October 2009

Google Lands L.A. E-mail Contract

googlelaAfter almost a year of furious lobbying and jockeying for position, Google earned the right to provide e-mail services for the city of Los Angeles. Microsoft had mounted the fiercest competition, but the city now plans to turn over its e-mail operations to Google by June 2010.

The story, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, reminded me of my own frustrating experiences with an amateurish e-mail system.

When I enrolled at Michigan State University several years ago, I was given a personal e-mail account where all my communications from the school would be sent. It didn’t take long to realize – even though this was waaaay back in 2006 – that the MSU e-mail program was a joke. It lacked a chat feature. It complicated folder organization to the point of frustration. It boasted a spam filter that was about as water-tight as a colander. (more…)

This Week In Social Media: October 30, 2009

This Week In Social Media: iePlexus Oct. 30, 2009 from iePlexus on Vimeo.

This Week In Social Media: iePlexus Oct. 30, 2009 from iePlexus on Vimeo.

This week, several new virus’ have been making their rounds attacking the social networking sites Facebook & Twitter. Facebook has been hit the hardest.  The virus known as Bredolab, hit Facebook earlier this week, which sends an e-mail to users, asking them to confirm a password reset and a file is attached which contains a Trojan horse, which could severely destroy a computer. Facebook is also reporting 2 more virus’ which are working their way through e-mails asking you to do some sort of activity to your account.  Facebook has told users that Facebook would not send any attachment in an e-mail, and to check out the company’s Security Page for more tips.  Twitter’s virus comes through a direct messages containing the phase, “Hi, this you on here?” followed by a link.  Twitter warns users not to click links from users you don’t know and if you accidentally do, to change your password immediately.  (more…)

The Internet Is Officallly Over The Hill

internetIt seems crazy to think of the world without the Internet.  It is very much a huge part of our lives.  For example, when we lose our Internet connections at home, we feel frustrated and lost as if there is nothing left to do or live for and feel so disconnected from the rest of the world.  Prior to October 29, 1969 there was no such thing.  Communicating meant writing a letter and putting on a stamp to ship it off.  Wanting to know more about a certain topic meant opening up a book called the Encyclopedia.  Earlier that year on July 20, Niel Armstrong was the first person ever to step foot on the moon, and the world felt so advanced.  Fast foward 40 years later, and astronauts now Twitter to everyone back on Earth.   

The Internet has come a long way since 1969.  It was Leonard Kleinrock, a UCLA computer science professor who wanted to send a message from the school’s host computer to another computer at the near by Stanford Reserach Institute.  During the process of trying to start up a remote time-sharing system, Kleinrock started to type “login,” and got the first two letters in before the system crashed, however the message “lo” was sent, which was the true birth of the Internet. (more…)

Twitter In The World Of Sports

twittersportsAs we all know, 2009 has been a year of growth for Twitter.  It seems like anyone who is anyone is updating their tweets frequently and that’s including high-profiled athletes from around the globe.  Here in the U.S. athletes, coaches and other team personnel who are part of either the NBA, NHL, or NFL, have all been given restrictions when using their Twitter and other social media accounts. 

This has recently caused some controversy, questioning if leagues are violating the First Amendment, which protects the Freedom of Speech.  Twitter actually falls under the First Amendment, but after a little bit of research, there can be restrictions as long as there are alternative methods available.  At the current time, the NBA has banned teams from using social media sites 45 minutes before, during and after the game, while the NFL will not allow twittering 90 minutes prior to the game until press interviews are done afterwards.  The NHL has said there is to be no Twittering from 30 minutes before the game until the game is over.  (more…)

Social Media & App’s Reaching The World

myspace-titanIt seems that we can find just about anything on social media sites.  Whether it’s breaking news about Balloon Boy, looking for the latest gossip about Jon & Kate, or commenting on our friend’s status’, the world is only one click away from seeing what we post.  And while the point of social media is to have your voice heard and to share content with the rest of the world, Toyota & MySpace are trying to get voices heard even more.

Toyota, the Japanese car manufacturer, is using its social media app to showcase drawings on jumbo-trons in New York’s Times Square.  The Experience Prius app, which came out in August has added a new feature this week, which will allow you to take what’s on your iPhone screen to the big screen.

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Nigeria Uses Social Media For Electricity

nameNigeria is thought of one of the poorest countries in the world.  Surprisingly, Nigeria is the most populous and oil rich nation in Africa, and every day millions are left out in the dark because the government does not offer constant electricity for many places through the country.  But now thousands are trying to use the power of social media to encourage the government to bring electricity through the nation.  

The Light Up Nigeria movement is an effort to bring constant electrical power to Nigerian homes and businesses.  Since the 1980’s the Nigerian Government, has been inconsistent in the supply of electricity, because of the corruption and sabotage within the governmental system.  Light Up Nigeria, which is citizen formed, states on their website that  ‘everyone in Nigeria is affected by the lack of constant power supply so everyone in Nigeria is part of the movement.’  That has become the way of life for Nigerians and a known fact about the country.  The lack of electricity has been blamed for the nation missing out on new investments and business opportunities.  (more…)

Social Media: The Swine Flu Vaccine

shotThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is experimenting with social media sites to connect with the rest of the world to encourage people to get vaccinated for the Swine Flu. The CDC which has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has created accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, FlickrMySpace, along with offering text message services, widgets for your personal website and several other ways of e-communication. 

The CDC has said they want to inform as many people as they can about possible outbreaks of the Swine Flu, and other future diseases.  Dr. Anne Schuchat, member of the CDC said, “We might see another wave after first of the year. It’s going to be important for people to take steps to protect themselves. We can’t predict what’s going to happen.” (more…)

Twitter Favors Democrats

twitterusaTwitter is in some hot water in California, after the Center for Governmental Studies realized the popular social networking site was suggesting members of the Democratic Party, who are expected to run for California’s governor next year, over the Republican Party candidates.  When someone signs up for Twitter, the company suggests certain celebrities, politicians and other high profiled citizens for new users to follow.  A random list of 20 out of the 500 high profiled users is shown and users can choose to follow as many or as few of those recommendations. 

Some of those 500 high profiled recommended users include San Fransisco mayor Gavin Newsom, and California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who both have either announced or expressed interest in running for California Governor next year on the Democratic ticket.  The two, both have a huge following, as Newsom has over 1.2 million followers, while Brown has close to 966,000 followers.  Meg WhitmanSteve Poizner, and Tom Campbell who are all plan on running for governor on the Republican ticket are not suggested users and all have under 4,500 followers.  (more…)

Can Apple Overcome Past Tablet Troubles?

apple_tabletIn a recent New York Times piece, Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance lent some much needed perspective about Apple’s maybe-kind of-sort of-impending Tablet. Depending on which vague rumor or piece of conjecture you decide to believe, the Apple Tablet will either “redefine print,” “bridge the gap between laptops and iPhones,” or save the planet from a catastrophic asteroid strike.

OK, so I made up that last possibility. Still, the level of hyperbolic publicity surrounding the device is astounding. While I don’t question the claim that Apple has revolutionized both the cell phone and mp3 player markets, I’m not yet willing to award them another success by default. As Stone and Vance point out, tablet devices have been attempted before and the results have been middling to put it kindly. (more…)

Google Your Social Networking Friends

nycLast week, both Google & Microsoft announced they were teaming up with Twitter to bring real time search updates to their sites.  While Google still has yet to release the real time updates, the search engine site did launch it’s Social Search feature yesterday afternoon on Google’s Experimental Search.

Google created the Social Search because they know that your friends and contacts are an important part and influence on your life and wanted to make it easier to help you find your friends.  Many surveys have said that personal reviews of items from friends which are frequently posted on social networking sites influence a person’s decision if they want to purchase or obtain that specific item.  However, when you have hundreds or thousands of social networking friends, it can be a little hard to keep up with what everyone is saying. (more…)