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Maggie Shiels, Silicon Valley reporter

Maggie Shiels Silicon Valley reporter

Maggie is no longer with the BBC but we've left her page for reference

Facebook and Skype's video chat link-up

Mark Zuckerberg
The social network and video-call service already share some instant messaging tools

Video chat features are set to become the killer app in the world of social media now that Facebook has announced a partnership with Skype to offer just such a product hard on the heels of one rolled out by its rival Google.

The deal means that Facebook's 750 million users will now be able to connect with friends via video and not just through posting messages and poking one another.

The tie-up comes just one week after Google announced its social service called Google+ to a small invited group of users.

The search giant's video offering called Hangout has received rave reviews so far. It allows up to 10 people to connect with one another at any one time while Facebook can only connect people on a one on one video chat.

But Skype's CEO Tony Bates told press reporters and bloggers at the event launch in California that other features are on their way. No prizes for what that means.

Read full article Facebook and Skype's video chat link-up

Maggie added analysis to:

Facebook adds Skype video chat feature

Coming hard on the heels of Google+, Facebook's Skype offering is likely to be compared to its rival's Hangout feature. That product allows up to ten people to chat at any one time, while the Facebook/Skype video chat feature facilitates just one-on-one video chatting.

Skype did hint that there will be added features in future, but Google has stolen the lion's share of the headlines and Facebook will not enjoy being seen as following in its footsteps.

Read full article Facebook adds Skype video chat feature

Google+: The new Facebook rival?

Screenshot of Google+
Google+ for now has a limited release

Unlike the launch for Google Buzz, Google+, the company's most aggressive attack on Facebook's domination in the world of social networking, was unveiled with little fanfare and little fuss.

Back in early 2010 the fourth estate came out in force to hear all about Buzz, the search giant's big social play at the time.

Read full article Google+: The new Facebook rival?

The PC is dead, long live the PC

Steve Jobs and iCloud symbol
Steve Jobs: 'We are going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud'

At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the company declared that we are living in a "post-PC world.

Evidence of that can be seen everywhere the company stated from smartphones to tablet devices. And of course it was noted in front of the 5,200 strong developer audience that Apple was a big driver of this change.

Read full article The PC is dead, long live the PC

Maggie added analysis to:

Google e-mail accounts compromised by 'Chinese hackers'

Security experts say they are seeing an increase in these so-called spear phishing incidents in which attackers go after specific information or assets and aim at "high value individuals".

One consultant described it as an "epidemic", while another said such attacks are all too easy to perpetrate given the amount of information that lives on the internet about people - from their Twitter stream to their Facebook pages to sites that trace your family tree.

Read full article Google e-mail accounts compromised by 'Chinese hackers'

Google boss laments his ‘friendly’ failure

Eric Schmidt

It's not often you get a senior executive of a global company make a public mea culpa on stage in front of an audience of peers, industry watchers and insiders.

But that is just what Eric Schmidt did when he appeared as the opening act at D9, a major tech conference in Rancho Palos Verdes in California hosted by the tech blog AllThingsD.

Read full article Google boss laments his ‘friendly’ failure

Quora: Looking for answers online

Encyclopaedia Britannica
Before the internet, the Encyclopaedia Britannica held the answers

During the age of the enlightenment in the 18th Century when many new ideas and theories were being formed, Sir Francis Bacon famously said 'knowledge is power".

That very maxim holds as true today as it did then but even in the age of the internet, it can be hard to get access to the right kind of knowledge.

Read full article Quora: Looking for answers online

Google Chromebook: Will it be a computing revolution?

Sundar Pichai of Google announces a Samsung Chromebook
Google says they are introducing a "new model of computing"

At Google's developer conference in San Francisco, the company took the wraps off a couple of laptops that it believes will herald a revolution in how we will use computers in the future.

The machines, by Samsung and Acer, will be powered by the company's Chrome operating system and will be geared towards getting users to do everything via the web, because they say that is where most people increasingly spend their time. The devices are being called Chromebooks.

Read full article Google Chromebook: Will it be a computing revolution?

A new beginning for my blog

Computer keyboard with welcome button

Innovate or die is the mantra here in Silicon Valley and with that thought in mind, my blog has moved to this new page.

I hope you like the change which allows me to bring my take on the technology industry from the capital of innovation together with all my video, audio, photos, posts, news stories, features and, soon, tweets all in one place. You can still find my old posts here.

Read full article A new beginning for my blog

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About Maggie

Maggie was the first BBC reporter to cover Silicon Valley full time and has become a regular commentator on the high tech industry in the US.

Her career highs have included interviewing the inventor of the mouse Douglas Englebart and silicon visionary Gordon Moore. In previous roles she also interviewed Audrey Hepburn and Spinal Tap.

Maggie has also dabbled in the world of entertainment appearing in a Lloyd Cole and the Commotions video, an Irvine Welsh movie and a BBC children's TV series.

In her spare time she ride horses, indulges in Victor Hugo books and hangs out with her family.

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