Archive for July, 2009

New Look for Twitter

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


Twitter has unveiled a new home page at The new page features new branding, with an emphasis on searching and social networking, neatly summed up by the phrase “share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.” A search bar is included on the page, which illustrates that Twitter hopes to make more money from advertisers in the future. The Google model has shown that searching is a way to connect users with advertisers. The new look for Twitter should also help new users navigate through the process of getting starting with tweeting.

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The Downside of Cloud Computing

Sunday, July 19th, 2009


Moving computer data from your local computer to web-hosted applications is known as cloud computing.  There are many advantages to storing your email, photos, calendar, finances and documents online, including automatic backups, increased accessibility and the ability to share.  There are also some disadvantages in moving your personal data to web-hosted storage.   These may not be immediately apparent, so here’s a list:

  • A search warrant isn’t required for government access to your data.  Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but it’s still something to consider.

  • Weak security systems may make your data vulnerable.  This was recently seen when accessed and published internal Twitter information from documents stored on the Google Docs app.  Access to the documents was provided by a hacker who obtained a password through an employee’s email account.

  • Third-party ability to lock up your data or access it.   Many web-hosting apps have stipulations about how much of your data you can access or when you can access it.  Some of your data may even be accessed for marketing purposes.

  • Server unavailability.  You always run the risk of having a third-party server go down when you need to access your data.

  • All of these concerns may seem minor when weighed against the convenience of having your data backed up and available online. All the same, it’s a good idea to look at the downside before jumping onto the cloud.  See this article on LifeHacker for more information.

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    Wifi Hotspot in your Car

    Sunday, July 12th, 2009

    Autonet Mobile claims to be the world’s first internet service that turns your car into a wifi hotspot. With a router installed in the trunk, multiple devices in the car can be connected to the internet. Autonet Mobile uses their own TRU technology to maintain a lasting connection as the car travel between cell phone towers and in areas with poor cell phone reception.

    See a demo of Autonet Mobile and a review in this CNET video.

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    DIY Woodstock

    Sunday, July 05th, 2009



    This spring the 4th annual Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, California. Maker Faire is a celebration for the do-it-yourselfers of the world, showcasing creations in arts, crafts, science and engineering. DIY robots were one of the big attractions of the event and include robots that mix cocktails and replicas of Wall-E and Star Wars robots. Robots battled it out in the RoboGames and navigated an obstacle course using GPS in the RoboMagellan competition. Over 65,000 people attended Maker Faire, a testament to the popularity of DIY creativity. Read more at the Maker Faire website.

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    A New Look for YouTube

    Wednesday, July 01st, 2009



    YouTube will soon roll out the redesign of its channel page, despite an outcry from some users who want things to stay just as they are.  The Google video-sharing site tested the redesign for several months before announcing that the new design will go live on July 15.  The goal of the new design is to provide a better user experience for YouTube site members and visitors.  You can read the YouTube announcement here.

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