Google Background Images Are Going Away

I'm saddened to find out that Google Background Images is being killed. One of my favourite features of Google is that I can set the background image to my homepage. This helps me know which GMail or Google Apps account I'm signed into.
My current Google homepage with Wobbles on it.
Oh well, I wonder what Google have planned for the homepage if Background Images is being killed. Maybe a homepage like Yahoo's?
The popup announcement.
Here is a quote of the announcement:
Background images are going away on November 16, 2012
Thank you for using background images. As we build a more streamlined Google Search page for everyone, we’ll no longer be able to support customization with background images. So you will no longer be able to see your background pictures starting November 16, 2012.
Click Remove to stop using a background image now. Your current background image and Picasa web albums will still be available to you.
I'll miss seeing Wobbles (@fatoldgingercat) on my Google homepage. Oh well, I hope something good  is in store for us...

BBC Mobile Homepage Beta Is Sleek!

The BBC has released the testing version (beta) of its new mobile website homepage. As with the relatively recently renewed BBC homepage for traditional computers, the design is cleaner, more dynamic and whiter.
BBC Mobile Homepage Beta On Stock Android Browser
You can get the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on your mobile device by visiting the following link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/home/mobilebeta . You can also scan the following QR code with your mobile device:
This QR code is for the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta
I quite like the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta, I find it to be clearer and easier to use comnpared to the current/older version.
The current/older version of the BBC Mobile Homepage on the stock Android browser
As the "beta" label suggests, this is not the finished product, and it is far from perfect. On the stock Android web browser it works fine at the moment, as with the version of Internet Explorer on my Windows Phone 7 device. It renders fine in Opera Mobile and Opera Mini for me too. Sadly the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta does not render perfectly on the stock WebOS browser (it is useable, but some bits go missing) and the Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 just doesn't like it.
The New BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on the stock WebOS browser
The New BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on Opera Mobile on Android
The New BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on Chrome Beta for Android 4.0
(Beta + Beta = Fail)
I look forward to this homepage becoming the standard one for mobile devices. I hope the clever people at the BBC also manage to make it more dynamic and scalable so that it adapts to larger screens such as those on BAPs and tablets as well as phablets. Well done to the chaps and chapettes involved in the development and deployment of the page, I still feel like it is worth while paying my TV License.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

BBC Beta Homepage

For a few days I've been forcing myself to use the new BBC Website's beta homepage to get an idea of what it is like in everyday use.
The New BBC Beta Homepage

It is a bit like the new Blogger Dynamic Views pages, and very html5y. Pages seem to adapt to screensizes (great if you are using a netbook or a tablet) and are a simple roll of 2 vertical/many horizontal to the right panes.
Lower section of the front page of BBC Beta Homepage

Next panel to the right. Note more iPlayer links and content.
I'm quite liking the new BBC Beta Homepage and am sure I could quite easily get used to it. I hope the clever people dealing with this at the BBC give us the chance to change our location on it (I live in Scotland and am not particularly interested in the London weather or the London local news).

Lets see how this BBC Beta hompage evolves... I am already noticing more iPlayer links and content. You can try it out yourself by visiting http://beta.bbc.co.uk/ Please also use the feedback option to let the people at the BBC know what you think about it.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

Social Networks Change Faster Due To Competition

Google Plus is now in Beta, which means anyone can sign up and start using Google's social network. Just go to Google.com and you should see the Doodle promoting Google Plus.
The Google doodle promoting Google Plus Beta

Once you are on Google Plus you get all the excellent features the new social network offers.
Google Plus Homepage
Facebook has just revamped and reorganised its homepage and layout. Many commentators on the interwebs claim that this is a knee-jerk reaction to Google Plus. This concept is pretty plausible and I'm inclined to go with it considering how many new "features" Facebook has rolled out since Google Plus's launch into field trial status. (excuse the pun, it was just too easy!)
The New Facebook Homepage
Identi.ca and StatusNet have had a major upgrade since the weekend too! There were massive changes to the UI, to the APIs and social network. As well as updating your status, you can now post bookmarks, events, polls or questions. It's pretty sleek and an impressive step forward. Well done to Evan Prodromu and everyone involved in the upgrade.
The New Identica Homepage
Twitter hasn't changed much in the last few months. Twitter's users are still getting used to all the "new" fancy UI and features so it may be a while before they change anything.
Twitter's "New" Hompepage
Meanwhile more and more interweb users have never heard of or have forgotten about Myspace, Bebo and Friendster. I believe that Apple's social network is some sort of secret society that even Apple Fanboys and Fangirls have never heard of. Ping?!
Ping. It's a bit like a Secret Society.
As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below. If you "liked" this blog post, why not "+1" it? (yes I do find it funny)