Webware Radar: Virgin looks to 'uncrunch' frozen credit markets

Also: Gmail has a new Title Tweaks feature; Shoeboxed has partnered with Evernote; Google has dumped public calendar search; and Dex has launched a revamped local search service.

Financial services firm, Virgin Money announced Wednesday that it has joined the Uncrunch.org campaign in an attempt to raise awareness about alternative, social sources of credit for both consumers and businesses. Virgin joins Geezeo, Lending Club, OnDeck Capital, Credit Karma, and ChangeWave, while trying to "unthaw" the credit markets by giving consumers and businesses an online resource to research and find credit.

Uncrunch's focus is social lending, which is why Virgin Money joined the campaign (the company has close to $400 million in social loan volume). Those who surf to Uncrunch will be able to learn about sites like Virgin Money and Lending Club and have the opportunity to take out loans from other individuals who are willing to lend cash.

"With Uncrunch America, we hope to encourage Americans that have sidelined their cash to invest in a friend or family member," Asheesh Advani CEO of Virgin Money, said in a statement. "Maybe they don't feel comfortable in the market, but they can inject cash in the economy by lending to a loved one."

Gmail engineers announced on the Webmail client's official blog Wednesday that a new Gmail Labs feature called Title Tweaks is now available. The hack changes the order of the elements in the browser title bar so "Inbox" followed by the number of unread messages will be placed in front of "Gmail."

Shoeboxed, an online receipt and business card manager, announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Evernote to launch a "direct integration" between the two services. According to the company, users will be able to mail receipts and business cards to Shoeboxed, which will be analyzed by the service and sent directly to Evernote where they can be accessed online, on the desktop, or on a mobile phone. The integration requires registration on both sites, but it's free.

Google has officially dumped public calendar search, the company wrote on its Calendar help page. First mention of the missing search was made by concerned users more than two weeks ago. Google said on the company's help page that the search wasn't used "as extensively as [it] would have liked" and it will look for ways to make it easier to search in the future.

Dex announced Wednesday that it has launched its revamped local search service that will allow users to find landmarks, businesses, and service areas. The site features semantic technology, which lets users search for anything they want in specific or general terms and DexKnows.com will find relevant results based on those queries, the company claims. The site is available now.

Microsoft released Office Live Workspace stats Wednesday that show more than 3 million people are now using Microsoft Live Workspace and it's now available in 28 total languages. The service also boasts a Folders function where users can store, share, and manage documents and storage in those folders have been expanded from 500MB to 5GB per subscription.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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