My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Tom.
1) Feedly relaunches on mobile platforms
With the impending doom of Google’s Reader service looming ever closer, more people are looking for alternatives. News aggregator service Feedly have jumped at the opportunity, rolling out a brand-spanking new version across mobile platforms. It’s beautifully sleek, with really simple options to include and organise websites in your news feed.
The best thing about it is the fact it is synced with your Google account, so automatically shows your Google Alerts results in your feed. However, with Google Alerts possibly going the same way as Reader, there are calls for Feedly to implement its own alerts system. Luckily there is a forum where users can post questions and recommendations for the site, so it could be something we see in the near future.
2) North Korea’s Twitter hacked
At the height of recent tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world, the group of internet hackers ‘Anonymous’ decided to hack the official North Korea Twitter account. They linked to a picture on Flickr of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un photoshopped to look like a pig. The mock ‘Wanted’ poster gave a $1000 reward for his capture.
This isn’t exactly the forum for political chat, but with plenty of media attention directed towards Anonymous in the past, I’m sure people will raise some concerns about them deliberately vexing an already uneasy dictator.
3) Facebook reveals “Home” service
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed this week a new service, integrating Facebook with the home screen of Android phones. Available on Google Play from April 12 in the US, ‘Home’ will sit snugly on the Android home screen, making Facebook the first thing a user sees as well as live updating on the lock screen of the phone.
Unsurprisingly, concerns about privacy have already been raised. The claim that ‘Home’ will make people the focus of the user rather than apps has prompted criticism. The fact that it is ‘always on’ suggests it could be easily used to mine detailed data about users that would otherwise be difficult to find.
4) The mobile phone’s 40th birthday
April 3 was the 40th birthday of the mobile phone. On that day in 1973, Motorola employee Martin Cooper made a call from a ‘brick’ widely considered to be the first mobile phone call. The device has evolved from being an unwieldy, expensive invention to the central hub of modern everyday life. The smart phone today is almost unrecognisable as a relative of the huge device 40 years ago, but has unarguably revolutionised the way we think, act and socialise. Where will we be in another 40 years?
5) Mark Zuckerberg’s first website discovered
Where most people have embarrassing school photos to deal with, internet billionaires have their first websites. Some internet sleuths have unearthed Mark Zuckerberg’s first Angelfire website, created when he was fifteen. Referring to himself as ‘Slim Shady’, the site boasts a host of features developed by the young Facebook founder, giving a sense of his innovation back then. Not only is it a time capsule into one of the youngest billionaires in the world’s life, it is also a glimpse back to the early days of the internet. Fascinating stuff.