Category: Web News

Nokia Offers Free User Experience Evaluation for Mobile Apps

I received the email below from the Nokia Developer Launchpad team. If you are building an app for either the Series 40, Symbian or MeeGo platforms, Nokia is offering to review your mobile app to help increase the user experience. It looks like there are only 40 reviews available, so you better contact Nokia asap if you want your app reviewed.

Here are the important pieces of the Nokia offer:

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Viddler Waves Good-Bye to Personal Accounts

Viddler, a service that aspired to be a stand-out competitor to other video hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo, announced yesterday that, effective immediately, they are going to stop allowing users to sign up for their free personal accounts. All existing personal users of Viddler will be able to maintain their accounts (for the time being, at least), but all future registrations will have to be premium accounts. Following is the announcement that was sent out to existing personal account holders:

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Google Launches Initial Google+ API

googleGoogle’s latest attempt at social networking, Google+, now has a new first-cut at a developer API. The Google+ Platform blog has info on the release of the new API.

Startup blogger Robert Scoble put together a list of some of the feedback on the new API – it seems the reaction is mixed. RSS creator Dave Winer says Google “doesn’t get it”. Why am I surprised that a company who has a VP, Bradley Horowitz, post on Twitter that he only cares about Twitter users with over 100,000 followers might not fully understand how to promote a new API to developers?

The Google Plus team notes that they are using the follow existing standards and best practices where they can:

  • Our API methods are RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON responses.
  • Our payload formats use standard syntax (e.g. PoCo for people info, ActivityStrea.ms for activities).
  • We use OAuth 2 for secure trusted access to user data.

The Google Plus API is located here if you want to start to play with it.

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Image Manipulation Script Vulnerabilities

Yesterday, Mark Maunder published a blog post making people aware of a vulnerability in the popular PHP image manipulation script TimThumb. Anyone that uses TimThumb should definitely read that article to make sure that the vulnerability gets patched. Almost a year ago, though, I posted (and I was far from the first) about a vulnerability in another extremely popular PHP image manipulation script; phpThumb.

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Yahoo! Updates Mail Terms and Conditions

Unless you’ve been hiding in a bunker all day today, you’ve probably heard that Yahoo! has updated the terms and conditions for using Yahoo! Mail. Apparently Yahoo! will now systematically scan the contents of your mail messages in order to better target the ads they place in your mail. The update apparently includes the following statement:

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Adding a Bit of Workflow to WordPress

As much as I love WordPress, one of the areas it really lacks is workflow. There are three basic statuses for posts (draft, pending review and published), but there’s very little difference between “draft” status and “pending review.” When a post is saved as “Pending for review”, nothing happens automatically. No email messages are dispatched to any of the site’s editors or administrators, no special, obvious flags fly within the admin area, etc. It might as well just be a “draft” for all intents and purposes. The idea behind creating the “pending review” status was to allow editors and administrators to tell the difference between an in-progress draft and a draft that was ready to be published, but that seems to be about it.

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Amazon Fail?

Today, Amazon unleashed a (fame) monster that it seems unable to control. For one day only, Amazon is selling the mp3 version of the new Lady Gaga album (all 14 songs, plus a PDF booklet) for $0.99. The sale seems to have taken the Web by storm, and it’s shown just how fragile Amazon’s download service could be.

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What’s New With HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript?

Angry Birds Beta for ChromeAlthough we are still a ways away from being able to use HTML5 and CSS3 to their full potential, some really neat things are being done with them right now. In case you missed the news last week, a new, Web-based version of the wildly popular game Angry Birds was unveiled. For the most part, that application is built using HTML5 and JavaScript (relying heavily on the new <canvas> element and all of its power).

There was some minor controversy over the game, after it was discovered that it still requires Flash in order to play the game (to produce the sounds and music for the game rather than using HTML5 audio), but there are some potentially valid reasons for that.

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Is Yahoo! Protesting the sale of Delicious?

For a little over two hours, now, Yahoo! Mail has been unavailable to its users (yes, all 8 of us). I saw reports this morning that Flickr (another Yahoo! property) was down intermittently, as well.

Has anyone seen any official reports as to what might be causing the issues? Is Yahoo! under some sort of attack? Are the throngs of people transferring their bookmarks from Delicious bogging down Yahoo!’s servers? Are you experiencing any problems trying to access any of Yahoo!’s other properties?

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Massive Privacy Breach

By now, chances are pretty good that you’ve received at least one e-mail message from some company informing you that your personal data (specifically your e-mail address) has been compromised in some way, as a result of a data breach at Epsilon.

So far, I have only received notification from Target, but I’ve heard reports that data from Amazon, Best Buy, Chase, Citi and many more major corporate entities was compromised.

Apparently, Epsilon is responsible for distributing most of the e-mail communications sent out by many, many different major corporations, so, if you’re signed up on anyone’s e-mail list, chances are pretty good that your e-mail address was harvested from Epsilon. Following is the communique I received from Target today.

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