Author Archives: Brad Merrill

Use Twitter To Discuss Torrents

Twitter is torrent-friendly thanks to BitTorrent’s Torrent Tweet, an app you can add to torrent client uTorrent to organize Twitter discussions about individual torrents.  With this app, individual torrent files are given hashtags that can be searched on Twitter, like this one.

BitTorrent VP Simon Morris said:

The point of Torrent Tweet is to adapt the powerful referencing system built into BitTorrent to the incredible social interaction engine that Twitter has built such that people can have conversations about things they are downloading, and they can be sure that they are talking about the same thing.

Morris hopes that other torrent sites will adopt #bt hashtag as well, but how realistic is this idea in the first place?  The torrent scene is the home of a lot of illegal activity.  People in the torrent community do not want to risk being caught by making their actions obvious on Twitter.  Despite the risks, though, torrent discussion on Twitter has no end in sight.  Do a Twitter search for the word “torrent” and you’ll be very surprised by how many people are posting torrent links.

[Not-So-Much Weekly Wrapup] 3D Phones; iPad 2; April Fool’s Day

I’ve been so horrible at keeping up with my “Weekly Wrapup” of tech news.  I guess I could come up with a long excuse about my dog eating my keyboard or something, but I won’t waste my time.  I don’t have a dog anyway.  Now to the news.

  • HTC Evo 3D
  • Apple Releases iPad 2 Ad: “We Believe”
  • Google April Fool’s Day Gags

HTC Evo 3D

Sprint has announced the HTC Evo 3D, the second 3D smartphone in the US.  I personally think 3D is just a gimmick to get people to buy, but this thing comes with some other goo-looking specs as well.

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with HTC Sense
  • Dual-Core 1.2 GHZ CPU
  • 4.3 inch, glasses-free 3D display running at 960×540
  • Three cameras: two 5 megapixel cameras on the back (for 3D stereoscopic images), and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front
  • Weight: 6.0 oz
  • Sprint 4G support
  • Wireless Hotspot service can support up to 8 devices simultaneously

Read the rest of this entry

[Weekly Wrapup] Wanna buy MySpace?; Tweets Hit Techmeme

MySpace Is For Sale

Big news:  MySpace still exists.  No, I’m not kidding.  And they’re for sale.

Parent company News Corp. has admitted that they are considering selling MySpace, just a day after announcing massive layoffs affecting nearly 50% of their staff.  “News Corp. is assessing a number of possibilities including a sale, a merger and a spinout,” spokesperson Rosabel Tao told Bloomberg.  News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million, but the site has been declining dramatically and it has proven unsustainable.  It was one of the first large social networking sites, but it was quickly overtaken by Facebook.  MySpace recently tried to make a comeback by redesigning the site and calling themselves “the leading social entertainment destination powered by the passion of fans.”  MySpace was originally cool because it gave musicians a place to hang out virtually and share music.  The redesign is probably an attempt to recapture that initial appeal.  But their 65 million users simply fail to compare to Facebook’s 600 million users.  If News Corp. wants to sell, they need to sell now.

Tweets Hit Techmeme, Blogging Officially Dies

Tech news aggregator Techmeme has announced that tweets can now become headlines or discussion posts on the site.  This is yet another indicator that Twitter is becoming a mainstream source of news and information, which is a big step forward for Twitter as a company.  But could it also be an indicator that blogging is dead?

I sure hope not.  But a blog aggregator full of arbitrary tweets sounds like a recipe for disaster in the blogging community.

Techmeme says tweets are not taking over the site; they are going to be tactfully blended with the other types of headlines:

Since 2007 I’ve been asked about 200 times about whether we would introduce a “Techmeme for tweets,” i.e. a Techmeme made up of just tweets. My answer for this has always remained “no”. Any news site aiming for a certain level of comprehensiveness can’t limit itself in such an arbitrary way. Most of the time, the best headline for a story, and the best link for a story is, well, a story, not 140 characters. But omitting tweets from Techmeme wasn’t the best approach either. We believe a mix of blog posts, articles, and a smattering of tweets (plus other new forms of content), is the best way to distill what’s happening right now in technology. We hope you’ll agree, enjoying Techmeme all the more, and will maybe even contribute something to Techmeme now that it requires only 140 characters.

[Weekly Wrapup] New MySpace; HDTV Deals; Beatles On iTunes

This Week:

  • The New MySpace
  • Best Buy HDTV Deals
  • Apple’s BIG Announcement:  The Beatles Are On iTunes
  • Donate To Wikipedia!

The New MySpace

MySpace has finally rolled out the long-awaited redesign of their website.  Is it good?  Kinda.  Great?  No.  Better?  Definitely.  I did a long piece on United Tech Guys about the positives and negatives, but to sum it up, the negatives outweigh the positives.

MySpace is dropping the “a place for friends” tagline in order to become “the leading entertainment destination that is socially powered by the passions of fans and curators.”  This is an attempt to redefine what MySpace is as a whole, so as not to be the loser in the battle against companies like Facebook and Twitter.  The new design is cleaner and more organized, without a doubt.

The negatives include the backlash on Twitter, the busy and disorganized homepage, the head-start that Facebook has (with 500 million users, compared to MySpace’s 61 million), and quite a bit more.  Also, have you seen the MySpace Logo Video?  Bizarre.  Very bizarre.   Read the rest of this entry

[Weekly Wrapup] Facebook Inbox & Deals; Google Instant Previews & Buzz Settlement

This Week:

  • Facebook’s “Gmail Killer”
  • Google Launches Instant Previews
  • Google Buzz Class Action Settlement
  • Just How Much Will Facebook Deals Cost You?

Facebook’s “Gmail Killer”

We’ve been hearing rumors for a while now about Facebook’s secret “Project Titan,” a fully featured webmail client that we hear is unofficially referred to internally as its “Gmail killer.”  Now we’re hearing that it will be officially unveiled at the event Facebook is holding on Monday.  It is expected that users will be able to acquire their own @facebook.com email addresses.

Facebook has the most popular photos product, the most popular events product, and soon a very popular deals product.  They could easily integrate these (and other Facebook services) seamlessly into their inbox project.  Facebook could also kill Gmail’s new priority feature because they can easily track who you interact with and prioritize emails accordingly.

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