Chrome Extension Makes Google’s April Fools Joke Real: If you were one of the three million people who watched Google’s Gmail Blue video yesterday and found yourself wondering just how horrible it’d be if it weren’t, you know, a joke — you’re in luck! Thrown together overnight by developer Shon Dalezman, the aptly named “Gmail Blue” extension takes every terrible detail from the video (embedded below for good measure) and brings it to life. The “Compose” button? Blue. The word “Compose”? Blue. Underline? Blue! More here.
VLC for Windows 8 inches closer to completion as its developers share fresh screenshots of the app: Today the team bringing VLC Player to Windows 8 – via the Windows Store so that it will run on Windows RT devices – updated their financial backers as to their progress. Hold fast, they said in short, we’re almost there. Following an apology for a lack up updates – the most recent was more than a month prior – the developers cited “tremendous progress,” but claimed that more work remained ahead before the app could be released. When the VLC group set out to Kickstarter to raise 40,000 quid to build the ‘Metro’ version of their video playing software, it attracted the sum with nearly a week to spare, with over 3,000 folks chipping in to fund the project. More here.
Firefox 20 Launches With Improved Private Browsing, New Download Manager And More WebRTC And HTML5 Features: Firefox 20 is now available for download. The emphasis of today’s release is on Firefox’s private browsing mode, which now allows Firefox desktop users to open a private browsing window without the need to shut down the whole browser, while Firefox for Android users can now use per-tab private browsing. Also new in this version is a download manager for the desktop, the ability to customize the shortcuts on the home screen with your favorite sites and support foradditional HTML5 and WebRTC features. More here.
Monetization TBD: Instagram Hires Facebook’s Emily White As Director Of Business Operations: Instagram has hired a Director of Operations, the first of what we’re assuming will be many steps to monetize the photosharing app’s explosive scale and expand on its infinite potential for brand partnerships. Facebook’s Director of Mobile Partnerships, Emily White, will be moving over internally to the more than 20-person team, which just surpassed the 100 million user mark in February. More here.
Following iPad release, Google rolls out free Android and iPhone versions of Quickoffice for Apps customers: Google on Wednesday announced the release of Quickoffice for Android and iPhone, available gratis for all its Apps for Business customers. If you fit the bill, you can download the apps now for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Google’s Quickoffice is meant for business users that have to share files and collaborate with users who don’t yet use Google Docs. “From Word to Excel to Powerpoint, you can make quick edits at the airport or from the back of a taxi and save and share everything in Google Drive,” Google boasts. More here.
Android Jelly Bean hits 25% adoption and Gingerbread falls below 40% as Google changes how it counts users: Google updated its Platform Versions Web page for Android on Tuesday, and there are big changes afoot, though it’s mainly due to the fact that the company has changed how it counts users. Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) are still growing and have passed the 25 percent mark, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is slightly back up, but still below the 30 percent mark, and arguably most importantly, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is now on less than 40 percent of devices. More here.
#Digital Living & Gaming
Tesla to commence leasing program for its Model S electric cars, promising low effective payments after tax provisions are weighed: Today Tesla announced that it will begin a leasing program for its popular Model S electric cars. In the first quarter it sold some 4,750 of the vehicles, besting its estimates. Tesla also recently announced that it will post a profit for its first quarter of the year, indicating that strong demand for its cars has made it a viable business. Leasing as an option could help the company move more total cars. More here.
My Kinect Can Tell Me If I’m Depressed With 90% Accuracy
Computer scientists at the University of Southern California have used Microsoft’s Kinect sensor to detect, with 90% accuracy, whether you are depressed. All you have to do is sit down in front of Kinect, answer some questions from an on-screen virtual psychologist, and the clever software does the rest. [source]
Twitter working to extend its Cards feature to support three new varieties, including mobile app links and photo galleries: Today at a developer meetup at Twitter, the company demoed some new technology that will see its existing ‘Cards’ feature to allow for three new capabilities: mobile app linking, photo galleries, and product information, such as price. Regarding app linking, inside of the updated cards, connections to mobile applications can be included. More here.
Facebook updates Ads Manager to help advertisers track performance against specific goals, calculate ROI: Facebook on Tuesday released an update to its Ads Manager service, used for monitoring and optimizing advertising campaign performance. The company says it is making it “even easier” for advertisers to see how they’re performing against specific goals, and to calculate their return on investment (ROI). These changes are rolling out globally and will be available to all advertisers “in the coming weeks.” More here.