Zuckerberg: Facebook Photos Used 5 Or 6 Times More Than Competitors — Combined

Yesterday, Facebook held a developer’s garage event at their headquarters in Palo Alto. To kick things off, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to talk a bit about the history of Facebook. Notably, he focused on Facebook Photos as being a key catalyst that led to everything the social network is today.

He noted that when they launched the product, they didn’t have all of the features that their competitors did. For example, they didn’t have high-resolution photos and you couldn’t print them. But one thing they did have was the social element — and this changed everything.

Those features by themselves were more important than anything else combined,” Zuckerberg said of the social elements of Facebook Photos. He then dropped the competitor bomb. “The photo product that we have is maybe five or six times more used than every other product on the web — combined,” Zuckerberg stated.

Wow. Everyone knows Facebook Photos is huge, but if Zuckerberg’s stats are accurate, it’s becoming YouTube-level huge compared to their competitors. Of course, what he means by “used” isn’t entirely clear — do they just browse more, or upload more as well? Either way, it’s massive.

And it was clear from both Zuckerberg and CTO Bret Taylor’s talk at the event that photos to them was the harbinger of things that eventually came — and will still come.

Taylor noted that he had been “brainwashed by Silicon Valley” before he saw and understood the power of Facebook Photos (he was likely working at Google at the time). He had been thinking like an engineer about the best way to organize photos on the web. But he quickly realized that “the best possible organization of photos is around people,” Taylor said.

There are ten other industries waiting to have this type of disruption,” Taylor said noting the travel industry, e-commerce, and music as a few of them. Earlier, Zuckerberg agreed. Because of the social element, “every single vertical will be transformed.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Patent Suit Day Continues: Microsoft Takes Fight With i4i Over XML To The Supreme Court

While not the biggest Microsoft-related lawsuit news of the day, Microsoft just announced that it wants to take its patent infringement case against Canadian technology firm i4i to the highest level, seeking review by the US Supreme Court.

Last May, a federal court of appeals upheld the decision of a lower court that Microsoft had in fact infringed i4i’s XML patent (’449), by introducing Microsoft WORD in 2003 and continuing the XML editing capabilities through 2007. Microsoft was ordered to pay i4i $290 million dollars in fees and change the disputed version of Word.

i4i CEO Loudon Owen responded to Microsoft’s petition for a writ of certiorari, “This next step of filing a petition was anticipated — indeed, proclaimed for months by Microsoft. We continue to be confident that i4i will prevail.”

The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will review the case.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Ben Huh Asks: “I Can Haz Reddit?” (Offers To Buy It From Condé Nast)

It’s no secret that social link sharing community Reddit isn’t singing the praises of its corporate parent Condé Nast, which acquired the company in 2006. Earlier today the two sparred over running ads in support of California’s Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state. And Reddit has previously written about the shortage of resources that Condé Nast is willing to provide.  Now Ben Huh, founder and CEO of the Cheezburger network, is offering to take Reddit off Condé’s hands.

In a letter published by The Daily What (a part of the Cheezburger network), Huh writes that he’s offered to buy Reddit before privately, and he’s now making it public. From the post:

Condé Nast, I’m publicly offering to buy Reddit.

Hi TDWers, I’m Ben Huh, and I run the Cheezburger Network (which includes The Daily What, if you were too Prop 19’d to notice). I have made this offer privately to a few people associated with Reddit, and I’ll say it publicly now:

I believe that Reddit is one of the best communities I have seen on the Internet. I also believe that Reddit would benefit from more resources and less corporate interference. We can offer all of the above. And we’d love to buy Reddit and all those pesky troublesome users that we love so much.

Condé, we’ll be waiting for a call.


Ben Huh.

Update: Reached for comment, Huh said that he’s “totally serious about buying Reddit” and that he thinks Reddit “would do better under a strange and weird start-up like us, rather than a corporate giant like Conde Nast.”

Bit.ly Clickabit, Now. Bit.ly Now, Later?

Today on their blog, URL shortening service Bit.ly unveiled a cute new feature: Clickabit. It’s a Twitter account that surfaces some of the “surprising and bizarre” links being shortened and shared across their network. But the feature also hints at something we’ve been talking about for a while: Bit.ly Now.

We’re currently hard at work on several systems that will expose some of the interesting data we’re playing with. In the meantime, we’d like to introduce @clickabit,” Bit.ly writes in the post. They key part is obviously the first half. We’ve known for a while that Bit.ly has been planning some sort of service to expose the best links being shared across the web — kind of like Tweetmeme or Digg. But Bit.ly links are shared on email and Facebook too; it would be about more than Twitter.

Actually, Bit.ly Now has existed for sometime — on Twitter. But today, Bit.ly switched that account over to be the Clickabit one (the old tweets from 2009 when Bit.ly was using the account to surface popular Bit.ly links have been transfered over as well — and they have yet to change the bio from the Bit.ly Now one). They still control the @bitlynow account, and have switched the icon. The only tweet from the account now reads “Follow the puffer fish to @clickabit!

It would seem that they’re finally preparing to do something more with this account. Something like a system to “expose some fo the interesting data we’ve playing with“, perhaps.

It’s an interesting time in the popular link surfacing space. Tweetmeme is in the process of morphing into something else following Twitter’s launch of their own tweet button. Meanwhile, Digg has just launched the latest version of their site (version 4), in an attempt to try and recapture the link sharing crown. Then of course there’s Facebook. That Like button is everywhere.

Information provided by CrunchBase

A Method For Encumbering Progress By Patenting Other People’s Ideas

Inventor: Paul Allen
Filed: August 27, 2010
Abstract: A method for preventing innovation, specifically in the tech sector, by way of a dangerous misconception of what is patentable and a sadly overtaxed intellectual property regulatory system.
Summary of the Invention: During a period of change and invention, ideas may occur to a person, and a few possible ways of manifesting those ideas. By instantly submitting a patent request, the person can secure as their own property not only the methods they have actually invented, but all possible derivatives and independent creations resembling said methods. After waiting a suitable period of time, during which the entire landscape of the industry may change, the patent holder then can exchange these patents for riches, while simultaneously nullifying the gains of a decentralized, idea-powered economy.

Continue reading…

Kenya: A Land of Endless Mobile Possibility (TCTV)

Some may get crushes on Hollywood stars. Some get crushes on blue, fictional Aliens. Sarah gets crushes on countries. And right now she is obsessed with Kenya. The closest she’s been is Rwanda, but at Cape Town’s Net Prophet conference last spring, several speakers made a compelling case for why Kenya– not South Africa–was the up-and-coming African tech hot spot to watch.

One of those making the argument was Stefan Magdalinski, well known in the UK as founder of Upmystreet.com and former CTO of Moo, but who last year who relocated to Africa to run Nairobi-based Mocality.

We decided—in part to shut Sarah up about Kenya—to invite Magdalinski to come on “Why Is This News?” and talk about why he left the cozy confines of London and whether the Kenya-hype is justified. [SPOILER ALERT: Sarah is planning a trip to Kenya.]

(Update: Stefan has blogged about the interview here, including links to some of the stories he mentioned, plus a few companies that are ‘leading the way’ in Africa.)

Old School Steve Jobs On Changing The World

It looks like that Xerox IP isn’t the only thing Steve Jobs appropriated for Apple. Here he is in all his chubby 1997 glory, introducing the TBWA/Chiat Day produced “Think Different” campaign with an unattributed quote from poet Jack Kerouac, “People who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who actually do.”

What’s most jarring about this video is the chasm between what Jobs holds as Apple’s core values in 1997 and those of the patent hungrymonopoly that is the Apple of today. As one commenter pointed out:

“Think different… As long as we approve your application for download on the app store.”

Or, “Unless you’re Adobe.

Via: Hacker News

0 Views: The Best Of The Worst Of YouTube

When it comes to online video, there is YouTube and then there is everyone else. Increasingly, videos on the service are getting a million or more views and some stars (like that Bieber kid) are getting made. So just upload a video to YouTube and became the next big thing, right? Well, not exactly.

While there are an increasing number of massively huge videos on YouTube, there’s also just more videos in general. And despite what you may think, not all of them can be watched every second of the day by everyone on the planet. In fact, there are plenty of — and very likely more — videos on the service with very, very few views. And believe it or not, there are some with zero views. Thankfully, there is a Tumblr blog to highlights those.

0 views is an excellent collection of the best of the worst of YouTube — or, “the best of the bottom of the barrel”, as they put it. Here you’ll find 12 year olds walking around “vlogging” and putting pads inside of shoes. Or you’ll find “Get it granddaughter!” Or the dog drinking cola.

To be honest, the best part of this site is that if it weren’t for the name “0 Views,” I could easily be led to believe that each of these videos was a viral success rather than a video with zero views.

Also, thanks to this site, several of these videos are now getting thousands of views. Awesome.

Information provided by CrunchBase

140 Proof Provides A Piece Of The Twitter Advertising Puzzle

Twitter has been open about its desire for advertising to be a pillar of its revenue strategy. The company has launched a number of experiments with advertising on the site, rolling out Promoted Tweets, which serves up ads based on keywords in Twitter search queries; and Promoted Trends. But Twitter cracked down on in-stream advertising on third-party clients; which was thought to be a direct attack on some of the Twitter ad networks in the space, such as 140 Proof, Ad.ly and others (it turned out that the new TOS didn’t kill these companies). However, now it looks like Twitter is actually partnering with Twitter ad networks to sell its inventory on Promoted Tweets.

We’ve learned that Twitter has ‘informally’ partnered with 140 Proof, a Twitter-based ad network that launched earlier this year, to allow the ad network to sell ad inventory for Promoted Tweets along side 140Proof’s own inventory. 140 Proof allows 3rd-party Twitter clients, like Echofon, Hootsuite and UberTwitter, to sell space on the network to advertisers.

140 Proof’s ad network differs slightly from its competitors because it promises highly targeted advertising. Twitter clients pass 140 Proof a user ID list (with no names) and the public information contained in a Twitter user’s profile. On the advertiser side, advertisers bid on ads to be directed toward users based on keywords in tweets, followers, as well as device, location and platform. 140 Proof’s algorithms calculate a Twitterer’s “persona” based on public tweets and who they follow and serves ads to users based on this data. So if many of my Tweets have the term “red wine” in them, 140 Proof would characterize me as an ideal target for a wine seller.

In terms of the Twitter-partnership, 140 Proof is now able to sell advertisers in placements on Twitter.com as well as third-party clients. For the Emmy awards taking place this coming weekend, 140 Proof has sold the event’s sponsor, car company Infiniti (Twitter handle: InfinityNews), ad space on its publishers as well as on Promoted Tweets. Manoogian says that his network has made similar buys for Microsoft’s Bing as well as for an undisclosed financial institution.

Manoogian pitches that this is the best of both worlds for advertisers, who can target specific audiences via 140 Proof’s network as well as reach general Twitter.com users via Promoted Tweets.

As we know Twitter has been making key hires for its sales and revenue teams, including News Corp’s Adam Bain and Google’s Brent Hill most recently. If Twitter is building out a sales team for ad purposes, this arrangement could be a temporary way to drive ad sales for its offerings.

On the other hand, this could be another channel through which Twitter will drive advertisers to its platform. The microblogging network could form similar partnerships with other ad networks (Manoogian tells me that he’s not aware of any other deals with competitors at this time) and open up a significant revenue sharing stream.

Although we have seen some of what Twitter has in store for advertising, we are still relatively in the dark when it comes to the network’s long term ad strategy. The deal could provide a glimpse into what the network could have in store for the future.

Here’s Twitter’s official statement:

Twitter continues to experiment with different forms of advertising, promotions and other commercial initiatives, optimizing for user value. The work we’re planning with 140 Proof is one of those experiments. The 140 Proof relationship is not a formal partnership, and we are not sharing revenue. That said, we’re always happy when companies help advertisers better use and understand the Twitter platform.

Photo Credit/Flickr/HoriaVarlin

Facebook Offers Exhibit A In Its Defense Against Teen Lawsuit

Earlier today I reported on a class action lawsuit against Facebook which argued that when it comes to teenagers, the social network should not be able to use their name or likeness to promote either Facebook itself or on behalf of advertisers without parental consent. “If you don’t like the law, change the law, John C. Torjesen, one of the lawyers bringing the suit, tells me. “But I think people like that law.”

There are two main ways he says Facebook is using the names and likenesses of minors for commercial endorsements. One is through search. If you search for a teenager on Google, supposedly you will find a link to their Facebook profile, which brings you to a landing page enticing you to sign up or sign into Facebook to get the full profile.

But Facebook says this is just not the way it works. A Facebook spokesperson provided the following screenshot at left (click to enlarge), which I will call Exhibit A. It shows the part of Facebook’s privacy policy stating that the names or shared items of anyone under 18 are blocked from public search. “This isn’t available if you are under 18,” its privacy policy states.

The Facebook spokesperson elaborates: “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously. The complaint misunderstands the law, it’s intent and the way Facebook works. For example, plaintiffs assert that minors are marketing Facebook through search engines but we do not allow minors to include their profiles in search engines.”

You can still find teenager’s profiles and names turn up in search, but often that is because they lied about their age in Facebook. Torjesen would have to show this happening for a minor who Facebook knows to be a minor. So Exhibit A might help them there.

This does not, however, address those instances when a teenager “likes” an ad and that is shared in his or her stream, or ads targeted to people using other friends who are minors as endorsers (if that is even possible). Again Torjesen would have to show specific examples of ads like this and confirm that all the teenagers didn’t lie to Facebook about their age. That might be difficult to prove.

The one issue that might remain is when a teenager “likes” an ad, and that ad is linked to a Facebook page, and then it shows up in his or her friends’ streams that he liked that brand or product. Facebook has not answered my questions about whether or not that can happen, and my guess is that it can. But then we get back to my original question: how many teenagers actually like ads?

Information provided by CrunchBase

Gamepad For iPhone


The iPhone/iPod touch has quickly become a gaming favorite. There are tons of games for you to enjoy and best of all, it’s small and already in your pocket. The unit is great for games that require nothing more than touch like board games and trivia games, but when it comes to games that require a lot of movement or dexterity like a sports game it can be really hard to use.

Enter the iControlPad which is essentially nothing more that a massive case for your iPhone that adds some buttons and a few joysticks. This is for the hardcore gamer only, not really small and compact as you can see form the picture, but if you like gaming on your iPhone then this is for you.

There is one small downfall, it requires a jailbroken unit to work since it requires some software that is using private api’s that Apple won’t allow. No word on pricing or availability yet, but you can sign up for more info right on their site and be notified when it’s ready to ship.

tech.nocr.atGamepad For iPhone originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2010/08/28.

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Social Media & tech.nocr.at


Now that I am finally convinced that social media is not a fad I have decided to bring tech.nocr.at into the current century. I have received many an email from readers wondering why we aren’t on Facebook or why we aren’t on Digg? I have been a big believer of twitter over the past year or two but never really saw the point of any other site.

Well, let me be the first to admit I was wrong. You can now follow tech.nocr.at through a variety of social media:

and of course the old faithful:

If you would like to see us elsewhere (perhaps there is some small regional networking site that we would be perfect for), drop us a line and we will consider adding it. Otherwise, all of he officially supported tech.nocr.at social networking sites can always be accessed from the top of the right sidebar

tech.nocr.atSocial Media & tech.nocr.at originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2010/08/27.

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$8450 Speaker Cables


I’m not about to open the debate about expensive audio cables. There are definitely two camps when it comes to expensive cables; One run by Monster Cable and the other run by everyone else and these $8450 speaker cables prove which side is right!

These baby’s are made of “Solid PSS Silver” and feature “Dual Star-Quad Geometry”. WTF is that? Ohh, I know, it’s bullshit talk so that people with way too much money can be fooled into buying these. They are currently on sale at Amazon for $6800, maybe you should run out and buy two! Check out the following comment from a satisfied user on Amazon:

If there is one cable I would whole-heartedly trust to my Chimera-hunting needs, this would be the cable. No other cable has the tensile strength to properly and efficiently garrote a lycanthrope, asphyxiate an Esquilax or even gag a mermaid. Last week, using my trusty AudioQuest K2 (retrofitted with lead weights, bright orange latex paint and a generous coating of crushed glass stolen from the window of an abandoned church at midnight), I managed to snuff 3 golden unicorns in swift succession!

Pros: Quickly tears through scales, fur, bone, and adamantium with ease
Coils and uncoils from hip holster (optional) quickly and quietly
For a product fabricated from 1,000 Onyx Dragon fetuses, the price is unbelievably reasonable!

Cons: Shipping from the R’lyeh took far too long
Doesn’t come in 10? lengths (which would be perfect for hydra, cerberii and other multi-headed creatures)
After every use, I can feel 6 ounces of my soul slipping from my core into the ether. But this may be due to the fact that I prefer to work without gloves. YMMV.

Overall, I would recommend that any hunter buy one, nay, two, of these immediately, and experience the difference that upgrading to the K2 will make in your next quest!

If you want one you can get it here, otherwise, I’ll sell you a version that’s just as good for a mere $4000

tech.nocr.at$8450 Speaker Cables originally appeared on tech.nocr.at on 2010/08/26.

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Hot Helping of Rapid Wi-Fi Anywhere You Go? Yes Please

Product: MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot

Manufacturer: Verizon

Wired Rating: 9

Seldom does a product come along that blows us away straight out of the box. The MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, which is made by Novatel for Verizon Wireless, is just such a product. Better yet, since you and up to four friends can jump on this mobile hot spot and surf the net at decent speeds just about anywhere in the United States, the MiFi 2200 is also highly practical, especially if you need to get on the net during your next school field trip. Heck, your teacher may even give you extra points.

We recently took the MiFi 2200 on our own field trip to the New York Botanical Garden and were impressed with the simplicity of its design and how easy it was to use. Shaped like a half-inch-thick credit card, the glossy black MiFi weighs just over 2 ounces and fits easily into your pocket or bag. The edges of the device taper off to a rubberized bottom so it won’t slip away if you set it on a slick surface. (Keep your eye on your friends though, they might want to steal it.)

The MiFi powers up via an AC wall charger that plugs into the device by a micro USB port. About 2.5 hours will give you a full charge which will run the MiFi for the same amount of time with five people hooked in via Wi-Fi. With just one Wi-Fi user, we clocked the MiFi at nearly 4 hours of battery life. (Standby time is rated at approximately 40 hours.)

Set-up for Windows users is relatively easy. Just connect the MiFi to your PC via a USB cable and the device will automatically install the necessary drivers. The VZAccess Manger software that comes with the MiFi is not particularly elegant but it gets the job done, finding your hot spot from the list of others in the area. The password’s right on the bottom of the device which makes it easy to share with the lucky chosen few. Mac users have an even easier time of it — VZAccess Manger isn’t necessary if you’re running Mac OS X 10.4 or higher since the drivers are built right into the operating system.

Though we could only get a sliver of 3G service from AT&T for our iPhone at the Botanical Garden, Verizon’s MiFi gave us full bars of Wi-Fi. When we added in an Asus Eee PC netbook and a MacBook Pro to the signal, we got internet speeds of between 1 and 2 Mbps. While that made HD videos on YouTube look herky-jerky, it was perfectly adequate for casual internet surfing and checking e-mail.

The catch is that while the MiFi itself isn’t expensive, the monthly service plans will seriously set you back. For $39 per month, you get a dinky 250 MB of monthly access while getting docked 10 cents per megabyte in overages. A $59 monthly access plan will give you a 5-GB monthly allowance and five cents per megabyte in overages. No these set-ups aren’t ideal if you want to catch up on episodes of the Jersey Shore but for school work, they’re reasonable — especially if you can get your friends to pitch in.

WIRED Wi-Fi range is 40 feet and we got great service even when device was in the trunk of our car. For $15 you get a 24-hour Wi-Fi Day Pass that’s perfect for that overnight ski trip. Battery is easy to take out and replace.

TIRED Non-3G Verizon areas give you creaky service. Need to periodically “wake” device from sleep mode. Only offered on Verizon Wireless.

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Asus’ Underpowered Netbook a Big Help In The Field

Product: Eee PC 1018P

Manufacturer: Asus

Wired Rating: 6

If you’re heading out on a field trip, the last thing you want to lug around is a big, bulky 17-inch laptop. At the same time though, doing on-the-fly “research” on the web on your smart phone’s tiny 3-inch screen just doesn’t cut it. The solution? Get a netbook.

Sure, most netbooks out there are so underpowered, cheaply made and downright fugly looking they’ll get you laughed off the school bus. That’s changing as manufacturers learn that along with supreme portability, students want power and style in their mobile rigs. Netbook pioneer Asus has tried to meet those needs with a slick little machine boasting decent specs that costs just a hair under $350 — the Eee PC 1018P.

We took the Eee PC 1018P on a self-imposed field trip to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and found that, despite some limitations, this chic netbook has the goods to be your next travel companion. Sporting a black brushed-metal lid and a digit-friendly, if cramped, chiclet-style keyboard, the 1018P looks and feels pricier than it is. With a fairly standard 10.1-inch screen, the ultra-slim Eee PC is less than an inch thick and slid easily into our backpack. It’s also lighter than other netbooks in this class, at just a smidgen under 2.5 pounds.

At the Botanical Garden, the 1018P booted up into Windows 7 Starter in less than a minute. The brushed metal on the lid is carried over to the netbook’s snazzy bezel and palm rest, giving the Eee PC some quality interior styling. Though the raised keyboard was easy to touch type with, the right shift key is annoyingly small. We also hated the single bar mouse button that was so stiff we had to use two fingers to press it down.

Otherwise though, the 1018P with its 1.66-GHz Intel Atom N450 processor and 1 gig of RAM is more than adequate to handle basic tasks while out in the field whether it’s surfing the web or word processing. The 1024 x 600-pixel glossy screen could be better — especially under afternoon sunshine, which caused it to wash out — but for this price, it’s not bad. The 0.3-MP web cam utilizes a sliding plate over the lens as an “on/off” switch, is pretty ghetto though and unless you’re recording yourself in good light, you’ll look like a pixilated shadow.

On the bright side, the 1018P runs extremely cool — that’s a huge plus on the 90-degree day we spent with it tromping around the garden. Battery life was also excellent, giving us over eight hours of internet use, word processing and assorted sophomoric shenanigans on a single charge.

WIRED The 250-GB (5400 RPM) hard drive offers more than enough room to store your field notes. Memory card reader and three USB 2.0 ports will help you show off those photos and videos you shot of insects and plant life. Stylish, sleek design means you’ll be Mr./Ms. Popularity in the back of the bus.

TIRED HD video clips jittery in playback. Black metallic lid gets easily smudged by sweaty fingers. Script font used for Eee PC badge on bezel looks cheesy.

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