Monday, 30 April 2012

New TEDxOxford Site Launched!

I'm very excited to announce that my team and I at TEDxOxford are launching the brand new TEDxOxford website! We have teamed up with the awesome guys at Oxford-based One Ltd to launch our new site and we're super excited about it! Please check out the new site and give any feedback you have in the comments below!

In the TED spirit of ‘ideas worth spreading’ TEDxOxford is all about the power of imagination and innovation. Christopher Toumazis (Keble College, Oxford University) was inspired to launch the conference and was joined by a bunch of other equally quirky and inspired Oxford University students from across the colleges who felt that there was a definite gap for TED in the university scene.

After months of extensive preparation and marketing tactics that ranged from simple business cards with 260911 put in student’s pigeon holes, to a red balloon clad Oxford (and more specifically a balloon adorned Radcliffe Camera), the first event happened at the T.S Eliot theatre in Merton College Oxford on the 26th of September 2011.

TEDxOxford 2011 was a truly fantastic day with speakers ranging from PR dynamo Kelly Cutrone (now to be seen on this season’s America’s Next Top Model), Creation Records founder Alan McGee to Oxford Professor of Mathematics Marcus du Sautoy and the leading regenerative medicine expert Aubrey de Grey. See photos from the event on Facebook.

This year TEDxOxford 2012 (in line with the much used but very apt cliché) is going to be bigger and better than ever! It is going to be held in November at the Oxford Playhouse (date tbc) and is going to be an unforgettable day.

The TEDxOxford 2012 line up is already looking incredible and it promises to be an experience that is not only focused on ideas – but also providing a more interactive experience for attendees with multiple workshops happening in the breaks between speakers.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Google Drive Exists (And We Have Proof!)

Digging around the Chromium bugs website this evening resulted in the discovery of this screenshot posted by a Googler on the 28th of February 2012 which, although intended to display an alignment bug on the page accidentally includes information relating to the fabled Google Drive.

The screenshot is of the extensions page and features an entry for an extension titled "Google Drive (by Google)", with an attached description of "Save web content to Google Drive".

This is one of the first pieces of firm proof beyond rumour that indicates that the Google Drive is truly in development and will be launched soon.

Since the extension is used for clipping web content to the Google Drive it seems that the 'GDrive' will likely be a combination of advanced bookmarking of web content as well as used for storing traditional desktop files. This makes sense, since files are required by enterprise for legacy reasons but unifying an interface for web content (cloud documents) and traditional files and folders would ease the transition from files to the cloud.

Doing a little more digging reveals that the extension was first referred to by a Googler in August 2011 here so the extension has been in testing for some time, perhaps we could expect a Summer launch marking one year after they started testing internally? Let us know your predictions in the comments below!

For more of the latest discoveries about Google follow me on Twitter or subscribe for updates!

Bonus: The window in this screenshot doesn't feature a minimize button, what kind of a system could this Googler be running on? Perhaps an advanced version of ChromiumOS with window management..? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Facebook Launches Advertising on Photos

Following the recent mainstream roll out of the Facebook Timeline it seems Facebook has decided to roll out a new Photos UI to go with it.

The new user interface has a very Lightbox feel to it with nicely placed 'Like' and 'Tag' buttons when the image is rolled over. It breaks away from the more traditional vertical layout that many websites use to place comments on the right, perhaps in a bid to focus users to spend more time considering the social interaction around a photo rather than the photo itself.

Controversially, the new comments-on-side interface allows a large blank space for advertising on photos. This will inevitably add a very large new revenue stream, especially given the amount of time the average Facebook user spends browsing photos on the Social Networking site.

ComScore and BuddyMedia recently put together this excellent report on social media which included the following chart which makes it pretty clear why Facebook is keen to run as many adverts as possible on users photos.

Since it's recent IPO many are speculating that Facebook may make some unpopular commercial changes in order to boost income which may cause it to go the same way as MySpace.

Of course it is only a matter of time before this change is rolled out to all of Facebook and the people cry out in revolt as they do at every change. Give it one week and people will probably no longer notice but I'll bet this change will pay off significantly in terms of new revenues.