With all this hysteria about the pig sniffles, you'd think that an announcement about 100 million strange little organisms would be cause for alarm. That's not the case, however, when we're talking about the oddball life forms that players grow and control as part of video game Spore. The game created by industry legend Will Wright announced Monday that 100 million creatures have been created, far outrunning the number of species on Earth.
Kwiry, "the remind yourself to do a search about something later" company, is closing up shop next week. According to a company blog post, the service is shutting itself down due to "economic realities."
In the meantime, users are kindly being given the next 10 days to grab all their previous searches, which can be saved as a CSV file and exported into other reminder services.
I hate to see the site go, but it was a concept that was a hard sell to casual users. Aimed at users without smartphones (or data plans), it started … Read more
Captcha, or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a method used by many Web sites to fight against computer-generated input. As computers get smarter, Captchas hves become more of a nuisance because most of them are now tough for us humans to pass.
I recently blogged about a new and more humane way to create a Captcha by using 3D images and the implementation of that method at Yuniti.com. I've just run into a different approach, similar to the Asirra tool revealed by Microsoft in 2007, that seems even easier for humans … Read more
Next week, Yelp is set to roll out a new feature that will allow business owners to respond to user reviews--both good and bad--of their establishments.
In an e-mail sent out to the service's "Elite users," one of Yelp's local community managers Don Bourassa said the service is being set up to give business owners a way to provide constructive feedback in a public forum, as the current system requires businesses to correspond with users through private messages.
"The goal is for all comments to be pleasant and useful," Bourassa said. "For example, … Read more
Among existing FriendFeed loyalists, it doesn't look like there's much dissent about the redesign, which is currently available as a beta test. An "anti-FriendFeed beta version" group hasn't gotten much traction. But on Twitter, which some people see as a FriendFeed complement and others as a competitor, opinions were much more mixed.
"I have (Twitter client) TweetDeck to filter and organize noise. Why then would I still need … Read more
I wrote earlier that "marketing with meaning" has the ability to "activate" customers. An effective way to activate customers is by activating the dormant social networks they inhabit (often without even knowing it). While social networking has visualized the so-called six degrees of separation, all business transactions have a social component and can be seen as expressions of the underlying social micro-universes, the "worlds within worlds," in which--shifting time and place--individuals travel and interact. As marketers face the daunting challenge of connecting with fragmented audiences that are increasingly split into billions of social atoms … Read more
About four weeks ago, I went for an annual physical and had standard blood work done. I was told to call back in a week, and of course I forgot. Today I had a message that said: "Hello, this is Dr. XX's office, please call us back at xxx-xxx-xxxx." That was it--the person didn't identify herself and also didn't say what the call was for. When I dialed the number, I was expecting to be told that I owed them money. But actually, the woman on the phone had no idea why she had called … Read more
Namechk is a new service launching on Wednesday that helps you find open usernames at 84 different Web sites. Like UsernameCheck, a service we covered last year that has since shut down, it takes only a few seconds to come up with the results and provides a link to the page for each user at the sites where it's taken.
What's really impressive about this service is the speed. In a few sample searches, it averaged about 8 seconds from start to finish. And you don't even have to wait to see all the results because they … Read more
There aren't many new companies launching at this year's Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, which runs Tuesday through Friday. One of the few that are is Lunch.com, which strives to get a little more juice out of user-generated publishing.
Here's the premise of Lunch: You can review anything you want, from a TV show to a restaurant to a food product to a household appliance. I guess it aims to be, sort of, a Wikipedia for opinions. Founder J.R. Johnson, who started building the site after he sold previous creations VirtualTourist.com and … Read more
These days, in this world of IKEA and Target and "Project Runway," we like to think we know about design. We also like to think that the biggest names in Silicon Valley know what they're doing design-wise.
Yet recently, we saw two of the Web's most prominent players hit by design-related snafus: first, the continuing brouhaha over Facebook's latest home page redesign, which many users claim makes the service more difficult to use; and second, the departure of Douglas Bowman, a high-ranking Google designer who accompanied his resignation with a blog post detailing his frustration … Read more