Most social networking sites are built to help people make friends and play nicely with each other. In this era of digital exhibitionism and surveillance, however, a new generation of Web sites exists to out people for their public wrongdoings. This Wall Street Journal story (free preview) tracks the rise of "the snoop next door." Some highlights:PlateWire lets you connect with other drivers by their license plate numbers, whether you need to express road rage or puppy love. Caughtya lets you tattle on those who park in the disabled spot. Holla Back NYC exposes pervy Santas and … Read more
Yesterday I was reading the PSFK Trend blog and came across a post about several emerging social networks for foodies. I made a New Year's resolution to stop relying on take-out and pizza (an easy habit to fall into in Manhattan, where practically every eating establishment offers free delivery) so I thought I'd check out one of them, BakeSpace, to see if I could pick up some cooking tips.
I quite liked it. The site provides a diverse range of ways for "cookers and cakers" to network (there's apparently an important distinction between people who … Read more
Logging into Facebook to check up on my old college roommate yesterday, I noticed there was a giant message telling me to use Facebook Mobile. Technically, Facebook has had basic mobile features for quite some time (looking at your profile, reading messages), but my friends and I never bothered to use them, specifically because of their lack of support for my carrier T-Mobile. What is new is their mobile tab, which gives you live previews of what different parts of the site will look like on your device. There's also a Fire feature that lets you "set fire&… Read more
A new Web site that helps people get out of their cell phone service contracts early has publicly launched. Cellswapper.com is billed as a social network in which members can exchange cell phone plans and phones.
For example, someone who wants to get out of a cell phone contract before it expires and not have to pay an early termination fee can transfer the remainder of the contract to someone looking for a free, short-term contract who doesn't want to pay an activation fee. It costs $14.95 to sell a plan on consignment, with no charge unless … Read more
Come to think about it, it's surprising that the current wave of Web trends hasn't moved more into the realm of the nonprofit. You'd think that the focus on "people power," citizen media, and user-generated content would have sparked the imagination of some Bono acolytes with Web development skills. And indeed, there are a few sites out there--Care2 comes to mind--but most of them actually existed well before anyone was talking about "Web 2.0."
At last night's NY Tech Meetup, one of the New York Web start-ups showcased was BitWine, a networking service based on providing paid advice; or, as exec Alon Cohen put it, "a market for knowledge." A Web user may come to BitWine looking for advice that ranges from how to train for a marathon to how to pitch a new company to investors; experts in all subjects may come to BitWine to find a way to cash in on their esoteric and not-so-esoteric knowledge. The site was established about a year ago and launched in full about … Read more
Last night, while CES and Macworld were both raging on into the after-dark hours, I was at the Great Hall of NYC's Cooper Union for the first NY Tech Meetup of 2007. The monthly event was hosted, as usual, by Meetup founder Scott Heiferman, who proudly announced that the NY Tech Meetup had spawned parallel events in 20 cities, and that in the month of January there would be around one thousand meetups held across New York City that ranged from yoga enthusiasts groups to political activist organizations. While some meetups number only a handful of people, this one … Read more
The headline on Dish Network's press release says "free high-definition DVR," but the fine print is a bit less exciting. The company introduced two new programming packages, called DishDVR Advantage and Dish DVR Advantage HD, that are said to reduce the cost of items purchased separately--as much as seven percent for the first package (woo hoo!). The "free high-definition DVR," a ViP-622 normally available for $199, is part of the HD version. For the reasonable cost of $69.99 per month, customers will receive the DVR, the satcaster's 30 national HD channels (more info), … Read more
To date, the SlingPlayer viewing software has let owners of the Slingbox watch their home TV on a Windows PC, a Mac, or a Windows Mobile device anywhere in the world they have a broadband connection available. Symbian smartphone software is already available in Europe, and Palm software has just been announced. Those software players will soon be joined by a hardware option in the form of the recently announced SlingCatcher, due to hit stores in mid-2007 for under $200.
At CES 2007, Buffalo Technology announced a Draft N dual-band wireless router, the AirStation Wireless-N Nfiniti Dual Band Router & AP (WZR-AG300NH), which supports all current Wi-Fi standards (802.11a/b/g) as well as the Draft N spec. Buffalo deviated from its vertical design with a flat-sitting base unit and a separate (cable-attached) three-antenna unit. The three antennae are arranged in a circle, and the unit resembles a small toy helicopter.
The benefit of including 802.11a support is stability when streaming voice packets or high-def video, because 802.11a operates in the 5GHz band. Common household devices such … Read more