Weekly Tech Update 29 November 2012

Weekly Tech Update with Michael Walmsley

Welcome to the Weekly Tech Update with me, Mike Walmsley. It’s a look at everything that has happened in the world of technology, the Internet, Search Engines and social media over the last week. This week I have stories about Apple, Google, the Nexus 4 and did a couple really name their baby Hashtag?

Technology

If you want to get your hands on a Nexus 4 phone then you will be able to buy it from Three as of next month. Currently the flagship Android phone from LG is only available from O2. Both will sell you the phone for £399.99. But if you want a real bargain then buy it direct from Google who will only charge you £279.00 for a 16GB model.

Do you remember last month when Apple announced they were going to release a couple of ultra-thin new iMacs? Well they have finally said that they will be available from November 30th. The 21.5” version will cost £1099 and the 27” version £1499. Are you tempted with either an iMac or Nexus 4? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Internet

Deloitte have estimated that smartphones will be involved in the purchase of £3.5 billion worth of goods this Christmas. This is not just purchasing but also includes researching products and checking prices. They also say that there will be £500 million of sales made via tablets. With tablets such as the Nexus 7 selling for a mere £159 then they are likely to become as ubiquitous as laptops over the next 18 months. So if your brand does not have a strategy for dealing with mobile customers then you’d better hurry up and catch up or you are likely to miss out on a lot of business.

If you use Gmail then you will be overjoyed to hear that you can send 10GB files. This is due to the fact that Gmail is getting closer integration with Google Drive. In reality you do not send the file via email but rather the recipient will be able to access the file on your Google Drive. If the recipient does not have permission to see the document then you will be prompted to grant them this permission when you “attach” the document.

Search Engines

There was an issue for some users of Google Webmaster Tools yesterday when it emerged that some accounts had had old data including access to sites that they should not have access to such as former clients. Google have released a statement to say that the issue is now fixed and that they are looking into ways to ensure the issue does not arise again. It sounds to me as though they have used some old data, possibly from a back up, inadvertently.

You might have wondered whether using synonyms in your body copy is good or bad from a search perspective. Matt Cutts has said in a video posted this week that they are fine as long as your text is natural. Google employ a synonym team that actively searches for words that have the same meaning so that text can be indexed properly. I think that synonyms can also help prevent your articles from appearing spammy so they are a good tool to use when constructing your text. You can read more about this issue on my blog.

Social Media

Firefox users have gained greater Facebook integration that allows users to chat with their Facebook friends even when they’re not on the Facebook site. As well as being able to see which of your friends are online and be able to chat with them you also receive notifications when people have commented on your posts or tagged you in a photo. So which browser do you use? Personally I prefer Chrome, leave me a comment and let me know your preference.

And as we are talking about Facebook I thought I would point out a rubbish scam that is doing the rounds at the moment. It seems like everybody is posting statuses that they have copied and pasted from elsewhere saying that nobody has the right to copy or use their content. The message is full of gibberish legalese but it sounds impressive. The bit that made me smile is the way that after threatening people with who knows what if anybody uses their content they status finishes off by saying that other users should post something similar on their wall and that they can copy this statement if they like. But hang on, didn’t you just say nobody could copy your content? I rest my case.

And finally, it has been reported that a couple in America have named their new born daughter Hashtag. I have to be honest and say that I have my doubts about the authenticity of this story but if it is true I wish little baby Hashtag all the best for the future as you’re going to need it when you get to secondary school. If you had to call your child a technology related term what would you choose? I quite like Bitly.

Michael Walmsley is a freelance web designer based in Blackburn, Lancashire, UK. He has over a decade of experience of working online. In addition to web design he is also a search engine optimisation specialist, social media consultant and online marketing expert. You can contact Michael by completing the contact form at the bottom of the page or calling 0800 779 7829.