• Seattle Police Take 911 To Twitter
    The Seattle Police Department just conducted a 12-hour experiment posting almost all its emergency calls on Twitter. "It wanted citizens to see what a day in the life of the department was really like," writes The New York Times. The experiment translated into an average of 40 Twitter messages an hour, for a total of 478 by the end of the day, according to the NYT. The messages ranged from reports of car accidents and a suicide threat to hang-up calls and "suspicious person possible armed with sword."

    User response? Not good. Twitter users "said the feeds were ...

  • Study: Internet Explorer Users Not Bright
    Are Internet Explorer users less intelligent than users of other Web browsers? So concluded Aptiquant after posting an IQ test on its Web site, and then compiling the results from more than 100,000 users. The research firm, which bills itself as a "psychometric consultant," found no substantial difference between users of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

    IE users, however, had below average IQs. What explains the dubious distinction? Well, "IE has about twice the installed base of any other browser, so IQs are more likely to tend toward the mean," explains Business Insider. What's more, "IE is ...

  • Does "Gmail Man" Read Your Email?
    Does Google read Gmail users' mail? Microsoft certainly thinks so, as is well illustrated by a video spoof reportedly produced for internal consumption only. In the video, "Gmail Man" gleefully goes through consumer mail to find keywords for serving them more relevant ads. "The message: Google cares more about advertising revenues than privacy," reports ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

    The purpose of the video, meanwhile, is "to spur the troops selling Office 365 against Google Apps, and specifically, Gmail," Foley adds. The video debuted during Microsoft's annual Global Exchange sales conference last week. "The thing to remember about Microsoft ...

  • Groupon, Foursquare -- Together At Last
    Combining the best of the Web's "check-in" and daily deal services, Foursquare and Groupon have finally teamed up, according to Mashable. "The mutually beneficial relationship will help Foursquare replenish its deals stock and net it access to offers from the current mayor in the deals space," Mashable explains. "Groupon, in turn, will gain added exposure and reach audiences not already subscribed to its email list."

    According to Mashable, Groupon has agreed to share an undisclosed share of revenue with Foursquare. Groupon, however, isn't Foursquare's only daily deal partner. Earlier this month, it rolled out partnerships with LivingSocial, Gilt ...

  • TaskRabbit Goes Mobile, Makes NYC Debut
    "Service networking platform" TaskRabbit is making its mobile debut with the launched of a iOS app for the iPhone and iPod touch. What does TaskRabbit actually do? A "two-way marketplace," the start-up "connects TaskPosters, people who need help, with TaskRabbits, a network of pre-approved and background checked individuals, who have the time and skills needed to complete the listed task," The Next Web explains.

    "The mobile app will allow you to coordinate tasks you can't handle while you're on the go, which is exactly when the busiest people need it." Even more exciting for The Next Web, TaskRabbit ...

  • Quora Tests "Credits" System, User Profiles
    Question-and-answer site Quora has begun testing credits system called "Ask to Answer Suggestions." It gives users a budget of 500 Quora credits, which they can use to pay other users to answer questions. The price for questions will eventually increase or decrease based on the answerer's ability to answer questions, as well as their topic expertise.

    Quora has also added the option to include location and employment information in user profiles, letting users broadcast social and business information like where they live, go to school and work. The new profiles also allow for Facebook-style status updates, presumably because ...

  • Google To Speed Up Web, One Page At A Time
    What would publishers do without Google? The search giant has developed a new service that analyzes Web pages and then rewrites their code to make them perform better, while serving them up from Google servers. To use the hosted Page Speed Service, Web publishers are being asked sign up and point their site's Domain Name System entry to Google, from which point the service will grab the site's content, optimizes it for speed, and deliver the pages to end users.

    "Visitors will continue to access a site in the same way as before but could see speed enhancements of ...

  • Android Reigns King Of Mobile Platforms
    Another day, another batch of mobile operating system market research. The latest from Nielsen finds that Android continued its strong growth this past quarter, once again showing progress as it retained its position as the top domestic smartphone platform. "Android finds itself atop the list again with 39% of the market," reports Boy Genius Reports, citing new second-quarter smartphone market share data from Nielsen.

    Apple's iOS remained in the second spot with 28%, followed by Blackberry-maker RIM, which slid to 20% in the second quarter. "Windows Mobile and Windows Phone combined to take 9% of the market, while ...

  • Researchers Developing Fake Review Detection
    Are product- and service-rating services destined to be overrun by fake reviews? Not if Cornell University has anything to say about it. School researchers have developed software they say can detect fake reviews. "The researchers tested the system with reviews of Chicago hotels," reports CNet. They reportedly grouped 400 truthful reviews with 400 deceptive reviews for the study, and then trained their software to spot the difference. The software apparently got it right about 90% of the time.

    "This is a big improvement over the average person, who can detect fake reviews only about 50% of the time," ...

  • Colleges Back High-Speed Web Zones
    Among other factors, greater access to faster Web connections has made the digital boom possible. Any company interested in the Web's continued richness will therefore applaud efforts by a coalition of 28 American universities to help build ultra-high-speed computer networks in communities surrounding the colleges.

    Named GigU, the project is expected to be announced Wednesday. Rather than a consumer-focused initiative, however, the effort "is meant to draw high-tech start-ups in fields like health care, energy and telecommunications to the areas near the universities, many of which are in the Midwest or outside of major cities," according to The ...

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