Twitter will reportedly soon get its own external sharing tool that will help both users and publishers share content on the popular social publishing platform.
Based on internal company documents, blog Mashable on Wednesday unearthed details on the "Tweet Button" program, which centers on an embeddable sharing button. When put on third-party sites, it will allow users to share whatever content they're looking at, while it keeps track of how many times that particular URL has been retweeted by other Twitter users.
Sound familiar? If you look at the top of this post, you'll see that … Read more
Parents can rest a little easier knowing that kids can now hit a "panic button" on Facebook to protect them from online predators. The social network is allowing the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre to promote an ad for its ClickCEOP that will show up on pages of members between the ages of 13 and 18.
Once installed, the application will serve as an easy way kids can contact the authorities when they're faced with a potentially dangerous situation. Although this is admittedly not a "silver bullet" to make the Internet safer, … Read more
Each time you see a nice photo or interesting link on your friends' Facebook walls, you would probably click the "Like" button to give the person a virtual pat on the back. Wouldn't it be great to have such a button in real life?
That's exactly what the Facebook Like Button Stamp does. U.K.-based design studio Nation created the product, which is essentially a rubber stamp that lets you "Like" paper documents complete with the thumbs-up icon. It isn't in mass production, but the company seems to be assessing market interest … Read more
When Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a "Like" button that publishers could place on their Web pages, he predicted it would make the Web smarter and "more social."
What Zuckerberg didn't point out is that widespread use of the Like button allows Facebook to track people as they switch from CNN.com to Yelp.com to ESPN.com, all of which are sites that have said they will implement the feature.
To paraphrase a line from Wolverine, the Windows 7 Start Button Changer is the best there is at what it does. And what it does is very simple: it changes your Windows 7 Start button. A one-hit wonder that should appeal to the customizing fanatic, the lightweight program provides two buttons on its simple interface: it allows you to easily change your Start button, and it allows you to back up your current one.
Click the Select & Change button to open a file browser to choose your new Start button icon. If you're not sure where to get … Read more
commentary Facebook on Tuesday launched a so-called Safety Center as a worldwide resource for parents, teens, law enforcement, educators, and the general public, but it's taking safety a step further in the U.K.
In addition to the global safety page, Facebook has developed more resources specifically for members in the United Kingdom, where it has been under pressure from Britain's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to include a clearly visible "panic button" on every page. Facebook has agreed to redesign its report abuse system for U.K. members but hasn't agreed to … Read more
Say what you will about the new iPad, but there's no denying it's a sleek and sexy device. Good looks aside, there is certainly some friction between the gaming community and Apple's new tablet.
Sure, the iPhone and iPod Touch have carved out a considerable niche in the casual gaming market, but, like we've said before, it's tough to consider the platform a legitimate gaming machine without buttons. The same can now be said about the iPad and its 10-inch screen.
We've had plenty of hands-on time with gaming on the iPhone, and though it's a relatively pleasurable experience with titles that just require tapping, the same cannot be said for games that were originally created for consoles with controllers. Sonic the Hedgehog is a perfect example of this shortcoming, as the game performed quite well with the major exception of having to use an onscreen virtual button configuration.
Of course the iPad will give developers more real estate to work with, but it's arguably even tougher to grasp the iPad like you would a normal handheld gaming device. The recent unveiling of a patent filing may give some more insight as to how Apple plans on addressing the awkwardness of touch-screen gaming. … Read more
I was very pleased to get the world's shortest demo a few days ago of ThickButtons, a new smartphone keyboard technology that's made by a small Ukranian company. All this little tool does is dynamically re-size buttons on an on-screen keyboard. It makes the letters you're most likely to want to press bigger. For example, if you want to write "Funding," after you've typed "Fun," the "d" would be slightly bigger than the "s" and "f" on the on-screen keyboard, making it easier to press.
The … Read more
We've written before about Brutal Legend, the just-released video game starring big-screen funnyman Jack Black. Produced by Tim Schafer, who has several cult classics (from Grim Fandango to Psychonauts) under his belt, the game has built up a lot of positive industry buzz, but is also in danger of being overshadowed by a flood of fall 2009 blockbusters, from Uncharted 2 to The Beatles: Rock Band.
Does Brutal Legend--a wide-ranging action/adventure about a foul-mouthed heavy metal band roadie who gets smacked on the head and wakes up in a D&D-style fantasy land--have what it takes to rock gamers this holiday season?
Dan: Having seen and played a few segments of the game at different times over the past eight months, I was eager to have a chance to spend a weekend playing through a bigger chunk of the main campaign. Several hours in, Brutal Legend has done an overall excellent job of treading the very fine line between comedy and gameplay--but not without some serious stumbles along the way.
I'd be the first to say I'm not a Jack Black "fan," but this is clearly a role he was born to play. He's apparently into it as well, and shows up as himself for a clever live-action intro video. The game's writing is sharp, even if much of it is clearly constructed from contextual one-liners that Black's character, Eddie Rigg, spouts off in a semi-random fashion.
But we ended up having more fun listening to the dialog than playing the game itself. Brutal Legend doesn't seem to know if it wants to be a hack-and-slash action game, an open-world exploration RPG, or a squad strategy game--as Eddie picks up small armies of head-banging locals to order around with basic follow/stay/attack D-pad commands.
Perhaps trying to mash all these genres together caused a few of the rough, unfinished edges we saw. Cut scenes and in-game dialog crashed awkwardly into each other, cutting off characters mid-sentence. Transitions between dialog and action scenes were abrupt and sometimes disorienting.
But despite some muddled ideas, we kept going back for more, drawn in by the Frank Frazetta-style art (think '70s metal album covers) and inside baseball music biz jokes--and as someone who has spent some time in a self-parodying heavy metal band, that's high praise.
Jeff: It's tough to name a game that has as much hype this. It's probably because of the talent involved in the game; Jack Black has sported a Brutal Legend T-shirt everywhere he's gone for the last year and voice work comes from rock legends like Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead) and Ozzy Osbourne.
Brutal Legend is unique, in that you'll experience a variety of gameplay genres mashed up together inside. The game incorporates open-world driving, action/adventure, real-time strategy, and elements of role-playing.
If there's one thing the game does right, it's establishing the metal atmosphere.… Read more