Complete List of Foursquare Badges and How To Unlock Them

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Social Networking

Unlocking Foursquare badges has become a hobby and even an obsession for many of the active Foursquare users. Here is a complete list of Foursquare Badges and how to unlock them.
These badges are unlocked by users, they do not serve a business purpose and are intended to be fun.
Traditional Foursquare Badges
(these are offered from the traditional screen)
NEWBIE BADGE: Awarded for your very first check in
ADVENTURER BADGE: Check in to 10 different venues
EXPLORER BADGE: Check in to 25 different venues
SUPERSTAR BADGE: Check in to 50 different venues
BENDER BADGE: Check in 4 nights in a row
CRUNKED BADGE: Check in 4 times in one night
LOCAL BADGE: Check in to the same place 3x in the same week
SUPER USER BADGE: Check in 30 times in the same month
PLAYER PLEASE! BADGE: Check in with 3 members of the opposite sex (Nice work btw)
SCHOOL NIGHT BADGE: Check in after 3am on a school night
FAR FAR AWAY BADGE: Check in in outside the New York City “boundaries” (other cities also apply)
BROOKLYN 4 LIFE BADGE: Check in 25+ times in Brooklyn, New York
PHOTOGENIC BADGE: Check in 3 times with a venue that’s been tagged having a “photobooth”
SOCIALITE BADGE: “Keep this up and you’re going to end up on Valleywag with Julia Allison”
- (looking into how to unlock)
GOSSIP GIRL BADGE: “Check into a venue tagged “Gossip girl” (could be NYC specific)”
DOUCHEBAG BADGE: Unlocked after checking into venues tagged with “douchebag”
ANIMAL HOUSE BADGE: Unlocked after checking-in to venue labeled “Fraternity” and “College”
ZIGGY’S WAGON BADGE: Check in with 3 food trucks
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ BADGE: Check in to 3 venues tagged “karaoke” in a month
GYM RAT BADGE: Check in to a gym 10 times in 30 days
OVERSHARE BADGE: Check in +10 times in a span of 12 hours
TRAINSPOTTER BADGE: Check in with the San Fransisco BART 10 times
JETSETTER BADGE: Check in to 5 different airports
16 CANDLES BADGE: Send 5 different birthday shout outs
ZOETROPE BADGE: Have 10 movie theater check ins (can be same theater)
PIZZAIOLO BADGE: Check in to 20 different pizza places
JOBS BADGE: Check in to 3 Apple Stores
WARHOL BADGE: Check in to 10 different venues that have been tagged “gallery”
BABYSITTER BADGE: Check in to 10 playgrounds
SWARM BADGE: Check in a venue with 50+ people have also checked in at the same time
SUPER MAYOR BADGE: Be the current Mayor of 10 venues
I’M ON A BOAT! BADGE: Check in to a venue tagged ‘boat’

How to Secure Your Facebook Account

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, Social Networking

Facebook drew back the curtain Wednesday on new privacy settings designed to keep users’ personal information more secure, but consumer advocates say the social networking site’s update will still leave some information vulnerable.
Because that data remain at risk, users should take caution with the information they post on Facebook, these advocates say.
Parry Aftab, the executive director for Wired Safety, a consumer resource that focuses on online security and privacy, says she has a simple test for gauging which information is Facebook-safe. “Would you put it on a sign in front of your house?” she says. “That’s got to be your measure.” (Wired Safety is one of five groups that sit on Facebook’s unpaid safety advisory board.)
Facebook has come under fire from users since December, when policy changes made more of users’ information open by default, unless they activated controls to keep it private. The outcry picked up in late April when the social networking site began pilot testing an “instant personalization” feature that allowed partner sites visited by a user to pull data from his or her profile and automatically share it with others. (For example, the feature could inform users’ Facebook friends that they had been using the Internet radio station Pandora to listen to Justin Bieber.) To avoid having their information shared, consumers must actively opt out on Facebook and on the partner sites, but they could still unwillingly have their information shared if their friends didn’t opt out, as well. The policy changes spawned user complaints, as well as concern from consumer advocates, Congress and the Federal Trade Commission.
Facebook’s new policy, which it plans to roll out in coming weeks, will provide simpler controls, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call. Among the changes:
• Basic privacy setting controls will be condensed to a single page, reformatted as a chart so that users can easily review who has access to what.
• Once a user chooses who can see a particular type of content — “friends only” for photos, for example, or “friends of friends” for status updates — that choice will apply retroactively and going forward in the case of future policy changes.
• Opt-outs for “instant personalization” and other applications that access a user’s profile will be made easier.
• Users can opt out of sharing information with Facebook platform and third-party apps, even if what’s collected is something consumers have set that “everyone” can access. Apps must also ask permission to access any information a user has set to more private settings.
Although the new policy addresses some of users’ concerns, it doesn’t do enough to protect their information, says Jeffrey Chester, the founder and executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, an advocacy group focused on digital media.
“It does not bode well for protecting privacy on Facebook in the future,” he says. Of particular concern: Facebook’s desire to share user data with advertisers to better target the ads that appear on pages. Policy changes have weakened users’ ability to opt out as that business grows, Chester says.
A Facebook spokesman says the site doesn’t sell currently user data to advertisers or anyone else and that the company’s revenues are not tied to how open its users are with their information.
Here’s how to navigate the new settings and keep your profile secure:
1) Review Settings
Simpler controls may help most users, but an opt-out system will do little for users who don’t look at those controls, says Paul Stephens, the director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. Unless users say otherwise, everything is shared. Use the “preview my profile tool” on Facebook’s privacy settings pages to see what others can spot. Also consider downloading the free tool at ReclaimPrivacy.org, which flags unsecure settings and offers tips to revise them.
2) Eliminate ‘Everyone’
Users would do well to stop thinking of social networks as somehow cut off from the broader Internet. “People understand that when they tweet [using Twitter.com], that it’s a broadcast to the world,” Aftab says. Anything in Facebook settings that’s available to “everyone” is available publicly in the same fashion, potentially showing up to anyone who clicks on your profile, visits sites such as OpenBook or conducts a search on Google (GOOG, News. “Don’t post it unless you want your parents, the police, predators and your principal [or boss] to see it,” she says.
3) Opt for Security
Facebook’s new policy still allows users to specify restrictions post by post. Opt for a more secure setting and tighten or loosen it further if the situation calls for it, Aftab suggests. For example, users can set photo sharing to “friends only” but then specify that their boss can’t view the newly uploaded pictures from a recent party. On the other hand, they can broaden a job-hunt status update to include “friends of friends,” instead of just people in their immediate circle.
4) Share With Caution
Even information shared with “friends only” could pose a security threat if a friend’s account is hacked or a bug occurs, Stephens says. Seemly innocuous data, such as a birthday, a mother’s maiden name or a favorite pet’s name is enough for hackers and identity thieves to do serious damage. “You’re providing a source of data that might be used by a hacker to access password-restricted sites,” he says.
There’s also the embarrassment factor. In February, a temporary bug resulted in a handful of Facebook users receiving hundreds of private messages meant for others. In early May, another glitch allowed users to view friends’ private chats with other people.

Facebook adjusts privacy controls after complaints

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, Social Networking

In Facebook’s vision of the Web, you would no longer be alone and anonymous. Sites would reflect your tastes and interests — as you expressed them on the social network — and you wouldn’t have to fish around for news and songs that interest you.
Standing in the way is growing concern about privacy from Facebook users — most recently complaints that the site forced them to share personal details with the rest of the online world or have them removed from Facebook profiles altogether.
Facebook responded to the backlash Wednesday by announcing it is simplifying its privacy controls and applying them retroactively, so users can protect the status updates and photos they have posted in the past.
“A lot of people are upset with us,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged at a news conference at Facebook’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.
The changes came after Facebook rolled out a slew of new features in April that spread its reach to the broader Web. Among them was a program called “instant personalization” that draws information from a person’s profile to customize sites such as the music service Pandora. Some users found it creepy, not cool.
Privacy groups have complained to regulators, and some people threatened to quit the site. Even struggling MySpace jumped in to capitalize on its rival’s bad press by announcing a “new, simpler privacy setting.”
To address complaints its settings were getting too complex, Facebook will now give users the option of applying the same preferences to all their content, so that with one click you can decide whether to share things with just “friends” or with everyone.
For those who found it complicated to prevent outside websites and applications from gaining access to Facebook data, there’s now a way to do so in a couple of clicks.
It’s not clear whether the changes will quell the unease among Facebook users, which has threatened to slow the site’s breakneck evolution from a scrappy college network to an Internet powerhouse with nearly a half-billion people.
“They’ve lost the users’ trust. That’s the problem,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group. “In the earlier days, there was time to regain it. It’s not so clear now. I think it’s getting more serious than making changes and moving on.”
Some of Facebook’s loudest critics offered cautious praise but indicated the young company will need to do more to prove it cares about privacy.
Sen. Charles Schumer called it a “significant first step that Facebook deserves credit for,” but added he’d still prefer that Facebook require users to actively turn on sharing with outside sites, rather than having sharing be the default setting.
For some users, the problem has been that the company has changed its privacy settings so often that keeping up with them became too much. Before Wednesday’s announcement, Craig Mather, a 28-year-old graduate student in Portland, Ore., was already complaining of having to adjust his privacy settings every time Facebook comes up with a new plan.
“It puts us on our guard, where we feel like we are trying to plug a leak,” he said.
For Facebook, being seen as a company people can trust with the personal details of their lives is key. Users will only share information if they have control over who sees it.
“The kernel of what we do is that people want to stay connected and share with those around them,” Zuckerberg said.
Jules Polonetsky, a former AOL executive who now co-chairs the Washington-based Future of Privacy Forum, said the privacy concerns stem from Facebook’s transformation from a place to socialize with friends into the “de-facto identity system for the Web.” It’s a big step. Facebook is no longer just a place to share photos and play “Mafia Wars.” It’s a reflection of who you are online.
Facebook has touted its culture of authenticity from the beginning. It asks users to go by their real names on the site, and it deletes obviously fake profiles.
Zuckerberg described his vision for the Web in April with “an old saying that says when you go to heaven, all of your friends are there and everything is just the way you want it to be.” He challenged software developers, entrepreneurs and others to make “a world that’s that good.”
Facebook’s lifeblood is advertising. It makes money by letting businesses target ads to specific types of users — such as 30-year-old single men living in Brooklyn who are interested in motorcycles and yoga.
Zuckerberg, who turned 26 earlier this month, says his vision is not about the ad dollars. He was 22, he said, when “Yahoo and Viacom and all these companies” were clamoring to buy Facebook, offering $1 billion or more. For a 22-year-old to pass that up might be kind of crazy, he acknowledged, but he said it shows “it’s not about the money.”
Even so, convincing people that sharing more is good for them has at times been an uphill battle. Users revolted against Beacon, a feature that broadcast people’s activities on dozens of outside sites when it launched in 2007. Facebook gave people more control over Beacon before scrapping the program completely as part of a legal settlement.
More recently, Facebook has come under fire for a security glitch that exposed some users’ private chats, and another that revealed users’ information to advertisers in a way they could identify them, going against Facebook’s own terms of service.
For Luke Finsaas, who is 24 and has been using Facebook since college to keep in touch with friends and family in Australia, whether the site’s vision works out in the end is a matter of trust.
“It’s incredibly brilliant but wildly terrifying,” he said. “Google has been around for a while, and we know that they are pretty serious about privacy and protecting us. We know that they’ve got our back. But Facebook has had privacy issues in the past.”
Google Inc. has struggled with its own privacy issues — most recently with its Buzz social media experiment and, particularly in Europe, with sending cameras into cities to take photos for its Street View map feature.
But users feel a deeper connection with Facebook, where they exchange not just messages and 140-character tweets but news of major life events and newborn baby photos. That means privacy concerns are heightened, too.
“Facebook wants to be the social center of the Web, and any social interaction that takes place on the Web they want to be in control of,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a senior analyst at research firm eMarketer. “If its plan succeeds, that could be a big problem. They will have access to too much information.”

Twitter to Launch Twitter Business Center

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Social Networking, Technology, Twitter

It has been confirmed with Twitter that beta testing of its new business features, dubbed the “Twitter Business Center,” has begun.
According to the company, “only a handful of accounts have these features presently,” but it will expand on a gradual business to more accounts. One of the biggest additions: the ability for businesses to accept Twittter direct messages, even from people they don’t follow.
A small group of business users are getting emails from the Twitter team, inviting them to test “the Twitter Toolkit.” This is how the invite email begins:
“Congrats!
Your account has been invited to participate in testing one of Twitter’s newest business-centric features, the Twitter Toolkit. We’ll be rolling it out to you within the next few days (if you don’t have it already) for your business or organization’s Twitter account. To get started, visit your business’ Twitter account settings…

http://twitter.com/settings/account

…and look for the “Business” tab. From there you’ll be directed to fill out some information which will help us verify your business or organization.”
Once businesses clicks the link, they have to activate the business features for their accounts. It then takes them to a page where they fill in information such as business contact info and whether they are a small business, large company, or an individual/group:
Digging into the Features
Once a business activates its account, it is automatically verified. This is important because Twitter Verified Accounts have been limited to individuals thus far. It seems like Twitter has finally decided to expand the Verified Accounts program to brands and organizations.
After activation, four tabs appear: Overview, Business Info, Verification, and Contributors. Overview provides basic information about business accounts and Business Info allows a company to change the information that it submitted during initial registration. The Contributors tab, which we revealed several months ago, gives businesses the ability to add multiple users to a business account so that they can tweet on its behalf.
The tab that interested us the most though was the “Verification” tab. Take a look at the “Preferences” section in this screenshot we obtained of the Verification tab:
Twitter has a new feature for businesses: the ability to accept direct messages from any of its followers, regardless of whether they follow that person or not. This is huge for businesses that perform customer service via Twitter: they can get feedback and deal with private customer issues without having to follow the person back first.
The microblogging startup seems focused on getting more businesses the tools they need to effectively manage their Twitter accounts. There are no details yet as to how much Twitter will charge businesses for these features. For now though, the company is refining and testing its Twitter Toolkit before its eventual public debut.

Learn More: Autoplay embedded videos

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Tutorials, Web Development, WordPress, YouTube

Yes, you can autoplay movies! In the “About This Video” section of the video watch page, we give you the source code to embed the video:

To make it autoplay, just append “&autoplay=1″ after the video ID so it looks like this:

4 Facebook Apps That Add Professionalism to Your Profile

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Networking, Twitter, WordPress

Facebook doesn’t have to be all fun and games. Check out these business-focused applications that give your friends–and potential future employers–a glimpse into your on-the-clock life.
Sure, trivial and time-guzzling Facebook Apps abound (Farmville, anyone?), but—believe it or not— other applications can add a hint of professionalism to your profile. You can include your LinkedIn profile, add your blog feed, include a Twitter tab and more.
Each of these applications requires that you allow it access to your profile. To edit each application’s individual settings, choose “Application Settings” from the “Account” drop-down menu. From here, you can control who is able to see the application from your profile, if you want to bookmark it and whether you give the application permission to publish recent activity to your wall.
You may also choose to add the application to the tabs on your profile for easy access. Note that some applications may not support tabs, and some may automatically add the tab to your profile as part of the setup. To add an app to a tab, click the “+” tab on your profile page’s navigation and select the application.
1. Extended Info.
This application won the 2007 Red Bull Flight Experience award for the most users since the Facebook Platform Launch in May, 2007. Instead of just having you fill out the usual fields such as activities, interests and favorite music, Extended Info lets you think up additional fields for your profile. Add a professional spin to your profile and include fields such as: currently reading, career goals or proudest workplace accomplishment. You can check out a list of the most popular field titles here.
2. My LinkedIn.
To add the My LinkedIn app to your profile, the site asks you to enter your LinkedIn Public Profile URL. You can find this by logging into your LinkedIn account, choosing “view profile” and looking for the URL next to “public profile.” This application does not automatically add a tab to your profile, so follow the directions above to do so.
3. NetworkedBlogs.
NetworkedBlogs lets you do two things: You can search for and add favorite or new blogs to rollout RSS-style stories, or you can import your blog feed to your profile, which lets your blog appear in a Facebook search so others can follow it.
After you allow the application access to your profile, you’ll be asked to select five or more blogs from a list to follow, if you’d like the application to act like an RSS feed. If you only want to feature your blog, just click “next” at the bottom to bypass this step. The next page will list blogs from your Facebook friends; choose to follow some, or click next to continue. The final screen will bring you to NetworkedBlogs’ homepage where you can choose to register your own blog, which will require an additional step to verify it. Follow the steps listed above to add the blog to a tab on your profile.
4. TwitterTab.
The TwitterTab adds your Twitter feed to a tab on your profile and gives you three viewing options: a running list of your tweets, filtering out retweets only or viewing who you follow in a block of icons.
There are a number of other Twitter applications available on Facebook—some let you Tweet from Facebook and include additional features—but many are buggy. TwitterTab appears to have the simplest interface and is easy to set up. This app is free, but for $1.00/year you can upgrade your account to include a custom background.

28 Time-Saving Tricks for Google, Facebook, and More

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, Internet, LinkedIn, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter, YouTube

Save time and money with our favorite secret tricks for Google, Facebook, YouTube, eBay, and several other sites you already use.
Think you know all of the tricks at your favorite Internet sites? Think again.

Even if you’re on Google, Facebook, and YouTube every day, you might not be tapping those sites’ full potential. Read on to speed up your Internet abilities, unlock new features, and find a new favorite tip or two.
Google Gimmicks
Search within a site: Narrow down your search results to a single site. Type (search query) site:(domain); an example would be entering: video card tips site:pcworld.com to find pages only at that location. You can even limit results to within sections of a site, as in this example: twitter site:pcworld.com/businesscenter.
Search for file types: Maybe you want to track down a certain document that’s a PDF. Enter your usual search string plus filetype:pdf to find only those pages. This method also works with PostScript (ps), Office docs (doc, ppt, xls), Rich Text (rtf), Plain Text (txt), and more. You can find a list of searchable file types here.
Exclude results: Include a minus sign to exclude certain results. Suppose you want to find news about Apple unrelated to the iPad. Type Apple -iPad. You can also combine the previous tips, such as Apple -iPad -site:apple.com and Apple -iPad -PDF.
Get local details: Forget manual time conversion; just enter time [city] (as in Time Tokyo) to get the current local time. Or try weather [city] for a forecast. For more local details, try [city] map, movies [city or ZIP code], and [restaurant name or cuisine] [city or ZIP code]. This works for a few other regular search strings, like Weather [city], stock quotes, and more–check out Google’s full list.
Make conversions: Swap units of measure, such as measurements of volume or distance; this works for converting different currencies, too. Try [number and unit] in [new unit] such as 7 inches in cm or 30 Euros in USD.
Bing Bonanza
Find links to files: Find pages that host or lead to certain file types, such as music. Enter [search term] contains:[file type] such as Wilco contains:MP3 to find MP3s from the band Wilco. Try this kind of search with many other file types, such as WMA, PDF, AAC, DOC, and nearly anything else.
Remove the background image: Bing sure is cute, but its big photos can be distracting. Visit http://www.bing.com/?rb=0 for a plain, gray version of the site.
Save searches as RSS feeds: If you want to stay on top of hits to a search query, turn it into an RSS feed. After loading your results, append &format=rss to the end of the new URL, and view it in your favorite RSS reader.
Fix Your Facebook
Hide application notices: Are you sick of Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other Facebook apps cluttering your feed? Mouse over the entry, and click Hide. You’ll block those alerts from your wall.
Invite a list of friends to an event: You don’t have to manually click a bunch of friends to send event invitations. Instead, create a list first. Click Friends in the left column, and use Create a List on top to pick certain friends. When making an event invitation, click the Filter Friends tab to show only the list. Click Select All.
Hide content from certain contacts: Keep your mom and work acquaintances from seeing messages intended for your inner circle. Click the lock privacy icon, and choose Customize.
From there, you can hide the post from specific people, or show it only to your entourage. For more on Facebook’s privacy settings, read “Protect Your Privacy With the New Facebook Settings.”
Cut to the core: The Lite version of Facebook strips away most of the clutter in the main design. It’s great if you’re on a slow Internet connection, browsing on a netbook, or just want to avoid the usual mess.
Browse to lite.facebook.com to give it a try, and click the link at the top of the page to toggle back to the full site.
Twitter Tweaks
Schedule tweets: You can set up a schedule for your Twitter account, so posts can go up while you are asleep, or–heaven forbid–are away from your gadgets.
This way, you’ll be able to tweet across time zones (so your international followers won’t have to scroll all the way down to hear from you, perhaps), and keep your Twitter account active when you need to focus on a project.
Many sites offer this feature, including HootSuite, SocialOomph, and Twuffer. I like Twuffer for its simplicity, although the others have additional features, such as Facebook support.
Get deals by following companies: Some of your favorite companies might post deals to Twitter. You’ll have to sort away businesses that spam followers too often.
If you really want to step up your hustle, make a new Twitter account specifically for landing freebies so the spam won’t get to your real one. Keep it all straight with a twitter client that manages multiple accounts, such as Tweetdeck. Also, check out “How to Win Prizes on Twitter” for more tips.
Learn about current events: Look for your local Happen.in feed, which charts Twitter chatter based on your location.
If a bunch of people in the same area post “bridge out,” Happen.in will repost the details so that you keep on track of regional events and trends. The Twitter Website includes similar functionality in the right-hand column. Adjust those Trending settings to set it for your area.
Expand URLs: Shortened links could send you to a funny YouTube clip, a popular article in the New York Times, or a site designed to riddle your PC with malware. Use a Greasemonkey script (a Firefox add-on) and just hover your mouse over the cryptic URL to see the full version at the bottom of the window.
If you’re in a different browser, try pbtweet or read How to Use Greasemonkey Scripts in IE, Chrome, and Safari for more details.
Texting Tips and Smartphone Secrets
Toggle mobile formatting: Many Websites detect your mobile browser and offer up a mobile version of themselves with bigger fonts and simpler formatting. If a site doesn’t do this automatically, try putting m. or mobile. at the front of the Web address (URL), as in http://mobile.pcworld.com.
If you want to swap a mobile site into its full, PC design, look for a link at the top or bottom of the page.
Get e-mail as texts: You can have email messages sent to your phone as texts, which can be convenient. Maybe your RSS reader can forward content as e-mail, and you want to be alerted to updates in a rarely used feed.
Enter your 10-digit mobile phone number prefix and carrier suffix, such as 2223334444@txt.att.net. Here’s a list of other carriers. Also, read “10 Killer Texting Tricks” for more SMS goodness.
Send text messages from AIM: Your PC can send texts to a mobile phone for free. Within an AIM client, send a text to the number with + and the country code prefix. For example, a San Francisco message might be directed to +14151112222.
eBay and Craigslist
Mind your eBay reserve: Tiptoe through starting prices when auctioning off an item to save money. If you’re pricing something near eBay’s thresholds of $1, $10, $25, $50, and $200, cut back by just a cent to save yourself a little cash, which can add up for high-volume sales.
If you list something at $199.99 for example, eBay charges $1. For a $200 starting price, eBay charges $2. For more information, check out the eBay Fees page.
Spell poorly: If you’re buying hard-to-spell product, try searching for misspelling or common typos (“playstaion”), or enter * as a text wildcard such as “playst*”. (eBay will find hits for one or more additional characters.)
You might stumble over auctions that others haven’t found–which means less bidding competition. If selling, enter a few of those errors into your listing to snare misspelled searches (though probably not in the title–you don’t want to disappear from the correctly-spelled search results).
Search Craigslist with RSS: Keeping an eye out for a free leather couch on Craigslist? Save yourself from searching every 10 minutes by setting up an RSS feed for the search results by entering your search within Craigslist and clicking the RSS button in the lower-right to add it to your RSS reader of choice.
Entertainment Extras: YouTube, Hulu, Flickr, iTunes, and Xbox Live
Download YouTube and Hulu: Watch online videos away from the Internet by downloading them to your PC. The simplest methods usually work best for noncommercial video, such as random YouTube home movies. But at press time, I got StreamTransport to save videos even from Hulu. Play clips back with VLC.
Watch high-quality YouTube: Bump up the resolution in supported clips. Just click the number and arrow in the play bar; it’s likely 360p by default. Pick a higher number for the best quality.
Link straight to part of a YouTube clip: Instead of sending people to the beginning of a clip, you can create a link that plays from a spot in the middle that you choose. Just add #t=[number]m[number]s to the end of the URL, such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf6IQgFxpIA#t=00m11s to begin 11 seconds in.
Initiate console game downloads: Microsoft’s Xbox Live site might seem superfluous on a PC. However, you can queue up downloads and activate purchases through your computer, and when you log in back on the console, they’ll transfer automatically.
Upload to Flickr through e-mail: Instead of manually uploading photos, you can send them through e-mail. This can work well from an old mobile phone to quickly send pictures from a PC. In the Emails & Notifications tab of the Account options, click Create an upload-to-flickr email address to configure the feature.
Search and link to iTunes content in a browser: The iTunes store lives in its own application, but you can access specific apps, songs, searches, or anything else with a URL. To search, try http://itunes.com/[search term] such as http://itunes.com/evernote. If your search comes up with a single result (as in this example), you’ll jump to that page within iTunes. To copy a direct URL to an iTunes store page, right-click an item within iTunes, and choose Copy Link.

Microsoft ‘Project Pink’ slider phones revealed: Kin One and Kin Two

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Facebook, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter, YouTube

Turns out all the leaked photos of Microsoft’s “Project Pink” phones were real. Targeted squarely at young “social” chatters looking to share their every waking moment with the world, the Kin One and Kin Two boast slide-out QWERTY keypads, Zune media players, multi-touch displays, and more social networking tools than you could shake a stick at. No app store, though.
Set for release in the “beginning” of May exclusively on Verizon Wireless (no pricing details or exact release dates yet), the Kin One and Two look like a combination of the T-Mobile’s old Sidekick sliders (which were developed by a company now owned by Microsoft) and Motorola’s new Motoblur service, which pushes an endless stream of Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live, and MySpace updates to Moto’s Android phones.
While the two new Kins run on an OS that’s based on the “same core elements” as Windows Phone 7, they’re not actually Windows Phone 7 handsets; instead, they’re both powered by a custom, pared-down OS that emphasizes social networking, music, and content sharing.
Both Kins are slider phones, but their respective form factors are slightly different. Kin One is shaped more like an oval, with a compact QWERTY keypad, a 5-megapixel camera, an LED flash, and SD video recording; the Kin Two has more of a traditional rectangular shape with a larger keypad and display, an 8MP lens, and full-on 720p video recording.
main event, though, is something called the Kin Loop: a tiled mash-up of status updates from your Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pals (similar to the stream of updates you’d see on Motorola’s Motoblur-enabled phones), contacts, email and SMS alerts, recent photos and videos, you name it.
Sitting at the bottom of the display is a little green dot, called the Kin Spot, that lets you quickly share photos, videos, Web pages, and location info with any of your contacts; basically, you just tap and drag the content you want to share onto the Spot, then tap again to choose one or more contacts, or just tap to share with all your Facebook, Twitter, and/or MySpace buddie.
Another cool feature reminiscent of the old, cloud-based Sidekick is the Kin Studio, a snazzy personalized Web page that automatically backs up all your Kin contacts, photos, videos, and messages online, complete with a timeline that lets you “relive” your Kin events for any given month, week, or day. Of course, Microsoft will have to be careful to prevent any of the online meltdowns that plagued Sidekick users in October.
Gizmodo fills in several of the details missing from the Microsoft press release, such as storage capacity (4GB for the Kin One, 8GB for the Two, not expandable), processor (Nvidia Tegra for both handsets), and the inclusion of Wi-Fi support. But note, you won’t be able to install any apps on the Kins whatsoever. Huh.
Of course, the crucial detail we’re missing here is a price tag. Speculation is that the handsets won’t cost any more than $150 with a two-year Verizon contract. But given the fact that the Kins won’t have an app store, I’m thinking more like $99 for the Kin Two, $49 for the One. (The phones will also arrive in Europe this fall via Vodafone.)

Twitter Addresses Developer Angst Over “Official” iPhone, BlackBerry Apps

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: BlackBerry, Developer, iPhone, iPod Touch, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter

Twitter has e-mailed developers to clarify why its acquisition of Tweetie for iPhone represents an opportunity–not a threat.
Friday was a big day for mega-popular social-networking/micro-blogging service Twitter; the company announced its acquisition of the most popular Twitter application for Apple’s iPhone, Tweetie; and it said that it had “worked closely” with Research In Motion (RIM) on the first “official” BlackBerry client, which was just released to the public–in beta form–last week.
However, many third-party Twitter developers have voiced concerns that Twitter’s support and “official” branding of both Tweetie, which will eventually be renamed “Twitter for iPhone,” and RIM’s Twitter for BlackBerry app will make it more difficult to market and sell “non-official” Twitter apps made by external developers.
On Sunday, just two days after the initial announcement, Twitter’s director of its platform team, Ryan Sarver, attempted to assuage developers’ worries over the announcements by explaining that the acquisition and endorsement of the BlackBerry app will actually be a good thing for the Twitter ecosystem, and therein, developers…in the long run.
From Sarver’s e-mail:
“We love the variety that developers have built around the Twitter experience and it’s a big part of the success we’ve seen. However when we dug in a little bit we realized that it was causing massive confusion among user’s [sic] who had an iPhone and were looking to use Twitter for the first time. They would head to the App Store, search for Twitter and would see results that included a lot of apps that had nothing to do with Twitter and a few that did, but a new user wouldn’t find what they were looking for and give up. That is a lost user for all of us.”
The post goes on, but the gist is basically this: Twitter is putting its support behind both Tweetie, which has already proven to be hugely popular in Apple’s iTunes App Store, and RIM’s new BlackBerry client. That’s because folks new to Twitter need to be able to quickly find an app for both iPhone and BlackBerry that’s clearly labeled “Twitter” because the company/you-the-developer will lose them as potential customers if they get confused by the mass of already available Twitter apps from third-parties and simply decide to forget about Twitter altogether.
Umm. Okay.
Sarver also writes that even though the move may present a new challenge for third-party Twitter developers, it’s really “beneficial to everyone in the ecosystem…[since] more opportunities become available with a larger audience.”
He also goes on to apologize for the confusion that came along with the company’s usage of the word “official” in reference to Twitter for BlackBerry and the upcoming Twitter for iPhone–formerly Tweetie. But the post on Twitter’s blog announcing the new BlackBerry app hasn’t been changed; it still reads:
“Working closely with RIM to deliver the OFFICIAL Twitter app has been a great experience and we are looking forward to bringing more and more Twitter innovation to BlackBerry.”

Obviously, Twitter can purchase/support any and all of the third-party applications it pleases; however, I think that its attempt to disguise what is clearly a threat to third-party developers as an opportunity is deceptive, to say the least.
Why, I ask you, would someone new to Twitter, purchase Twittelator Pro for iPhone, which costs $4.99 on the iTunes App Store, when Twitter for iPhone, which will no doubt be the first result when someone searches said app store for “Twitter”, is both endorsed by Twitter–and free?
On the BlackBerry front, why would someone who has no idea what to expect from a mobile Twitter app, purchase a BlackBerry app like TweetGenius, which costs $7.99, when RIM’s official Twitter for BlackBerry is endorsed by Twitter and free of charge?
Sarver is, in effect, saying that third-party developers’ application-names aren’t beginner-friendly enough, so the company is pushing its own applications in front of the rest to hopefully build the overall Twitter user base. And Twitter’s own apps will be free.
The average Twitter beginner probably can’t tell the difference between “Twitter App A” and “Twitter App B,” so if “App A” is free, she’s going to skip the purchase of “App B” every time. At least that’s the way I see it. Sure, folks who start off using a free Twitter for iPhone/BlackBerry app could, over time, get curious about other commercial (not free) apps, but what percentage will actually pay for one of the them? Especially when Twitter says its apps are the best.
Twitter is a VERY simple service, and users really only need the ability to check timelines and send “tweets,” which can be done via any Twitter app. And once a user gets comfortable with one particular app, he’s likely to stay with it for no other reason than it is familiar.
The timing of Twitter’s moves also seems noteworthy to me, since it apparently decide to enter the Twitter-app game only recently; the company let third-party app developers gain loyal users for more than a year before stepping in and trying its own hand with a free app.
More from Sarver’s e-mail:
“As we work to provide the best possible Twitter experience on all of the major mobile platforms, momentum will increase dramatically”
I think this statement is particularly telling. If Twitter really does offer the “best possible…experience on all major platforms,” and for free, why would anyone pay for third-party apps? Twitter adoption, or “momentum,” if you will, is already increasing dramatically. But the company’s recent support for Tweetie and Twitter for BlackBerry could simply redirect that momentum away from third-party app-developers, toward Twitter itself.
That sounds to me like a clear opportunity for Twitter–and a clear threat to third-party developers.

Twitter Like a Pro: Get Started, Find Deals, Manage Groups

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Internet, Social Networking, Tutorials, Twitter

Here’s how to get started with Twitter, use it for bargain hunting and group communication, and access it on the go.
Twitter may be a household name, but it remains a mystery to many people. Perhaps even most people. This week I’m going to put on my teacher’s cap and show you how to set up a Twitter account, how to put that account to good use (you can even use it to enter contests and win prizes), and how to read your incoming “tweets” (messages) from just about anywhere.
Get Started with Twitter in Three Easy Steps
What the heck is Twitter? In a nutshell, it’s a messaging service, a way for one person (or organization) to communicate with others in 140-character blasts.
What do you do with Twitter? If you’re feeling narcissistic, you can send out messages of your own, on whatever subject you like, to anyone who chooses to “follow” you (i.e. subscribe to your Twitter feed in order to read your message). At the same time, you can “follow” others (friends, family members, Shaquille O’Neal) and read what’s on their minds.
There’s no cost to using Twitter, and signing up for an account won’t fill your inbox with spam or anything like that. So why not give it a try? Here’s how to get started:

1. Open your Web browser and head to twitter.com.
2. Click Get started now.
3. Complete the signup form. Keep in mind that your selected user name will become your Twitter “address,” so put a little thought into it. (The form will tell you immediately if your desired name is already taken, at which point you’ll have to think of something else.)
4. Click Create my account and you’re good to go.

You’re now an official member of the, er, Twitterverse. Let’s find something interesting for you to follow. Click Find People, type flirtcreate, and then click Search. Our Twitter feed should be the first result that appears. Mouse over the accompanying icon of the little person and click it to follow FlirtCreate. (Don’t worry, this isn’t a permanent marriage. You can always “unfollow” us later if you want.) Now click Home and you’ll see all the latest tweets from Flirtation Creation’s editorial staff.
Three Ways to Make Good Use of Twitter
When it comes to Twitter, I prefer to be a consumer, not a producer. In other words, I know no one cares what I had for breakfast, so I don’t bother to tweet about it.
However, I do care what famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) has to say, because it’s usually interesting and educational. So he’s among the select few Twitter users I follow. And therein lies my point: Twitter can actually be a fun, informative, and even practical tool–provided you follow the right people. Here are my three favorite uses for the service.
Find deals. Love bargain hunting? Twitter takes the actual hunting out of the equation, instead dropping deals right in your lap. It’s just a matter of following the right sites and bloggers. Here are a few to get you started: @cheapskateblog, @FreeStuffUS, @dealsplus, and @bargainbabe.
Keep tabs on celebrities. Call some people star-struck, and I think it’s cool to get messages from the likes of Aziz Ansari, Jimmy Fallon, Paul Feig, and their personal music hero, like Brendan Benson. Makes one feel like you’re buds. If there’s an actor, comedian, musician, or other famous person you admire, head to Twitter, click Find People, and then follow that person. It’s fun!
Manage a group. If you are the coach of your daughter’s soccer team, you need a quick and easy way to contact all the parents in case of scheduling changes, rained-out games, and the like. By getting everyone to “follow” me (and receive my tweets via text message), it’s a snap to communicate with the group.
Access Your Twitter Account on the Run
Now let’s look at ways you can access Twitter without being tied to your PC. For starters, if you have a mobile phone (doesn’t have to be anything fancy like a Droid or iPhone), you can take advantage of Twitter’s SMS features to send and receive tweets.
Open Twitter in your Web browser, click Settings, and then click Mobile. Follow the instructions to pair your phone with your Twitter account. With that done, any text message you send to 40404 becomes a tweet.
You can also elect to receive tweets via SMS from selected people you follow. However, because standard messaging rates apply, high-volume tweeters could end up costing you. Also, frequent SMS interruptions can prove annoying. My advice is to receive SMS tweets only from important, news-bearing sources.
A better bet all the way around is to find a Twitter app for your phone–assuming your phone runs apps, that is. They’re available for all the major platforms: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, WebOS, Windows Mobile, and so on.
These apps let you tweet, retweet, send direct messages, view your feeds, and so on. Many of them are free; others cost a couple bucks. If you’re wondering, I’m partial to TweetDeck for iPhone.

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