Archive for March 2011

Angry Birds 3D spectacular

A lot of people didn’t know that Rovio Mobile, the company behind the popular Angry Bird, is a Finnish company. And as a Finnish company, I guess they also work closely with another famous Finnish company, Nokia. In fact, I first saw the Angry Bird game on a Nokia N900. That was a couple of weeks before Angry Bird was launched on iOS and become famous.

Nokia and Rovio did a very interesting 3D projection during the recent SXSW. Check out the video.

Google Latitude with Google Places

I’m a huge fan of Google Latitude. I kept my Google Latitude turn on almost 24/7. (Which is also why I only add people I know on Google Latitude) The only time I turn off my Google Latitude is when I need to hide my location from my friends or my trying to conserve battery on my iPhone. But then, I seldom find myself needing to do that. I like Latitude because it updates your location automatically. I may forget to check in to Foursquare or Facebook Places. But Google Latitude is always on. Your friends just need to go to their Google Latitude to find your location.

That’s the beauty of Google Latitude.

Well, Google just updated their Google Latitude App on iOS yesterday and it comes with Google Places. Google Places, as the name suggest, is something like Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla. Yes everyone, we have YET ANOTHER location check in app. Maybe someone should do an application that check in to ALL the location check in tools with 1 click.

Latitude uses Google Buzz to manage your Google Places check in. It would be good for you to review your Google Profile before using since Google Buzz works closely with Google Profile.

When you are checking in to a place, you get to choose if you want to share the check in with your friends on Latitude or Google Profile. If you share the check in with your friends on Latitude, all your friends on Latitude will see your check in, including friends that you are hiding your location from. (Hmmm…. this isn’t good) If you share the check in on your Google Profile, anyone who see your Google Profile (which can be easily searched using your email address) can see your location.

But of course if you are not comfortable with sharing all these information, you can always do a private check in so that nobody knows you are there.

The Google Places business listing is pretty good. There’s even reviews from around the web on the business listing. This is pretty useful. But I still having figured out how to view the listing/reviews without checking into the place. Maybe that feature is hidden somewhere that I can’t find. Or you die die have to check in to that place in order to view the listing and review. I’m not sure yet. Need to play with it for some time.

So check out the new Google Latitude with Google Places. I’ll most likely stick to just using Google Latitude and Foursquare. There’s just too many location check in apps already.

Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour 2011 is this coming Saturday, 26 March 2011 from 8:30 to 9:30pm. Let’s switch off the lights for Earth.

Facebook adds Samaritans suicide risk alert system

Here a feature from Facebook that might be a life saver. Facebook recently announced a new system that allows users to report friends who they think may be contemplating suicide. Anyone worried about a friend can fill out a form, detailing their concerns, which is passed to the social networking site’s moderators. Facebook moderators will then decide if they want to make a police report or pass the information to the Samaritans.

It’s not easy to locate the form. You need to go to Facebook Help Centre and search for the keyword “Suicide”. For those having trouble locating it, the report suicidal content form can be found here.

There have been several cases in the past where the person who is committing suicide post a wall status update about wanting to die. It would be great if there is a feature in Facebook which allows friends of that person to alert the Samaritans or someone that can help. In fact, this reminds me of a recent high profile case in Malaysia. Perhaps his life could be saved if this feature was already in place.

It is also recommended that you contact the Samaritans after submitting the report. For those in Singapore, here’s the number to dial:

Samaritans of Singapore Helpline: 1800-221-4444
Website: www.samaritans.org.sg

This is a great system from Facebook. I’m actually looking forward to seeing news article reporting success case from this system.

Happy Birthday Twitter!!! #twttr #5yrs

Today marks Twitter’s 5th Birthday. (It’s still 21 March in US). Happy Birthday Twitter!!!

Twitter’s first tweet was sent by Jack Dorsey, creator, co-founder and chairman of Twitter on 21 March 2006, 1:50pm PDT. (22 March, 4:50am Singapore time)

Twitter is called Twttr in the early days. Aren’t you glad it is now call Twitter?

Twitter said that it is now sending out 140 million tweets a day, or a billion tweets every eight days. There are close to 500,000 users sign up each day. By comparison, it took a year and a half for Twitter to get its first 500,000 users. Wow.

Happy Birthday Twitter! Thank you for the great service. And thank you for changing the world with 140 characters.