Another week has flown by in social-media land, which means, you -- and I -- have missed a lot of developments, new products, and so on. Most of them, of course, don't matter, but these Week in Review posts (March 27; March 19; March 12; March 5; February 26; February 19) are meant to help you catch up with the ones that do. Wherever I can, I insert Twitter handles so you'll have some new folks to follow. Each week, you can help by posting links in the comments section or e-mailing me or tweeting with @sree&… Read more
"My new app is something that solves an age-old problem and an annoyance for all of us in the tech industry," is how the promising pitch starts. That problem and nuisance being described? "The real world."
"We are all so busy now," the "entrepreneur" continues, "We've all got emails to email, texts to text, tweets to tweets and birds to slingshot, that there's no real reason to be bothered by our actual surroundings any longer, you know. There's really no reason to look up from our phones ever … Read more
If Google's April Fools' Day reimagining of its Maps service for the Nintendo Entertainment System didn't provide you with enough retro absurdity for one week, check out Dutch Web editor Jo Luijten's take on an '80s-era Twitter.
The video, which appeared on YouTube recently, is just one of several such clips Luijten has posted that mash up iconic Web 2.0 products and services with outmoded OSes, interfaces, and other technologies. (We've embedded a few below.)
In addition to Twitter, Luijten -- who's also behind a "funny jokes and frivolities" Web site called Squirrel-Monkey.com and a very serious organization called the International Guild of DOS Users (the FAQ is good for a chuckle or two) -- has also conjured up an '80s version of Angry Birds and a '90s take on Facebook. And he beat Google to the punch by whipping up a look at an '80s incarnation of the company's search engine.… Read more
Zynga must be glad it dropped that $180 million on OMGPOP last month. Besides acquiring Checkers, Pool, and other online games, Zynga also got its hands on Draw Something--which topped charts today as the fastest-growing original mobile game ever, according to VentureBeat.
The wildly popular game, which most resembles the board game Pictionary, was released less than two months ago and within the first two weeks it skyrocketed with 10 million downloads. Quickly, both the free and paid versions were No. 1 on iTunes' download charts.
As of today, the game has exceeded 50 million downloads, according to VentureBeat. … Read more
A week isn't complete in the tech industry without somebody suing somebody else over patents.
This time, Facebook is countersuing Yahoo, charging that Yahoo violated 10 of its patents. This move, of course, comes less than a month after Yahoo sued Facebook for allegedly infringing on 10 of its patents.
Facebook's countersuit shouldn't surprise anybody; it was always going to fight fire with fire, especially since Yahoo started this unnecessary fight. It's the same reason Facebook purchased 750 patents from IBM last month -- it needed more ammunition in a patent arms race that is quickly … Read more
Aiming to work more closely with top-tier publishers, the popular news reader Zite today unveiled a platform that will prominently highlight stories from its media partners.
Zite, which works on iOS and Android devices, is built around the concept of giving people personalized news in discrete subject sections like "technology," "politics," "sports," and so on. People can choose as many sections as they like, and stories are algorithmically curated at least in part based on people's feedback about whether they do or don't like stories, publications, and even individual authors.
Now, with … Read more
This much is clear about the patent showdown between Yahoo and Facebook: Yahoo is losing friends left and right.
Last month, Yahoo sued Facebook, claiming the world's largest social-networking company had infringed on 10 of its patents. And yesterday, Facebook countersued, arguing essentially that it hadn't done anything wrong, but hey, as long as we're on the subject, Yahoo violated 10 of our patents.
For many in the technology business, this is just the latest chapter in a battle that most would like to see wrap up -- and quickly as possible, please. But since Yahoo was … Read more
This blog is meant to examine the world of social media, but sometimes I will stray into the world of apps because so many of them are inherently social, even if they aren't technically of or about social media itself.
When I review and critique apps, I plan to ask, on occasion, for experts with specific knowledge to share their insights with all of us.
So when I heard about an iPhone app aimed at the blind, I turned to someone better suited to the task than anyone else I know. More on her in a minute.
Since the … Read more
Last month, Yahoo set off a bomb when it sued Facebook for alleged patent infringement. Today, Facebook fired back, denying that it violated any patents and claiming that ten of its own were infringed by Yahoo.
Here's what Facebook alleges.
Facebook says a wide variety of Yahoo services infringe its patents, including its Flickr photo sharing system. According to Facebook's countersuit, those servies include:the Yahoo Home Page, Yahoo's Content Optimization and Relevance Engine ('C.O.R.E.'), [Flickr], and advertisements displayed throughout Yahoo Including on My Yahoo, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News, Yahoo Games, Yahoo … Read more
For certain types of people, finding out that fantasy writer Neil Gaiman likes their work could be considered the cherry on top of a career. So for filmmaker Kevin Smith, seeing that Gaiman once tweeted "I suspect @ThatKevinSmith is what all gods and demons aspire to be" had to make for one terrific day.
@ThatKevinSmith, of course, is the man who made such cult hits as "Clerks," "Mallrats," and "Chasing Amy." More recently, he's moved on from wry humor to darker stuff like "Red State." And he's even … Read more