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Twitter Founders Announce New Project – Lift

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Twitter founders – Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Jason Goldmanhave announced their latest project together under The Obvious Corporation. Stone revealed back towards the end of June he was leaving Twitter and pursuing other projects as he relaunched The Obvious Corporation.

We now have a glimpse into what their first project is – Lift.

Lift is an app that is being described as a way to help you achieve your goals through positive reinforcement. After signing up, I received this email:

We’re not ready to let people in yet, but when we are, we’ll make sure you get an early invite.

What is Lift? We’re interested in ways new technology can help unlock human potential, especially through the use of positive reinforcement. That’s all we can tell you right now.

So, since we don’t have a ton to tell you about Lift the product, here’s a little bit about Lift the company:

We’re a small San Francisco-based startup. There are three of us full time, Tony Stubblebine (me), Jon Crosby, and Connor Montgomery. We also have some part-time support from the folks at Obvious. If you want to get in touch with us, I’m probably the best person to reach: tony@lift.do

ReadWriteWeb has a little more information about the project back when it was called Mibbles. I’m glad they changed the name.

When Stone made the announcement about re-launching the company, he made it clear they would align themselves with projects that would make the world a better place. Achieving your personal goals with positive reinforcement sounds like a great place to start.

I’ll let you know the details of this project as I find out more. What do you think of The Obvious Corporation’s first project?

 

Forkly iPhone App Helps You Find Food and Drink You’ll Love

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A new iPhone app has joined the quickly-becoming-crowded space of food apps. It’s called Forkly and it helps you find food and drink you’ll love. Not only does it help you find new restaurants you might like, but once you’re at the restaurant, it will recommend dishes to try as well based on your own personal tastes.

Brady Becker and Martin May, founders of Brightkite, developed the new app. Forkly has actually been talked about for a year, but it’s finally here and made it’s quiet entrance into the world of apps last night.

Some are comparing this new app to another one called Foodspotting, but they say it focuses more on ratings than the actual pictures of the food, like Foodspotting does. After users note how they feel about a certain dish – like, love, okay or not for me  – Forkly creates a taste graph for each individual user, which helps in letting you know about other dishes you might enjoy.

There are many more features to this app for restaurants and bars, brands and even the media and bloggers. For bloggers in particular, you can share your tastes on Facebook and Twitter while you’re out and about. You can also embed tastes into your blog, as well as earn points when people like the tastes you post.

I can see this easily integrating into a personal, food, or travel blog really well.

Check out more of the features here and download the app at the Apple store here.

So tell us foodie and travel bloggers – how can you see yourself using this app on your blog?

Microsoft’s Recruitment Attempt to webOS Developers Receives 1000 Responses

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After Hewlett-Packard announced the death of the TouchPad and webOS phones, Microsoft’s Brandon Watson tweeted a message to webOS developers. Here’s a screenshot of his tweet.

The large response he received was completely unexpected, causing him to make a change in the way he decided to respond to everyone. As of this morning, he has received over 1,000 responses. He tweeted, “Oops…@winrumors runs another article…@engadget too…email flood begins anew for Monday. Closing in on 1K #webOS dev emails”.

WPCentral obtained a copy of the email sent after Watson received around 500 responses.

“First things first. Thank you so much for reaching out to the Windows Phone team to signal your interest in bringing your talents to our platform. To be honest, we didn’t expect this level of response, so we were caught a bit flatfooted. It took a few days (on the weekend) to pull all the mails together into one place to allow me to respond in a smart way and not retype every mail by hand. Consider this a first step in building a relationship with the Windows Phone team. We are psyched to have you aboard and to see what your imagination can do on the Windows Phone canvas.”

Looks like Mr. Watson is quite busy today!

Not only is Microsoft gaining some new webOS devs, but they’re also planning on working with students. In fact, Watson says they are going HUGE with students this year.

I guess the lesson here could be “Be careful what you tweet”!

LinkedIn Launches New Apps for iPhone & Android

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LinkedIn announced the launch of newly redesigned apps today for the iPhone, Android and a brand new HTML5 mobile website. LinkedIn says the new apps are faster, simpler and better. They’re claiming speed improvements from 2 to 10 percent, depending on the feature you are using.

Here’s a look at the areas where they’ve completely re-organized the application:

  • Updates: View updates from your network and top news from LinkedIn Today
  • Inbox: You can view your invitations and messages in one place
  • You: Access your profile, connections, share updates, and even more in the future
  • Groups & More: Browse and interact with your groups, as well as build your network through our People You May Know feature

With the number one request from LinkedIn mobile users being access to Groups, the company has answered. Now, both their iPhone & Android users can access a million LinkedIn Groups and discussions that take place everyday.

Starting today, you can preview the new mobile website by visiting touch.linkedin.com on your iPhone or Android device.

LinkedIn has said they’ll be adding additional features to their mobile apps over the next few months.

Check out this video from LinkedIn featuring the new apps for iPhone and Android.

Have you tried out the new LinkedIn apps yet?

Google Acquires Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion

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Google made a huge announcement this morning. They have come into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, which some are saying is an unusual move for the company.

What’s the reason for the big move on Google’s part? It “will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing”.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, released a statement saying, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

This recent news is heating up both online and offline news sources. What are your thoughts on this purchase made by Google?

ToutApp Comes to the iPhone, Helps with Those Repetitive Emails

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If you’re a blogger, business owner or heck, have a job of any kind then most likely you send a lot of emails. And I bet a majority of those emails say the same thing over and over. If you send emails like pitches and contact information, ToutApp might be just what you’re looking for. Up until now, this app was only browser-based but now it has come to the iPhone.

The browser version allowed you to set up templates for emails you sent out quite regularly. No more copying and pasting! Other features include tracking views and clicks of your emails and scheduling email delivery.

ToutApp for the iPhone is for people on the go. It allows you to quickly follow up on people you meet at conferences, networking events or business meetings. This could come in handy for all of you who are attending BlogWorld L.A. 2011. (You ARE going right?!)

For a list of features, check out the app at the iTunes store here.

Are there any unique ways you follow up with contacts after attending a conference?

 

Rovio’s “Angry Birds” Making Its Way into the Classroom

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What started out as just a seriously addicting game to play on your iPhone and iPod, has turned into a franchise gold mine possibly no one saw coming. I’m talking about Angry Birds. We first saw signs of this when they teamed up with the movie “Rio” and apparently, that was just the beginning.

Brace yourself for Angry Birds movies, toys and yes – educational books.

The Wall Street Journal says we can expect the first product to come out this month; a book entitled “Bad Piggies Egg Recipes”. The title “refers to the game’s porcine thieves, who become targets for an enraged group of birds after stealing their eggs.” For those of you who play the game, you know exactly what they’re referring to.

Next up, books in the classroom for kids ages 4 to their teens. The books embrace the Finnish education system concept, which is kids learn best while playing. One of the books teaches geometry lessons featuring an Angry Bird flying through the air.

Given the fact that there are currently 120 million active Angry Birds players, do you think this franchise has a shot of becoming extremely successful as they branch out into other areas?

London Rioters Spread Messages with Their Blackberrys

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Unfortunately, Londoners who wanted to help with the post-riot clean up weren’t the only ones using social media and technology to spread the word. The rioters themselves sent encrypted messages via BlackBerrys, says the Associated Press.

A woman walks past a damaged supermarket in Ealing, west London, after a night of rioting, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. In London, groups of young people rampaged for a third straight night, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks into early Tuesday. The spreading disorder was an unwelcome warning of the possibility of violence during London’s 2012 Summer Olympics, less than a year away. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

One of the many messages sent said, “If you’re down for making money, we’re about to go hard in east London.” Others sent messages on where to find expensive items to steal – like stereo equipment, designer clothes, alcohol and bicycles.

Why were Blackberrys the message deliverer of choice? Because it’s popular among young people since it’s free and private, unlike social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Also, police can’t immediately trace the messages like they can with other cellphone devices. Rumor has it President Barack Obama uses the same secure system via his Blackberry to communicate.

Blackberry was asked to shut down its messaging service, but given that 45 million use it worldwide, you can see how that would cause problems.

Lawmaker Tom Watson of Birmingham said that police should take note as to how groups are using social media to organize protests. He said, “The messages and organizational messages can be distributed very quickly. I think that should probably have an impact on the way we do future policing.”

Times are changing how we receive our news and deliver it, good or bad. What do you think police and government officials are learning in the wake of the London riots in regards to social media?

 

Facebook Adds New Mobile Security Features

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Facebook announced yesterday two new mobile security features. They realize more people are using mobile devices and want their security tools available everywhere you use Facebook.

Social reporting was rolled out in March, which is a tool that helps you resolve issues with posts, profiles or other content on the site. If users see content they don’t like, you can alert members and Facebook. Let’s say you don’t like a photo of yourself that has been uploaded by someone, you can use social reporting to ask that person to take it down.

Facebook says that almost 70% of the reported photos are taken down by the owner. Over the coming months, they will add social reporting to all mobile devices.

Another security feature is the password reset for times when you forget your Facebook log in information. They are testing different improvements for resetting your password from your mobile phone. As of now, you can choose the email address where you want the reset information sent to and soon they will offer other ways to confirm your identity.

It seems Facebook is doing what they can to make our accounts and personal lives more secure. Have you seen those Facial Recognition ads yet?

Summify Introduces a New, Clean Design

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Summify is a mobile app that creates a daily summary of the most relevant news stories, from all of your social networks, and delivers it you by email, web or mobile. They’ve passed the 2 billion aggregated story mark, so they decided it might be time for a new design.

Their new design is simple, fresh and clean, with more pictures and Instapaper.

Here’s a brief description of some of the features and updates:

  • Profile Picture – visitors can now see who is behind each Summary. The picture is pulled from your Twitter or Facebook account
  • About Me – give people a taste of who you are in a few more words than Twitter. (200 character max) Found underneath your name
  • Accounts – easily view a Summifyer’s social accounts. Found to the right of their bio
  • More Summaries – under each profile picture, you will find buttons to previous and more recent summaries from that user.
  • Your News – headlines and excerpts now appear on top of each story’s image, contributors now appear on the right side of each story, filters have not changed, and share buttons are placed underneath each story, on the right side

The email summary also has a more simple flow and the social bar now includes a “Summary” tab.

For those of you who use Summify, what are your thoughts on the changes?

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