Posted tagged ‘entertainment’

Twitter haters and why they hate

October 6, 2009

Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Biz Stone told New York magazine that “[Twitter] is about the triumph of the human spirit.”

I want to believe this. I really do. I enjoy tweeting and reading the random and funny musings of friends (for the most part) and the occasional stranger. I’m convinced that tweeting is the closest thing I will ever experience to “celebrity”-dom. It’s your very own virtual paparazzi where a bunch of eyes (somewhere out there) are tracking your every move and thought. (Or at least I hope so or else we’re all just shouting into a deep, black abyss aren’t we?)

At the same time, I know a majority of the material on Twitter is – to put it kindly – unimpressive. It’s not profound, it’s not meaningful, and I really think it’s the furthest thing from a “triumph of the human spirit.” (And if it is – well, I don’t think I need to say we’re all in a whole lot of trouble.)

But hey, I think it’s fine to dabble in the Twitter-verse for personal entertainment periodically throughout the day. Like the old adage goes, “Everything in moderation.”

Even so, amongst the mainstream who sing Twitter’s praises I’ve discovered a rare breed of hardcore Twitter haters out there. And I’m not talking about people who are frustrated when Twitter’s server goes down for the 26th time because of security fails. Nor are they Tweeters who want to voice a few qualms or complaints with the network. Nor are they people who just don’t get it and see no point in it thus don’t sign up to use it. They don’t fall into any of these groupings because at the end of the day – all of the people above still login to their accounts and keep tweeting.

No, I’m referring to Twitter haters who go beyond just thinking “Twitter sucks.” These haters avoid using the social network. They have thought deep, long and hard about Twitter and have all reached the same existential conclusion: Twitter is leading to humanity’s social downfall.

They loathe the cute little blue bird and everything it stands for.

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Be popular on Digg

October 1, 2009

I recently joined Digg and I’ve been perusing the pages of this virtual news source… basically trying to figure out what it takes to make it on the most “popular” list.

There’s such a wide variety of material that receives top diggs – the articles are always interesting and quirky, but determining what kind of stuff gets dugg still boggles me. Or perhaps it’s more a question of, “Hey, I submitted 2 of my blog posts to rub my ego and no one is digging it. (Sad emoticon)” So far my 2 posts have been dugg a grand total of 7 times – and that’s the total all together. It seems I’m doomed to remain on the shelf of “stuff that no one ever sees”… at least on Digg anyways.

Though my ego has suffered minor bruising, I don’t kid myself. In reality I know Digg is also about who you know and how active you are in the community. (There’s got to be a reason why the same familiar faces are always getting their stuff dugg, right? The conspiracy theory side of me believes those articles I read about Digg bias and how it all might be controlled by 200 users or something.)

Nonetheless, I did some online research into ways I could increase my digg count. The ultimate strategy seems to boil down to:

1) Make a ton of friends on Digg… and I mean, A TON. Like around 300+ and was some dude’s minimum recommendation. (Also important to note is that friendship is not a one-way street. The ones that count and work to help you are the “mutual friends.” Otherwise, it just looks kind of sad. Oh, and it helps if your friends are popular, or top diggers.)

2) Digg your butt off. But make sure your diggs are meaningful. Don’t just zip down the list and engage in bulk digging. Eventually (around 15 or so) Digg will catch you and a box will pop up suggesting – with their eyebrow raised – that you perhaps should READ the articles since you seem to be digging at a superhuman rate, and unless you’re a superhero, it would be difficult to read that fast. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)

3) Submit content that could interest the Digg crowd. (Okay yes, I may be bias but I stand firm in my belief that my content is at least decently interesting that people may be persuaded to give it a once-over if afforded the opportunity. Despite the fact that I sometimes ramble or go on tangents.)

I’m currently testing the strategies – progress seems slow thus far but I’ll keep persevering. I’m thinking I’m bound to make a dent soon…

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying seeing what’s most popular on Digg. It’s kind of interesting to notice the trends of what’s popular recently, versus a day ago, versus even a year ago. Perhaps we can draw conclusions about what Digg users, or our society at large, finds most intriguing. (But maybe that’s too philosophical.) Anyways, results were so interesting/amusing that I decided to take screenshots and share. Maybe this will help all the noob diggers like myself out there break through the invisible barrier and make it to the front page.

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Do your parents Facebook or Twitter?

September 24, 2009

I found the following 30-sec Verizon commercial highly amusing:

Parents on Facebook and Twitter – it’s quite a predicament.

When Facebook first launched in 2004, it was an online social network strictly for college students to connect and keep tabs on each other. A private club of sorts for the college crowd. Once it’s popularity sky-rocketed though, that’s when Facebook started opening its doors: First to high schools students in 2005 (which drew protests from users) and then to the general public (which drew bigger, unhappier protests). Nonetheless, this expansion continued and nothing really affected the typical college user’s experience so the Facebook community continued happily on its way.

… That is until friend requests from Moms and Dads started appearing in user accounts.

Then Facebook users everywhere just scratched their heads (or yelled into a pillow) and debated on what to do:

Option A) Accept and give your parents a window into your personal/social life complete with pictures, comments and updates on what you’ve been up to on Saturday nights.

Option B) Decline and face persistent badgering on why you don’t want to be friends with your parents… do you have something to hide? Are they an embarrassment? Why don’t you want to keep in touch while you’re away from home?

Option C) Ignore and face the same consequences as Option B above.

And really, this is not just an issue that plagues college or high school students anymore. Facebook users in their 20s-30s (maybe even 40s) face similar scenarios as the Facebook community demographic begins to expand and include older people interested in exploring these new online fads – aunts, great uncles, grandmas, even your parents’ closest friends start sending you friend requests.

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Facebook… the film.

September 23, 2009
"The Social Network" stars and their real-life counterparts

"The Social Network" stars and their real-life counterparts

Variety shared that Columbia Pictures is currently making a film called “The Social Network”… it’s a film about the creation of Facebook by Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his college buddies. Casting for the film is apparently final with Jesse Eisenberg nabbing the central role of Zuckerberg with a boyish face that oozes geek charm. He’s not too big of a Hollywood household name yet, but most people will recognize Eisenberg from the upcoming horror-comedy “Zombieland.”

Other Hollywood names that have signed on include Andrew Garfield who will play Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder and Zuckerberg’s former BFF. We anticipate the film will be laden with ample drama and “bro”-mance capturing the disintegration of this friendship and Saverin’s falling out with Zuckerberg. It’s likely this plot will be interwoven with lessons about how greed corrupts or something as Facebook goes from humble beginnings as Harvard’s “Hot-or-Not” equivalent to the global social networking site and financial success it is today.

Even Justin Timberlake is involved since he will be starring as Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president and the Napster co-founder.

Impressive? Um. So-so, bordering on not really. With two leads that are lesser known, and Timberlake who’s definitely talented and popular, but has yet to prove himself in film – don’t count on me to get too excited. And let’s not forget that at the end of the day, it’s still going to be a film about the creation of Facebook. A story that’s forgettable at best, right?

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iPhone apps that spice up reality

August 28, 2009

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.┬áMetro 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.) (more…)

Twitter goes to Hollywood?

August 24, 2009

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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