Sept 20 – 28

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This week’s headline story: Google’s New Algorithm

new-google-algorithmHappy birthday Google! The Internet giant turned 15 years old last week. In celebration of its birthday, Google held a press conference at the Menlo Park, Calif., garage where Google was launched, announcing a new search algorithm called “Hummingbird.” With Hummingbird, Google search results become more useful and relevant, especially when you ask Google long, complex questions such as “who were the best jazz musicians in the 20th century?” and “how does butter compare to olive oil?”

“Google is trying to embrace natural language search more fully, especially as more people start to use voice search via their smartphones,” notes Ken Saunders, president of Search Engine Experts. “As a result, search queries get longer and use more words.” Google is betting that smartphone users will prefer Google’s search technology over Apple’s Siri. In addition to improving search for Android users, a new improved Google search app that utilizes Hummingbird will be available for iPhone and iPad users in mid-October.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Back in the year 2000, 7 years after the first web browser was released, only half of the U.S. population was using the Internet. Today 85 percent of the US population is online. The remaining 15 percent are not offline due to the digital divide or some form of social injustice. They are mostly offline by choice. The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that 92 percent of offline adults are not interested in using the Internet and email and won’t become interested in the future.Little Interest in Internet Among the Offline 15 Percent [Ecommerce Times]

and in Information Security news this week…

  • Los Angeles Unified School District officials have halted a $1 billion program aimed at putting iPads in the hands of every student in the nation’s second-largest school system. The locked down, custom designed iPads, intended to be used only for schoolwork, were hacked within a week, providing students with access to social media, streaming music, and everything else online.High School Students Breach School iPads’ Security [NewsFactor]

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Apple has once again broken sales records, selling 9 million new iPhone 5s and 5c models in just three days after the launch on Sept. 20.How Apple Really Set New iPhone Sales Records [NewsFactor]
  • Apple iOS7’s new iTunes Radio service is fast becoming the most popular music streaming service on iOS 7with more than 11 million people using the service.11 Million People Already Using iTunes Radio [NewsFactor]
  • Amazon has released the Kindle Fire HDX tablet. The 3rd generation Kindle Fire comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions with an HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, more memory and dual stereo speakers. It also includes free 24x7x365 tech support. Amazon is able to sell its new tablet at only slightly higher than cost, undercutting competitors like the iPad, due to Amazon’s ability to make money from selling content like books, music, movies, and software.Amazon’s Fire HDX Could Torch the Competition [Ecommerce Times]
  • Google is opening its Google Shopping Express service to shoppers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Google Shopping Express is a premium service that offers free same-day delivery from chain stores, including Whole Foods, Target, Office Depot and Walgreens.Google Makes It Official With Same-Day Delivery Debut [Ecommerce Times]

and finally…

  • Blackberry has agreed to an intent-to-purchase $4.7 billion deal that would take it private. Fairfax Financial Holdings, which already owns about 10 percent of the smartphone maker, has signed a letter of intent to pay $9 a share in cash for the company.BlackBerry Signs Letter of Intent, May Sell for $4.7 Billion [NewsFactor]

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