With the announcement that Netflix is bringing its streaming TV and movie service north of the border, our Canadian brethren have one less thing to complain about.
"Canadian Netflix members will be able to instantly watch a broad array of movies and TV episodes right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as watching on PCs and Macs," Netflix announced today.
At launch, the service will be available in English only, but there are plans to add French language capability sometime down the line.
Twitter is reportedly floating the idea of starting a service that would offer to make you a "Promoted Tweeter" for a fee. This could conceivably lead to a massive increase in followers. It would be quite the turnaround for the site, which has traditionally discouraged third-party services that promise to increase follower counts.
Twitter began gracing some high profile accounts last year with a spot on their suggested users list. Those that found themselves on the list gained up to 1 million followers. It's not clear how Twitter would promote users that buy into their Promoted Tweeter feature. Would they just show up at the top of search results, or are we looking at a sale of a spot on a new suggested users list?
Just having the most followers may not be worth the cost. Unless Twitter can target certain groups of users, the impact will be lessened. It's best to have a smaller audience of people that care about what you say, than a larger audience of people that just filter you out. Do you think users would see a benefit from a promotion service run by twitter?
It doesn't take a survey to prove that Facebook is popular, but if we're to put a testosterone-filled slant on the study released this week by Oxygen Media, the social networking site might be a great way to meet women.
Oxygen Media studied the habits of 1,605 adults using social media between May and June of this year, asking them several questions in the process. In doing so, the study's authors found that 21 percent of women between the age of 18-34 check Facebook in the middle of the night. Here's where things get interesting.
Again focusing just on the women, 39 percent classified themselves as Facebook addicts, while 57 percent said they talk to people online more than in person. Some other stats to slant however you see fit:
42 percent have no problem posting pics of themselves intoxicated
79 percent don't take to issue to kissing in photos
50 percent are open to being Facebook friends with complete strangers
Make of those numbers what you will, knowing that if you strike out with a complete stranger, the next one you hit up is likely to add you as a friend. Play your cards right and she'll eventually post a pic of you two swapping spit while intoxicated.
Apps, apps, apps. All we talk about is apps, it seems. Week and week out, I try to throw out a list of five different applications--usually themed around some particular scenario--that give you untold access to your system in new and exciting ways. Well, mostly exciting. Let's face it. Sometimes, an app is just an app. It's a useful, free utility, but nothing to throw a party or write home about.
So, that in mind, how about some games?
There's nothing more fun--and more detrimental to one's professional life--than sinking hours after countless hours of playtime into a persistent digital world. That's right, I'm talking about MMOs. The problem, however, is that there are simply too many free MMOs to choose from. If you're intending on spending a significant amount of your personal life in some digital dungeon or what-have-you, you don't want to do it for a crappy game that nobody is playing. You want an awesome game.
I have taken it upon myself to find five free MMOs with such a characteristic--awesome--and am happy to announce the results of my findings below. I wish you the best as you go forth in the grand tradition of surrendering your social life to slay digital... well, everything. Digital everythings. Right.
Security is important, yo. While a lot of sites on the ol' World Wide Web might support HTTPS connections, that doesn't mean that typing www.sitename.com into your browser will always pull up an encrypted connection between you and your final location. But don't take my word for it. Quoth the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
"Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site."
So how, then, do we address this problem? Step one is staring at the little lock icon within your browser. If the lock ain't locked, then you're not rocking a secure connection. Easy as that.
The American Dream, which calls for a wife, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence, never took into consideration the mounting cost of Xbox Live Gold memberships for the entire family, which adds up rather quickly. To help address this, come November Microsoft will begin selling Xbox Live Gold Family Packs for $100, which will offer up to four individual Gold memberships for the price of two.
More than just four Live Gold accounts, the Family Pack also opens up a few additional perks, including a new Family Center accessible through the Xbox dashboard. As Microsoft explains it, you can expect easier family management, access to activity monitoring reports, and the ability to purchase and give away Microsoft Points to little Johnny rather than pay him an allowance.
There will also be exclusive family content and discounts, though Microsoft didn't outline exactly what these would entail. For more info, check out the full press release here.
I don't get super-excited over new Web apps very often--not unless said application has the words, "World," "Warcraft," or "Apple" in the title (I kid; I kid). But a new find on my Web App radar has had me rocking out all weekend long. Literally, rocking out, as said app is an awesome tool for finding new music to jam to.
I'll steer this one off at the pass: No, the Web app is not Pandora. However, it does borrow from Pandora's general setup in that it attempts to create an online playlist of songs for you to rock out to based on a common theme or classification. In this case, you don't start out with a favorite band as the first breadcrumb in your trail of match-ups. Instead, the Web app Stereomood does as its name suggests--you pick from a whopping list of emotions and, upon doing so, the service matches you up with a ton of music to listen to based on your selection.
Let’s face it: Photoshop ain’t cheap. And, worse, Photoshop is a kind of software—much like most kinds of software—that only works offline. If you’ve purchased it (or any other graphics-editing program, for that matter), yet you don’t have it installed on the system you’re currently working with, you’re out of luck. No photo editing for you.
Besides, we live in the world of the Web nowadays. With storage turning to the cloud and applications turning to the Internet, we question the need for an offline photo editing program to begin with. For as long as you have an internet connection, you don’t need to spend umpteen amounts of money in order to crop, tweak, and save your images—you can do it all right from the comfort of your Web browser of choice. It’s free. It’s easy. And, best of all, there are plenty of different Web-based photo editors out there, which gives you the opportunity to pick-and-choose a particular service that best meets your needs.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to strand you in a sea of potential Web apps, which is exactly why this life preserver of a guide is going to walk you through the highs and lows of five of the Web’s most well-recognized photo editing tools. We’ll assess each app based on the features it offers, how easy it is for an average PC user to grapple with said app’s interface, and the general user experience that each app delivers. Here’s one good note to get you started, however: All of these Web apps are one-hundred-percent free. Gratis. Costs nothing. On that point, everyone wins the day.
With every browser now sporting integrated search capabilities, we find ourselves on Google's main landing page less and less. Should you wander over to Google.com, however, you'll notice that the search titan has begun adding background photos, representing a dramatic departure from the minimalistic look that has become a staple of Google's homepage.
For those of you not digging the change and voicing your displeasure via Twitter, Google has heard your complaints and had this to say:
"The Google home page should be back to normal tomorrow where you can keep it in its simple and classic look, choose to upload an image or photo, or switch back and forth," a Google spokeswoman said.
For everyone else, the images are a welcome change, and there are a whole bunch to choose from, including some gorgeous landscape photos from National Geographic. You'll also find artwork from sculptors and a whole host of other images broken down into a Public gallery and Editor's pics, or you can use an image from your PC or My Picasa Web photos.
As far as kid cartoons go, SpongeBob SquarePants easily ranks as one of the better ones, and at times is even a bit hilarious. But would we want to control the bright yellow fry cook in a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG)? Irrelevant, because whether we want to or not, SpongeBob is heading online.
That's the word from MTV Networks Asia and online games company GigaMedia, two entities working together to jointly publish the first SpongeBob MMOG.
"Partnering with GigaMedia on the development of a SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG allows us to bring the residents of Bikini Bottom into a whole new world -- one that is tremendously popular in Asia and presents unlimited creative and business opportunities for the franchise," said Jihee Nam, Vice President of Digital for MTV Networks Asia. "SpongeBob SquarePants is Nickelodeon's best known property within Asia and we're extremely proud to oversee the development of the MMOG with local business partners. We look forward to working hand in hand with GigaMedia on bringing SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Gary and Sandy Cheeks to life in an entirely new and incredibly popular online world."
If aimed at adults, something like this could end up being full of win, but for obvious reasons, kids are going to be the target audience. MTV says the game will follow a free-to-play model with an online store where gamers can spend their allowance on a range of items. The MMOG will also feature a bunch of video and simple Flash-based games, but other than that, MTV doesn't plan to reveal much else until we inch closer to the 2011 launch.