FrozenPizzaHero
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Frozen Pizza: How Instagram And Vine Are Fuelling The Frivolous

FrozenPizzaHero

That is a frozen piece of pizza, on the ground, covered in snow. I found it in the parking lot this morning as I was leaving school. I posted an Instagram of it.

At the outset of the new year, I set some social media goals for myself. Things like learning to better leverage Twitter as a networking tool, expanding my presence and my brand online, and trying to take more Instagram photos. I hoped to achieve that last one by taking at least one Instagram photo each day for the entire year. For the first few weeks, I did quite well. I started taking photos of everything, some days posting more than one. On occasion, more than five.

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Brewster Homescreen
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Brewster Release Major Update, Gains Position as Must-Have App

These days, there are only a few ‘must-have’ apps for your iPhone. You have your requisite social network apps, Google Maps,  a choice between Temple Run and Angry Birds, and CNN for breaking news alerts. Today we have a new entry to the list.

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Facebook invites press to “see what we’re building” on January 15th

Image Credit: Engadget

Image Credit: Engadget

Amid all of the CES hubbub, Facebook has invited the press to a special event at their Menlo Park headquarters in California next Tuesday, January 15th, 2013. The invitation teases “Come and see what we’re building”, implying a major product unveil. Could this be a significant revamp or redesign of the Facebook website? The long-rumoured Facebook Phone? Or could it simply be an ad-network? Only time will tell, and CE will be reporting on the event next week, which starts at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM EST.

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YearInTech_Featured
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2012 in Review: Tech

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2012 has been a monumental year in technology. This year we’ve watched Facebook truly realize the complete “American Dream,” as it went through with an IPO that valued the social network at $90 billion in May,  lost 47 percent of its value in 94 days, and subsequently began a slow ascent back to respectability. The Internet rallied its voice and defeated major legislation across the globe, including SOPA and PIPA that attempted to regulate the Internet. Major gadgets were released, including the Nexus 7, iPad mini, Microsoft Surface and iPhone 5. Copyright and patent laws around the world were put to the test as Apple and Android OEMs embarked on a game of ‘who can file lawsuits against each other in the most countries,’ with Samsung arising as the first victim of the lawsuits to the tune of $1 billion, which of course is being appealed.

All in all, it was a very eventful year in tech. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights.

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Instagram
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Insta-Infringement

Instagram

Yesterday, Instagram announced changes to the existing privacy policy and terms of service. These changes will go into effect on January 16th 2013. You can read the brief announcement here.

The impending changes have serious implications that could impact users in an extremely negative way. The most significant change is that Instagram — much like its owner Facebook — has now granted itself the perpetual right to sell user-generated content (images) without payment or notification being sent to the user. This means that Facebook has the right to sell all public photos that are shared by users on Instagram to companies or any other organization for advertising purposes. Unless users of the social sharing network delete their accounts prior to the January deadline, they will not be able to opt out of how their images will be used.

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The Return of Myspace: Entertainment Meets Social... Again.
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The Return of Myspace: Entertainment Meets Social… Again.

Alright, folks! Dust off your web browsers and let’s all journey back a few years, when the wide open spaces of the Internet were dominated by a well known name—Myspace. Generation Y’s old friend is coming back, sporting a fresh new look brought to you by the new king of pop, Justin Timberlake.

The long lost social network, which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. offloaded earlier this year for $35 million, recently introduced a completely rethought and redesigned website. So far all we’ve seen is a brief video tour, while a landing page has been launched where interested users can sign up for a beta invite.

From what we’ve seen so far, the new Myspace will still be centered around music; a sort of social Spotify. The new HTML5 design looks fantastic, and is responsive to all modern browsers, tablets, and smartphones. The new design has been compared to Microsoft’s Windows 8 UI, formerly known as Metro, with a fullscreen background image reminiscent of a desktop background. Some have compared it to the Pinterest homepage, styled in a grid-like pattern devoid of clutter.

As with the current Myspace, users will be able to log in with their existing Facebook account, and connect with other services like YouTube and Twitter. By leveraging the existing user base of their largest rival, Myspace will hopefully be able to attract users to their redesigned service, if only to check it out.

In the current mobile-first landscape of social networking, Myspace must update their apps to reflect the new desktop experience. They certainly can’t afford to fall behind in today’s realm of rapid mobile adoption. It looks like Justin Timberlake and the Myspace team are taking a big gamble on this one, which very well might pay off. Instead of trying to overthrow social giants Facebook and Twitter, Myspace is trying to get back to their roots of creating a direct and intimate relationship between musicians and their listeners. Check out ABC’s interview with MySpace CEO Tim Vanderhook, entitled “There is No Point To Compete with Facebook and Twitter“, and if you’re interested, you can pre-register for the new Myspace right now. Public invites will start going out before the end of the year.

The new Myspace from Myspace on Vimeo.

Source: Myspace, Mashable, ABC, The Verge, Yahoo, TechCrunch

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Twitter
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Twitter Updates Profile Pages with Header Photos, Photo Stream

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Twitter has just pushed out updates for its web, desktop, and mobile clients that make browsing the micro blogging service just a little more visual. Profile pages now have a larger header photo, which bears a striking resemblance to Facebook’s cover photos, at the top of a users profile page. Profile pictures, user names, and descriptions are placed on top of the header photo. The design is a bit busy, and it doesn’t look as good as Facebook’s timeline design.

Twitter’s official mobile client’s on iOS and Android now show a recent photos stream below a users recent tweets. Its not quite Instagram, but it is a step to make the Twitter photo experience a bit more cohesive.

You can read more on the official Twitter blog.

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Twitter API v1.1 will impose strict limits on third-party apps

Twitter announced Version 1.1 of their API today, and in an attempt to “deliver a consistent Twitter experience”, the company will introduce some pretty strict new limits and restrictions for third-party applications.

The most controversial of these changes is a new user limit that will be imposed on traditional third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterrific. Apps like these will now be limited to 100,000 users, and should they reach that threshold, they will be required to seek Twitter’s permission to add new users. Current apps that already have over 100,000 users will be able to grow until they reach 200% of their current user base (in other words, double the amount of their current users), at which point these restrictions will go into effect. Twitter has not explained what will happen to third-party apps once they reach their user limit, specifically whether or not they will be allowed to add more users, which will likely be determined on an app-by-app basis. Though the fact that they are urging developers to “not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience” doesn’t bode well for the future of these apps. Regardless, Tapbots’ Paul Haddad seems pretty confident in the future of Tweetbot:

Twitter will also provide per-endpoint rate limiting with the updated API, a change intended to lessen the frequency of rate limiting issues. The current system allows 350 authenticated calls to be made per hour, regardless of the endpoint, while the new system will allow for 60 calls per hour per endpoint. In addition, all calls to the Twitter API will have to be authenticated, and client applications that come pre-installed on devices will have to be authenticated as well. Twitter is also adopting their current “Display Guidelines” as “Display Requirements” in order to tighten control over how Tweets and their contents appear, though this mostly dictates simple things like displaying the “@” symbol before a username, and linking @usernames to profiles.

While many see this news as “the end of the Twitter ecosystem”, that may not be the case. Though it may seem like third-party Twitter clients will be unable to thrive under these new rules, this may simply be Twitter’s way of regaining some control over their product and ensuring future profitability. It’s possible that Twitter will allow third-party clients like Tweetbot to continue to exist and grow in exchange for them adopting the “new” design requirements, and implementing Twitter’s ads.

Source: Twitter
via The Next Web, The Verge

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