You will never in a million years guess what the downside of Web 2.0 was.
Today Google announced its plan to worm its way inside the living rooms of Americans, which will be known as, sigh, Google TV. (It's like WebTV, but branded!) The Google guys claim that their innovation will marry the power of the Internet and the high-resolution screens of America's televisions, with a Google-developed search engine that will cross the boundaries of live TV, recorded TV, and online TV and an Intel-manufactured chip that will go into TVs produced by the likes of Sony. At this afternoon's big splashy launch event, the word "seamless" was apparently used a lot. (So was the term "open source," which will surely butter [...]
The National Milk Producers Foundation is fed up at all the fake dairy products out there — your soy milks, your rice cheeses, your muscle milks. So it's starting to agitate, asking the Food & Drug Administration to limit use of the word "milk" to what they call "mammalian lacteal secretions." (Yay, human milk is in the clear!) Too bad that the FDA has been ignoring lobbies regarding this particular semantic subject since the soy industry first petitioned them to be allowed use the term "soy milk" in 1996. So the milk producers are fighting to keep it real the only way they (or their interns) know how — [...]
Hey, anyone want to go in and recolonize the increasingly user-free social-networking site MySpace? We can probably get some Blingees for cheap, if these numbers are any indication! "For the 30 days ending Feb. 19, it was only 18 million, a 6% decline from the previous 30 days. And the rate of decline only seems to be accelerating: The number of new unique users shrank 11%."
Hey, "the revolution of media becoming social" (and freeing itself from the tyranny of copyediting, apparently) gets its 45,385th chance to shine today! Say goodbye to reading magazines just to read them or maybe reflect on their content and start metamicroblogging and adding the "Tw" prefix to already made-up words and campaigning to become the mayor of your local Starbucks. Or, you know, you could just book a train ticket.
A Gizmodo-explained exploit of a long-dormant text-message command for the microblogging service Twitter that resulted in celebrities being potentially, gasp, forced to follow regular old folks resulted in, among other things, every user's follower/following count being reset to zero temporarily while the Twitter honchos figured out how to close the loophole. (I was actually wondering how many people used Twitter's SMS functionality — which was the original reason behind the service's 140-character-per-message-constraint, and which was the culprit behind this forced-following epidemic — just the other day! It would seem the answer is "not many, especially among employees of the company's beta-testing department.") Anyway, all is back to [...]
This LA Times piece on the ways that social networking and Google trails have fuzzied up the doctor-patient relationship (what with the Internet's tendencies toward dredging up issues of confidentiality, trust, boundaries, etc.) had the likely unintended effect of wanting to hit up Google and see what sort of breadcrumbs my shrink has left online over the years — although I do think that adding her on Facebook, which is apparently something that people do (??), would be something of a bridge too far. (Not that the semantics of the word "friend" haven't been ruined by years of social-shopping sites and the social rituals of high school, but [...]
For the next month, Kansas' capital city Topeka ("A Great Place To Live, Work, And Play") is calling itself "Google, Kansas" because it wants to become one of the Internet behemoth's fiber-optic broadband test cities. Topeka has even gone so far as to change every reference to itself on its official Web site to a reproduction of the Google logo, a job that must have driven some poor intern crazy for at least a week or so.
The journalism startup NewsLabs, which called itself "the platform for new journalism" and told writers that it would "allow you to focus on your craft while we focus on the tools and infrastructure for growing your online readership and brand," announced its demise today via a couple of regret-filled internal memos. The money quote is probably this one, from chief technology officer Nathan Chong: "In retrospect, I now believe that we should never have made promises about building your online brand or large amounts of traffic (early email threads about how to deal with large number of comments now seem very ironic)." Ouch.
Manic Pixie Internet Fameball Tila Tequila has entered the online gossipsphere with the just-launched MissTilaOMG.com, which is apparently an attempt to simultaneously air her dirty laundry (sample line, from an item on how she used to date Jared Leto: "Jared if you're reading this, I know you're still an asshole but If you wanna fuck sometime, I'm totally still down. lol") and engage her No. 1 rival Perez Hilton in an online cage match where anyyone who looks in either of their directions automatically loses. In other celebrity-blog-launch news, Diddy has posted a teaser for his forthcoming personal Web site that makes me think he's reached [...]
"I simply have nothing to hide," Mark Brooks, a Web consultant, told the Times during Brad Stone's reportage of the 23,094th story about exciting new Internet companies that the Paper Of Record has run this month. Let's see if he's still embracing that stance now that the shared-shopping site Blippy — which is one of the sites profiled in the piece; Brooks uses it because he is apparently interested in having "a fun and easy way to see and discuss what everyone is buying" at his fingertips — has inadvertently leaked some of its users' credit card data! Well, the possibility of that particular bit of oversharing [...]
"37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter."