theEweekly Wrap: Consoles, Facebook tags and Panda 2.2
|Sony sorry||The E3 2011 conference in Los Angeles took place this week, with gaming companies showing off their latest inventions. Sony took to the stage to reveal their successor to the popular PSP, a next generation portable christened Vita. The handheld device will feature optional 3G and a cloud save function, enabling players to continue a game from the Vita on their PS3 and vice versa.
Sony spokesperson Jack Tretton also took the opportunity to apologise for the recent PlayStation Network hack, in which the personal details of millions of customers are thought to have been stolen.
E3 also saw the long-anticipated unveiling of the Nintendo Wii U, due for release in spring 2012. The controller features a touchscreen and a front-facing camera, as well as the usual Wii controls and motion sensor. It seems an unpopular decision, as Nintendo’s stock fell five per cent following the announcement.
|Tags for the memories||Facebook has begun rolling out a new photo tagging system that uses facial recognition technology. Tag Suggestions appears after uploading photos to an album, and the technology groups together photographs that it deduces are of the same people, saving the user time when tagging.
A trial run by theEword revealed it to be reasonably accurate, as long as the subjects are forward facing, well-lit, and have a neutral facial expression.
The service has stirred anger among users, however, as nobody was explicitly asked whether they wanted to use it. There is an option to turn it off, and only existing friends can be recognised; but it seems these fresh concerns over Facebook photo privacy are in fact more to do with the site learning what users look like. Tag Suggestions was implemented in the US in December 2010.
|Search updates||Upcoming changes in for the SEO industry were revealed at SMX Advanced, a search marketing conference in Seattle. The most exciting (some might say daunting) revelation was made during a question and answer session with Google’s Matt Cutts and Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan. Cutts revealed that another algorithm update, Panda 2.2, has been approved and is soon to be rolled out. SEL says this will target once and for all – Google hopes – “sites that scrape and re-publish content and are out-ranking the original source of the content”. The first Google Panda update hit search results in April 2011.
Meanwhile, Microsoft search engine Bing unveiled an updated set of Webmaster tools nicknamed Honey Badger – which some believe is a thinly veiled reference to the Bing Sting of earlier this year, which Google codenamed Honey Pot.