It wouldn't be at all surprising if Facebook's response to the bad vibes elicited its latest redesign were straight out of the 1970 comic war movie "Kelly's Heroes." To wit, we give you just one of the refrains from Donald Sutherland's tanker/proto-hippie character, Oddball:Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves...Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
So there's a new Facebook app out there, designed to poll users on the social network's latest redesign. The results? Hundreds of thousands have responded. 94 percent give it a thumbs-down. Ouch.
Comments range from "WHY FIX IT, WHEN IT WASN'T BROKE, you will be SORRYYYYYYYYYYY" to "It feels counterintuitive and less technologically advanced than the last layout."
Now, this is clearly not an official vote. Chances are, you're not going to install a third-party polling application with the sole purpose of voicing an opinion on the new Facebook design unless you'… Read more
Auditude, a video advertising company best known for technology that can identify clients' video content and run ads against it, has raised a $10.5 million Series B funding round from Redpoint Ventures and existing investor Greylock Partners. This brings the company's total funding to $23 million.
Last time we checked in with Auditude, the company had inked a deal with News Corp.'s MySpace and Viacom's MTV Networks to detect both official and user-uploaded MTV content on the social network's MySpaceTV platform. It was seen by many as a savvy antipiracy measure. Since then, Auditude has … Read more
Opening a new tab in a Web browser shows a lot of prime but empty real estate, and now the programmers behind Firefox are following their peers at Safari and Chrome in trying to make it more useful.
Along the right edge is the "quick-access bar," a stack of thumbnail views of your popular pages selected on the basis of how recently and frequently you visited them. In the upper left are … Read more
President Obama's stimulus package is putting aside roughly $21 billion for healthcare technology and the development of electronic health records (EHRs). At this point when we say "billion" or even "trillion" it doesn’t have much of an effect. So let’s try that again – Obama's stimulus package is putting aside $21,000,000,000 for healthcare technology. It is a ridiculous amount of money.But, where will it all go? Most of it is earmarked for the creation and utilization of electronic health records, which is essentially a digitized … Read more
Microsoft is looking to keep the smile on its Surface computer, as it brings the PC to 12 overseas markets.
The software giant on Monday announced that the Surface computer, which responds to touch and hand gestures, will be marketed in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. The computer is currently distributed in the United States and Canada.
According to a statement by Panos Panay, Microsoft Surface's general manager:
Since our initial launch of Microsoft Surface, we've received an overwhelming response from companies worldwide that are … Read more
As an iPhone user, one of the things I've found to be increasingly irksome is the customer review system built into Apple's App Store for the iPhones and iPod Touch.
It's as basic as you get, which follows the design ethos found in the many of Apple's hardware products, such as the no-button Mighty Mouse, disappearing MacBook buttons, and I/O ports on its notebook computers and LCD displays.
While simplicity is one of the qualities that makes Apple's products more approachable for the basic user, it's something that doesn't translate well to a crowd-powered review system.
In its current state, the review system lets you very easily rate a software application from one to five stars, along with the option to write in any thoughts or feelings you have about it. This sounds great, in theory, but a good majority of the reviews found on App Store applications seem to prove otherwise.
More often than not, you'll see one-star reviews in which people are raving about the quality of an application. There are also people who give an application five stars, then go on to spend two paragraphs discussing how often it crashes and larger off-topic issues like international pricing and the handset's lack of a copy-and-paste feature. You also get a lot of comments written in ALL CAPS, with lines of Emoji icons, colored stars, and superfluous exclamation marks.
In every sense, it's like the Wild West: untamed and full of interesting characters.
To Apple's credit, on Friday, the company (as promised) removed reviews from customers who had not purchased the application they were reviewing. This may cut down on spam and ill-conceived or written reviews, but it's not a big step in improving how the review system works.
Problematic by design The problem stems from the fact that Apple has treated software reviews with the same level of simplicity it's approached movie and music reviews. These two mediums are not interactive, nor do they have hangups like development schedules and performance issues.
While you can rate an album or music track based on your enjoyment of it, it's not speaking to a truth about frame rate jitters, buggy code, or a developer who has not put out a necessary update in six months--all things you may find in iPhone applications and that can be good to know before plunking down money on a purchase.
One reason there's a lack of these types of clarifications in user reviews is that Apple has fragmented its reviews system based on platform. Mobile users don't get the same quality of review browsing as those using iTunes do. For instance, when viewing user reviews in iTunes, you get the option to flag a bad review and say whether it was helpful. You can also sort by best and worst reviews, along with the most helpful and recent.
On the iPhone, users have none of these options. In fact, there's currently only one way to view reviews--in chronological order. For a device that's slowly gaining independence from having to sync up with a computer (as seen in recent improvements to podcast downloading on the device), this is troubling.
A better system There are a three things Apple could do, explicitly to software application reviews, that would beef up the system and make reviews really matter to the potential customers who read them. All three can be found on Amazon.com, which has done a really fantastic job of creating a single ratings system that works on multiple genres of products:… Read more
Tibesti on Wednesday launched the beta of its "social shopping destination," a site filled with consumer product reviews. There are, of course, a lot of consumer reviews sites, and there have been since the Web started. What sets Tibesti apart, slightly, is the way it pays users back for creating reviews.
If you review a product on Tibesti that hasn't been covered before, and someone then buys it by following a link on the site, you get half the commission that Tibisti earns. For this, Tibesti is channeling data from affiliate aggregators Commission Junction and Linkshare. These … Read more
In the face of mounting criticism over its change to its terms of service, Facebook has reverted to its original terms of service, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology. It's a nice about-face, but it also misses the point.
The point, as Techdirt intimates, is transparency.
It's hard to think that nobody at Facebook anticipated it and took some proactive steps to address the changes and attempt to allay concerns and preclude the overreaction.
Instead, Zuckerberg responds only after the fuss has been kicked up, and his explanation comes off as damage control, regardless of the motivations … Read more
While most of the activities on Facebook count as spam or worse ("super poke," anyone?), it's likely that such friending and poking was intended to be private. Recently, however, Facebook changed its terms of service to ensure it has perpetual rights on personal content, including content deleted by its users, as The Consumerist reports:
You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and … Read more