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Sep 20, 2016


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Why You May Start Seeing Tweets From People You Dont Follow
Aug 4, 2014

Twitter appears to be tinkering with one of its most valuable featuresthe follow systemjust as CEO Dick Costolo said it might. 

If the social network's recent experiments bear fruit, your Twitter feed might soon start displaying tweets from people you dont follow, just because other people you follow do follow them. (For the sake of simplicity, let's call these "friend-followed" accounts.)

One Twitter user pointed out this new feature on Monday. He saw a tweet from the viral news site BuzzFeed appear in his timeline on mobile, along with a follow icon embedded in the tweet. It wasn't an ad, as there was no promoted taglineinstead, above the tweet was a notification that a friend follows BuzzFeed, implying that he should do likewise.


Apple's Abrupt Mac OS X Change Could Block Many Apps
Aug 4, 2014

Apple told developers Monday afternoon that many of their older Mac applications will not run in the next update to Mac OS X unless they "re-sign" them using a digital-signature tool in OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the current version of the Mac operating system. Many developers aren't happy about the abrupt change:

The change affects all Mac applications built on older versions of Mac OS Xspecifically, any version that predates Mavericks, which officially launched last October. As of the next release of the desktop operating systemthat'll be OS X 10.9.5those apps may simply no longer function until their digital signatures are updated using a tool in Mavericks.


Apple Could Launch The iPhone 6 On September 9
Aug 5, 2014

Recode reports that Apple has scheduled a press event on September 9 to unveil the new version (or versions) of the iPhone. 

For the last three years, Apple has introduced each new iPhone version in the fall, not counting a spring 2011 announcement in which Apple launched the device on Verizon. Prior to that, the Cupertino, Californiabased tech maker held its iPhone debuts in the June-July timeframe.

But if there's an air of uncertainty around this exact date, it's because Apple usually invites a select group of journalists all at once. Thus news of a new Apple event typically propagates immediately across Twitter accompanied by images of invitations confirming the details.

This time?


Fruity Pebbles And The New Crop Of Stylish Wearables
Aug 5, 2014

Four measly little words stand between me and the wearable device of my dreams: Looks good, works good. Most of today's smartwatches, smart wristbands and smart headgear get it half-right at best.

One manufacturer, however, keeps pushing on both the function and style fronts, in hopes that it can deliver the whole package: Pebble. On Tuesday, the company introduced three limited-edition, candy-colored versions of its popular $150 smartwatch. 

Pretty Little PebblesMeet Pebble's "Hot," "Fresh" and "Fly." (Foreground: "Hot")

Last year, Pebble Kickstarted the modern smartwatch movement, launching its first polycarbonate devices in black, red, and white.


Heads Up! This Startup Thinks It Can Solve The Distracted Driving Problem
Aug 5, 2014
<a href="">ReadWriteDrive</a> is an ongoing series covering the future of transportation.

Existing laws are supposed to prevent motorists from using smartphone apps while driving. But they aren't working. The number of drivers injured or killed by distraction continues to rise.

I dont harbor hope that automakersnotoriously bad at digital driver interfaceswill find the best solution.


Criminal Confessions Caught On Potato Chip Bags?
Aug 5, 2014

In the opening scene of the 2008 thriller Eagle Eye, the heroes attempt to conceal their conversation from the microphones of an omnipresent computer. Unfortunately for them, the evil machine eavesdrops by zooming in on the vibrations in a nearby glass of water.

This scenario isnt so far-fetched now that researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have developed a computer algorithm that can reconstruct sound from visual information. In one instance, they were able to recover intelligible sound from the vibrations of a potato chip bag photographed through soundproof glass 15 feet away.

"This is totally out of some Hollywood thriller, Alexei Efros, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, told MIT News. You know that the killer has admitted his guilt because theres surveillance footage of his potato chip bag vibrating.


How All The Major U.S. Carriers Throttle Your Mobile Data
Aug 5, 2014

Verizon Wireless may be in the hot seat right now about its data-throttling plans, but it's far from alone. In the United States, all four of the major cellular providers intentionally slow down data-hungry users, each in its own special way. 

All that makes Verizon's latest schemeto throttle 4G LTE customers with unlimited data plansseem like no big deal. But the Federal Communication Commission disagrees. Its chairman sent a pointed letter to the carrier about its proposed "network optimization" plan last week, demanding to know why only certain people are being targeted. 

Verizon CEO Daniel Mead defended his company's actions to a group of reporters Monday in New York City, reports CNET, calling FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's letter "incorrect" and "surprising," particularly since the commission hasn't had any problem with similar policies from other cellular service providers.


Flipboard Users Have Created More Than 10 Million Magazines
Aug 5, 2014

Less than a year and a half after it started letting anyone build digital magazines, Flipboard's efforts to turn us all into magazine makers have hit critical mass.

Mike McCue, the mobile app-maker's CEO, recently told me that the company now has 10 million digital magazines created by approximately 7 million users.

Flipping Out Over Magazines

That's quadruple the number of magazines the company had just a year ago, three months after it launched user-created magazines, and the pace of creation is accelerating: It's adding roughly 1 million magazines a month.

Flipboard has more than 100 million "activated users"the company's term for those who have downloaded its mobile apps and use them to read links and entire articles from a variety of online sources.

Flipboard stories are now as likely to come from other users as staff editors.

I'll be interviewing McCue about how these millions of user magazines have transformed the way users consume content on Flipboardand how this shift is emblematic of other changes in the media landscapeat our next ReadWriteMix on August 13 in San Francisco.


Creeps On Twitter Not Staying Blocked? Crowdsource The Job
Aug 5, 2014

Sometimes blocking harassers on Twitter doesnt do the trick. Many Twitter users want better ways to deal with them. Now they have one.

In an attempt to help users better manage their accounts and block lists to prevent harassment, developer Jacob Hoffman-Andrews created Block Together, a tool that lets users automatically block new users who @-reply them and share their block lists with other Twitter users.

User unhappiness with Twitter's existing harassment-management systems came to a head last week during a hashtag-based Twitter interview that CNBC hosted with CEO Dick Costolo. The network asked users to tweet their questions for Costolo with the hashtag #AskCostolo, and more than 30% of the questions had to do with safety or harassment on Twitter.


You Can Now Work As A "GIF Content Specialist"
Aug 5, 2014

Do you spend your days mashing up memes or finding the best segments of videos to play on loop over and over in the form of a GIF? Well, companies are probably looking for someone like you. At least, one company, Giphy, is.

The Betaworks-backed media startup is currently hiring an Editorial Assistant/GIF Content Specialist.

The GIF, or Graphic Interchange Format, has taken over the Internet. Even Twitter has come around to embedding the short, soundless animations in tweets.


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