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theEweekly Wrap: social, sandwiches and Sesame Street

Social 2.0 The annual Web 2.0 Summit took place in San Francisco this week. Since 2004 the event has invited the powers behind some of the internet’s top companies to speak or be interviewed; however, this year had a strong focus on social. Representatives from Foursquare, Quora, Facebook and LinkedIn all took to the stage, although Zynga CEO Mark Pincus pulled out at the last minute. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was also interviewed on stage, revealing that there are now 250 million tweets sent every day, up from 100 million in January.

However, perhaps the most interesting session was an interview with Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Vic Gundotra, the brains behind Google+. Brin revealed that he was “not a very social person”, and had to be convinced; however, the social network seems to have been rather successful; there are now 40 million users, with business profiles launching soon. Another imminent addition is Google Apps, set to arrive “within a few days”. However, Google+ APIs are not yet available to developers.

Samsung Sandwich The latest Android mobile OS was launched on Wednesday at an event in Hong Kong: Ice Cream Sandwich. Google has joined forces with main Apple rival Samsung to launch the Galaxy Nexus handset, the first to feature the mobile OS. Some of the standout features include:

  • Speak-to-text, which can also be used as speak-to-tweet
  • Near Field Communication, enabling use of a mobile wallet or the Android Beam (sharing information or content by tapping handsets together)
  • The option to use Face Unlock instead of a passcode to unlock the phone
  • What Google calls a “desktop-class browser” with tabs and Chrome synching
  • Adaptable software buttons instead of physical buttons on the handset
  • Deep integration with Google products including Gmail and Google+

Ice Cream Sandwich promises to work on tablets as well as smartphones. The Galaxy Nexus will be available in November, with the Guardian reporting that Phones4U will be offering a £46-per-month contract.

Scandalous Street The Sesame Street YouTube channel had to be taken offline this week after suffering a hack. Clips from the famous US children’s show were replaced with some very adult material. The videos were accompanied by the message, “Who doesn’t like porn kids?”, with the changes traced to an account named Mredxwx, although that user quickly denied any involvement. Google took the Sesame Street account offline within 20 minutes of the problem being reported.

The Sesame Street channel – which has received over 14 million views – is now back online, complete with an apology: “Our channel was temporarily compromised, but we have since restored our original line-up of the best classic Sesame Street video clips featuring Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and the rest of the fuzzy, feathered, and googly-eyed friends you remember from childhood.”

Written by Rachel Hand

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