Gmail : Follow an email’s journey with Story of Send

May 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

If you’re anything like me, you send and receive a lot of emails every day. But have you ever wondered where your message goes after you hit “send?” How does an email travel from your computer to your friend’s smartphone across the country or around the world?

We’re answering those questions with Story of Send, a new site that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how all that virtual information makes its journey through the real world—from your Internet service provider to our data centers and beyond. Along the way, you’ll discover everything from where we filter for spam and scan for viruses to how we’re minimizing our impact on the environment through energy efficiency and renewable power.

We’ve included videos and photos throughout the journey so you can explore certain areas more deeply. For example, if you’re curious what data center servers look like, we’ve included some photos. Or you can watch a video to learn about how we purchase clean energy from wind farms near our data centers. And because technology doesn’t always have to be serious, you might find a vampire or two lurking around or uncover other surprises on the journey.




In the past, Gmail fans have shown us how emails connect people across the world. Now we’re providing a glimpse into how those emails go from one place to another. So hit send and start the journey today.

Posted by Erin Reilly, Google Green team



Magento Community 1.7 and Enterprise 1.12 Release Features

May 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Magento Cart, Technology News 

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Magento had announced the latest Magento releases: Magento Enterprise 1.12 and Community 1.7. The recent enhancements to powerful eCommerce offerings help merchants provide a more personalized shopping experience for their customers.

Benefits include easier order placement, mobile optimization and multiple wish lists. These enhancements give merchants greater potential to boost consumer engagement, increase conversions and transaction size, and foster brand loyalty.

All merchants, including those running B2B businesses, can take advantage of improved customer segmentation and ordering capabilities. While those operating in Europe can use our new features to stay compliant with EU regulations.

Of course, latest releases have lots in store for developers too, including a new API, and backup and rollback systems.

Read on to learn about the key features in our new releases and how they can benefit you.

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Mobile HTML5

Quickly and easily create a storefront optimized for mobile devices so customers can shop even when they’re on the go. This mobile interface uses HTML5 technology and supports iPhone, Android and Mobile Opera browsers. It includes out-of-the-box features such as:

  • Device-specific media capabilities for audio and video
  • User-friendly search and results display
  • Clean display of product detail pages
  • Pinch, multi-touch and scaling images
  • Easy swipe between product images
  • Zoom capabilities
  • Cross-sell and up-sell capabilities
  • Drag-and-drop of products to the shopping cart
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Visitor Segmentation

Tap into a whole new customer segment – unknown site visitors. Whether they’re new visitors or returning customers who have not logged in, you’ll now be able to identify and target them with special promotions to convert browsers into buyers.

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Expanded Rule-based Product Relations

Our rule-based product-relations functionality allows merchants to target specific customer segments with product recommendations. Pinpoint specific customers with up-sells, cross-sells and related products to create a more relevant shopping experience.

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Auto-generation of Coupon Codes

Generate a set of unique coupon codes for each promotion you run and export the list of codes for offline distribution, email, newsletters and more. Easily manage and monitor coupon usage and generate detailed reports.

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Multiple Wish Lists

Customers can save products to multiple wish lists and copy or move items from list to list. They can make their wish lists public so they’re searchable by anyone. And merchants can review them to learn about their customers’ wants and needs.

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Layered Navigation Pricing Enhancement

We’ve introduced a new set of algorithms for price-layered navigation that provides much greater flexibility. Now you can display a range of prices that is based on having a similar number of products within each range, giving you better control of your customers’ search results, and helping your customers find what they’re looking for faster.

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Customer Group Pricing

One price doesn’t always fit all. This tool allows you to create different price points for different customer groups, such as wholesalers and retailers. You can determine both base price and tiered price levels.

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Add to Cart by SKU

Streamline the ordering process, especially for B2B customers, by enabling them to enter a list of SKUs without having to go into product pages. This simplifies large orders, recurring orders and ordering based on offline catalogs.

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REST APIs Support

The new Magento REST API uses three-legged OAuth 1.0a protocol to allow applications to safely access Magento services. What this means for you? You can manage customers, customer addresses, sales orders, inventories and products using HTTP verbs (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). Data requests and responses can be in XML or JSON format.

This initial version of the REST API supports the following functions:

  • Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete a simple product
  • Retrieve a list of orders and specific order information
  • Update/Retrieve catalog inventory
  • Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete complete customer information
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European Union VAT-ID Validation

This feature facilitates the tax collection process for online businesses in the EU and greatly simplifies international B2B transactions by automatically applying the correct tax rules. Taxes can be calculated and charged according to VAT customer groups, based on customer shipping or billing addresses and VAT IDs.

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EU Cookie Restriction

Our response to the recent EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive? A new cookie notification feature that simplifies the compliance process. Once enabled, a message at the top of the storefront informs site visitors about the cookie policy and prompts them to accept or decline.

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CMS Page Hierarchy Enhancements

Managing your CMS hierarchy tree just got easier. Now you can add CMS pages to the navigation menu without custom development. You can also create, copy or delete different CMS hierarchy trees for each website and store view individually or en masse..

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Backup and Rollback

Manage and schedule a variety of backup operations with the option to rollback the changes to reverse any modifications. This feature is particularly useful when testing new modules or customizations, or when upgrading to a new version of Magento. You can review specific customizations and their impact on the new code. (We do not recommend using this feature in your production environment.)

Three types of backup are supported:

  • System Backup
  • Database Backup
  • Database and Media Backup
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Payment Bridge 1.1 Updates

Magento Secure Payment Bridge, our PA-DSS certified payment application, adds multiple new payment methods. In addition to our existing supported gateways – PayPal, Authorize.net and Payflow Pro – we are introducing support for the following new gateways:

  • Psi Gate
  • RBS Worldpay
  • Database and Media Backup
  • Braintree
  • First Data
  • Card Gate Plus
  • DIBS
  • eWay Direct
  • Ogone Directlink
  • Paybox
  • Payone
  • Sage Pay
  • CCAvenue

Supported by services provided by Braintree or Authorize.net, customers can also securely save their credit card information for future transactions in a “My Credit Cards” section in “My Account.” And with support from Kount, you can integrate fraud-screening services with your payment methods (requires separate agreement with Kount).

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CAPTCHA

Now you can enable CAPTCHA functionality on your site to help prevent automated software from attempting fake logins. This auto-generated test ensures that the login is being attempted by a person and can be enabled in both the admin and customer login areas.



Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook® 3.1 Rollout

May 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured 

Version 3.1 of Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook® is rolling out over the next 2-3 weeks with the following new features:
– New registry key for hiding the Synchronization Status dialog for new users
– Disabled services are now indicated in the Synchronization Status
– “Error reported” fix

How to access what’s new:
1. Update Google Apps Sync
– If you installed Google App Sync: Updates are checked for and downloaded to your computer automatically.
– If your administrator installed Google Apps Sync: Updates are downloaded to your computer automatically, if your administrator enables automatic updates.

You can also download the latest version at any time from the Google Apps Sync download page.

2. For the update to go into effect:
If you have Windows XP: Restart your computer.
If you have Windows Vista: Restart Microsoft Outlook®.



Meet Magento 2012 at Netherlands

May 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Magento Cart 

This year Magento will pay another visit to The Netherlands for the conclusion of the European Magento Tour. The fourth Meet Magento conference in The Netherlands is taking place on May 29-30, 2012 and is organized by the Dutch Magento community. The event has become the most important yearly event for all Dutch users of the Magento platform, developers and partners.

On May 29th attendees will receive the “Magento Introduction” session aimed at organizations that have recently decided to create their online store with Magento. This session will help new Magento users kick start their project and serves as an excellent preparation for day two of the event.

On May 30th attendees will benefit from the Meet Magento conference day and expo from 9 am to 6 pm. The day will feature over 25 presentations on various Magento topics including marketing, business, performance and development. There will also be several English sessions for non-Dutch visitors.

If you’re in The Netherlands or doing business with Dutch Magento companies, you can’t afford to miss out on this event! More info can be found on www.meet-magento.nl .



YouTube’s Topics Experiment

April 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

In 2010, YouTube started to test a feature that associated videos with topics. At that time, the experiment tried to improve search results pages by allowing you to find related videos.

YouTube Topics is still available as a separate page that lists the most popular topics and lets you find topic channels like this one.

There’s also an experiment that shows the topic of a video next to the channel’s name and lets you subscribe to the topic. The topic is an automatically generated channel. “We use many different sources to find these topics, including frequently used uploader keywords, common search queries, playlist names, and even sources outside of YouTube such as Wikipedia articles,” explains YouTube’s blog.

Here’s how you can enable this experiment. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer 8+, open youtube.com in a new tab, load:

* Chrome’s JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J)
* Firefox’s Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K)
* Safari’s Web Inspector (how to do that?)
* Opera Dragonfly (press Ctrl+Shift+I and select the “console” tab)
or
* IE’s Developer Tools (press F12 and select the “console” tab)

and paste the following code:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=4sBbSJYiyUE; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

Then press Enter and close the console.



Google’s Project Glass

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

After a few months of speculation, Google revealed some information about the project that will make Google Goggles and other mobile apps more useful. Instead of using a smartphone to find information about an object, translate a text, get directions, compare prices, you can use some smart glasses that augment the reality and help you understand more about that things around you.

“We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment,” says Google.

There’s also a video that shows why the glasses could be helpful:

Google’s concept glasses have a camera, a microphone and can connect to the Internet to send and receive data in real time. The interface is simple and it only shows relevant information.

One of the people who used the glasses said that “they let technology get out of your way. If I want to take a picture I don’t have to reach into my pocket and take out my phone; I just press a button at the top of the glasses and that’s it.”

In February, New York Times reported that “the glasses [could] go on sale to the public by the end of the year. (…) The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS.” Seth Weintraub found that “the navigation system currently used is a head tilting-to scroll and click, (…) I/O on the glasses will also include voice input and output, and we are told the CPU/RAM/storage hardware is near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone”.

It will be interesting to see if Google will actually sell these smart glasses. There are a lot of issues that need to be solved before releasing a commercial product: from battery life to packaging so much technology in a such a small product, from improving Google Goggles to handling real-time video streaming.



YouTube Developer : See you at GDC, PyCon and SXSW

March 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, YouTube 

YouTube Developer Advocates and Engineers will be presenting next week at GDC, PyCon and SXSW. If you’re coming to any of those conferences, we’d love to meet you. Here is what’s in store at each conference:

Games Developers Conference, San Francisco, March 5-9

PYCON 2012, Santa Clara, March 7-15

SXSW Interactive, Austin, March 9-13



WordPress New comment notifications, complete with comment moderation

February 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, WordPress 

WordPress had added comment notifications, complete with comment moderation and reply functionality.  When your post receives a comment, you’ll get a Notification that looks something like this:

If you’re using threaded comments, you’ll see if someone responded directly to you, right in the notification.

You will see Approve, Spam, and Trash links in your comment notification if you have permission to moderate comments, allowing you to moderate the comment from within the notification:

Clicking Reply automatically approves a comment and displays an area for you to type a reply in. When you’re done, just click Reply and you can get back to whatever you were working on, without having to navigate to the dashboard to manage your comments.

You can still manage comments in your dashboard, but we hope you’ll find the comment notification a convenient shortcut.



Introducing Chrome for Android

February 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices.

Speed
With Chrome for Android, you can search, navigate and browse fast—Chrome fast. You can scroll through web pages as quickly as you can flick your finger. When searching, your top search results are loaded in the background as you type so pages appear instantly. And of course, both search and navigation can all be done quickly from the Chrome omnibox.

Simplicity
Chrome for Android is designed from the ground up for mobile devices. We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet. You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web.


One of the biggest pains of mobile browsing is selecting the correct link out of several on a small-screen device. Link Preview does away with hunting and pecking for links on a web page by automatically zooming in on links to make selecting the precise one easier.

And as with Chrome on desktop, we built Chrome for Android with privacy in mind from the beginning, including incognito mode for private browsing and fine-grained privacy options (tap menu icon, ‘Settings,’ and then ‘Privacy’).

Sign in
You can now bring your personalized Chrome experience with you to your Android phone or tablet. If you sign in to Chrome on your Android device, you can:

  • § View open tabs: Access the tabs you left open on your computer (also signed into Chrome)—picking up exactly where you left off.
  • § Get smarter suggestions: If you visit a site often on your computer, you’ll also get an autocomplete suggestion for it on your mobile device, so you can spend less time typing.
  • § Sync bookmarks: Conveniently access your favorite sites no matter where you are or which device you’re using.


Chrome is now available in Beta from Android Market, in select countries and languages for phones and tablets with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. We’re eager to hear your feedback. Finally, we look forward to working closely with the developer community to create a better web on a platform that defines mobile.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome and Apps

(Cross-posted from the Chrome blog and on the Mobile blog)



No New Mail? Try Google+

February 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google, Google API 

What’s the message displayed by Gmail when there’s no message in your inbox? If you answered “No new mail! Want to read updates from your favorite sites? Try Google Reader”, you are right. It was Google’s subtle way to promote Google Reader.


Before Google Reader was released, Gmail’s “inbox zero” message used to be: “No new mail! There’s always Google News if you’re looking for something to read.”

Now that Google focuses on developing Google+, a modern version of Google Reader, Gmail’s new message is: “No new mail! See what people are talking about on Google+.” The links sends Gmail users to the “what’s hot” section of Google+ which “highlights selected content thought to be exemplary, interesting, and appropriate: showing you serendipitous and diverse information”.


From Google News to Google Reader and now Google+, Gmail illustrates three different ways to read news. Google News ranks and clusters articles from the web, Google Reader allows you to read news from your favorite sites, while Google+ lets you read the articles shared by the people you follow. From news that are important to everyone to news that are important to the people you trust.



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