As a long-time Mac troubleshooting researcher and consultant, one of my favorite and perhaps the most valuable Mac knowledge sites online is Apple's own Support Discussions forums. According to an official post on the site, the forums will be receiving a makeover, becoming more socially inclined by adding feature sets like avatars, homepages, and widgets. … Read more
The seemingly unending saga of the iPhone 4 antenna issues has grown yet again. After a negative report from Consumer Reports, Apple has apparently deleted all threads about the findings from its popular Support Discussions forums. As Kent German reported earlier today, Consumer Reports has issued its official stance on iPhone 4 and it can't recommend the phone.
Moderators for Apple's Support Discussions forums quickly deleted growing threads discussing the Consumer Reports articles. Though these threads are no longer viewable, you can read through cached versions via Bing.
Despite the generally positive reputation that Consumer Reports enjoys, many … Read more
While Apple cruises to new sales records with its latest iPhone family member, some users are finding the iPhone 4 to be more like the drunk uncle than the cool aunt, citing, among other glitches, proximity sensor issues when attempting to make calls.
How deep is the issue? On the Apple support discussion forums, it's 20 pages deep. And counting. Details of the issue vary throughout the forum posts, but essentially, the proximity sensor (the one that shuts down the screen functionality when your iPhone is close to your face or in your pocket) seems to be malfunctioning.
Some … Read more
Updated 1:40 p.m. with more background and history on Microsoft's newsgroups
Microsoft said it plans to end support for more than 4,000 old-style newsgroups starting next month, pushing users instead to discussion forums such as those found on the Microsoft Answers, TechNet, and MSDN sites.
Although venerable, Microsoft said that so-called NNTP newsgroups are past their time in terms of being usable and secure.
"Newsgroups run on an outdated and discontinued platform that is no longer supported, making them vulnerable to spam and other usability issues," Microsoft said in a statement. The company said … Read more
Web forums may seem like an unexciting idea given the increasingly public and real-time nature of Web discourse. But the aging medium still has some tricks up its sleeve.
Unlike Lefora, Talki is not a forum system designed to be integrated into just your site. Instead, it's a distributed chatter box that can be placed in on a single page or post, as well as on the site of anyone else who embeds it. In other words, the discussion is not limited to one community or content creator.
"With Talki we're targeting a different demographic," Talki's co-founder Paul Bragiel told CNET on Thursday. "We're not going after super hard-core forum users that want to mod the hell out of everything. It's for the 'hey I have a blog, and it's a very big audience, and I'd like to have my users talking to each other,' or 'hey I'm a large media entity and I want to have a couple big sites and put them up very quickly.'"
Bragiel says the company was contemplating creating a "lite" version of Lefora but what came out of development was too different of a product to have in the same brand or category. "Working on Lefora we realized that there are these two types of users that want forums. These hard-core users who wanted to tweak every single option...and then we saw these people who have Web sites or commerce sites and who wanted something clean and simple, but not necessarily with all those features."
The result is a stripped-down version of a forum that's still quite similar to Lefora but one that requires less set-up. For instance, Talki can be set to automatically detect the look of your site and change its coloring to match. And on the user end, people don't even need a Lefora account--they can use Facebook or Twitter to log-in instead.
The one challenge it faces though is competing with existing commenting systems, something Bragiel said he thinks Talki can peacefully coexist with. "Comments still thrive off of a stub--the main page. Somebody reads an article and it's always the editor of a site. And then comments kind of come off it," Bragiel said. "Here, this is a purely main-to-main discussion. So anyone can go out there and create their own discussion...and everyone has control to do this."
As for the moderation of these discussions, that's still something needs to be managed by the creator of the Talki widget--at least for now. Bragiel said that Lefora users and customers have been asking the company to offer a moderation service, especially on the enterprise side. "We've thought about it," Bragiel said, "I've never been a big enterprise guy myself. Every single company I've done has been consumer-oriented."
On the business side of things, Talki is free to use but caps off the number of forum topics that can be created, as well as how many recent topics can be seen. Forum creators can pay for one of several premium service tiers that allow for unlimited topics and replies, as well as things like custom branding and live customer service.
Update at 10:25 p.m. PST: I've removed the embedded Talki widget from this post, as it was causing some users to experience problems reading the post. If you want to give it a spin, you can tool around with one of the company's example forums here.
Update at 10:50 a.m. PST on April 25: The embedded widget is back and after the page jump. It wasn't playing nice with one of the widgets on our site, but it works now.
OSLO--The United States is asking for ideas about how to tackle global warming without raising expectations of breakthroughs in 2010 ahead of climate talks among the world's top emitters on Sunday in Washington.
A document obtained by Reuters on Friday listing U.S. questions to delegates from 16 other major economies shows the two-day talks will focus on the fate of U.N. climate talks, the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, and the Kyoto Protocol.
It does not answer key questions such as what the United States, the biggest emitter behind China, plans to do under any future U.N. plan. U.S. legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions is stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Instead it shows that major nations may have to go back to the drawing board after the Copenhagen summit failed to come up with a binding deal at the climax of two years of U.N. negotiations.
"The general focus of the meeting: what are the key issues that need to be addressed in order to have a successful outcome?" it asks of preparations for the next annual talks of environment ministers in Cancun, Mexico, November 29 through December 10.
"What is the outcome we are all seeking in Cancun? A set of decisions; a legally binding agreement; something else?" according to the document, signed by Michael Froman, deputy White House national security adviser, and U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern. … Read more
NEW YORK--The music industry is in a major state of crisis and some up and coming acts are reluctant to dirty their hands with social networking.
Some new artists signing at both major and indie labels are telling execs there that they'll make music, but don't expect them to do Facebook or Twitter. The labels are saying back that the days when performers--even mega-superstar performers--can keep fans at arms length are over.
NEW YORK--Hans Pandeya, the Swedish businessman whose attempts to acquire The Pirate Bay last year collapsed amid controversy, is giving digital media another try.
Pandeya, who attended this week's Digital Music East Forum here, said Thursday he's busy creating a base in Boston for his U.S. operations. Asked whether he was still interested in The Pirate Bay, Pandeya said, "I have a lot of secret plans I'm working on."
As for why he was at a digital music conference, Pandeya would only say that his plans include digital media. Last year, Pandeya, CEO of … Read more
NEW YORK--YouTube has begun testing a new music feature designed to entice users to stay on the site longer.
YouTube Disco enables people to key an artist name or song title into a search field, and then it creates a playlist for them. Each clip will play automatically, one after the other, with no prompting from the user.
Users can also mix and match songs in their playlists. This is the kind of thing that people can fire up and let play for hours of free music listening. YouTube now sees hundreds of millions of visitors a month, but the … Read more