theEweekly Wrap 24 July 2009
Google plans moon mission
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, Google launched its latest addition to its map service – Google Moon. The application allows users to reach for the stars and explore the surface of the orbiting rock. Google has integrated a number of features into this voyage of exploration – YouTube videos, 3D renders of scuttled spacecraft and a guided tour following the path of the Apollo 11 mission (voiced by the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin).
The National Pandemic Flu Service, a government website designed to diagnose cases of Swine Flu in England crashed minutes after its launch on Thursday. The website, which dispenses advice and anti-viral prescriptions, was taken down four minutes after its launch as 2,6000 users tried to access it every second. The site was designed to cope with up to 1,200 hits a second.
Profiting from SEO
A number of SEO and technology companies revealed their quarterly revenue this week. The results were mixed. Microsoft stunned the industry after posting a 29 per cent decline in profits for the last three months, while Yahoo, long-rumoured to be the subject of a Microsoft takeover, revealed a 12-month profit lost of 25 per cent. Meanwhile, Google posted a net profit growth of 18 per cent. Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, said that the company remained “focused on investing in technical innovation to drive growth.”
Building society withdraws from Phorm
The Nationwide Building Society has opted out of the targeted-advertising application Phorm. A statement from Nationwide said the move was designed to protect the privacy of its customers.
Phorm is a controversial system which provides targeted advertising based on a user’s internet history.
A statement from Nationwide said:
“We have had discussions with our online advertising agency on Phorm and as a result of this review we have decided to contact Phorm and ask them not to scan the Nationwide website. Investigating the service that they are looking to offer, we do not see the benefit to our customers or to us of allowing them to scan the Nationwide website in this way.”
Nationwide Building Society is the latest company to decline the Phrom service. Most recently, communications providers BT and Talk Talk have refused to use the programme, the former after having initially been involved in Phorm testing.
So long and thanks for all the spam
Social networking site Twitter declared war on spammers this week. The company has begun to delete accounts infamous for spam and has suspended those it suspects of being users. Previously, Twitter had been criticised for not acting against the amount of spammers operating on the service.