News Roundup: Digg 4 Launches, Google Brings Voice to Gmail

Gmail users in US and Canada can now make free web-based phone calls right from the inbox (free for US and Canada, till this year).

Calls to other countries comes at a very cheap rate (India: 6 cents/minute). In order to use this feature, install this plugin.

Watch this demo video

So what exactly is Gmail upto? Communication (and not just email)

Digg 4 – The ‘Followers’ Party

Digg has democratized the site (to certain extent) with the launch of new version that enables publishers to auto submit their content to Digg. Now when you login, you will notice the ‘My News’ section. Also, Digg has brought in the much needed social connections, i.e. Twitter and Facebook integration.

This also brings incentive for publishers to get more ‘followers’ on Digg. Is Digg is a bit late to the party? Only time will tell. [more]

Amazon New Kindle Sales

Amazon’s new Kindle e-book readers are the best-selling Kindles ever [link]

more new generation Kindles were ordered in the first four weeks of availability than in the same timeframe following any other Kindle launch, making the new Kindles the fastest-selling ever.

“Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon.com for two years running and our new generation Kindles are continuing that momentum,” said Steven Kessel, senior vice president, Amazon Kindle. “Readers are excited about all that the new Kindle has to offer—50 percent better contrast, 20 percent faster page turns, 15 percent lighter, up to one month of battery life—and a new price of only $139.”

Yahoo is still a search engine

Reacting strongly to talks of death of Y! Search (post transition to Microsoft), Shashi Seth (SVP of Y! Search Products) has written an interesting post

Take a look at Boeing or Airbus aircrafts. They outsource their engines to Rolls Royce, United Technologies, and GE. But, does that mean that Boeing and Airbus are no longer airline manufacturers? What about the mobile handset business? HTC uses a chip from one company (say Qualcomm), sources its screen from various OEMs, and uses Google Android for its OS. And is HTC a mobile phone company?

People who assume that search is only about indexing, crawling and relevance of web documents are mistaken. First of all, there are hundreds of sources of data other than the web index. Yahoo! Search supplements Microsoft’s web Index with Yahoo!’s own content, content from third party relationships, and content from social networks like Twitter. We still maintain the technology, science, scale and infrastructure required to crawl, index and rank this data – and all in real-time (less than a second).
Beyond that, Yahoo! is investing in many areas that will redefine and reshape search – we are still a search engine, and in a strong second place in this very competitive marketplace. Watch out for amazing stuff coming from this search engine!

Well. We have heard that before, especially redefining and reshaping the search industry part.

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