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Trudeau and Star Wars?!

Saw this on Twitter today, hilarious!!!

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Legal threats from @Twitter shutdown @TwitPic

According to the article on Programmable Web, and confirmed via a blog post on TwitPic, TwitPic is shutting down because of legal threats over trademark infringement!

TwitPic is where I originally started sharing pictures on Twitter, until Twitter started hosting media themselves and didn’t allow you to choose your host in the app any more. Around the same time TwitPic started compressing images, Instagram rose to prominence, and I started using Aviary and Flickr to tweet images (I now use WordPress for everything).

The key take away from all this is that as a third-party that relies on the benevolence of an ecosystem’s master you are always at the mercy of their whims.

WordPress Social Sharing

How can I post to Google Plus, Twitter, and Facebook at the Same Time?

a.k.a. Why are the social networks so anti-social towards each other?

a.k.a. Yet another diatribe on the dichotomy of Google.

We’ve all been in this situation: we’ve got a bunch of friends on Facebook; another bunch on Twitter, and a couple on Google+ (but if you’ve still got friends using MySpaceOrkut, or AOL I’m afraid I can’t help you). Now how do you share your words of wisdom, pithy commentary on life, and hilarious snap-shots with all your friends? You don’t want to neglect anyone but it’s a lot of effort post and re-post.

TL, DR; Use WordPress! Either WordPress.com or install your own from WordPress.org. You can link to all your social networks and the world (wide web) is your stage. Tumblr is a close second, and so is Flickr quite frankly (just use Ctrl+Enter to split your paragraphs)! Continue reading

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Cover is joining Twitter

Cover is awesome! If Twitter kills Cover I would consider boycotting Twitter!!!

coverscreen:

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We started Cover a year ago because we believed in two things: 1) the untapped potential of the supercomputers we carry in our pockets, and 2) the amazing power of Android. We built a replacement for Android’s default lockscreen that makes our phones easier to use by adapting to our context —…

 

Sets on Flickr

What The Flickr! Three Things that Drive me Crazy About Flickr

I’ve been using Flickr since before forever! Well, at long time at least. I never really made much of it, and I’ve reset my account on more than one occasion and started all over again. But now that I have a smart phone and I’ve got Flync installed on it I’ve got a lot more photos on Flickr than ever before. Just like Google+ my photos are auto-magically uploaded to Flickr via Flync. I also use it to host my TwitterFacebook, and Tumblr pictures in one shot!

So with all those photos on Flickr I need to do a bit of organizing. Flickr has a convenient Organizer that lets you manipulate batches of your photos all at once. But it does have a few short-comings.

Hopefully Marissa Mayer is reading this blog and takes this criticism constructively so we see some improvements to Flickr! Continue reading

Blackberry Messenger on Android Review

BBM on Android
BBM on Android

Let’s cut to the chase: it’s YAMA!

That’s right, I said YAMA!!! Yet Another Messenger App.

I know the Fan-berries are going to get their panties in a knot because I didn’t say that it’s revolutionary or something like that. But it’s not. In fact it looks indistinguishable from Google+ Hangouts, or Twitter DM’s, or any other messenger on my phone!

Don’t tell me “but BBM is secure!” Because so is Hangouts! Even Twitter is secure!!!

Forget the tired delivered and read indicators argument in favour of BBM. Back when the carriers were experimenting with data networks and connectivity was minimal this was a comforting feature. But now that I’m pumping data through my mobile phone faster than my DSL modem I think connectivity is taken for granted. And really, I don’t care if you read my message, I care if you acted on it! If I say “meet me at Starbucks in 10 minutes” then you can read that message all you want but if you’re late you’re triple-caramel-pumpkin-spice-skinny-latte-machiato is going to get cold and I’m not buying you another one!!!

Let’s look at the numbers for some messengers that work on Blackberry, Android and iOS:

  • WhatsApp has over 325 million active users 
  • Viber has over 200 million active users
  • Google+ Hangouts (not available on Blackberry) has over 100 million active users (an estimate based on the over 400 million active Google+ users)
  • Facebook Messenger probably has just under 100 million active users (they don’t reveal those numbers so it’s just an estimate)
  • Kik has over 80 million active users – which is ironic since the founders originally worked for Blackberry

BBM clocks in somewhere around the 55 million mark. So you’re more likely to find your friends using something other than BBM.

And don’t forget the grand-daddy of them all: SMS!!! Venerable old text messages, they reach not just smart phones, but feature phones too. And with software like MightyText and iMessage they reach tablets and computers as well! In fact there are BILLIONS of active monthly SMS users! And there’s nothing to install or configure, it just works out of the box!

In my humble opinion, BBM was something that made Blackberry unique, something they could distinguish themselves with. Something for people to say “I want BBM” and they’d have to get a Blackberry to get it.

The reason for having a Blackberry is now limited to inertia on the enterprise side; and nostalgia or pride on the consumer side. Releasing BBM for Android (and iPhone) really just serves to prolong the inertia since IT departments can now re-assure their remaining Blackberry users that they’ll be able to communicate with all their iPhone or Galaxy toting colleagues using BBM.

I sure hope those people interested in buying Blackberry have a better business plan than relying on the inertia of existing customers to carry them forward!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

What About the New Flickr

There’s been a HUGE resurgence in Flickr‘s popularity on Twitter lately. Especially amongst me and my tweeps. So what has Flickr done to be cool again? Why is everyone abandoning Instagram, TwitPic, and the rest in favour of Flickr?

In fact, the new Flickr is exactly the same as the old Flickr. It’s still the professional quality photo-sharing/managing/editing web-suite that was hugely popular before. Even their super-powerful mobile apps haven’t changed that much – they were among the most powerful and fun to use even before Instagram came along.

The first thing that happened is Instagram got Facebooked! I said it before, Instagram wasn’t worth $1-billion if Facebook just let it sit there. They have to do something with it; and when they did there was outrage and anger and a stampede back to Flickr!

The other thing, is Yahoo – credit to their new commander-and-chief Marissa Mayer – finally realized their most valuable property is Flickr. No one cares about Yahoo Auto, Yahoo Dating or Yahoo omg! These are copy-cat services in that there’s a million of them out there and if you’re not number one you’re irrelevant.

Although there’s other choices for sharing your photos, the social aspect and the community are very important. Other’s have tried, but Flickr has made professional (community and tools) their priority though they’ve still kept it easy to use.

The others, have just focused on the social aspect. Instagram is all about quirky filters; Google’s schizophrenic Picasa Web aka Google+ Photos is all about something depending on which of the three ways you access it (don’t forget it’s Blogger‘s backend too); TwitPic, Yfrog, etc. are all about tweeting photos on Twitter, which Twitter does by themselves now and prefers; 500px, MyShoebox, PhotoBucket, OpenPhoto, and the rest are trying to find their niche amongst the big players. And Microsoft’s Skydrive Photos fits in there too somewhere, mainly for the clueless and complacent.

The nicest thing about Flickr on Twitter is you get more than the short tweet (126 characters once the Flickr link is factored in) because the integration pulls in the photo, the caption, and the description!!!

Unfortunately your Flickr photos don’t show-up in the Twitter photo-stream, like they do if shared via Twitter, TwitPic, etc.

So, it looks pretty much like Flickr is going to become my photo-tweeting service of choice – replacing TwitPic; but I’ll still edit up the photos using Aviary‘s amazing full-featured editor before posting them.

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Flipboard for Android leaks

So Flipboard for Android was supposed to be an exclusive on Samsung Galaxy S III but it didn’t take long for an intrepid S III owner to pluck the APK from it’s comfortable surroundings and throw out into the wild for all to enjoy!

So far I’m pretty impressed, Flipboard certainly looks beautiful and makes viewing media laden tweets a joy – although tweets who’s media host is not integrated are still relegated to second place. And those tweets that link to an article an get a very fancy look with media from the article.

My two main sources of reading though are Google Reader and Twitter. For both of those Flipboard is a mixed result. Flipboard works best when there’s media to display, it makes the article look so much cooler. I’ve added The Globe and Mail, The Economist, and Make Magazine, which are quite nice to flip through – but I have to admit I had trouble navigating around the app to find stuff.

If you want to give Flipboard a try on your Android phone, either buy yourself a Samsung Galaxy S III or head-on over to XDA Developers to download the APK and sideload it yourself.

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Path vs. Instagram on Android

I recently went through the exercise of finding a replacement for Instagram, when they sold-out to Facebook. Path wasn’t on my list of replacements at the time because they didn’t offer filters or lenses like Instagram does – at least on Android, iOS users have had that feature for some time.

Now that Path has added that feature to Android, and because quite a few friends switched to Path after abandoning Instagram, I have given it another look.

The coolest feature of their lenses is they are applied while you are taking the picture! Not afterwards, so you can see live how the shot will look. You can always change the lens afterwards too.

Unfortunately Path doesn’t have all the editing features I’ve gotten used to now in Aviary – things like cropping the photo, rebalancing the colours, adding some mark-up, and more. And their lenses do not include the funky borders or other embellishments that Aviary (and Instagram) added to accentuate the effect.

So the question is, do I use Path as a Twitter client? Do I abandon Twitter (and it’s ecosystem) and live entirely on Path? Or is Path just not happening for me?

I don’t really have any compelling reason to be on Twitter over any other social network – I’m following a couple dozen people and the ones I interact most with I also see in-person or are on Path too. But my current workflow (snap a photo, edit & embellish with Aviary, and post to Twitter with hosting on TwitPic) works really well. Photos posted to Path and shared on Twitter are only visible if the viewer clicks through the tweet to Path (photos shared on Tumblr show-up on Tumblr but you have click through to Path to see the comment) – TwitPic photos show-up in the tweet.

For now at least, stay tuned to Twitter rather than Path.

Source: Path’s blog

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Instagram for Android is here

We’ve all seen the cool retro pictures on Twitter (and elsewhere) generated by Instragram. And it’s fun to play with the filters when sharing some nonsense on Twitter, and seeing the effect immediately appear on the screen. There are other apps that do this but Instagram definitely makes it quick and fun to do.

So far my only annoyance is not being able to set a default or favourite effect as a starting point.

In fact, Instagram has worked really well. It definitely appears they’ve taken the Android platform to heart. There haven even been a number of fixes and improvements in the first week, which is very impressive.

It’s been a week, I took a few pictures and published some of them. I definitely won’t take the awesome camera on my Xperia (is it a phone with a built-in camera or a camera with a built-in phone?) and make the pictures look like I was still using my Xenon all the time. But for the stuff I typically share on Twitter this will probably be my go-to app, replacing TwitPic (though TwitPic’s web interface has some value – it would be nice if we could see our history of Instagrams via a web interface, or if they were automagically tagged on Twitter).

Source: Instagram

Cross-posted on 2FatDads