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Jan 21

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What’s the most recognised logo in the world? It would probably be Google’s if only they could stick to one. Yet as the world’s most popular search engine tries out a new favicon, Craig Smith says the old branding rulebook is being rewritten.

 

It’s not the size that matters, it’s how often you use it. So the thinking goes at Google, which has just revealed the design of its latest favicon – the tiny logo that shows any web user, on any web browser, anywhere in the world, precisely whose internet “real estate” they are currently residing upon.

An example of a favicon can be seen at the top of this page (so long as you are using an up-to-date enough web browser). Just in front of the URL http://news.bbc.co.uk/… there is a small BBC logo. That 16×16 pixel square is the size of the favicon in question, if not the scope.

Now consider that, at the website owner’s discretion, the logo appears on every single one of its pages that the world’s web population loads. For Google that amounts to upward of 1, 200 million individual searches. Every day.

Add to that its Google News, Google Images, mobile search and multitude of other online services. Suddenly the favicon takes on an importance that belies its fingernail-sized dimensions, and the motivation for Google to roll out its third design in less than a year, as it attempts to get its favicon right, becomes clear.

Google’s journey to this latest multi-coloured graphic identity charts a course through some of the unique challenges of favicon design, and through those of logo design in general. The world’s leading search engine, whose very name has been adopted as the generic term for finding pages on the web, has achieved web domination without ever having had an actual logo.

Magic Eye style

Think of Google visually and you will probably picture the letters that make up the word Google, picked out in bright primary colours. In the designer’s lexicon, rather than being a logo, Google has a logotype – albeit a very successful one around which it is famed for creating ever-changing topical “doodle” themes.

What Google has so far lacked is the sort of universally recognised icon that identifies a Mercedes-Benz car at distance or, in technology terms, the Apple computer or Yahoo web page – all logos that these brands use as their own favicon, not least because they fit the diminutive dimensions. The word Google, by contrast, would not reduce and still be legible.

Cue the new Google favicon – a rainbow of differently shaped blocks. A bit like one of those “hidden” Magic Eye pictures popular in the 1990s, not everyone will immediately see that the Google favicon blocks interlock to form a “g” shape.

That hardly matters. The design makes best use of favicon limitations and is a marked evolution of Google’s previous iterations – a small blue “g” on a white background since June of last year, and a capital “G” before that.

While the old branding rulebook would discourage such regular, radical overhauls, reeking as it does of indecisiveness and inconsistency, in the digital world such rules are temporary, at best.

Steve Plimsoll, of brand consultancy FutureBrand, says the traditional rules on corporate identity are starting to look a little tired.

Mighty morphin logos

“Logos are set to become fluid, ever-changing, customisable, even personalised entities and Google is the first global brand that understands this,” says Mr Plimsoll, who is head of digital.

“We are going to have to get used to the idea of our brands changing frequently, and when we do, every three months will seem like the dark ages.”

If you don’t like the new look, then, you can wait or, more proactively, send the company your own design. When Google unveiled the small ‘g’ last year, the company’s head of search products & user experience, Marissa Mayer, hinted at a transitory solution, saying “by no means is the one you’re seeing our favicon final; it was a first step to a more unified set of icons” and inviting users to contribute ideas.

The new favicon is based on a design sent in by André Resende, a computer science undergraduate student at the University of Campinas in Brazil.

It may sound indecisive, even amateurish, but the fast-changing nature of Google’s digital world dictates it. While the billions of pages of Google’s branded “real estate” is the headline figure, its real focus is to keep pace with users’ mobile phones, computer task bars and web bookmarks in such a way as to keep directing them effortlessly back to Google – using the favicon as their guide.

For the world’s biggest search engine, the world’s smallest signpost is one of its most valuable assets.

Craig Smith is a marketing author and editorial director at publishing agency Velo

From BBC

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May 25


Russian singer Dima Bilan has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Bilan is one of Russia’s biggest pop stars and his heartfelt ballad Believe, produced by US R&B star Timbaland, gave Russia its first ever Eurovision win.

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 Abraham received six points from San Marino – who were taking part for the first time – and eight from Ireland.

Ukraine’s Ani Lorak came second with her energetic disco track Shady Lady, followed by Greece with upbeat pop song Secret Combination by Kalomira.

But British talent show runner-up Andy Abraham came last with his song Even If, gaining just 14 points.

Germany and Poland also received 14 points each, but they officially finished above the UK because their top scores in a single round were higher.

Dima Bilan won with a stage show that included Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko performing on a small ice circle.

Bilan is a well-known performer throughout Russia and beyond, having been named best artist at the country’s MTV Awards for the past three years in a row.

He took part in Eurovision in 2006, finishing second behind Finnish rock monsters Lordi.

He has recorded an album in English with Timbaland, including a duet with Canadian singer Nelly Furtado, and hopes to use it to break into the international market later this year.

This year’s other entrants included Latvian pirates, a Finnish heavy rock group, a 75-year-old Croatian rapper and French dance musician Sebastian Tellier, who has worked with Daft Punk and Air.

Swedish singer Charlotte Perrelli, who won the event in 1999, was another hot tip and was picked as the winner in a Europe-wide BBC poll before the event.

But she failed to become the first female singer to win the contest twice.

The show was opened in front of 20,000 fans at the Belgrade Arena by last year’s winner Marija Serifovic.

The 20 countries that came through the semi-finals joined hosts Serbia plus the UK, France, Germany and Spain – the contest’s four biggest backers.

 EUROVISION TOP FIVE

1. Russia: 272 points
2. Ukraine (above): 230
3. Greece: 218
4. Armenia: 199
5. Norway: 182

UK EUROVISION 2008 Big Loser ANDY ABRAHAM “EVEN IF”
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UK has a massive music background still it fails on eurovision. how come? I have to say this is slightly better than the shite we’ve had the past few years. But still shit. I don’t like Dima’s song too much, but Schooh last year and now this… we need someone like westlife to step up!

And, Sir Terry Wogan (who has been Eurovision commentator for more than 30 years) said he may quit as the BBC’s Eurovision commentator, what a sad news! He should shut up and disappear from TV at least 10 yrs ago! He said: “Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved far more points …”. Really? Maybe binman Andy just not talent enough to  deserve more points, he shouldnt been choosen at the first place. This 43-year-old ex-dustman could put the best of us to sleep. He is a joke, I really think my local council need him more than national TV. This “Even If” really embarrassing – like something from the early 80s, definitely your time, unfortunately, its overed.

Then, Sir Terry Wogan added: “Indeed, western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in because their prospects are poor.”  Come on, Sir, theres nothing about western European, those Eastern they love western European, they just dont like UK, UK only. I do  agreed it become neigbour selections, but look at us, we even cant get vote from our neigbour, because we r America’s bitch, because we have many arrogant, ignorant, stupid people here, like you Sir Terry Wogan.

Lets watch last 2 yrs entries again, Sir Terry Wogan, do you really think these shit deserved top 10?
UK’s trash entry for Eurovision 2007, Scooch – Flying The Flag:
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UK’s trash entry for Eurovision 2006, Daz Sampson – Teenage Life:
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Stop complian that its all about political, I dont buy it, If we still want play this game, it s time start taking Eurovision more ­seriously, but we need to go that extra distance like France, whose entry is by ­legitimate dance star ­Sebastien Tellier. Daft Punk have produced it, that’s how serious Le Frogs are. Maybe we could send a genuinely good artist with a decent song, instead of trying to second guess what we reckon the suckers in ­Europe will fall for.

And lets see Sir Terry Wogan announced wrong winner of Eurovision UK 2007, Wogan you bloated, talentless idiot!

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More Eurovision:

Eurovision Song Contest 2008 Final Top 5 (videos)

Dima Bilan — The winner of THE 2008 EUROVISION SONG CONTEST (Photos)

Eurovision Song Contest Belgrade 2008 Final Tonight

written by Pinewood Design \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 01

BBC documentary trailer on a breed of flying penguins who migrate to the rain forest.

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/epeng001.shtml (UK only)

Penguins April Fool – The Making Of : http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/epeng002.shtml

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New Google search tool ‘can see into future’

A NEW Google program powered by artificial intelligence allows internet users to search web pages 24 hours before they’re created, the company said today.

Google Australia said the new beta search technology which drives the gDay search feature can accurately predict future internet content – and even future events.

The gDay technology – developed in the company’s Sydney engineering centre – uses machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques from a system called MATE, or Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation.

The feature then creates a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from a given point by using the company’s index of historic, cached web content and a combination of recurrence plots and “fuzzy measure” analysis.

By accessing web pages before they’re actually created, users can view information from the future – including news events, share price movements and sporting results.

“Google’s Australian engineers have a history of major technological innovations, from Google Maps to Mapplets to Traffic for Google Maps,” said Alan Noble, head of engineering for Google Australia & New Zealand.

“Giving humankind the ability to see 24 hours into the future is just a natural progression – of sorts,” he said.

To rank future web pages in order of relevance, gDay uses a statistical extrapolation of a page’s PageRank, called SageRank.

NEWS.com.au editor David Higgins said gDay would have a major impact on news gathering and news delivery.

“This is a fantastic new resource for reporters, who will now be able to find information about events before they happen,” Higgins said.

“Our sports coverage and analysis will be one area where we’ll see major gains by knowing which team won before anyone’s pulled on a boot.”

Mr Noble said gDay would also be a handy tool for gamblers.

“Users – particularly those who like a flutter – will really benefit from this feature,” he said.

“Maybe you want to see tomorrow’s rugby scores. Maybe you want to see tomorrow’s lotto numbers. Maybe this is the greatest freakin’ product ever.”

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virgle logo

Google and Virgin Media to go to Mars

For thousands of years,

the human race has spread out across the Earth, scaling mountains and plying the oceans, planting crops and building highways, raising skyscrapers and atmospheric CO2 levels, and observing, with tremendous and unflagging enthusiasm, the Biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply across our world’s every last nook, cranny and subdivision.

An invitation.

Earth has issues, and it’s time humanity got started on a Plan B. So, starting in 2014, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars.

The question is, do you want to join us?

Ever yearned to journey to the stars? You can learn how to become a Virgle Pioneer, test your Pioneering potential, or join the Mission Control community that will help develop the 100 Year Plan we’ve outlined here.

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Gmail Custom time

gmail custom time

How do I use it?

Just click “Set custom time” from the Compose view. Any email you send to the past appears in the proper chronological order in your recipient’s inbox. You can opt for it to show up read or unread by selecting the appropriate option.

Is there a limit to how far back I can send email?

Yes. You’ll only be able to send email back until April 1, 2004, the day we launched Gmail. If we were to let you send an email from Gmail before Gmail existed, well, that would be like hanging out with your parents before you were born — crazy talk.

How does it work?

Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality (see Grandfather Paradox).

How come I only get ten?

Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.

Their findings:

N = Total emails sent
P = Probability that user believes the time stamp
φ = The Golden Ratio
L = Average life expectancy

“I used to be an honest person; but now I don’t have to be. It’s just so much easier this way. I’ve gained a lot of productivity by not having to think about doing the ‘right’ thing.”
Todd J., Investment Banker

“The entire concept of ‘late’ no longer exists for me. That’s pretty cool. Thanks Gmail!”
Miriam S., Delivery girl

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Increase Length & Girth With ViagraPlus

Viagra - Credit: Pfizer
ViagraPlus has been proven to increase penis length and girth

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has developed a new wonder drug that increases penis size. On the heels of the 10th anniversary celebration of their tremendously successful erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, Pfizer today announced the final FDA approval of a new medicament that promises to eclipse its predecessor in global sales. ViagraPlus will hit American shelves in late April, following a series of clinical studies that have clearly demonstrated its effectiveness in increasing penis girth and length. In a recent study conducted by Pfizer, 90% of American men described themselves as unsatisfied with their current penis size, in comparison with 70% of European men and 40% of Canadian men.ViagraPlus originated as a variation on the original Viagra drug, which is composed of the compound sildenafil citrate. When Viagra’s researchers manipulated sildenafil’s structure to produce a gold-colored “anniversary edition” of the drug, clinical trials revealed a happy side effect: Virtually all participants in the trial reported an increase of approximately 60% in their penis size. Further trials confirmed the initial findings, propelling the newly branded “ViagraPlus” through FDA testing and, this month, onto pharmacy shelves. No prescription is required for ViagraPlus, which will be available to American consumers as of April 27, 2008.Product development head Steve Ladanyi spoke of ViagraPlus’ particular relevance in 2008. “We are living in the porno generation, where men are exposed to larger organs through DVDs, internet videos, and profiles on their MySpace and Facebook pages. This has led to a climate wherein all men aspire to bigger organ size; ViagraPlus will be an immeasurable help in this quest.”“The more you eat, the bigger it gets.” More about ViagraPlus…from: http://uk.askmen.com/sports/health_150/182_mens_health.html?FLASH

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