Facebook users know how it can be. You log in and notice you have a huge number of notifications. You find yourself dismayed as it becomes apparent that most of them are just app notification spam. You know the sort: so-and-so just answered a question about you, or what’s-his-face wants your help in Mafia Wars. Well, hopefully you won’t see quite so much of that anymore now that Facebook has ended support for the ‘notifications.send’ API.
We’re happy to see Facebook take even a small step to keep the service usable. Sure, developers may not like this so much, but Facebook did just give them the ability to request user email addresses for notification purposes. They also have the new games dashboard to play with. It is currently unclear how this will affect the newsfeed. Currently, we are still seeing a few app posts in it, and we wouldn’t mind if that went away.
Overall, this is a good move by Facebook. Even with the massive success Facebook is enjoying, they have to pay attention to the experience of users lest they become the next MySpace. Just think, that would have sounded like a good thing three or four years ago. Internet people are fickle.
We knew Twitter was huge, but what's most staggering is the microblogging service's astronomical growth rate. According to the company's own data, there are some 50 million tweets being posted every day, which works out to around 600 tweets per second.
"Folks were tweeting 5,000 times a day in 2007," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "By 2008, that number was 300,000, and by 2009 it had grown to 2.5 million per day. Tweets grew by 1,400 percent last year to 35 million per day. Today, we are seeing 50 million tweets per day."
Even more remarkable, those figures don't include tweets from accounts identified as spam.
"Tweet deliveries are a much higher number because once created, tweets must be delivered to multiple followers. Then there's search and so many other ways to measure and understand growth across this information network," Twitter added.
No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of tweets, though hardly surprising if you follow our very own Nathan Edwards, who has no doubt contributed to this massive growth in daily tweets.
All the recent buzz may be centered around, um, Google Buzz, but don't go writing Twitter's obituary. The mico-blogging service has attracted yet another high-profile poster - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
"I opened it today," Gibbs told the Associated Press. "I was watching a Twitter feed while the President visited the briefing room last week." Gibbs added that he "thought it was fascinating to watch and see what people were thinking, doing, and writing."
And speaking of watching others, Gibbs notes in his bio that his is an official White House Twitter account, and that messages received through such pages are subject to the Presidential Records Act and may be archived.
If you still want to follow him -- and so far, over 18,600 Twitter users do -- you can find his Twitter page here (PressSec).
The Plasma Workspace, an alternative to the Plasma Desktop, is “specifically designed for ergonomic use on netbooks and smaller notebooks.” It allows better use of the smaller space available on netbooks, and will be more suitable for touchscreen input. The Plasma Netbook shell has a full-screen application launcher, search interface, and a Newspaper for widgets to display content from the web and small utilities.
There’s also a Social Desktop feature which updates the Community widget. Says KDE: “The new Social News widget shows a livestream of what is going on in the social network of the user and the new Knowledge Base widget allows users to search for answers and questions from different providers including openDesktop.org's own knowledge base.”
A goodly list of other improvements will be found at KDE's web site, along with links for downloading the new version.
It's tough to ignore the success both Twitter and Facebook have had on the social networking scene, so it shouldn't come as much suprise that Google wants in on the action too. But rather than create a new service altogether, the search giant is planning on adding functionality to its existing Gmail service, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Citing "people familiar with the matter," the WSJ says Google will announce the new Gmail feature very soon, perhaps as early as this week. This feature, the WSJ reports, will be a module added to the Gmail screen that will stream updates from whoever a user chooses to connect with.
Sometime down the line, the module will also tap into a connection's YouTube video and Picasa photo accounts and share that content as well, but it's not clear if this will be announced at the get-go or not.
A happy belated birthday goes out to Facebook, the mega-social networking site which turned six years old yesterday. And sure we're a day late in sending along our birthday wishes, but with 400 million users, we probably would have been drowned out in the crowd anyway.
Facebook's rise in popularity during its six-year run is pretty remarkable. In addition to boasting 400 million users, market research firm Hitwise says that the social networking site is a lead news reader, right behind Google, Yahoo, and MSN search. It's no longer just about fun and games.
"Facebook could be a major disruptor to the News and Media category," Hitwise noted. "And with the Wall Street Journal already publishing content to Facebook, perhaps the social network can avoid the run-ins that Google has suffered recently with Rupert Murdoch. We will continue to watch this space. "
It will be interesting to see what the next six years bring.
Make no mistake, Fermi will be faster than anything Nvidia currently has on the market, and to drive that point home, the GPU maker will go with a higher number scheme to kick off its new architecture. How do we know that? Twitter, of course!
"Fun Fact of the Week: GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470 will be the names of the first two GPUs shipped based on our new GF100 chip!," Nvidia tweeted yesterday.
It's just too bad that Twitter doesn't allow more than 140 characters per post, because if it did, maybe Nvidia would have thrown anxious upgraders a bone or two by revealing specs or a launch date. Perhaps a better venue for those sort of details is CeBIT, which kicks off exactly four weeks from today.
Having trouble landing a job lately and can't figure out why? You may need to clean up your online shenanigans, or at least hide them better. According to a Microsoft study, 70 percent of surveyed HR professionals in the U.S. have turned down a potential job candidate based solely on online reputation information.
The survey, which was conducted to commemorate Data Privacy Day, pinged 2,500 consumers, HR managers, and recruitment professionals in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France to find out what effect online profiles and activities have in each nation when it comes to job hunting.
Of those surveyed, 63 percent of consumers admitted to being concerned that their online rep might affect their personal or professional life, but at the same time, less than half consider the ramifications when posting online. Less than 15 percent of consumers in any of the countries felt that information found online might hamper or help their ability to land a job.
Looking to shed a few lingering holiday pounds? The Withings Wi-Fi scale might be just what you're looking for. To help keep you accountable, Withings on Thursday announced it has teamed up with the Google Health service, making it a piece of cake (mmm, cake) to maintain and and update an online health profile in real time.
"It's exciting to be one of the early hardware devices to integrate with the Google Health service," said Cedric Hutchings, Withings General Manager. "Keeping your doctors and caregivers informed on all aspects of your health is important in maintaining a consistent health plan, so being part of Google Health's effort to make this possible is thrilling."
Google's Health service hasn't received a ton of media attention, and in case you're not familiar with it, you're able to organize your health info all in one place, including your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. You can then share this profile with your doctor.
As for the scale itself, it measures weight, lean and fat mass, and calculates your body mass index (BMI) and uploads that info to a secure webpage. It also comes with Twitter integration which, when enabled, will tweet your weight and how far you have to go to reach your goal.
You might scoff at the notion of whipping out your credit card to buy more Reward Points in Mafia Wars, but there are plenty of others who are, and there are now more apps than ever to spend your real-life dough on virtual goods. When all the numbers are tallied, sales of virtual goods in the U.S. is expected to jump over the $1 billion mark in 2009.
And that's just a drop in the bucket compared to other parts of the world. In South Korea, online gamers spent about $3.5 billion on virtual loot, while China managed to fork over $4 billion. By 2012, both markets are expected to spend $5.5 billion each, while the U.S. will part with $1.6 billion in exchange for armor upgrades and other in-game items next year alone, according to a new report by Inside Network.
Those are big numbers, but not yet at the point where mainstream media needs to hit the panic button. The movie Avatar, for example, pulled in $500 million in the U.S. in just a little over a month.
Do you spend part of your paycheck on in-game items? Hit the jump and let us know.