What’s been making the news over the last week

We bring you the hottest news on the social media scene. Major stories in the news this week includes the Google Zietgiest 2010, US Military’s plan to ban USB drives to stop WikiLeaks happening again, iPad sales to double, and the all new Facebook profile.

Google Zeitgeist 2010: How the World Searched

Google Zeitgeist: A Look at the Year That’s Been
Are you curious about what the world has been interested in during 2010? Google’s Zeitgeist gadget gives you a way to explore the hottest topics from the year just past. You can look at global trends, US trends, or trends from other regions around the world, and there are several ways to explore the data. There’s a nifty mapping tool which shows you levels of interest around the world for several key events from 2010 (the World Cup, Haiti earthquake, Iceland’s ash cloud, etc).

There are also Top 10 lists for a variety ‘fastest rising’ and ‘fastest falling’ search terms. For example, did you know that overall, the fastest rising search term is ‘chatroulette’, and the fastest falling is ‘swine flu’? Or that Justin Bieber is the fastest rising entertainment search, Masterchef the fastest rising food related search, and Anhembi Parque the fastest rising maps search? Other categories available include Fastest Rising in Sports, Fastest Rising in Consumer Electronics, Fastest Rising People, Fastest Rising Translations, and Fastest Rising Health Queries.

Google Zietgeist 2010

US Military Plans to Stop Leaks By Banning Thumb Drives

The Wikileaks scandal has created major security concerns for the US military, after Pfc Bradley Manning was able to smuggle thousands of classified files on a disk marked ‘Lady Gaga’. The military had only recently (in February 2010) permitted the use of removable media on machines linked to the classified SIPRNET network again; such usage had been banned for two years following problems with a worm virus spreading through hundreds of thousands of computers. Now, however, the ban is back in place with an additional element: any military personnel who disobey the order to avoid removable media face a court martial.

This will surely make life difficult for military users in remote areas, or those working with computers which for security reasons are disconnected from the general network. Currently, thumb drives or DVDs are the simplest means of transferring information in these circumstances, but other means will need to be found under the new regulations. The Pentagon’s research arm, Darpa, is also looking into more reliable methods to detect unusual activity on networked computers, though for the time being the military will be relying on more basic methods such as the removable media ban. You read the full story here on Wired, come back and let us know what you thought.

The Rising Popularity of the iPad

By the end of 2010, Apple will have sold around 8.5 million iPads. That’s an impressive number, but one that’s predicted to rise by 127% by the end of 2011. The iPad currently holds the lion’s share of the US tablet market (88%); this is predicted to drop a little in the next couple of years, but should still be around 74% by 2012 (in which year over 30 million iPads are expected to be sold).

Apple iPad

Internationally, iPads hold less of the tablet market but, with an estimated 69% of the market share the iPad will still be the major player by far. Tablets are expected to increase in popularity in the US by 2012, although still only around 13% of Americans are likely to own one. The distribution of tablet ownership through the population seems to resemble that of laptops, with more affluent households far more likely to own one than lower income households. This contrasts with the relatively even distribution of cell phones through the population, with less correlation between income and ownership than for Internet-connected devices such as laptops and tablets.

This is good news for Social Media take up as more people buy iPads the likely chance is that people will be hooking up to the social networks. Businesses of all types are likely to benefit, however one sector that will feel the pinch are Computer and Laptop manufactures, who will not be happy with these numbers. You can read the full story at Emarketer.

Facebook’s New Profile Layout

Facebook has recently begun rolling out a new-look profile layout, with a bunch of new features and some important changes compared to the old profile. To begin with, the new profile begins with a snapshot of information about you: your name, your occupation, where you went to school, recent photos, etc. You can create groups of friends (eg, for sporting teams or alumni groups), and list a variety of experiences you’ve had (including linking specific projects to your overall work history).

The New Facebook Profile

The Photos page has also been re-vamped, with an ‘infinite scroll’ feature to make it easier to browse all of a user’s photos. However, while Facebook’s representatives are very upbeat about the changes, the reaction from Facebook users has been extremely negative, with many complaining that the new layout is stupid, that photos are not displayed as well as they could be, and that they want to see their friends’ status update more than they want to see an information snapshot.

Look out for more of our selection of the best articles hitting the headlines bought to you each week by the TUHEL.COM team. Let us know what you think, all comments welcome.


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