social networks

Twitter redesigned: endless scrolling, in-line media, more

Twitter redesigned: endless scrolling, in-line media, more

Twitter has updated its web interface in an attempt to lure users away from their third-party apps, and the general consensus seems to be that it's a slicker, more immediate way to interact with the short-message service.  The single-column view is gone, replaced by a twin-column interface that allows for a preview on the right hand side and a full timeline on the left.  Twitter has also embedded photo and video content - as long as it has a deal with the site hosting it, such as TwitPic and YouTube - in the preview itself, meaning less hopping around looking at multimedia.

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Movie Review – Going the Distance

Movie Review – Going the Distance

This past weekend, I saw two movies. One was a completely unrealistic piece of cinema trash with stale characters and a script that seemed to have been made up on the spot. The other was "Machete." That's right. Of the two, I could more easily believe in Danny Trejo as an ex-Federale-turned-asssassin-landscaper than believe in the relationship that Drew Barrymore carried on with the "I'm a Mac" guy. It wasn't just a bad movie, it was a betrayal of its content and of the, ahem, heritage that these two actors bring to the screen.

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Life on Facebook

Life on Facebook

I almost added a comment to the long, growing list of comments on Stephen's wall. I sat for a few minutes, trying to think of what to say. I'm sorry? I'm thinking of you? I read through the thirty-five or so comments that were already posted, and most of them repeated the same thoughts over and over again. Condolences piling up under Stephen's status update, saying that he had just lost his brother, Mike, and he would be flying home to New York City for the first time in years to be with his family.

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An Unalienable Right to Privacy

An Unalienable Right to Privacy

With all the furor over privacy after Facebook introduced its new Places application, I started to think about what privacy really means as a concept. The reaction to Facebook Places ran a startling gamut. On one side people are screaming about George Orwell, whose book 1984 is like the privacy junkie's version of Hitler. It's an argument stopper. It's also science fiction, but a sci-fi parable, at that. On the other side are those who are completely indifferent to Facebook's privacy issues. These people don't care and they don't see the problem.

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Technologies that Shaped a Decade

Technologies that Shaped a Decade

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a few gadgets that had been transformative to me. A reader wrote in and asked if I thought there any categories of products that had changed the world over the last decade. I thought about that for a while and here my list of the some of the gadgets and services that almost overnight (from a historical perspective) changed everything and went from enthusiast to mass market.

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Google shopping for social games for “Google Me” Facebook rival?

Google shopping for social games for “Google Me” Facebook rival?

Google's supposed plans to take on Facebook are being picked over again, with the rumored "Google Me" project being connected with online casual game studios Playdom, Electronic Arts' Playfish and Zynga Game Network.  According to the WSJ's sources, the games will "be part of broader social-networking initiative that is under development" and which would " incorporate and go beyond Buzz".

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Avoiding the Social

Avoiding the Social

The range of people I know who have completely ignored Facebook sometimes astonishes me almost as much as its explosive growth. Some of the most important people in my life are social networking luddites, with little to no presence whatsoever on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any photo sharing sites. But even though they aren't present, they are impossible to ignore. I'm still friends with plenty of people they know, so their social web is still intact, but there's a chunk missing from the middle where they would usually hold it all together.

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Checking In Has Yet to Arrive

Checking In Has Yet to Arrive

I see GPS as the third major player in the triumvirate of mobile technology. First, we put in place a ubiquitous network connection. Second came the cameras, so we could record what we saw. Finally, the GPS chips, so we can track where we've been. Beyond mobile phones, now laptops and tablets are coming with GPS built in, as well as point and shoot cameras, cars and a wide range of other devices. On anything that moves, you could imagine adding GPS.

Location is a subversive technology, at once willfully tracking our moves and broadcasting our position. With a camera, GPS becomes corroborative evidence. In a car, GPS is an escape route.

It's also very, very creepy.

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Smoking a Tweet

Smoking a Tweet

The first time I worked for a Dot-Com (back when websites were called such things), there were certain freebies always available. Not on Google levels of freebies, but there were always bottles of water and Mountain Dew in the fridge. There was pizza every other Wednesday, Krispy Kreme donuts every Friday. But we didn't have a water cooler. The office space was mostly wide open, with a pit for the editors and writers, and offices for the higher-ups. I was segregated with a few graphic designers, but my friends all sat in the pit. In that year, I probably smoked more cigarettes than at any other point since I picked up the habit in college. That was also the year I quit smoking.

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Why I dropped My Best Friend on Facebook

Why I dropped My Best Friend on Facebook

I dropped my best friend from my Facebook friends list. When I say best friend, I really mean it. I've known him longer than anyone I still see regularly, since middle school. I have other friends who I see more, and with whom I'm just as close, but my friend Dave has been my best friend since High School. We live a couple thousand miles apart, so Facebook was a great way for us to stay in touch. Still, I had to cut him.

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