Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey calls Vine an all-new art form. Maybe he's right (though the six-second video clips created with Twitter's new app owe a debt to animated GIFs, home movies, YouTube, TV commercials, stop-motion animation, filmmaking in general, and other forms of visual storytelling). Regardless, it's true that Vine has suddenly thrust something new into the hands of a great mass of people, and made it supereasy for everyone to get into the act of saying something quickly with moving images (and then sharing what they've said with, perhaps, millions). And that's bound to lead to some exciting discoveries. … Read more
I have been barely able to sleep for concern about Laura Safe.
She is the radio newscaster who, last week, was so enamored of texting her lover, that she walked down some shopping mall steps and plunged into a canal.
As this happened in my hometown of Birmingham, England, I have been contacting those I still know there concerned that, perhaps, her radio voice might have become a little garbled or nervy after the escapade. … Read more
Fredik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Peter Sunde, founders of popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, are about to hit the big screen.
A documentary on the notorious site, titled "TPB AFK" (The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard), will debut February 8 at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.
The filmmakers will also release the documentary online under a Creative Commons license, allowing others to share and use the film in their own works for free. A date has yet to be announced for the online release. … Read more
Six seconds isn't a lot of time to work with, but that's the length of video Twitter's new Vine service dishes out. The looping videos can be embedded in tweets and have already been described as "Instagram for video." Vine's out as of today as an app for iOS, with other platforms in the works.
The short time limit isn't stemming the flow of creativity from Vine's early users. So far, we've seen everything from a monster flick to a moving sale to a recipe demonstration. Here's a roundup of some noteworthy early Vine videos.… Read more
When life was simple? When Tamagotchis lived for more than a day? When people talked to people? (Yes, in real life.)
That was when the only browser in town seemed to be Internet Explorer.
Times changed, though. Somehow IE became slower and older. Then it seemed to get bullied a little by cooler snipes like Google and Apple.… Read more
President Obama's "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit drew more than 5 million views, and now Vice President Joe Biden is going to try his hand at a different newfangled social-media real-time electronic telegraph technology.
In an event dubbed a "Fireside Hangout," the vice president will be hanging out in Google+ starting at 10:45 a.m. PT tomorrow to discuss the recently released White House policy recommendations on reducing gun violence in the wake of a downright awful 2012 that was plagued by a number of mass shootings in the United States. … Read more
Facebook Graph Search enables a type of discovery never before possible -- you know, like learning which of your married friends like prostitutes. True story.
Tom Scott, a self-described Web comedian, has created a brilliant but disconcerting Tumblr blog called "Actual Facebook Graph Searches" to showcase some of the problematic side effects of a search engine that surfaces tidbits the masses never intended to see the light of the day.
Graph Search, launched in limited beta last week, is Facebook's version of the search engine. It's a structured entity that directs members down a rabbit hole of revelations around people, places, interests, and photos. It's fun, fascinating, and quite freaky, as Scott's Tumblr shows us, particularly if you're interested in "Married people who like Prostitutes" or "Single women who live nearby and who are interested in men and like Getting Drunk!" … Read more
There's a very special day coming up. It's one where we express love and shower certain people with compliments. I'm not talking about Valentine's Day. I'm talking about Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day on February 1.
Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day encourages everyone to add an extra comment about the appearance of a male tech writer when tweeting or otherwise sharing an article. For example, you could tweet, "Awesome Android app article from that hunky Seth Rosenblatt! @cnet."… Read more
The soul-selling industry used to be fraught with shady underground deals involving facing crossroads and meeting demons in dark alleys. A new site called Soul Compare is looking to bring the soul market out of the shadows.
Before you can sell your soul, however, you need to have a good idea of its worth. Soul Compare uses your Facebook presence to weigh your value. It looks at your friendships, photos, comments, and how many "Likes" you've spread around.
All your Facebook information is then translated into gigaMorgans. One gigaMorgan is equal to the value of television host Piers Morgan's soul. I ran the numbers and came in at 25.3 gigaMorgans. I'm guessing I should feel pretty good that I haven't sunk into negative gigaMorgans.… Read more
There are many ways of discovering just how bad the flu is in your area. You and all your friends and co-workers could get sick. You could hear about it on the local news. Or you could check Esri's social-media flu map tracking tweets, YouTube videos, and Flickr photos having to do with Flu Invasion 2013.
The nice part of the Esri map is you can check it from the sterile safety of your own home where you've locked yourself up in a hermetically sealed environment with weeks worth of Spam and Top Ramen to tide you over until flu season subsides.… Read more