Archive | February 25, 2011

Skype introduces Skype To Go Direct-Dial – works via your existing phone line

This is very interesting: You won’t need Internet access to make Skype calls anymore, thanks to a new upgrade in the service called Skype To Go that Skype just launched. Skype To Go Direct Dial will allow a user to make phone calls using Skype, not from the computer but from a cell phone or land-line. The good part is that in order to use the new service you won’t need an Internet connection anymore. Maybe not necessarily useful for landlines but perfect for mobile use if you do not want to subscribe to those pesky data plans. 3G is not required either since you will not send any data and the voice – data connection is performed inside Skype’s own servers.

How it works? By converting the phone number you want to call into a unique Skype To Go number. A local calling code is attached as well, so you won’t have to pay long distance fees. Since the call is routed through Skype, their calling rates will apply in this case so you’ll need to use Skype Credit or a Skype subscription plan. The connection fee is 3.9 cents per call.

Users can now save a direct dialed Skype To Go phone number and have up to nine of these numbers saved in their phone.

The new Skype To Go service opens a new era especially for international calls. You won’t need a computer to call your relatives abroad and while there are already various plans to talk for cheap from landlines, calling cheap via mobile phones was a little bit more complicated until now.

“Here’s how the magic works. Let’s say your aunt lives in Australia and you live in New York…Simply give us your aunt’s number in Australia, and Read More…

Google search algorithm update to go after content farms and low quality sites

If you searched for something and on top of your SERP (Search Results Page) came eHow with crappy articles like how to tie your laces or how to be successful in life by smiling (no, I’m not joking) then you can understand that something had to change, at least if Google hopes to remain the leader of web search on long term.

Well, the search giant started to take action and in their case, that means some algorithm tweaking. While per their own admission Google tweaks their algorithms many times (around 500 times per year) most of the changes are minor. This one however is massive, affecting 11.8% from our queries which means billions of queries will be affected.

The change is designed to lower the ranking for low quality websites, the ones that do not provide original content or low usefulness websites. Obviously to keep everything nicely balanced, the sites at the opposite side, the ones that brings high quality content will see their rankings boosted.

To serve the same purpose, Google launched not too long ago a Chrome extension that tries to get the popular vibe about various sites, but today’s change does not seem to rely on that data. This makes sense since the extension is still fairly new and data gathered is limited. However, Google compared the new page rank as calculated by the new algorithm versus whatever data gathered from Chrome users and the match seems to be around 84%. Not bad, but we should expect thousands of small and medium websites to be caught in the process and benefit or be punished for no particular reason.

The change will happen first in US followed by the rest of the world.

via Google Blog


Sony drops PSP prices to $129, cheaper games as well

Presumably preparing for the new NGP (their next generation console) and in an effort to squeeze more life from the platform, Sony announced that it is cutting the prices of their PSP-3000 model from $169.99 to the low $129.99. The price cut will be in effect starting this Sunday, February 27th.
The price cut will also affect some of popular PSP games which will make it into the PSP Greatest Hits collection. Among them, you can find titles like Metal gear Solid: Peace Walker, Little Big Planet (my son’s favorite). Assasin’s Creeed: Bloodlines, Dissidia: Final Fantasy and Toy Story 3: The Videogame.
In the category of bargain $9.99 prices, we can find new titles like: Crisis Core, Final Fantasy VII, Daxter, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Killzone: Liberation, Tomb Raider, etc.

Check after the break for the video ad.

via Sony PSP Blog Read More…