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
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
Tweetie has been pretty much universally recognized as the best iPhone Twitter client since it launched, and Tweetie 2.0 took it to the next level. In fact, it was so good, that Twitter decided to buy the app outright, rather than building their own iPhone app. News soon came that Tweetie would become “Twitter for iPhone” and would be made free (Tweetie sold for $2.99) to anyone who wanted it. Well, today is that day, as Tweetie 3.0 has been released with new features (we’ve got a list of them after the break) and is now simply known as Twitter. It’s full-featured, it’s the official Twitter app for the iPhone, and therefore it will have access to more Twitter resources than any other Twitter app out there. We recommend it highly, and you can download it now.
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.
Google just announced their latest product, called Google Buzz. Buzz will be integrated into Gmail, similar to the way video and chat had been integrated into Gmail. Buzz is akin to Twitter, but uses the Gmail UI. They’ve incorporated auto-following of those in your contacts list, a rich UI, and options for public and private sharing. Alongside Google Buzz, the company has also introduced a new mobile homepage, a mobile Buzz web application, and a new version of Google Maps for Symbian, Android, and Windows Mobile (with other platforms to be updated soon, apparently) to incorporate Buzz features.
If you’ve been wanting to use your Zune HD to get your Twitter on, today is your day. Twitter for Zune HD is a free app, now available in the Zune Marketplace, that lets you interact with your Twitter peoples. You can read Tweets, update your status, and all that good stuff. If you don’t see it, give it a little bit, it was just deployed, which means it may take a few before it shows up.
Now, can we get some Zune HD Facebook love?
We’ve been beta testing the Shoot It! app for the past couple of months, and we are excited to let you guys know that it is now available for purchase in the App Store for $0.99. Why the excitement? Well, Shoot It! is one of the apps we use very regularly, and it’s one of our favorite apps that we’ve ever used on the iPhone. So, What is Shoot It?
Shoot It! allows you to send high quality postcards to anyone in your iPhone or iPod touch Address Book, using images in your Camera Roll, or an image that you take from within the app using the iPhone camera. You can send a postcard to as many people as you like, and you also fill in a message that would be printed on the back of the photo. The end result is, as we said, a high quality 4x6 glossy postcard that has the image of your choice on the front, and your message on the back. Since you can send the message to any number of contacts, you end up with the ability to send one message to, say, twenty people, in just a minute or two.
Read More | Shoot It!