Google is showing some signs it understands how photography is changing on the Net.
In the olden days, people posted batches of digital photos on the Web in photo albums their friends would look at occasionally. Often half the point of uploading the shots was getting them to a place like Snapfish or Shutterfly that could create prints.
Picasa Web Albums, Google's photo-sharing site, was born in this era. Now, though, photos are becoming an in-the-moment part of people's online social lives, notably with Net-connected smartphones and Facebook sharing with friends. Picasa Web Albums--never a product that advanced … Read more
A TechCrunch story reported that RockMelt is claiming "hundreds of thousands" of active users and that about 20 percent to 30 percent of users who downloaded RockMelt have used it at least once every seven … Read more
Socialcam is hardly the first mobile app to record and share videos. Remember 12 Seconds? Didn't make it. But not because it was the wrong idea. As Socialcam shows, video sharing from a mobile device can work extremely well. The secret is the execution.
Socialcam has technical tricks as well as social ones. It starts uploading your videos as soon as you start recording. So when you press "stop" and go to upload your video, you may find the progress bar already pretty well filled in. If you take a video and you don't have a connection, the app will just store it until you do. You don't have to worry about it.
Socially, the app ties into Facebook smoothly. You can tag your friends in your videos as soon as you take them, and this puts the vids on their walls--so people will actually see your videos even if they're not Socialcam users. Sharing on Twitter, or on e-mail or SMS, is also a simple operation.
Socialcam is great for sharing video of friends on Facebook, but it could also be an important app in citizen journalism and revolution. Like Instagram, the even-easier-than-Twitpic photo sharing site, it makes sharing media so simple that it fundamentally alters the experience, when compared with previous products that did the same thing.
Socialcam is a production of Justin Kan's Justin.TV. I first met Justin at a party in 2007, when he was still live-streaming from a camera mounted on his head. He's gotten smarter about video since then. Justin.TV is a growing video business, but as Kan told me at the Socialcam launch party, the Justin.TV app still requires too much work for the everyday user. It requires people to know if they want to stream video live, or record first for playback later; also they need to worry about their Internet connection. Socialcam does far less than the mobile video studio that Justin.TV is, but it takes so much of the thinking out of the equation that it makes doing video much easier. Because of that, it is likely to become a more powerful and important service.
Here's a Socialcam video from the product's launch party, which I attended in the line of duty Tuesday night. I didn't stay long:… Read more
Mozilla updated Firefox 4 today to release candidate status, meaning that the features are locked, and barring the discovery of any major bugs, this version is likely to become the browser's official release. Available to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Firefox 4 release candidate 1 contains no major bug fixes, and instead offers a series of stability, compatibility, and performance tweaks.
Longtime Firefox 4 beta watchers will notice a squaring off of the browser's tabs, and for those who missed it in the last beta, the browser will now automatically pin itself to your Windows 7 taskbar … Read more
PlayStation 3 owners who are also PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to save game data in the cloud, Sony announced today.
After updating the PlayStation 3 with firmware version 3.6, which rolls out tomorrow, PlayStation Plus subscribers will find a new backup utility on their console. Users can go to the utility and upload up to 150MB of saved-game data to the cloud. Up to 1,000 data files can be stored on the service. The storage is connected to the user's PlayStation Network account, Sony says.
Sony's new feature goes beyond storage. Users can download … Read more
Adobe Systems has proposed a standard that could make it easier to create Web pages with fancy layouts seen more often in magazines.
The company proposed a technology it calls CSS Regions (PDF) yesterday to the World Wide Web Consortium, which standardizes the Cascading Style Sheets technology widely used to control formatting on Web pages. Adobe also described the technology at a CSS Working Group meeting in Silicon Valley.
"This proposal is intended to support sophisticated, magazine-style layouts using CSS," said Arno Gourdol, director of engineering for runtime foundation at Adobe, in a mailing list posting.
In Gmail, I love labels. I set up filters to apply labels to incoming e-mail so it's automatically deleted, archived, sorted as travel-related, flagged as important in various ways, or organized by senders I care about.
Evidently I'm one of those early-adopter nerds, though, because Google is taking steps today to get Gmail labels to appeal to a broader set of people.
To do that, it's got a Gmail Labs feature called smart labels. Essentially, smart labels do some of the sifting for you automatically, for example categorizing messages as bulk e-mail or mailing-list postings and filing … Read more
Microsoft will be formally launching the next version of its Internet Explorer browser, IE9, at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) on Monday--an interesting place to launch, given that the Austin, Texas, geek fest is packed full of the hordes who have long since ditched Internet Explorer for the decidedly hipper pastures of Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.
The new browser, which had its first and only release candidate land in users' hands in early February, will fully launch to the public at 9 Pacific time that night. In a blog post, Internet Explorer senior director Ryan Gavin described the … Read more
Lime Wire has settled a copyright lawsuit brought against it by several music publishers.
Yesterday's settlement puts to rest the copyright infringement suit filed in June against Lime Wire by more than 30 different music publishers, including the publishing arms of EMI Group, Sony, and Vivendi SA.
The former file-sharing site and its founder Mark Gorton were sued last year by a bevy of music publishers and record companies over charges that the LimeWire service enabled its users to illegally download copyrighted songs. That suit followed a previous court ruling in a case involving the Recording Industry Association of … Read more