Is Google getting set to take on Facebook? If Digg founder Kevin Rose is to be believed, he has heard from a “credible source” that Google has a service called Google Me in the works that will aim to go head-to-head with Facebook in the social network space. If anyone can take on Facebook, it would likely be Google. After all, they’ve got the services (Google Talk, Gmail, Docs, Buzz, etc.) and the search power to pull all your information into one account pretty much immediately. Consider us intrigued.
Read More | Kevin Rose
Looks like Facebook will be readying video chat on their service, similar to what Google has done with Google Chat within Gmail. Even cooler, though, is that an eagle-eyed developer just sent us information saying that he found code within the latest iPhone OS 4.0 beta that suggests that this video chat service will be embedded into the iPhone software, ready for use by the next iPhone (iPhone HD? iPhone Pro?) Of course, take this info with a grain of salt. As we all know by now, the upcoming iPhone will have a front-facing camera, which is perfect for video chatting with others who also have the device. Even more interesting, though, is that since it is tied to Facebook, you should—in theory-be able to video chat with users of other phones that have front-facing cameras (like the Sprint EVO 4G) if they also build in the Facebook video chat service.
Now this all sounds great - but we seriously hope that video chatting isn’t limited to Facebook contacts. Let’s bring iChat to the iPhone, finally.
You know it’s going to be a bad week when one of the most beloved fantasy artists passes away. He was absolutely one of my favorite artists and one of the first artists who, like Jack Kirby, could get me to buy pretty much anything with his name on it.
Tom Spurgeon has an excellent overview of the late artist’s career. “Frazetta’s art on the Warren Magazines Creepy, Eerie and eventually Vampirella combined some of the pulp tendencies for which he was soon to become very well known with a sense of classic horror. They remain some of the company’s most iconic pieces of art.”
Viz Media: I often post job listings here for Viz Media, the longtime manga publisher in San Francisco – longtime as in they’ve been doing it since it wasn’t quite so cool to do it. So I was saddened to hear that they let go more than 50 of their staffers. That’s, I think, the largest layoff of comics professionals that I can remember and certainly the largest in recent years. I hate to see that kind of thing happen, and I wish everyone the best as they figure out what to do next. Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat recently posted this link from Dan Blank’s website; I’ve practically memorized it.
Read More | Comics Beat
Tired of constant Facebook Farmville updates from “friends”—yes, I just used air-quotes—that you haven’t talked to since pre-school? Well now you can strike back in classless style—yes, I also understand what an oxymoron is—with FarmVillain. There is no game to play here, just spiteful Facebook-bombing at its sarcastic best. Bury a dead hooker in your least-favorite friend’s lawn. Claim 10 illegal-immigrants on your neighbor’s wall. You can even choose to “add a whole lot more cowbell to your farm”. I don’t even know what that means and I want to do it. Fight back with FarmVillain.
This morning at WES 2010, RIM finally took the wraps off of their upcoming BlackBerry 6 operating system, introducing it with the video you see above. While it’s easy to be captivated by the dancers, when you focus on the actual screen activity being teased here, you see that this is all focused on touchscreen gestures, but we are sure that RIM won’t be throwing away that true QWERTY keyboard anytime soon. Also, interestingly enough, the web browser got almost no play at all in the video. Maybe they’ve still got some work to do on that one. Still, it’s nice to see the company progressing and aiming to bring BlackBerry devices a bunch of new hotness in the near future.
Microsoft’s Fusion Labs just announced a new product that they are doing in partnership with Facebook, called Docs for Facebook. Built on Microsoft Office 2010, Docs for Facebook is seemingly a play by Microsoft to take some of the cloud-based office suite share away from Google Docs. You’ll be able to create and share documents with friends on Facebook, control privacy settings, and with a click of a button, open the documents in your native Office software on your PC or Mac. That’s all well and good, but do you know many people who’ve been clamoring for the opportunity to add their boss and co-workers as Facebook friends, just so they can share documents with them on the popular social networking site? Yeah, us either.
If you want to get in on the action, hit the link below.
Read More | Docs for Facebook
Rovi Chief Evangelist, Richard Bullwinkle had an afternoon session at SXSW 2010, dealing with convergence in the living room, “From Hulu To Yahoo Widgets: Will The Internet Transform The TV?”
He started the session with the statement “It is difficult to upgrade your television because it is affixed to a wall.” With computers, you can go to a new website, such as moving your social network from myspace.com to facebook.com. With a mobile phone you can delete the location centric Loopt app and load Foursquare or Whrrl. But your
television cannot be updated and it is typically maintained by someone who put it on the wall.
With the American market being spread out over thousands of miles, broadband penetration and the speed of those connections becomes the next issue. Music and streaming television is not a problem with existing bandwidth; be it via cable, to the house or Wi-Fi within. As we get to HD quality, few have the capacity to our homes to achieve this rate. I know of this pain point personally and have solved it by running three networks at the house, one for devices like the iPhone and Chumby at 2.4 GHz and the others for high definition video distribution over Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11N at 5GHz.
Did you think the Xbox 360 would be the only console to integrate Facebook functionality? If so, Sony has another thing coming for you, as they are launching firmware 3.10 for the PlayStation 3 today, and, you guessed it, Facebook integration is included. Check out the video above to check out how it works, but in a nutshell, you’ll be able to have the PS3 post different events to your Facebook feed, like purchases, trophies, and in-game happenings. Other changes in PS3 firmware 3.10:
- You can choose a color for your PSN ID badge
- Photos are now displayed in a grid rather than a single column
- The friends list has been modified, based on feedback from the community
The update will be out today.
Read More | Sony
For those of you who weren’t able to get into the Preview Program, you can now rest assured that the latest Xbox 360 features, including Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and Zune Marketplace with instant on 1080p streaming, will be arriving on all Xbox 360 consoles on November 17th. Yup, that’s just five days away, which isn’t that bad at all. To celebrate the launch of the new dashboard, all Xbox Live Gold features will be available to Xbox Live Silver members from November 20-23, allowing Silver members to sample Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and online multiplayer. Oh, what’s that? You didn’t know that only Xbox Live Gold members were able to use the new social networking aspects of the dashboard? Yeah, major fail, we agree.
We previewed the dashboard in a recent episode of Bleeding Edge TV, which you can check out at the top.
We’ve been fans of the Verizon FiOS Internet service for about two-and-a-half years now, and as soon as FiOS TV was available for Gear Live HQ, we were first in our area to subscribe to that service as well. Aside from the uncompressed signal that they send through, the service has some features that make it truly unique, like the integration of Facebook and Twitter right on the DVR. I had some of my friends over to show off FiOS TV, and we had the cameras going to capture it all. Hit play for a look at what went down. If you’re curious about Verizon FiOS, be sure to hit up the Facts on FiOS site for details.
A big thank you to Verizon for helping make the party happen!
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