Call you on the Slydial

Tea512 came across a new service that is sweet as it is sneaky. Slydial is a free service helping you get to voicemail without worry that the person will pick up the phone. Thats right, you call another person on the cell phone, straight to voicemail, without ringing the phone. All you do is call (267) SLY-DIAL from any phone, then the phone number you are trying not to get, they play a tiny advertisement, and the Slydial call goes straight to VM. The user can pay a fee if they would not like to hear the ads. Then the person you Slydialed is notified they have a VM, they may even get a missed call, depending on their provider. Slydial says they have over 5,000 users, the project was developed from the need to cut International phone costs, this way calls are picked up as VM and not lengthy live communications at International rates. It may have a business use, but when you are running late, or blowing someone off how cool it is to leave a message on the Slydial, getting yourself out of a prickly situation. This may not work to CYA in the flesh, but it is easier to lie in a VM then to a human, especially since VM cannot talk back.

 

I’ve got a tongue like a razor
A sweet switchblade knife

W. Axl Rose 1987

Who needs the latest stinking Browser?

A study that analyzed the web browser versions seen in visits to Google websites, they show that more than 600 million Internet users do not run the latest version of their browser. This is about only 59.1% use the latest version of their favorite browser. 92 % Firefox users are up to date, compared to 52.5% of Microsoft Internet Explorer users have updated to version 7. Opera users were at 56.1% and only 65.3% of Apple users are running the current version of Safari. So get ready for another add-in as it has been requested that another blinking icon, popup, tray reminder, or a yellow balloon, let the user know the Web browser is out of date and at a risk. This could not be that people may just want to stay on a version that works for them. Maybe the thought of adding another upgrade of software to a machine that is already running slow, is not in their machines best interest. The truth is Adobe Reader used to be 2mb, now it is 30Mb and wants to install a Google toolbar. This is not a browser but it leads into why people will only run O/S updates, as everything seems to come with more bells and whistles then they want. Which in time after times does slow the machine down even more and adds things they do not need? How many times have you seen a machine with a Google toolbar, Google as the search default for IE7 and then a Google taskbar search box? It happens we have seen it, it directly leads to why if it is not broken there is no upgrade, until it breaks, and then you are forced by support to get current.

Always hungry for something
That I haven’t had yet

W. Axl Rose 1987

FaceBook has a New Look

Tea512 reports on they way FaceBook has changed the way their members can converse with each other, as well as share photos and updates. The new design sttarts to appears on Monday July 21, the Wall section is most notably updated, the profile page where you leave comments and photos, adding items is easier as well as report activities like the way minifeed was used. The FaceBook complete turnover to the new design will not be for a couple of weeks. This is an upgrade that was needed as the original use of this system was getting tired and cluttered. People just want to update their profile with an image of last night’s party with a sentence. This new design will allow user to use FaceBook more on the fly. The site also added tabs that are the mainstay of most browsers these days and make for quick moves from page to page. There is also a way to control your feed for what others will see. The feature that should have been removed if FaceBook was serious about user’s privacy rights, is the beacon tracking system. We at Tea512 are in support of capitalism but the tracking of people shopping habits via FaceBook we have always felt as an invasion of privacy and an unintended information grab from their users. We give the new look a thumbs up as it is sleeker and cleaner. This also put the ball back in MySpace court as they are undoubtedly rolling out changes of their own.

 

Honey now youre my best friend
I want to stay together till the very end

W. Axl Rose 1987

Who is checking out your MySpace?

Tea512 is concerned over new use of social network sites in the courtroom. The first and most recent example is Joshua Lipton who has been charged with drunk driving, after his crash caused serious injuries. Then during his trial pictures on a social network site show him at a Halloween party after the crash dressed as a prisoner with a drink in his hand. He was wearing a black and white striped shirt with an orange jumpsuit, the work jailbird was written on it. The prosecutor used the Facebook photos to show he had no remorse, did not learn his lesson, and was partying it up while his victim was still in a hospital bed. The Judge then sentenced Lipton to two years in jail. We saw this same story happen to Lara Buys, as she was sentenced to a couple of years in prison after her fatal drunk driving case. They might have gone with probation until her MySpace page showed her drinking,  and text that was joking about drinking in general. This of course was between the crash and the trial. The last example is Jessica Binkerd also in a fatal drunk driving crash. Her MySpace page showed after the crash, pictures of her drinking, wearing a shirt with a liquor bottle on the front, another with a belt holding plastic shot glasses. When it came to the day of the trial, they were did not see these photos coming. This is disturbing on so many fronts, that these people are so wrapped up in staying in there social circles they have lost site of the bigger picture. When Internet was first introduced people wanted to keep their name and pictures off the Web. This has changed with Face Book and MySpace where not only are people posting incriminating pictures of themselves, places they hang out, and even intimate details of the life experiences.  There has to be some change in the idea, you can just post everything that happens to you out on the world wide web. These pages are forever and visible by all. The new era of the web is changing as it always does. The new reality is not only are your friends checking out your social network pages, so are your parents, enemies, and now even lawyers and police. Careful what you post and what you say as the (social network) room has more people in it then you can imagine.

Keep pushing for the fortune and fame,

You know it’s all a gamble, When it’s just a game

W. Axl Rose 1987

Google / Yahoo vs. Microsoft

Yahoo’s has outsourced a deal with Google the deal on June 12 has Microsoft all up in arms because they failed to by Yahoo for 47.5 billion on May 3, to compete with Google. It is funny when Microsoft say another company having a monopoly is no good, it drives up prices and weeds out competition. It must only be good for Microsoft to do this and nobody else. This will mean Google will have close to 90% of the Internet advertising market. We are not sure what Congress can really do about it, other than scare Google into making campaign contributions. The Joint meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary Committee spent time grilling, Google‘s senior VP of corporate development and chief legal officer David Drummond. Drummond claimed that the proposed deal will make the whole system more efficient, and not make Yahoo just another Google product. Of course, nothing happened, as the congressional representative did not pass any judgment on Tuesday. The only comment that we would like to pass along is by the ever-irrelevant Democratic Senator from New York Charles Schumer who is concerned if the deal is good for everyday Internet Users. This is what is wrong with Congress these lifetime self-appointed know it all that understand nothing. We believe that people like Schumer never have to use the Internet that has paid staff to Google search for them. We say this because the only person that could be hurt by this deal are the people who by advertising on the web. Which have always been you get what you pay for meduim and if you ask too much you will not get it.

YouTube vs. Viacom – Mask or no Mask

YouTube will be allowed to mask the identities of individual users when it turns over the database records to Viacom in the ongoing a $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit. YouTube was ordered to turn over on July 1, 2008, said they will substitute user IDs and Internet addresses, before submitting the database to Viacom as required. This database of the logs will show when each video was played. Viacom is out to prove more copyright-protected videos are viewed then amateur clips. The judge if you remember U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton had originally decided first amendment and privacy concerns were no longer needed. YouTube has the plaintiffs sign agreement that they could change the identifiers with other values, giving them a week to decide what that will be. There is another layer of security, as the data is not publicly released. Plaintiffs will be able to view information under a court-sanctioned confidentiality order. The problem is if a YouTube employees name is masked who knowingly watched a copyright-protected video the claims YouTube is making about not having knowledge of this content will be a smoking gun. So although it appears that the first amendment was saved there still could be an overturn based on who will be masked.

YouTube must give Viacom video logs

Tea512 watches another Internet Privacy vote go unconcerned by a federal judge. Today’s example is Vaicom infringement case against YouTube.  As the video behemoth must fork over who watches their content. The U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton who obviously only concerned in getting his name in the paper then personal freedom. Could there be chance a media giant like Viacom using this list after victory to try to squeeze pennies from the users. Viacom won the ruling because they say it will prove more people are watching copywrited clips then the amateur clips. There is a shock Southpark more times then a cat flushing a toilet. The data just for Viacom lawyers will include username or email addresses and an IP address. This information would be massive; YouTube lawyers claim it could be as much as 12 terabytes of data. This is no small potato lawsuit as Google who owns YouTube is being sued for 1 billion dollars. The problem is the constitutional free-speech rights, and the right to read or view materials anonymously. Viacom of course is saying the information will be used in highly confidential manner. Does this judge think it would be wise to forget the free speech in the constitution or maybe he has a deal in mind to be the new Judge Wapner. This lawsuit is all about money as always as Viacom has recently signed deals to allow content on Comcast, Joost, and Hulu.

Facebook vs. MySpace

Tea512 calls the Facebook vs. MySpace the Internet race of the next two years. This will be a battle royal to see who comes out on top and if both can simultaneously exist. May was the first month since the inception of Facebook in 2004; it had more unique visitors then MySpace. This is significant because the growth of Facebook has outpaced MySpace. These results were reported by ComScore, which is a website traffic monitor. MySpace has become almost a mainstream term so for Facebook to have this kind of success shows the fickleness of the Internet users who have and insatiable desire to be on the next big thing. Facebook has changed greatly since 2004 as all companies with tremendous success must once it becomes even bigger than the original idea. They have had high-level people leave because they were probably in over the head, after Microsoft came in with deep pockets; they were able to higher high priced talent. Mark Zuckerberg is only 23 years old, so he appointing Sheryl Sandberg to be the right hand women, this is an epic hire as she helped develop Goggles advertising business, which went pretty well. There are only estimates of revenue and users because both companies are private. That number is MySpace 110 million and Facebook 80 million so that could be a website score but the dollars and cents are the final score. The question is does MySpace or Facebook want to destroy each other or co-exist. The Internet has seen this go both ways Microsoft destroyed Netscape among other things, but Abode and Macromedia joined together to keep both mediums alive as well as take the best of what each other had to offer. Not sure how this will play out yet and if there is a third person waiting in the wings. The Internet has always been about the next big thing and staying on top is no easy feat. Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL, Netscape, Napster, Altavista, all once were riding high only to be cut out at the legs by a new up and comer.

Future of Laptops a Solid State Drive

Tea512 loves the Asus Eee here me out on this one, seek and return time of a solid-state drive is so much faster then anything you are currently used to, trust me. This will trump memory upgrades and CPU speed, which are the things that drive the speed your computing experience. How quickly the files on your computer are found and opened depend on the speed of your hard drive as well. So although this laptop from Asus is selling for as low as $300.00 it may not make your Internet experiences feel any faster. The fact that we are talking about this specification for a laptop shows you how far we have come. The Asus Eee PC 2G Surf comes standard with a 7″ Screen, 800 MHz Intel Celeron Processor, 512 MB RAM, 2 GB Solid state Hard Drive. There is also a USB port for more hard drive space and SDCard for on the go hard drive space. You now can buy 8GB SDCards so this should be even a better option in the days to follow. The whole thing weighs only two pounds and is very exciting. If you are looking for a low rent laptop, which has incredible upside capability for the price try to find the Asus Eee PC 2G Surf as it also comes in five colors.

Google Saved The Cookout

There was a day when something went wrong, you had to pick up the phone and ask around. You had to track down somebody who knew something about it, and was willing to give you advice. This advice was free or they would do you the service for a fee. Today we have Google. A family cookout on a hot summer night, we did not want the wife to fire up the stove, so we decided to BBQ. We laid out the steak tips, dogs, burgers, and sausages. Then fired up the girl laid the food on top closed the lid and went to get a beer. When we returned to the grill, the lid was not very hot. When it was lifted, it appeared the flame was low and the food barely cooking. The wife asked what was wrong and I told her we had just replaced the propane tank so it could not be out of fuel. She had a monster George Forman type grill so she fired it up assuming we would need to move the food inside, if we wanted to eat by midnight. I walked over to the laptop and opened Google typed the phrase “Gas Grill flame low”, I did not even need to open a page because it said in the brief description, that this was a common problem, as well as the reason. I opened one of the sites, it said this caused by a leak in the line, and to make sure all the connections are tight. I went outside pulled all the meat of the grill, shut it down, loosened all connections, then tightened them, and fired it up. Worked like a charm, high flame and major heat. The cookout then went on as planned. I did not need to call anyone, take the grill for service, pay anyone to visit, cancel the BBQ, or nothing. Where would we be without Google and it has changed the way we live. This was the day Google saved the coockout.