As you have heard (by now, ad nauseum), the protests surrounding Iran’s troubled and disputed presidential election this past Friday have highlighted how technology and social media are redefining the way moments of mass political unrest are reported, live. Instead of watching CNN, you can observe the same on-the-ground reporting--all in real time--that the CNN folks are watching and then passing on to you. Here's where to find it.
This Thursday marks twenty years since China's military ended the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democratic demonstrations by killing off hundreds of students, workers, and ordinary civilians. It's fitting, then, that in celebration of the anniversary, the government is once again curbing free speech. Censors have been at it for weeks, but now they've even begun cutting citizens off from Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, and Microsoft's live.com.
Look out, Ashton, there's a new Twitter sensation: the can. That's right, the toilet, the head, the commode. Shardy, a hacker over at Aculei has modded his toilet to tweet with every flush. And frankly, it's awesome.
You can follow the porcelain recliner's Twitter feed here, and I've got to admit, some of the tweets are kinda funny. Not "ha-ha" funny, but at least "bring a smile to the face" funny.
On Tuesday, a Hubble astronaut posted on the micro-blogging site from the great beyond. Stay tuned -- @Astro_Mike likes to update. Coming soon, we hope, @PopSci goes to space.
Also in today's links: robots ask for help and make art, spacing out is good for you, and more.
Emergency response entails a widespread tactical effort by countless government agencies. Too often, citizens are left out of the loop and have to rely on mass media, cell phones, and Web sites for emergency information. Microsoft Vine is a new social networking tool, designed to help its users keep tabs on people and places. Currently in a beta test in Seattle, the service lets you enter a location and see news reports aggregated from 20,000 sources, and from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can enter people you want to track into Microsoft Vine, and then receive an e-mail, text message, or an update about them in the Vine dashboard -- which runs on Windows only. Disaster victims with Macs are out of luck.
A strange new study found that people who rated high in self-control made good choices among an array of relatively healthy foods -- until a much healthier option was thrown into the mix, at which point self-control seemed to go out the window.
Also in today's links: the most delightful creature in the world, the worldwide spread of technology, and more.
Sure, people said they were working during yesterday's inauguration, but the Internet tells a different tale. It seems that a large portion of Americans actually stopped working and searching the Internet while Obama was speaking, and on the flip side, Twitter and Facebook shot through the roof.
By John MahoneyPosted 09.23.2008 at 12:51 pm 1 Comment
To the unconverted, Twitter is just a way to deliver mundane details of your life to many friends at once. The free service(
Twitter.com) is a social-networking site in which you post updates, or “tweets,” to a page where friends who “follow” you can view them. But since it lets users post and receive tweets via text messages, it’s actually a powerful platform for getting things done on the go.
A rapidly executed reversal of one man's wrongful imprisonment demonstrates the the power of a wide net
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.17.2008 at 10:28 am 1 Comment
Twitter has had its share of bad press lately, namely that it was all but unusable for weeks last year due to an overwhelming server load. This week, however, things are looking up for the messaging service. Not only have their tubes been clog-free, but something happened to one of its members that illuminated just what it is Twitter may be good for (something more than a few people have been trying to figure out): letting people know when youre headed to jail.