StumbleUpon Updates Design Again (Abandoning Social Search?)

Earlier this month, StumbleUpon started showcasing their new homepage design, when they touted their “Google + Twitter” social search. Now they’ve gone through the rest of the site to make it more consistent (less customizable), easy to understand and streamlined.

Read Write Web reports:

The new interface is streamlined and more social with an updated relationship system. A focus on consistency (e.g., limiting user control of visual elements) and removal of clutter (e.g., presenting tags in a drop-down menu rather than a cloud) characterize the design changes made. Also, a few tweaks to group sharing were made to help reduce share-spam.

The most significant UX changes have occur[r]ed in the way friendships and subscriptions work on the site.

Google Chrome: Copyright Infringer?

google angel haloSometimes, when you have a really good idea, you have this irrepressible urge to do something crazy with it. Like register it with the government. And then, when other companies independently develop similar ideas, you protect that registration by suing the pants off those other companies. It is, after all, the American way.

And it’s what Red Bend Software is doing to Google over an algorithm in Google Chrome. The Courgette algorithm checks the software for updates (using a difference table), then pushes the packed updates to the software. Unfortunately, it violates a 2003 patent owned by Red Bend, which protects a substantially similar idea.

This does happen from time to time (probably more often than we’d think). Red Bend informed Google of their error on September 7 and waited for them to update Chrome.

Defamatory Tweet Costs NFL Player $600,000

You’re already careful about what you say on Twitter, right?

I mean, you read my advice on reputation management, so you know not to go around tweeting defamatory tweets in the name of "fun."

Right?

Good, then I never have to worry about you getting in as much trouble as Larry Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs. What did he do? Er, only threw out some gay slurs on Twitter–costing him a one-game suspension and about $600,000 in lost earnings!

Agent Peter Schaffer said the game check and other lost revenue would amount to about a penalty of about $600,000 for the former two-time Pro Bowl player…Coach Todd Haley and first-year general manager Scott Pioli have repeatedly said they are trying to build a new culture and a new attitude for a struggling franchise, which has sunk to the bottom of the NFL and that disloyalty will not be tolerated.

Google Fires Back Over AT&T’s Call Blocking Claims

While it remains unclear whether Google Voice should be treated the same way as other telecom companies, the search giant isn’t taking any chances with the rather unpleasant probing it’s receiving from the Federal Communications Commission.

Thanks in part to the finger-pointing of AT&T, Google has to answer the accusations that it does not connect calls to certain rural areas. AT&T believes this is unfair–Google should be made to connect calls to any location, regardless of how expensive it is to the company–but Google is firing back, claiming that it’s only blocking calls to obvious "traffic pumping" numbers.

Now, Google has gone one step further. In a letter to the FCC, it claims it has isolated less than 100 numbers that are responsible for the practice, and is now only blocking those specific numbers. If you’re short on time, here’s the pertinent text from Google’s letter:

Google Hits a High Note with New Music Onebox

What’s the name of that song?

You know the one. They play it a lot at NC State football games?

C’mon, you know it. “Boom, here comes the boom….”

No?

Forget it! I’ll Google it instead!

Yes, that’s it!

And, pretty soon, you’ll never have problems finding a song, artist, or album again–thanks to a new “Discover Music” onebox from Google.

Maybe you remember only the chorus — or maybe you remember who sang it, but you forgot the exact name of the song. If you’ve ever heard a catchy song in a car or cafe, but just can’t figure out the name of the song, you’ll know what I’m talking about. This search feature also helps you find many of those songs by entering a search containing a line or two of lyrics.

Bingahoo Delayed a Month or Two (or More)?

MicrohooFor all of the drama and the back and forth of the Microsoft and Yahoo courtship from the summer it’s almost laughable to learn that the two still don’t have all the details ironed out yet. The deal that was originally supposed to be signed off on October 27th isn’t quite ready for the super huge pens that were used in the photo op pictures from July. We are now left to wonder what the heck wasn’t figured out before these two giants said “I do” in the summer.

Yahoo tells about the delay in getting the scheduled signing done in an SEC filing that the Business Insider reports

In their original July 29 agreement, Yahoo and Microsoft said they would sign finish negotiating the search deal by October 27.

China Accuses Google of Censorship (Seriously)

Google China logoGoogle wants a book deal. And no, not so it can spill all the secrets of the Internet, but so they can offer electronic versions of books. But their proposed settlement faced so much opposition that they had to drop it, although they’re still pursuing other avenues. Aside from Yahoo and Microsoft, authors also challenged the Google book deal—including Chinese authors.

But the Chinese authors’ complaints, when indexed by Google, were listed as potentially harmful in SERPs, The Inquirer reports. Baidu gave no malware warning in its SERPs for the page. After readers reported this, the newspaper of the Communist Party accused the search engine of keeping its users away from the information. Meanwhile, an unnamed paper official said the section with the complaint was “maliciously blocked by Google.”