Archive for July, 2011

When developers have the ability to craft applications for multiple platforms with little to no barrier, amazing things can happen. 6Wunderkinder is a prime example of this, as it managed to deliver its popular Wunderlist productivity app to additional platforms in short order thanks to a partnership with Appcelerator. But not every developer has the time (or resources) to forge such a relationship, and thanks to Friday’s release of Nitobi’s PhoneGap 1.0, they don’t have to.

PhoneGap is an HTML5 platform that allows developers to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create native mobile applications. Now developers can write their app once and deploy it to six major mobile platforms and app stores, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS, Bada and Symbian. With the open source code receiving contributions from a dedicated community of developers, PhoneGap has increased in both stability and durability – which has played a large part in the project averaging approximately 40,000 downloads per month at the time of writing.

While PhoneGap 1.0 was officially released by Nitobi at PhoneGap Day in Portland, Oregon on Friday, the company is based in Vancouver, BC. In fact, The Next Web Canada covered PhoneGap’s initial launch late last year. But the building of PhoneGap has been an effort that goes well beyond the team at Nitobi, a fact that is not lost on company CEO Andre Charland.

“The community built up around PhoneGap is its greatest asset,” says Charland. “The PhoneGap community identifies common pain points and works together to overcome them.”

A team of senior software engineers at IBM have also been involved in the development of PhoneGap, and the assistance has been a major benefit to the community.

According to Nitobi, today’s major release puts the focus on accessing native device APIs, which is new ground for the web. Other improvements include overall API stability and “pluggable” architecture, W3C DAP API compatibility, contacts API and remote debugging tools. Moreover, a new unifying bridge interface was added that makes adding platforms and platform extensions simpler, along with simplification of the plugin development process.

“Most of these new enhancements come from our community,” said Brian LeRoux, Senior Software Engineer at Nitobi and PhoneGap evangelist. “For instance, PhoneGap developers were calling for a consistent way to make plugins that would run on all major smartphone platforms and this release does that.”

To learn more about what PhoneGap has to offer, check out the introductory video below.

With over 600,000 downloads of the PhoneGap code to date and thousands of apps built using PhoneGap available in mobile app stores and directories, the arrival of version 1.0 may just keep those numbers growing – and spur further growth for the company behind the project as well.

TNW Aggregated Feed

(Cross-posted from the Gmail Blog)

I switched to Gmail the first month it came out, mere seconds after receiving an invitation from a friend and two years before joining Google. Since then, I’ve invited hundreds of people, most of whom have happily made the switch to Gmail and never looked back.

But I have one friend, Andy, who’s the straggler in the group. A couple months ago, I sent out an email about a barbecue I was having. On the “To:” line, there were 15 Gmail addresses and then Andy. He stuck out like a sore thumb. Shortly thereafter, Andy was complaining to us about how much spam he got. That was the last straw.

My friends and I sat Andy down and talked him through how to import his contacts. We answered his questions, guilt-tripped him a little, and a few painless minutes later we were done. Andy had Gmail.

We all have a story like this. On the Gmail team, we affectionately refer to them as “email interventions.” We hear about them all the time: the cousin who finally switched from an embarassing address like hottie6elliot1977 to a more professional, a co-worker who helped his dentist switch after he heard her grumble about having to pay for IMAP access, etc.

It’s for these folks we created, a site that makes it easier than ever to help your friends and family make the switch.

Staging an intervention is simple:

  1. Visit
  2. Sign in and automatically identify who from your contacts has yet to make the switch, or just enter a friend’s email address manually
  3. Choose from one of three intervention message templates (“straightforward”, “concerned” or “ embarrassed”), and add your own intervention video if you’d like
  4. Send a customized email and follow up as needed

Your loved ones are counting on you. Even if they don’t know it yet.

The Official Google Blog

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5 Terrifically Brilliant Uses of Tumblr

Tumblr has really taking off as a great go-to platform that allows users to easily share their content online. It sits somewhere between Twitter and Blogging and it is accruing billions of page views as people come up with creative ways to use it. Since an account only takes a couple of minutes to set up, the barriers to entry are extremely low. The fact that you can upload content to Tumblr in seconds from your phone via its awesome app and that you can allow users to submit their own content (which you can moderate) means that there are some great creative ways in which you can use Tumblr. They really seem to have tapped into a great market and all sorts of people who are not technically minded are creating great content.

Here are 5 of the best examples that we love…

Dear Photograph

The idea behind this Tumblr is simple but brilliant. You take an old photo that you have and you hold it up in the exact location that the photo was taken in the past and share it with the world. It is a fantastic blend of old and new technology and you could spend hours scrolling through all the pictures that they feature here.

Clients From Hell

For anybody who works in the agency world or indeed any service industry this Tumblr will give you a laugh on a daily basis. The idea is that people send in stories, pictures, videos and other examples of their “Clients From Hell”. You will get at least one laugh out loud moment every day on this Tumblr and plenty of times you will end up thinking “yeah I have experienced that before.”


The idea behind this Tumblr is very simple in that it scans sandwiches from around the world and shares them on a daily basis. It makes even the most simple ingredients slapped between 2 pieces of bread look nice. This Tumblr was so popular and unique that it even got its own book.

Eat Sleep Draw

This is a community site for people who like to draw. The idea is simple…you draw something nice, submit it to the Tumblr and the editors choose what gets published. Most people link back to their own sites so it’s a great way to get some attention for your work and to browse some pretty inspiring drawings as an end user.

kim jong-il looking at things

The leader of North Korea is not especially well known for his sense of humor but the creators of this Tumblr will put a smile on your face with their daily updates. The Tumblr does exactly what it says in the title and you would be surprised by just how many different things he looks at and just how funny such a simple idea actually is for you as a reader.

We know there are loads of awesome Tumblrs! Share yours in the comments.

TNW Aggregated Feed

(Cross-posted on the Google Green Blog)

I’ve always loved the ocean—I was born in Shanghai, which means “upon the sea.” And as a chef, I’m always drawn to food that claims a spirit of place. After moving to California, near Half Moon Bay, I began visiting the docks to buy seafood, and got to know the fishermen.

Over time, it became evident to me that this part of our food supply is broken: many consumers purchase stale, unsustainably-raised fish from chain grocers. Meanwhile, fishermen often sell their diminishing catch to wholesalers at a very low profit, meaning their livelihoods are no longer sustained by their catch. There’s also the environmental factor to consider: Overfishing and illegal practices cause worldwide decline in ocean wildlife populations and wreak havoc on underwater habitats—not to mention the carbon footprint of transporting seafood far from its origin.

Google’s chefs have long been committed to sourcing food for our cafes as locally, seasonally and organically as possible. And in our Mountain View headquarters, many employees cook with the same ingredients at home thanks to on-site Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. When I joined the team as an executive chef in Mountain View, I wanted to make a difference in our purchasing program for seafood. For the five years leading up to then, I wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle called “Seafood by the Season,” and I knew it could be done. In early 2010, we began a push to apply the most rigorous standards to our seafood-buying practices, and respond to the in-the-moment fluctuations of the catch from small, independent fishermen.

Things took off from there. My colleague Quentin Topping dreamed of providing the same high-quality seafood we serve in our cafes for Googlers to take home to their families. That idea became the Google Community Supported Fishery (CSF), which we launched in May 2011. In this program, Googlers sign up to purchase a weekly supply of local, sustainable seafood, supplied through a partnership with the Half Moon Bay (HMB) Fisherman’s Association.

The Google Culinary team on a visit with fishermen in Half Moon Bay, Calif.—Quentin and I are the second and third from the left, in black.

We tend to think on a massive scale at Google—whether it’s how to deliver instant search results around the globe or help thousands of small businesses get online—but when it comes to feeding our employees at work and at home, it really comes down to a local touch. Knowing where our seafood, meat and produce come from, as well as knowing how they’re raised, farmed or harvested, makes all the difference in the on-the-ground work of sustainability. We see many bright spots ahead for our Community Supported Agriculture and Fishery programs, such as expansion to other offices and adding a grass-fed beef and pasture-raised poultry program. It’s exciting to work someplace where we can think big and local.

We know of two CSFs in the Bay Area. The Half Moon Bay Fishermen’s Association supplies only Google at the moment, but will soon add public drop-off sites—keep posted by visiting The other is CSea out of Bodega Bay. If you live elsewhere, we hope you’ll consider stepping up to create one in your area.

And even if you don’t live near the ocean or have direct access to fresh-caught seafood, the choices you make about what fish to purchase or order in restaurants can make a real difference. You may want to consider following the guidelines that we used for our Google Green Seafood policy: Whenever possible, purchase species caught locally and in-season, by small, independent fisher-families, using environmentally-responsible methods. We think it’s important to be responsive to the fluctuations of catch too, and source from fisheries that enforce catch limits or are guided by ecosystem-based management programs. As for us, we’ll continue to research and source responsibly managed farmed seafood, and always keep transparency and Googler health at the center of our program.

The Official Google Blog

Question by DebbieDoesit: How do I make money online without spending money?
I’m looking for ways to make money online without spending any money therefore I do not have any money to spend.So if you have any good ideas feel free to give me your answers. Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by Shaun and Nikolas’s Mom.
There is no way to make money online.They are all scams.The only thing you can do that’s legit is sell things on ebay.

What do you think? Answer below!

Despite Apple’s impact on the mobile industry over the past four years, it had yet to clinch the number one spot as the top smartphone vendor, that honour resting with Nokia despite its troubles. Now, as research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics notes, that’s all changed.

We previously reported Apple’s sales dominance over Nokia for Q2 of this year, and now taking Samsung’s results for the quarter into consideration, Nokia has dropped from the top to third place for units sold and market share.

Figures for Q2 2011 show that Apple has become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume of units sold (20.3 million) and market share (18.5%). Nokia sold 16.7 million units in Q2 and had a 15.2% market share, while Samsung sold 19.2 million units with a 17.5% share.

This latest news is another blow to declining Finnish company Nokia which is pinning its hopes of turning its situation around on its its first Windows Phone device, expected to be launched  later this year.

Although Apple may be dominant for this quarter, it’s worth bearing in mind the words of another analyst firm, ABI Research, which notes that Samsung may be in the strongest position overall. “Although Apple’s 142% year on year growth placed it as number one this quarter, Samsung’s 500% year on year growth shows that going forward, the top smartphone OEM position is Samsung’s to lose.”

TNW Aggregated Feed

(Cross-posted on the Online Security Blog)

Earlier this year, we introduced a security feature called 2-step verification that helps protect your Google Account from threats like password compromise and identity theft. By entering a one-time verification code from your phone after you type your password, you can make it much tougher for an unauthorized person to gain access to your account.

People have told us how much they like the feature, which is why we’re thrilled to offer 2-step verification in 40 languages and in more than 150 countries. There’s never been a better time to set it up: Examples in the news of password theft and data breaches constantly remind us to stay on our toes and take advantage of tools to properly secure our valuable online information. Email, social networking and other online accounts still get compromised today, but 2-step verification cuts those risks significantly.

We recommend investing some time in keeping your information safe by watching our 2-step verification video to learn how to quickly increase your Google Account’s resistance to common problems like reused passwords and malware and phishing scams. Wherever you are in the world, sign up for 2-step verification and help keep yourself one step ahead of the bad guys.

To learn more about online safety tips and resources, visit our ongoing security blog series, and review a couple of simple tips and tricks for online security. Also, watch our video about five easy ways to help you stay safe and secure as you browse.

The Official Google Blog

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Best answer:

Answer by Dana
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Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

We’ve seen a lot of CSS wizards in the last year, particularly those that showcase the new features of CSS3. Here’s one we like even more: LayerStyles.

Here’s a generator that’s particularly cool because it emulates the Photoshop layer styles window. If you’re not into design the novelty might escape you, but if you are, here’s a fun way to generate some of that CSS code if you just don’t feel like writing out a million vendor-specific prefixes today.

TNW Aggregated Feed

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