January 20, 2012

SOPA Outrage Sends Bill Back To The Drawing Board

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SOPA WikipediaLess then two full days after some of the world’s top websites began protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the lead sponsor of the bill Lamar Smith, says it will be sent back to the drawing board and redraft with an emphasis on keeping censorship off the table.

Speaking about the decision to keep the bill off the table Smith noted:

“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy.” He went on to add: “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”

Lamar Smith says he’s still committed to protecting “American intellectual property and innovation” but he stopped short of saying how the bill could be changed to reach that goal.

Under the current form of SOPA critics have argued that the bill would allow company’s to easily shut down sites that disagreed with its opinions, while pushing up the cost of community driven sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit by forcing owners to monitor activity in near real-time.  read more

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January 19, 2012

Google+ Now Has 90 Million Users, Growing Rapidly

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Google Plus 90 Million UsersGoogle+ is cruising along these days and that fact was buoyed by Google CEO Larry Page on Thursday when he announced during the company’s quarterly finance meeting that Google+ is now serving more than 90 million users.

When you take into consideration the fact that Google+ was reporting just 40 million users in October 2011 the improvement in usage is astounding.

In December 2011 Google+ watcher Paul Allen predicted that the social network had 62 million users while Experian Hitwise has predicted 400 million users by the end of 2012. read more

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January 16, 2012

Facebook IPO Coming In Late May

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Facebook IPOMultiple sources have revealed that Facebook executives plan to release the company’s IPO in late May 2012. The company is expected to go public in the third week of the month which means they would have to file with the SEC in the next month since it usually takes three to four months for the agency to review a company and approve its IPO.

While late May looks to be the much anticipated day a source close to the plans tells All Things D:

“This IPO planning could all change in a New York minute to another month.”  read more

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January 13, 2012

Words With Friends Is A Real Life Saver, Literally

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Words With Friends

Words With Friends can be more than just a fun scrabble type game you play with Friends, it could be the very technology that saves your life one day. At least that was the case for an Australian man who was diagnosed with a life threatening condition.

Australian resident Georgie Fletcher and American wordsmith Beth Legler met several years ago through the gaming platform and began a friendship through the Words With Friends chat screen. Recently Mrs. Fletcher began to describe her sick husbands symptoms when Beth’s husband Larry, a physician, told Georgie to rush her husband immediately to the hospital.

It turns out that Simon Fletcher had a 99% blockage near his heart that would have led to certain death had he not been taken immediately to the emergency room. read more

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January 12, 2012

Facebook Announces ‘Listen With’ Application, Turns Platform Into Giant DJ Booth

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Facebook Listen With Feature

Fans of Turntable.fm will soon have a similar offering to take advantage of through the Facebook platform. The social network on Thursday announced “Listen With” a new feature that allows users to access a personal chatroom where they can share songs with their Facebook followers.

Tunes are picked up from Spotify and Rdio at this time and the program integrates with real-time sharing technology which was introduced to the Open Graph in September.

Unlike Facebook’s current offering which allows users to see what their friends are listening to and then play them the new program picks up and plays songs right where they are currently streaming. For example if a friend is half way through a song and then changes to a new tune you’ll be taken along with them to the new track. read more

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January 11, 2012

Facebook Kills Off Educational Accounts Created By University Librarian, Cites TOS Violation

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Joe McDonald Fake Facebook Page

Two years ago Donnelyn Curtis, a librarian at the University of Nevada set up profiles for Joe McDonald (deceased 1971) and his wife Leola Lewis and now after using the accounts for educational purposes they have been shut down by Facebook.

Curtis hadn’t really started to update the accounts until recently when the account went from approximately 100 followers who were mostly friends to over 1,000 people.

According to Curtis when she logged in recently she was met with an automated message from Facebook explaining that creating an account for someone other than herself violated the social networks terms of service.

It’s a pretty common theme for Facebook to kill accounts that don’t appear to be real, however the fact that it took the social network two years to kill off the account is surprising. read more

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January 10, 2012

Google+ Integrates With Google Search, Personalizes The Web

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Google Plus Search Integration

We knew it was only a matter of time before Google+ and Google search were integrated in some way and on Tuesday Google rolled out that system. Under the deeply integrated platforms Google users who are logged into their Google+ accounts and to a smaller extent their other Google accounts will now see general search results along with the option to find results based off their Google+ friends network.

Using the search Google+ users can search their circles, photos, posts and a huge list of other on-site options.

Google has dubbed their new search platform Search Across The World and have given users the option to not just search a public database of websites, photos and other information but also a more private web consisting of your friends, co-workers, family and other Google+ followers.

To ensure there is no confusion over the new system all Google+ results are clearly annotated as such for example if searching for a photo (see above) you can see which friend shares the picture of the dog breed you are searching for.

Here’s a video showing the awesome capabilities of the new Google+ search integration for Google.com: read more

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January 9, 2012

Warner Bros. Building Instagram Competitor Called OutMyWindow

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OutMyWindow

Executives at Warner Brothers are in the midst of preparing to take on photo sharing sensation Instagram with a new offering of their own.

According to Fusible.com the company has filed several patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a product called Out My Window which very much appears to be a photo-sharing platform built around  a social network.

Among the company’s filings Fusible reveals:

The goods and services covered in the filings include: peer-to-peer photo and video sharing services, digital enhancement of photographs, digital imaging software, providing temporary use of on-line non-downloadable software and applications, and of course, social networking services provided via the internet. read more

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Are You Territorial Over Your Blog Contacts?

While we’re opening up about blogging—I have an odd obsession with my blog contacts. People hear that I am a blogger and many instantly ask me where I guest post and how they can get involved. I am a huge blog enthusiast, so I love to hear that more people are becoming interested. I think blogging is a great way for people to connect with other like-minded people, and I love getting to know other bloggers. However, I find that I am very territorial over my editor contacts, and this is why:

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January 6, 2012

Positive Facebook Comments Get ‘Likes’ While Negative Content Gets Comments [Infographic]

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Facebook Truth InfographicIf you want to receive more Likes on your Facebook fan page or personal wall the trick is to post positive content more than negative. On the other hand if you want more comments a few negative posts is the way to go.

The team at Help for Depression created an infographic that specifically examines how the way we post on Facebook affects the interaction we have with our Facebook friends.

The study finds for example that people with longer status updates who use the second person “you” and talk about sex and religion have the highest friends count. On the other hand people with negative and emotions responses who talk about family and use the first person “I” more tend to have less Facebook Friends.

Data for the study was culled from 83 13-year-old girls, which obviously means it’s a big bias but still worth a closer look. read more

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