Tech Week In Review

Tech Week in Review 8-12-2011

Google+ Gets Gaming and Shuns Pseudonyms

It’s been rumored for a while and now comes to reality. You can now play games on Google+. This may sound awesome for some and a huge disappointment for others, but Google+ aims to make sure we don’t end up getting spammed to death everytime a friend beats a level in Angry Birds.

That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.

Basically, Games will be tucked away and out of your main stream. Whenever you want to get your Diamond Dash on, just click the Games button. Games are rolling out gradually, as usual, so be on the look out.

On another note, Google has finally responded to this whole pseudonym thing on Google+. The debate has been raging since the service launched, with Google pushing for real names and users pushing for pseudonyms. The arguments for pseudonyms boils down to users being able to engage on Google+ using their existing brand and/or without fearing for their livelihood or safety (abuse survivors, political activists, etc.)

In their video response by Project Manager Saurabh Sharma, Google says they will now give users a 4 day grace period to comply with the real names policy. They also bluntly say that, if you cannot abide by the policy, you can use Google Takeout to pick up your toys and go home. Oh, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. While the policy does seem exclusive and has been enforced poorly, it is Google’s social network and there are alternatives.

Johnny Gill Trippin’ on Twitter

Usually, when an artist’s song leaks, it helps build up a buzz for their upcoming projects. While some artists have voice their concerns on these issues in the past, it seems Johnny Gill had to go all the way in on producer, Ira Dewitt. Wife of St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt says she was wrongly blamed by Johnny Gill and is suing the New Edition singer for defamation. Besides calling her “deranged” and “f**kng nuts,” Gill said Ira’s record company is a sham. Not a good look for Johnny. Especially when most people didn’t even realize he was still making music until they read this story on TMZ. Then again, all publicity is good publicity once a little time passes.

Amazon Launches Web-based Kindle App

Rather than paying Apple 30% of their profits for the privilege of selling books through their Kindle iPhone app, Amazon decided to simply side-step the Apple App Store altogether. Meet the Kindle Cloud Reader. Now, you can consume and purchase Kindle content wherever you are as long as you have an HTML5-based browser. This means just about any device with a screen on it is now a full-fledged Kindle reader with no need to install special software. Take that Apple!

Of course, Apple’s move to take a cut of subscription profits isn’t the only reason Amazon launched Cloud Reader. This is something that’s been in the works for a while. On another note, you can no longer make Kindle purchases in the Kindle iOS app. What have we learned, folks? Once again, we see that the browser is the common denominator and to ignore it as a platform for your application is bad business.

via TC

Facebook Launches Standalone Messenger App

Remember Beluga? That awesome group chat app that Facebook acquired and immediately destroyed by requiring a Facebook Login? It seems Facebook has taken that technology and repackaged it as Facebook Messenger, available for Android and iPhone. Not surprising since the Beluga folks head this particular team. The app does group messaging, photo sharing, and location sharing. It integrates with SMS, Facebook Chat, and Facebook Messages to make sure you can chat with folks even if they don’t actually have the app. Could this be a response to Google+ Huddles? Maybe not, but I’m sure Facebook has Google+ on the brain right now. I’m just waiting for a third-party app to integrate both services.

via Inside Facebook

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