There seems to be a headphone for every purpose nowadays. You have headphones for the gym, headphones for the plane, and even earbuds that work underwater. There are also headphones made especially for the little ones in your life, although the choices are limited. Given the concerns over audio volume and hearing damage, it's not terribly surprising that headphone sets for children are few and far between. Luckily, more and more headphone manufacturers are taking advantage of volume-limiting technology to offer child-friendly models. One such company is Ultimate Ears, which has released the Loud Enough Earphones, a $40 pair … Read more
The test client only plays Seesmic videos at the moment. It doesn't let you record them. Seesmic won't be updating the Twhirl client for everyone until recording is added. That's due in a few weeks. Following that, although it "will take a while," will be a version of Twhirl that lets users show their Twitter, FriendFeed, and Seesmic feeds in one window. That'… Read more
The meaning of openness in the realm of social networks continues to be difficult to pin down. At a panel discussion Tuesday at Supernova 2008 in San Francisco, representatives from Facebook, Google, and Plaxo discussed their various interpretations of openness and got into the ongoing controversy between Google and Facebook over their friend-connecting APIs.
"The point is that the individuals have shared custodianship of it because they have overlapping knowledge of each other's connections," said Kevin Marks of Google regarding who owns the social graph data. Users understand that if they violate the implicit social contract, it … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO-- "Social is the new black," Joe Kraus, Google's director of product management, said at a talk on the company's social-computing efforts at the Supernova conference here.
Kraus' view, which can be fairly said to represent Google's, is that these are the three big trends in the social Web:
Discovery is becoming social This was the most telling tidbit from Kraus' talk. He noted that searching on Google is good, but having your friends help you find what you're looking for is better. He gave an example of how social discovery can work--putting … Read more
Both are models made by an Irish company called Iameco, which prides itself on producing tailor-made computers in stunning wooden cases that are free of toxins. The unusual curved supports make an architectural statement, according to BornRich, "representing strength and load-bearing capacity." Their innards are nothing to sneeze at either, with typical models including an Intel Core Duo chip, 400GB SATA 2 hard drive, and more than 2GB of memory.
Following … Read more
Seesmic, which recently acquired the AIR Twitter client Twhirl (download), has shipped a new version of the software. There are minor improvements in Twitter functionality, mostly designed to keep it from requesting too many updates from the Twitter API, which produces the dreaded "limit exceeded" message if you use the app too enthusiastically. The Twitter service, which used to allow clients like Twhirl to fetch updates 60 times an hour, dropped its limit to 20/hour during the Steve Jobs keynote; it's only back at 30/hour as of this writing. Twhirl can now adjust its update … Read more
As promised, FriendFeed has added a personalized recommendation feature that allows users to surface the best content shared by friends. The filter delivers a summary view of the best content by day, week, or month. Results are based on "gestures" such as comments, likes, and other data points.
FriendFeed is a powerful service you can use to follow all the public online activity of your friends. It takes all your friends' activity on Twitter, Digg, del.icio.us, Flickr, YouTube, and 30 other sites and creates one giant uber-feed that you can display in one place. Furthermore, people can comment on what their friends are doing, and you can read those comments, so the service acts as a good way to discover the things your social network thinks is important.
In this guide we'll tell you how to get started with FriendFeed.
FriendFeed is a young service and its developers update it frequently. This guide is current as of June 5. If you spot errors, feel free to e-mail me and I will make the appropriate corrections. Thank you.
Step 1. Join up. This is easy. Go to the site and sign up.
The service will ask you if you want to install the Facebook app. FriendFeed in Facebook is a bit misleading: It will show you all your friends' activities in your profile page except for what they do on Facebook itself. FriendFeed doesn't have a feed of that data.
FriendFeed gives you the option to read in your address books from various online e-mail services. Then it matches those addresses to existing FriendFeed users. It's a good way to stock your network with friends, and doing this does not spam anyone.
Once you've added a few friends, you can let FriendFeed recommend other people to follow. Go to the "friend settings" tab and click "recommend." The app will show you a list of people who are followed by folks you're already following--friends of friends. Chances are very good you'll find people you know on this list.
If you have skipped all the friend-adding features so far, you'll get the option of signing up to read 12 popular FriendFeed users. Following these users will put you smack in the middle of the Web 2.0 echo chamber, and if you want to track your friends in the real world you might find it hard to hear them over the noise of these 12 white guys, but it is a good way to get started with the service. If you haven't added any friends in the previous step, I recommend you pick at least one person from the dozen top users so you can see what the service does. Try either Paul Buchheit or Bret Taylor, co-founders of FriendFeed.
Assuming you've added either your friends or the famous people, now you'll now see the FriendFeed main content page.
Step 2: Reading FriendFeed FriendFeed shows you a list of all the public things the people you're following are doing on the Web. But it gets tricky: It's not strictly ordered by time, with the most recent activities on the top of the list. While new items do start on top, an old item that's scrolled down can move back up to the top if another user comments on it.
The grouping of comments on items, and the persistence of heavily commented-upon items at the top of the list, is what makes FriendFeed a very good way to get a look at what is popular in your social network at the given moment. To help you grasp the zeitgeist even better, FriendFeed automatically includes items from friends of your friends in your main content window.
This means, however, that items from friends of yours who are not Web 2.0 celebrities can quickly scroll off your main content stream. FriendFeed's founders are working on new features to help you track the people who matter to you personally even if their items don't get the comments that stick them to top of the feed. In the meantime, you might want to limit the number of celebrities you subscribe to.
Step 3. Add your personal feeds. If you like what FriendFeed does, you'll probably want to join in as well, so your friends who are on FriendFeed can follow you, too.
Former Googler and FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor in this video offers his views on Twitter and describes the new summarization feature coming to FriendFeed soon. Taylor said he was not interested in cloning Twitter, but in improving FriendFeed's communications tools. The next major FriendFeed improvement is an algorithm that processes signals from inputs, such as comments and "likes," to surface the best-shared items from a user's set of friends.
Jeremiah Owyang: What FriendFeed's Micromeme means to you, brands and the Web
The Friday Gillmor Gang podcast featured special guests Paul Buchheit and Bret Taylor, the creators of FriendFeed. Along with Twitter, FriendFeed has become a poster child for the next wave of communications tools favored by the cybernauts.
Steve Gillmor seems to think that Twitter will become the predominant messaging backbone for the social Web. If the company behind Twitter can't make it happen, Gillmor suggested that FriendFeed should do it.
Buchheit, who was employee No. 23 at Google and suggested the now famous "Don't be evil" motto, said that FriendFeed wasn't designed to kill Twitter. &… Read more