While Betabeat really liked the Foursquare redesign, there was apparently one feature left on the chopping block that had users in an uproar. The “Nearby Friends” feature, which allows users to see what friends in their general vicinity are doing, was knocked out of the redesign, but today benign overlords of Foursquare announced that they’ve brought it back.
“Rather disgruntled” programmers, rejoice! Apple says it fixed that bug that was causing apps to crash on launch. [AllThingsD]
Jerry Seinfield now has a web series? [Daily Dot]
Facebook tab engagement has declined 53 percent since the introduction of Timeline. Perhaps that’s why Buddy Media was so eager to sell? [Mashable, h/t Nicholas Carlson]
Microsoft researcher: Oops, that whole thing about an Android botnet was just an “educated guess.” [The Verge]
The Singularity is nigh: For the first time ever, scientists have controlled a robot using only their thoughts. [Gizmodo]
Twitter engineer says that today search and discovery are “set to change forever.” Does that mean they’ll actually be good? [The Next Web]
Okay, we confess: We’ve never owned an iPhone and are head-over-heels in love with our Galaxy Nexus. But even the most hardcore of Apple fanboys have to concede that Google’s new Android update, Jelly Bean, looks pretty sweet. Google Now seems like an easy way to seamlessly integrate your phone’s functionality into your every day schedule. Plus, the UI tweaks make the whole Android experience much sleeker and prettier.
Oh, but that’s not all. Jean-Louis Nguyen, a director of biz dev at GOOG, posted a video (to Google+, of course) of the beta version of Jelly Bean responding to over 40 voice commands. The phone gets it right every damn time. Even obscure requests like, “Where is that museum with Egyptian stuff in San Jose?” It’s pretty impressive.
Apple has won an injunction against Samsung, preventing the company from selling its biggest Android tablet. [AllThingsD]
A day in the life of a startup founder: “Shower and then spiritual time. I have a small shrine set up that allows me to focus on the important. I light an incense and gaze up at posters of Tim Ferriss, Kevin Rose and Warren Buffet.” [Hacker News]
Zynga announced a new hub for their online games, which will probably still not do much for their stock. [Wall Street Journal]
Apparently changing your email address to @facebook.com was a “visibility” change, not a privacy change. Welcome to the wonderful world of Facebook semantics! [New York Times]
Surprise! Most of BuzzFeed’s content is just repackaged Reddit posts. [Slate]
In this month’s MIT Technology Review, journalist Farhad Manjoo got a chance to talk with a technology lead for Google’s Project Glass, Thad Starner. An associate professor at the Georgia Institute for Technology, Mr. Starner has been experimenting with wearable technologies since the mid-90s, and was tapped by Google to advise them on issues surrounding Project Glass, the company’s attempt to commercialize computerized glasses.
Ever the skeptical journalist, Mr. Manjoo went into the meeting expecting to find the glasses polarizing and detrimental to social interaction. Also: dorky and vaguely creepy. Instead, Mr. Starner successfully convinced him that Google’s glasses will actually amplify social interaction, stripping it of those awkward phone-checking asides and lulls in conversation when we go to respond to a text. In short, Google glasses could be a socially awkward person’s best friend. Sign us up!
Despite less-than-stellar Lumia sales, Nokia continues to plug valiantly away. Down at the CTIA Wireless convention, the company has just announced several new brand-name Windows Phone apps–some of which will be initially exclusive to the Lumia. But it remains to be seen whether simply improving the app store is enough to catapult the platform to where it needs to be.
Lumia users will soon have the option to download a PGA Tour app, an updated Groupon app, and hubs for both ESPN and AOL Entertainment. Also available across the Windows Phone platform will be Angry Birds, several EA games, Time, and a PayPal app.
Yesterday, we called it. The fact that Pebble the e-paper watch had raised $3.5 million with more than a month to go meant that KickStarter had hit the tipping point, surpassing even Double Fine Adventure’s previous high-score of $3,336,371. Maybe we shoulda waited awhile. Between now and then, Pebble has raised another million and change. The new total is $4,625,453 from 32,120 backers with 30 days to go.
At this rate, Pebble is going to raise $34 million before the jig’s up and Kickstarter should just secede from the Union and start minting their own currency. Maybe cfundrs or crowdsies™ or something.
What Twitter Taught Us
In its first day on the Android platform, Instagram, the massively-popular photo-sharing service that’s already captivated the Steve Jobs set, clocked 1 million downloads. But not everyone is pleased.
As it turns out, Odd Future’s Tyler the Creator, who has 20,685 followers on Instagram and was recently voted the top rapper to follow, is something of an Android-hater. Yesterday, the outspoken 21-year-old tweeted out the following:
Well-known foe of fun and fan of probes Senator Charles Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C.) to examine claims Apple and Android can spy on your application data. The Senator’s request was made public Sunday. In it he referenced recent reports that certain smart phone and tablet applications can look at user photos and upload contacts to Apple and Google servers.
The London (Sunday) Times has claimed–in an article behind its paywall–that Facebook has read texts by users who use the social networking giant’s smart phone apps. Facebook allegedly did this while looking into a message service of its own. The Times also noted that other major Web companies such as Flickr and Yahoo Messenger have accessed similar data.
Facebook, however, has issued a ‘clarification’ in response to a query from Business Insider, stating “There is no reading of user text messages.” The statement then explains why read/write app permissions in the Android version of its application may have given rise to rumors about the company reading messages. Facebook then argues it isn’t exactly working on its own messaging utility: