Check out the crazy scene that takes place in less than a half a minute.
Check out the crazy scene that takes place in less than a half a minute.
Almost 20 years ago exactly, on June 4, 1989, the Chinese military opened fire on prodemocracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, resulting in the loss of hundreds--if not thousands--of innocent lives. Most of the slain were students. However, the Chinese government would like the younger generations in China and the rest of the world to know very little about that.
Many media reports say that in the recent days leading up to the anniversary, China has been blocking Web sites like Twitter, Yahoo's Flickr, YouTube, Microsoft Hotmail, Live.com, Wordpress, Blogger, and many other social-networking sites and news outlets in … Read more
Google turned on Google Squared Wednesday, letting the public test out its attempt to present search results in grid format.
Google Squared was first demonstrated at Google's Searchology event in May, when the company showed off how a query for a category such as "U.S. Presidents" would return a number of results for the gentlemen who have held that office sorted by categories, such as political party, number of terms in office, years in office, as well as any number of customized categories.
Let's say you're interested in getting together with a few people and creating a video game. Now let's say said game is a sequel to a known, copyrighted property and you'd be using assets from the original game. Logic dictates at this point that you'd get permission from the copyright owner doesn't it?
Last week, Square Enix, maker of the original Chrono Trigger--an RPG originally released for the SNES in 1995 that garnered a huge cult following--sent a cease-and-desist letter (PDF) to a team of developers who'd been working on a "… Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Google introduced three new enhancements to its search engine Tuesday, giving searchers new ways to filter results and adding new types of data to the search results themselves.
Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and experience, led a parade of the company's product managers on stage at Searchology 2009 to demonstrate the new features, known as Google Search Options, Google Squared, and Rich Snippets. Search Options will be rolling out gradually on Tuesday, giving searchers ways to filter their results based on factors like timeliness, result type such as image or videos, or a desire … Read more
There's something different about the Nissan Cube, and it's not because it's square or has asymmetrical windows. I'm in the driver's seat, and I can't seem to adjust the rear-view mirror to fit the entire rear windshield. Is the mirror smaller than usual? Is the offset window throwing me off? Or am I just not used to driving a car with good rear visibility?
The feature of large asymmetrical windows is one of the Cube's differentiators in the crowded crossover SUV segment. Although they've been doing it for 10 years in Japan, Nissan is a relative latecomer to the box-on-wheels trend in the U.S. with the Scion xB and the Kia Soul already in the mix. To stand out in the square car market, the company seems to have made "quirkiness" their signature on the Cube. A byproduct of this design is that you finally have a car with a rear window big enough that short people can see out of. … Read more
Developers who launch a new app at SXSWi have the distinct honor of getting it hammered on by a group of ravenous users. Foursquare, a social broadcasting and discovery tool that launched the night before this year's conference, is no exception.
It's the second location-based social network from developer Dennis Crowley, who teamed up with Naveen Selvadurai to create it. Already it's growing at a faster rate than Dodgeball--Crowley's previous creation, which was acquired by Google in 2005 (and then was shuttered earlier this year). Unlike Dodgeball, however, it's arriving at a time when smart phones with GPS are becoming increasingly mainstream. And similar to successful SXSW launches like Twitter, Foursquare is making it easier to both post and consume information while on the go.
I tracked down Crowley on Wednesday to talk up some of Foursquare's finer points, and to see what's coming next.
Question: Fourquare's badge system takes a page from online games and things like Xbox 360 achievements. Some things like "newbie" and "adventurer" make sense, but can you tell us how to get some of the more elusive ones like "photogenic," "crunked," or "superstar?" Crowley: Well, I don't want to give too much away, but 'photogenic' has to do with checking into places with photo booths (read: tagged with 'photobooth' on the Foursquare Web site). 'Crunked' is more than a handful of stops in one night, and 'Superstar' is based on how much you check-in over the course of a month.
The badges we designed for launch are pretty generic. Ideally I'd like NYC badges to feel more like the ones we made for SXSW in Austin. Those were cryptic too ("How do I get Redford? How did you unlock Party Crasher?"), and our hope is that people start asking around to get an idea of what they need to do. You could see that in Austin by watching Twitter; people bragging about what they got and doling out advice to other users.
Are there plans to have user-created badges, and/or ones for special events or locations? Crowley: Yes. Actually I think this is where things are really going to get interesting. The 16 badges we made for these cities, they're a start. But like 20 percent of the e-mails we're getting from users read as 'you know what would make a great badge...' and they're really good ideas. Things I wouldn't have thought of, and they're really going to bring some much-needed diversity to the service (read: less bars, more museums, parks, late night food trucks, coffee shops, etc.) I'm really excited for this. I was actually working on this today (making tools for users to create created badges), but it's a kind of a difficult thing to build--it's like writing the Smart Playlist tool in iTunes.
Any plans to incorporate another service like Yelp or CitySearch to make the app a reference tool as well? I know when I'm out and considering going somewhere nearby (in the local favorites section) it would be nice to do that without leaving the application. The 'nearby tips' section is a boon for that, but what about taking it a step further? Crowley: You know, a lot of the city and tips stuff we're doing is a response to Yelp and CitySearch being frustrating products to use. I don't read reviews, but I do want people to recommend things to me. More specifically I want my friends to recommend things to me. That's what we're trying to explore with the Top 12 lists: how do you create actionable items that can be tied to rewards and accomplishments? I think both Naveen and I have big ideas about how to make this work, we're just so busy fixing bugs and making things run smoother and faster that we haven't had a chance to focus on it yet.
How have downloads and new user sign-ups gone since SXSW? Where has some of that long tail been coming from? Crowley: Hmm...not sure if we're giving out usage numbers yet, but it took us about five months of Dodgeball (back in 2004) to get to where we where we were after five days at SXSW. I'm pretty happy with the numbers so far. Enough to make it interesting in the 12 cities we launched in, and not too many where we can't sleep 'cause we have so many users to keep up with.
What cities are seeing the most activity? Crowley: The top seven in order are San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland (Ore.), and Chicago. (I'm) frustrated that New York is always in 2nd place; Dodgeball was the same way.
Have any businesses contacted you about sponsorships, or to credit your app with an influx of customers? Crowley: Yes. Sponsoring badges seems to get everyone excited. We've been talking to everyone from retail brands (coffee shops, record stores), product brands (energy drinks, cola), bands and TV shows. Again, lots of people have really great ideas about the type of things users should be able to unlock with usage. … Read more
Dennis Crowley, inventor of many things good, including Dodgeball (the social Web tool, not the terrible movie or the gym game Justin and Wilson can't play because of their thick glasses), joins The 404 today to talk about some interesting stories from the Web and his latest social Web tool, Four Square.
Today, we go a bit back in Web 2.0 history with the first Twitter/Loopt social-networking tool, invented by Mr. Crowley, Dodgeball--from its inception, to its purchase by Google, to its eventual shutdown.
Not to be deterred, Dennis is back at it again with Four Square, another social-networking tool, where users can compete with one another and earn badges and points when they hang at certain places. It's available for both iPhone/iPod Touch, BlackBerry, and SMS. We encourage you to check it out and report back to us, whether it improves your social life or earns you a "Douchebag Badge."
Also on today's show, we get to some voice mails about Buzz Out Loud infringing a little too much on 404-territory. It's no surprise, given our general awesomeness. In actual stories, we've got Justin Yu's review of the new "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" movie that his "friend" let him watch through a telescope in another room.
We learn through the new Digg Bar that young, white males binge drink. You can thank the U.S. federal budget deficit for that wonderful, no-duh study.
Per usual, send us a voice mail, especially about your social life experiments with Four Square, at 1-866-404-CNET (2638). Or via e-mail, if you're international, at the404 [at] cnet [dot] com. More guests coming up, including an appearance by Dan the Mantern and Alison Rosen.EPISODE 313 Download today's podcast | Subscribe in iTunes | Subscribe in RSS… Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--A couple of days ago I wrote a story suggesting that the Twitter saturation level here at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) festival was so high that the service's value was being affected.
Now, after four full days here, I think that conclusion is worth a reality check: Twitter is out-and-out dominating SXSWi.
To be sure, the massive numbers of tweets that are being posted using the "#sxsw" tag is making it more difficult for those using Twitter to find specific information than was the case at SXSWi 2007 or SXSWi 2008. But the reality … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--"I couldn't be any more psyched for how it's taken off," FourSquare founder Dennis Crowley said of his brand-new mobile social-networking application, which made its public debut here at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. "It's been, like, 5,000 times better than I expected."
We were wearing bathing suits. A fellow hardcore FourSquare user, media consultant Rex Sorgatz, had used the service to announce a "bikini flash mob" at the rooftop pool of the Omni Hotel on Monday afternoon. When about 20 people had showed up, Sorgatz--in a … Read more