Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Google Plus Your World: Google takes search to the next level

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

2012 has only just begun and Google is already making news in the online world with Google Plus Your World. The search engine has always brought information from across the web. Now with Google Plus Your World, Google has rolled out its most innovative gimmick yetfor its search results.

Searches will provide all web activities related to your search including the personal ones too including:

  • Photos of friends
  • Profiles of people you know or follow
  • Family or friends posts from other social networks such as FaceBook and Twitter

With Google Plus Your World you can expand your online community by discovering people related to your search.

How Google Plus Your World works

A Google Plus Your World search combines “regular” search results with various web pages associated with YOU personally, displaying different things you intended to share. This happens only with your friends on Google+, right within the search results.

As creepy as it sounds, now, if you feed Google some obscure keyword and this keyword is present somewhere on your friends’ social media pages, those pages are likely to be included into your search results. The outcome can be quite surprising. For example, if a friend or colleague posted a link or mentioned the name of a hotel they stayed at on Twitter or FaceBook and you performed a search for that hotel, their post will come up in your search results.  This is the power of Google Plus Your World.

Who can use Google Plus Your World?

Google Plus Your World is available to Google users who are signed in to Google and searching on https://www.google.com in English.People, Pages, and Profiles will now be integrated into the search. The new features will display personal results in the SERPs, mostly from the Google network.

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  • No write off costs relating to redundant promotional material
  • Visitors can help themselves to information; anytime, anywhere, and as often as they wish – making them more likely to do so

Getting started with Woza Online

Getting started with Woza Online is very simple and it will not cost you a dime. Simply visit www.wozaonline.co.za and push the “get started now” button and follow the simple instructions. There are various templates to choose from, pick the one you like and add a few details about your business including: contact details, information about your business, products or services you are offering and so forth.

It’s that easy try it now

Facebook Timeline Apps.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Facebook Timeline has been around for a while now, worldwide (available on Mobiles too) and it’s already offering more to the user.  It wasn’t going to be long before we were able to dress our Facebook Timelines up and make them even more personal. It was promised after all, that Facebook Timeline would be able to “tell your story”.

Facebook Timeline Apps have arrived and give Facebook users a chance to share their interests and activities with their friends. There are literally hundreds of Facebook Timeline Apps that are available to add. These range from travel, cooking and scrap booking to fitness and news.

Facebook Timeline Apps give Facebook users the chance to personify their profile and make it unique to their personal interests. By adding as many apps as desired, Facebook Timeline users are able to build up a personal portfolio of interests.

So what do I do once I have added an App?

Facebook Timeline Apps create a platform for Facebook users to interact with others who share in the same interests. It is a great way of sharing recipes, workouts, reviews and ideas. The benefit of Facebook Timeline Apps depends on the App itself and the amount of interaction the user has with it.

Once the App has been added, Facebook users are able to delete posts that appear in their Timeline Feed. It is also possible to control who can see the Timeline App and your activity on it. This is done through the personal settings which are edited through the Activity Log.

Share, discover and learn! Facebook is certainly encouraging more and more interaction! Find a Facebook App that you can enjoy.

Panoramio: Google takes picture sharing to the next level

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

What is Panoramio?

Are you familiar with Flickr or Twitpic? Well, Panoramio is also a picture sharing website; except it is geolocation-oriented which means one can find images taken near a specific location around the world. Photos loaded on to Panoramio can be accessed as a layer in Google Earthand Google Maps, with new photos being added at the end of every month. Panoramio’s goal is to allow Google Earth users to learn more about a given area by viewing the photos that other users have taken at that place. Panoramio is available in all major international languages.

Benefits of Panoramio

The biggest advantage of Panoramio is that you can join a group of users who share in the same interests you do. Panoramio Groups allow for discussions about a topic you may feel enthusiastic about. “Wild animals in Africa”, “Traditional Dances”, “Portraits” or “cars” can be topics worth a discussion.

You can share your passions through photographs more collaboratively with Panoramio Groups. This new feature lets you create a sub-community within Panoramio around a topic you’re passionate about, so you can easily engage with like-minded photographers and hobbyists.

You may also use Panoramio groups to organise a Panomeeting and share the experiences and photos of the meeting with the world. You may also want to use Panoramio groups to organise a photo competition. The opportunities are many.

Only your imagination can decide what can be done with Panoramio groups.

To upload a photo, you’ll first need to be registered. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to sign up for Panoramio. Anybody with a Google account can join Panoramio and start sharing photos with the world immediately. Panoramio has an official iPhone application and third party developers have released a Windows Phone 7 version of Panoramio. This allows users to browse through the various images posted to www.panoramio.com

Get posting and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

iPad2 vs. the original iPad: what’s changed?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The iPad 2 embraces the vision, innovation and forward thinking of the company’s late founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. The first iPad introduced the world to the future of the computer and how it will operate. With the iPad2 already on our shelves that future we have all been eagerly anticipating for is indeed already here.

Just under one year ago, Apple shocked the computing world with a 9.7-inch touch-screen tablet that few truly expected. Some called the original Apple iPad a large-format iPhone. Now at only just 0.34 inch thin and weighing as little as 1.33 kilograms with over 55 000 applications at your finger tips, the iPad 2 has rendered all its critics speechless.
The iPad 2 feels completely comfortable in your hands sporting an extra slim design. In fact, the designers say the iPad 2 is an extension of you, the user.

What is the difference between the new ipad2 and the original iPad

If you purchased an iPad, should you be regretting it today? Short answer- yes. Long answer- let’s look at the specs on both tablets. Without paying too much attention, it may appear that these devices look basically the same but there are a number additions to the iPad 2.

First of all, there are a bunch of things that essentially haven’t changed at all between iPad and iPad 2:

  • The display is exactly the same as before, as is the resolution: 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution.
  • The storage options, 16, 32, and 64GB have not changed
  • Wifi will still be 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth will still be 2.1 + EDR
  • Accelerometer stays the same at 3-axis

So what’s really improved?

  • You’ll be able to get your iPad 2 in black, but you’ll also have the option of a white bezel
  • iPad 2’s processor has been improved from a 1GHz Apple A4 to a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5
  • The original iPad was either 680g or 730g; the iPad 2 is 613g
  • iPad 2 offers a gyroscope where the original iPad did not include one
  • The thickness of the entire unit has been reduced by 33% from 13.4mm to 8.8mm
  • iPad 2 offers not one but two new cameras. The front camera being a VGA webcam and the back being capable of recording videos (this is a significant step up from having no camera at all)
  • iPad 2 also comes with cellular radio

Overall, the iPad2 is a better tablet and the design is an absolute stunner. There have been no drastic complaints from users of the original iPad, however the iPad 2 offers the advancements that we have come to expect from the Apple brand.

Facebook Timeline: the evolution of online socialising

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

We’ve been hearing about it for a while and it has finally been released publically, well in New Zealand at least. Facebook Timeline may one day be the default setting for all Facebook users, however in the mean- time it will slowly become available in various parts of the world. If you would like to enable Facebook Timeline now however, you are able to, in a few simple steps.

Facebook Timeline is in essence, a collection of items that Facebook already allows you to post up on your profile. Photos, videos, posts and other experiences appear in a chronological order. At first, your Facebook Timeline may appear to be rather “incomplete” but over time, as you fill it up and add more to it, a “story of your life” will start developing. Your friends will be able to add pictures etc. to your Facebook Timeline, as they may currently do on your Facebook profile.

Facebook first announced that they would be releasing Facebook Timeline, back in September. With its sudden release in New Zealand, it shouldn’t be too long before all South African Facebook users get to play around with it, if you haven’t already enabled it.

Allowing you to document a “timeline” from your date of birth to present, Facebook Timeline is allowing Facebook users to engage with their friend’s online scrapbook, whilst enjoying the ease of a well- designed interface. Facebook Timeline users will be able to get creative with their profile page and cover photo, a new feature that allows a personalised image at the top of the page.

We certainly think that this is an exciting step in the world of social media. Facebook Timeline shows us that there really are no restrictions to how creative and exciting a Facebook profile can be. Who knows what they will do in the future or how other social media platforms will evolve in time.

Social Screening: the online FBI

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Gone are the days when a great CV and interview were enough to get a job. Most companies are taking advantage of social networking platforms to screen (social screening) potential employees and to get a deeper understanding of who they are.

There are over 535 million social networking users across the world. These users have one or multiple accounts across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Any company looking at hiring new staff, looks for the most qualified and talented people as possible candidates. This is where social screening is an effective method.

Facebook is the ideal platform to investigate further into a person’s character and personality, whilst Twitter identifies a person’s interestsetc. LinkedIn offers a more professional insight into who the person is, as well as their working history.

With companies using social screening to find out more about the people they consider hiring, potential employees should consider “cleaning up” their social media accounts. According to mindflash.com there are 5 ways of ensuring you never get hired, based on social screening:

  • Digital dirt (inappropriate images)
  • Terrible Troll (swearing and adding annoying commentary to blogs posts etc)
  • Big Mouth (negative comments about previous employers etc)
  • Numerous contacts and comments (having inappropriate contacts and participating in inappropriate conversation with them)
  • Being constantly negative (never posting positive comments etc)

Although there are ways to limit the amount of information people are able to view on a personal account, being cautious about what content appears on the social media platform is the safer bet.

Numerous recruitment agencies and companies use social screening to head hunt a potential employee. However social screening is also used to dismiss staff. Although using social screening may take time and possibly cost money (Facebook Ad’s, etc) many companies find it to be the better long term option when trying to find the ideal employee to fill a position. Using social screening also increases the candidate pool.

With social media becoming more and more useful to businesses, it is important to ensure that the content that is visible to the public, compliments who you have said that you are in your CV, etc. Especially if you are looking for a new job.

Apple boss, Steve Jobs steps down

Friday, August 26th, 2011

So Steve Jobs the man we have come to know as “The Apple Man” has stepped down as Apple CEO and chairman. So what does this mean for Apple and the industry at large? There are so many questions on people’s lips but one thing is certain, Tim Cook the current COO will succeed Steve as Apples new CEO.

Tim Cook, was hand-picked by Steve Jobs himself, he has handled the top position repeatedly in the absence of the sickly Jobs. Though he may not be nearly as recognisable as Jobs, Cook had been running Apple since the beginning of 2011. The company has performed really well during that time and has rolled in billions of dollars in profit from around the world.

Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO does not necessarily mean he has left Apple completely – let’s just say he has taken the back sit, and he will continue to contribute his unique insights, creativity and inspiration. Many Apple fanatics hope that his wisdom will transcend through the newly appointed Cook.

On the other hand, Apple’s board of directors have “complete faith” that Tim Cook is the right person to replace him. There’s no doubt that Apple needs to persuade its investors and consumers that it will continue to produce innovative and trend setting technologies if they plan to retain their loyalty.

However, some industry experts don’t have full confidence in Apple’s future: Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research, said “Jobs’ maniacal attention to detail is what has set Apple apart from its competitors”. He also added “Apple’s product pipeline might be secure for another few years”, but he predicted that the company will eventually struggle to come up with market-changing ideas.

Apple’s future as the leading technology company after Steve Jobs’ departure is uncertain to some but the Apple brand is still as strong as ever. I guess from now on only time will reveal all.

Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple’s top man due to illness certainly brings new meaning to the saying: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Facebook “Like” button and promotion guidelines

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Facebook: the universal platform for individuals and businesses. However there has been much speculation about how much of your information remains confidential and how much of it becomes freely available to the Facebook Headquarters and others.

Those using Facebook in the northeastern parts of Germany have been warned to avoid the “Like” button. All government sites within Scheswig- Holstein, (the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany) have been requested by the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection to dismiss every Facebook plug- in. If they do not comply with this request, they will possibly face a fine of about EU€50 000.

This request comes after a press release announced that by pressing the “Like” button or becoming a fan of a page on Facebook, Facebook users become victims of infringement laws. If a Facebook user takes this action their profile and all the information on it becomes available to the Facebook Headquarters in the United States. Germany’s online privacy laws do not under any circumstances support this.

German government websites have removed the “Like” button however other suggestions have been made, such as avoiding Facebook completely. In the mean time, German online authorities are working with Facebook to develop a common understanding and set of privacy issues.

Hosting Facebook competitions and promotions; what are you legally required to do?

Facebook has become one of the most common and popular platforms for companies of all sizes to advertise and host competitions on. Recently released, Facebook has notified these parties of promotional rules. (Promotion Guidelines)

These clearly state than anyone wishing to promote on Facebook is fully responsible for every part of that promotion. All promotions on Facebook MUST include all of the below:

  • Complete release of Facebook (every participant)
  • Clearly state that Facebook in NO way sponsored, administered, is associated with or endorsed the promotion
  • Disclose that participant is supplying information (not to Facebook)

Furthermore any promotion has to be administered within Apps on Facebook, (Canvas page or an app.) With regards to voting or entering a competition, companies cannot ask participants to “Like” a page and may under no circumstance, communicate to winners or participants by sending Facebook messages, posting a comment or using Chat.

For further terms and conditions regarding hosting a competition on Facebook read the Promotion Guidelines.

Talooma’s 67 minutes for Mandela Day

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Talooma visited the Ann Harding Cheshire Home to give 67 minutes for Mandela Day. Dressed up like Hippies (in celebration of our own “Hippie Day”) we spent time with some of the patients and were given an exclusive tour around the home.

Over the last few weeks we have been collecting clothing of all sorts which we planned to hand out on Mandela Day. The clothing was certainly appreciated with open arms when we arrived, (and so were our Hippie outfits.) Everyone at the home, although confused at first, seemed to take a liking to our 60’s dress sense and Mandela Day spirit and certainly had a giggle or two at us.

Located in Northwold, Randburg, the Anne Harding home was founded 30 years ago. Homing people with disabilities caused by various incidents, the home offers a bright, cheerful environment to all its residents. The well kept facilities provide various activities for patients to get involved in, with some playing solitaire, some making beaded jewelry and some just soaking up the warmth of the winter sun in the manicured gardens.

Everyone at Talooma is honored to have been given the opportunity to give their 67 minutes for Mandela Day to such a caring establishment.

Should you want to donate or give some of your time to the Ann Harding Cheshire Home during anytime of the year, call 011 792 3510/ 1 or email willemroos@telkomsa.net

Google search wants to know…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

What Do You Love? An array of things I’m sure. Google loves making lives simple and providing effective tools that allow us to find out more, conveniently.

The recently launched www.wdyl.com otherwise known as “What Do You Love?” is a new service that has been designed to offer information regarding any topic, across multiple Google products. These include:

  • Google Books
  • Google Trends
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Google Alerts
  • Google Search
  • Google Places
  • Gmail
  • Image Search

These are just a few of the platforms that will appear on the extremely clean and well designed tool. www.wdyl.com offers the user various boxes on the page, each displaying search results according to the Google product. The overall idea is to take users to a single page of relevant information across Google’s online products.

Users will get the very best results by entering a broad search term, e.g. “dog.” Once the term has been entered, the user needs to click on the heart button, a sweet but extremely punny addition with love from Google.

This extremely user friendly Google tool is a fantastic combo of the things you love and how to use Google’s search tools. By clicking on any one of the numerous boxes on the results screen, users will be directed to that Google product where they may continue their search as usual.

All round, a really clever addition on Google’s behalf. Easy to use and simply designed. We give www.wdyl a massive thumbs up!