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January 24, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 24, 2013

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Embedded Tweets Tweaked

Twitter this week announced several enhancements to make embedded tweets more engaging, useful and fast.

“With embedded Tweets, you can see and interact with Tweets across the web,” reads a blog post by product manager Brian Ellin. “We often embed Tweets here on our blog to highlight great Tweets, photos and other content shared on Twitter; you can embed any Tweet on your website too.”

Much like those seen on twitter.com, users’ embedded tweets can also display photos, videos, article summaries and other content. Users can now also view retweet and favorite counts to “better understand engagement.”

Twitter has also tweaked the design so embedded tweets are easier to read.

To embed a tweet on a website, click the ‘more’ button in any tweet on twitter.com, and then select ‘embed this tweet’ to add to blog posts or web pages. This can all be done on the TweetDeck.

Mixel Acquired By Etsy

E-commerce craft site Etsy has snapped up Mixel, a photo collage-making app to add some extra talent to its staff. The sale price was not disclosed.

“These talented designers and developers built a mobile app that helps you make and share fun, beautiful photo collages,” read a blog post by Etsy creative director Randy Hunt. “Now they are going to help us do even more with Etsy’s mobile platform. It’s going to be awesome.”

Hunt was adamant Etsy was not entering the photo-sharing fray, but added Mixel users will still be able to download past collages, make new ones and share them on Facebook, Twitter and other beloved social networks.

The company hopes to capitalize on its growing mobile presence. Mobile visits on Etsy grew 244 percent in the past year and represent 25 percent of visits year round.  That is where the Mixel team — CEO Khoi Vinh, his co-founder Scott Ostler, and colleagues Akiva Leffert and Roy Stanfield — comes in. It will be up to them to grow Etsy’s mobile popularity.

Mixel users can click here for answers to any questions they may have about how the acquisition will affect their accounts.

Microsoft Debuts Azure Media  Services

Microsoft’s Windows Azure Media Services is now available to consumers at large.

The service allows users to create, manage and distribute media in the cloud.

“You now have everything you need to quickly build great, extremely scalable, end-to-end media solutions for streaming on-demand video to consumers on any device,” reads a blog post by Microsoft developer division’s corporate vice-president Scott Guthrie.

“For example, you can easily build a media service for delivering training videos to employees in your company, stream video content for your web-site, or build a premium video-on-demand service like Hulu or Netflix.  Last year several broadcasters used Windows Azure Media Services to stream the London 2012 Olympics.”

He says Windows Azure Media Services eliminates the need for organizations to manage their own custom infrastructure.

“Building a media solution that encodes and streams video to various devices and clients is a complex task. It requires hardware and software that has to be connected, configured and maintained,” said Guthrie.

The program is supported by Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows Phone, HTML5, Google Android OS, Apple iOS and Silverlight, to name a few.

The service is aimed at enterprise developers, software vendors, system integrators, video-on-demand services, network operators and broadcasters.

 

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