What the Heck is Google Punch?

No, really! Does anyone actually know what the unveiled Google Punch does?

Apparently Google Operating System spotted Google Punch listed in a Google Documents drop-down–within the video below.

Speculation has already started as to what Google Punch could be, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Redbox Goes eBox in a Bid to Battle Netflix

redboxRemember when Blockbuster was king of the video rental biz? It was a brilliant concept developing at a time when studios were charging $80 for a new movie on VHS. But as DVD took over from VHS and the price point on new movies began to drop, Blockbuster found itself slipping from the top spot and now has become the Betamax of home video rentals – once loved, but now forgotten.

These days it’s Netflix who is wearing the crown with their original concept of offering all the DVDs you want for a flat rate per month (no late fees), delivered right to your mailbox. With 100,000 titles to choose from, including old movies, TV shows and indies, Netflix’s only downside is the wait and that’s where Redbox comes in.

Apple Holds the Key to AdMob’s iPhone Success

Despite Apple passing a death sentence to rival mobile advertising firms, the company has yet to enforce the iPhone advertising ruling handed down in June.

According to CNET, that’s something that Omar Hamoui, founder and CEO of Google’s AdMob division, is very grateful for…

“They haven’t been enforcing (the new regulations) yet. We’re very appreciative of that,” he said at the MobileBeat 2010 conference here.

The language inserted by Apple into its iPhone Developer Agreement is a ticking time bomb for competing firms such as the Google owned AdMob. Essentially, Apple can prevent any ad network from collecting certain types of analytical data from iPhones. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Except that if AdMob and others can’t track simple click-throughs, then they can’t share that data with their advertisers. No data, no advertisers.

Will Google Voice App Give Skype a Wake-up Call?

I use Skype for all my incoming and outgoing business calls. I have ever since 2006.

While I love Skype, what I really love is my Google Voice number. In fact, when you call my office number, you are calling my Google Voice number, which is then routed to my Skype-In number. Why don’t I just dump Skype and exclusively use Google Voice? Well, because there is no desktop app for Google Voice, so no easy way to dial-out using  it.

Until now.

TechCrunch has gotten their hands on a prototype Google Desktop app–still fresh in the Gizmo5 wrapper (the company is acquired in 2009). Here’s a video demo:

A lot more basic than Skype, but I only use the basic features of Skype anyway. I hope Google brings this to the public soon!

Why I Don’t Care About “Google Me”

So the big rumor of the weekend is that Google may soon launch a Facebook competitor called “Google Me.”

It all kicked off after Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted:

Now everyone is jumping in and speculating just how Google might do battle with Facebook.

As for me? Let me ask you this: What product has Google launched that has seriously competed in the social networking space? Any of these?

This is all the coverage I personally plan to give the story until two things happen:

  1. Google actually launches this new service
  2. It’s able to gain even a fraction of the market share of Facebook – and Brazil doesn’t count!

Until then, Google will remain a great search engine and a lousy social network.

Yahoo Apparently Gives Up On Search Relevance, Fires Editorial Team

There are three ways to look at this announcement:

“Yahoo started its week with layoffs in Sunnyvale,” an employee tells us. “Seems to be affecting the editorial team that does search relevance testing.”

  1. Yahoo is preparing for Bing. You don’t need search relevance teams when you’re handing over your search results to Microsoft.
  2. Yahoo is admitting that their search results have never been that relevant and so why even have an editorial team.
  3. Yahoo’s just as tired of crappy results as we are, and is hiring better people.

Personally, I like Option 2, but according to an official statement from Yahoo, Option 3 might be closer to the truth:

Twitter’s Promoted Trends Ads Spotted in the Wild

UPDATE: Twitter has posted official details of the new “Promoted Trends,” including this interesting fact:

Like Trending Topics, Promoted Trends are already trending on Twitter but haven’t yet made their way into the Trending Topics list. Promoted Trends are clearly marked as “Promoted.” If a topic isn’t already being talked about on Twitter, it cannot be a Promoted Trend.

So, advertisers can’t force us to view trends that are of interest to no one. ;-)

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Well, looky what we have here:

Yes sir! You’re looking at one of the very first glimpses of Twitter’s rumored Trending Topic ads–spotted by uber-Twitter user @Ed. Clicking on the link takes you to a trending topics page which has…wait for it…an ad for Toy Story 3.