Bing Undergoes Redesign

I would guess not many of you have noticed this, since much of our audience probably regards Bing as a joke, but the team over at Bing has redesigned their search results pages. The page is now much cleaner than it once was, with a true no-nonsense feel. The only items on the page are the search results, one or two ads and a list of related searches.

In addition to cleaning up the overall design by removing all of the color splashes and by moving the related search list from the left to the right, they’ve also removed your search history and the ability to narrow your search results by time period.

Although the page’s color palette now resemble Google more than it ever has before, the actual layout of the page is much more minimal than Google’s current design. Below, I’ve included a comparison of Bing and Google. Both searches were performed within an incognito window, so I am not signed into either service. If you’re interested in more details about the redesign, you can view the official post on the Bing blog.

Google IO 2012 Moved to June & Now Three Days

google ioThis morning Google announced that they have moved the Google IO conference from May to June 2012. The blog post on the Google developer blog has all of the details on the new dates. Google I/O 2012 will now take place from June 27-29, 2012 in San Francisco.

No details yet on when registration will open for the event – last year the registration sold out in minutes so you better be quick this year.

I attended the event last year as a paid attendee and thought it was ok overall – way too crowded. Frankly it seemed like most people went for the stuff they handed out which included a Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet and a Samsung Chromebook.

I wonder how Google will deal with the people who already booked travel and have to pay fees to change their tickets/hotel bookings.

Adjusting Cross-Domain Analytics Data

Anyone that’s used Google Analytics to track cross-domain requests has probably run up against the fact that Analytics adds some really ugly GET variables to the end of your URLs when you click on links. Not only are they ugly, but they also can stop things like WP Super Cache from caching your pages. We also found that the query string appended by Google Analytics was causing server errors when appended to the URLs of some of our hosted apps.

There is a little-publicized feature in Analytics, though, that lets you change the query string into a hash string. Therefore, instead of having some long, ugly string that can mess things up (and, to be honest, long, confusing query strings can sometimes scare users); you get a long, ugly hash appended to the URL, instead (which has no effect on the way the page is rendered, and, therefore, doesn’t mess up nearly as many things).

Google Launches Initial Google+ API

googleGoogle’s latest attempt at social networking, Google+, now has a new first-cut at a developer API. The Google+ Platform blog has info on the release of the new API.

Startup blogger Robert Scoble put together a list of some of the feedback on the new API – it seems the reaction is mixed. RSS creator Dave Winer says Google “doesn’t get it”. Why am I surprised that a company who has a VP, Bradley Horowitz, post on Twitter that he only cares about Twitter users with over 100,000 followers might not fully understand how to promote a new API to developers?

The Google Plus team notes that they are using the follow existing standards and best practices where they can:

  • Our API methods are RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON responses.
  • Our payload formats use standard syntax (e.g. PoCo for people info, ActivityStrea.ms for activities).
  • We use OAuth 2 for secure trusted access to user data.

The Google Plus API is located here if you want to start to play with it.

IE6 Usage Below 5% in the U.S.

According to a new website Microsoft launched last week; currently only 2.9% of Internet users in the United States are using Internet Explorer 6. Worldwide, IE6 usage is still at 12.0%. However, only 10 of the 43 countries displayed on the chart have higher than 5% IE6 usage. Of those 10 countries, 8 are Asian nations.

Using Google’s CDN for WordPress JavaScript

As you probably know by now, Google hosts most of the major JavaScript libraries on its own content distribution/delivery network (CDN) for everyone to use. However, WordPress actually comes bundled with many of the same JavaScript libraries. So, what are you to do when you want to use Google’s copy? Sure, you could simply include the call to the Google JavaScript library of your choice in your theme files, but that would cause the library to load twice in many cases (potentially causing conflicts all over the place).

The way to handle this, quite simply, is to tell WordPress not to use its local copy of the library; but to use Google’s copy instead. To do so, you simply “deregister” the WordPress copy (for these examples, I will be showing how to use Google’s jQuery library), then register (and potentially enqueue) the Google copy.

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