A handful of those eager to install the Windows Phone 8.1 preview just got an additional perk for being early adopters. NokiaNewsIreland has discovered an unannounced (and now unavailable) open beta for Twitter’s Windows Phone 8.1 app that makes much better use of Microsoft’s mobile OS than the regular client. For a start, it now ties into the Photos Hub — it’s now easy to browse the pictures you’ve tweeted, even if they didn’t come from your phone.
The test build also ties into your Me tile by launching Twitter when you want to post an update, and app-based sharing is once again functional. It even addresses a longstanding annoyance by jumping to your latest mentions rather than making you wade through past replies. Twitter hasn’t said when the new features will reach the officially sanctioned release, but the apparently polished state of the beta suggests that Windows Phone owners may not have to wait much longer.
Source: Windows Phone Store
You know that page with a check box you haphazardly agree to on the way to signing up for various online services? The one with the hundreds (or thousands) of words of legal mumbo jumbo? Yeah, we do the same thing — it’s okay. It’s because those pages, the Terms of Service, are boring, lengthy, and probably meaningless. Right? Right?!
Not necessarily. And a new study from Georgia Tech of the “top 30 social and fan creation sites” (from Facebook to Daily Motion) backs that up. Well, first things first: yes, Terms of Service agreements really are difficult to read. Of the 30 sites surveyed, an average reading level of college sophomore was required for comprehension of the TOS. To put it another way, around 60 percent of working age adults in the US (25 – 64) don’t understand what they’re agreeing to. “It is likely that users may not know what rights they are granting,” the study says.
So, back to the question at hand: are these documents meaningless? Like so many answers in the realm of law, the answer really depends on how that law applies to you. What freedoms do you value in the content you create and/or host online?
Georgia Tech examined the freedoms we’re giving up when agreeing to these documents. Most of that involves giving away whatever content is added to the service (so-called “royalty-free use”), but also includes duplicating said content elsewhere (“non-exclusive use”). In plain terms, of course, those translate to “you won’t get paid for the content you add here” and “we can publish what you add here anywhere else we want” (respectively). A small fraction of the sites studied even granted the site advertising rights on user content.
A handful of more specific stats are in the chart below. To find out whether or not your favorite site’s TOS are agreeable, the latest version should be readily available from the home page. And remember: the best defense against restrictive TOS agreements is taking the time to read and understand the document.
Source: Georgia Tech
Twitter’s cosy with many broadcasters that wish to connect with their audiences better, and in the UK, Sky’s previously partnered with the social network for tweeting footy highlights in near real-time. Today, the two have teamed up again on Twitter embeds that allow Sky subscribers to watch or record content from within tweets by way of Twitter’s mobile apps. Two buttons in these style of tweets, that will feature on several of Sky’s accounts, send you either to the Sky Go app if you can’t wait another second to indulge, or set your Sky box to record the TV show, film or sporting event via the Sky+ app. It’s basically the same agreement Twitter has with Comcast in the States, as the microblogging platform moves to bridge the gap between the second screen and, well, screen.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
Via: The Telegraph
Twitter announced today that it has bought Gnip, a social data company that has packaged and sold data from Twitter to other companies for the past four years. Gnip is one of a few firms that has access to Twitter’s “fire hose” of data — a history of tweets that date back to the company’s beginnings in 2006 — and is one of Twitter’s longest-lasting data partners. Such data is tremendously valuable, as Twitter mentioned in a blog post regarding the acquisition:
“These public tweets can reveal a wide variety of insights — so much so that academic institutions, journalists, marketers, brands, politicians and developers regularly use aggregated Twitter data to spot trends, analyze sentiment, find breaking news, connect with customers and much more.”
Bringing Gnip in-house therefore means that Twitter will now be selling its data directly to third-party outfits like advertisers and brand managers. This lets the microblogging firm provide “more sophisticated data sets” and “better data enrichments” to interested third-parties, which in turn could mean more targeted ads for you and I. It certainly falls in line with a recent report that Twitter is working on 15 new types of ads, most of which will likely be mobile, according to Twitter’s VP of engineering and revenue at a VentureBeat Mobile Summit.
Right now, Twitter’s relationships with other data resellers like Datasift and Topsy (which was purchased by Apple late last year) will continue, as will Gnip’s analytics deal with other social media companies like Tumblr, Disqus and Facebook. However, due to the conflict of interests at play here, we don’t expect many of these to last.
[Image credit: Getty Images]
Filed under: Internet
For now, it’s difficult to tell whether or not the claims will amount to more than just talk. There isn’t an official case against Twitter at this stage. Also, Erdogan’s views don’t always mesh with those of Turkey’s judges — he believes the Constitutional Court is conducting “interference in politics” by upholding freedom of expression. When the politician has had success in banning YouTube, though, we wouldn’t be quick to rule anything out.
[Image credit: Myrat, Wikipedia]
Filed under: Internet
Source: AFP (Yahoo)
It’s been a week full of announcements from Twitter: first the social network debuted a new (arguably Facebook-like) profile design, and today it’s officially introducing real-time notifications on the web. We first saw the pop-up alerts in late January, but it appeared to be an experiment visible to just a handful of users. Now — or, more accurately, “over the coming weeks” — any time you’re logged into Twitter.com, you’ll see a notification window alerting you to any replies, retweets or other activities. Conveniently, you’ll be able to favorite, retweet and reply to interactions directly from notification windows. Of course, if your Klout score is through the roof and you receive a new notification every second, you’ll be happy to know that notifications can be disabled.
Filed under: Internet
Last week, we brought you the story of ZunZuneo, an oddly-named startup that sought to launch a social network like Twitter in Cuba. The twist in the tale, is that it was built and funded by the United States Agency of International Development, allegedly as a way to slowly turn the island’s youth away from rum and cigars and toward a local version of the Arab Spring. Naturally, the agency denies this, posting a rebuttal online that says the project was designed to circumvent the “information blockade” to connect people who have been cut off from the outside world. At a hearing on Capitol Hill, USAID head Rajiv Shah publicly denied the allegations, saying that “working to improve platforms of communication is a core part of what USAID works to do.” We’re sure that this story is going to run and run, at least until it forms the plot of the next Jason Bourne movie.
Filed under: Internet
Even after the unbanning of Twitter and a court ruling in Google’s favor, YouTube is still blocked in Turkey. Accessing the video streaming site did get a little easier today however, as the Wall Street Journal has confirmed residents can once again use DNS servers from Google, Level3 and OpenDNS that will route them around the block. More easily implemented than using a VPN, it finally reopens access via those servers after they were blocked ten days ago. There’s no public statement available from the ISPs or the Turkish government, but hopefully unrestricted access to the best YouTube has to offer is coming soon.
Source: Wall Street Journal
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Today, Twitter got a facelift — and it looks a lot like Facebook. The revamp includes a larger header photo, the ability to filter between tweets with or without media and “pin” certain tweets to the top of your feed. All new accounts will launch with the design, but it’ll make its way to others “in the coming weeks.”
What’s better than a regular ole’ helicopter? A full-sized remote control helicopter, of course. The Navy’s latest robocopter can be piloted from a tablet after only 15 minutes of training and it automatically detects and avoids obstacles. In addition, the Armed Forces branch has a new laser which fires high-energy beams that cost around $1 per shot.
Lightroom mobile for the iPad is here! Adobe’s latest companion app brings photographers most of the most of the funtionality found in the desktop version, and any changes you make will be pushed to your Lightroom cloud.
Neil Young has a plan to serve up high-resolution audio, and it’s called Pono. But why would anyone spend $400 on a somewhat chunky media player and re-buy all of their music library in FLAC format? We sat down with the rock icon to find out.
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Filed under: Misc
Imagine your Twitter app immediately surfacing tweets about a nearby earthquake or disaster without you having to enter a single keyword search. Or one-step switching between Instagram and Twitter so you can see if that filtered photo of your cat received any favorites. Or a notification that brings up a favorite restaurant’s Twitter account around dinnertime so you can see its daily specials. And imagine if it was all only possible because you had an Android phone.
When the news broke yesterday that Twitter bought Cover, a company that makes an Android lock screen app, the first question that hit me, was, well, why? Much like Facebook’s Oculus buy, the deal doesn’t make much sense at first blush. The seemingly obvious answer would be that the company plans to build a Twitter-based lock screen — essentially a Twitter version of Facebook Home. Which, let’s face it, doesn’t sound like a great idea. Not only does it seem rather shortsighted for Twitter just to mimic another company’s mobile efforts, but also Facebook Home wasn’t exactly a resounding success. Instead, I think it’s another example of Twitter’s penchant for experimentation. If you combine Cover’s context-aware tricks along with Twitter’s desire to build a better Android experience, you could get one very intelligent Twitter app.
Much like Facebook’s Oculus buy, the deal doesn’t make much sense at first blush.
Twitter, as we already know, is not afraid of experiments. In a blog post published by the company last year, it states the developer and design teams constantly perform test trials in order to suss out what Twitter needs to evolve. Some efforts are more experimental than others of course, but the end goal is always to come up with a better product, be it improvements to login verification or simply a new profile page. Perhaps due to some criticism of its Android app, Twitter has been particularly keen on improving the experience on Google’s mobile OS. Indeed, it launched a beta tester program for Android users back in August and then an even earlier Alpha program in November, both of which were rich ground for these so-called experiments. Results have been mixed. A major redesign seeded out to testers late last year for example, was completely scrapped partially due to poor feedback. This is where Cover comes in.
In our interview with Cover co-founder Todd Jackson last October, he was extremely bullish on Android as a platform. “We’re making a huge bet on Android, that this will be the operating system that billions of users will adopt over the next several years,” he said. Not only can you not customize the iPhone’s lock screen to your heart’s desire, he told us, but also developers simply do not have the keys to the iPhone’s sensors like they would with Android.
“We’re making a huge bet on Android, that this will be the operating system that billions of users will adopt over the next several years,” Cover co-founder Todd Jackson said.
Tapping into those sensors is exactly how Cover differentiates itself from just an ordinary lock screen replacement. Rather than just a static list of app shortcuts, Cover utilizes the phone’s internals to surface the most oft-used apps depending on your location, time of day and even whether you’re in the car or on foot. If you’re at home, for example, your lock screen might float Netflix and Pandora to the top, while work-related apps like email and stocks would be more prominent when you’re in the office. More than just a lock screen replacement, Cover also works throughout the phone as a smarter app switcher. When you’re in the email app, for example, you can easily swap out to an app like the browser or maps, because those two are the ones you’d most likely reference while typing out a letter. “We want this to be like Alt-Tab for mobile, so you can jump directly between apps lightning fast,” said Jackson. You can test it out while Cover is still available from the Play Store.
I don’t doubt that it’s these unique quirks that won the hearts and minds at Twitter. In Cover’s announcement yesterday, the newly acquired firm stated: “Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential for Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen.” And who wouldn’t want a smarter smartphone?