News Picks: Google Fiber, Picasa & Picnik, Outlook & Facebook

An overview of some of today's ad/tech news.

Google is in the news again.

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The search behemoth said in a blog post it has launched its Google Fiber for Communities website dedicated to educate and inform people about fiber networks as well as "keep up-to-date" interested communities on the Google Fiber project. Initially announced in February. The plan for Google Fiber was to provide low-cost ultra high-speed broadband access "to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people," starting with a few locations across the U.S. In the end, as 1 100 communities and 200 000 individuals have already expressed interested in the trial, Google is brushing up its PR by launching the website first and even putting together a "Thank you" video for the prospective users.

Here is the video:

Picasa & Picnik

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Remaining in the visual field, Google has also enhanced its Picasa offer by finally integrating the online photos edition services of Picnik, which it has bought in March. Now Picasa users can edit their photos without having to leave the platform.

Microsoft Outlook & Facebook (Plus LinkedIn, MySpace, Windows Live Messenger)
On the topic of pictures (and more), Microsoft's Outlook is now integrating Facebook through its Social Connector, Neowin reported first. With the Outlook Social Connector (OSC), users can synch their contacts with their Facebook profiles to get their friends' pictures, contact details and also status updates. According to Mashable, Windows Live Messenger is supported too and the OSC also synchs to LinkedIn and MySpace. The Social connector is available for download with both the Outlook 2003 and 2007 plugins. Microsoft has released the following video to explain the news:

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About the author

Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.

Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.

Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat