Blog Archives

Twitter Reverts to Old Format after Server Woes

Disables New Twitter and Trends, shifts servers to a different location

Earlier in the week, Twitter page announced that it was experiencing trouble displaying home timelines. That was followed by a message declaring, “We’ve temporarily disabled #NewTwitter. Our engineers are working on re-enabling it and we’ll update you shortly,” which led to another update minutes later that announced that Twitter was “Temporarily Disabling Trends” as well. Something is terribly wrong in Twitter land then.

Apparently, Twitter was either in the process of introducing or had already launched a new homepage that departed from the “discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world” spin of the current homepage and took on a new avatar that invited users to “follow your interests”. The new interest centric search suggests users to follow categories and will throw up results with accounts dealing with the sought categories, instead of just dishing out account names bearing the search phrase.

However, users were greeted with either the pre-redesign version of Twitter or an error message that said “something is technically wrong” with Twitter and “back to normal soon”. The root of Twitter’s woes can be traced out to an announcement proclaiming that all of its server infrastructure would be moved to a new secret location, which is in Utah by the way. After the teething troubles with the brand new server farms, Twitter has been forced to move most of the same infrastructure back to its facility in Sacramento, California.

It seems the server relocation to the new Utah site hasn’t worked out quite as well as Twitter had intended, which put a spanner in the works of all the new features that had been touted in September last year. Reverting to the old format and axing the new features may have got Twitter working again, but that’s not a healthy sign. Twitter will have to be a lot more circumspect with the load testing and debugging of the new additions, before unleashing them prematurely on unsuspecting users.


Facebook Gets Breakup Notifier App

An app that’ll make Barney Stintson proud

The dating game is cruel, and hot guys and girls don’t stay single for long. It’s a jungle out there and you have to act fast, before someone makes a move. So with a burgeoning friend list populated with hundreds of eligible mates, how do you keep track of potential marks? Developer Dan Loewenherz has found a way to make your life better with the Breakup Notifier App for Facebook.

This nifty little application lets you create a watch list of sorts containing all those who you covet, but aren’t available at the moment. It’s simple how it works; after populating the apps with the objects of your unrequited affection, it monitors their relationship status. As soon as the status changes to single, an alarm goes off in your stalker cave. Well, not exactly, but the app notifies you that your potential mate has just broken up and therefore a great opportunity for you to play the rebound (wo)man.

The good book may tell you not to covet your neighbor’s wife, but the Breakup Notifier app is just the workaround for that rule. So what are you waiting for? Click here to get the app.

Facebook – The face of Egypt’s revolution!!!

An Egyptian father has proudly named his daughter “facebook”. According to Al-Ahram(one of the most popular newspapers in Egypt), he did so in tribute to the role the social media service played in organizing the protests in Tahrir Square and beyond.

Wael Ghonim, “We Are Khaled Said” Facebook page showed up within 5 days of Said’s death in June and served as a hub for dissidence against Egyptian police brutality and anti-government protests until Mubarak’s resignation. Other activist pages like “Tahrir Square” cropped up shortly afterward. There are five million Facebook users in Egypt, more so than any other country in the Middle East/North Africa region. Facebook itself has reported an increase in Egyptian users in the past month, with 32,000 Facebook groups and 14,000 pages created in the two weeks after January 25th .

Facebook has become the umbrella symbol for how social media can spread the message of freedom. There was a graffiti in Cairo that said “Thank you Facebook” as a protest sign and Wael Ghonim himself personally expressed his gratitude to Mark Zuckerberg on CNN.

Twitter’s Blank Page – @anywhereboosh

Twitter is having little trouble in the past days. Many of its users are unwillingly being directed to a page names @anywhereboosh . This is causing enough frustration and complaints are pouring in from across the globe.

Users are being directed to a blank screen and an absurd error message flashes. Although the issue related to the delay in posting tweets was thankfully resolved many are still complaining about being directed to a blank screen. Users have also pointed out that the link for accessing the old twitter and the link for their home page is also being redirected to the blank page.

It was unusually quite in the otherwise fast and noisy blogosphere.

The problem is affecting both the websites and the clients. Some clients are also noticing a cluster of unwanted tweets in bottom of a specific Tweetdeck search. Although the twitter officials say that the problem is being resolved but they are unable to specify a reason. From the looks of it this seems like an ongoing problem.

Twitter Debunks Google-Facebook Takeover Rumours

CEO Dick Costolo questions if Google can afford Twitter; hints towards a new revenue generation model

After a Wall Street Journal report claimed low level talks between Facebook and Google executives about acquisition of Twitter, the Internet saw a great hue and cry about another big corporation assimilating a smaller one. However, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has debunked the rumours. Speaking at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC), he denounced the rumours by stating, “People write that stuff all the time. I don’t know where these things come from, it’s just a rumour.” Costolo punctuated the statement by asking if Google could afford a $10 billion acquisition. Ouch.

Addressing the media at the MWC in Barcelona, Costolo spoke about Twitter s revenue model, claiming that Twitter was making money through the existing means of promoted tweets, accounts and trends. He also mentioned that Twitter will launch a new method of monetising the microblogging website this year; although, no details were provided about the new revenue generation scheme. He dismissed the persistent queries about Twitter s monetisation by stating, “Every time I have an interview I am asked when we’re going to make money. The short answer is we’re already making money.”

Mark Zuckerberg Stalked by Indian Origin Man

Facebook‘s Zuckerberg obtains restraining order against the stalker

In a twist of irony, hunter has become hunted. Mark Zuckerberg is a man frequently vilified for his scant regard for his users’ privacy, but that never stopped anyone from quitting, because Facebook apparently is like crack cocaine for the masses. Zuckerberg is finally at the receiving end of the monstrosity he created. A 31 year old gent of the Indian origin named Pradeep Manukonda has taken fancy to the billionaire and is currently stalking him relentlessly.

U.S. resident Manukonda flooded Mark Zuckerberg with online messages and emails declaring his fondness for the Facebook whiz. The harassment didn’t stop in the online domain; Manukonda also sent a handwritten letter, which read, “Thank you for your valuable time and attention towards my problem. I am indeed very grateful to you. If I get a chance to work with you in the near future it would be my honour. I know I am working with a man of values. Thank you for being a source of inspiration to all of us.

That may sound vague but normal, but Manukonda went psycho on Zuckerberg in one of his numerous Facebook messages to him that read, “I owe my entire life at your service. Please help me, then I am ready to die for you. Please understand my pain.” It got worse with the stalker paying Zuckerberg a visit at the Facebook office in Palo Alto, California; reportedly to ask for money for his family. The last straw was when security spotted Manudoka at Zuckerberg’s residence in Palo Alto on January 24.

Zuckerberg has obtained a restraining order preventing Pradeep Manukonda from coming within 300 yards of him, his sister Randi, and his girlfriend Priscilla Chan. Apparently, Gawker‘s feature on the Facebook founder’s house, which was chock full with photographs, may have proved useful for the stalker to pay him a visit. The legal papers for the restraining orders claimed that the stalker tried to ‘follow, surveil and contact Zuckerberg using language threatening his personal safety’, according to gossip website TMZ. Mark may be safe at the moment, but Pradeep’s persistence may mean that Zuckerberg may not be able to ‘unfriend’ him this easily.

Image courtesy: TMZ

Egypt Government Restores Internet Service

After a week-long shutdown

The anti-government protests against President Hosni Mubarak‘s 30 year regime have spilled onto the Internet. Aware of the journalistic role of social networking websites like Twitter played to bypass the media blackout imposed by the Iranian regime, the Egyptian government had pre-emptively blocked access to Internet throughout the country. Google responded by launching a phone service allowing users without Internet access to leave voice mails on Twitter.

The Internet shutdown served to fuel the rage of the protesters further. The Internet and SMS ban seemed futile considering the fact that the protesters swell to about quarter of a million in the streets of Cairo. In the wake of mounting pressure the Hosni Mubarak regime has resumed Internet connectivity in the country, as confirmed by Hassan Kabbani, chief executive of cellphone-service provider MobiNil. Essential banking websites, ATMs, as well as social networking platforms are accessible throughout Egypt since yesterday noon.

Unlike the unchallenged success of the social networking in its journalistic role, Egypt has evinced how easy it is to pull the plug on the Internet, especially when you have power over the ISP and the Internet backbone through the country. However, gagging the people may seem easy; it does expose the perpetrator to international pressure.

Egypt may have been able to quell the voice of the nation for a week, but shutting the Internet down doesn’t make strategic sense. After all, even with the Internet down, the protestors still found alternate means to mobilise a 250,000 strong crowd on February 1.

Over 50% Voters Don’t Care About Social Networking

Last week, there were rumors about Facebook shutting down on March 15. We thought it would be the right time to ask people what their reaction would be if Facebook were to shut down for real.

opinion poll result

The response we got was quite amazing – a huge 52 percent of people who voted said they “don’t give a damn about Social Networking”, indicating that Facebook shutting down would have no impact on their lives.

Next, 17 percent said they’ll fall back on competitor websites like Orkut or MySpace if FB ceased to exist. Maybe they need to keep a tab on Google’s upcoming Me or Google +1.

Moving on, 13 percent hinted that they’re perpetually stuck in the matrix of the online world, and that Facebook shutting down would actually give them an opportunity to have a real social life again.

Nine percent of voters said they’ll simply follow their peers to whichever social networking site they migrate to. Honestly, that’s how I moved from Orkut to Facebook in the first place. Lastly, another 9 percent hardcore Facebook fans said that it would be the end of their online social life if FB quit on them.

In other news, Facebook has received quite a few accolades for being the most visited website on the Internet last year, not to mention creator Mark Zuckerburg endowed with TIME magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ badge.

British Monarchy All Set To Open Facebook Page

The British Queen has decided to launch her very own page on Facebook.

In what can be seen as growing popularity and influence of Social Networking site Facebook, the British queen intends to launch an official Facebook page.

To be launched on 8th November “The British Monarchy” page will feature the latest Royal news, photographs, videos and speeches from the Royal Family, together with several daily updates about the activities of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Though users cannot “poke” Her majesty or send in friend’s request, they are encouraged to “Like” the page, through which users will be sent updates about the Royal Family through their news feed. Users can also post comments on the page and send the Royal Family messages by writing on the Queen’s Facebook “wall”. In addition to this the Court Circular, the record of the previous day’s official Royal engagements produced by the Royal Household, will also be made available on Facebook for the first time.

%d bloggers like this: