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.
Katheryn started off the session giving us geo location coordinates that only a machine would love. Her followup to this was the context matters; our location around a place and who is around that space with us. There is also excitement around discovery with geo. An example could be geocache games which created back in the old old black and white LCD “latitude and longitude” GPS units and have worked their way into the App stores of the iPhone and Android handsets.
Although location is in its infancy, Foursquare has opened their APIs and sites like gatsby.com are using location data + user preferences to send SMS messages to those who are in proximity with one another and could potentially benefit in meeting up in real life. While this leads to privacy issues, it is opt-in and could let “regular strangers” connect and communicate in ways that they might night work up the courage to in the physical world.
A few days ago we posted an editorial begging Microsoft to fix the Xbox Live friend limit that is currently imposed upon both Xbox Live and Zune users. Well, after years of being vague about it, the truth has finally come out. According to G4, a high-level Microsoft employee has revealed that the reason that the friend limit hasn’t increased at all, even after the launch of the Xbox 360, is Halo 2.
Halo 2? Yes. You see, original Xbox games have the friend limit hard-coded into them, and Halo 2 is an original Xbox game. Since it is still so popular, Microsoft thinks they need to keep supporting it. If they increase the friend limit, they need to take Halo 2 offline.
Please, for the love of all that is sane in the gaming world, implore your friends and countrymen to switch to Halo 3, or the upcoming Halo 3: ODST, so that we might have a more social Xbox Live.
Oh, and this still doesn’t explain the whole Zune Social thing, and Microsoft’s belief that it has to be tied to Xbox Live, for whatever reason!
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.
Remember those rising files Facebook and Twitter features we told you about? Well, they finally arrived. Verizon FiOS is in the middle of rolling out its Widget Bazaar, which includes Twitter and Facebook integration. You’ll be able to see what others are tweeting in regards to the show that you’re watching in the read-only Twitter widget. For example, if you’re watching a baseball game, you can pull up the Twitter widget to see what others are saying about the same game.
A Facebook widget is also being introduced, and will allow you to see a basic view of your news feed, even allowing you to see your friends photos. While you can’t do any manual updates, the Facebook widget does support sending status updates showing what shows you’re watching. The one caveat here, is that you can currently only have one Facebook profile on a files cable box.
There are other features here as well, as blip.tv, DailyMotion, and Veoh videos will be available to Home Media DVR subscribers.
According to Verizon, this is just the beginning. Their plan is to allow developers access to their open platform so that more interactive files TV applications will be available.
Read More | Verizon FiOS WIdget Bazaar Release
Superstar Ken “Kennedy” Anderson just put the video above on YouTube, which we had to share. Look, we know a lot of you hang out on places like Facebook and Twitter, and that’s cool with us. Just don’t be the guy or girl that Mr. Kennedy is mocking in the video above, mkay?
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
Now you can hang with your friends shopping online instead of making a trip to the mall. FriendShopper beta is simple and free to sign up and has a drag-and-drop bookmarklet to save and share anything you find on Internet retailers. There are folders for different products and the ability to keep favorites. The official launch will take place July 7, but you can check out their video, sign up now and add your shopping buds.
Read More | FriendShopper beta
Global Language Monitor (GLM) claims that the millionth English word (term) is “Web 2.0.” The organization seeks out new words and phrases on social networking sites and officially recognizes it after it is used 25,000 times. It beat out “Jai ho,” “N00b” and “slumdog.” While traditional dictionary publishers may not approve their methods, GLM, based in Texas, nonetheless plugs on with that mission as well as advising businesses on how often they are mentioned on the Internet.
Read More | BBC
This is proof positive that Twitter is more than stuff and nonsense. Moldovans were using the social messaging network to create a rally in response to Sunday’s election result and poor economy. Using Facebook and the tag “#pman,” which stands for Piata Marii Adunari Nationale, a large square in the capital city Chisinau, more than 10,000 gathered. The rally was considered to be “well designed, well thought out, coordinated, planned and paid for.” The protests began quietly on Monday, but escalated into stone throwing and fires until dispersed on Tuesday.
Read More | NY Times
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