Archive for the ‘Companies’ Category

With great power comes great responsibility

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Recently twitter deactivated accounts of Kanye West imposters. Whether this is alright or not is a tricky question. Is impersonation ok if it is satirical? Clearly yes, but usually the impersonation is transparent. But where to draw the line?

If someone impersonated you, should Twitter deactivate the impostor? If you think this is the case, then do you think it’s feasible/scalable for Twitter to do so? If not, then should they react differently to impostor deactivation requests from a public persona than from a regular user?

You can easily argue that services like Twitter are becoming increasingly integral to our socio-cultural fabric. As government simply can’t keep pace with innovation, we can’t count on traditional regulatory bodies to ensure balance - so what do we do? Simply trust their word, “don’t be evil?”

Similar examples abound - like Facebook founder’s sister flaunting the idea of removing the public page of a club she disagreed with.

Twitter search adds expansion of tinied URLs

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Since Twitter enforces a 140 character limit, long URLs are often shortened using any of many “tiny url providers” (TinyURL, tr.im, shorl…)

The problem with the tiny url’s is that you can’t see where they lead from looking at the address. A number of services have emerged to solve this problem, such asĀ untiny and the Ubiquity command.

However, these are solutions are really just workarounds to a central of Twitter’s - and Twitter is stepping up to address it!

I just noticed that in Twitter search, they append an “expand link” right after tiny url’s. I would expect them to either add this option around their site, or optionally auto-expand tiny urls for you.

Screenshots:

After clicking the expand link:

Nice work Twitter!

Coghead recomends you do not initiate new projects on their platform

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Effective immediately, the Coghead service and the license agreement to which customers agreed when they registered for the service are terminated

[…]

Customers should download their data that is available through my.coghead.com before 3:00 p.m. Pacific time on April 30th. However, Customers should not attempt to copy, modify, reproduce or reverse engineer any portion of the software that is part of, or used in the delivery of, the service. Customers will not be charged for their use of the service through April 30th. In light of the foregoing, we strongly recommend that customers limit their work on existing projects and refrain from initiating new projects and application rollouts.

Were I to work on an up-and-coming tech project, I would follow Coghead’s advice.

Facebook Stalker List Mystery - My Guess

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

What?
My guess on what’s behind the mystery Facebook Stalker list that shows up when you hit “.” (period) in the friend search box. (see http://gawker.com/390004/a-facebook-oddity).

How?
The search box detects key strokes in order to give you a list of friends you might be looking for. There are two ingredients that goes into making that list:

  1. The letters you’ve typed
  2. A facebook preference algorithm that determines who you’re most likely to be looking for

Why?
The search box responds not only to periods, but also hyphens and quotes (-, and ). When you type one of these characters, the search box tries to determine who you are looking for, but has only the second ingredient to go on. Thus it simply picks a selection of 5 people that you are highly connected with, by whatever metrics Facebook use to determine connectedness.