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September 2011

40 Percent of Mobile Phone Users Own Smartphones

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The growth of smartphones continues to be on the rise according to a recent study released by Nielsen. The data shows that 40% of mobile phone users own Smartphones.

As far as the operating system, Android OS comes in first place with 40%, while Apple iOS is in second place, with 28 percent. Be sure to check out this map to see which state you live in – Android or iPhone.

The survey also covers possible future trends with those who say they want to purchase a smartphone in the next year. One-third said they would like an Android device and another one-third said they would like an iPhone. (I personally just went with an Android device and love it.)

Android is in the lead as the “Next Desired Operating System” with those who typically purchase the latest technology first.

As for the “Not Sures”, those are  people who purchase the latest technology gadgets later on and who don’t see its value as much as the “Innovators”.

Why do you think there’s a slight swing (40% as opposed to 32%) to an Android device with the “Innovators”?

Chrome Turns Three Years Old Today, Happy Birthday Chrome

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It was three years ago today (September 1st) that Google launched their Chrome web browser. How is Google celebrating this milestone? With an interactive infographic and a list of their most recent improvements to Chrome.

The interactive infographic was built in HTML5 and details the evolution of major web technologies and browsers. (It’s pretty darn cool to play around with if you ask me. )

Over time web technologies have evolved to give web developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive web experiences. Today’s web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open web community that helps define these web technologies, like HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL and ensure that they’re supported in all web browsers.

Here are a few of the improvements made to Google Chrome over the last 12 months:

  • Faster and Faster
  • Simpler and more accessible
  • An even more secure platform
  • The Chrome web store
  • Delivering a new, simpler model for computing

We know this is just the beginning of improvements because Google hinted at it. They said to keep an eye on the blog “to hear about new features and performance improvements as we continue to ship stable channel updates every six weeks”.

Happy 3rd Birthday Chrome!

Teachers Encourage Students to Log On and Get Connected with Social Media

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If you can’t beat ’em join ’em right? That’s the way a group of educators in New Jersey are looking at students’ love for all things social media. Instead of fighting it, they’re embracing it.

The Freehold Regional High School District has its own Twitter account, @FRHSD, and Superintendent Charles Sampson blogs on his own web page.

Teachers are also tailoring assignments to Twitter and getting student feedback on Facebook regarding curriculum. One teacher uses Twitter to post assignments and help students plan by using a Twitter hasthtag. The students can then update her on their progress and ask questions if they are having problems with an assignment.

“Students need to learn to work together to solve problems — schools heard a lot of that in the ’80s and ’90s from businesses and the community,” Language Arts Teacher Jeff Moore said. “This technology makes it so much easier for teachers to engage students. … It’s taking the school out into the real world.”

Now obviously this raises concerns for both parents and school staff. There was the teacher who was suspended from her Philadelphia High School when she called her students “Lazy Whiners” on her blog.

It’s situations like these that are causing schools to write up social media policies for teachers and staff. One Superintendent says he worries less about missteps like those and more about students being behind on technology.

He said, “I think schools are probably three to four years behind the rest of the world in how we’re communicating. I think we need to take more of an approach of being on the forefront of visionary tools. That’s what we’re doing this year.”

So what do you think – should schools encourage the use of social media and use it as a tool instead of fighting against it?

Image: SXC

Wajam Places – New Location-Based Search Results

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Back towards the end of July, Wajam – a browser extension that lets you access your friends’ knowledge when you need it – announced they added Google+ social search. Previously, you had access to the results from your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

Today, they made an announcement via their blog, about the addition of Wajam Places. The new location-based feature started rolling out today.

Wajam Places shows you location-based results from your friends directly in Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines while you search. You’ll find:
– friends who LIVE in the city you search for
– places that your friends have LIKED in this city
– places your friends have CHECKED-IN to
– PHOTOS taken by your friends at this location

They gave an example of searching for “Montreal restaurants” on Google. Not only did they find restaurants in Montreal, but also a spa and a bar that their friends checked into recently. This also works on search engines Bing and Yahoo.

We all like first hand recommendations and this is a great tool to get them. This equals more relevant results and some great new places for you to explore, based on your friends from social networking sites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Give it a try and see what you think by downloading it here.

Source: Wajam

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