This video played last night at the Shorty Awards, and while it’s only funny to people in the tech world … its hilarious to us.

Suze Orman, the financial guru receives a call from “Mark Z.”, an obvious nod to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, who wants to buy Twitter for $1.5 billion.  It really is hysterical and well worth your time to take a look.


Categories: Facebook, Twitter   
 

No, it isn’t your imagination, Facebook is acting up today.

It seems that there are a lot of issues with popular social networking site Facebook today.  There are reports of image uploads not working, slow performance, mobile app issues and so on.  The company took to its Twitter account to issue the following message:

Some people are having trouble accessing Facebook and site features because of an isolated server issue. We are working to fix this ASAP.

So, don’t panic, you’ll be able to get back to tending your crops in FarmVille soon enough.  In the meantime, if you are desperate for fun, you can come shovel out my driveway.

Categories: Facebook   
 

It seems someone finally told Facebook that users don’t like to be locked into a browser window when they want to instant message with their friends, family and co-workers.

Facebook Chat launched some time ago, but it hasn’t exactly been the most useful tool as it required you to use the browser all the time to check which friends were online and interact with them.  Now the king of the social networks has teamed up with AIM, formally named AOL Instant Messenger, to take its chat capabilities out to the desktop.

The only problem with this whole idea is … well … it’s AIM.  It’s like the forgotten child of the instant messaging crowd.  Luckily Facebook has announced that it will be opening up its Chat to any instant messaging client that wants to use it, so hopefully we’ll see it pop up soon in an actually useful IM client.

Categories: Communication, Facebook   
 

In a not totally surprising move, rumors are circulating today that Facebook may be working on adding e-mail to its repertoire of services that keep us on the site for hours on end.

TechCrunch is reporting today that it has spoken with “a source with knowledge of the product” that Facebook is working on adding old fashioned e-mail to it its messaging system.  Codenamed “Project Titan”, the new e-mail service would take your vanity Facebook URL and turn it into an e-mail address such as “vanityurl@facebook.com”.

Unlike the e-mail implementation that MySpace put into place, the Facebook system is said to have full POP and IMAP functionality meaning you could use it with third-party e-mail clients such as Outlook, Thunderbird or over your cell phones.

Michael Arrington goes on to say that internally at Facebook they are referring to this as “a Gmail killer”, but I have to agree with Mr. Arrington that those are some pretty high hopes.

Personally, I use Facebook, but I don’t get the fervor with which people flock to it.  It’s a nice distraction from time to time, but I don’t feel a need to check it multiple times a day like most people.  And the idea of my e-mail address being “@facebook.com” holds very little appeal to me.  I already have multiple e-mail addresses I check every day, I really don’t need another.

Categories: Facebook   
 

If you see anyone posting pictures of their “ex-girlfriend” on Facebook, don’t click the link … unless you want to be embarrass yourself.

All Facebook is reporting that a new worm is spreading around Facebook.  An image is posted of a woman in her underwear along with a note saying it is a picture of the person’s ex-girlfriend.  If you should happen to click on it you will end up posting it to your account as there is code embedded in the post that will activate your share feature.

It appears that the worm does no damage, nor steals any information, but it does end up embarrassing the heck out of you as your friends think you have suddenly lost your mind and decided to be low-class by posting pictures of your ex.

Just be careful of what you click on.  Sample photo below from All Facebook.

Categories: Facebook, Social Networking   
 

Are you with COCO?

An image that says “I’m With COCO” is quickly over taking Facebook, and in case you don’t know what it’s about, it is an image to show your support for Conan O’Brien in his current dispute with NBC over the announcement his time slot would be given to Jay Leno.  (You can click the image to the right for a full-sized version of it that you can use as you see fit)

The online movement to express displeasure with NBC over the company’s treatment of the recently installed host of The Tonight Show has been an interesting study in the power of social media.  Most online polls are showing 83% of respondents back Conan O’Brien in all of this craziness, and the online movement only seems to be picking up momentum to the point that NBC is going to have no choice but to actually pay attention to it.

It is by no means the most important story in the world right now, but it is an interesting example of how social media can so rapidly react to a rapidly developing story.  With each new bit of info, the news is spreading rapidly and O’Brien fans are reacting quickly to how thet best help the late night host they have opted to back.

So, if you’re on the team, check out the original I’m With COCO page and show your support for the man with the funny hair.

Categories: Facebook, Social Networking   
 

rokuThe popular Roku brand players have finally moved past the premium content to add streaming media from free sites.

The Roku Box has gained a reputation as the easiest way to get Netflix Streaming and Amazon Video on your TV, but seeing as both those are premium services it did limit their potential customer base somewhat.  Later on the company added MLB.com for out-of-market games, but again that was a premium service, so what were they going to do to start to lure customers who don’t use those services?

Enter the Channel Store.

Roku Boxes can now stream content from:

  • blip.tv
  • Facebook photos
  • Flickr
  • FrameChannel
  • MediaFly
  • MobileTribe
  • Motionbox
  • Pandora
  • Revision3
  • TWiT.TV

While none of these services will give you the breadth of content something like Netflix Streaming will, there is some solid entertainment in this line up. Pandora alone, one of the leading music discovery sites, could keep you dancing in your living room for hours on end.

While there is no official word on what this might mean for the future, this sure has the feel of being a “first wave” of content.  In other words, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them adding many more channel partners in the very near future.

Roku is one of the top items for me this coming Christmas, and it may have just jumped to the #1 spot with this news.

Categories: Facebook, Gadgets, Home Electronics, Video   
 

facebook logoApparently it is no longer just potential employers looking into your social networking accounts for incriminating evidence of your wild ways, now it’s also insurance companies.

CBC News is reporting that 29-year-old Nathalie Blanchard is currently on extended medical leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec for major depression.  During this time she has been receiving monthly sick-leave benefits from Manulife, but those ended this fall.  The reason?  She posted happy looking vacation pictures on Facebook.

Here are the details from the CBC:

When Blanchard called Manulife, the company said that “I’m available to work, because of Facebook,” she told CBC News this week.

She said her insurance agent described several pictures Blanchard posted on the popular social networking site, including ones showing her having a good time at a Chippendales bar show, at her birthday party and on a sun holiday — evidence that she is no longer depressed, Manulife said.

Blanchard said she notified Manulife that she was taking a trip, and she’s shocked the company would investigate her in such a manner and interpret her photos that way.

“In the moment I’m happy, but before and after I have the same problems” as before, she said.

Blanchard said that on her doctor’s advice, she tried to have fun, including nights out at her local bar with friends and short getaways to sun destinations, as a way to forget her problems.

While we aren’t medical experts around here, making a medical decision based on how someone’s mental state is by how they appear in a few pictures seems a bit extreme to us.  Ms. Blanchard is being sent to a doctor for more tests and to see about getting her benefits reinstated.

However, it really isn’t so much Ms. Blanchard we are writing about here, but once again showing an example of how you need to be selective in what you put online about yourself.  if even insurance companies are going to start checking social networking profiles, which Manulife has admitted they do, are there things you want your insurance company seeing?  What if you post a picture of you holding a cigarette or cigar, even in jest?  They could cancel your policy under the belief you have taken up smoking, or raise your premiums based on you with holding information from them.

The cons of sharing personal photos on sites such as Facebook just seem to greatly outweigh the pros. Sure you can always mark your images as private, but in Ms. Blanchard’s case, her images were marked as private and yet when she called the insurance company they described the images to her shot-for-shot.

There are exactly 7 pictures online that show my face.  Four of those are from professional networking events, one is a profile picture for articles I write, one is me at the JFK Presidential museum and one is of me on vacation having lunch in a German brewpub in Boston.  That is it.  While I post pictures on sites such as Flickr, they are images of scenery or events but there are certainly no pictures of me doing anything that could harm my reputation or be taken as showing weak moral character and so on.  There is nothing wrong with taking those types of pictures, but do you really want them getting out to the world?

No matter if you set images to private, my opinion has always been that once you place an image anywhere on the Internet, you might as well suspect that it will get anywhere eventually.  I recently viewed the Facebook pictures of a friend of mine who is well respected in her profession, deals with clients and so on, and to be honest I couldn’t believe the pictures she chose to put on her account.  Drinking, hanging on people, compromising positions and so on, and all I could think of was “wait until her professional colleagues see these, and they will.”

By no means should I be construed as a prude, but I think there is a time and a place for those types of images, and putting them on social networks just never seems like the right idea to me, especially if you rely on insurance or are trying to get a job.

Categories: Facebook, Social Networking   
 

Social NetworkingEven if you don’t care to get heavily involved with social networking, have you thought about what happens if someone with your same name is?

We’ve written before about how employers can be checking your Facebook account before they hire you, but don’t think just because you don’t have a Facebook that you are safe.  Have you thought about how someone with the exact same name may be out there on social networks posting information that would shine an unfavorable light on you even though it isn’t you?

Lets say an employer goes to check on potential hire Englebert Humperdink, and when they see just one person with that name on a social network, they just assume its you.  Well this other Englebert has information about taking illegal drugs, talks about partying and so on, this could end up reflecting poorly on you.

Now, true, there are other sign posts that would hopefully tell the person it isn’t you, but you are counting on them being detail orientated, something most people are not.  Wouldn’t it be better for you to claim the profile for your name even if you never put a thing on the account?

Of course this isn’t going to work for people with names like John Smith, but if your name is the least bit unique it is something you should think heavily about just to protect yourself.

With services like Namechk you can enter your name as you would want it to appear, so lets say “engleberthumperdink” and the service will check 132 of the most popular social sites in one shot letting you know where the name has been taken, or if it is still available.  If it shows up red on too many sites, meaning it has been taken, you may want to think of another version of the username, but if its green, waste no time and go and grab them!

Essentially you have to think of this as the 21st century version of the land grab; if you don’t do it, someone else will.

namechk

Categories: Facebook, Social Networking   
 

facebook logoIt seems that changing your status message on Facebook is useful for a lot more than just killing time.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, at 11:49 a.m., Rodney Bradford posted a Facebook status update from his father’s home in the Harlem section of New York City.  He was wondering where his pancakes were, and he left it at that.

According to The New York Times blog, the next day Mr. Bradford was arrested on suspicion of being involved in an armed mugging.  Mr. Bradford was already facing charges in a minor incident, but due to that, combined with the new charges, he could have been facing very serious sentencing.

There was one small problem with the case: the mugging happened at approximately 11:49 AM on Oct. 17th … when Mr. Bradford was updating his Facebook status.

After a court order to verify the location of where the status update was made from, and Facebook verified it came from the area Mr. Bradford claimed to be in.  While his defense lawyer Robert Reuland admitted that anyone that knew Mr. Bradford’s login information could have been the one to enter the status message, but it seemed unlikely considering the location and timing of the update.

The interesting portion of this article was the following passage, and what prompted me to bring this up on the site:

“This is the first case that I’m aware of in which a Facebook update has been used as alibi evidence,” said John Browning, a lawyer and member of the Dallas Bar Association who studies social networking and the law. “We are going to see more of that because of how prevalent social networking has become.”

While we’re not saying you should update your social status on various networks on a continual basis — you know, “just in case” — it does bring up an interesting future defense for people involved in criminal cases.  However, Mr. Reuland’s comment of how it seemed unlikely that someone else could have done this for Mr. Bradford, he also just sank the defense for anyone else in the future.  That will always be the question from now on, but I somehow doubt that this will be the last time we see this come up.

Categories: Facebook, Social Networking   
 
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