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November 20, 2009

Friday Recap: Little Genius Edition

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Welcome back to Friday, friends. There was no major news this week. Oh, wait. There was that one minor blip on the radar — a.k.a. the release of Twitter’s new, official retweet feature.

The long and short of it is that no one likes it. Lisa Barone dissects the many shortfalls of the function in Why Twitter’s New Retweet Feature Sucks. (Tell the Wall Street Journal I said hello, Lisa!)

cloud computing

Google also had some news to share this week. The source code for Google Chrome Operating System has been opened up to developers. That news and other updates were shared by Google during a press conference this week. You can find coverage of the event across the Web, but readers got a special treat as Matt Cutts joined the liveblogger corps.

Microsoft announced that their anticipated cloud computing system, Windows Azure, will be fully live early next year. The company is inviting software developers to create programs for the platform, hoping to catch up to the cloud computing pack leaders Amazon and Google.

And Yahoo!’s playing catch up in the social search arena as the search engine introduces Twitter results, as well as photos and videos, to their news search results. However, unlike the direct access secured by Google and Bing, Yahoo! will be using Twitter’s public API to incorporate tweets.

Twitter added a new API to the family this week, the Twitter Geotagging API. Now tweets can be geotagged to display location information about where the tweet was posted from. The feature is opt-in only, and is not available on Twitter itself, but through third-party applications.

tweet for a cause

As the wave of holiday season giving rolls up, search aggregator LeapFish is using Twitter as a tool to donate a Make-A-Wish gift to a young boy and his family. A simple tweet and LeapFish will donate $.05 toward sending a four-year-old to Disneyland. They’re still far from the $10,000 goal. Won’t you take a moment and tweet?

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, we’ve officially entered the winter holiday season. PPC Hero offers us search and shopping statistics, popular gift categories, peak shopping days, and Yahoo!’s holiday campaign best practices and tips.

As I get myself in shape for the eating marathon that is Thanksgiving, it’s hard not to send out a wish of support to all the poor, deprived waffle lovers in the country. Breakfast lovers are renewing the cry “leggo my Eggo!” ever since the waffle maker announced that a shortage would exist until the middle of next year. Here’s hoping none of your loved ones have waffles on the wish list this year.

SEO industry thought-leader Danny Sullivan wrote a search marketing industry retrospective on the 10-year anniversary of the first search marketing conference. What were marketers talking about 10 years ago? Human powered engines, cloaking and that little engine Google.

baby in glasses
CC BY 2.0

Hard to believe that big monster Google was ever a baby, but it’s true. How are these for some fascinating facts about babies? New research shows that newborn babes cry in their native tongue. Picking up language patterns from the womb, babies come out crying in the familiar inflections of the local language.

One doctor of linguistics has performed his own language experiment with his newborn, speaking to his kid only in Klingon for the first three years of his life. The result? One adorably nerdy three-year-old.

We may never fully understand the mechanics behind language acquisition, but for some, it sure is fun to try. One mystery I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole is the Riemann Hypothesis, an unsolved math problem that turned 150 years old this week. If you’re more adventurous than I am, give it a shot. Solving the problem comes with bragging rights and a cool $1 million. [Also a lifetime supply of pocket protectors, nerd. –Susan]

In coming-down-the-pipes news, Twitter’s co-founder has confirmed that corporate, for-pay Twitter accounts that offer additional feedback and analytics will be launched in a matter of time. Meanwhile, rumors about a Google-branded Android phone have been all but confirmed.

Slightly more certain is the fact that 2010 is just weeks away. How did the first decade of the new millennium pan out for everyone? It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? The Webby Awards has published its list of the ten most influential Internet moments of the decade. It boggles the mind that these formative events only occurred in the last few years when it’s hard to imagine life any other way. I mean, like whoa.

Things I learned from Boing Boing this week:

  • One can have a spiritual experience at an aquarium. Or just by watching an online video of an aquarium.
  • Though we once thought warm bloodedness was a trait of every mammal, a recently discovered extinct goat was cold-blooded!
  • Money has always been in fashion, but origami takes it to the next level.
  • Kitties are cute. Okay, it may not have been a learning moment, but in a must-see vid shot from a police car dash cam, one kitty worked his magic, thus proving that kitties are cute! [And that that policeman was dedicated. He was going to get that ticket written, affectionate snugglekitty or no. –Susan]
  • While I thought it was just a fiction dreamt up by The Pirates of the Caribbean writers, the rising and setting sun can actually flash green!
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