SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Roger McNamee is a thoughtful and accomplished investor. He is also prone to hyperbole. As an investor in Palm, he famously said, "June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later." (The original Bloomberg story is now offline.) And today at the Always On Silicon Valley Innovation Summit, McNamee, an investor in Facebook, said to the audience of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists: "If everyone here hasn't been on Google+ today, it's doomed. They … Read more
A new subscription service will let certain T-Mobile customers glean more information about unknown callers. The carrier announced today a new caller ID service for select phones that will display the name, city, and state of callers, including unknown dialers--not just those in your contact list.
Name ID, as the service is called, will also let users save these contact details to their address book.
Name ID will cost $3.99 per month after a free 10-day trial. It's currently available for the Samsung Exhibit 4G, but will expand to other handsets. The T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide should get it later this month.
The service is supplied by Cequint, which also counts Verizon, AT&T, HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, and Google among its customer base. The company also produces the City ID app that comes preloaded on many of today's smartphones.… Read more
Google, trying to take a stand with its new social network, requires people to use real-world names on Google+. The real world, though, turns out to be more complex than a simple rule can accommodate.
Now two weeks old and growing like a weed, Google+ is facing issues that became common once the Internet made people's identity into information that can reach potentially anyone on the planet. With Google+ and the Google Profiles service on which it relies, the company is trying to build a service without pseudonyms, anonymous cowards, or impersonation.
"Google Profiles is a product that works best in the identified state. This way you can be certain you're connecting with the right person, and others will have confidence knowing that there is someone real behind the profile they're checking out," according to the Google help files for Google+. "For this reason, Google Profiles requires you to use the name that you commonly go by in daily life."
Most people are known by the name that appears on their driver's license or school registry and probably won't think twice about using that when joining a social network. There are plenty of advantages to that approach: anonymous forums are often degraded by trolling, attacks, and flame wars. Using real names brings some measure of accountability, since your reputation is on the line when you voice an opinion.
But there are acres of gray area, too. Political dissidents may want to avoid persecution. Those who've been harassed may want to avoid more of it. And plenty of people want both online interactions and privacy. … Read more
Name Buddy takes a different angle from its Android relative. From the very start, you can see that it is aimed at women. Pink is the color scheme theme and the app icon features a manicured finger. Name Buddy is currently on sale for 99 cents as an introductory offer.
The app dispenses with photographs, as the developers figure that if you know people well enough to have their first and last name and find them on Facebook, then you don't need an app to help you out.
Name Buddy is about logging memory-jogging notes. Start off by entering a first name and then fill out the details from there. The "Where You Met" section is pre-populated with common meeting places such as the neighborhood, party, or church.
There's a place for adding in children's names, making this a good tool for parents who are meeting folks through their kids' schools. It could help make the next PTA meeting a little less awkward when you can search Name Buddy to find that little Ricky's mom's name is Patty.
At its heart, Name Buddy is a simple-to-use database app. All of your notes are searchable, so just typing in a pet's name or a particular physical characteristic can lead you to the name of a person. Just make sure to take good, detailed notes in the first place.
I'm giving Name Buddy a shot as a replacement for the scribbled notes I leave myself on my fridge when I'm trying to remember my neighbors' names. I don't foresee using it as a hard-core business tool, but I will try to at least get a handle on my neighborhood and my social life.… Read more
As someone who's bad at remembering names, I have developed several survival mechanisms. I post my neighbors' names on the fridge. I attempt to use mnemonic devices like matching names to celebrities or figuring out creative rhymes.
Thankfully, the app doesn't make you snap a pic of every new person you meet. That could be a little awkward. What's My Name imports photos from your contacts, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
The photos are then displayed with a choice of four different names. Choose the wrong one and a big red "X" lets you know you failed miserably and should try harder.
Names can be broken down into groups so you can separate out your drinking buddies from your clients or in-laws.
The flash card-style game can be played in continuous mode or timed mode to simulate the pressure you'll be under during an important business meeting or social mixer or when greeting well-wishers at your wedding.
The app from developer Knowlysis costs $1.99 after a one-week free trial. It should be handy for heading off the embarrassment of calling someone by the wrong name or referring to him as "That guy over there. Whatshisface. You know who I'm talking about." … Read more
Disney was willing to pay up to $700 million for Club Penguin, but apparently forgot to renew its domain. Parents can't be happy.
If you go to Club Penguin--like my daughter did--you may get an odd-looking Network Solutions page. It's the page you get when you haven't renewed a domain name. The page has been down for a good chunk of the day. CBS News reported that Club Penguin returned about noon, but a lot of folks still can't get to the site. The outage has been widely reported on Club Penguin blogs such as the … Read more
It was hard enough coming up with names for my cats. I can't imagine the struggle to find just the right name for a human baby. Busy parents-to-be can now hand the baby-naming burden off to their unborn children with the Kick to Pick iPhone app.
Choose your favorite names from a list of thousands or let the app randomly pick from boys' or girls' names in its database.
The 99-cent app takes the term "baby bump" in a whole new direction. Start up the kick picker, place the iPhone on your belly, and wait for your baby to give a hearty kick. You can stick with the name Junior lands on or try again.
I picked out a few names and tested out the app. I'm not pregnant, but it still works with the tap of a finger. If I have a boy, he will be named "Festus." If it's a girl, she will be called "Agnes." My imaginary kids are going to hate me.
Kick to Pick doesn't shy away from some of the unusual names that are so popular with Hollywood types. You can, for example, throw "Captain," "London," "Early," and "Zebulon" into the name hopper.
If your little angel complains when he gets older, you can just say remind him that he picked his own name using an iPhone app. … Read more
No judge has ever declared a Firefox plug-in called MafiaaFire Redirector to be illegal. But that didn't stop the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from trying to censor it from the Web.
The Mozilla Foundation says DHS requested the removal of MafiaaFire, which describes itself as a utility that "automatically redirects you to the correct alternate site" if the main domain has been seized by the U.S. government.
Harvey Anderson, Mozilla's general counsel, told CNET today that the request from DHS was made over the phone. Anderson replied in writing, posing a list of … Read more
When the government seizes a dope dealer's car, it can put the auto up for auction. But what happens when agents seize a Web domain?
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) said today that those sites seized for trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods will now serve to help spread the government's message that "unfairly devalue America's contributions, compromise American jobs, and put consumers, families, and communities at risk."
The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress have declared war on online piracy and law enforcement agencies have seized more than 100 sites in the past year. Of those, 65 domain names now direct visitors to a public service announcement. … Read more
OS X supports a number of different languages, and either during installation or in the system preferences you can choose your default language in which to have the system display localized elements such as menu text and dialogue text. In addition to interface elements, Apple supports localization on some system files and folders, including the default folders in the home directory. This means that if you switch your system's language, the names Desktop, Movies, Pictures, Documents, and so on that are in your home directory should also be shown in the new language.
While this works for most people, … Read more