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Microsoft is rolling out what they are calling "the most significant update to Bing since we launched three years ago". The new update will roll out over the next few weeks as Microsoft introduce a new way to search that is designed to help you take action and interact with friends and experts "without compromising the core search experience".
Microsoft point out that the search industry is built on keywords, links and labels - static nouns pointing to pages. Whilst this approach is great for finding sites, searching is not just about finding information or data, its about taking action. You might search flights, or accommodation, and usually when doing so, you'd like to take action in the form of placing a booking, etc. Microsoft note that 68-percent of people tell them they expect to get something done when they type into a search box.
Bing ups the ante on this, where you're you'll be able to share virtually everything you do, where you are, who you are, all in real-time. The new updated Bing will include a "brand new information architecture" with three columns: the left will feature familiar algorithmic results, the middle provides a "snapshot" of relevant information and services, such as maps and reviews, whilst the sidebar to the right will include social-orientated results.
According to a new study done by the Harvard Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab shows that talking about oneself on a social networking site engages portions of the brain that are responsible for love, pleasure, and rewards. Curiously enough, these same sections of the brain are active when having sex.
This good feeling that is associated with posting about oneself explains why 80% of the average user's social networking posts consist of self-disclosure. These social networking posts account for 30-40% of the average user's speech output for each day. To verify this, Diana Tamir and co-author Jason Mitchell hooked participants up to an MRI to monitor brain activity while being asked questions.
The questions were about their own and others' attitudes on various subjects. The point of the two different questions was to discover if there was a difference between talking about oneself or someone else. The findings show that talking about oneself engages the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) which are both associated with rewards. As previously stated, these same regions are active during sex or eating good food.
Tamir told the LA Times, "we didn't know if self-disclosure was rewarding because you get to think about yourself and thinking about yourself is rewarding, or if it is important to have an audience."
When President Obama announced his support for gay marriage yesterday on Twitter, it was pretty obvious it was going to be a historic day. Twitter has now released some data about tweets following his announcement and the data confirms what what was already suspected. The number of tweets sent was double that of the previous record last June when New York legalized gay marriage.
At its peak, the number of #gaymarriage tweets hit 7,347 every minute. At this rate, over 1.6 million #gaymarriage were sent yesterday. This amount, double that of when New York legalized it in June of 2011. The data released also shows that the number of gay marriage tweets has steadily increased since the inauguration of Obama.
However, the percentage of total tweets has stayed basically level except for the occasional spike like yesterday or the day last June. So while there are more, that could be due to the overall increase in users and tweets. However, the spike after Obama's support certainly shows that people agree with the President's sentiments. Twitter is a great way to track people's feelings as the 160 character micro-blog is more conducive to openness.
Social networking giant Facebook have just announced App Center, a portal for the social networking site that is designed for app discovery. App Center is designed for socially-oriented apps, features an in-depth rating system that provides developers with demographic information on user ratings.
The new App Center covers both iOS and Android, making the new Facebook feature one of the only places someone can find apps from the competing stores side-by-side. Apps found within the new App Center will sport detailed individual pages laying out the apps' function.
From there, users can browse apps for their particular device, be it iOS- or Android-based, and apps that require installation on a mobile device will link users directly to the iOS App Store, or Google Play for Android users. Developers will have the keys to in-depth demographic data on app usage, with sample pages from Facebook show app ratings broken down by gender and age range. The App Center will give developers the ability to offer paid apps, as well as in-app purchases.
Apparently Twitter's security was breached which resulted in the compromise of 55,000 accounts. The credentials to these accounts were subsequently posted online. Twitter has now said that they are launching an investigation into the matter of how these accounts were compromised. Luckily, it seems as though most of these accounts were banned spammer accounts.
Twitter posted on their official communications account, TwitterComms, that "We're looking into the situation and have pushed out password resets to potentially affected accounts." They also confirm that many of the accounts were spammer accounts or duplicates. "The list of alleged accounts & passwords consists of more than 20,000 duplicates. Also suspended spam accounts & incorrect login credentials."
Still, compiling a list of accounts that big most likely wasn't done through brute force, as that would take some time. Of course hackers affiliated with Anonymous are attempting to take credit. When don't they? It would be an odd move considering how much the group uses the micro-blogging service. The accounts were released in 5 Pastebin posts and Twitter has said that many of the usernames and passwords weren't linked together, meaning incorrect combinations.
It will be interesting to see the results of the investigation. Like I stated before, it is unlikely that this was a simple brute-force attack.
Just last week, a British school principal threatened to turn parents of underage Facebook users into Child Protective Services. In yet another story of people in a position of power abusing Facebook, a Missouri high school principal has resigned after being accused of creating a fake Facebook profile and adding her students.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch claims that a former school quarterback is the one who publicly accused Losos of being behind the profile Suzy Harriston. "Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them. It is the Clayton Principal," Chase Haslett reportedly stated.
While not outright confirming that this is the reason that Ms. Losos has left the post of principal, the district has issued a statement saying they and Losos "had a fundamental dispute concerning the appropriate use of social media." Adding more evidence to the claim, the Post-Dispatch says there is no one in the state of Missouri with the name of the alleged fake Facebook profile.
It's not clear what she would have hoped to gain by doing this, or what she would say if she had caught someone doing something they shouldn't. KDSK TV interviewed students who had received requests from "Suzy": "A group of penguins trying to add me and I denied the friend request," said Jonah Lindblad, a Clayton High junior. "Suzy"'s Facebook profile picture was indeed a group of penguins.
Our Mobile App of the Day is rowi for Windows Phone.
Rowi is an easy to use Twitter app for Windows Phone with a clean and simple interface.
If you are a serious Twitter user or a beginner, this is the app for you! Instead of focusing on a big list of features, we built Rowi with the overall experience in mind. You'll find Rowi has a simple, streamlined, easy to use Metro interface that feels like it's part of Windows Phone. It performs better than any other Twitter app today.
== WHAT DO I GET WHEN I PURCHASE ROWI? ==
In addition to all the great features of Rowi trial, purchasing Rowi means you will not see any ads and you will get push notifications for mentions and messages.
== WILL I BE MISSING ANYTHING IF I DON'T PURCHASE ROWI? ==
Other than push notifications, no. The trial of Rowi is full featured with no time limits. You will get ALL the great features!
== LASTEST VERSION - WHAT'S NEW? ==
-Bug fixes and updated for the latest OS (Mango)
-Right to left (RTL) language support
-Context menus on lists of tweets for quick and easy access
-New settings to tailor Rowi to your needs
-Pin nearly everything as a tile to your start screen
-New column types like retweets and favorites
-Inline image previews
-Readability for better web browsing and "save for later" support
Google unveiled Hangouts on Air last year, but it was limited to just a handful of broadcasters, which allowed them to go live with friends or fans, for the entire world to see. These users have loved it, and have made the once small community grow into its own entity.
Today, Google have launched Hangouts on Air to Google+ users worldwide. This means that anyone can jump on, and go live in front of a global audience. Here's what you're abel to do:
- Broadcast publicly. By checking "Enable Hangouts On Air," you can broadcast your live hangout-from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website-to the entire world.
- See how many viewers you've got. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live.
- Record and re-share. Once you're off the air, we'll upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post. This way it's easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it's over.
Launching millions of live stations can't be done overnight, so Google are rolling out Hangouts on Air over the coming weeks.
I was sitting around a bonfire at my brothers house last week when my mate Daniel turns to me, laughing, and tells me to check out this new app on his iPhone called 'Viddy'. He said it was the Instagram of video. After showing me Snoop Dogg driving his car and just looking at the road, and various other videos - I could see it had the potential of being an acquisition target by Facebook, or similar.
Now Facebook founder himself, Mark Zuckerberg, has joined the ranks of thousands by signing up for the video sharing mobile app, Viddy. Zuckerberg posted up his first video under the nickname 'Zuck', which featured his dog, Beast, playing around in his house. Zuck's first video received more than 1,200 likes from other users, but this number should expand exponentially should Zuck share it on his Facebook page which sports 13 million subscribers.
A photo of his dog received more than 250,000 likes, with Viddy benefitting big time from such huge exposure. Viddy has also just hit 15 million users, but the celebrities joining the Viddy game are growing by the day. Viddy has just recently had a new injection of funding from rockstar investors such as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Skull Candy's Jeff Kearl, Jay-Z, and more.
Ah, yes. Anonymous, the group that does these hackings in order to benefit the greater good. Social activism, justice. Well, a small group of coders from the larger hacktivist organization are coming together to program a new social music service that will collect music from around the web and allow it to be organized into playlists and share...anonymously.
That's right, a small group of coders from Anonymous are planning on creating a social music service, called Anontune, which will pull together music from various sources such as YouTube and SoundCloud and aggregate them so that they can be put into playlists and shared anonymously. Anonymous will not be hosting any of the music.
The whole project hinges on running a java applet which will provide the anonymity as well as the functions of the project. With running an applet from a group such as Anonymous comes some risk, so you do so at your own risk (read: I am not encouraging this behavior, nor do I or TweakTown necessarily approve of this behavior).
According to reports, the service is only 20% complete, so it still has awhile before its debut. The creators hope that the new service will change the way people engage with music. Think of it as an anonymous version of Spotify. The video above is the announcement from Anonymous. I love Anonymous for their entertainment value.