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YouTube’s First Video Uploaded Five Years Ago Today

April 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Although YouTube’s birthday is officially February 14, 2005, the first video was actually uploaded to the site exactly five years ago, on April 23, 2005.

The video is titled “Me at the zoo.” It was shot by Yakov Lapitsky and it’s only 19 seconds long, showing one of YouTube’s founders, Jawed Karim, at the San Diego Zoo.

The video doesn’t look like much, but it sparked a revolution. By July 2006, more than 65,000 videos were uploaded to the site every day. In October that same year Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion — a reminder of how fast things move in the age of the Internet.

Check out YouTube’s first video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNQXAC9IVRw

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Foursquare Race to Check In at the North Pole

April 16, 2010 2 comments

Fifteen-year-old Parker Liautaud and 44-year old David Newman are racing to be the first to check in at the North Pole via popular location-based service Foursquare

Liautaud and Newman are leveraging recent hype around the platform to drive attention to pressing environmental issues in the Arctic region. Foursquare, in turn, has created a special Last Degree Badge (see above) for the mission, which is expected to conclude over the weekend.

Parker Liautaud was the first to announce his expedition, which began on April 3. Liautaud is a California native and a student at Eton College, an elite boarding school in the UK. If he succeeds in his mission, he will not only be the first to unlock the Last Degree Badge, he will also be one of the youngest people to ever ski to the Last Degree of the North Pole — period. General Electric is sponsoring Parker’s expedition as part of the company’s ecomagination initiative.

Liautaud has used several social media channels to get the word out about his journey. He has set up a Facebook Page, The Last Degree, where fans can sign a virtual petition, guess Liautaud’s arrival time at the North Pole and submit video pledges to reduce carbon footprint. Liautaud is also posting updates to his Twitter account, YouTube channel and Flickr photostream.

His competitor, David Newman, is CEO of the largest motorcycle insurance company in the United Kingdom, Carole Nash. He has tethered a smartphone to a satellite phone to make sure he’ll be able to check in to Foursquare when he reaches the North Pole. Like Liataud, Newman has also set up a website, Flickr photostream and Twitter account to keep followers abreast of his whereabouts.

Unlike Liataud, however, Nash is walking to the Last Degree, rather than skiing. Newman is self-sponsored and is raising money on behalf of Riders for Health, a charity that provides motorcycle transportation for health workers in Africa, and a brain injury treatment center.

But who will be the first to complete the 60-mile trek from Stormy Barneo to the North Pole? It’s hard to say. Liataud, who is expected to arrive either tomorrow or the day after, tweeted at about 10 a.m. EST: “We’ve been drifting backwards at a ridiculous pace. At this stage we don’t know if we’re going to be able to get there.”
Four hours earlier, Newman tweeted that he had just arrived in Stormy Barneo.

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Is FarmVille worth your job?

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shirli

Are you ready? A councilman in Bulgaria was recently fired for playing FarmVille while on the job, actually while debating their 2010 budget.

According to FOX 61 in Tennessee, the councilman – Dimitar Kerin – defended his game play by pointing to the fact his colleagues were also playing, so much so that they had reached a higher level than him. Really? Apparently that argument didn’t hold weight with the majority of the counsel though, as Kerin was narrowly voted out by a margin of 20-19.

For those that don’t know, FarmVille is one of the biggest games on Facebook that has a global daily following of tens of millions who log on daily to tend to their virtual farms.

While Dimitar Kerin might be the first FarmVille firing (on record), it points to the broader trend of social media misdeeds leading to problems at work. So, you may want to think twice about rushing into buying more FarmVille virtual currency.

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Has technology gone too far?

March 3, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shirli

I just read about the next trend in touch screens. Want to know what it is, your skin! Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft’s Redmond research lab have developed a working prototype of a system called Skinput that effectively turns your body surface into both screen and input device. Is it just me, or this is scary?

Don’t believe me? Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3XPUdW9Ryg&feature=player_embedded

Skinput makes use of a microchip-sized projector embedded in an armband to beam an image onto a user’s forearm or hand. Can you imagine that? A menu projected in your face? What if someone different than you, lets say a stranger comes up to you and ‘touch’ your menu?. Even tough is one of the most awesome technological advances I’ve seen recently I’m still kind of skeptical to use my body as a touchscreen.

For more details check out: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/cue/publications/HarrisonSkinputCHI2010.pdf

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