Flock takes its Web 2.0 experience a few notches higher with the release of version 2.5 of its social networking browser. The new version updates its core code to Firefox 3.0.10, the latest Firefox build (in final release form) currently available.
New in version 2.5, Facebook Chat has now been integrated as an instant messaging service As has been Flock's M.O., users have the ability to drag content from web pages directly into the chat box. The Flock team also completely overhauled the browser's Twitter integration. Replies, now called @mentions, and direct mentions are now separated in the sidebar, and a new widget added to MyWorld makes it possible to perform and save Twitter searches.
Other new features include FlockCast, which allows users to broadcast actions from the web directly into Facebook, and the addition of Bebo as a People service.
When's the last time you surfed on over to your Pligg and updated what you were doing for the entire Internet to see? What about Elgg? Have you changed your favorite movies to reflect that big blockbuster hit you saw this weekend? You probably don't have to, because all of your friends using the Tweetero client on their iPhones could just log on and see exactly what you were up to. Or not. Because you aren't on Twitter -- you're on Identi.ca, the open-source equivalent of the popular messaging program.
Unlike the open-source software world, where even the smallest gems of programs can find a meaningful existence, the open-source social networking world depends on people. Masses of people. You can't just launch a new social networking platform and expect it to flourish if it doesn't have a decently sized audience. And you're never going to pull away the users that are already comfortable on their existing Web 2.0 platforms if you just imitate the best practices of the current litany of sites. But that's what's happening in the open-source social networking world right now. There's a healthy mix of innovation and duplication, giving some segments of the online world new and interesting applications... and others with their 25th version of Twitter.
Which areas of social networking are dead zones for open-source development? Click the jump to find out!
Or at least, stay off of social networking sites that show your activity. Unfortunately for a yet unnamed ex-employee of a Swiss insurance company, her Facebook activity got her fired.
The story goes, the woman had called in sick and claimed that she had to be away from her monitor, so as to not worsen whatever sickness she had at the time. However, she was reportedly seen on Facebook by a colleague, and subsequently fired. “This is an abuse of trust, rather than the activity of Facebook, led to the ending of the work contract,” said a spokesman for the firm.
The woman did admit to using her iPhone’s Facebook app, but counter-accused her employer, Nationale Suisse, of sending her a shady friend request so that they could monitor her activity. They immediately denied the accusation, sustaining that one of her coworkers turned her in.
Going foreword, the woman has claimed that she’s happy to have been neutrally terminated, and doesn’t want to go back. “My trust for this employer is gone,” she stated.
Abuse of trust or not, sometimes its just best to cover your own butt when you call in sick, so that nothing you do can be misconstrued. For some tips on how to prevent this from happening to you, check out this video.
Trying to describe Microsoft's Windows Live family of web-enabled tools for Windows has been a bit like the parable of the blind men describing the elephant.
Is Windows Live a photo sharing service? A file sharing service? An email service? An IM service? With the news that Windows Live is adding connections next week to many other popular Web 2.0 social networks, it's easier now to say, as ArsTechnica puts it, that Microsoft wants to:
[T]urn Windows Live into the average netcitizen's main hub for his or her social life, or at the very least to turn Windows Live into a social network.
Microsoft's teaming up with lots of social-networking partners around the world. US-based companies becoming BFFs with Windows Live include MSN, Digg, Facebook, SmugMug, and MySpace (see the full list of 31 current and new partners here).
According to a recent pilot study, students that use Facebook regularly spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than those that haven’t even signed up for the site.
“We can’t say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying – but we did find a relationship there,” stated Aryn Karpinski, a doctoral student in education at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study. According to the report, hardcore Facebook users have GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users are packing a GPA in the range of 3.5 and 4.0.
However, more than three-quarters of Facebook’s users maintain that their use of the site doesn’t get in the way of their important study time.
A 3.0 isn’t bad, but if having a Facebook account is the difference between a 3.0 and a 4.0, I’ll be the first to close out my account! Though, I get to keep playing WoW, right?
Just one week after Facebook deployed its latest design update, the social network is quietly rolling out a pair of beta services -- Facebook Premium and Facebook Classic -- to select users. Facebook Classic lets each user opt in to the Facebook design of his or her choice. From the pre-news feed design (circa 2006) to the single-page design used through much of 2008, beta users will be able to select the Facebook interface that they’re most comfortable with. In an official status update, Christopher Cox, Facebook’s Director of Product, cited the reasons behind this move, which he feels are "in line with the Facebook's intent to both respond to user feedback and adapt the product for different usage models and forward-looking feature opportunities".
Also in beta, and available to select users is the new Facebook Premium service.
It turns out Twitter can be used for more than just reading bad haikus, it can also be used to derail 8 weeks of legal proceedings, and get a case thrown in to mistrial. Last week, a Florida juror in a high profile drug trial officially went on record and admitted to the judge that he’d researched part of the case over the Internet. Normally a single biased juror isn’t a big deal; you simply eject the person in question and continue. But when the judge dug a bit further, he was shocked to find that eight other jurors had all committed the same offence. As a result a “Google” mistrial was called, and the justice system is starting to worry about the long term trends this case demonstrated.
This isn’t the first time the internet and social media has been accused of interfering with justice either. A few weeks back an Arkansas court was asked to overturn a $12.6 million dollar judgment by claiming that a juror was releasing details of the case on Twitter. Tweets such as “a big announcement is coming Monday” might seem harmless, but to the courts, they represent a grave threat to the justice system that is nearly impossible to solve. Currently jurors are warned in advance not seek information outside the courtroom, but with the answer to almost every question at our finger tips these days, the temptation to cheat seems to be getting to the best of us.
With access to the internet via mobile devices getting easier every day, do you think this is a problem the courts will ever solve? Or will we have to lock up all the twitterholics?
Sure, you could carry around all of your personal data on a business card, but why do that when you can just carry about a Poken? These adorable little dongles allow you to carry all of your information (including your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others) and transfer it to others with the push of a button.
The Poken works by using an embedded RFID reader/transmitter. When a button on device is pushed it allows you to transfer your information between Poken (Pokens?). You can then plug this cuddly little tike into your computer and add that person to your contact list.
Right now the product is exclusively sold in the UK, but you can pick them up online.
Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the privacy change during a press conference earlier this week, during which time he outlined a new, community driven plan in which any controversial changes will be put to a user vote.
"Last week, we put up old terms after we put up new terms," Zuckerberg said. "We took last week as a strong signal of how much people cared about Facebook and how much they want to govern it. We're happy to roll out these polices today."
To aid with the process, Zuckerberg said Facebook will form a "user council" in which it would "invite the authors of the most insightful and constructive comments on the draft documents to serve as founding members of the group."
Here's a protip for all you working teens out there: You're probably going to go through more than one job that you don't enjoy doing before settling on a career that, hopefully, will be one you like. Nearly everyone follows this path, so posting on Facebook that your job is boring is the equivalent of letting the world know you brushed your teeth this morning. Except the former can apparently get you fired, as 16-year-old Kimberly Swann found out.
"Following your comments made on Facebook about your job and the company we feel it is better that, as you are not happy and do not enjoy your work we end your employment with Ivell Marketing & Logistics with immediate effect," Swann was informed.
According to Swan, she "did not even put the company's name" in her Facebook entry, only saying that her job was boring. But according to Stephen Ivell, the company's owner, it didn't come to the decision lightly. "It is just a shame that it did not work out because she is a lovely girl. For a small company, when a decision is made, one thinks long and hard about it."
Do you agree with Ivell's decision? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.