The modern Olympic Games are a tradition over a century old. During this period, this quadrennial event, arguably the greatest sporting spectacle on Earth, has encountered its fair share of hiccups and problems (as you’d expect). From terrorist attacks to political games to outright cancellations, the Olympics have seen it all. But the 30th edition of this sporting extravaganza, which is currently being held in London, is having to contend with a completely new kind of problem -- Twitter-happy attendees.
They say bad things come in threes, and that was definitely true for folks who rely on the Internet for communications and cloud-based data centers today. The woes started this morning when Google Talk went down and stayed down for several hours. Then Microsoft's Windows Azure service went belly up in Europe, followed by some users running into outage issues with Twitter. And without Twitter, how are you going to complain about the other services being down?
Good old Uncle Sam can be awfully nosy when he wants to be. The U.S. government poking its head into personal affairs isn't news to most, but it is reiterated by Twitter's first ever transparency report, which was released on Monday just two days ahead of July 4th, otherwise known as Independence Day in the States. Not by coincidence, Twitter notes "July 4th serves an important reminder of the need to hold governments responsible, especially on behalf of those who may not have a chance to do so themselves." Let the fireworks begin.
Online adults who use Twitter are microblogging their thoughts twice as much as they were one year ago, according to a comprehensive study by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. Pew Research pinged over 2,200 adults, including 901 cell phone interviews, on their Twitter usage and then broke the results into several categories and demographics sure to excite statisticians.
If there's one thing that those of us in the tech media love, it's to whip ourselves into a frenzy over a juicy rumor. It doesn't matter that the source of the rumor is someone's second cousin who knows a guy who works in an Apple Store in Tuscon, Arizona; all that matters is that nobody wants to miss out on the next big story.
The predictable downside is that a lot of the time those rumors turn out to be false. Presented here, for your consideration, are 10 tech rumors from the last few years that created a huge commotion--before they turned out to be BS.
Do you use Twitter's "Find Friends" feature on your Android smartphone or iPhone device? If so, you may have been agreeing to more than you bargained for. Privacy advocates are up in arms after it was discovered that Twitter has been harvesting address books from smartphones that use this feature, in many cases without proper disclosure or the user's explicit permission.
If you're fed up with your Droid smartphone and want the world to know about it, you could win one of two Windows Phone devices from Microsoft. And if you're simply jonesing for a Windows Phone without any mobile hate in your heart, you could also win, provided you act fast. Microsoft is celebrating Valentine's Day by giving away a pair of Windows Phone devices with multiple ways to enter.
Twitter is i hot legal water with the government of Brazil today, which has filed a lawsuit against the micro-blogging company. At issue are a number of Twitter accounts that Brazilian authorities say are being used to warn drivers of police traffic controls. The fines are set to start rolling in if Twitter does not close these accounts.
Love it or hate it, Twitter has become an influential medium capable of turning public opinion in the blink of an eye. It doesn't matter if you use the microblogging service or not, or if you despite all forms of social networking. There are plenty of people who do use Twitter, and their voices travel through the Internet in real-time. It's a powerful tool, but can it help determine the outcome of an election?
As Wikipedia sits silent and dark for legions of despondent would-be users (who, apparently, never thought of Googling for some help around the blackout), a trio of old-school publications have stepped into the void to try and replace the collective knowledge of the Internet. The Washington Post, the Guardian, and NPR have been taking tweets from information-deprived Webizens and trying to provide answers to all life’s questions, large and small. Just smack an #altwiki tag at the end of a question and the combined brainpower will try to supply you with an honest-to-goodness answer.