Have you ever visited a website on a browser to be shown a message that the website cannot be loaded? Well, I have been through that several times. It could be due to a DDoS attack or due to a website suffering from heavy user traffic. However, the browser message is not always useful to end users.
That said, if you are a Google Chrome user (dev version for now), there is some cloud intelligence being used to determine why a website is down, whilst providing users with an option to still surf the webpage through a Cached copy available on Google.
Here is a recent page not loaded message displayed to me on the Chrome developer version when I visited Dropbox forums to take part in their treasure hunt.
As you can see from the screenshot above, Google Chrome is now including a message saying that "Other users are also experiencing difficulties connecting to this site, so you may have to wait a few minutes". I found this message to be quite useful since I usually rush to http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ to figure out whether a website is just down for me or everyone else too.
Kudos to the Google Chrome team for creating such informative messages for error pages. It always helps because people usually want to know what is wrong, rather than having to deal with a stupid error page.
*This feature is currently only available in dev builds of Google Chrome, you might not see it in the stable build.
Android has had a very good year. It had already surpassed the iPhone and RIM in terms of US smartphone shipments in November 2010, and according to a recent Comscore report, it also beat Apple in terms of total US smartphone subscribers that month.
With RIM’s growth being negative, and Android having the highest growth among other platforms, we should see Android leading the US smartphone market by the end of Q1 2011. Today, Millenial Media, the third largest mobile ad network after Admob and iAd, released mobile ad impression stats for December 2010.
According to its report, Android now has the highest share of mobile ad impressions on its network. 46% of all mobile ads on Millennial’s network are served on Android devices. 32% of the total ads are served on iPhones while RIM accounts for 16% of the impressions.
Google gives away Android for free, in the hope that more users will use smartphones, connect to the mobile web and click on ads served by Google. Most developers on the Android platform have realized that the best way to monetize Android apps is by releasing them for free and then plastering them with ads. The paid app model just doesn’t work on Android the way it does on the iOS. Google acquired AdMob in 2009 and is now the leading mobile ad network. If the stats by Millennial are any indication, Android is likely the biggest platform for mobile advertising already.
According to the latest Comscore report, Android has overtaken iOS in terms of US smartphone subscribers. In the quarter ending November 2010, there were a total of 61.5 million smartphone users in the US, of which 26% were Android users and 25% were iPhone users.
Both of them are still way behind RIM which holds the lead with 33.5% of the total smartphone users. These numbers are about a month old though, and at this rate, Android should displace RIM as the top smartphone platform by the time the next Comscore report comes out in February 2011.
Even Microsoft lost 1.8% share in that quarter, but with the sales of Windows Phone 7 picking up, it could regain some of it.
Samsung is the top handset manufacturer overall, with a 24.5% share of the mobile phone market.
Nick Kralveich, an Android Security Team engineer, has posted up (via Tim Bray, Android Developer Advocate) his thoughts and concerns about the current state of security on the Android platform. As the amount of Android handsets on the market increases, many users have been rootingtheir devices in order to install customizations, cooked ROMs and unlock third party software and repositories. Nick says that while Google does provide an easy modification to allowing personal boot images by unlocking the bootloader via simple commands (fastboot_oem_unlock), that it is not an indication of lax security. Google developers do aggressively fix known security holes, including those that can be used for rootingand Adobe has given credit to how Android uses a sandbox for application segregation. Google is also known for sending security of relevant patches back upstream to a project, yet many simply don’t know that rooting is an active exploitation of a known security holesays Nick. He says it is possible to design unlocking techniques that protect the integrity of the mobile network, the rights of the content providers, and the rights of the application developers, while at the same time giving users choice. Users should demand no less.and he is absolutely right.
Android straddles the fine line of providing users with a polished device with a booming application ecosystem and a highly customizable interface with open source software. With each iteration and release of Android, these lines are being blurred and Android is quickly climbing to the top.
Among tens of map tools out there, Tixik probably focuses the most on simplicity and ease-of-use. It doesn’t have a whole lot of features but if all you are looking to do is generate a map for your website, it is worth a try. Simply enter the location that you want to pin point to in your map, then choose settings such as width and height of your map and the level of zoom you desire.
Click Create a map and Tixik would generate your map along with the HTML code that you can paste anywhere to embed your map. You can also add other graphics and effects such as borders, rounded corners, shadow, description bubble and even add a certain degree of rotation to your map. The map generated using Tixik can be used for free for any commercial or non-commercial purposes.
If you are looking for a Google Maps tool that can be more customized by adding drawings, texts and icons to it, do check out ScribbleMaps.
According to the latest auction on the private secondary marketplace SharesPost, Facebook stock sold at $25 a pop, which takes Facebook’s valuation to an all time high of $56 billion.
The total amount of outstanding Facebook shares is 2.24 billion. The recent SharesPost auction sold 165,000 shares at a price of $25. This is significantly higher, almost 77%, than the price of Facebook stock just 3 months ago.
The actual valuation of Facebook might be much lower if its stock were being traded on the open market. Apparently, many investors still think that Facebook is worth much more, and SharesPost is going to conduct another auction soon, because this auction was “significantly oversubscribed”.
At this rate, Facebook could be worth more than Google ($190 billion) by as early as 2015.
via Business Insider
With the recent availability of Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread on official Google handsets such as the Nexus S, Google has also gone ahead and pushed out the 2.3 source code to their repositories. Jean-Baptiste, one of the software engineers with the Android Open-Source Project, has stated that once the development branch that Google engineers use is mirrored, Gingerbread is going to merge with master and will be out there for the taking. Expect to see many more customizations and home-cooked ROMs that feature Android 2.3 and all the new updates and software, once developers pull down their copy and start hacking on it.
The Google Nexus S, the official successor to the Google Nexus One is now available at Best Buy. It was unveiled by Google on December 6 and has had Android fans salivating since.
It will retail for $529 at Best Buy for the unlocked version and $199 with a 2 year T-Mobile contract. It is one of the best Android phones yet, and is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S, the most popular Android phone of 2010.
It comes with a 4 inch Super AMOLED display and a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. It also sports a 5 MP camera as well as a secondary camera for video calls. It also has all the usual connectivity options – GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and GPS. It is the first phone to run the new version of the Android OS – Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Head over to Best Buy to get it now!
If there was any doubt that Android was not a force, a simple tweet from the founder of Android should quench your doubts. According to Andy Quinn’s tweet, over 300,000 Android devices are activated each day.
That is an enormous number of phones and goes on to show that Android has finally arrived and is taking over iOS big time. Android has surely inched a lot since it was started out. In the past 6 months itself, Android has almost doubled it’s daily activation, back in July they were doing about 160,000 a day.
Android is also quickly gaining on iOS in another department, apps. According to the Android Apps watchdog Android Lib, over 23 Billion Android apps have been downloaded till date, and the count just goes up every second. In addition to that there are currently around 20K+ apps being added each month. In the past 8 days itself, 7131 apps were added to the Android market.
So is Android slowly inching towards gaining over iPhone? Also Apple does have the iPad which gives them an added advantage over Android currently, but considering the number of Android based tablets being launched by next year, Apple has Google breathing down their throats.
(Source: Fortune, Twitter and Techmeme)
If you are a Website Optimizer issue, you should immediately update the code on your website with the new one provided by Google. Google has fixed a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) bug in their control script which can allow an attacker to execute malicious code on your site.
However, according to Google this attack is only possible if your website or browser has been compromised by a separate attack. Google has sent out notes to all users about the issue with instructions on how to update your code. Make sure to do the changes immediately.
Website Optimizer is a part of Google Analytics, however, no other services in Analytics seem to have been affected by this.