Reports are circulating that Apple CEO Time Cook was "outed" as gay by a CNBC co-anchor: http://dlvr.it/686dn3
I've heard this rumor before and I have to make the following points:
1. People's private lives should be private. Tim Cook and every other business leader should be judged on the performance of their companies and not on what happens in their minds or bedrooms, and therefore:
2. Whether Tim Cook is straight or gay shouldn't matter to the press or the public, and we should respect his and everyone's right to choose whether to talk about their sexual identity, gender identification and so on, and:
3. The bottom line is that we shouldn't care about or discuss any aspect of Tim Cook's or Larry Page's or Larry Ellison's or Jeff Bezos' or Marissa Mayer's sex lives. It doesn't and shouldn't matter. And exploiting the prurient whispers about business leaders to get viewers and readers is shameful and tawdry and that's what needs to be outed.
It looks like that was accurate, but an understatement. A new report from IDC says Apple shipped about 22.9 million iPads of both Mini and Maxi varieties. Various reports say that the Mini outsold the Maxi.
Meanwhile, Microsoft sold fewer than 1 million Surface tablets, according to IDC.
Why you'll be wearing a wristwatch again by this time next year.
People don't wear wristwatches like they used to. And the reason is clear: Since everybody's got a mobile phone, and the phone tells the time, a watch is unnecessary.
But the mobile phone has always been an insatiably greedy platform -- it needs more features, more power, more convenience and, above all, more pixels.
Get used to the idea of the big platform companies selling or supporting wristwatches that serve as additional screens for and controllers of the phones in our pockets. I believe that Apple and Google will do so, and a large number of small companies -- including Pebble (which shipped it's long-awaited smart watch today).
Five strong trends are all converging to make smartphone wristwatches a near certainty. Here are those trends:
Every once in a while, a tech writer who doesn't use Google+ confuses their own lack of use with non-activity on G+ generally, then embarrasses themselves by suggesting that Google+ is a "ghost town" or something like that.
Today, some Gizmodo blogger named +Leslie Horn, who hasn't posted on G+ since July of 2011 -- before it even launched publicly and who has completely missed the boat -- joked today on Gizmodo that maybe the site's outage today was due to "neglect."
She wrote: "If a social network falls on the internet and nobody's on it, has it actually fallen at all?"
You hear that? She says nobody is on Google+. Are YOU nobody? Let's all go to the Gizmodo site by clicking the link below and leave a comment for Leslie. Let her know how crazy active Google+ is!!
US meat supply massively contaminated with superbugs.
Consumer Reports says 90% of US supermarket ground turkey is contaminated with superbugs -- antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Earlier this month, a government monitoring group found more than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef bought in US supermarkets contained antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
The contamination of the food supply with superbugs is caused by the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock to make them bigger and also enable them to survive in cramped, unhealthy conditions without dying of the diseases that spread in such an environment.
Bottom line: Antibiotics makes meat cheaper. But is it worth the lower price?
Jackie Chan calls America the most corrupt country in the world.
Action star Jackie Chan reportedly said on a Hong Kong TV talk show that the United States is the most corrupt country in the world, far more corrupt than China. He also called on Chinese people to stop criticizing China.
Interestingly, Chinese Internet users pounced on Chan for acting as an apologist for Chinese corruption. One wrote: "Please, if you want to tell a good lie, tell an educated one. Go learn some knowledge before you contribute to Chinese Communist Party's corruption."
A special iPad-holding toilet (complete with a "splash guard" for the iPad) is designed to help toilet-train toddlers. Parents are invited to choose from the variety of toilet-training apps already available in the iOS app store.
In other news, there is a variety of toilet-training apps already available in the iOS app store.
A new paper by Stanford University researcher Gerald Crabtree finds that now that humans no longer have the selective pressures of a hunter-gatherer existence, we no longer need intelligence to survive and, as a result, we're getting dumber.
Separate from that study, I also wonder whether a similar process is happening culturally. Are dumber people about to "survive" culturally, and remain famous and influential no matter how unintelligent they are?
Why I'm looking forward to the end of the world Friday.
The world ends Friday, according to idiots.
I love it when this happens. The first doomsday I remember was when I was a kid -- probably in the 4th grade or so -- and some Nostradamus-inspired hysteria gripped the nation. Two or three families left the street where I lived to head to higher ground (that end of the world involved flooding of some kind).
Since then, every few years or so, certain kinds of people get all worked up about some historical misinformation and convince each other that the world is going to end.
The most recent and the best apocalypse of my lifetime was last year. Radio preacher Harold Camping said he was absolutely certain that the Bible says the world was to end May 21. After realizing that the world didn't get the memo, he retreated into prayer and reflection and came back convinced he was wrong. In fact, he said, the world would end October 11. Again, the world stubbornly refused to end.
Camping's cult headquarters were in the Bay Area, and there were dozens of billboards all over the place promising the end of the world. It was really funny to watch them take the billboards down after October 11th.
That doomsday was the best because the hysteria was spread by a single man, who genuinely seem to believe his own biblical numerology. Some of his followers quit school or gave away all their money, and were left undereducated and broke after their faith-based catastrophe failed to materialize.
I had stumbled across Brother Camping's program many times over the years while driving around, and sometimes gave it a listen out of morbid fascination. Pretty much everything I ever heard him say was wrong or at least misguided, though he gained millions of followers all over the world. How wonderful for him to be actually proved wrong so publicly.
And now another end of the world is upon us. According to believers, the Mayans predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012.
In reality, their calendar ended. It had to end. There isn't enough stone in the whole of Guatemala to chisel a calendar that never ends.
Nevertheless, the ignoramuses are coming out in force.
The Chinese government has arrested nearly 100 people for spreading rumors about the Mayan apocalypse. (That nutjob who knifed 23 school-children in China last week was reportedly "influenced" by the doomsday.)
Russians are buying up all the candles, matches, salt and torches to ward off the end somehow.
People all over the world are buying or building bunkers or survival pods.
The reason I love the end of the world so much is this: People preach stupid, ignorant, emotional, ill-informed nonsense all the time, and you can never convince them otherwise. You can argue, persuade, use logic -- nothing works.
But in this one case, the small-minded, superstitious, anti-science, demon-haunted world believers actually get proved totally and utterly wrong, and even they have to accept it.
So point and laugh at the believers. Make the most of it. The end of the world only happens every few years, on average.
I always look forward to the next apocalypse, and I've been looking forward to the Mayan end of the world for a long time.
I've been talking about my expectation that Apple would release a wristwatch for a long time (see the links below). Now, a new report in The New York Times says the company is doing exactly that. The report said, in part:
"In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations."
(The picture on this post is not the watch -- it's a concept dreamed up by a user.)
Facebook still owns your personal photos and information even after you delete your account.
The truth is that nearly all users have no idea what they're legally agreeing to when they sign up for social networks.
The UK's Telegraph has a nice, super simple summary of some aspects of each network's terms of service.
For example, Facebook's 14,000-word terms of service gives Facebook the legal right to "use your content in any way it sees fit... Facebook can transfer or sub-license its rights over a user’s content to another company or organisation if needed. Facebook’s license does not end upon the deactivation or deletion of a user’s account."
One of the great things about Google is that their goal is to get people to use the Internet more. http://goo.gl/8kV0kJ
A better Internet that I use more is my goal, too — and yours. So there’s an alignment of interests with Google that makes them a user-friendly company, generally speaking.
Google wants people to use the Internet so badly that they are actually digging trenches and laying fiber citywide in multiple cities. They pay the wireless bills for some users in the third world (as long as they’re using Google services). And that’s ultimately why they sell Chromebooks and give away Android.
It’s all about getting people to exchange more bits with the Internet.
However, there’s another project Google could do that would literally enable hundreds of millions of people to “use the Internet more.”
It’s time to kill the ‘Apple doesn’t innovate’ argument.
There’s an argument in the platform wars, and also on Wall Street, that goes something like this: “Apple doesn’t innovate anymore. It moves too slowly, and is being taken over by more nimble, more innovative rivals.”
Any success Apple has is the result of slick marketing, rather than the newest technology. But now, Apple is a laggard and is being overtaken by more nimble companies.
For Apple haters, this argument feels good to make. Unfortunately, it fails the test of fact and reason. Here’s why.
A Japanese company called INAX is working on a $4,500 Bluetooth-enabled INAX Satis model toilet you control with your smartphone.
Their MySatis Android app (and in the future, an iOS app) gives you the power to rise or lower the toilet set or turn on the bidet feature. It even has built-in speakers that play music streamed from your phone.
The toilet is expected to make a big splash when it drops in February, 2013.
The Supreme Court to decide if it's legal for a farmer to buy seeds and plant them.
A farmer named Hugh Bowman bought soybean seeds not from the seed store but from the feed store -- soybeans being sold for feeding to livestock. He planted them.
Most of those feed soybeans were GMOs created by Monsanto. So Monsanto sued Bowman, saying they own the DNA in those soybeans, and therefore can tell farmers like Bowman what to do with the soybeans they buy.
To over-simplify, farmer Bowman's argument is that when he buys something, he should have the right to do whatever he wants with it.
Monsanto's argument is that when Bowman plants seeds developed by Monsanto, he is making an illegal copy of their invention.
The case is headed for the Supreme Court later this month.
UPDATE #1: Supreme court rules in favor of Monsanto. (May 14, 2013)
The Supreme court ruled in the case this week in favor of Monsanto. They agreed with Monsanto's position that their patented GMO seeds are an "invention" and when a farmer plants them they are copying Monsanto's intellectual property and therefor may only do so according Monsanto's contract (which requires that new seeds be purchased for each planting).
They ruled that their decision affects only this case and not other "self-replicating products."
Lifehacker is running a poll, asking "What’s Your Social Network of Choice?"
But they give Facebook and Twitter an unfair advantage: At the bottom are "Like" buttons for Facebook and Twitter. They're giving a tool to virally promote the poll on two of the social networks, but not the others. As a result, Facebook and Twitter have WAY more votes than Linkedin, Pinterest, MySpace and Instagram.
But Google+ is dominating the poll anyway, with (at the time I write this) twice as many votes as Facebook.
That's not enough.
Since Lifehacker decided to favor Facebook and Twitter, let's send them some Google+ love in the form of MASSIVE votes for Google+:
1. Share this post with all your circles.
2. Go here and vote for your social network of choice:
Did the Prism presentation leak at exactly the perfect moment for maximum benefit for the Chinese government, or was that just an amazing coincidence?
Momentum and moral outrage about Chinese government hacking has been building up for years. Finally, this weekend, President Obama was scheduled to call China's new President President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) out on the carpet, take him to the woodshed and do other cliches to him about China's intense hacking.
But after years of being kept secret, facts about the Prism program leaked just days before Obama was going to lecture Xi on hacking, which resulted in domestic US outrage over Prismgate reaching a crescendo just as the leaders met.
Whenever China is accused of hacking, they always deny it, and follow the denial up with the charge that the US is the world's biggest hacker.
Everybody assumes that China knew about Prism (one benefit of all that hacking). If they didn't leak it in order to undermine Obama's moral authority and political juice, why didn't they? It all turned out beautifully for China.
The error on Obama's part was to emphasize hacking, rather than IP theft. On the accusation of government hacking to steal trade secrets, the US does have the moral high ground. But on the area of "hacking"? Forget it. The US government probably IS the world's biggest hacker.
UPDATE #1: The "whistleblower" who uncovered all this fled to China, and says he expects to never return.
Saudi Arabia may stop beheading because it's barbaric and medieval because of a swordsmen shortage.
A report on Ahram Online, which of course may be (Ahram!) misleading, a Saudi Arabian government committee may recommend switching from beheading criminals (who rape, kill or think for themselves) to instead killing them by firing squad.
In a statement, the committee reportedly said: "This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents; the aim is to avoid interruption of the regularly-taken security arrangements."
Why are US media ignoring GMO mosquitos in Florida?
Officials in Florida intend to release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes as soon as they get permission from the federal government. The mosquitoes are (literally) designed to reduce dengue fever in Key West.
The mosquitos have been engineered by the British company Oxitec to pass along a birth defect that kills their offspring before they can reproduce, thus reducing mosquito populations.
The initiative carries all the normal controversy over GMO anything -- some fearing ignorant meddling with nature and the unintended consequences that could result, and others believing that genetic modification is better than, in this case, the horrible consequences of dengue fever.
What's interesting to me is that the story is being covered heavily by media in Canada, India, Russia, the UK and elsewhere, but coverage is practically non-existant in the US press, except for the New York Times, a couple of Florida papers and a smattering of natural-foods hippy blogs and rags.
Do you eat at your desk? (Oh, shut up -- you know you do!) If so, maybe you need Dutch designer Hella Jongerius' keyboard concept, which has a plate right in the middle where your face is as you hunch over your keyboard and eat junk food.
Another columnist agrees: Copying Apple has really paid off for Samsung.
+Alexis C. Madrigal, writing for +The Atlantic, points out that Samsung's total fine for copying Apple -- $888 million -- is lunch money compared to the billions they made with those infringing products.
He points out that until Samsung released iPhone copycat phones in 2010, the company basically had no smartphone business at all.
This is part of the point I made in my Saturday +Cult of Mac column. Yes, they infringed. But it was totally worth it.
Should President Obama be removed from office over Prism?
It's a pretty simple question.
Each president puts his hand on the bible at inauguration and swears that he will "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
The 4th Amendment to the Constitution says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The constant data mining of American citizens' information on Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Apple and other sites has become "the most prolific contributor" to President Obama's daily intelligence report.
So Obama is helping himself to your personal emails, locations, relationships and more.
Is this a violation of the Constitution and a direct failure of the president to uphold his oath of office? If not, why not?
I'm a huge fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series, and have read every story several times. As a result of my fandom, I've found the old black-and-white movies boring as f**k, and have a reaction of generalized nausea for Guy Richie's hideous kung fu fantasy supposedly related in some way to the Sherlock Holmes stories.
As both a geek and a Holmes fan, I enjoyed the BBC series (of which far too few episodes were produced) staring the annoying but vaguely appealing Benedict Cumberbatch set in modern-day London.
But the CBS version of Sherlock Holmes, called Elementary, is the best ever, in my opinion. It's based in modern New York City and Watson is a woman played appealingly by Lucy Liu.
Holmes, played brilliantly by Jonny Lee Miller, is a recovering drug addict recently moved from London to New York, who plays the part with an incredible lack of self consciousness. (Note that the original Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict.) They dispense with all the superficial stuff about Sherlock Holmes (the funny hat, the pipe, etc.) but really nail the essential character -- his mind, his personality and his obsessions. The general temperament, attitudes and personalities of the original Holmes and Watson characters are faithfully reproduced in the modern era.
Anyway, I'm really enjoying this show, and am wondering if anyone else is.
Here's my column about why Google+ Communities represents the most highly evolved public communications medium ever devised.
Before, Google+ was a great place for a certain kind of person, but it wasn't for everyone. The feature transforms Google's social network a supremely relevant and friendly place for everyone and anyone to talk about the things they care about. It's a whole new G+ now.
The new Google+ Communities feature is better than you think. Here's why:
What Google+ users know about G+ comments that YouTubers don't. (Yet.)
A popular YouTube user named +boogie2988 posted a rant recently about the new Google+-centric YouTube comments system.
But here's the thing: His complaints make 100% perfect sense to YouTube fans, and zero sense to Google+ fans.
The reason is that YouTube-centric people haven't experienced how well Google+ troll- and spam-filtering works yet.
As an example, I'm personally in about 2.8 million circles and post publicly every day. Yet I encounter maybe one troll a week in my comments. (The spammers are mostly taken care of by user flagging, so I don't see them much.)
This is unimaginable with the old YouTube system.
In fact, this post will get a sh*tload of comments, I will demonstrate the power of Google+ comments by asking you to find the personal attacks, trolling, spamming, novels, ASCII crap and all the rest in the comment thread below this post/comment. Do you see it? No, you don't. That's the power of the Google+ commenting system.
The comment thread you'll see below my post is the quality you can expect in the future after the new system has been in effect over time.
I'm going to address each of the concerns raised in your video, but from the perspective of deep experience with the commenting system you're complaining about.
1. It doesn't matter if people upload books or movie scripts. It has zero effect on anything. These will sink to the bottom and be ignored, and eventually the trolls will stop bothering. (You can do this on Google+, too, but nobody bothers anymore.)
2. Google has been very good at knocking down accounts that quickly pop up for trolling and spamming. This is a non-issue on Google+, and will become a non-issue on YouTube as the system has its effect over time. The culture of ASCII swastikas and penises emerged out of the old YouTube commenting system. I have never, ever seen these on Google+ because the tools and the use of those tools isolates these trolls and renders them completely unable to have an impact.
3. Again, the horrible trollish comments are punished, not promoted in the Google+ system. People will flag and block and vote them down -- again, over time. Your concern is that ugly comments rise to the top -- the opposite will happen over time. Google+ comments is the cure for this problem, not the source. (And you should block every user who does any kind of personal attack -- you'll never see them again.)
4. External links are governed under the same system. Abusers will be flagged, blocked, isolated and eventually their accounts deleted. Again, you don't see this stuff happening much on Google+, and eventually you won't see if on YouTube, either.
You asked Google to "please, please fix this."
What Google+ users know that YouTubers don't is that Google+ comments IS the fix and WILL fix all the things you talked about. The system will burn a scorched earth on the trolls of YouTube, and they will eventually find no quarter, get no attention and have no impact. High-quality commenters will grow in influence. Both these outcomes take time.
YouTube has the MOST spam and trolls. Google+ has the LEAST. It's not because Google+ people are better -- they're not. It's because the commenting system is better.
And here's the irony: YouTube commenting is now even better than Google+ for all these issues. On YouTube, better comments rise to the top and trollish votes can be voted down.
The YouTubers who embrace the new system, and actively block trolls, will eventually find their comments with ZERO TROLLS.
An Apple patent application published today reveals several methods for protecting electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPods and iPads, from falls.
One of them is basically a parachute. When accelerometers in the device sense that it has been dropped, it deploys an airfoil to slow the descent.
The patent application says: "The protective mechanism may activate an air foil to change the aerodynamics of the mobile electronic device. The air foil may help to reduce a velocity of the free-fall of the device by producing a lift force. In this example, the air foil may help to reduce the force of impact as the device hits the surface, as the momentum of the device may be reduced (as the velocity of the fall may be reduced)."
The other method involves a compressed gas jet to flip the phone over like a cat so it doesn't land on its screen.
Is Microsoft 2.0 going to be a kick-ass hardware company?
Microsoft just might be evolving into a killer consumer electronics company.
In the wake of two serial Apple announcements, the rumor mill has become an alien landscape. Instead of the usual chatter about amazing new Apple gadgets, everyone is now talking about even more amazing Microsoft hardware.
Yes, they're rumors. But most of them originate with credible sources or plausible guesstimates.
And these rumors are bolstered by hot hardware products known to be coming soon.
Here's my column about what could, should and probably will be coming soon from Microsoft:
Texas pastor says if congregation members will help pay for his helicopter repairs, God will send them a car.
New Light Church pastor Bishop I.V. Hilliard told Houston, Texas, parishioners that if they each donated $52 each for replacement blades for his helicopter that God would reward the action with car repair or a new car.
How we have systematically bred the nutrition out of our food.
The ancestor of corn had ten times more protein than the corn we eat today. That's just one example.
Over the millennia, farmers have selectively bread food crops for better taste. In the industrial era, we got really efficient at it and bred food that worked best in the industrial food system and contributed to better "food products."
Nutrition took a back seat to all this selective breeding. As a result, our food is nearly devoid of nutrition compared with what our ancestors ate.
It's time to decriminalize nature and legalize food.
A dairy farmer in Wisconsin is facing two and a half years in prison for selling raw milk.
Even the charge is legally false. The "buyers" of the milk were actually part of a "buyer's club" who bought shares in the cows.
But let's be honest: The dairy farmer's crime was offering people an alternative to the massive and politically powerful US dairy industry.
The problem with raw milk production is that it cannot be industrialized. So it's not a product that giant companies can produce at scale. Therefore, they want it to be unsafe and illegal and they press government to make sure that happens.
How dangerous is raw milk? Between 1998 and 2011 there have been two fatalities nationwide. That's being used to justify the jailing of a farmer who sells raw milk to people who know the so-called risks and choose to buy and drink it anyway.
Meanwhile, Harvard researchers say that 25,000 US deaths each year are linked to sodas and other "sugary drinks."
Two deaths in 13 years = prison for selling a dangerous beverage.
25,000 deaths each year = massive subsidy from the government to encourage lower prices and higher consumption.
Raw milk is controversial and people aren't going to agree about it. But that's not what this is about. This is about whether corporations should be able to criminalize food -- any food -- because they don't want competition.
And it's about whether the government for any reason should ban food that people want to eat, weather it's trans fats and Big Gulp sodas in New York (illegal), raw almonds in California (illegal) or raw milk anywhere.
I think the health food people and the junk food people should unite to end food fascism and legalize all food.
Don't you agree?
Hey, US government: The queen of England drinks raw milk. Maybe next time she's on a good will tour of the United States she should be bagged, tagged and shipped off to Guantanamo for her crimes against bovinity!
An immigrant from India, inspired by the movie Lincoln, did some research and discovered that the state of Mississippi never officially ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which bans slavery.
Ranjan Batra, who is an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, went home after seeing the movie and went to the site USConstitution.net. There, he discovered a footnote on ratification of the amendment that said: "Mississippi ratified the amendment in 1995, but because the state never officially notified the US Archivist, the ratification is not official."
It turns out that Mississippi refused to ratify the amendment in the 1860s, then forgot all about it until 1995. When lawmakers in the 1990s realized that the state still hadn't ratified it, they voted to do so. But for reasons unknown, the state never filed their ratification with the federal government, which is the final step in the process.
Now, thanks to Batra, the state of Mississippi has notified the US Archivist, thereby officially banning slavery.
Why I hate Quentin Tarantino's hideous brand of historical revenge fantasy.
Quentin Tarantino's formula for his historically set blood-bath movies, which include Inglourious Basterds and now Django Unchained, is now clear: Ignore actual history. Instead of trying to depict what happened, instead depict what should have happened.
But the worst part is that Tarantino lionizes his absurdly invented heros in a way that craps on the actual heroes of history. The real-life men and women who sacrificed their lives for the greater good of mankind are tossed aside like yesterday's trash.
A new New Yorker piece does a brilliant job at highlighting this odious quality of Tarantino's work.
In the case of Django Unchained, Tarantino sets up his revenge fantasy by fabricating a passive African American response (both slave and free) to the evil institution of slavery, and Tarantino's imagined Django is the one and only active resistance to that institution. In reality, there were many thousands of historically documented acts of sometimes violent, sometimes brilliant, often ultra-heroic acts of brave resistance by African Americans -- the people who in Tarantino's sick re-writing of history are a buch of passive wimps standing on the sidelines.
That's why I think everyone should boycot this horrible movie. It turns real-life heroes into dumb bystanders for the sole purpose of emphasizing Tarantino's juvenile and violent revenge fantasies.
I wonder if the threat of mass starvation might get people to consider organic agriculture.
Bees are being wiped out by a long list of issues. One major issue is pesticides and fungicides, which not only kill bees, but weaken their immune systems and make them vulnerable to various diseases another issue.
Food companies and consumers use these chemicals because they make food cheaper. But now they're on the brink of making food VERY expensive due to shortages.
What will it take for us to reject industrial agriculture? Will the threat of starvation and massively high food prices do it?
Some of my friends in the tech press have got that Google+ fever, and are running wild with it. But others don't get it. They come to Google+, look around and wonder what all the fuss is about.
Most of these friends really like Twitter, or really get Facebook. So by way of analogy, I'd like to share with them (and you) how I view Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Here's the analogy:
Twitter is Penn Station.
If you're using social media for content discovery (and who isn't these days), you will find very little of that content on Twitter itself. Nearly all the content you get from Twitter is through links on Twitter to content posted elsewhere.
In that sense, Twitter is a hub for people coming from one place and headed to some other place.
Yes, there is some content on Twitter, just as there is "content" at Penn Station (restaurants, Madison Square Garden, etc.), but it's lightweight content designed for people in a hurry.
Like Penn Station, Twitter is useful, valuable and necessary, but mostly as a conveyer of minds from one place that isn't Twitter to another place that isn't Twitter.
Facebook is Long Island.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook is a destination or a place to "live." There's massive content there -- all the content some people really need.
Like Long Island, Facebook is a great place to live if you want to spend your time with family and friends.
And like Long Island, Facebook is an island.
It's not a walled garden anymore. There are no physical walls or barriers that prevent people from posting publicly and sharing the links to those individual posts, but hardly anyone does that. Most of the content on Facebook is either personal content for family and friends, or it's Twitter-like links to outside content. Hardly anybody blogs on Facebook, for example.
Facebook is not about Big Ideas. It's about little league games, drinks with friends, backyard barbecues and cultivating relationships with family and old friends.
If you grew up on Long Island, it doesn't matter that the Island doesn't have the best restaurants in the world, the best theater, the best night-clubs or that Long Island isn't the best place in the world to publish something. It's where your peeps are, and that's why you love it.
Google+ is New York City.
Like New York City, Google+ is a huge, beautiful, vibrant, multi-cultural engine of ideas.
New York City is an industrial city, and its main industries are about information and creative content (the stock exchange, book and magazine publishing, fashion, etc.) and in that sense Google+ is analogous.
Like New York City, Google+ is a great destination and a great place to live for people who want to meet interesting new people all the time, create and publish content and be intellectually stimulated.
It's got vibrant theater (YouTube), the very best places to mingle and interact with people (Hangouts), awesome places for curation (Picasa, YouTube and regular posts) and more.
Just as New York City has Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, Google+ has everything that Twitter has. And just as New York exists on the physical Long Island with Brooklyn and Queens, Google+ does the same stuff Facebook does.
If you've lived on Long Island as I did for ten years, you know a lot more people on Long Island than you do in New York City, but that doesn't make it a better place to live, necessarily.
The difference between visiting and living in New York.
Here's the thing: If you're an occasional visitor, a tourist in New York City, spend most of your time in Midtown, take the open-top bus tour, go to the top of the Empire State Building, eat at Original Ray's Pizza and see The Lion King on Broadway, you will not experience New York City and you will have no idea what the place is all about. You won't understand why and how people live there and what they love about it.
You won't understand New York City unless you move there, cultivate a community and actually live and work there.
Like Penn Station, you can understand what Twitter is all about in an hour. Like Long Island, you can understand what Facebook is (if your family and friends live there) in a three-day weekend -- it's about family and friends.
But like New York City, you can't understand Google+ with a casual, occasional and superficial visit.
And if you're a content creator -- writer, photographer, blogger, film-maker, restauranteur, etc. -- hoping to benefit from New York City or Google+ -- you will get no benefit if you visit as a tourist.
But as a resident, the rewards are astronomical in the way of contacts, stimulation, inspiration and opportunities to publish and publicize your work.
In order to "get" Google+, you've got to actually leave Long Island and move to the Big City. (And once you arrive, you've got to leave Penn Station...)
I don't know if these analogies make sense to anyone else, but this is how I view the differences between Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
FoxNews.com accidentally uses a picture of a lesbian wedding for article about 'how to choose a husband.'
Best of all, the article was posted with the headline: "To Be Happy, We Must Admit Women and Men Aren't Equal." The editors failed to notice that the bride and groom in the picture were equally female.
Bottom line: Any of you gals out there looking for advice on "how to choose a husband" might not want to consult FoxNews.com.
If Costco were having a two-for-one sale on a nice Bordeaux, writer and podcaster +John C. Dvorak would be first in line. As both a lover of Bordeaux and a savvy financial guy, he wouldn't dream of saying: "No, I just want one bottle, even though two bottles are the same price."
Yet that's what he does with social networking. And he's not alone. A LOT of people do this. Let me explain.
John's podcast, called +No Agenda, which he does twice a week with Podfather +Adam Curry, often talks about the pros and cons of Google+, as they did on yesterdays' broadcast. In the episode (which had a hilarious segment about Google+, by the way -- listen to the link below starting at 10:30 for the Google+ bit), John expressed his preference for Twitter over Google+.
First of all, John belittled the value of having a verified account -- this from a guy forced to use "TheRealDvorak" rather than JohnCDvorak on Twitter because some troll is using his unverified name on Twitter.
Anyway, not using Google+ because you prefer Twitter is like turning down a free bottle of Bordeaux.
Why? Because by posting your tweets on Google+, then auto-posting on Twitter, gives you both for the price of one.
Personally, I view Twitter as an extension of Google+. I post on G+, and Twitter tweets just happen. I started out doing this to save time. But I got in four months the same follower count on Google+ that it took me four years to get on Twitter.
Here's how to auto-post to Twitter.
Go to ManageFlitter and sign up for a "Pro" account. (It's cheap.) Then, go to the following link and add the URL to your Google+ profile to auto-post to Twitter.
That's it! Now, when you want to send a "tweet," you just do it on Google+. The item is posted here, and also on Twitter.
Of course, if you want to exceed the 140 character limit, or post a video or post a dozen pictures, you can just do that without the fascist, arbitrary requirement to cram your ideas into 140 characters of ASCII.
Links on Twitter go back to the Google+ post where people can have a civilized conversation, rather than the barbaric @ mention gymnastics required on Twitter.
Posting on Twitter and Google+ is identical in terms of effort. The only difference is that posting on Twitter = one bottle of bordeaux and posting on Google+ = two.
It also needs to be said that you get audience MUCH faster on Google+. John has been devoted to Twitter for years, and has a respectable 86k followers.
He's barely posted on Google+, and has already gotten into 25k circles. By posting on Google+ and auto-posting to Twitter, John's G+ following would exceed his Twitter following within a year, driving more traffic to his columns, more listeners to his podcast and -- by the way -- more donations to his listener-supported podcast.
Why would +John C. Dvorak turn down this free bottle of bordeaux? Especially since the second bottle will grow into the only one big enough to matter.
It’s weird and thrilling to have so many “followers,” and to be sandwiched in circle counts between Paris Hilton, who has a couple hundred thousand more circles than I do, and Rihanna, who will probably catch up to me and pass me at some point in the future. (One of the great things about Google+ is that the geeks hold their own against entertainers in popularity.)
But mostly, it’s been an eye-opening adventure for me. Here’s what I learned along the way.
Now that view has been bolstered by a new report by Pfeiffer Consulting, which compares major mobile platforms on user experience elements such as "cognitive load," learning curve, efficiency and others.
Google is in the smartphone business, obviously. But are they in it to win it, or just f**king around?
Sometimes I wonder.
Google is obviously a visionary company with incredible technology and the capacity to build some of the greatest stuff out there.
In fact, Google already has created all the elements of a monster, iPhone-killing super-phone. Yet some invisible, internal company flaw seems to be stopping the company from putting all those elements into an actual phone.
The iPhone-killing elements are scattered all over different phones that Google sells, and some of the elements aren’t in the phones at all.
As a result, Google’s fans are faced with an artificial choice between this feature or that feature — or just giving up and buying either a non-Google Android phone or an iPhone for a more compelling mobile experience.
Here are the four actions Google needs to take to use what it’s got to create the ultimate iPhone killer superphone.
Facebook reportedly plans to launch a direct competitor to Snapchat.
Snapchat is a phone app that lets users send a picture that self-destructs after a few seconds. It can be used for legit purposes, but mostly it's used by teenagers for sending inappropriate pictures -- without getting grounded.
Snapchat is not about sexting. It's about getting away with sexting.
The app is massively popular among high school students and Anthony Weiner types, and Facebook wants a piece of the action. Allegedly.
California's Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of foods made with genetically modified crops, has been defeated.
It's simple: Those in favor of labeling raised $9.2 million. Those against labeling raised $46 million.
That's all it took to get voters (who were in favor of the proposition before the money was spent) to actually choose to not know what's in their food.
On the money side, it was a contest between health food companies and junk food companies. As usual, junk food companies have all the money. They use that money to perpetuate having all the money, in the form of marketing and political action (including lobbying).
They've got US citizens, among the least healthy population in human history and currently suffering from a crushing list of food-related diseases and health problems, to actually subsidize the junk food industry, and now voting to sustain the ignorance about food ingredients.
It's an evil result, and here's why.
GMO foods are controversial. Some are in favor of GMO foods, and believe they aren't bad for the environment or health. Others are against GMOs, and believe they lead to environmental disaster and health problems.
In this vote, those in favor have voted to prevent those against from being able to choose for themselves.
How wearable computing will change everything (even for those not wearing computing!)
Listen, you tech-savvy, trend-resisting cynic you. I want you to stop dismissing wearable computing as a pointless, narcissistic fad.
Wearable computing is not for people too lazy to look at their phones. It’s not a trendy toy for wealthy yuppies. And it’s not about joining +Robert Scoble in the shower.
What you need to know is this: Wearable computing is the next evolution of consumer electronics. And it changes everything for everyone and not just the people actually wearing the computing. (It will even change Apple!)