There is an app, currently on the Apple app store as a free download, called Girls Around Me.
A couple of days ago, computer journalist John Brownlee wrote an essay about it explaining why he found it disturbing. I’d like to propose that it is symptomatic of a really major side-effect of our forced acculturation into Facebook’s broken model of human social interaction—a broken model shared by all the most successful social networks, by design—and that it is going to get much worse, until it kil… show all text
I followed a link to this video from Twitter. “Oh, a small jumping robot,” I thought, “I bet it hops over a chair or something.” Not even close. Check this out:Boston Dynamics is at it again…they did the Big Dog and cheetah robots as well. What are the odds that they change their name to Cyberdyne Systems in the next few years? (via @jcn)
Update: I did a quick calculation…if a 6-ft-tall human could jump as high as this robot relative to its height, they could jump 315 feet into the air, h… show all text
The Batman pulled over last week on Route 29 in Silver Spring is a Baltimore County businessman who visits hospitals to entertain sick children. “It feels like I have a responsibility that’s beyond a normal person,” he says.
There are lots of questions and comments about the incident onboard Flight 191 yesterday (the details of which are now a matter of FBI investigation) and what protocol we have in place for such scenarios. Here are the top 10 questions we’re getting and the facts as we know them:
1. You’re saying it’s a “medical situation” but isn’t it a security issue? Initial reports indicated that Flight 191 was diverting to Amarillo due to a medical situation. As the events unfolded, it became clear that sec… show all text
If you’re like me, you may have noticed that Twitter may be arbitrarily, randomly, and haphazardly, unfollowing people you fully intended to follow. Similarly, if you’ve ever noticed your friends and contacts unfollowed you, it may have caused a sense of confusion, dread, or self-insecurity. Before one spirals into a series of apologies or deep-depression, it’s likely not your fault, (whew!).What’s causing this? I’m not sure, so I asked my proper contacts at Twitter who responded “This is a bug…
Ghana’s general elections are coming up this December, and to help streamline the voter registration process, the country is now implementing its first-ever biometric voter registration — in other words, using fingerprint technology to help verify identity. Ghana is also using social media to publicize the process, correct misconceptions and increase overall attention about the upcoming elections.
The non-partisan project Ghana Decides, launched on March 24, “aims to foster a better informed el… show all text
Google’s online storage service, rumored to be called GDrive is like the wolf in the fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Well, after long history of false alarms, the storage drive might just see the day in early April, according to my well placed sources familiar with company’s plans. I say might, just because of Google’s history with the Google Drive.
The rumors of Google’s Gdrive first emerged in 2006 and then in 2007 via The Wall Street Journal. Nothing came of those rumors. Two years later, same show all text
You might have heard that this week, after having tried for months to keep the entire team of my company Seesmic I had to let go about half of it (also here and here)…
Here is a great group of engineers for mobile (Android, iOS and WP7), backend and QA engineers that I have enjoyed working with for a long time and would recommend to anyone. They are all hard working, dedicated and very good. They are very experimented on the main social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and Salesforce APIs… show all text
Naming a product is difficult. Branding legend Marty Neumeier says that good product names have 7 characteristics. They should be distinctive, short, appropriate, easy to spell and pronounce, likable, extendable, and protectable. Looking through this list of Android names, it’s clear that many marketing teams disagree with Marty.
Here’s a simple rule: if your product isn’t a condom then don’t name it like one. What am I talking about? Let’s take a look…
Creative community Colourlovers has acquired another creative community called Forrst in a bid to create the preeminent place on the Web where creative types can come together, make pretty things, help each other get better at making pretty things, share pretty things, and ultimately monetize them. The combined site wants to make great design simple and accessible and create a lucrative business doing that.
As someone who works with words, and usually words that are just black on white, the con… show all text
For a man who’s the main defendant in one of the biggest criminal cases ever brought in the US, Kim Dotcom is surprisingly composed.
The Megaupload founder is convinced of his innocence, and instead of letting fear or anger get to him, he is excited. Deep into the night, Dotcom digs through heaps of paperwork, collecting evidence that shows how he was framed by the US Government.
Talking to TorrentFreak by phone, he gives example after example of why he thinks the indictment twists the truth. W… show all text
I headed down to the Santa Clara Microsoft Store this morning after hearing about the Windows Phone challenge last night. For those not familiar, anyone who completes a task faster than a Windows Phone on their own smart phone can win a $1000 Special Edition Laptop assuming they meet some standard terms and conditions. Those who “get smoked” by a Windows Phone, have the opportunity to trade in their existing device for Windows Phone.
After signing a waiver agreeing to let Microsoft use a photo … show all text
Editor’s Note: Norman Winarsky is the Vice President of Ventures and Bill Mark is the Vice President of the Information Computing Sciences Division at renowned research and technology development organization, SRI International. Norman and Bill helped found the Siri venture, of which Norman was also a Board member.
Since its launch in the iPhone 4S, Siri has become a phenomenon, and for good reason. Siri is a revolutionary consumer software product based on breakthroughs in speech and artificial show all text
As Susan Feldman waited outside the Southwest Airlines arrivals terminal at Los Angeles International Airport in October 2008, she had a nervous feeling in her stomach, which she compares to blind date jitters.
Except this wasn’t your traditional blind date. Feldman was meeting Ali Pincus, her soon-to-be co-founder, for the first time. They had spoken over the phone after a mutual friend set them up to discuss the overlap of e-commerce and home goods, but they hadn’t met face-to-face. Feldman a… show all text
Have you missed any of our new digital media resources? Well, take a break from playing Angry Birds Space on your new iPad to catch up now with our weekly features roundup!
This week we’ve covered ways to improve your vacation using social media, how to protect yourself and your work on Pinterest and 10 places you’re not allowed to see on Google Maps. We also have an exclusive infographic on what’s working in digital non-profit fundraising, ways technology will transform the traditional classro… show all text
Amid extra scrutiny from Congress around privacy issues, Apple has started rejecting apps that access UDIDs, or identification numbers that are unique to every iPhone and iPad, this week.
Apple had already given developers a heads-up about the change more than six months ago when it said in some iOS documentation that it was going to deprecate UDIDs. But it looks like Apple is moving ahead of schedule with pressure from lawmakers and the media. It can take more than a year to deprecate features… show all text
An interesting tweet by Michael Margolis, a former Apple TV engineer at Apple Inc., popped up in our Twitter feed this evening, and we thought it was worth passing on. According to Margolis, the new Apple TV UI was not only on the table at Apple years ago, but Steve Jobs alledgedly shot it down because he didn’t like it at the time.If true, and it sounds like Margolis would know, it certainly has me raising an eyebrow, or two. The new Apple TV UI has been critcised fairly heavily since it’s … show all text
A new study about digital influence says Klout and other social media measurement tools don’t really define how users influence their networks.
All too commonly, sites like Klout and PeerIndex claim to measure influence — and maybe they do measure influence. But what does digital influence really mean?
Brian Solis, author of The Altimeter Group report, says social websites that rank users’ social media influence don’t measure influence like they claim to do. Rather, Solis says a user’s social m… show all text
The providers of an inspiration service turned inward for some much-needed inspiration of their own, and have updated their terms of service following feedback from community members.
Run-away social sensation Pinterest has, after consulting with members, revised its terms of service Friday in light of growing scrutiny. It has removed terms that would allow it to sell content posted to the site. The new policies will go into effect on April 6, two weeks from today.
Pinterest, as you likely know, show all text
Cross-posted on the Twitter blog . Today, we’re releasing a new version of TweetDeck. This update introduces some great new features as well as a host of smaller improvements and bug fixes. Check out this video for a quick tour of the updates, and read on for more information. List Management You
Today is World Water Day. 1 in 8 people in the world live without access to clean, safe drinking water. Help them by pledging to give up your next birthday for charity: water and ask for donations for clean water instead of gifts.
An exclusive look inside CEO Ben Silbermann’s social media sensation.
FORTUNE — Ben Silbermann can’t stop staring at the refrigerators. The Pinterest co-founder and CEO and I are standing in the break room of his company’s garage-size Palo Alto office. He’s just flown back from Austin’s SXSW interactive festival, and a redesign of his website is two days away. It’s all a little overwhelming. But at this moment his full attention is focused on three glowing refrigerators. Sometime during his b… show all text
On paper it looks like one of those strategic agreements that large companies sign with small startups. But if you look close enough, you will find that by forging a partnership with information as a service (IaaS) provider, Eucalyptus Systems, Amazon.com’s web services division is making a masterful move to dominate the cloud market. As part of the agreement, Amazon will allow Eucalyptus to use Amazon’s API to connect Amazon cloud services with the private clouds set up by large companies.
From show all text
Looks like OMGPOP, the company behind the overnight sensation Draw Something, will end up at Zynga, after all. The game maker had been talking to several suitors over the last few weeks. But as TechCrunch reported earlier, it has been in serious discussions with Mark Pincus and company for the past few days.
Now Zynga has scheduled a call for a “news announcement” for 3 pm ET. I’m going to go out on a short limb and assume it’s to formally acknowledge that they have bought the company.
My sourc… show all text
Google Analytics has announced new social reports today, designed to help marketers measure the return on investment for social media activities. “Many social measurement tools focus on social listening by monitoring keywords and buzz. While they’re helpful in many cases, these tools don’t… Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.
On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey tweeted the first ever tweet on Twitter.
The sheer fact that you can understand that sentence shows you how far Twitter has gone since then. It has become the de facto short message system of the internet and the favorite social networking service of celebrities all around the world.
And, with over 500 million users, it is the largest one-to-many open communication platform on the web.
However, the service’s beginnings were modest. The service started out as an of… show all text
Attention George Foreman: report to an Apple Store near you immediately. There’s a hot (literally) product, you simply must buy the entire inventory of to keep your grilling empire alive: the new iPad.
Or at least, that’s what the latest nonsense from Consumer Reports would have you believe.
We’ve seen this ridiculousness from Consumer Reports before. In June 2010, at the height of “Antennagate”, Consumer Reports figured out the art of click-bait. If you say something outlandish, even if it dir… show all text
Today is the first day of spring. Which is weird. Because winter is coming.
At least for some big media companies, that is.
Here’s my situation: I recently started watching the HBO series “Game of Thrones” (based on the George R.R. Martin “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels). It’s fantastic. I’m addicted. My girlfriend and I watched the entire first season in three days. It seemed like perfect timing, because season two is about to start on April 1.
One problem: I won’t be able to watch it show all text
Pinterest’s meteoric rise in popularity has been well documented this year. In fact, a recent study showed that in February, the content curation platform had begun sending more referral traffic than Twitter. The numbers are clear – Pinterest has achieved product-market-fit and has built a platform that’s resonating with tens of millions of users (12 million monthly actives at last count). With success comes imitation, of which Pinterest has plenty among startups trying to emulate their design … show all text
Electronic devices cannot be used on a plane during takeoff, taxiing or landing. But the Federal Aviation Administration says it will be revisiting this rule and taking a "fresh look" at the use of personal electronics on planes. Approving those devices may be very difficult given how many different kinds of electronic reading devices are being made.
There are a couple services out there that transform your Google+ public feed into RSS. The problem is, there isn’t the notion of a title on your Google+ post. The result is that these parsers do their best and just put a string of characters from the start of your post into the Title field of your RSS entry. This doesn’t really make the feed all that useful and kind of annoys me.
Thankfully, Yahoo! Pipes is still around. I’ve built a Pipe that uses the unique feature of bolding the first few words and turns them into the Title of your RSS feed entry.
Here is how to use it:
Go to your GooglePlus profile page and get the account number from the URL. It is the long string of numbers. Copy that and and go to http://pipes.yahoo.com/techlifeweb/mygplusfeed and paste it into the field provided. Click Run Pipe. After you get the results you can use the RSS link to get your feed.
We’ve discovered that one of our most popular episodes contained numerous fabrications. This week, we detail the errors in Mike Daisey’s story about visiting Foxconn, which makes iPads and other products for Apple in China. Marketplace’s China correspondent Rob Schmitz discovered the fabrications. Transcript. Press Release.
Ira writes: I have difficult news. We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China – which we broadcast in January – contained significant fabrications. We’re retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth. This is not a story we commissioned.
Blogging and sharing company Posterous has announced via its company blog that it has been snagged by Twitter in an apparent ‘acqui-hire’, with Twitter interested mostly in the people, not the product. Various Posterous engineers, product managers and more will join the Twitter team and the existing ‘Spaces’ that users have will remain up and running for now.
This is all despite Posterous being emphatic just 19 days ago that it had ‘no plans to sell’.
Twitter says that it will give users ‘ample… show all text
Curator’s Code is an attempt to codify and standardize “via” links and attribution from link blogs and aggregators with two new symbols:
ᔥ means “via”
↬ means “hat tip”
It’s completely misguided.
First of all, readers aren’t going to learn what those symbols mean. The distinction between them is also unnecessary and will lead to more confusion: I’ve been running a hybrid articles-and-links blog here (↬DF) for a while, I wrote the function that added “via” links to billions of reblogged posts on… show all text
If there’s one thing SXSW attendees love, it’s talking about SXSW on their favorite social networks.
There were more than 300,000 social shares across networks that mentioned SXSW on Saturday alone, according to Meltwater Group.
SEE ALSO: SXSW Tour: Rain, Food Trucks and Whimsical, Bizarre Promotions [PICS]
Meltwater used its Meltwater Buzz tool to crawl Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, comments, and message boards to find out what people were talking about. Check out the infographic below to show all text
Tech PR is horribly broken. On the eve of the Big Pitch—that's SXSW—an industry vet lets loose.
This was sent to us this morning, unsolicited. It was written by a 35-year-old PR executive working in New York City. He has worked at five different agencies, and is now running an independent consultancy. He wishes to remain anonymous. Here's what he has to say.
Dear Startup and Tech PR Industry, Hi! Hello! How’re you doing? Hope you’re well! Hope things are great with you! Hope things are just … show all text
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been quietly rolling out a major redesign of the Dropbox website. Today we turned it up to 11, and anyone who signs into dropbox.com will see a simpler, more powerful, and more beautiful web experience. Here’s what we came up with:
A focus on the stuff you care about
One of our main goals was to slim down dropbox.com and focus on the star of the page: your stuff. We’ve put all the tools you need at your fingertips, but only when you need them.
The new action b… show all text
AWS works hard to lower our costs so that we can pass those savings back to our customers. We look to reduce hardware costs, improve operational efficiencies, lower power consumption and innovate in many other areas of our business so we can be more efficient. The history of AWS bears this out — in the past six years, we’ve lowered pricing 18 times, and today we’re doing it again. We’re lowering pricing for the 19th time with a significant price decrease for Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon Elas… show all text