Okay, I’ve had enough of the Xbox Live friend limit that Microsoft has imposed on us for far too long. I think this has gone on long enough, and I’m really not seeing a good reason for it. As many Xbox Live gamers know, the current limit on friends you can have is set to 100. The thing is, in the age of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and all the others, we are now used to connecting with many people in our social graph across many different services.
Now, all that said, there is still one more very annoying piece to this puzzle. Did you know that the Zune Social and Xbox Live share one common friends list? In other words, if you currently have 100 Xbox Live friends, and you go out and buy a Zune, and want to connect with people who also have Zune’s (but don’t necessarily play games,) you are out of luck. You’ll have to remove someone from your Xbox Live friend list to add someone else. This is, in two words, absolutely ridiculous. I get wanting to share the Zune and Xbox ecosystem, but to shoot yourself in the foot like this is just puzzling. I personally have at least 15 people that I would like to add as friends on the Zune Social, but I can’t, because my Xbox Live list is maxed out.
Foursquare has just released version 1.3 for their iPhone app, which now notifies you with a buzz when friends are nearby, via push notification. Foursquare allows you to check-in at different locations, and lets your friends know where you are (this also includes optional Twitter pinging.) What makes this app stand out is the badges system. This system awards you for your activity, whether is checking in to a new place or returning to it for the 100th time. Competitive souls can find subtle amusement by attempting to dethrone majors for locations – people that have been to a specific location many times. If you haven’t tried out Foursquare yet, I highly recommend it.
Read More | Foursquare
Mapmotive is a handy mapping tool for Facebook that lets you know where your friends are located. Still being worked on by designer creator Jonathan Dunn from Montreal, QC, you can add and share locations of interest, special events and your favorite haunts. Of course it will not work for certain privacy levels, but it would be a fun way to find out where your buds in Oshkosh or Fargo hang out.
Read More | Mapmotive
Recently launched, Facebook Connect allows users to share Netflix movie selections and ratings by clicking stars that will appear on their wall and friends’ News Feeds. Your friends can comment, add the movie to their queue or connect to Netflix to learn more about the movie. Of course you can configure the amount of titles and ratings shown by the privacy settings. To enroll, head over to Netflix via the link and click the button there.
Read More | Netflix Facebook Connect
Google Latitude can help you keep track of friends and family on your cell phone. Find your buds and their status on a map, then contact them with a call, IM or SMS. You have to have a compatible phone with images enabled such as Android-powered cellies, BlackBerrys, Nokia smartphones and Java-enabled devices. If you have an iPhone or iPod, there are plans in the works for those, too. Google promises privacy but you might want to think about how much you want your friends to know about where you go and when. This is a free service but carrier charges may apply.
Read More | Google Latitude
Tom Bramwell has a preview for the upcoming Burnout Paradise that is surprisingly thoughtful and critically considered as far as previews go. He discusses the challenges faced by Criterion Games in re-inventing a popular series practically from the ground up and asks some pertinent questions where they ought to be asked. For example, when the topic of the Crash mode comes up and Criterion mentions that they have scrapped the original concept of the popular mode, Bramwell presses the point, getting Criterion rep Matt Webster to confess they don’t yet know exactly how it will all work out:
Asked whether they’re opting for a Burnout 3 approach of trying to manoeuvre the car in slow motion between power-ups and Crashbreakers, or a Burnout Revenge “golf swing” of perfect start and target cars, Webster admits it’s not all there yet. “We’re still throwing ideas around. I think we’ll be talking about it more in the coming weeks.”
The preview isn’t about sticking it to the Burnout devs, though, it reads more like a fan of the series seeing drastic changes and slowly coming to the realization that if executed properly, these could make for a remarkable game. Among the more exciting aspects of Criterion’s open-world approach to Burnout is the focus on seamless online play that works the way most gamers prefer, by putting the folks in your Friends list first.
Read More | Eurogamer
Television has long been a very social activity - friends gathering to watch the game or a movie. Now this experience is possible with friends who may not be in the area. Social TV is a technology that delivers world-wide channels via the internet, and adds the ability to sync your viewing with friends (or strangers) and interact with each other via chat.