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What happened to Google+?

This interesting piece in Business Insider talks about the changes recently announced by Google in its strategy with Google+. According to the article, although millions of people use the social network daily, most of them only do it in order to connect to one of the many Google services that are kind of linked together by Google+.

At the end of the day, according to data gathered by researcher Edward Morbis, only about 6 million out of 2.2 billion profiles are actively using Google+.



How to install the Google Toolbar on Firefox 5

OK, you love Firefox, and you can’t live without the Google Toolbar extension. And you’re really upset because, after upgrading to Firefox 5, you found out that your lovely and useful Google Toolbar extension is incompatible with the new version. That’s really a shame.

What should you do? Go back to a Firefox previous version? Continue using Firefox 5 without the toolbar, until Google take a merciful look at the trials and tribulations of poor Web users who happen not to use their Chrome browser? (note: see UPDATE 1 below)



The male dominance in Google+


After its launch, Google+ attracted a lot of attention. During its first weeks, many people unsuccessfully waited for an invitation that allowed them to join the new social bandwagon, that some analysts pointed as a potential threat to Facebook.

Nevertheless, it seems that most early users from Google+ came from the techie and nerd communities.

You just have to take a look at the top of the list of Google+ users with most followers to reach that conclusion: instead of Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, there we will find Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergei Brin.

This data comes from Google+ Statistics Website, maintained by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, co-founder of Twitter Counter, which also brings some interesting information on the male/female ratio of Google+ users: men account for 88% of the user base, against only 10% of women (and 2% of “other”). That’s a HUGE difference, indeed.



Google will shut down its Translate API



Last May 26, Google announced that its Google Translate API, one of the most popular APIs of the search giant, has been officialy deprecated.

The Translate API is extensively used by a wide array of  Web publishers and applications focused on the creation of multilingual contents. It seems that this use was so huge that even the Palo Alto behemoth was “burdened”, as the official note states:

Important: The Google Translate API has been officially deprecated as of May 26, 2011. Due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse, the number of requests you may make per day will be limited and the API will be shut off completely on December 1, 2011. For website translations, we encourage you to use the Google Translate Element.

In fact, as one can read in the note, the translation services won’t be entirely shutdown, only its API. Google Translate Element will be an option for those who will still want to use the Google translation services. It allows the automatic translation of Web sites without using the API directly.

Nevertheless, plugins like WordPress Global Translator will not be able to access the Google Translate API, from December on. Luckily, in this case, the plugin already offers Babel Fish, Promt, and FreeTranslations engines as alternatives to Google translation services. The same can’t be told about other plugins though.

Anyway, it’s bad news for anyone who strongly bets on the cloud and its so-called advantages.

Together with the Translate API, Google has also deprecated and scheduled for shutdown on December other APIs (though those are not so popular as the Translation API):

Another seven APIs have been deprecated by Google, but still not scheduled for shutdown:

Which one will be next on queue? Google Maps? Make your own bet.

Google survey finds that tablets are used mostly for gaming

A survey run by Google in March found that the most popular actitivy on tablets is playing games (84%), followed by searching for information (78%), emailing (74%) and reading news (61%). The “admob” tablet survey had 1,430 respondents, and was focused on tablet usage.

Another conclusion of the survey was that tablet usage sometimes surpasses the time spent on desktops and television.

43% of respondents spend more time on using their tablets than their desktops and laptops, and 33% spends more time on tablets than on TV. At the same time, 77% of users report that their usage of traditional computers has decreased after getting tablet. 28% said that the tablet is, in fact, their primary personal computer.

Tablets are mostly used at home (82% of respondents), and almost 70 percent of users spend at least one hour daily on their tablets, whereas 89% use their tablets at least 30 minutes a day. Most people use their tablets on weekends (69%) and during the night (62%).