All Posts Filed in ‘Tech Commentary


Here’s What Facebook Graph Search Looks Like

Several folks have written posts about Facebook’s recently launched Graph Search function that is slowly trickling out to users. Some have even done a really intelligent job of it.

I wont try and best Mr. Battelle here–I make it a point never to argue with people who are smart and correct a the same time.

But I thought folks might like a sneak peek at what Graph Search looks like—so here are a few screenshots I took after they activated it for me this evening.


The Sound of A Business Model Deflating

Earlier this week we witnessed and end to one experiment in video programming, with the sale of Al Gore’s CurrentTV to the Al Jazeera Network. Never one to mince words my boss Eric Hippeau had this to say:

Following an interesting wrap-up by Brian Stelter published today, I too felt compelled to put my thoughts down—though I’m not blessed with Eric’s gift for brevity.


Playing With Live Ammo-I Just Added a Feature to Wikipedia

At a recent meeting of the Product Design Guild, a shadowy organization of designers and developers in Silicon Valley (for which I’m the journalist-in-residence), I made a change to Wikipedia, but not as an Editor.

I was talking about making Wikipedia more accessible, and spreading the act of editing the web’s biggest knowledge repository to the larger web. It is a problem that contributes to the falloff of editors that Wikipedia is experiencing. \

I asked a simple question.

Can I currently share a fed of my edits to Wikipedia, and autopublish them to another source, via RSS or via an API call.

The answer I got was, no… not right now.

But, I was just congratulated on having made a real change to the way wikipedia works across the entire world. Now, or, rather, a week from now, all wikipedia editors will be able to use an RSS feed of their edits, to share them with the world.

Did you change spelling? Do you frequently author articles on Latin American History? Now you can share them automatically. I’m gonna plug mine into Tumblr or Posterous.


Twitter 101 for Journalists- Cheat Sheet

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Tweeting Guidelines

    1. Confirm you are tweeting from the correct account.

    2. Keep it to < 120 characters 3. Get others’ @usernames to mention in tweets. Ask for their “twitter name” or “twitter handle.” 4. Lead with the important info. 5. Finish with only one correct #hashtag 6. When tweeting from a shared account, finish the tweet with your initials, like this... ^DM (after the #hashtag.)


    1. The audience is different for each account.

    2. Add value by tweeting the fun bits that wont be covered elsewhere.

    3. If you make a factual mistake, just tweet again with a correction. (The twitterverse loves honesty)

    4. If you begin a tweet with an @username, only followers of you and that person will see it. To hit all your followers, instead tweet “.@username says….”

    5. Retain your own voice.


Also check out Twitter for iPhone in 5 Minutes.


Video: News From The Gulf- Planned, Shot, Edited and Filed from the iPhone 4

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Planned, shot, edited and filed all from the iPhone 4- my report from the gulf coast early in the week most experts predict the oil from the BP spill will begin to come ashore.

I’m currently on a road trip on my way to become an intern at The New York Times somewhere between the tech reporting and social media desks. Predictably, I picked up a new iPhone 4 on release day, with the hopes that the new camera and editing tools would make it a formidable news gathering device.

We traveled from New Orleans to Mobile Bay to speak with people affected by the coming oil. What they said surprised me.

How they are adjusting surprised me even more.


From Hacker News: 2000 iMac vs. 2010 iPhone 4

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Operating System – Mac OS 9.0.4
Processor – 500 MHz PowerPC G3 CPU, 128MB Memory
Graphics – ATI Rage 128 Pro, 8MB of memory (8 million triangles)
Screen – 786K pixels
Data Transfer Speeds – 1.3-12.5 MB/s (DVD-ROM-1/100 Ethernet)
Storage – 30GB Hard Drive
Dimensions – 15.0 x 15.0 x 17.1 inches
Weight – 34.7 pounds

iPhone 4
Operating System – iOS 4.0
Processor – 1 Ghz ARM A4 CPU, 512MB Memory
Graphics – PowerVR SGX 535, uses system memory (28 million triangles)
Screen – 614K pixels
Data Transfer Speeds – .04-20MB/s (3G-WiFi)
Storage – 32GB Flash Drive
Dimensions – 4.5 x 2.31 x .31 inches
Weight – 4.8 ounces

What will the device be like in 2020?


Facebook Moving to Answer the Quora Question

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Facebook is beta testing a product in the same space that so many giants have attacked and fallen short. The curated question-answer service has stumped the biggest of bigs. Has it been about social scale all along?

I just clicked on an innocent looking Facebook ad asking for beta testers. What followed was a page explaining how Facebook was launching a new product that involves getting users to ask and answer questions that will be published to Facebook as a whole.


Pigs Fly and I write a Post About Hanson. Sort of.

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So here goes nothin’. Boy band of my early youth Hanson has just released a new single. Why is it interesting? Well, aside from being kind of catchy, it’s an homage to one of my favorite pulp movie scenes of all time. On top of that, for my camera buffs out there, the creative director and DP of the shoot, Paul Lawson, did the whole thing on a Canon 7D with some vintage Nikon glass. Here’s a quote from Paul, courtesy of Phillip Bloom. Bonus points if you can figure out who is playing the tambourine in the video. It took me a couple times.