flash Professional CS5 and Flash Builder 4 for pure Actionscript projects.

Android Ported to iPhone 3G

ports have been available for a vast majority of Android based devices in the past, however, here is a killer port which you can install on your… 3G.

Android on iPhone

Just like a computer, which can be formatted and used to install any OS of your choice, today’s smartphone also match them with the same capabilities. However, thanks to the phone manufacturers it is not as easy to install a different OS than what your phone came with.

However, there are several developers who work hard enough to provide users with an opportunity to try out an OS which was not designed for the phone but will work out pretty well.

Apple’s iPhone has been one of the elusive devices which could not achieve this feat, but rest assured it is possible now and users can install an Android OS on their iPhone 3G now.

Interested? Well, PC World has a very detailed instructions set which according to them is not for the faint hearted. So if you are ready to make the Android jump on your iPhone, head over to PC World and learn how to Install Android on Your iPhone.

Pakistan Bans Twitter After Facebook and YouTube

In an attempt to control the controversies over Prophet Mohammad, Pakistan has been banning social networking and video sites left and right. It all started out with a total block of Facebook in Pakistan, which will remain in effect till May 31st or maybe longer.

The next on the line was  which was again blocked because of its "growing sacrilegious content". Third in line in the ban list is , where information flows just like butter off a hot knife.

It is not the first time though that governments have used bans to curtail information or freedom, there have been blocks by China, Iran, North Korea, India and many more countries on websites which they deem as problematic. However, is banning websites the best cause of action?

Not exactly, if people want to access information they will find ways to do it, no matter how hard you try to stop them. If one solution fails, another will come up, if that fails, another. The cycle will continue and people will get what they want.

In the end, you are only giving people more eagerness to access what they cannot have. If you do need to keep away from something, the best cause of action would be to talk to the concerned websites and have the content removed, however, governments would argue that you cannot have watchdogs poring over content to find what is right or what is wrong, so just take the easy way out and ban everything in sight.

In my honest opinion, religious sentiments can often go off-hand specially when you are talking about the Internet, however, bans are often not the way to go. It is a human sentiment to want more of what is restricted, however, it is sad that such things have to happen over and over again.

Skype Added In Official Ubuntu Repository

Skype is finally coming in the Official Ubuntu 10.04 Partners Repository. The build process has already been finished and is awaiting approval in the NEW queue.

To install it, you have to enable the partner repository. To do this go to System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. In the Synaptic Package Manager, go to Edit -> Repositories. In the Software Sources windows, go to the tab Other Software and check http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu lucid partner and close the window.

Then, open the Terminal and execute:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install skype

[via WebUpd8]

Manage Windows Processes With ProcessLasso [Free Giveaway For Today]

With dozens of Windows processes running in the background your systems performance can suffer significantly giving you downtime or even freezing your machine. You can of course manage these processes manually if you have that kind of time, but if you don’t, ProcessLasso is a great tool to do that.

ProcessLasso automatically adjusts the priorities of your programs so your system is able to smartly manage the resources and not hinder the performance. It does by lowering the priority of background processes that might be making your computer slow. Plus, there are tons of manual configurations and settings users can do to better manage the processes and resources.

Process Lasso

ProcessLasso which usually costs $25 is being giving away for free today at GiveAwayOfTheDay. It works for almost all versions of Windows including Windows 7 and is very useful tool if you often have problems with downtime or computer unresponsiveness. Supports both 32 and 64-bit builds.

Download ProcessLasso from here

[Via Ghacks]

Google Celebrates PAC-MAN Birthday With Playable Doodle

are often a part of the Google homepage, either to celebrate a great personalities birthday or a great invention. Today’s though is a unique one which celebrates the 30th birthday of PAC-MAN.

Google PAC-MAN 30th Birthday Doodle

What’s so unique about today’s Google Doodle? Well, you can actually play the PAC-MAN game by either using the Insert Coin button next to Google search or waiting for a few seconds. The game also has a Easter egg which is activated when you press the Insert Coin button twice in a game. Once you do that, a new character Ms. PAC-MAN will enter the game.

Another unique thing about today’s doodle is that, instead of the usual 24 hours, this doodle will be displayed to users for the next 48 hours.

However, I must warn you that keeping the Google.com page open for long can kind of annoy you since there is no stop button anywhere to close or pause the game, so make sure you go to Google to search :-P.

Rest aside, I have always been a big PAC-MAN fan and have played the game on arcades, consoles and even on an emulator. So my hearty birthday wishes to the little guy.

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