August 10, 2009

Facebook And Google Search, And Making The Internet More Public

Today there have been some very big events in the world of social media. Facebook acquired FreindFeed and also launched a new real-time search. Google also improved their search my making it faster and way more accurate.

When the news broke that Facebook bought FriendFeed, it was big. I thought that there would be some big changes to FriendFeed, like taking off Twitter support, or possibly even shutting down the service completely. A lot of FriendFeed users use Twitter too, so by making FreindFeed non-cooperative with Twitter would kill thousands of accounts, leaving Facebook the victor.

This did not happen yet, but if it does, there will probably be a lot of backlash from the Twitter community. However, people will get over it, and they'll just make a Facebook account and jump on that boat.

I don't know if anyone noticed, but Facebook also launched a new search. Not many Facebook users care that much, because a lot of the people I know who use Facebook only use it for photos and status updates. Maybe this will change, and people will use search more often, but I doubt it will attract more new users.

Google also got in on the action today and launched a developer version of their improved search engine, which is faster and more accurate. This makes it easier for people to find something on the go, because you don't have to flip through 10 pages of results. It will be interesting to see how Google will tie this in with Wave which is rounding the corner.

There is one common theme that I see in all of this. I think that the internet is becoming more public, and that information is being shared more easily. There is less fear of being known, and people try to broadcast themselves to anybody who wants to listen/watch/read/play/communicate.

Waiting On Digsby For OS X

I've been for Digsby to be available on macs for quite some time now. Basically, what it is is an IM and social networking client. It has been used on Windows operating systems for a while, and they announced a few months ago that they're working on Mac and Linux versions.

The future looks bleak for mac users. There hasn't been any Alphas/Betas on these OS's yet, and apparently they're waiting for the Windows version to be perfected. Until then, you can sign up for updates.

Aquafresh White Trays Are In My Mouth

So I'm sitting here right now with a pair of Aquafresh white trays in my mouth. I'm going away to college in the fall, and I'm starting a new (and hopefully better) stage in my life. Because of this, I wanna make good first impressions and that means looking clean.

These things are supposed to work in 7 days, by using them once a day for ~ 40 minutes. I really hope they work, but then again, I really have nothing to lose. I'm not that hungry now, and I have no one to talk to, so why not shut my mouth like I always do, but this time with a tray inside.

How much time left? 35 minutes. K, I think I'll mosy on to for a bit and waste some time there.

Geek Week And My Roots As A Geek

Ok, so I haven't posted in a while. And I really hate it because I've been thinking that I should, and I've had the time, but instead I just sat down and watched TV instead. I'm so ashamed :(

But when I wasn't lying on the couch, I was also just surfing the web, looking for anything that seemed interesting. I found out about Geek Week (which is run by The Society for Geek Advancement), and it actually seems pretty cool. It's a week when geeks are praised and held in complete glory for revolutionizing the ways that people work, communicate, shop, find information and even have fun.

There is a video competition, and here is a link to the YouTube group that shows videos of how geekdom is pretty awesome.

I have always been a loner, and I never really had a group to belong too. I'll spare you some details of my lonely life. But ya, now I think I know what group I wanna be in. I wanna be a geek. Seriously, I'm not even kidding. Actually, I kinda am an "L list geek", but I can improve my ranks if I try. I'm actually thinking of learning C++. I'm gonna go to chapters this week and pick up a beginners manual.

And I promise I'll blog more often. I know I've said that many times before, BUT THIS TIME I MEAN IT!

July 24, 2009

Is Twitter Living Up To It's Full Potential?

I love Twitter because it lets me share things with other people that I find interesting and helps me connect with the rest of the world. It's simple and to the point, which makes it appealing to many people because it is easy to use. However, there are so many features that can be added in order to make it so much better.

Trending topics are a list of popular things that are being tweeted by the community. This is good because it shows what means a lot to users. But there are so many useless trending topics. For example, take the almost daily #Goodnight. Is that really relevant? Maybe Twitter could create a filter for all those "Character are you?"s from those annoying quizzes and prevent those useless topics from becoming a huge waste of space. So until there's an amazing blockbuster movie called #FF, twitter should filter out those useless topics that tend to make it to the top of the list.

Maybe they can add an auto refresh too. I'm sick of having to press refresh every minute in order to get updates from my tweeps. For people who think this is annoying, maybe it can even be an option under settings or something of that nature.

I use twitter a lot from my web browser, and I hate it when I can't shorten my url's or text. They can lear a lot from 3rd party developers about shortening, and this could make it easier and faster for someone to post a tweet.

Another thing that Twitter can improve on is making everything fit. I have a 13 inch Macbook, and I always have to scroll down in order to see the last 2 trending topics. It would be a lot easier if everything fir on 1 page, and I can see everything just by taking a quick glance.

I realize that I'm really picky, but these are all tiny details that can add up and turn new users away from a fantastic service that has a lot of potential. I find that twitter is great, but there's so much room for improvement.

P.S. Please follow me. I'm @mtl_zack!

July 23, 2009

The Basics Of Health 2.0

Today in my integrative seminar class, which consists of writing a big essay and then presenting your topic, a classmate of mine wrote her paper on Health 2.0. I found this quite interesting, so here I hope to expand on what my friend presented.

Health 2.0 is a variation of Web 2.0 that deals specifically with health. One can post personal information about themselves on sites such as
Web MD, as well as health issues that he or she might have. Then, they can interact with others and provide support for people who suffer from a similar illness.
Some sites like take the information that you add to your profile and sell it to third parties who process and analyze it. This can lead to advancement in research. There is some controversy though, because people give their information for free, and get no monetary compensation. My take on this is that Web 2.0 is all about sharing, and if you don't wanna share, then don't post anything online.

I think that Health 2.0 programs are great, and will truly revolutionize the North American health care system. However, in Canada, th healthcare system is very complex, where there are private clinics and hospitals, as well as partnerships between medical centers that can exclude certain clinics and use a totally different system than another group of hospitals.

So, Health 2.0 has the potential to be a huge hit, and I think it will be one once people realize that the Internet is meant for sharing. We also have to break certain boundaries and unite hospitals so medical staff can cooperate in order to save more lives.

July 22, 2009

Jupiter Is Struck!

Recently, the planet Jupiter has been struck by either a comet or asteroid, and has left a huge scar on the surface. This was discovered by an amateur astronomer from Australia, Anthony Welsh, who called many other professionals about this, who then began studying the immense planet.

The scar is bigger than the pacific ocean, and is irregular in shape. Here is a picture of the planet, now that is has a giant crater:

I think that the object that hit Jupiter was one of the may asteroids in the belt that lies between Jupiter and Mars. Perhaps one of them got free from the rest and got sucked in. Anyways, now there are many eyes on the sky, and this piece will probably join the many other notable events regarding space that happened recently, such as the Apollo 11 moon landing, the launch of Endeavor and the anniversary of Shoemaker-Levy 9.