To the artist, distractions are all too familiar. Often times rearing their ugly head under clever guises to fool you. The Victorian poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lady of Shallot, symbolized the quandary that writers and others of a creative nature face - to watch the world or to live within it. It used to be that the most prevalent form of distraction to the creator came in the form of booze, drugs, and other destructive vices. However, in the digital age distractions invade our personal space with the dexterity of pop up ads. Charming and inviting as they may be, submitting to these distractions sends productivity packing back to the assembly lines.
As I sit here writing this in between drags of a cigarette, I can’t help but think about all the distractions that come to light when working day in and day out on a computer. The main culprit (besides philosophy and smoking) is none other than Facebook (dun dun dunnn!). I’m sure there are more than a few of you out there that have fell prey to the time consuming nature of the social networking phenomena. To remedy my ailment I even went so far as to deactivate my Facebook. But it was short lived.
It seems that the social networking site Facebook is a lot more social than previously thought. That is, thanks to Ron Bowes of Skull Security, who created a 2.8GB torrent file containing the personal information of about 1/5th the total number of users on Facebook (500 million for those who haven’t heard.)
Ron accomplished this by crawling Facebook’s open access directory with a program that stored and filed each users data. The victims come in the form of FB users who have not changed their privacy settings to avoid search engine detection. The torrent contains the profile information of each stalked users most intimate details, such as addresses, phone numbers, and the URL to each of their profiles. Also, searching a logged user’s Facebook profile will allow you to search their friends list and find people despite their unique privacy settings.
Ron is under legal authority in how he obtained the information, so nothing illegal has been committed. But you may want to think twice about what you are sharing with others in your social network, before your entire life becomes public domain for some creep browsing torrents.
Read More | Thinq
The grips of social networking can prove dominating over every waking moment. Especially if you happen to make a living from behind the lucid glow of a computer monitor. Each moment of “let me check Facebook to see what’s new” can cost valuable minutes of time that add up to decreased productivity. Up until now Facebook has only given its users looking for a way out the option to deactivate their account, leaving each and every digital footprint left intact if they ever choose to sign in again. The temptation to “check Facebook really quick” still lingers.
However, the social networking giant has now implemented a new delete account option that allows users to completely free themselves of the addicting clutches of Facebooking at last! The thing is, it’s only available to a few select users as a test group. No word on whether or not this ‘nuclear option’ will become available to all users at some point. Our guess - not a chance.
Meantime, you can add a dash of Gear Live to your Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg announced on the official Facebook blog that the social network has reached 500 million users world wide. An incredible feat indeed, but If you think that 500 million is a lot now, then imagine just how many more will sign up after The Social Network hits theaters. Also announced was the new application “Facebook Stories”. This app allows the 500 million Facebook users to share stories of how Facebook has helped them to do something significant. “Stories” is meant to tell of the miraculous feats that can be accomplished through the open, ever changing social network that is Facebook. For instance “Ben, the 17 year old high school student”, used Facebook to get his network involved in a movement to save an old town theater in Kentucky. Now if only we can get the other 499,999,999 to stop posting meaningless drivel, and start taking advantage of using it as a source of grassroots empowerment. Perhaps Facebook Stories will spark this, but methinks it will become overrun with stories such as “Jake the 22 year old college student used Facebook to organize a fart.”
You can follow us on Facebook.
Read More | Facebook Blog
Fortune has gone all tech on us this week, compiling a list of who they think are the fifty smartest people in tech. We found it interesting because most lists focus on the richest CEOs, or straight up performance on the job rather than things like intelligence, and the vision and impact they have on the tech world. The way they did it was to break the list down into ten categories (smartest CEO, smartest founder, etc.) and then list five names in each, listing a top choice for each category in the process. Here’s a peek at what they came up with:
- Smartest CEO: Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
- Smartest Founder: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
- Smartest Designer: Jonathan Ive, Senior VP of Industrial Design, Apple
- Smartest Academic: Danah Boyd, Social Media Researcher, Microsoft Research
Hi the read link below to head to Fortune for the full list.
Read More | Fortune
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.
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