It’s been long time coming, since Netflix hammered the first nail in the coffin of the social networking features of their site this past spring. But Friday the end became reality as the doors closed definitively on Netflix community features.
The move comes just days after Apple launched its new product-based social networking service Ping in iTunes. Now Netflix admits the community aspects of their site were hardly used and their engineering resources would be better spent devoted to developing aspects of the site that are highly popular – such as video streaming. Whether Netflix’s poor experience blending products, services, and social interaction will bode unwell for Ping remains to be seen. read more
Apple’s new Ping network has debuted with the most recent release of iTunes.
Ping, not to be confused with social network updating service Ping.fm (or the web site Ping.com, which has nothing to do with music or social media whatsoever), is Apple’s new niche social networking service dedicated to connecting people based on their tastes in music. Ping is not a standalone web site; it comes packaged only with the software, which is available for both PC and Mac.
Interestingly, Ping is disabled by default and is therefore an opt-in user experience. One might think that Apple would be pushing for users to try the free service, but Apple is promoting social interaction by making users’ details such as name and hometown visible to the public unless specifically set to private. Furthermore, the types of music you enjoy, based on your iTunes statistics, can be hidden – so that embarrassing fetish for show tunes need not be known to the world. read more
Location based services have taken over the cellular market in the last several years and now Apple has decided that your location information may be worth a bunch of cash. Apple changed their company license today to state that they now store “the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device” and that they have the right to share it with “partners and licensees.”
Apple is working to calm customer fears, claiming that all location based data is “collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you.” It’s a statement that should seem familiar to Facebook users who were told the same thing months ago, only to find out that their profile information and the profile information of their friends were being shared with advertisers.
Unlike Facebook, there is apparently no way to opt-out of the Apple policy. Actually that’s not totally true, you can refuse to ever download another app for the life of your device and then stay away from the iTunes store, at which point you aren’t forced to agree to the companies new terms of service before proceeding with purchases. read more
Macheads and Apple geeks already know this, but John Gruber’s blog Daring Fireball is a heavyweight. This sparked a post on Silicon Alley Insider about the “King of Apple Geeks”, which is basically a demonstration in how powerful a blog can be, using the Ninjawords app censorship report as a starting point.
It’s not so much of a news story over at SAI, but more of a success of a fellow blogger report, which is always nice to read. I especially like the raw data which is provided at the end of the story:
John, reached by e-mail, wouldn’t comment on how much money his site makes, but he says it provides his full-time income. He says the site has recently been close to averaging 2 million monthly pageviews and about 250,000 monthly unique visitors — including some very important ones at Apple headquarters. He also estimates about 150,000 subscribers to his RSS feed.
Say what you will, but a powerful and influential blog sure packs a punch. Even if it is minimalistic in its approach and uncluttered by ads.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock with Internet access so limited that you get is The Blog Herald — and if that’s the case, please leave a comment because we’d love to interview you — then you probably already knew that Apple has come out with a new iPhone.
Which probably would mean that you’re also at least vaguely interested in what the blogosphere has to say about the iPhone and what some of the highest-quality blogs are that talk about it regularly.
Here are seven of them. Please add your favorites in the comments.
In just a little while, the Apple keynote speak on WWDC will start. Usually when there’s a big Apple event happening, Twitter is flooded with people sharing their thoughts or just reporting live. So be sure to check out the #WWDC hashtag if you’re curious about the new iPhone OS, and whatever else Apple might have up their sleeve. Then, as the keynote evolves, you can check of John Gruber’s predictions.
If you have an iPhone or an iPod touch, there is a good chance that you take at least some images with it and, if you blog, use Twitter or have a Facebook account, at least some of those images probably wind up on the Web. Best of all, through various apps available for all three, you can upload those images without them ever first crossing your computer.
However, if those images are copied one might never know where they came from. Though watermarking images is standard practice for many who blog, the iPhone has not had the ability to do that. This has forced photographers to either do without such marks or edit their photos on a computer first.
However, a new application, PhotoMarkr (iTunes URL), by Imangi Studios, changes that. PhotoMarkr adds a very simple and basic watermarking app to the iPhone. Images sent directly from the device can have the same kind of professional marks that one might get from a traditional photo editing application.
However, the app does seem to have its share of hiccups, but at a price point of 99 cents, they may well be forgivable. read more
Curios about what the Twitter office looks like? Then this PR profile article by Apple features both a slideshow video, a small photo gallery, and a bunch of Mac-centric text. The latter is really a bit over the top, with whoever did this article going out of his or her way to focus everything on the Mac brand and how important it is to Twitter. That being said, the video and photo gallery is worth a look if you’re into that sort of thing.
In an age of blogging and tweeting, it’s hard to keep a secret.
Though Apple made it quite clear that its latest shareholders meeting was not to be live-blogged, it didn’t stop a couple of shareholders pushing out updates.
According to CNBC, Apple refused to allow journalists to carry in communications devices, thus making live reaction impossible. However, it did manage to run a live-blog of sorts based on the pings of “Cheddarmuff” and “idannyb”. read more
The Android powered T-Mobile G1 is getting Opera Mini 4.2 beta, says ZDNet’s Matthew Miller, which is good news since Opera offers nice synchronization options. This is something of a rebuke to Apple who stopped Opera Mini for iPhone since it competes with the built-in Safari browser. Or not, since Apple wants to control the iPhone with the Iron Fist of Jobs.