Category Archives: Picks

MySpace is Totally For Sale

We’ve thought for a while now that News Corp has given up on MySpace. We all speculated that the company would go up for sale when the big layoffs hit last month. Even though they aren’t advertising it, the website is most definitely for sale. News Corp COO Chase Carey told a reporter over at PaidContent that “With a new structure in place, now is the right time to consider strategic options for this business. The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach it’s full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.”

Carey makes it clear that while they haven’t offered the social space to the sale block, offers have been coming in. He is quick to point out that they will entertain all offers, including those which may keep his company involved in some way.

Subterfuge aside, it’s pretty clear that Tom’s site is about to change hands. What would it take for someone new to breathe life back into it and make it more viable again?

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Mozy Getting Rid of Unlimited Backup Plans

For those of you who have long enjoyed having an unlimited amount of space within your Mozy account to back up your data are about to cry on your keyboard. As soon as your current subscription runs out, there will be no more “unlimited” plans to choose from. Instead, Mozy will start charging nearly six bucks each month for up to 50GB of data. If you need more space, you will have to pay another two dollars per month per 20GB. If you have more than one machine to back up, you can choose the new multi-machine option: $9.99 per month for up to 125GB and three computers.

“There has been a change in consumer behavior,” said Russ Stockdale, Mozy’s vice president of product management. “What we have seen since we launched an unlimited service five years ago is there has been an explosion in digital content, specifically digital photos and video.” Many customers store many MANY Gigabytes’ worth of videos and photos on their machines – and on Mozy’s servers.

If you’re a Mozy customer, what’s your reaction? Do you plan to stick with the company or start shopping around for something new?

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Angry Birds Heading to Rio

No, your favorite game isn’t taking a vacation. The Angry Birds are going to have some fun down in Rio thanks to a partnership with Fox and an upcoming animated movie “Rio,” which hits theaters in mid-April. The game is scheduled to be released sometime in March, just ahead of the film. In Angry Birds Rio, the original flock is kidnapped and taken to Rio, where they then escape and seek to help their friends–the two macaws Blu and Jewel, who are the stars of “Rio.”

The new movie-based game will start with 45 levels of angry fun. Additional levels will be unlocked via an update. The game will be available for various smartphones and tablets.

Angry Birds does have one detour prior to getting to Rio. Rovio is planning a Valentine’s Day update to the seasonal game.

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Verizon iPhone Pre-Orders to Start February 3rd

Verizon is offering existing customers a chance to buy the Verizon iPhone on February 3rd, a week before the general public. According to an email received by MacRumors, Verizon will begin pre-order sales at 3am Eastern on February 3rd. The email also indicates that the pre-sale inventory is limited, so when that inventory is depleted, customers will have to wait until the February 10th public launch date.

Make sure you have your My Verizon self-serve account set-up online. Orders can only be placed through your my Verizon account. On February 3rd at 3am EST, Verizon Wireless will allow our current customers to order upgrades or new lines to their accounts through your My Verizon online account (make sure you have registered before the 3rd).

Verizon is allowing certain existing AT&T customers to trade in their current iPhone for credit towards a new Verizon iPhone 4. Depending on which model you have, you could receive up to $360.00 in credits.

Are you planning to make a switch to Verizon?

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My, How Foursquare Has Grown

In a world of “gotta join it now” websites cropping up everywhere, we’ve become used to seeing astronomical growth on startup sites. We don’t usually so much as blink an eye when someone reports they’ve had “amazing growth” or “so much traffic the servers went down.” It happens almost every day it seems. I have to admit, though, I DID blink when I read a post over on Foursquare today. The company claims to have grown by 3400% in the past year. That isn’t a typo, nor is it an exaggeration.

I admit it – I’m not a user, nor will I ever be. I just don’t get the point of telling someone where I am at every moment of the day. Do you honestly care when your friends are at the grocery store or gas station? I digress, though… there are plenty of you who DO use the service. As a matter of fact, a whole lot of you are regular checker-in’ers. Foursquare reports that the 6,000,000th user signed up last week.

Are you one of millions who is using the service – or any other checkin site – on a regular basis?

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Facebook Launches Live Commenting

When Facebook absorbed Friendfeed, no one was certain what would become of the site that was loved so fiercely by so many. Since the two sites became one, we have seen a few Friendfeed-like integrations on the social networking giant. Just yesterday, Zuck and his team quietly launched a live-commenting feature which takes us back to the days of Friendfeed’s heydey.

It’s also important to note that page owners will now see Post Insights immediately, instead of having to wait several hours (or even days!) for that information to become available. I love how the little updates such as these show up magically – with no fanfare at all – to make my Facebook life even easier. Don’t you agree?

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How Would You Spend Your Last Hour?

You have just been told that your life will end in sixty minutes. How do you spend that last hour? I can’t help but think about what it is that I would do if I knew I had only an hour left to live. Would I call everyone I love to say goodbye? Would I cuddle with my beloved pets? Would I take a relaxing soak in the Jacuzzi and let the Grim Reaper take me the way I came in to the world – naked and wet?

In reality, I think I’d do my best to leave my mark on the world in those final moments. I’d like to believe that I could come up with something profound to say – some type of important advice to leave behind. There are plenty of things floating around in my noggin that have never been said or written down. Taking that last hour to get them out there for others to learn from would be a pretty cool way to wind down life.

Then again – why the hell are we waiting until our final hour to share our brain with the masses? Why aren’t we out there doing it every hour of every day?

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Netflix is Changing the Game and No One is Happy

Netflix Director of Product Management Jamie O’Dell announced today that the company will no longer allow customers to add physical DVDs to their queue from streaming devices such as the PS3 and iPhone. The claim is that they are trying to “concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly.” The powers-that-be at Netflix apparently feel that “providing the option to add a DVD to your Queue from a streaming device complicates the instant watching experience and ties up resources that are better used to improve the overall streaming functionality.”

The problem with this thought process is that many subscribers feel this is a huge step backwards. The desktop computer is becoming more obsolete in the days of mobile devices. Why, then, is Netflix only wanting to allow you to add movies to your queue when logged into the website itself? According to the comments being left on the announcement, people aren’t very happy – to say the least.

What are your thoughts? Is Netflix making the right move here, or have they gone a bit off the deep end?

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Popularity Crashes Cubeduel

Cubeduel is a hot new website which allows you to pick and choose your favorite coworkers. The site relies on LinkedIn connections to present choices for your consideration. It can be a lot of fun to vote someone up or down – and even addicting in some cases. However, the service gained popularity so quickly that it couldn’t sustain the amount of traffic being driven its way.

According to LinkedIn’s Director of Communications, “The application was using our open LinkedIn Developer Platform, which has a daily access limit that is publicly documented. Our developer platform limits are designed to protect our members, and have been in place since the platform program was introduced a year ago.”

The team at LinkedIn is reportedly working with Cubeduel to iron things out between the two sites so that all of you can get back to voting people up and down.

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Teacher – Student Texting: Banned?

Should teachers be allowed to text their students, or friend them on Facebook? The State of Virginia doesn’t think so, and they’re working on legislation to make sure it doesn’t happen. The policy, named “Proposed Guidelines for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct & Abuse in Virginia Public Schools,” addresses a number of areas in which school board employees interact and communicate with students. This will hopefully cut down on the number of sexual harassment charges filed against educators.

Many teachers are angry over this proposition, and are wondering why electronic communication is being singled out. They feel (rightly so, in my humble opinion) that ALL interaction between the staff and students should be held to the same level of professionalism… whether it’s done electronically or face-to-face.

What are your thoughts? Is Virginia going a bit too far in their quest to curb problems? Are they on the right track?

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