Tag Archives: Facebook

The Usefulness of Facebook in Evolution or is it just Useful?


Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

I am a user of Facebook, but not a real fan. By stating this some may feel it’s pointless to read on. Well let me confess, I have tried to understand our global fascination with Facebook. Why is it so popular? What makes it different than any other platform? Is it just another passing fad or the next MySpace? No, what Facebook represents is the nature of the Internet and technology. We all remember AOL. Did you get one of those CD’s in the mail? Do you know what mail is? Or what a pen is? Do you remember Compuserve? How about the Apple Newton? Sega? Atari? Napster? Netscape? Novell? Palm? A library? Alright, libraries are not dead yet, thankfully. I could go on, but can you see a pattern? All were powerful and amazing, during there time. They pushed limits and moved us forward into a new space. But alas, all good things must come to an end, right?

The virtual space, we call the Internet, is the new world. It’s fluid, dynamic and ever changing; never standing still to allow us to even truly understand what it is. Technology is constantly moving forward, dragging us along with it. We have to evolve. Every 6-8 months there is a new device or new idea for us to master. As we evolve some technologies get left behind. But what about Facebook? Where does it fit in? How is it useful?

I am mesmerised at the things people make public. How we broadcast our addictions and lower our language. Some swear and others do some remarkably strange things. It’s fascinating to see the things we dare not do in public are available online. What is Facebook? It’s that other world, within the world of the Internet. The one that allows us to broadcast who we are, until its dead and gone. We tell all, we connect with others. The odd people are now the ones who are not on Facebook. So is it useful? Of course it is. The question is useful to who? Useful to our species? Is Facebook just a part of the whole? I can’t wait for Google Glasses to take off. I am looking forward to the day when our evolutionary path makes us Betazoids. A marketers dream! But I digress. We we’re talking about Facebook, right?

By: @iammannyj

Is Google GDrive any better than Microsoft SkyDrive?


Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator)

Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

So what really makes Google GDrive better than Microsoft SkyDrive? Probably not a whole lot; in terms of drive space. However what Google is achieving is synergy between all of its offerings. With the introduction of Google GDrive you can, in a sense, really live online. Of course there is the issue of privacy and trust, but it seems that people really don’t care. GDrive is available on all devices, with the nagging exception of the Blackberry; which I am blogging from at the moment. With GDrive live will ChromeOS take hold? What does this mean for Apple? Will Dropbox or Box.net get bought out? How about Facebook? The next few months will be interesting indeed!

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Google Drive to offer free storage in the cloud


Outline of a cloud containing text 'The Cloud'

Outline of a cloud containing text 'The Cloud' (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google Drive to offer free storage in the cloud

Google is expected to shortly launch a major new consumer service offering cloud-based storage for photos and other online content.

The effort – dubbed Google Drive – is likely to offer 5GB (gigabytes) of free storage with more available for a monthly fee. It would challenge services including Dropbox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. Experts suggest it could also force rival Facebook to enter the cloud market.

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Canadian Conservatives vow to implement new copyright law


Canadians who vote to re-elect the Conservative government next week will also be voting for an archly pro-copyright agenda. According to the party’s official platform released yesterday:

A re-elected Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will reintroduce federal copyright legislation that strikes the appropriate balance among the rights of musicians, artists, programmers and other creators and brings Canada’s intellectual property protection in line with that of other industrialized countries, but also protects consumers who want to access copyright works for their personal use.

We will also introduce tougher laws on counterfeiting and piracy and give our customs and law enforcement services the resources to enforce them. This will protect consumers from phoney and sometimes dangerous products that are passed off as reliable brand-name goods.

The CBC reports that the proposed legislation – which Harper’s party had planned to introduce last year but withdrew under fire – includes serious fines for illegal down-loaders and makes it a crime to circumvent DRM.

“There’s a fine line between protecting creators and a police state,” Liberal industry critic Scott Brison told CBCNews.ca at the time.

Law professor Michael Geist stopped the legislation from moving forward in December with a Facebook protest group that gathered tens of thousands of sign-ups and forced the Conservatives to retreat.

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Battle over Canadian big-brother copyright bill C61


OTTAWA — Critics of the Harper government’s proposed changes to the Copyright Act have launched a cyber crusade to fight the controversial bill.

They’re using everything from Facebook to YouTube to Wikipedia to blogs to get their message out. They want the government to either scrap or make serious amendments to Bill C-61 when Parliament resumes next month.

At the helm of the digital movement is Michael Geist, a professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in Internet and e-commerce law. In addition to his own blog, Geist runs a Facebook group called Fair Copyright for Canada that boasts 90,000 members.

The group, which was created in December, has become so large that members have created local chapters by city and riding to better organize their efforts. Many of the local groups have also developed wikis – online encyclopedic web pages – to keep their members informed.

Geist said more Canadians are getting involved because they recognize how the proposed reforms could affect their daily lives.

“We’re talking about more than just copyright here. We’re talking about the digital environment,” he said. “This legislation represents a real threat to the vibrancy of that online environment.”

Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced the bill in June, calling it a “made-in-Canada” solution to online piracy. But critics responded that the bill was a carbon copy of the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

If passed, Bill C-61 would make it illegal to circumvent “digital locks” on CDs and DVDs and impose a $500 fine on anyone caught downloading illegal copies of music or movies.

Geist also launched a video contest on YouTube inviting Canadians to give their thoughts on Bill C-61 in 61 seconds. A panel of five judges, including Ontario Privacy Commissioner Anne Cavoukian, will announce the winner on Sept. 15 – the day MPs return to the House of Commons.

An Industry Canada spokeswoman said Prentice is interested to see the number of Canadians involved in the online discussions, but it’s up to Parliament to study the issue further.

“The activity online proves that a broad range of stakeholders, with varying interests and vantage points, care deeply about this issue,” said Stefanie Power, in an email response.

The movement isn’t confined to the digital world. The online protests have spurred offline activism.

Kempton Lam, a business consultant from Calgary, used his blog and Facebook to organize a rally outside a breakfast hosted by Prentice last month. Lam said the online discussions have fuelled potential activists.

“There are so many Canadians that have issues will this bill,” he said. “And the online forum has helped us get informed, which leads to offline rallies.

“After we meet, members write about what we learned, post videos back on to the blogs and Facebook group.”

Members of the online movement are also trying to make their voices heard through letter-writing campaigns and one-on-one meetings with local MPs.

Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal held a town hall meeting last month to discuss the controversial legislation after his office was flooded with letters from concerned constituents.

It’s not the first time this digital community has bared its teeth. The Conservative government was slated to introduce the reforms in December but delayed the bill after heavy criticism flooded the blogosphere.

Geist said he is optimistic that the activism will make a difference.

“When you get tens of thousands of Canadians speaking out like this, there’s big political risk for any political party who chooses to ignore it,” he warned.

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Everex delivers $198 Google-friendly PC (Google OS)?


Everex has teamed up with open source players to create a $198 PC (sans display). The Everex Green gPC TC2502 runs a Linux OS and is loaded with (or has links to) free applications, including Gmail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google Product Search, Google Blogger, Google YouTube, Google Maps, Google News, Meebo (instant messaging), GIMP (image editing), Firefox, Xing Movie Player, RhythmBox (iTunes substitute), Faqly (tech support), Facebook, Skype and OpenOffice.org 2.2. The gPC will be available in Wal-Mart stores and at walmart.com this month.

Not sure if this will be available in Canada, however check back for updates!

read more | digg story

Google’s OpenSocial: What it means


Google’s open social networking platform play is the buzz of the blogosphere tonight. Indeed, it is called OpenSocial in that the set of APIs allows developers to create applications that work on any social network that joins Google’s open party. So far, besides Google’s Orkut social net, LinkedIn, hi5, XING, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning have joined the party.

Oracle and salesforce.com are also supporting Google’s OpenSocial efforts, which indicates that they have plans to add social networking elements to their application platforms. OpenSocial will officially launch on Thursday.

Plaxo emailed a statement about OpenSocial this evening, getting ahead of the stampede:

“Dynamic profiles redefine what users should expect in terms of how they can represent themselves in a social or business network,” said Todd Masonis, Co-Founder and VP of Products for Plaxo. “We believe that users should have full control over what they share with whom – and that the catalog of widgets that they can choose from should be as open and diverse as the web itself. We are excited to support in dynamic profiles any application written to Google’s just–launched OpenSocial APIs. ”

According to TechCrunch, which first reported on Google’s larger social networking ambitions, OpenSocial consists of APIs for profile information, friend information (social graph) and activities, such as a news feed. OpenSocial users Javascript and HTML rather than a markup language as Facebook does.

This comes on the heels of the Facebook’s dynamic growth based on opening its social graph to developers and Microsoft’s $240 million investment for 1.6 percent of the company. However, unlike Google, Facebook doesn’t open its APIs to support other social networks. The other social networking giant, MySpace, is also planning to open its platform to developers.

This openness is part of what Vic Gundotra, Google’s head of developer programs, meant when he said last week, “In the next year we will make a series of announcements and spend hundreds of millions on innovations and giving them away as open source.”

He explained the newfound openness as more than altruism: “It also makes good economic sense. The more applications, the more usage. More users means more searches. And, more searches means more revenue for Google. The goal is to grow the overall market, not just to increase market share.”

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Windows Live Spaces users get new Facebook-like features


Microsoft is adding a new Windows Live Events service to its line-up. At the same time, it it is providing a general update to Windows Live Spaces that makes the platform look and feel more like Facebook by showing users a feed of what their contacts are doing.

Windows Live Spaces users gets new Facebook-like features Microsoft has been hinting that it was considering a multi-million dollar stake in Facebook, while saying next-to-nothing about its Windows Live Spaces Facebook-alternative. Now that talk of a Facebook investment seems to have waned, Live Spaces — Microsoft’s social-networking/blogging platform – seems to be a more visible priority.

Windows Live Events is going to be part of the core Windows Live suite, as well as an adjunct to Windows Live Spaces. The Live Events service won’t be flipped on immediately for all users, the Softies cautioned; it may take a while before the events.live.com link takes them to the new service. The rollout of the new events service commenced at 8 p.m. (EST) on October 11.

read more | digg story