Video kills the other stars
We've got the Emmys, the Oscars and the Grammys, so it was surely a matter of time before entertainment awards hit the net.
Now it's happened, thanks to YouTube, and as happens with the interweb, users are in the driver's seat. Later this month YouTube will open nominations based on the most shared and watched videos of the past year, then the songs and artists to get the honour and glory will be judged by a jury of social sharers.
Leading up to the 3 November live stream (US time) nominees will share videos, concerts, interviews and other material. They call it a chance to discover new music you didn't even know you loved. We call it a shameless play for traffic.
Ringing the tills
Facebook and Cisco's recent collaboration to offer free wi-fi in exchange for using the social network to check in is a clever play for US-based businesses to extract more sales from desperate Christmas shoppers. Stores running CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi can give shoppers access to their wireless network once they check in via a dedicated login page. Once checked in, they can like the store and share promos. Other than more sales, stores can get data to make their ads more targeted. If you thought local Christmas sale advertising was getting more invasive, it seems you haven't seen the half of it.
Here's something for anyone who's ever been exasperated waiting for a piece of software or an update to install. The animation of a tractor driver's torturous journey, by Strasbourg artist Vincent Broquaire, perfectly illustrates how these processes start well but leave us wondering if they'll ever finish.
From hover to launch
We haven't seen the game Hover since the Windows 95 CD, but Microsoft has brought it back it in a bid to show off the capabilities of Internet Explorer 11.
The new version has 3D graphics, touch gameplay and multi-player mode, designed to make the most of IE11's faster performance, touch features and support for WebGL among other standards.
Apparently we have developer Dan Church to thank - he grew up playing Hover and asked Microsoft to update the game, which they did with him and Pixel Labs.
Instagram has cautioned US users they'll start to see "an occaional ad" in their Instagram feeds. Not unexpected from the growing social media site, and an annoyance stateside users will no doubt get used to. According to the company's blog, the first ads will be high quality photos and videos from a small number of brands that are already Instagram members. And they apparently have to be as creative as other content users see in their feeds. The good news is users will be able to hide ads and give feedback about them.