Some Joy in Seesmic Ping Land

Wednesday, Seesmic sent all Ping.fm users an email with “important information”. Dated May 31 (Seesmic’s timezone is well ahead of mine), the letter included some basic information that we all pretty much knew. But one sentence actually made me happy: To further support development and upcoming features, we will offer Seesmic Ping as both a free and paid service. (emphasis added). Back in February, I wrote , a post expressing my dismay at the shutdown of Ping.fm and the apparent paid-only nature of Seesmic Ping. I begged the company to consider a “freemium” model and not make all users pay…

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My Google AdSense Account: Moved to Where It Belongs

Honestly, I’m no longer sure how it happened, but suffice it to say that a few years ago I did something stupid. No, no, it was nothing like that. I just applied for Google AdSense a few days before my actual 18th birthday. That, of course, netted me a declined application, because I was obviously still too young to participate in AdSense—but I wasn’t counting on it also killing my ability to reapply later. When I tried again to sign up for AdSense using my main Google Account, after I was old enough, I got nothing but errors. When I…

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Why I Will Not Use Seesmic, Ever

Update (06/01): Seesmic eventually killed the green bar overlay. They announced a time-frame (by the middle of June) for closing Ping.fm, and also confirmed that the new Ping service will have a free service level. I commend this outcome, . Update (03/03): This post garnered a response from a Seesmic employee, Yama, in the comments. From “figure out the best pricing model”, I gather that pricing remains undecided, so I maintain my hope for a HootSuite-like freemium model. I’m also glad to hear that the green bar will be reviewed for possible improvements. Thank you, Yama; if I have more…

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Facebook News Apps Open Firehose of Pageviews

This is my fourth (and final) blog post assignment for my Journalism course. It’s kind of an op-ed in its own right, though not something I was likely to bother writing about if not for the assignment. Back in September, at its f8 conference, Facebook announced a new kind of app, with the ability to use “frictionless sharing”—basically a fancy way of saying that users’ activity can be shared without users specifically clicking a “Share” button. The first reaction to this announcement was lukewarm at best. As users began to notice just how much activity was being shared, they complained…

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Finding Sources for Interviews is Hard

This is my third blog post assignment for my Journalism class. I went for the reflection option this time instead of the news topic option because I had something to say about my experiences with the class in the last two weeks. As I’ve worked to find people I can interview for my feature article, I’ve found that it can be really difficult to actually connect with even one person who can address the topic in question. Many people will simply ignore interview requests. I’m sure part of the problem is my choice of subject. Not that many people know…

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Leaky Websites

This is my second blog post assignment for my Journalism course. As with the first, reposted here because “why not”. The New York Times‘ “Bits” blog published an article last Tuesday that really opened my eyes. The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School released data on what information is passed between certain popular websites. Long story short, logging in (or even trying and failing to log in) to a site can pass information about you to third parties. That information can be as innocuous (but still trackable) as a “unique identifier” generated by the site or as…

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Google Books and the Book Industry

I wrote this for my Journalism class at college, but figured I might as well share it here too. The New York Times ran a story Monday about a new lawsuit filed against HathiTrust, a partnership of universities and research libraries that maintains a digital book collection on its website. Plaintiffs in the suit include three major authors’ groups: the Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors, and the Québec Union of Writers. Eight individual authors are also party to the filing, among them Pat Cummings, Roxana Robinson, and T.J. Stiles. The objections raised in the suit center around the…

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Finally: Google Voice Export Feature Released (sort of)

It took quite a while—more than two years since —but Google Voice finally supports exporting! I’d love to think had something to do with the end product released yesterday, but I seriously doubt it. Sort of… Let’s just say, Google Takeout isn’t behaving very well. The test archive I created yesterday won’t download, and I’ve tried both Google Chrome 13 and Mozilla Firefox 3.6. The feature isn’t there yet, but I’m sure Google engineers are working on it. I’m still happy…as soon as they make it actually work.

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There Is Always a Choice

I recently read a headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune featuring an unfortunate wolf at the Minnesota Zoo. The story went that this 8-year-old male Mexican gray wolf—an endangered species—escaped from his enclosure through a gap in the fencing of the keeper’s area. He proceeded halfway around the grounds before being tracked to the Northern Trail area and shot. Yes. Shot. Tranquilizers would not have acted soon enough, Minnesota Zoo officials said, forcing them to destroy the 8-year-old male. I beg to differ. There was nothing forcing these people to shoot an innocent animal—an intelligent being. Wolves belong to the…

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Hello Android: LG Optimus V Review

I’ve been using NET10 as my cellular carrier for nearly two years. I got their most basic phone (the LG 300G) at a Wal-Mart in Colorado Springs, CO, in June 2009 and have been paying $15/month ever since for 150–200 minutes (10¢ each, or 5¢ per text message). I got tired of that phone’s slowness and tiny keypad rather quickly, as I tired of NET10’s baseline service. I got a number and access to the network, but that was all. They also gave me a number that was prone to receiving calls from collection agencies and spam text messages. (Finding…

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