LG’s Optimus G might not have gotten the same attention as the Nexus 4, but it’s the cream of LG’s 2012 crop. And to that end, the company has just announced that it will roll out the Optimus G smartphone globally to ove 50 new countries in the coming months.
Singapore will get the Optimus G by the end of January, and then the 4.7-inch beast will makes its way to other LTE-ready markets across the world.
The Optimus G has a pretty impressive spec sheet, including a 1080p HD IPS display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel camera. Of course, the G also comes with 4G LTE support and will be upgraded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box.
Don’t forget, though, that the Optimus G Pro, the original G’s 5-inch 1080p successor, is just around the corner.
There’s no word yet on country-by-country pricing or availability for the Optimus G.
Amazon’s Alexa has been the default tool for website ranking for what feels like forever, and although services like Compete and Quantcast offer alternatives, nothing has come close to usurping Alexa as the go-to tool for anyone wanting to compare their global traffic with that of a rival. SimilarWeb has recently launched with the aim of doing just that.
SimilarWeb comes from an Israeli team that has produced a range of browser plugins such as SimilarSites in the past four years. Now, using data collected from the total install base of “tens of millions” of these plugins, the company is offering its own tool to analyse the traffic of any website.
Why use this rather than Alexa? Well, SimilarWeb offers more fine-grained data, such as a percentage breakdown of different traffic sources (so you can see what proportion of visitors came via social shares, email, search etc); engagement levels by users in different countries; the most popular specific referring sites and destination sites resulting from links to and from the site in question, and rankings of websites by category and country.
Oh, and it also looks a darn sight nicer than Alexa’s dated interface.
As you’d expect, you can run comparisons of sites, viewing data for up to three sites together if you choose.
Of course, the first thing you do when you try a service like this is to test it with your own website. SimilarWeb’s data for The Next Web doesn’t quite mirror the data we receive from our own analytics packages (although there’s an upward trend in both), but as with Alexa data, SimilarWeb information can only ever be indicative of trends, not taken as gospel.
SimilarWeb is currently completely free, although a paid-for Pro version will be added in coming months, offering extra features.
It’s good to see someone looking to topple Alexa with a fresh take on website ranking, and if the SimilarWeb team keeps developing their product in the face of an increasingly stale incumbent rival, maybe they might succeed.
Image credit: Digital Vision / Thinkstock
See the original post here: SimilarWeb looks to topple Alexa with a fresh take on website ranking
Twitter is opening a new office in its second-biggest market by users: Brazil. The new office, Reuters reports, will allow Twitter more direct access to the 40 million users of the service in that country.
“We believe our new office in Brazil will allow us to get closer to the users and show the value of our platform,” Twitter’s country manager for Brazil, Guilherme Ribenboim, told Reuters. “Brazil has rather mature Internet and advertisement markets. Our audience is very big and active. We are going to try to monetize it.”
In addition to being second in number of Twitter accounts, Brazil is fifth in usage, according to numbers from Semiocast, though that growth is slow due to Facebook’s popularity in the country.
The reports says that only 1/3 of Brazil’s tweets are posted from mobile devices, which is half of the volume posted from mobile in the US.
Facebook overtook Google’s Orkut in Brazil with over 36M visitors back in January of 2012. At that time, Twitter sat at 4th in Comscore’s numbers. In 2012, Internet Media Services took on ad sales for Twitter across Spanish-speaking Latin America. Opening an office could very well mean that Twitter wants more direct control of its ad efforts in the area.
In November of 2012, Comscore reported that Latin Americans spent 56% more time on social networking sites than the worldwide average, with Brazilians spending 9.7 hours on sites that month. At that time, Facebook remained on top, with LinkedIn following and Twitter scoring the third slot. Orkut wrapped up fourth place with a 62% drop y/y.
Twitter hired Ribenboim as its first general director in Brazil in November of 2012. We’ve reached out to Twitter to confirm the office opening.
By way of confirmation, Twitter pointed us to Ribenboim’s tweet in December:
Queria agradecer aos jornalistas que participaram no nosso evento de lancamento. Otimas perguntas e interacao. Ate breve! #TwitterNoBrasil
— guilherme ribenboim (@guilhermerib) December 5, 2012
Image Credit: Sean Gallup/Staff
View original post here: Twitter to open office in Brazil, its second-biggest market after the US in accounts
Google has quietly deactivated a feature for users of its search engine from mainland China that notified them of a potential government-backed disruption in service when sensitive keywords were inputted, censorship monitoring service Great Fire reports.
According to Great Fire’s records, Google removed the warning sometime in early December. It has also taken down the support page explaining the now defunct feature. The company first turned the notification on last May after internal research revealed that searching for certain censored keywords from within China would cause the search engine to stop working.
The move is an interesting one, as it could be taken as an act of self-censorship. Still, the feature didn’t provide much functional use other than to explain to users that the government, rather than Google, was to blame for the broken connections.
Google and China have repeatedly butted heads over censorship. The search engine refused to censor its results in China in 2010 and was thus forced out of the country. Google.cn currently redirects to Google.hk, and the Chinese government censors sensitive keywords using its own filtering system.
After the loss of its bread-and-butter search service in China, Google has faced a gradual attrition of its other products. In recent months, it shut down its Music and Shopping services in the country. In November, the Chinese government temporarily blocked access to all Google services, including Maps, Docs and Gmail. Though the full block was eventually rescinded, the products still face obstructions, as they are currently so slow as to be almost unusable.
Even as Google’s relationship with the Chinese government has crumbled, the company is continuing to invest across Asia. Three data centers are currently being built in the region, with facilities in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong location is of particular note, as it will come under full Chinese jurisdiction in 2047 and could potentially be subject to government intervention ahead of schedule. Of course, 30+ years is a long time in the Internet age, but Google will have counted the costs before opening a center in such close proximity to the mainland.
China appears to be in the process of tightening its control on the domestic Internet. It recently passed a law that will require real-name registration for all Internet users. Even with the increased restrictions, some loopholes remain. The New York Times recently called attention to the apparent easy access to illegal drugs and guns online, while the newspaper’s own site remains blocked.
Image credit: Franko Lee / AFP / Getty Images
The company announced earlier this month that it planned to close down its South Korea web portal at the end of December. Since then, users who go onto the site have been greeted with a message that says it will be shut down by December 31 (link via Google Translate).
Back in October, Yahoo announced that it would pull out of South Korea by the end of 2012 as CEO Marissa Mayer focuses on stronger markets. At that time, it cut about 200 jobs in that country. In a statement then, Mayer said “this decision is part of our efforts to streamline operations and focus our resources on building a stronger global business that’s set up for long-term growth and success.” As Yonhap notes, Yahoo was overshadowed in South Korea by local portal operators NHN and Daum Communications, and claimed less than 1 percent of that country’s search market by the time it made its decision to pull out. Yahoo has also been cutting its less successful properties in other Asian countries: earlier in December, the Sunnyvale-based company shuttered its Chinese music service.
See the article here: Yahoo Bids Farewell to South Korea, Completes Exit