The Internet is all abuzz with rumors of video coming to Instagram as a competitor to Vine, and that’s cool and all, but it’s the other bit of Facebook news that has my attention. Y’know, the bit where Facebook might launch something that handles RSS feeds.
I was just heartbroken when Google announced it was axing Google Reader and I haven’t found a replacement that I like anywhere near as well, yet. I don’t exactly trust Facebook to get RSS feeds right, but at least it would be part of an ecosystem I use a lot, which was one thing Google Reader had going for it.
What I would like to see is one of these social media networks implementing an easy way to incorporate a site’s RSS feed into your newsfeed. I thought for sure Google would do it with Google+ when they shut down Reader, but so far, not a peep from them that I’ve heard.
I mean, sure, I could follow a lot of these sites on various social networks, but let’s be honest, here. For the majority of sites I follow – news sites, tech and social media blogs, that sort of thing – I couldn’t really care less what other garbage they’re pumping out to their social media platforms. All I want is their written content, neatly aggregated somewhere easily accessible and not bogged down with introductory crap. Just give me your damn stories, people.
If Facebook could offer that, I’d be all over it like white on rice, folks, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
Yesterday, our friend Clay sent James and me a link to Ingress, the augmented reality game. For those of you who haven’t stumbled onto this thing yet, James described it as “Foursquare with space noises.”
You play Ingress on your Android smartphone, and the app is basically Google Maps with an overlay that shows where “portals” are in your area, and lets you collect “exotic matter” (XM) as you wander around town. You collect exotic matter to level up and use special abilities against portals to either protect or attack them.
There are two sides to the game, the Resistance and the Enlightened. The backstory gets more involved as you go along, but so far as we know at the beginning of the game, this XM started kind of appearing/invading the world. So far, it’s not doing anything. The Enlightened think the XM is made of puppies and rainbows and will save the world. The Resistance, not so much.
“I’m not sure which side to pick,” I said last night.
“Which side would you pick if this weren’t bullshit?” Jim said.
“What do you mean? Like, if this were actually happening?”
“Oh, pfft, easy,” I said. “Resistance. This can’t possibly be good.”
“Right? It’s a no-brainer!” James exclaimed. “No good ever comes of superior, mysterious forces that appear out of nowhere.”
Mark our words, Enlightened. This will all end in tentacles, madness and creeping dread.
For those of you who have spent the last few days under a rock, here’s the story:
Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower
The Guardian “broke” a story last Thursday, June 6, that the NSA was basically telling Verizon to give them all of everyone’s phone metadata – who they called, where they called from, how long they spoke, stuff like that. On the same day, the Washington Post “broke” basically the same story, only they went for the Internet angle.
What both stories boiled down to is that the NSA was scooping up all of everyone’s phone and Internet data, possibly illegally and certainly without telling anyone, and then sharing it with at least one foreign government, IE, British intelligence agencies. Read more >>
The recent NSA/PRISM/Verizon phone records news inspired me to put together this timeline of articles. I’ve tried to weed out the real tin foil hat-type stuff, but if you find suspect stories/sources in the links below, or stories that have since been debunked, please comment and let me know. You should also check out the EFF’s timeline.
Great article at TechDirt, here: The Aftermath Of Napster: Letting Incumbents Veto Innovation Slows Down Innovation Drastically.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
I talk about the nature of innovation — and how it involves an awful lot of trial and error to get it right. The more trials, the faster what works becomes clear, and the faster improvement you get. But the industry’s early success against Napster made that nearly impossible, and massively slowed down innovation in the sector. Yes, a few players kept trying, but it developed much more slowly than other internet-related industries.
It’s very much worth a moment of your time to read – and also, be sure to click through the links. There’s some other good articles there about the results of the RIAA’s (and by insinuation, the MPAA and similar associations) policies.
Having the RIAA and similar clubs around is kind of like being in the same room with a really crabby silverback gorilla, when it comes to web innovation. Every time you look at it, the gorilla gets all pissy and chest-poundy. Every time you look at music, video, and other media on the web, the RIAA and their ilk get all pissy and sue-happy. After a couple of tries, you stop looking at the gorilla, and you stop trying to do cool new things with content on the Internet.