Saturday, November 27, 2010

[Gd] Mixi's new platform feature: "Apps for Touch"

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OpenSocial API Blog: Mixi's new platform feature: "Apps for Touch"

My name is Yoichiro Tanaka, I am in charge of the architect of mixi Platform. mixi is the most popular social networking service in Japan. We are happy to announce that a smart-phone platform has been launched on mixi Platform.

mixi Platform supports OpenSocial v0.8.1 and have executed applications for two devices “PC desktop” and “Japanese feature-phones” last year. The specification of our feature-phone platform has been proposed as the “OpenSocial WAP extension”, and this specification has been adopted by other platforms in Japan. If you would like to know more, please check the link below:


Recently, we have launched a new feature to mixi Platform. We call it “mixi apps for Touch”. The saturation level of smart-phones is currently increasing in Japan as many people already use the iPhone, and there are many release plans of smart-phones based on Android. Currently, 17 applications have already been launched as mixi apps for Touch, and these developers have attracted many users. The below image is the screenshot of one mixi application executed on the smart-phone. A single mixi application can support three devices -- PCs, feature-phones and smrt-phones at same time.


Figure 1. Screenshots of mixi apps for Touch

Basically, mixi apps for Touch is a Web browser based application and is not a native iPhone/Android application which you download from an application market/store. Technically, the view name of mixi apps for Touch is “touch”, and the value of the type attribute is specified as “url”. This definition is written in gadget spec file with definitions for other devices. The below image is the architecture to describe mixi apps for Touch.


Figure 2. Architecture of mixi apps for Touch

The application is executed in the iframe placed on mixi’s page. One of mixi app’s features is that the domain in the iframe is not mixi’s domain, and is of the developer’s server. Therefore, application developers can generate the contents on his/her server similarly to developing a general web site.

Developers need the OpenSocial RESTful API to use social data, and a 2-legged OAuth is adopted to the authorization mechanism. On the other hand, when developers want to use APIs (invitation, posting activity, and etc) with a user-flow (need to show Popup window), a JavaScript file provided by mixi Platform is loaded by using a script tag. The function written in the script file calls the function which exists on the parent frame, and the user-flow will be executed. Of course, Payment and Ad programs are available for monetization (the Payment API is based on OpenSocial Virtual Currency API).

We believe that our platform will be able to bring OpenSocial more scaling to many devices. For more information, please visit our developer’s site “mixi Developer Center”.

For more information, please visit the mixi Developer Center.


Posted on behalf of Yoichiro Tanaka, mixi, Inc., by Mark Weitzel, President, OpenSocial Foundation
URL: http://blog.opensocial.org/2010/11/my-name-is-yoichiro-tanaka-i-am-in.html

Friday, November 26, 2010

[Gd] Controlling crawling and indexing now documented on code.google.com

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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Controlling crawling and indexing now documented on code.google.com

Webmaster level: All

Do you know how Google's crawler, Googlebot, handles conflicting directives in your robots.txt file? Do you know how to prevent a PDF file from being indexed? Do you know Googlebot’s favorite song? The answers to these questions (except for the last one :)), along with lots of other information about controlling the crawling and indexing of your site, are now available on code.google.com:

Controlling crawling and indexing



Now site owners have a comprehensive resource where they can learn about robots.txt files, robots meta tags, and X-Robots-Tag HTTP header directives. Please share your comments, and if you have questions you can post them in our Webmaster Help Forum.

Posted by Jonathan Simon, Webmaster Trends Analyst
URL: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/11/controlling-crawling-and-indexing-now.html

Thursday, November 25, 2010

[Gd] Content Rating for Android Market

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Android Developers Blog: Content Rating for Android Market

[This post is by Eric Chu, Android Developer Ecosystem. —Tim Bray]

Providing users with more information about applications on Android Market has been a top request from Android users. Starting in a few weeks, we will be showing content ratings for all applications on Android Market. This new capability will provide users with additional information to help them select the best applications for them.

Android Market’s content policy remains the same as before: applications will be rated according to four content rating levels: All, Pre-teen, Teen, & Mature. Details on the rating levels can be found at Android Market Help Center.

To prepare for this launch, starting next week, developers submitting new or updated applications will be required to include a rating for all applications and games uploaded onto Android Market. In addition, developers will have the next several weeks to add a rating to their existing applications and games. Once content rating is visible to users, any applications or games that do not include a rating will be treated as “Mature”.

We are working hard to rapidly deliver improvements and upgrades to Android Market. Please look for more Android Market upgrades in the coming weeks. Thanks for your continued support and please don’t hesitate to give us feedback on what else we can do to make you more successful with Android and Android Market.

URL: http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/11/content-rating-for-android-market.html

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[Gd] [Libraries][Update] WebFont 1.0.16

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Google AJAX API Alerts: [Libraries][Update] WebFont 1.0.16

WebFont has been updated to 1.0.16
URL: http://ajax-api-alerts.blogspot.com/2010/11/librariesupdate-webfont-1016.html

[Gd] New! Web Font Statistics

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Google Web Fonts: New! Web Font Statistics

We're excited to announce the launch of two new features of the Google Font Directory.

1) Font level statistics
Curious to see which fonts get the most usage, how that usage is trending, or where in the world that font is used? Now you can visit the Info tab found on each one of the font pages to see these stats. See an example of the font Lobster here. The delta between the most and least popular font in the Directory is huge, which goes to show that some of our fonts (such as Lobster) have really found a niche on the web.



2) Sort by popularity
From the front page of the Google Font Directory, we've added a pull down that allows you to change sort order of the fonts. Now you can choose by font popularity! This sort order is based on the last 7 days of font requests.



Posted by David Wurtz, Product Manager, Google Font API
URL: http://googlewebfonts.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-web-font-statistics.html

[Gd] Random Hacks of Kindness #2 - Come hack for humanity!

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Google Code Blog: Random Hacks of Kindness #2 - Come hack for humanity!

On the weekend of December 4 and 5, hackers will gather in cities around the globe to create software solutions that make a difference.

Google, Microsoft, The World Bank and Yahoo! are inviting software developers, independent hackers and students to participate in Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK #2) next weekend.

RHoK brings together volunteer programmers and experts in disaster response for a two-day hackathon to create software solutions that focus on problems related to disaster risk and response. It is an opportunity to meet and work with top software developers and disaster experts, to create and improve open source applications that enable communities to recover from disasters, and to possibly win prizes.

Examples of previous hacks include the “I’m OK” app from RHoK #0 in November 2009, which was used during the response to recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and the landslide prediction tool “Chasm,” winner of RHoK #1 in June 2010.

RHOK will be held simultaneously in many locations around the world. The five main stages will be in Chicago, Sao Paolo, Aarhus, Nairobi and Bangalore; and there will be over a dozen satellite events in other global cities. To find a location near you, see the latest list on the RHoK website.

Join us on December 4th and 5th, and visit www.rhok.org for more information.

By Christiaan Adams, Google Crisis Response Team
URL: http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2010/11/random-hacks-of-kindness-2-come-hack.html

[Gd] Random Hacks of Kindness #2 - Come hack for humanity!

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Google Code Blog: Random Hacks of Kindness #2 - Come hack for humanity!

On the weekend of December 4 and 5, hackers will gather in cities around the globe to create software solutions that make a difference.

Google, Microsoft, The World Bank and Yahoo! are inviting software developers, independent hackers and students to participate in Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK #2) next weekend.

RHoK brings together volunteer programmers and experts in disaster response for a two-day hackathon to create software solutions that focus on problems related to disaster risk and response. It is an opportunity to meet and work with top software developers and disaster experts, to create and improve open source applications that enable communities to recover from disasters, and to possibly win prizes.

Examples of previous hacks include the “I’m OK” app from RHoK #0 in November 2009, which was used during the response to recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and the landslide prediction tool “Chasm,” winner of RHoK #1 in June 2010.

RHOK will be held simultaneously in many locations around the world. The five main stages will be in Chicago, Sao Paolo, Aarhus, Nairobi and Bangalore; and there will be over a dozen satellite events in other global cities. To find a location near you, see the latest list on the RHoK website.

Join us on December 4th and 5th, and visit www.rhok.org for more information.

By Christiaan Adams, Google Crisis Response Team
URL: http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2010/11/random-hacks-of-kindness-2-come-hack.html

Monday, November 22, 2010

[Gd] Edmunds partners with Google to make the web faster

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Google Code Blog: Edmunds partners with Google to make the web faster

Note: This is a guest post from Ismail Elshareef, who is the Principal Architect at Edmunds.com. Thanks for the post and for making the web faster Ismail!

In the Fall of 2008, we embarked on a complete redesign of our car enthusiast site, insideline.com. One of the main redesign objectives was to deliver the fastest page load possible to our consumers. Leading up to that point, we have been closely following and implementing the performance best practices championed by Google's Make the Web Faster team and others. We understood the impact performance has on user experience and the bottom line.

Some of the many performance-enhancing features that have been implemented on insideline.com (and now on our beta.edmunds.com) are:
  1. Reducing the number of HTTP requests: We combined CSS and JavaScript files as necessary as well as using sprites and data URIs when appropriate. We have also reduced the number of blocking requests as much as possible to make the pages "feel" faster
  2. Serving static content from different domains: This helped maximize the browser parallel download capacity and made the request payload faster since no cookies were sent over the wire to those domains
  3. Using Expires headers: Caching static files in the client's browser to eliminate unnecessary, redundant requests to our servers
  4. Lazy-loading Page Modules: Render the bare minimum page components first so that the user sees something on the page, and then go through the modules and load them in order of priority. We developed a JavaScript Loader component to help us accomplish that which you can read more on the Edmunds technology blog.
  5. Managing 3rd-party components: iFrame components could be lazy-loaded without a problem. JavaScript components, on the other hand, need to be loaded onto the page before the onLoad event fires. That had the potential of slowing down our pages. The solution we devised was to delay the calling of those components until we initiate the lazy-loading of modules and right before the onLoad event fires
  6. Using non-blocking calls: With the browser being a single thread process, we optimized ways of including resources on the page without affecting page rendering so that the page is perceived to be fast by the user.

The results on insideline.com have been incredbile. Page load time went from 9 seconds on average on the old site to 1.5 seconds on average on the new one, and that's with loading in much richer content onto the page (measured with WebPageTest). We have also seen a 3% increase in ad revenue. On the beta.edmunds.com, which will replace our legacy site fully in December 2010, we have seen a 17% increase in page views and a 2% reduction in the bounce rate for our landing pages in a controlled experiment.

Although we have a long way to go in making our pages and services faster, we are very pleased of the progress we’ve made so far. Working with Google to make the web faster has been an exciting adventure that will continue with more improvements and innovations for both our sites and the web as a whole. Get more details on the Edmunds technology blog and try these enhancements on your site today.

By Ismail Elshareef, Principal Architect, Edmunds.com
URL: http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2010/11/edmunds-partners-with-google-to-make.html

[Gd] Beta Channel Update

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Google Chrome Releases: Beta Channel Update

The Chrome Beta channel has been updated to 8.0.552.210 for Windows and Chrome Frame.

This release contains a number of stability and UI improvements.  Full details about the changes are available in the SVN revision log. If you find new issues, please let us know by filing a bug. Want to change to another Chrome release channel? Find out how.

Jason Kersey
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2010/11/beta-channel-update_22.html

[Gd] Discover v201008 - Track your account notifications with AlertService

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AdWords API Blog: Discover v201008 - Track your account notifications with AlertService

When you’re managing a large number of accounts using the AdWords API you may want to retrieve account alerts. This was previously possible with AccountService in v13. The v201008 version introduces the AlertService, which brings similar functionality to the new AdWords API. This blog post discusses the differences between how alerts are retrieved using these two services.

Retrieving client account alerts

In v13, you could retrieve the alerts associated with list of client accounts linked to a My Client Center (MCC) using the getMccAlerts method of AccountService. In v201008, you can use the get method of AlertService to get the same results. The following code shows the service in action:

// Get the AlertService.
AlertService alertService = (AlertService) user.GetService(
AdWordsService.v201008.AlertService);

// Create the alert query.
AlertQuery query = new AlertQuery();
query.filterSpec = FilterSpec.ALL;
query.clientSpec = ClientSpec.ALL;
query.triggerTimeSpec = TriggerTimeSpec.ALL_TIME;
query.severities = new AlertSeverity[] {AlertSeverity.GREEN,
AlertSeverity.YELLOW, AlertSeverity.RED};

query.types = new AlertType[] {AlertType.CAMPAIGN_ENDING,
AlertType.CAMPAIGN_ENDED};

// Create the selector.
AlertSelector selector = new AlertSelector();
selector.query = query;
selector.paging = new Paging();
selector.paging.startIndex = 0;
selector.paging.numberResults = 10;

AlertPage page = alertService.get(selector);

Once you retrieve the alerts, you can display them by enumerating the page entries.

if (page != null && page.entries != null && page.entries.Length > 0) {
Console.WriteLine("Retrieved {0} alerts out of {1}.",
page.entries.Length, page.totalNumEntries);

for (int i = 0; i < page.entries.Length; i++) {
Alert alert = page.entries[i];
Console.WriteLine("{0}) Customer Id is {1:###-###-####}, " +
"Alert type is '{2}',Severity is {3}", i + 1,
alert.clientCustomerId, alert.alertType, alert.alertSeverity);
for (int j = 0; j < alert.details.Length; j++) {
Console.WriteLine(" - Triggered at {0}", alert.details[j].triggerTime);
}
}
} else {
Console.WriteLine("No alerts were found.");
}

Differences between AccountService.getAllMccAlerts and AlertService.get

The main differences between the v13 AccountService.getAllMccAlerts and v201008 AlertService.get are in the table below.



AccountService.getAllMccAlerts AlertService.get
Returns alerts for all the client accounts immediately under the MCC. You can choose to retrieve alerts for all the child accounts, for immediate child accounts only, or for a specific list of customers by using the clientSpec and clientCustomerIds fields of AlertQuery.
Returns all available types of alerts for your client accounts. Returns only the types of alerts you request in your AlertQuery.
MccAlert provides multiple fields like clientLogin, clientName and clientCustomerId to associate an alert with a customer. Alert provides only clientCustomerId field to associate the alert with a customer.
Gives you one MccAlert object for each occurrence of the alert. Groups alerts of the same type for a given customer as a single Alert object. You can access the alert details from the details field of the alert object.
Alert priority can be low or high. Alert severity can be red, yellow or green.

The v201008 version of AlertService.get allows you to retrieve alerts only by predefined trigger time ranges. We plan to include support for filtering by custom date ranges in a future version of the AdWords API.

We have added support for AlertService in all of our client libraries, so please take advantage of this service and share your feedback with us on the forum.

-- Anash P. Oommen, AdWords API Team
URL: http://adwordsapi.blogspot.com/2010/11/discover-v201008-track-your-account.html

[Gd] OpenSocial 1.1 Published!

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OpenSocial API Blog: OpenSocial 1.1 Published!

The OpenSocial Foundation is pleased to announce the community has approved the publication of version 1.1 of the specification.

In addition to general clarifications, this release now defines the API that enable gadgets to communicate with each other via a pub/sub mechanism. In addition to the API, the specification also defines metadata that an application can include that specifies the events it is able to publish and subscribe. This enables OpenSocial providers to leverage this metadata in tools and advanced container capability.

Using this new API and metadata, developers of OpenSocial applications (gadgets), can create highly interactive mashups where components are not just assembled on the glass, but integrated with each other. This capability is especially important in enterprise settings where OpenSocial is being increasingly utilized as key Internet technology.

Congratulations to the community on another great release!

Published by Mark Weitzel, President, OpenSocial Foundation
URL: http://blog.opensocial.org/2010/11/opensocial-11-published.html

[Gd] The next Marketing Test Kitchen: celebrating customer success

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Google Apps Developer Blog: The next Marketing Test Kitchen: celebrating customer success

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first Marketing Test Kitchen initiative: “Add to Apps" button. Overall, it was a huge success. The number of vendors using “Add to Apps” buttons grew significantly, causing a large increase in installs driven by button traffic. Before kicking off the second Apps Ecosystem Marketing Test Kitchen initiative, we want to recognize the winners of the first one.

Congratulations to the 6 winners, who will get additional exposure on the featured and notable section of the Marketplace front page:
Outright, Producteev, Insync, Mavenlink, Zoho and Manymoon

Established vendors such as Manymoon and Zoho improved performance of existing buttons and newer folks like Outright and Producteev added buttons to capture new business. If you didn’t get your button up for last week’s contest, that doesn't mean you shouldn’t do it now! Adding a button helps improve your overall performance in the Marketplace and will prepare you for future initiatives.

Now let’s take a look at the next Marketing Test Kitchen...

The Next Challenge:
Publish your most compelling customer success stories by Thursday, Dec 2nd on your own blog and share it with us at marketing-test-kitchen@google.com. We will feature a few of the top stories on the Google Enterprise Blog (see examples here and here) and also rotate the winning vendors into the featured and notable sections on the Marketplace front page. Note we will feature every submission in the Marketplace Success Stories blog, so just by submitting a story you will end up on the front page of the Marketplace.

It’s easy to participate: Find a compelling customer, tell their story, publish it on your blog, share it with us, and track your performance.

What makes a compelling customer?
It is important to find a customer that demonstrates the value of your integrated features with Google Apps. Make sure that your customer gives explicit approval for using their story. Here are some qualities of a compelling customer.
  • Highlights the value of your app: For example, their use of your app in conjunction with various other web apps, such as other Marketplace apps.
  • Hard data to support success: Numbers that justify strong gains are important, ie: 50% productivity gains, 10% increase in revenue, 20% reduction in IT costs.
  • Passionate about Google Apps and the cloud: A genuinely passionate customer can explain the advantages of a cloud-based business and more easily help prospects understand and transition.
How can I make it easily consumable?
You can use the standard template from the developer site or find a more creative way to deliver it. You can create your own format that tells the story of the customer’s success. Here are some ideas to go beyond a typical blog post:
  • Be visual: Use tools such as Picnik and Aviary to tell your story with compelling visuals (or choose another creative tool).
  • Organize your presentation: You can use Google Presentations or SlideRocket to succinctly tell your story.
  • Use video: Shoot or animate a video of your customer telling their Apps Marketplace story.
  • Be creative: Combine the above ideas, write a story, or come up with something totally different.
To get a feel for different tones and stories, read some customer stories from various vendors on the Marketplace Success Stories blog. Also check out this example of a strong customer story that uses many of the above elements.



It’s easy to be a part of this new Marketing Test Kitchen. Just find a compelling customer, use a clever way to tell their story, publish it to your blog and share it by email. If you need more time, email us with your ideas as well! Make sure to track the performance of your blog post (and all other marketing efforts) through Google Analytics, learn how to code links and track traffic on the developer site.

Come up with the next Marketing Test Kitchen: Submit your idea via Buzz or email. We’ll evaluate the ideas and use the best ones for future initiatives. If we choose your initiative, we’ll give you a special prize.

Posted by Harrison Shih, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Apps Marketplace

Want to weigh in on this topic? Discuss on Buzz
URL: http://googleappsdeveloper.blogspot.com/2010/11/next-marketing-test-kitchen-celebrating.html