Introducing Addy, A Street Addresses Shortener For E-Commerce

addy logo

Addy, Inc., one of the companies under the Stanford’s StartX Incubator, has just launched a simple service for users to communicate physical locations.

This is not yet another social location-sharing site. Addy is also not trying to help its users to discover new places or people.

Instead, Addy tries to standardize the plethora of street address formats into the pervasive Internet addresses (URLs). The system creates a location webpage for each address of a physical location. Each URL can be customized to become more meaningful. And users can easily share street addresses in URL format.

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Twitter increasing information payload of tweets

With the introduction of Twitter Places, each tweet is packed with more information. Now, each status update (what is happening right now?) will be tagged with time (when) and Place (where) together with how the tweet is generated – people or things (how). Analytic is Twitter’s 5th dimension (why). And these five dimensions will make Twitter, the Amazon River of real-time web a.k.a. the pulse of the planet.

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Posterous to Surpass Earth Population by 2013 IF Only..

posterous-logoCo-founder of Posterous, Garry Tan tweetedIf Posterous sustains current growth rate through Sept 2013, our user base will exceed the population of the Earth!” Earth population? “That’s preposterous,” replied Paul Moss. No matter how hairy the audacious projection is, let’s use it to take a wild stab at estimating current total Posterous users and its growth rate.

By the way, in case you don’t know what Posterous is, it is a dead simple blogging service (and it seems Michael Arrington is a fan). Since its launch in June 2008, Posterous has mastered the art of incremental improvements and each feature release resulted in even greater simplification of blogging. Some of the fabulous features of Posterous are autopost everywhere, post tagging via email, group blogging, group blog doubled as email list and Posteorus iPhone app.

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Twitter New Homepage Becoming A Destination Portal?

Twitter ChangeTwitter just unveiled its new public homepage design and search box is the highlight.

In the beginning, Twitter is “a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”. Over times, with its through-the-roof population growth rate, Twitter is becoming useful for discovering ‘what’s happening right now’ and ‘what people are saying about…’ With even larger user base of say, 1 billion users, it will becomes the ‘Pulse of the Planet.’ In short, Twitter is now a web utility to share information and also, search what people are talking about and sense what’s happening right now.

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8 Excellent Tools to Extract Insights from Twitter Streams

microplazaUPDATE: This post became the Most Read article in a week, with over 11,000 views, at SocialMediaTODAY.

Twitter is now the third most popular social network, behind Facebook and MySpace (Compete, 2009). A year ago, it has over a million users and 200,000 active monthly users sending over 3 million updates per day (TechCrunch, 2008). Those figures have almost certainly increased since then. With the torrential streams of Twitter updates (or tweets), there’s an emerging demand to sieve signals from noises and harvest useful information.

Enter Twitter Analytics, or simply just Analytwits (in the tradition of Twitter slang). These analytics tools are growing in numbers; even Twitter is developing them.

Besides Twitter Search, the following 8 Analytwits are some of the more useful web applications to analyze Twitter streams. Each of these tools serve specific purpose. They crawl and sift through Twitter streams; also, aggregate, rank and slice-and-dice data to deliver some insights on Twitter activities and trends. There’s no single best analytic tool available but use in combination, they can extract interesting insights from Twitter streams.

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Google Shut Down its Experimental SearchMash


SearchMash is the experimental search engine, developed by Google. It was released for public in October last year. The search engine has been my choice of search engine since January 2008, as it offered a much more pleasant user experience, in terms of speed and uncluttered interface (imagine Google minus Google AdWords). And, not to mention its dashboard-style of displaying different categories of search results, namely images, blogs, video, wikipedia.

Unfortunately, Google has consigned SearchMash to “way of the dinosaur”. Since yesterday, the search engine became inaccessible. Maybe Google is planning a rebirth of SearchMash, maybe not. Google launched SearchMash with little fanfare in 2007 and now, the experimental search engine went out with a whimper (no coverage on TechCrunch) (see coverage on TechCrunch).

A look of its traffic pattern for the past three months, SearchMash traffic is noticeably constant, non-growth. The graph below shows the traffic patterns of SearchMash and Microsoft-owned search engine, Powerset.

Traffic Patterns of SearchMash and Powerset

A sad day for me. Reluctantly, I’ve to set my default search engine back to Google.

It was nice using you, SearchMash!

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Google Chrome Tailor-Made for Web Computing

Google Chrome LogoAfter two years of development, Google today unveils its open source web browser, Google Chrome (went ‘live’ at 11.46 PT, September 02 2008). With Chrome, Google outlines its vision of a next-generation web browser. Amidst a crowded browser market with players like Mozilla Firefox / Camino, Apple Safari, Opera, Flock and Microsoft Internet Explorer, the new Webkit-based browser does indeed offer a breath of fresh air.

Google Chrome is probably the first browser designed for the Age of Web Computing (George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, called Executable Internet). It is created from the ground up to accommodate the demands and challenges of modern interactive web applications.

Introducing Google Chrome

The following section highlights what’s new with Google Chrome:

User Interface
Layout Structure
  • Tabs-on-Top Tabs are located on top of navigation bar.
  • More browser real-estate “File, Edit, View” menu bar not available. Options and controls are accessible via these two icons, located on the right-hand side of the browser. This translates to bigger ‘browser real-estate’ without sacrificing easy accessibility to functions and controls.

  • Agile Tabs ,which can be moved from window to window (and the tabs retain its state). The example below shows “Technology Review” tab being dragged. Drag by holding down your mouse left button and once released, the tab will open in a new window.

  • Integrated URL and search bar. Google called it omnibox. In addition to URLs of visited sites, omnibox can handles search, sites recommendations, etc. If you have used a search engine at a website, say The next time you type the URL, you can press TAB to directly search CNN from the omnibox.

  • Full text search over browsing history.
  • Window for App This window shows no browser UI; displays just the app. Below is a screenshot of Gmail app window.

  • Download status at the bottom of browser window, similar to what Download Status extension can do on Firefox. The downloaded file can be drag-and-drop anywhere.
Tab Page Display nine favorite sites, search ‘history’ box, recent bookmarked sites and recently closed tabs.

Sandboxing Google Chrome SandboxStripped browser processes all its right; can compute but can’t write files or access sensitive areas in your computer.

Isolated “sandbox” involves confinement of browser of processes; the confined perimeter can be defined based on permissions – low, medium, high.

Closed browser tab to terminate rogue processes.

“Incognito” mode for more private browsing; similar to Safari’s Private Browsing and IE In-Private mode.

Multi-processes Google Chrome ProcessWith its Multi-process design, each tab is a separate process.

Each process is isolated with its own memory and global data structure.

A tab with rogue process won’t crash the whole browser.

Can restore crashed tab to state before crash.

Memory management Google Chrome ProcessWhen a tab is closed, the process is destroyed and the browser gets to reclaim back the memory.

Memory leak can be easily contained by just closing tab with ‘rogue’ process.

Built-in Task Manager to see which sites are hogging memory.

Moving from Site A to Site B are treated as two distinct processes. So, browsing with Google Chrome is a constant creation and obliteration of processes.

JavaScript Engine Google Chrome V8Google Chrome’s new V8 JavaScript engine enables dynamic code generation. It converts JavaScript source codes directly to machine codes, which in turn, interact with your CPU. This turbo-charged execution.

Also, its Hidden Class Transitions, in which objects with similar properties will share the same hidden class, enables dynamic optimization.

Source: Google Chrome Comic

When Google signed a marketing deal with Mozilla back in 2006, many thought Google will use Firefox to enter the browser market. Last week, the Internet search giant extended the deal to 2011.

However, building a browser from ground up makes more sense for Google because this approach is without path-dependent legacy, development assumptions, designs and other coded constraints. With a clean slate, Google can fully exert its creativity and authenticity when developing the new browser. This resulted in the development of multi-process architecture and V8 JavaScript engine. A quote by Albert Einstein aptly apply in this case:

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

In Search for Web Supremacy

“Google lives on the Internet,” said Chris DiBona, Open Source Program Manager (in Google Chrome comic). Google’s business is tightly-weaved to the Web and already has arrays of web-centric services, namely search, email, photo organizer, chat, map, online video sharing and interactive maps.

Currently, Google is spearheading two major industry initiatives – open source mobile platform, Android and open Web API for social networking sites, OpenSocial. With Chrome open source project, the search giant aims to influence the technological direction in the browser market and further catalyze the adoption growth of web-centric applications.

Better browser leads to improved Web applications performance and better user experience. This, in turn, catalyzes greater diversity, novelty and variety of applications / services to generate vibrancy in the Web ecosystem. A vibrant, bustling Web is, indeed, good business for Google.

Verdicts: Google Chrome offers a new kind of user-browser interfacing experience. I admire its ‘fluid’, agile and dynamic tabs, something other browsers don’t have. Google also rethink and remodel the way we interact with bookmark. Of course, last but not least, the integrated search-URL is smart and much more awesome than Firefox’s Awesome Bar. In a nutshell, Google Chrome is fresh, snappy and so much fun to use.

Google Chrome is available for download here (Windows only; Mac and Linux versions will be available soon).

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