Twitter spam… yuck.

Posted September 15, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Social media buzz

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twitter_spam_yuckSpambots on Twitter are really starting to get me down.

I logged in today to find 2 new followers, but my excitement quickly took a dive when I realized they were obviously spam. One was a redhead in what I think was supposed to be a micro-shirtdress and the other was some old guy whose entire page was filled with links to real estate options. And there was also that suggestive “@–” message from “loljasmine” about getting on my webcam and having some “fun.”

This whole porn spamming deal brings back bad memories of MySpace. Remember when MySpace was infiltrated by porn sites and pedophiles? (Actually I think this demographic still overruns the social network…) After the 30th come-on from “susie” and “maria”, I decided it was time to jump ship and give up my MySpace account. It got to be overwhelming to be constantly bombarded by porn spam messages, as well as seeing raunchy pictures pop up as profile pics left and right when searching for friends. I’m in favor of the whole social networking idea, but wading past so much spam to get to the real stuff became exhausting and annoying. It’s plausible to think this is in part why MySpace lost some of its popularity to Facebook converts. Facebook just does a better job making sure their users are real people. It always befuddled me why MySpace didn’t step up and crack down on the amount of porn on their network with NewsCorp as their big-time owner. MySpace lost out on a hefty percentage of advertising revenue since businesses were reluctant to pay for space among porn sites – it’s tacky.

I’m beginning to see a similar trend start on Twitter where porn is being pimped to users.

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Yes, Microsoft fanboys exist.

Posted September 10, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Tech n' giggles

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We currently live in a tech age where Microsoft is better known as “Micro$oft”, and Macbook-and-iPhone-toting fans are eager to spread the love around for their darling fruit company. Microsoft is popularly considered to be uncool and evil – the software “man” that everyone wants to stick it to. Any pro-Microsoft dissenting voices are muffled under waves of criticism.

Since the web is brimming with Apple fanboys and fangirls. It makes me wonder about the Microsoft die-hards… do they even exist?

Yes, there have been missteps by Microsoft as I’m sure everyone is well versed in. However, there must still be fans left that are highly devoted to Microsoft’s mission: Creating software that works for anyone who wants to use it. Sometimes it’s important to remember that Microsoft was key in revolutionizing the idea of personal computers and laptops, as well as making strides in the software field. Because of this, Microsoft deserves some kudos.

Here are 5 indicators that Microsoft is appreciated by the company’s fanboys across the web…

1. They campaign to release Windows 7 early: Self-described “BIG Windows fan” Kelly Poe started a movement to collect votes petitioning for Windows 7’s early release. So far 3,003 voters have supported his cause. Check out the site here and show your support.

2. They name their children after Microsoft OS: One of the members of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional program (a site where “Microsoft experts [can] use, evangelize, and champion the company’s technologies”), Bill Simser, blogged about how he named his daughter “Vista Avalon Simser”. In addition to being named after Microsoft’s best OS, her middle name derives from the code name for the Windows Presentation Foundation – the graphical subsystem of .Net 3.0. Apparently if Bill, the father of Vista, had a son instead, the boy’s first name would be “Dev” (for developer) and his initials would have been DOS.

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Google Chrome is my homeboy

Posted September 2, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Tech buzz

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chrome crownGoogle Chrome celebrates its one year birthday today, and there seems to be news to herald this happy occasion. Yesterday Computer World shared that in the web browser wars, Google is closing in on Apple’s Safari. While Safari increased its browser market share just a tad, Chrome is climbing rapidly, jumping 0.3 percent to claim 2.9% of the browser market.

At this pace, Chrome is a contender to replace Safari as the #3 browser that people are using within a year’s time. After that, there’s only #1 Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (66.6%), and #2 Mozilla Firefox (23.3%) to defeat – which is by no means a small task since the gap between market browser preferences is still so wide.

Ah Chrome, how I adore thee.

I switched to Chrome as my primary browser a couple months ago from Firefox, my former number 1. I’m impatient and a speed demon online so the most important thing when choosing a web browser for me is the loading time and the browsing speed. That’s why when Firefox started hanging for me, I dropped it like it was hot.

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Social networks and their one-liners

Posted August 31, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Social media buzz

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A friend recently showed me a spiffy site called Wayback Machine – basically it’s an internet database that archives old web pages starting from 1996 onward. They have so much stored from all over the web… I started searching some popular websites to see what past versions looked like. (Apparently YouTube in 2005 had a thick, dark grey border and web 2.0 style tabbing. Visually, I kind of prefer it to the current design.)

Naturally, I also had to search Twitter to see how their pages have changed since their massive jump in popularity in the past year or so. Especially since their most recent homepage updates were released just this past summer in July. Wayback Machine archived the first Twitter page version in 2001 and as expected it was very simple – no cute logo and no bird. (Actually the Twitter bird mascot didn’t show up on pages until recently, really.) Looking through the Twitter page archives, I realized that Twitter used a tagline in their old homepage that I never noticed (or never realized was their tagline). This tagline/question appeared in almost all their old versions: “What are you doing?”

It was even on the last version of the Twitter homepage before their summer face-lift. However for some reason, now that Twitter is all the rage it has decided to drop this quick and easy tagline and opt for something more flowery and optimistic: “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.”   

Before this summers new unveiling

Before this summer's new unveiling

After

After

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iPhone apps that spice up reality

Posted August 28, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Tech buzz

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It’s beyond virtual reality. iPhone currently has 3 Augmented Reality apps available in their App store.

If you’re not familiar with augmented reality (nicknamed AR), it’s basically technology that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s computer-generated. (Doesn’t that sound eerie? Very Matrix-like.)

With augmented reality, you’re overlaying computer graphics onto the real world whether it’s text, images, or whatever. In the iPhone sense, this means that these 3 AR apps incorporate layers of data on top of the camera view on the iPhone. AR uses the iPhone’s GPS navigation and compass to display businesses, restaurants and bars on top of the camera view. You can look through the camera on your iPhone and see blocks of text or images hovering around your real-life environment. It’s pretty neat.

Right now the 3 AR apps available are:

Metro Paris Subway iPhone app

What the Paris app looks like (courtesy of ReadWriteWeb)

1. Metro Paris Subway: While you’re looking through your iPhone camera, images of Paris businesses near you will pop up, along with the distance it takes to arrive there (in both meters and miles!).

2. London Buses: Using this bus-tracking app now pulls up “Point of Interest” databases which allows the user to see food & drink, leisure, attractions and accommodation POIs all over the UK.

And for those residing in the US…

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

3. Yelp: On the latest version of this app, users have to shake their iPhone 3 times to access this Easter egg feature called “the monocle.” (Well officially the site says shake 3 times but watching other people trying to open the monocle resulted in watching people viciously shake their phone for what seemed like 10 minutes. Since shaking the iPhone for so long can get frustrating, the good news is once you unlock the monocle it will be there forever so it’s a one-time thing.) Read the rest of this post »

Google vs Microsoft: Online Apps Throwdown

Posted August 25, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Tech buzz

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Has anyone seen these Google billboards?

Google billboard campaign

Apparently during the entire month of August, they’ve been on display on four major U.S. highways around the country: the 101 in San Francisco, the West Side Hwy in New York, the Ike in Chicago, and Mass Pike in Boston. Google went back to old school marketing methods with this creative billboard campaign. They even kicked it up a notch by striving to put up a new message each day on these four boards. The spotlight is on Google Apps, their Enterprise Productivity Suite.

For those unfamiliar with what Google Apps mean, you probably use (or at least heard of) it in the form of Gmail or Google docs, etc. Though these Apps are very useful on the individual level, the “Going Google” campaign is really targeting enterprise or business customers to adopt their online Google App system.

…And targeted towards taking down Microsoft. (Of course.)

Throwdown!

Throwdown!

Not surprising, Microsoft has their own brand of online applications to match Google’s list called Microsoft Online Services (or if you like things that are really long: the Microsoft Online Business Productivity Suite).

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Twitter goes to Hollywood?

Posted August 24, 2009 by IT tech-a-holic
Categories: Social media buzz

Tags: , , , ,

twitter hollywood

First, let me just say I haven’t seen “Inglourious Basterds” yet. I seem to be a week behind on my new releases considering I just went to see “District 9” this past weekend. (INSERT TANGENT: Yes, the buzz is right. Excellent overall, though there are a couple plotlines where you really have to stretch your imagination… eerr, and beware of slight motion sickness at the beginning because of the quick cuts and camera shots while running. Probably just me though – I’m sensitive.)

Anyways, I’ve been excited for “Inglourious Basterds” ever since I first saw the trailer during previews for “Angels and Demons.” Over-the-top violence, quirky dark characters, history that doesn’t require knowing anything about actual history… I was sold. (Not to mention the fact I’m a huge Tarantino fanboy.) I expected a masterpiece. Hence my confusion when I read the LA Times review for the film with the tagline: “Quentin Tarantino’s WWII movie has blood, but its heart doesn’t beat.” Ouch.

I like the LA Times, but I don’t trust film critics. I read the review. The guy (Kenneth Turan) seemed to know what he was talking about, providing convincing evidence to back-up his argument. I thought, well I guess it won’t make that big of a splash then. I read the review on Friday, the 21st.

48 hours later, I see that “mini” reviews of “Inglourious Basterds” have taken over Twitter. It’s still going on actually. It’s been talked about so much that it’s jumped to Trending Topic status. (Huzzah! Joining “District 9″on the most popular list I might add.) The tweeple have spoken and the consensus is clear – everyone thought the film was terrific. (Just a few tweet examples: “Tarantino’s best since ‘Pulp Fiction'”, “Best film I’ve seen this year”, “Watching ‘Inglourious Basterds’ again for the 2nd time” … the list goes on.)

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