MASH MY WEEK! Review of outstanding Internet, Technology and Social Media news for the week 20-25 February
We present a new edition of Mash My Week! with the most relevant Technology, Internet and Social Media news of the week. It appears that Twitter wants to reinforce its commitment to the exchange of information on an international scale and is going to offer an automatic translation service for tweets in different languages. Google Maps is revamping itself with its 6.3 version for Android that includes a parallel social network very similar to FourSquare, the new service has entered the market under the name Latitude Leaderboard. Finally, the United States government is seeking to regulate online activity and has published a bill of rights to protect online consumers’ privacy
Twitter translation service
In an interview with Mashable, an unnamed Twitter spokesperson announced the integration of a function which will permit the instant translation of tweets. This function will facilitate exchanges between users who speak different languages. According to Twitter executives, the company “wants to help people to connect and find out what’s new-no matter where they are or what languages they speak.” To offer the service, Twitter has teamed up with Bing Translator, a free translation service that is available in various languages. For the moment, a limited number of users have access to the new service, as the Twitter spokesperson said, “Only a small number of users can see the option to translate a tweet using Bing Translator as part of an experiment.” It is not known when the translation feature will be available to all users.
Google Maps revamped
Google Maps recently launched its 6.3 version for the Android operative system. Together with the most recent Google Maps, the company has added the Latitude Leaderboard function. Latitude Leaderboard is a feature for use with the latest Google Maps, and has all the characteristics of a location-based social network. You can not only mark your location on the map, but also identify friends and find out where they are. This new feature looks like direct competition for FourSquare, given that it offers the possibility of checking in to locations visited and earning points for doing so. The user can also enter a worldwide ranking system known as the “Leaderboard” according to the number of points awarded for check-ins through Latitude. The Google Maps 6.3 version has improvements in battery performance and Location History. For those of you who are interested, you can download the app free at Android Market.
The White House unveils a bill of rights to protect consumer privacy
Last Tuesday in the United States, the Obama administration unveiled a new bill of rights aimed at protecting the online privacy of consumers who surf the web.
The document establishes a series of guidelines for Internet businesses on how they should treat consumer data and manage interaction with customers. The same document emphasizes the need for more transparency, security and more control for users over the use of their data.
Although for the moment these rules are a little weak and inexact, it is hoped that they will serve as a framework for Congress to establish how firms should use users’ data.
Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said, “This is not the end, maybe it’s not even the beginning of the end, but it’s an important step forward.”
At the same time, online companies will be obliged to sign the bill of rights as a sign of good faith, and they face fines if they don’t respect it.
These regulations are a response to the increase in online fraud and consumers’ confusion over how and when they are being tracked.
In conjunction with the bill of rights, the Digital Advertising Alliance is working on its “Do not track” technology for most of the web’s leading browsers.
Read the complete story here.
See you next week!