A gathering of industry news stories, February 28-March 7

1. Angry Birds game coming to Facebook
Productivity? Down.  Pig destroying? Way up! The game started on iPhone, expanded to Android and other game systems (including even PS3), and there’s even talk of an animated series. Moustached pigs don’t stand a chance.

2. Twitter Viewer worm crawling around Twitter
I guess the Twitter bird caught a worm? There’s a tweet going around out there promising users they can see who has been viewing their twitter profile. The gullible click this, then actively click the authorization link to allow the site access to your Twitter account, and then instead of a big of juicy e-gossip, the user’s account automatically retweets the message.  If this happens, all the user has to do to remedy the infiltration is adjust access controls on account settings.

3. Microsoft begs users to stop using Internet Explorer 6
Welcome to the Stop-Using-IE6 party,  Microsoft.  You’re a few years late.  As a web developer, I know what headaches this browser has caused…it just isn’t standards compliant. Code that appears pretty in every other browser, looks like it was hit by 47 trains in IE6.

4. Charlie Sheen sets new Guinness world record for Twitter
How much coke did Charlie Sheen take? Enough to kill two and a half men.  The moral of the story here is that people like watching meltdowns.

5. Apple trying to negotiate unlimited iTunes music downloads
The idea is that Apple is trying to work out a deal with music companies that would allow it users to download unlimited music purchases. “It’s only logical: If you buy an iPhone app in the iTunes App Store, and accidentally erase it or buy a new iPhone, you can download it again. But currently you cannot do that with the music you buy on iTunes, and Apple is pushing to change that.”

6. Facebook now valued at $65 billion
Ka-ching! This new valuation is based on the recent purchase of 0.1% of the company by General Atlantic.

7. Google fixed problem with missing 150,000 Gmail accounts
No word on what exactly caused the email failure on 0.08% of Gmail accounts, but Google picked it up quickly and says all accounts “should” be back to normal.

8. Is the personalization of the web making us dumber?
This is the assertion of a recent TED speaker.  He noticed that despite his known Facebook friendships with conservatives and liberals alike, only his liberal friends were consistently showing up in his newsfeed.  Why? Because those are the ones he clicked on more often, so that’s what Facebook presented to him….despite his preferences for a more balanced initial view.  This raises the question of what we want to see on the internet versus what the internet thinks we should see.

9. Bing Launches Daily Deals Aggregator

The deal aggregator just seems to be the fashionable thing to do these days. Bing’s aggregator seems to be a distant third choice to Groupon and living social right now, as Mashable sites problems with the desktop search feature. The application is better served through Android or smart phone. I don’t expect the Bing aggregator to challenge the industry leaders, but it is important to note the trend nonetheless.

10. The Next Big Idea in Tech: Do it Yourself Focus Groups?

At the latest tech conference in Palm Spring, a Denver based startup called GutCheck makes the most of the crowdsourcing concepts. GutCheck basically provides a a forum for traditional question and answer about tech questions, and GutCheck stores the transcripts for Future Reference. The company took the people’s choice award at the conference, so be sure to keep a close eye on it as it begins to build a following.

11. Coca Cola to help Maroon Five Crowdsource a New Song

Speaking of Crowdsourcing, Coca Cola will aid Maroon Five in writing a new song through one of their online forums. Contributors can add words, pictures, and ideas to the project as Maroon Five works on their twenty-four hour deadline to produce the new tune. This story should resonate with you APOCers out there, as this is exactly the kind of collaboration Curt Smith was talking about in Zach’s class.

12. iPad2 is coming to Verizon

Determined to break free from it’s exclusive relationship with AT&T, Steve Jobs announced that  Verizon will now provide coverage for the iPad 2 as well. Also mentioned in this article is how much cooler the sequel to Mac’s top seller in 2010 will be: lighter, faster, smarter…the usual.

13. Loopt Brings Real Time Reward Alerts to SXSW

APOC conference goers were miffed that they couldn’t actually use the featured applications at the conference, but if you make it to SXSW, you won’t have the same problem. Loopt, a reward alert system that will be unveiled at the SXSW, will be used by  conference  goers to find the best deals around Austin. The program focuses on expiring or perishing deals (like a restaurant that needs to unload its cooked food by the end of the night) and offers application users to get there first.

14. 6 Successful SXSW Startup Launch Stories

More on SXSW; if you didn’t know already, the Tech Conference is coming up fast, and this Mashable article points out that Austin has been the birthplace of some of the most successful web startups. Most noteably, Twitter and Foursquare got their start at the Austin based conference and have become impactful internet sensations since then. So with this year’s conference looming, the question is, who will snag this year’s golden ticket?

15. iFart sniffs out buyers, asks for $1 million on ebay

On a lighter note, the world’s first mobile digital whoopie cushion is up for sale. iFart, a highly sucessful iPhone app (which has surprisingly never dropped out of the top 100) is looking to change hands as the owners are hoping to move on from virtual flatulence. The list price of $1 million on ebay has been met with the paltry response of just $2,000.


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