Social Media

Striiv Fitness Motivating Pedometer Gets Smart, Gets Social

Back in January Judie and I found ourselves in an unplanned competition of sorts. Judie was using the FitBit fitness device and I was using the Striiv Smart Pedometer. The devices could not have been more different. The FitBit was black and the Striiv white. The FitBit clipped to your cloths and has a small LED readout to let you know what was what. The Striiv has a large, touchscreen face reminiscent of a tiny smartphone. The FitBit had a USB dock that, when the device was synced to your computer, tracked your progress and even offered the ability to…


Ashley Judd Eviscerates the Gossip Industry

Gossip can be a very cruel phenomenon. There is reality, and then there is the truth according to viral videos, Facebook, Us Weekly, and the E! Network. Just this past weekend Sarah and I were in the grocery store, and she commented that the headlines screaming from the checkout magazines were just out of control and invasive. Did it really matter whether Kim Kardashian cheated on her (soon to be ex) husband? Do we really need to know the second Prince William and his wife get pregnant? So it makes me very happy to see a different kind of article…


Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion!

Soon after launching the Android version of the ultra-popular social photo sharing site, Instagram has just sold to Facebook for a cool $1 billion! Here are some details from the New York Times: Facebook has acquired Instagram, the popular photo-sharing application, for about $1 billion in cash and stock, the company said Monday. In a Facebook post, the company’s chief, Mark Zuckerberg, said he planned to build Instagram independently from the social network, allowing users to post on other social networks, follow users not on Facebook and opt out of sharing on Facebook. And from Instagram the following statement: When…


Is This the End of Privacy?

Privacy on the Internet is a very slippery idea. We share information voluntarily, through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media. Information gets shared involuntarily through hacking, or by companies tracking our purchases and browsing habits to glean clues about how to make us their ideal customer. But Slate has an article today on a new way to learn about people online that is passive, technologically advanced, and nearly impossible to avoid: eye tracking using front-facing cameras. It sounds like the stuff out of paranoid science fiction, and right now it is. However, as Slate astutely points out, more and…


Draw Something Is an Evil Time-Waster That I Can’t Stop Playing

You would think that with a name like DrawSomething, you would need artistic talent to play. But that is simply not so. All you need to get addicted to this evil, rotten game is one friend who will play you, a sense of humor, and a bit of patience. I first found out about this game last week while I was getting my nails done. Tracy, my nail tech, said she was playing and was addicted. I’d never heard of it, so I downloaded the free version and said I would check it out later. I put it off for a…


Facebook Launches Timeline App Platform: Viddy launches Facebook App at SXSW!

Now that Facebook’s new Timeline feature has rolled out to the general public, companies are looking to find innovative ways to use it to provide services to users. Today at SXSW, Viddy in conjunction with Facebook’s launch of the Timeline App Platform is bringing their popular video app to Facebook. With Viddy for Facebook, users can share video content directly to Facebook, and Viddy videos can now appear on a person’s timeline, News Feed and ticker. As noted in the press release: “Watching videos with friends is inherently social,” said Justin Osofsky, Director of Platform Partnerships at Facebook. Viddy is…


To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Is it Safe for Drivers to Tweet from the Track

A couple of weeks ago during the long and arduous Daytona 500, Brad Keselowski who races in the Sprint Cup racing series for Penske racing caused quite a stir while the cars were parked on the track during a red flag.  He tweeted from the track.  What did he tweet?  Pictures from his vantage point on the track of the aftermath of fellow driver Juan Pablo Montoya’s collision with the jet fuel powered track dryer.


Google + Is Now Almost HALF as Popular as MySpace (Yes, It Still Exists)

Quick – if you want to just blast out how awesome the new Mary Halvorson CD is, where do you go? Most likely to Twitter. And if you want to see what sorts of pictures have emerged from the weekend event your kids attended? Head to Facebook. Once on Twitter you will likely check out a few feeds, click around for a minute or two before exiting. On Facebook, your engagement will turn from seconds to minutes to hours as you check out friends and photos and chat with folks and so on. For many teens and young adults, Facebook…


foursquare: It’s Not All Fun and Games

I’m a big fan of foursquare and check in often enough that family members will remind me if I don’t do it quickly enough. After months with no mayorships, except a brief period I was major of a tram station in Las Vegas during CES 2010, I have finally become the major at a number of our local favorites. This evening we decided to grab a bite at Chili Willie’s, a family-run mexican restaurant in town. (I’m not yet mayor there.) When we sat down Elana was momentarily ticked at herself. It seems she had a $10 off coupon for…


TimeHop Rewinds Your Social Networking Calendar

One thing I like about the Facebook Timeline view (perhaps the only thing) is the ability to hop back in time to see what was going on in 2007. Now TimeHop will help you get a daily dose of short-term nostalgia. TimeHop sends a daily email of the user’s activity on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram, from exactly one year ago. You simply link those accounts and then you start getting a daily update of exactly what was happening the year before! Does that sound interesting to you? If so, head to TimeHop and check it out! Source: Neatorama


Watch What You Post on Facebook!

It’s December. It’s time for snow, family, shopping…and of course, holiday parties and New Year’s celebrations. Plus, if you’re a senior in high school you probably sent off your college applications. Just remember…what goes on Facebook is never really private, so please, from your friends at Gear Diary, think before you post, especially as you celebrate the holiday season! If you’ve just applied to college, your next step after that application goes in the mail is simple: lock down your Facebook page. According to the Huffington Post, admissions officers often check Facebook to find out more about potential students. So…


A Reminder That Our Only Freedoms Are the Ones We Fight For

I doubt that anyone would seriously debate that we have lost significant freedoms in this country over the last decade, though it is generally presented with a caveat that what has changed was needed for enhanced security. Sometimes this is true, other times it is for the appearance of greater security, and other times it is simply an authoritarian power grab. Which is why this story is so awesome! Last week I heard about the high school girl had gone to a ‘Youth in Government’ program event and had tweeted: Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him…


William Shatner Helps You Cope with Being Un-Friended

With the new Facebook Timeline it is possible to discover who has unfriended you, which might cause some distress in general. Add to that last week’s ‘National Unfriend Day’ on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and you add to the possibility of being unfriended. But on a holiday weekend there is even more cause for concern: I got a notice that my high school graduating class is having an informal mini-reunion, and my brother is going to his 30th high school reunion, meaning there are more opportunities than ever to come face to face with someone who has unfriended you. Source: Buzzfeed


No, Facebook is NOT Going to Be Charging for Service!

Last night my son came to me with a message some of his Facebook friends had been circulating. He knew that there was a big Facebook announcement last week, but didn’t know if it involved instituting paid service levels. I told him ‘no’ and thought no more. Until this morning, when a post at the Consumerist told me that this message was much more widespread than a bunch of eighth graders. The image above is from the IT security blog at Sophos, and you can see it refers to ‘this summer’, as this message already got passed around earlier this…


Faceglat – Sadly, It’s Not Something “The Onion” Invented

There are times when the virtual world seems very real. I know that I consider my fellow writers on Gear Diary my friends, even though all of us have not met in person. But there’s a difference between real and virtual friendships, and I recognize the difference. Apparently, for some very orthodox Jews, there is no difference, and that’s what Faceglat is for. Effectively, it’s a Facebook-style website, but it’s gender-separated. Women and men maintain separate Faceglat areas, just as they would in a real-life gathering. On the surface, it’s not that weird, but if you stop and really think…


Facebook for Android Updates Brings Return to Tablets!

One of the annoying things about tablets is lack of support for smartphone apps. For iPad users the ‘1x/2x’ screen doubling for iPhone apps is the bane of their existence, and for Android tablet users they often find that their favorite apps simply aren’t available on the Android Market. Facebook is one of the worst offenders of this – though they ironically have one of their best versions for the now defunct webOS platform! Today brings a fresh update for Facebok for Android solves one of those issues by restoring it to the tablet market for Android devices! AndroidPolice notes…


When Is Facebook Worth More Than Your Job?

Facebook is great in many ways. You can communicate with friends, share pictures, and vent your feelings. But be careful what you say if your rant is about your employer! As more cases appear where people are fired for complaining about work on social media, there’s more precedent for what is and is not ok! Forbes has two scenarios, along with explanations of what has and has not been protected in past legal battles. Scenario one: Pop quiz, hotshot. You’re a manager at a BMW dealership. One day, someone drives one of your luxury cars into a pond. One of…


Gear Games News: EA Launches ‘The Sims Social’ on Facebook!

Are you one of the millions of fans of The Sims franchise? Do you like Facebook games? If so … rejoice, because The Sims Social has arrived! The game will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever played a Sims game: you set up your character, then start doing some basic tasks, and slowly built a life for your Sim including interactions with others. The image below shows the basic starting point for a character. As with the other games in the franchise you have extensive tools to alter your appearance to your liking – or just to match…


Smile, Facebook Is Watching You!

Three requests I encountered this summer: Scenario 1: Parents make a big purchase, and need to specifically instruct their children not to talk about it on Facebook. Scenario 2: A baby is born, and the new parents ask that no one posts pictures of the baby before they do. Scenario 3: A very private couple gets married, and guests are instructed not to tag or add photos on Facebook. What’s the theme here? If you guessed Facebook, you win! In each of these scenarios, it had to be explicitly stated that being present at someone else’s event, or tangentially related…


The Twitter-sphere: None of You Have Any Friends!

I use Twitter, but there are times when I have to wonder if (or why) anyone cares about my random musings and shared links. Of course, my rationale for using Twitter in the first place is that many of my friends are all over the country (if not the world), and this is a great way to keep in touch. Mitchell sent this video to me, and I couldn’t help but laugh; although it was posted in March I hadn’t yet seen it, and I figured that might be the case for some of you, too. Peppered with offensive language…


New Story/Study: iPhone Owning Parents & Social Media

I’m not one of those parents who is totally panicked by the idea of all the kinds of scary things that are made available by new tech like cell phones, social media, and the like.  Yes, there are a lot of scary things kids can access or be sucked into via new technology.  But as a guy who spent his childhood in the late 60s and 70s, it’s not like it was a non-stop, safe party for us, either.   Yup, you can get talked into stuff by strangers over your cell phone, or via Facebook, or Yahoo IM, or…