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When it comes to cloud productivity services and education, it’s easy to think that Google is the only game in town. Google, after all, seems to make an announcement every time a new school signs up for Google Apps for Education. Microsoft, however, has been quietly expanding its reach in the education market with Live@edu over the last few...

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Google’s most high-profile failure of the last few weeks was definitely its Gmail app for iOS. The first version was such a bug-ridden mess that Google decided to pull it from the App Store within hours of its release. It’s not clear how the original app made it through Apple’s and Google’s quality tests, but today, Google finally brought...

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After repeated rumors, based on notoriously unreliable data from online traffic analytics companies, Digg had to actually post its Google Analytics numbers on its blog yesterday. These numbers show that the site still gets about 17 million unique visitors a month. While Digg has to be defensive about these numbers, though, its competitors at Reddit – which used to be much smaller before Digg’s missteps last year – now celebrate 28 million uniques in October. Digg argues that because close to 50% of its visitors come to the site directly, monitoring firms like Quantcast and Compete can’t accurately measure its traffic.

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Google just announced that Google+ now offers developers a way to get photos and videos out of Google+ and into their apps. As Google is slowly opening up the APIs for its new social network, it makes sense for the company to tackle photos and videos first. These, after all, are one of the backbones of Google+ (though I could do without the support for animated GIFs). Not only do its users get virtually unlimited space for their photos, but a number of professional photographers like Trey Radcliff and Thomas Hawk are using the new network to their fullest advantage.

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Until earlier this year, you could do a Google search and use the ‘+’ operator in front of any word to make sure that Google would search for this specific term. Now that Google is moving towards using ‘+’ as a way to find Google+ profiles, though, this option is gone. Instead, Google asked users to use double quotes to ensure that none of Google’s usual corrections, personalizations or other changes are applied to this term. Now, however, after some vocal opposition against the disappearance of the ‘+’ search operator, Google is introducing a new tool that brings some of this functionality back: verbatim search.

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Google today announced that it will start personalizing your Google Maps experience with your ratings and personalized recommendations. For now, Google is keeping these new features very subtle. Indeed, unless you look very closely, you may just overlook the new symbols. Places you have already rated will now appear with a number of dots underneath their respective symbols, corresponding to the star rating you gave them. Recommended places now feature a slight orange glow around their symbols.

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Apple just launched iTunes Match, its cloud-based music backup and streaming service for iOS, Mac and PC. With iTunes Match, users can store up to 25,000 of their own songs from iTunes in the cloud. Unlike others music locker services (including Google Music and Amazon’s music locker), Apple managed to get a license from the music labels that allows it to just check whether it offers a certain song you have in your library in its store and then make that copy available for you

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Until now, Google Apps for Business users who pay a monthly or annual per-user fee to use the business versions of Gmail, Google Docs and similar services under their own domain names had one problem: the only real support option was over email. While that may work for most problems, quite a few users actually prefer to get an immediate answer and to talk to somebody knowledgeable over the phone. Starting today, Google now provides 24x7 phone support for Google Apps for Business users for all issues related to the product’s core services. These include Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar, among others.

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Here is a fun little poll that I wouldn’t put too much stock into, but that will likely spur some interesting discussions in both the tech and political blogospheres today. According to a new survey commissioned by Poll Position (PDF), 20% of Republicans consider AOL to be the best email provider. Only 5.3% of Democrats think so.

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Google just acquired Katango, a service that can automatically organize your friends on social networks into groups. Katango only launch its first product, a Facebook-focused iPhone application, this July. At the time, I already thought that Katango was really more of a feature than a product and that “I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody like Twitter, Google or Facebook would take an interest in buying the company.” Clearly, Google thought so to. Indeed, when I first talked to Katango’s VP of product Yee Lee, he pointed out that his company was already talking to the “big two” players in the social networking space.

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Apple just released an update to its iOS operating system for the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. While the x.0.1 number indicates that this is only a small update, this is actually a major update for those iPhone 4S users who are having issues with the battery life of their devices. For other iOS users, this update also includes some...

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Just a few days after the launch of its business and brand pages for Google+, Google today announced the availability of a set of dynamic badges. These new badges allow publishers and brands to allow their readers and users to subscribe to their new pages directly from their own websites without sending them to Google+ first. For now, this is a limited release, however. Only users who are part of the Google+ Platform Preview group can create these interactive badges for now.

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The first stable release of Mozilla’s Firefox appeared exactly 7 years ago on November, 9 2004. Quite a few things have changed for Mozilla and Firefox since then, including the arrival of interactive web apps that most developers and designers were only dreaming about 7 years ago. Instead of looking back to how Firefox changed over the years, though,...

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Managing email is something very few people enjoy. Over time, though, a few tactics for keeping the steady flow of messages under control have proven quite useful. Using flags or stars to mark important messages, for example, has become one of those tactics that most of us use to keep our inboxes in working order. With the latest release...

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Mozilla today announced that version 8 of its Firefox browser is now available. This update makes Twitter Search a first-class citizen in the Firefox search bar. With today’s update, Twitter will appear as a search option for Firefox users on Mac, Windows and Linux. Also new in this version is a new safety mechanism that prevents third-party software from installing add-ons that you likely weren’t interested in anyway, as well as better support for WebGL, a technology that allows developers to render 3D graphics in your browser.