In the short time since the opening ceremonies of the London Games, we've seen the usual kind of Twitter-related stories--a Swiss soccer player banned for a racist tweet, everybody everywhere voicing their complaints about NBC's mostly abysmal coverage, that kind of thing. But there's some weirder, darker undercurrents going on, with journalists blocked, kids arrested, and free speech on Twitter seeming a much more questionable right than it might have seemed during the Arab Spring.
By Kyle Wagner/Gizmodo
Posted 04.09.2012 at 2:44 pm 2 Comments
Mark Zuckerberg just announced that Facebook has agreed to buy mega-popular photo sharing service Instagram for $1 billion. Facebook's been on a buying spree of late, and has been beefing up its own already-ubiquitous photo sharing service lately as well. But it looks like it just landed a whale.
IFTTT, a very simple web tool that might end up becoming indispensable, has just opened to the public, with some new features in tow. IFTTT stands for "if this, then that," a common developer's phrase that indicates a relationship between two events. IFTTT takes that phrase and makes it simple to use for everyone. Want to automatically send your starred Google Reader items to Instapaper? Or get an SMS alert when your favorite comedian tweets that he's coming to your hometown? All easily done, with no development savvy required.
Google's experiments with social media have largely landed with a particularly embarrassing thud--Buzz was a security nightmare, Wave was incomprehensible, and Orkut is only popular in Brazil, for some reason. But Google is nothing if not determined, and today announced its biggest social push ever: Google+. It is definitely similar to Facebook at first glance, but there's a fundamentally different idea underlying Google+ that separates it from the pack.
Thanks to smoking bans in most states, cigarette smokers are relegated to taking their habits outside, where they can easily meet and mingle with others who share their addiction. But what about the e-cigarette smoker, who gets to puff inside bars, looking smug? Now a special sensor in their pricey habit-forming gadgets can help them meet other smokers, too.
After nearly a weeklong Internet blackout in Egypt amid anti-government protests, the Egyptian Web is back online this morning. Web monitoring firm Renesys reported via blog post that at about 11:29 a.m. Cairo time (4:29 a.m. EST) Egyptian ISPs returned to service, a report that has since been echoed by several othersources.
Foursquare, the location-based check-in game, has expanded to the last location: space. Astronaut Doug Wheelock checked in while on the International Space Station today, earning himself an oh-so-exclusive "NASA Explorer" badge. But Foursquare is also partnering with NASA to encourage all kinds of terrestrial space-knowledge exploration.
Very early this morning, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff authorized the execution by firing squad of convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner. Then he fired up the TwitBird app on his iPhone and announced the solemn news to the world.
You might recall the annual Web Trends info-map that imposes the most notable names on the Web onto the Tokyo Metro map. Information Architects, the data visualizers responsible have a new offering that focuses solely on one singular sliver of the Intertubes. The Cosmic 140 beautifully maps the 140 most influential people on Twitter, measured by metrics like number of followers and tweet frequency.
With vaccine supplies limited, social butterflies on Facebook could find themselves targeted for real-world injections. Stanford University researchers have created an algorithm that uses social networking data to identify the people who are "bridges" between different tight-knit circles of friends or communities, so that limited vaccine supplies can be used wisely.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.