Google Now, Mine and YouTube Collections: I Wonder What Else I’ve Been Missing

secret_passageGoogle’s been keeping secrets from me. While researching the rumored “Google Mine” project, I found out that there are hidden pathways and content tricks that I didn’t know existed.

Those inquisitive little bloggers over at Google Operating System: Unofficial News and Tips About Google turned me on to Google Now. Visit https://www.google.com/now/topics/ and you’ll find a graphical list of topics that you searched in the past week and the past month.

It only picks up terms you searched on multiple occasions and it appears to only collect what you searched when you were logged in to your Google account.

Last week, I was looking up the movie The Internship and that led to this box. In Google’s mind, if I like The Internship, I’ll also enjoy Jurassic Park, Lincoln, Schindler’s List and ET. That’s one of the most mismatched collections of movies I’ve ever seen.

Yahoo’s Online Shopping Spree Continues

538310_no_copyright_issues_“Today is a great day — both in our journey with PlayerScale and for users of our Player.IO product. We are happy to announce the next big step toward our goal of building the best possible gaming infrastructure platform: we have been acquired by Yahoo!. And don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Our platform will continue to support the same great games that you love playing today … and in fact, it will only get better from here!”

That’s a familiar tune. . . . where have I heard it before? Oh, right, Tumblr was singing it about a week ago when they turned over the keys to Yahoo!.

(Side note: does the forced double punctuation that happens when you end a sentence with Yahoo! drive anyone else crazy?)

Facebook Autoplay Video Ads! Get Ready to Get Mad

mute buttonThe Financial Times (and everyone else who saw the article) is reporting that Facebook is going to start inserting autoplay video ads into your Facebook feed.

I sense a brouhaha coming on.

But really. . . let’s talk about this.

First, is it even true? I’m not questioning the integrity of the reporter who wrote the story, but Facebook talks about doing a lot of things that either never happen or they happen and then go away. Even the changes that stick quickly become part of our routine – with one exception – I do wish they’d put Facebook Page updates back in my main feed because I always forget to check the separate feed. (Is there a way to combine them that I’m missing?)

Will People Pay to Watch YouTube?

cat videoThere’s a rumor running around the internet that says YouTube is going to start charging for certain content streams. Don’t panic yet. You’ll still be able to watch people doing embarrassing things in public and cats doing cat things for free. The move would initially involve about 50 specific channels of curated content.

And when they say “channel” they mean a locked library of related content. For example, a studio might create a package of children’s programming, another partner might list a collection of business tutorials. For some, it’s a way of recycling old content that was previously created for TV, DVD or the web. For others, it’s about capitalizing on YouTube videos that are already working – why give it away if you can charge?

Now For Something Completely Different: Facebook Teases a Big Announcement

facebook mysteryGossip Girl ain’t got nothing on Facebook. The company recently sent out an invitation to the press with the promise of a big reveal on January 15 and now everyone is talking!

Many tech sites think Facebook is going to reveal their own smartphone. It’s an idea that’s been talked about for ages, even though Zuckerberg has clearly said it “wouldn’t make much sense.”

True, Facebook isn’t in the hardware biz, but neither was Amazon and they’re doing okay with their line of Kindles. For them, it’s about selling a gizmo cheap in order to get people to buy product. For Facebook, it would be about selling the brand along with the social lifestyle.

If it’s not about the phone, then what? How about a fancy new redesign?

You Know Internet Industry News Is Slow When New iPhone Rumors Start

iphone rumorsI am ashamed.

I am about to aid and abet in one of the most heinous crimes that the online industry perpetrates on the poor unsuspecting masses for what seems to be 365 days a year now.

I am going to help perpetuate the, gulp, “We’ve seen next iPhone!” machine. My apologies but really, there isn’t anything else to say.

The Next Web says

Currently under development, traces of Apple’s new iPhone and iOS software have begun surfacing in app usage logs. Developers have contacted The Next Web to share references to a new iPhone identifier and the next big operating system update for the smartphone and tablet devices: iOS 7.

Cue the dramatic music. Start running those typewriter sounds in the background. It’s going to happen. Mashable says with apparent great certainty (insert Muttley laugh here).

Is Facebook Getting Ready to Launch News Feed Video Ads? AdAge Says it’s So

pitchmanAdAge has the scoop on a secret Facebook plan to put video ads in your news feed. And not just any ads – but autoplay ads that will begin as soon as you hit them.

AdAge asked an advertising exec for his thoughts on the this idea and the response was priceless;

“There could be serious outrage.”

That simple sentence says it all.

I understand why Facebook would want to go this route. Video advertising is a big money maker and if they can pry some of the cash away from TV advertising, then it would be a real boost to their revenue stream.