Twitter Adds a Report Spam Option

www.Twitter.com

Twitter spammers finally need to beware! Now all Twitter users have a new option, “report [username] for spam” link. When clicked, the feature alerts you that it will immediately block the user and report them to Twitter for review. In the past, Twitter has been using the “@spam” account to allow users to quickly report spam messages via direct message. The “report spam” link should make this process a bit easier and more readily apparent for users of the Web interface.

Best,

Adam Faragalli

Shashi Tharoor on Colbert Report

Over the past week since President Obama was announced as the Nobel Peace Price we all have heard more controversy than was probably warranted. Facebook and Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree with comments, many negative. So much has been said that I believe the reasoning for behind why the committee chose him for the price was overlooked. It was a clear message that Shashi Tharoor nails in the Stephen Colbert directed interview, link below. Even with the usual Stephen Colbert commentary, Shashi Tharoor’s message is something we all need to hear.

Shashi Tharoor, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, talks about the Nobel Peace Price award and what it means. Shashi Tharoor comes on at 6:15 in the below video. I think it is worth a watch because he really says what we all need to hear from an outside perspective. Remember, America’s worldwide image has helped been revived, regardless of the turbulent state of affairs in America. If anything, this award says the world appreciates Obama’s attitude and stance on worldwide diplomacy. I agree the Nobel Peace Price Award was given early. But again, Shashi Tharoor responded to this by saying the award was most likely given to help encourage Obama to continue to make good on his initial worldwide dialogue. For instance, his speech in Cairo. (video included below)

In any case I found the interview enlightening and I hope you might too. It was a fresh perspective from Shashi Tharoor.

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=252134

Obama addresses the Muslim world – Part 1 – 04 June 09

YouTube Preview Image

Women Arrested for a Facebook Poke

Shannon D. Jackson of Hendersonville, Tennessee, was arrested on September 25th after she violated an “order of protection” by allegedly poking a woman on Facebook. The court order stated, “no telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner.” Believe it or not, Jackson’s bond is set at $1,500. If found guilty Jackson could face up to 29 days in jail and a hefty $2,500 fine.

According to our regional newspaper, The Tennessean writes: “According to the affidavit filed in Sumner County General Sessions Court, Jackson is accused of using the “poke” option on Facebook to contact a Hendersonville woman, thus violating the terms of the order of protection…Hendersonville police have made copies of the page in which the alleged victim is shown to be “poked,” according to the affidavit.”

So what have we learned? Communication online, via Facebook, even just a poke, can lead to serious consequences if you already have a court ordered restraining order. Personally I found the story hilarious and thought I might share. Kodos to Mashable for dropping the story over the weekend.

Best,

Adam Faragalli

Forza Motorsport 3 Release Dates and Demo

First and foremost, I have a soft spot for good old video games, especially racing Simulation games. Over the past 15 years I have played every worthy racing game from start to finish. However, if you own an Xbox 360 like me, your racing titles unfortunately do not feature the awesome Sony only Grand Tourismo line. However, racing fans rejoiced when Forza Motorsport 2 was released for the Xbox 360.

Forza 2 Motorsport featured out of the box 300 cars, over 25 tracks and customization galore. One could change and customize the cars from paint job to any and all engine, drive train, handling and tire replacements. But, in the customization department, Need For Speed Underground Most Wanted for me stood above in the “body” category. In any case, Forza Motorsport 2 was in my opinion a fantastic racing simulation game. Although very hard to learn with the Xbox 360 steering wheel, with the controller one could have some fun and actually win a few races.

Now, after years and years Forza Motorsport 3 is almost here! The Forza Motorsport 3 Demo is available right now on Xbox Live. It is a 1.25+ gig demo featuring 5 cars from Porsche, Mitsubishi (Evo), Ferrari, Audi (R8) and even a Mini Cooper. The demo track is a fictional track in Spain with photo realistic graphics. The new 60 frames-per-second graphic engine just trips with detail and I had absolutely no lag or motion blur on my LG 1080p TV.

First Thoughts on Forza Motorsport 3

The new features most obvious of all is the “in-cockpit” view featured on ALL 400 cars out of the box. The detail is spot on 100% percent accurate with the gauges moving just how the manufacture designed them. Even the turbo and oil gauges react realistically! Next, the graphics and lightning is much improved. On a hi-def 1080 TV the detail is so clear and crisp, just beautiful.

Now, the most important part of any realistic racing game is the racing simulation. I felt the racing simulation is where Forza Motorsport 3 excelled. The designers stated that the tire simulation has be recoded to take into consideration sideway size, rubber compounds, tread design and even weight distribution and speed heading into corners. I have to say, driving the Porsche over 100 into the large open left turn in the demo and instigating a massive drift and holding it was just awesome. Even overtook a few competitors doing it! Thus, I was blow away by the control and feel of the cars. I have yet to try it out with my steering wheel but will this weekend and update the blog.

Another very interesting new feature is the “rewind” ability. Basically, with the touch of the select button on the Xbox 360 controller one can rewind back if they made a mistake heading into or out of a turn, for example. The car actually goes back in time following the exact line you just were on, very cool!

Now here is what we know the official Forza Motorsport 3 game will feature. New modes, including drift and drag racing. Customization galore, including the ability to modify any and all parts of the body and engine. Literally 400 cars out of the box with many more planned for download on Xbox Live. Xbox Live online community with racing and the ability to track and sell cars to any members. Official Leaderboards tracked and ranked on Xbox Live. More tracks (100 to be exact) than Forza 2, from the usual crowd of real-world tracks to fictional tracks from the designers. Improved AI in single player with varying degrees of aggressiveness and easiness depending on difficulty selected. Players on Xbox Live will have the ability to create there own races and own rules, although details are still a bit sketchy.

So now that you are excited, here are the Forza Motorsport 3 official release dates that I have heard.

Forza 3 Motorsport Official Release Dates:

United States: October 27th, 2009

Europe: October 23rd, 2009

Australia: October 23rd, 2009

Japan: October 22nd, 2009

YouTube Preview Image

I’m very excited and can’t wait to spend many enjoyable hours mastering this game. Until then!

Best,

Adam “gaminsincebirth” Faragalli

Videojug- Get Good At Life

videojug_logo_transparent

There are so many Web sites out there that feature videos of all types. Then there are the sites out there that feature videos specific for a topic, like Automotive, such as my personal favorite site StreetFire.net. Then there are sites that combine the two where nice categories hold the featured videos. Some sites get it right, many don’t. When I found Videojug.com recently, I thought it was the best of both worlds.

Videojug takes the most relevant videos that are aimed at helping you get better at something. Take for instance, golf, my long-passion and sports hobby. Actually helpful and specific golf self-improvement videos are featured. This is great, because sometimes I just do not care to see your hole-in-one featured on page one. But, a video that helps me get an eagle or two, bring it on! What was even more impressive was that they broke down the videos into even more specific categories, like “putting”, “golf technique” and the “grip”. That surprised me.

I’m also starting a new project soon related to golf, soon to be live. LoveOfGolf.us/info/net/biz are registered under me now. I really want LoveOfGolf.com but the seller requested $4,000+ for it. I declined when I looked at the number of competitive golf-related sites out there that are decent, already established and for sale at a cheaper price. In addition, my goal is to share my passions and knowledge of with the world, not make a profit from it. I just cannot take on that kind of overhead with no intention of getting my return on investment.

To get back on topic, check Videojug out and start learning something new. They feature just about everything from cooking to automotive mechanics. I’m sure that there is a featured video that is sure to help you out.

Best,

Adam Faragalli

Google Wave- The Future of Online Communication/Collaboration

Google Wave, announced several months back at the Google I/O conference, aims to change the way people collaborate and communicate with others. According to Google, a “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.”
The question the developers asked if email was invented today, what would it look like and ultimately how would it work? Google Wave is the answer. If you have some time, check out the long demonstration video below of the conference back in May.

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content – it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.

Some key technologies in Google Wave include real-time collaboration tools, Natural language tools, Extending Google Wave.

I especially love the playback ability and the instant ability to see the message as it is being typed. Think about just how much time one can save when one can plan there response as someone forms their message. This is in contrast to the typing icon that currently works in most email and instant message applications. What is also great is you can turn this feature off, helpful for those of us who are not quite sure about spelling or a quick response. But these features are just bonus to an revolutionary online tool!

In the near future, there is little doubt that Google Wave will have a major impact on the way we all email and share online. If you would like to give it a shot, try your hand at requesting an invitation. I am still eargerly awaiting the official release of Google Wave, which is supposed to be coming very soon last this year! As soon as it is released I will make a new blog and let you know.

Best,

Adam Faragalli

Top 10 Web Collaboration Tools

Twine.com sent me this link this morning from LifeHacker.com about there list of Top 10 Web Collaboration Tools. As they state, these collaboration tools stand apart from the awesome platform Google Wave, announced a few months back, which I will save for another blog entry. Many of these I had never heard of but many are very helpful. I especially liked MindMeister.

MindMeister Preview Image
MindMeister Preview Image

From the developers Web site, “MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions. Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map and see each other’s changes as they happen.”

I hope you take a look at them and be sure to thank LifeHacker.com for the article, Top 10 Web Collaboration Tools.

Best,

Adam Faragalli

Google SideWiki

The world of Google introduces yet anther creative and relevant application known as Sidewiki. As Google says, it lets you “contribute helpful information to any Web page.” 

Here’s a 1-minute video that describes the concept:

YouTube Preview Image

You will have to have SideWiki installed in your browser for it to work. Although, I expect this to most likely be integrated with the very popular Google Toolbar. In a nutshell, it appears Google SideWiki makes, within SideWiki, each and every Web page something similar to Twitter in that live conversations (with opinions and all) reside.  This can also be as the video states “expert opinion” although that can be a bit bias as to what qualifies.

So far, SideWiki looks to better enhance the experience of visiting and interacting with Web pages. I’m curious to see how this application develops. To the future!

If you are interested to give it a shot, and why not, here is the link to Google’s site to install Google SideWiki.

Best,

Adam Faragalli

STUDY: Social Networking and Blog Sites Capture More Internet Time and Advertising

Nielsen Ratings, aka Nielson Wire posted this study on their blog which clearly shows an ever increasing percetage of American’s spending more time online doing social networking related activities. Take a look at the article here.  This in turn causes advertising growth. All in all this is great news for us online marketers. Need more proof to move to online social mediums to grow your ideas and business?

“This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,” said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen’s online division. “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.

Among those taking note of this trend: advertisers.  Estimated online advertising spending on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009 – all despite a recession. Share of estimated spend on these sites has doubled, from 7 percent of online ad spend in 2008 to 15 percent in 2009.”

Nielsen Social Media Ratings Table 2009
Nielsen Social Media Ratings Table 2009