file

drop photos, trials simplified Timeline and delivers new privacy controls

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/20/facebook-lets-us-drag-and-drop-to-upload-photos/

Facebook lets us draganddrop to upload photos, toys with a simplified Timeline

Anyone who’s returned from an event with a virtual armful of photos may have been frustrated with Facebook’s upload interface, which until now has involved a less-than-intuitive file browser. The company is quietly solving that problem: an update pushing out to individual users lets them drag-and-drop photos into a new post, like we’ve seen on other social networks, and to a newly streamlined Messages format that’s rolling out at the same time. A much smaller circle is seeing a second update. Facebook has confirmed to ABC News that it’s conducting limited trials of an updated Timeline that moves the news feed to a single column, replaces the thumbnail navigation with simpler-looking tabs and makes all profile page information available through scrolling. A spokesperson wouldn’t say if or when the new Timeline would reach the wider public, but history points to “when” being more likely. They did however mention that the new privacy shortcuts, activity log and untagging tool would be going live for all users starting tonight, and we’ve already seen them pop up on some of our accounts.

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Via: The Verge!

Source: Inside Facebook, ABC News (1), (2)

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Friday, December 21st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5953044/the-new-megaupload-has-a-super-clever-way-to-avoid-copyright-infringement-and-getting-raided-again

The New Megaupload Has a Super Clever Way to Avoid Getting Raided AgainFrom the ashes of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom is launching a new file-sharing service: Mega. Mega is like Megaupload but will be safe from raids and government interference because it has “ironclad safe harbors” in place to protect Mega. How does it work?

Though Mega is just like Megaupload once was in that it allows users to store, access and share files, files uploaded to Mega will be encrypted and only the user will have the unique key to decrypt the file. According to Wired:

It will be up to users, and third-party app developers, to control access to any given uploaded file, be it a song, movie, videogame, book, or simple text document. Internet libertarians will surely embrace this new capability.

And because the decryption key is not stored with Mega, the company would have no means to view the uploaded file on its server. It would, Ortmann explains, be impossible for Mega to know, or be responsible for, its users’ uploaded content – a state of affairs engineered to create an ironclad “safe harbor” from liability for Mega, and added piece of mind for the user.

It’s really clever, if the government comes a knockin’ on a data center or if someone hacks it, they’ll get nothing. Dotcom says, “whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to be remain closed and private without the key.” Basically, the idea is that the law doesn’t have a centralized entity to go after because they can’t come after Mega because Mega has no idea what’s on their servers. Dotcom believes that the only way that this could be illegal would be if the law made encryption illegal.

Check out the full report at Wired. If Mega really works the way Dotcom want it to, Megaupload is going to come back bigger, better and more impossible to take down than ever. [Wired via Torrent Freak]

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Thursday, October 18th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Twitter Is Working On A Tool To Let You Download All Of Your Old Tweets

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-is-working-on-a-tool-to-let-you-download-all-of-your-old-tweets-2012-7

Dick Costolo Twitter

Twitter is finally working on a solution to one of the most obvious things missing from the social network right now: the option for users to go back and find their tweets that are more than a few weeks or months old.

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo told The New York Times that the social network is working on a tool to let users retrieve all of the updates they’ve posted to the social network.

“We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Costolo said. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Some third-party services have come up with workaround solutions to this problem, including one new site called Oldtweets, which lets users search through all the tweets posted to Twitter in the first year after the social network launched.

Costolo wouldn’t say when the tool might launch, noting that the tool isn’t as simple as it sounds to make, and requires a good amount of manpower and ingenuity.

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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 news No Comments

Rice University And OpenStax Announce First Open-Source Textbooks

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/07/rice-university-and-openstax-announce-first-open-source-textbooks/

openstax

When we think about the distribution industry being disrupted, we tend to think about music and movies, whose physical media and vast shipment infrastructure have been rendered mostly obsolete over the last decade. To a lesser extent, we hear about print, and the effect of e-readers and web consumption on books and magazines. No one is making the change particularly gracefully, and the same can be said of the textbook business, which does millions of dollars of business every year selling incredibly expensive items to students — who likely consider them anachronisms.

Rice University, which has been pushing alternative distribution mechanisms for scholarly publications for years, has announced a new initiative, by which they hope to publish free, high-quality textbooks in core subjects like physics and biology via a non-profit publisher called OpenStax College. It’s the polar opposite of Apple’s iBooks textbooks, which, while they too help drag this dusty industry into the present, amount more to a new sales vector for the publishers than competition.

Rice and OpenStax aren’t the first people to propose open-source or free textbooks. There are collections here and there, like Flat World Knowledge and Apple’s iTunes U — but they’re decidedly short on the type of books a freshman might have to buy for their year of survey courses: Biology 1, Physics 1, Sociology 1, Psychology 1. And 11 Learning has a similar idea of collaboration producing a book, but their creation model may not be economically feasible.

And of course there are the many companies that want to remove textbooks from the equation entirely. Setting up textbook platforms on new devices like Kno and Inkling, making an environment for meta-curricular activities and non-traditional learning like Khan Academy, or virtualizing the whole education experience, something with which many universities are tinkering.

But textbooks are still big business, and their utility in the education system is difficult to argue with right now. So OpenStax splits the difference: fueled by grant money from a number of private foundations (i.e. not government grants), they’re putting together full-on textbooks, peer-reviewed, professionally laid out, and all that. These textbooks will be provided for free in file form. But supplementary materials — quizzes, videos, presentations, and the like, presumably — cost money.

It would be petty to call this a bait and switch, since the bulk of the material is being provided for free. And a savvy professor or TA can scrape quite a few supplementary materials from the web already, thanks to those post-textbook services already mentioned. Providing the meat for free and the potatoes for a price is perfectly reasonable.

What remains to be seen is the quality of the textbooks. So far OpenStax has signed up “in the low tens” of colleged and universities to use the books. Institutions probably are waiting to see how the next year or so plays out: everything is in flux and to commit to one platform over another when the true costs and benefits are still unclear would be a bad move.

OpenStax’s first textbooks, for physics and sociology, will be coming in March, with others following later in the year. A strange time to make a debut, in a way, as the school year is well underway and many intro courses won’t be offered. But it will give time for the creaking machinery of academia to notice, acknowledge, examine, and judge the OpenStax offering. It may be that they can demonstrate their agility in fixing, improving, and expanding the content on the fly, which could either impress or terrify nodding faculty members who use the same text for a decade at a time.


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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

iFail

Source: http://scobleizer.com/2010/01/28/a-16-year-olds-view-of-apples-ipad-ifail/

Tonight when I picked up my son in Petaluma we started talking about the Apple iPad and he told me he thought it was a “fail.” This reaction was interesting coming from Patrick (he was first in line in Palo Alto for the iPhone and has been an Apple fan for as long as I remember.)

Anyway, I asked him if I could record our conversation, he said yes, and this is the result. It’s in two parts, because when we uploaded the first part we got a lot of reaction on Twitter so followed it up with a second part. Here’s the two audio recordings, sorry for the poor quality, we recorded that while driving.

Part I.
Part II.

His major points are:

1. That it isn’t compelling enough for a high school student who already has a Macintosh notebook and an iPhone.
2. That it is missing features that a high school student would like, like handwriting recognition to take notes, a camera to take pictures of the board in class (and girls), and the ability to print out documents for class.
3. That he hasn’t seen his textbooks on it yet, so the usecase of replacing heavy textbooks hasn’t shown up yet.
4. The gaming features, he says, aren’t compelling enough for him to give up either the Xbox or the iPhone. The iPhone wins, he says, because it fits in his pocket. The Xbox wins because of Xbox live so he can play against his friends (not to mention engaging HD quality and wide variety of titles).
5. He doesn’t like the file limitations. His friends send him videos that he can’t play in iTunes and the iPad doesn’t support Flash.
6. It isn’t game changing like the iPhone was.

Anyway, revealing conversation with a teenager who got extremely excited about the iPhone (and saved up to buy his own) the day he saw that.

What do you think?

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 digital No Comments

in-banner commerce

reducing the number of clicks between the inspiration and the action (purchase) usually helps reduce the precipitous drop off of people not completing the desired end-action. in-banner commerce means you can sell the item right in the banner. The user may already be registered with Amazon.com and have their card on file. This can be 1-click purchase in the banner itself — to take advantage of impulse purchases. This works especially well for low cost and low consideration products.

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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