March 31, 2009

Skype for iPhone hits Apple App Store

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PD*26729633Skype’s highly anticipated application Skype for iPhone is now available via the Apple App Store. The app also adds Skype calling and instant messaging to any second generation iPod touch with a compatible headset and microphone.

Skype for iPhone requires a Wi-Fi connection to make the free Skype-to-Skype calls or regular calls to mobile and landlines. Users will not be charged by Skype for making and receiving Skype-to-Skype calls using an iPhone or iPod touch.

(What excites me more with this service is that it allows my iTouch to become a mobile phone in itself. Who needs an iPhone now… I still want it though)

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Because I Said So

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One of the most frustrating aspects of reading blogs is when either the blogger or commenter makes unsupported statements. read more

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Twitter Finally Gets @replies

@replies changeFor the power users out there, this isn’t even remotely interesting, since you all use TweetDeck, Twhirl, or any other kick-ass desktop client that already understand these things. But web interface users who wanted to catch up on mentions have been forced to search, since the @replies link in the sidebar just listed tweets where you were @username’d at the beginning of a tweet.

No more!

In your Twitter sidebar you’ll now see your own @username tab. When you click that tab, you’ll see a list of all tweets referencing your account with the @username convention anywhere in the tweet—instead of only at the beginning which is how it used to work.

About time. Do follow @blogherald on Twitter, and why not follow me (@tdhedengren) as well?

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March 30, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Motion, Plugins, Hash Tags, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! First, I’d like to kick things off with a blog post that generated a lot of discussion this week. Designer and developer Mike T. wrote about the many things that frustrate him with the current state of MT. Whether you agree with him or not, he brings up some important points, and generates some interesting conversations in the comments.

For another critical look at MT, check out Ken Edwards’ first impressions of Motion. Ken discusses some of the pros and cons of upgrading to a Motion-style site. read more

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What Blog Recession? How iRetouch Saved Me $697

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If you were to take a quick survey of photo editing software, you would probably discover that most probloggers use Photoshop, a powerful program that allows you to manipulate images to your hearts content.

While Photoshop is probably unrivaled in its domain, purchasing it can set you back $699–and that’s on the low end (as the full version costs $999).

Since many bloggers may prefer to spend $700 on a new laptop (that is if you are a fan of Microsoft), they may instead want to check out a new iPhone app from iMapl called iRetouch (who created Magic Touch not too long ago). read more

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The Outing of a Blogger: The Fear of Being Found Out

blog anonymous mask over word bloggerIn “The Outing of a Blogger: Social Transparency or Violation?” and “The Outing of a Blogger: Is it Legal to Reveal a Blogger?” I’ve covered some of the issues around the outing of an Alaskan blogger by a local politician and the legality of such actions.

There have been a variety of blogger outings lately, some with positive outcomes. Fake Steve Jobs Blogger, Daniel Lyons, admitted that he was stunned that it took so long to be uncovered, enjoying the attention. For Lyons, his blatant lampooning of Steve Jobs turned into a career booster. Lyons expected to be found out. Most anonymous bloggers worry they will be.

One of the greatest things about blogging is the freedom and ability to have your say, no matter what it is. One of the greatest fears is being found out.

Many bloggers live in fear of being found out, some at the risk of their lives. Others fear that their right to express themselves without persecution, even of the social kind, will be taken away by exposure. For those who blog anonymously, the law is one issue, but the social stigma is a bigger one. read more

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What Gets Copied: A 3-Week Study

Three weeks ago I signed up my blog for a beta service by Tynt called Tracer in an attempt to both test the service and get a better understanding of how people are using my content.

The service works by having users embed a line of JavaScript code into their site and it tracks when users select or copies text and images from the site itself. Tracer also adds an attribution line to every copy that includes a special link Tracer can track, thus letting you know when people visit your site from copied text.

The information provided by Tracer is only aggregate in nature, there is no information about what an individual user did with your content, and Tracer does nothing to prevent copying, thus it is not a DRM solution. All Tracer does is analyze how users interact with your content and which pages are the most “active”.

To do that, Tracer follows four metrics: page views, selections (meaning when someone selects objects), copies (actually copying the work) and generated traffic (clicks on links generated by Tracer).

After over three weeks of running the service, I’ve gotten some pretty good data on my site and the results more than surprised me. Here is what I learned. read more

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Youth Bloggers Network Joins Teens In Tech, Pro Model Announced

Often praised blog host Teens in Tech, with 16 year old Daniel Brusilovsky as the CEO, has acquired Youth Bloggers Network. This from the latters post on the subject:

We decided that by joining forces, our projects could help each other vastly. We figured that YBN and TinT complement each other very nicely. TinT offers a place where teens can get set up with a free blog, while YBN offers a community for young bloggers to collaborate, communicate, and grow their blogs and projects.

Youth Bloggers Network is run by Patrick DeVivo, 15 years old. read more

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Shiny Media hires Mike Poole as creative consultant

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UK-based new media network Shiny Media, currently undergoing significant transformation, has announced that it has hired Mike Poole as creative consultant.

Mike has previously worked on projects for a number of UK companies including retail store Debenhams, hairdressing salon Toni & Guy and supermarket giant ASDA. read more

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Huffington Post Launches Fund For Journos

Arianna Huffington announced the The Huffington Post Investigative Fund yesterday. This is a way to meet the fears of newspapers scaling back on investigative journalism, and the $1.75 million that is used to kickstart the venture will focus on just that.

The pieces developed by the Fund will range from long-form investigations to short breaking news stories and will be presented in a variety of media, including text, audio and video. And, in the open source spirit of the Web, all of the content the Fund produces will be free for anyone to publish.

The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Huffington Post is the forces behind the initiative, and they are publicly looking for potential editors to coordinate the project.

While this does indeed sound like a good idea – I personally truly appreciate the open source angle of it all – it will do little good by itself. On the other hand, if good journalistic pieces are developed through the fund, and getting the recognition as well as the traffic they deserve, that could potentially be a strong statement to newspapers and publishers that investigative journalism is worth spending a little money on. We’ll see soon enough.

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