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There's a new Foursquare badge, you know those fun little icons you can get for checking into various places and times on Foursquare? But this one focuses on the controversy surrounding TSA's highly public pat-down procedures. If you check-in at a TSA location in an Airport with the terms "TSA", "grope" or "don't touch my junk", you are rewarded this handy badge. The description reads "Looks like you’ve had your baggage handled. Happy Holidays and have a safe flight!" Gotta give it to 'em for being topical.

Read More | About Foursquare

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HTC HD7 windows phone 7 giveaway

We're giving away an HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 device to one of you guys here in our "Doing More with Less" giveaway! Not too familiar with WP7? Be sure to check out our Windows Phone 7 review, and read on for the details on how to enter.

Over the past three years, we've seen smartphones shrink in size while gaining a ton of functionality. In fact, it's hard to imagine ever using the bulky QWERTY sliders that were just about as thick as the original Game Boy. With the iPhone, Android devices, thinner BlackBerrys, and now WIndows Phone 7 devices jumping into the fray, we've truly got a situation where we are able to do way more than we'd ever dreamed we could do with a mobile phone, in a device that is so small that it comfortably fits in our pocket while the manufacturers tout how thin they are. Speaking of doing more with less, did you know that the smartphone in your pocket has more technology in it than the first rocket that went to outer space?

Now we want to hear from you--hit the comments and give us some examples where you can do more with less. It can be technology-related, or not. We will be picking a random winner based on the comments received. Here are the official rules:

  • How to enter: Just leave a comment on this article, focusing on "Doing More with Less". You can leave one comment per day until the giveaway’s close. Each comment must be substantially different than the previous.
  • Timeframe: The contest ends on November 29th, 2010. At this time comments will be closed on this post and a winner chosen with Random.org.
  • Eligibility: The contest is open to US residents only who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • Prize: The one winner will receive the HTC HD7, a T-Mobile Windows Phone 7 device that's an approximate retail value of $500.

This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Learn more about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.


This week, you may have noticed something different the first time you went back to Facebook. The social networking site has started displaying a bar encouraging users to set the site as their default home page. By saying "See what's happening with your friends the moment you open your browser" it hopes that users will accept to put Facebook as the very first page that their browser opens. While it may not seem like a big deal going from a bookmark to your home page, sites like Yahoo! and MSN are some of the most frequented pages on the web, in large part because so many people simply left them as their default home page. This is yet another step for the biggest social network of the day to get more center stage.


facebook email messaging

Facebook today announced a revamp of their messaging system. The new system, which will be released slowly over the coming months, will integrate known ways to contact people into the new Facebook Messages. While they were keen to specify that this isn't email, email is definitively one part of it. The goal of the system is to simplify and streamline messaging between people. Everyone will have the option of having a @facebook.com email address, and anyone will be able to send them messages through email, to that address. Those emails will then show up in their Facebook messages. As users reply, it will be sent back by email. But then, if that person sends them a SMS or IM, it will show up in the same conversation, and same history thread. The system will, behind the scenes, route messages between email, SMS, IM and Facebook messages.

The messaging system will include two folders, the Friends and the Others folder. By default, your friends messages will show up right away, while everything else will show in the Others folder. Users will be able to bring up a message from the Others folder up to Friends if they want to. In the questions part of the announcement, they did say that while this system will include attachments for images and even files like documents and spreadsheets, it will not include voice or video, but it's a possibility for the future. Also, if someone not on Facebook sends you an email, it will show up in the Others folder by default, but can also be brought up to the default one. Finally, forwarding will be available, apparently a feature users requested often.

Read More | Facebook Live Announcement

Facebook sent an invitation recently to news agencies for another announcement coming this Monday. While there is no direct mention as to what that announcement is, TechCrunch believes that this may be a major play on a new email service, aimed at competing with Google's Gmail service. Based on the invitation image, it seems likely that the announcement has to do with messaging, since that's what the graphic shows. Then, references to a secret project called Project Titan came up again recently. Finally, just this week, we reported on how Google and Facebook have started an all-out war concerning the exporting of contacts and friends information. It's all still rumors for now, but it will be very interesting to see if a Facebook based email service would take a big chunk out of services like Gmail. Since Facebook has done everything it can to become your primary contacts platform, it would sure make a lot of sense.

Read More | TechCrunch

Google warns of facebook data import

Looks like Google agrees with the vast majority of us as it pertains to Facebook's insane policy where they will allow you to import the data of your contacts, but refuse to let you get that data back out of the service. When you attempt to export your contact data from Google to Facebook, you get the warning above, where Google lets you know that once you export your data to Facebook, it is stuck there, and that they "strongly disagree" with the practice. They don't stop you, of course, but they do make it known what's going on, while Facebook tries to hide it.

Read More | Google Contacts Export

 

A Thingd.com listing

Thingd was recently put in the spotlight by the New York Observer, ending a period of intentional un-discovery. 

Thingd-- short for Thing Daemon-- is dedicated to cataloging absolutely every thing there is. Where Facebook managed to offer a platform for people to catalog themselves along with their personality, founder of Thingd, Joe Einhorn wants to do the same for objects. He explains his ambitions. "I think of objects as the last great uncharted territory on the map."
 
The Thingd team (capping at only nine developers) has been at this for about two years and have already managed to catalog "hundreds of millions of objects in our database," says Einhorn, "and we're adding more than two million a week."

Click to continue reading Ambitious startup Thingd aims to catalog everything


Livestream has had a presence on Facebook for a while now. It's been used to stream the Facebook announcements live on the social network, as well as provide other Livestream content that users could watch directly on Facebook. Now, the social site is introducing the Livestream app, which will allow any user of Facebook to stream video directly from Facebook, at a press of a button, onto their walls. This includes all the Livestream platform features such as making this a regular podcast, with archived videos, or even pay-per-view shows. If you already have a Livestream channel, you can embed it directly on your Facebook page. This will remove some of the steps where viewers would have to move from one site to the next, and show your content directly to your friends. While partners have had access to some of those services for a while now, it's the first time users can do it with a single click, at no cost. This is yet another move by Facebook to bring social components to every facet of the web.

You can join Gear Live on Facebook to get our news directly!

Read More | Facebook

new foursquare website

The website of the location app Foursquare was updated today. While the mobile application has seen update after update, the website has remained more or less untouched until now. "We figured it was time to show some love to the website," said the Foursquare team on their blog.

The updated site now places emphasis on social networking. Friend's updates are now displayed in a live timeline that should "make it easier to keep up with your friends, even when your phone is not handy."

One more part of the update is that it is now easier to bring over contacts from other web services such as Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook. These may be simple updates that seem mandatory for other sites, but it shows that Foursquare is finally caring about their web interface in addition to that of their mobile application.

Read More | Foursquare Blog

It doesn't matter if you run a Fortune 500 company, or if you just have a personal blog. It's also not about whether you like Facebook or Twitter, or if you're active on the social scene. The simple fact is that the world is moving to social, and in a big way. Facebook has over half a billion users, growing every day, with Twitter following behind. Where people used to look up things on Google or Yahoo!, now they look it up on social networks. Instead of getting stories and links from news sites, they get them on Twitter. Instead of writing an email to a friend asking how he's doing, they sit on their Facebook walls and see what they're up to.

Click to continue reading Why your site needs Facebook and Twitter share buttons


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