As those of you who’ve followed me on Twitter might recall, I’ve won a Twitter contest held by “Love and Capes” cartoonist Thom Zahler. The prize? A free T-shirt featuring the comic’s stars, plus a drawing of one of the characters (Mark as the Crusader)! Thanks, Mr. Zahler…
Here’s a shot of each:
Despite having bought plenty of comics, this is the first comic artwork I’ve ever owned. I might consider obtaining more in the future; my current apartment decor could use the improvement.
Twitter, owners (since 2011) of the long-standing TweetDeck Twitter client software, has announced it’s shutting down the iOS, Android, and Adobe AIR versions of its client. The mass purge in support platforms is being done so TweetDeck can shift to primarily being a web-based (and Chrome-browser-based) service, though the Mac and Windows clients will continue to be supported (for now…). However, the remaining future versions will no longer have Facebook integration.
Coupled with the recent heavy cutback in support for non-Twitter-approved software tying into Twitter, it all feels rather provincial for such a hugely popular online service. As for the future of web-based TweetDeck, one of its few remaining competitors will probably be HootSuite.
On my Android devices, I switched some time ago to using Twitter’s main app, as it supports in-line photo and conversation thread displaying much better than TweetDeck did. On my Mac Mini, I use the TweetDeck app. As for my Linux Mint laptop, I use Twitter’s website, bookmarked as a pinned tab in Firefox and Chromium.
This year’s Super Bowl was definitely a memorable one for the halftime show (Beyonce), the “night the lights went out in Louisiana” (the power failure), and, I suppose, the game itself.
From a technology point of view, observations about this year’s game:
Twitter usage during this year’s Super Bowl hit an all-time high, with 24.1 million tweets sent. Beyonce, several aspects of the game, and the blackout dominated Twitter-talk.
Meanwhile, Twitter has come to dominate “second screen” usage during the Super Bowl (“second screen” referring to the usage of tablets or smartphones while watching TV), according to the Marketing Land marketing blog. The blog cites that the vast majority of advertisers referred to Twitter hashtags during the game, while Facebook only got a few mentions. Meanwhile, Google+ was completely shut out.
Viewers still prefer watching the big game on their TV sets, as according to The Next Web, only 3% of (I assume US) Internet traffic was taken up by CBS’ streaming feed of the game. Meanwhile, Internet traffic in the US dipped 15% below normal during the game itself.
Mashable notes this is the ad Blackberry should’ve aired during the Super Bowl instead of that “weird stuff happens to some guy using the new Blackberry phone” ad they did air. Of course, they’d want to Americanize the pronunciations in the voiceover (“Zee-10″ instead of “Zed-10″)…
Speaking of commercials, the tech-related ad I enjoyed the most was the Samsung ad with Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd. The worst ad, as usual, was GoDaddy (which I won’t be linking to) and its usual awful ad-du-jour.
And that wraps up this year’s Super Bowl. I’ll assume we’ll be seeing more of the same as above for next year’s game.
On another note, I’d like to state CBS’ telecast of this game was somewhat more pleasant than NBC’s, especially in not rushing to cut away at the end to promote some awful reality show like NBC did last year. (The post-game show this year was “Elementary”.) Some of that might stem from CBS’ fairly old-fashioned nature compared to the other broadcast networks—some of their sports anchors’ blazers still sport on the front the “CBS Sports” logo. Such fashions have long since fallen out of disuse by other networks. Of course, Fox will be airing next year’s Super Bowl, so “old-fashioned” (among other things) will be out the window…
Lately, the app I’ve been using for posting to Twitter from my smartphone is TweetDeck. TweetDeck was originally developed as an independent app, before being bought last year by Twitter. I started using TweetDeck after wanting an alternative to Seesmic.
TweetDeck offers basic functions for using both Twitter and Facebook. For the former, one can retweet tweets, mark various tweets as “favorites,” and upload photos taken (with a choice of photo hosts, YFrog or TwitPic). For the Facebook side, one can mark posts as favorites, respond to posts, and share posts.
TweetDeck also displays the above in separate swipable “columns” (swipe the screen left or right to move to the next service), along with (by default) columns for one’s own direct messages (in Twitter) and responses to one’s posts. Columns may be added or deleted (say, a column for displaying results for specific search terms).
TweetDeck works reasonably well, though on my smartphone (admittedly a low-end model LG Optimus model), deleting text when editing a message feels sluggish. Another flaw is the Facebook function doesn’t indicate whether one’s own posts (viewed in the feed listings) have any responses, unless directly read. There’s also the lack of making available pre-bookmarked search terms from Twitter itself.
No ads are displayed in TweetDeck, presumably as a result of being directly owned by Twitter, versus Seesmic’s recent changes (the free version now features ads).
For an alternative to TweetDeck, Seesmic also works well.
Continuing the series on my favorite WebOS apps, I’ll discuss another app I use on a daily basis: Twee, a Twitter client.
Twee performs all the standard Twitter functionality one would expect from an app:
Display your general timeline of tweets, as well as ones for direct responses or username mentions
Upload pictures (and also video, according to Twee’s website)
Display trendting topics and trending URLs
Search Twitter by keyword for tweets
A choice of light and dark colored themes
Notifications for WebOS
Twee also supports multiple Twitter accounts, and offers an easy way to switch between them. (Go to Twee menu > Switch Accounts)
Twee costs $2.99. There was once a “light,” free version named “Twee Free,” however, as of August 31 it was discontinued due to the recent authorization changes made to Twitter. The Palm App Catalog does offer some other free Twitter clients, however.
Gwibber, the Linux social networking client for Twitter, Facebook, etc. (now included by default in Ubuntu 10.04), has recently failed to load new Twitter timeline updates for my Twitter accounts. For some time, I thought it was due to some sort of flaw in Gwibber itself, causing me to criticize this new central part of Ubuntu as a major flaw. However, it turns out I was mistaken; unknown to me, Gwibber’s problems apparently were caused by Twitter itself changing to a new authentication system, one which seems to have gotten some criticism (including by Gwibber’s own creator).
As for Gwibber users, here’s how to update to the latest version, which works with the new authentication. The update will be rolled into the Gwibber version included in next month’s Ubuntu 10.10 release (and presumably some future update for those staying with 10.04). I’m glad to see Gwibber’s working again, though I’m not sure the recommended instructions that I used are what I’d call “user friendly” for less experienced users, as they involved using the Terminal to add the regularly-updated repository to one’s Ubuntu system (to download a newer version of Gwibber from). Of course, aside from waiting for Ubuntu 10.10, Twitter’s website still works perfectly well from within Firefox.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, I’ve given the blog a bit of a makeover, thinking it was time I updated it a bit (from having the same appearance for the past several or more years now). The new Blogger.com template also allows for more text-wrap, thus it should look a bit better depending on the browser width.
The other new feature is that after much consideration, I’ve decided to sign up for Twitter. While I can’t imagine adding to it what I’m doing every waking minute (as parodied in Doonesbury last week), I figure it may help me keep the blog a bit more frequently updated with (brief) thoughts. It also might be useful for things such as posting my thoughts on live events on TV (such as presidential speeches… or “The Amazing Race”, depending on whether high-brow or low-brow). At least it might have more of a use than del.icio.us (not sure I want *all* my bookmarks online for the whole world to see) or StumbleUpon (going to random unpredictable websites… annoying), both which I briefly tried this weekend (before deleting the accounts/uninstalling the Firefox toolbars ASAP).