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Diaspora – a distributed, open source, secure social network with Facebook in its sights

In what is quickly shaping up as the David versus Goliath fight to watch, four students from NYU’s Courant Institute are looking to take on social networking behemoth Facebook with Diaspora – a distributed, open source social network. They aim to address the privacy concerns that has put Facebook under fire by giving users complete control of their details and content and who they share it with. Through the use of a personal web server called a Diaspora “seed”, users will be able to securely share information, pictures, video and more.  Read More

Should ‘tweet’, ‘Twitter’ or ‘unfriend’ be the 2009 word of the year?

The English language is continually evolving and thanks to the technology of the 21st century – including the media and internet - new words and phrases are being created at an unprecedented rate. Increasingly, these new words result from our love affair with the internet, online social networking sites and geek-speak. This year, the American Dialect Society (ADS) has voted “tweet” – a short message sent via Twitter – as the 2009 word of the year. But two other organizations disagreed. The Global Language Monitor nominated “Twitter” as the word of the year and the New Oxford American Dictionary claimed “unfriend” – meaning to “de-friend” someone on a social networking site such as Facebook – deserved the 2009 word of the year award.  Read More

The Eye-fi Pro X2 SD card featuring Endless Memory Mode

Eye-Fi Inc. has chosen the 2010 CES show to unveil the latest in its already impressive range of Wi-fi enabled SD cards, the Eye-Fi Pro X2. As well as featuring an enhanced capacity of 8GB and Class 6 read and write speeds, the Pro X2 comes to the party with “Endless Memory Mode”, enabling the user to free up space by automatically deleting images from the card once they have been successfully uploaded.  Read More

Picture your standard blogging software, with an option to switch to a 3D Second Life-ish ...

In the English speaking world, the free blogging platforms that stand out from the crowd are Google's Blogger and Wordpress.com. While those services are also popular in Japan, a particularly strong homegrown contender is Ameba.jp., which is now looking to tap into a global audience by launching as a Facebook app. More than just a blog platform, Ameba is unique in the way it has socialized blogs via a virtual online community - Ameba Pigg. Yes, it's an odd name... But it is Japan after all.  Read More

Smart objects and sensors will automatically detect when a user is busy and prevent any un...

Ahhh, social network status updates. How would we know what breathtakingly exciting (or mind-numbingly boring) activities our friends and family are up to from one moment to the next without them? And if you sometimes find it’s a chore just reading these missives, spare a thought for those people writing them. But soon, by combining networking and messaging platforms with emerging ambient intelligence systems that use sensors and smart objects to create awareness of users’ whereabouts and activities, such status updates and other social information could be generated automatically.  Read More

The Pure Sensia touchscreen radio - a Swiss army knife of a device

Not long ago, radio manufacturers had only to worry about the basic look of their devices. Rarely were new stations added, reception methods hadn’t changed in a long time and, generally, smaller was better. Sure, they had to combine an alarm clock in some models, but that wasn’t too difficult. Now a radio has to be a veritable Swiss army knife of appliances, and this is where the new Sensia from Pure excels. Its list of features includes a large color touch screen display, DAB, FM stereo and digital radio with full Band III, wireless media streaming, input from iPods/iPhones and MP3 players, and Pure Apps that let you connect with Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and thousands of podcasts.  Read More

The Kodak Zi8 shoots full 1080p HD at 30fps

Kodak is trying to out-flip the Flip with its latest pocket digital video cam, the Zi8. Aimed squarely at the heart of the hot compact video market, the Zi8 outdoes the Flip Ultra HD with 1080p recording, electronic image stabilization, an SDHC card slot, and an external mic jack. Plus it'll shoot 5-megapixel stills, track faces, and is designed to perform better in low-light conditions.  Read More

Lead author Roxana Geambasu, a UW doctoral student, and undergraduate student Amit Levy he...

If you’ve got nothing to hide there’s no need to read to any further. But if you’re worried about someone digging up something from your past – and we’re talking non-criminal here – which may influence or damage job prospects, relationships, your social or professional life, then good news is at hand. The University of Washington (UW) has developed Vanish – a prototype system that places a time limit on information uploaded to any web service through a web browser. Electronic communication sent using Vanish - such as e-mail, posts on social networking sites and chat messages - would have a brief lifetime and then self-destruct, becoming irretrievable from all websites, inboxes, outboxes, backup sites and home computers. The University says that not even the sender could retrieve them.  Read More

Quizzes and applications in your Facebook feed? No thanks.

Most users have come to accept the new Twitter-style Facebook home page - but one thing continues to infuriate: all the annoying quiz and application updates in your news feed. But all is not lost if you are sick of learning "what Simpsons character" your friends are - here's a quick and easy way to make those annoying quizzes disappear from your news feed.  Read More

HealthMap.org is a freely available Web site that aggregates, categorizes, filters and dis...

Tapping the Internet – including personal Web searches, news reports, blogs, chat rooms and social networking sites – is fast becoming a way to get a complete, up-to-the-minute view of public health threats, say researchers from the Informatics Program at Children’s Hospital Boston (CHIP) in a Perspectives article published Online First by The New England Journal of Medicine on May 7, 2009. In an accompanying sidebar, they describe the use of HealthMap.org – a freely available Web site that aggregates, categorizes, filters and displays real-time information on emerging infectious diseases – in tracking the current H1N1 swine flu outbreak. 
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