Friday, July 16, 2010

Twitter: The World Cup Final Was Our Most Tweeted Event, Ever

by Jason Kincaid 
The 2010 World Cup has come to a close, and you can bet that the team at Twitter is losing slightly less sleep than they have been over the last month. That’s because the global event drove record traffic to the service, resulting in some downtime and other quirks. But it also led to some pretty staggering stats: Twitter has just announced that The World Cup Final marked the largest period of sustained activity for an event in the service’s history, with over 2,000 Tweets Per Second during the last 15 minutes of the match, and 3,051 tweets per second when Spain scored its winning goal.
To mark the occasion Twitter’s analytics and relevance teams created a nifty infographic tracking tweets over the course of the tournament (the flags denote the number of tweets containing a hashtag for a given country). You can see it above (click it for the full version).
Other key stats from the World Cup:
  • During the final, people from 172 countries tweeted in 27 different languages.
  • At the moment of the winning goal, people from 81 countries tweeted in 23 different languages. This moment is represented on this Wordle infographic.
Twitter image
Location:San Francisco, California, United States
Founded:March 21, 2006
Twitter, founded by Jack DorseyBiz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 (launched publicly in July 2006), is a social networking and micro-blogging… Learn More

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iPhone 4 Press Conference: Apple has Sold 3 Million iPhone 4s in 3 Weeks Since Launch

At the iPhone 4 press conference today, Steve Jobs announced that Apple has sold over 3 million iPhone 4s since its launch 3 weeks ago. This is what he said:
iPhone 4
The iPhone 4 is perhaps the best product we’ve ever made at Apple. We’ve sold well over 3 million since we launched it 3 weeks ago. It’s been judged the number 1 smartphone
Stay tuned as we will bring you all the details from the event once the dust has settled.[Image via Engadget]

The iPhone Antenna song played in the Apple iPhone 4 press conference

Nokia C6-01 shows up, brings an 8MP snapper and dual-LED flash

Another member of the Nokia Cseries of no-nonsense phones just leaked. And the photos were published by no other but Nokia itself. Apparently the guys supporting the Dutch website of the company were a bit too eager to publish the details about the handset and forgot that it's still unannounced.
Carrying one of those confusing names that have become Nokia trademark as of late, the C6-01 is a slight upgraded version of the rather popular C6. The new handset brings an 8MP autofocus camera and dual-LED flash, compared to a 5 megapixel snapper with a single LED on the first C6.
Nokia C6-01 

The back panel has also been redesigned, but that's about all the changes that Nokia C6-01 brings. Even the user interface of the C6-01 is Symbian^1, rather than the upcoming Symbian^3.
The Nokia C6-01 will be available in black and white versions and will cost about 280 euro at launch.

Shahid Afridi to retire from Tests

July 16, 2010
Shahid Afridi didn't hold anything back during his innings, Pakistan v Australia, 1st Test, Lord's, July 14, 2010
Shahid Afridi's decision to retire came soon after Pakistan lost at Lord's © AFP

Shahid Afridi made the decision that seemed inevitable from the day he took over as Test captain, by announcing his Test retirement immediately after leading his side to a 150-run loss against Australia at Lord's.
Afridi has been a reluctant Test player over the years and this Test was his first in four years. A poor personal performance, capped by a four-ball 2 on the last day - out slogging to deep midwicket - didn't help matters and the second Test against Australia at Headingley, starting on Wednesday, will now be his last. Afridi's participation at Headingley, however, will depend on whether he passes a fitness test for a side strain in the days leading up to the match.
Salman Butt, the vice-captain, is likely to take over the leadership for the England series though that is not set in stone until the PCB makes a final decision. Whoever does take over will be Pakistan's fifth Test captain since the start of 2009.
"I was not very keen to play Test cricket but the board asked me to see how I felt," Afridi told Sky Sports. "My temperament is not good enough for Test cricket and we need a proper batsman or a proper bowler.
"I injured my side in the Asia Cup and I'm still struggling. I can't carry it in Test cricket, where you need to be at full fitness. I'm enjoying one-day and Twenty20 so I'll concentrate on that. It's very difficult playing Tests after four years so it's better to leave this cricket."
Yawar Saeed, Pakistan's manager, confirmed the decision to Cricinfo, though he insisted he wouldn't call it a retirement. "Afridi had a side strain and felt that he shouldn't keep a specialist out of the side. Temperamentally he feels not comfortable with the format so Leeds will be his last Test," Saeed said.
Saeed said that Butt is likely to take over, but that any decision would have to be made in consultation with the board. Ijaz Butt, chairman PCB, is in England currently. "Salman Butt was appointed vice-captain for the tour and he will take over unless the PCB meets and decides otherwise. But as per procedure, he will take over," Saeed said.
The development will bring into sharp focus the PCB's decision to appoint Afridi as Test captain in the first place. He had already retired from the format once before, in 2006, only to return, ironically, for the tour to England that summer. He played a couple of Tests before pulling himself out of the format again.
Since his appointment recently, his hesitancy towards the format has surfaced repeatedly. In an interview toThe Wisden Cricketer before the series began, Afridi hinted he might not play Tests for long. "I'm confident I am fine fitness-wise," he said then. "But I came back to Tests because I am doing it for the team only. If I think I am fit to do it, I will continue playing Tests. Otherwise I will not burden the side."
In a more recent interview to Cricinfo, Afridi said, "If down the line I become aware that I am not a good captain, or not a successful one, and the team is unable to make any use of me as a captain, I will not chase it. If I don't have the ability then I will leave it on my own ... I did not ask anyone forcibly to give me the captaincy, nor will I forcibly captain the team. If I am good I will prove it through my performance. If I am not good I will say khuda hafeez [God be with you]. "

Now, Shah Rukh loses Karan Johar to Aamir Khan

Now, Shah Rukh loses Karan Johar to Aamir Khan
Karan Johar might have sworn his royalty to Shah Rukh Khan, but of late, the director has been seen mingling with SRK’s competitor Aamir. According to the latest buzz, the two taskmasters have become thick friends and are often spotted in each other’s social gatherings. What’s more is that much to SRK’s dismay, KJo is going all out to strengthen his ties with Aamir.

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Google’s Revenues Rise 24%, Now Has $30 Billion in the Bank

Google has released its second quarter 2010 earnings report. The centerpiece news is that revenue grew by 24% year-over-year to $6.82 billion — an impressive feat for the search giant. However, there was barely any growth from Q1 2010, when the company reported $6.77 billion in revenue.

  • Google-owned sites generated $4.5 billion in revenue, while AdSense and non-Google websites brought in $2.06 billion for the company — both grew by 23% from last year. International income sources represented 52% of total revenue.
  • While paid clicks increased by 15% from Q2 2009, they actually decreased by 3% from Q1 2010.
  • Google paid out $1.73 billion to its partners in Q2 2009, which accounts for about 74% of advertising revenue from AdSense and non-Google websites.
  • Google now has $30.1 billion in cash on hand, compared to $26.5 billion three months ago. This is despite rather large acquisitions, most notably AdMob
Google is currently having its Q2 earnings conference call. We’ll let you know if anything else comes up.

Netsploitation: The Internet in Film


You can always count on Hollywood to warp real-life technology into something wholly unrecognizable. Whether it's virtual reality or social networking, we can be sure that, once translated to the big screen, representations will become exploitative or far-fetched. As for such movies that deal with the Internet, we'll classify them as 'Netsploitation' films. The Netsploitation genre began in the '80s with the growth of personal computer usage and the emergence of hacking, but before the existence of the Internet as we know it. By the mid '90s, however, the Net had reached that perfect equilibrium of being an emerging, relatively misunderstood technology that was nevertheless publicly accessible. A boom of Netsploitation films followed. As the '90s marched on, the Internet slowly became an inextricable part of daily life, and films' treatment of the Net drifted into more mundane realms. However, after 9/11, there arose a wave of movies that preyed on fears of cyber-terrorism and unease about our reliance on the Web. Here's our rundown of the best -- and worst -- Netsploitation films of the past three decades.

The '80s and Early '90s: The Internet Is a Mysterious Place

'WarGames' (1983)
'WarGames' is one of the earliest examples of hacker films, and recalls the glory days when a DOS prompt was futuristic enough to fascinate audiences. Watching it today, it's refreshing to see computing represented by plain old CRT monitors rather than crazy CG renderings of cyberspace and make-believe operating systems. 'WarGames' stars Matthew Broderick as David Lightman, a more computer-literate version of Ferris Bueller, who gets to live out every teenager's fantasy by hacking his grades (sensibly only changing an F to a C). However, in an attempt to pirate some unreleased computer games, Lightman inadvertently almost causes World War III. Truly, 'WarGames' was a cautionary tale of Internet piracy before such a thing even existed.

'Sneakers' (1991)
Like 'WarGames', 'Sneakers' may predate the existence of the Internet as we now know it. (In fact, both movies were written by Lawrence Lasker.) Still, that doesn't stop it from being more fun and genuine than almost any other film on this list. Sure, it's a Hollywood popcorn flick, but it also has a stellar cast, including Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix and Ben Kingsley. Redford plays a hacker who has been on the lam since he broke into Richard Nixon's bank account in 1969. He runs a team of white-hat specialists who test the security of various institutions, a prescient career choice that probably seemed far-fetched 20 years ago. Whereas most Netsploitation flicks desperately try, and utterly fail, to play up the "kewl" factor, 'Sneakers' is understated, using technology in intelligent ways to keep the film from feeling dated. 

The '90s: The Internet Is Like Magic, Except in Weirder Clothes

'Hackers' (1995)
Ah, 'Hackers' -- the movie that introduced us to the pleasures of Angelina Jolie, Fisher Stevens as a trench coat-clad hacker named "The Plague" (who even skitches on a limo at one point), and, of course, the phrase "Hack the planet!" Truly, 'Hackers' was a defining moment in the decade. Sure, the terminology and technology are dated, orange vests were never in style, and it feels kind of like watching your grandma trying to krump, but we can't help but be won over by its ridiculous charms. How can you not love its absurd CG representations of cyberspace, where information flies across the screen in a 'Tron'-like fashion? Or, how about the ever-manic Matthew Lillard? Or Penn Jillette's turn as a security officer? Maybe it's because we're children of the '90s, but, back then, nobody knew better. A couple of kids sticking it to The Man, while a now-classic electronic soundtrack accompanies their rollerblading mayhem through the heart of still super-cool New York City, truly defined the Web for the '90s generation.

'The Net' (1995)
The Net
'The Net' was seemingly made by people who only had the vaguest, most buzzword-inspired ideas of what the Internet was. ("FLOPPY DISK!" "VIRUS!" "DESKTOP BACKGROUND!") [Ed. Note: Not far from today's "WEB 2.0! GOOGLE-ABILITY! TWITTER!"] Its tale of online terrorists, who steal your identity and change your doctor's prescriptions, probably hipped more moms to the "evils" of the Internet than anything else. Still, as ridiculous and exploitative as 'The Net' gets, we can't completely hate on it. Any movie that opens with its main character playing 'Wolfenstein 3D' is already on the right track, and Sandra Bullock ordering delivery from "" is the sort of technologically utopian vision that wouldn't come true for years.

'Johnny Mnemonic' (1995)
Johnny Mnemonic
No list of Netsploitation films would be complete without at least one cyberpunk flick, and 'Johnny Mnemonic' is based on a short story by William Gibson, the godfather of the genre. Based on a story written in the early '80s, filmed in the '90s and set in the early 21st century, the film traded in imagination for dated tropes and laughable stereotypes. The cast reads like a who's who of '90s fallen icons: pre-'Matrix' Keanu Reeves as Johnny and his 160-gigabyte brain, Ice-T as a character named J. Bone (in what was incredibly a step down from his role as a talking kangaroo in 'Tank Girl'), an unintelligible "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, and Henry Rollins as a buff doctor who spouts one of the most amazing (NSFW) rants in the history of cinema. Also worth mentioning is "Street Preacher," an assassin dressed like a biblical shepherd, a hacker dolphin (yes, a dolphin) named Jones, and the amount of times we burst into tears trying to watch this atrocity.

'You've Got Mail' (1998)
You've Got Mail
Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan and, most importantly, dial-up AOL combined to form the Voltron of '90s romantic comedies capitalizing on a now-ubiquitous phrase. 'You've Got Mail' depicts one of the few online romances that doesn't end with a participant being confronted by Chris Hansen. You see, Tom and Meg hate each other in real life, but are smitten while chatting in the virtual world (i.e., AOL, which basically was the Internet for 95-percent of the population at the time). The film is as far-fetched as they come -- revealed by the full, declarative sentences the characters use while chatting online. While we appreciate the fact that mainstream cinema tackled the growing online dating community, we can't help but hate this film for immortalizing one of the most annoying sound bites in computing history. 

The '00s to Today: The Internet Is Lots of People in Black Suits

'Swordfish' (2001)
'Swordfish' drags us into the cultural miasma of the new millennium like the yuppie-bottle-service version of 'Hackers' -- wherein Angie and Johnny dye their hair normal colors, grow up, put on khakis, and start investing in dot coms. In fact, John Travolta's character literally looks like an older, bloated version of "The Plague." The story goes something like this: Hugh Jackman is the "MOST DANGEROUS HACKER IN AMERICA" and he must SAVE HIS DAUGHTER FROM PORN by using all his hacking prowess to pull off THE WORLD'S MOST DEADLY BANK TRANSFER. Eerily prefacing the post-9/11 world, where hackers are both friend and foe, the audience is supposed to root for Travolta because he uses his powers to kill terrorists. Ugh.

'Firewall' (2006)
'Firewall' stars Harrison Ford as the least believable cyber-security expert we've ever seen. He is forced to break into the bank that employs him when his family is kidnapped. More than anything, 'Firewall' is an example of a dull thriller that plays to fears of identity theft and privacy invasion. Ford uses a few technological tricks, such as GPS tracking and hacking into the kidnapper's offshore bank accounts, but the film leaves those trappings behind when our aged hero ends up resorting to fisticuffs. The only thing that could have saved this movie from obscurity is if Ford had demanded that his enemies "get off my Internet!"

'Live Free or Die Hard' (2007)
Live Free or Die Hard
'Live Free or Die Hard' captures the post-millennial anxiety about cyber-terrorism with deft insight and acuity. Wait, no it doesn't. What it does do, though, is give us a confused Bruce Willis having to babysit a hacker (played by Justin Long, the insufferable "I'm a Mac" guy) as they contend with one of the most irritating movie villains of all time. The plot has something to do with a scorned NSA security expert whose warnings of cyber-terrorism go unheeded. This somehow leads him to teach the country a lesson, courtesy of a ludicrously complex plan that involves blowing up hackers, blowing up power stations and pretending to blow up the White House. The technological aspects of the movie are as over-the-top as the scenes of stuff getting incinerated. There are also long rants about Internet "fire sales," and Kevin Smith plays a hacker named "Warlock," who, of course, lives in his mom's basement. Despite all this (or maybe because of it), it has become one of our favorite action movies of the decade. That's mostly because, when Willis stops staring agog at Long's geekiness and takes matters into his own hands, the Mac finally shuts up.

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' (2009)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' is the film adaptation of Swedish author Stieg Larsson's mystery novel of the same name. Not only is it a gripping movie, but it also incorporates hacking elements that feel both authentic and integral to the story. Lisbeth Salander is the titular character, a 24-year-old hacker with a rough past, who becomes entangled in a 40-year-old murder mystery when she spies on investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist by remotely hacking his laptop. Impressively, the filmmakers also made a choice concerning computer use that no other film had made: actually using a recognizable OS (in this case, Apple's OS X). This simple act goes a long way towards selling us on the authenticity of the film's computing scenes. We hope 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' heralds a new era of realism in Netsploitation films, but, with a Hollywood remake already on the way, we aren't holding our breaths.

10 Best Sex Tips from Men’s Magazines

Have you ever sneaked a look at your boyfriend’s or husband’s magazines? A peek inside the pages of your guy’s subscriptions can reveal a lot about him, particularly the articles about sex. Too shy to look? We’ve scoured his favorite monthlies and websites to reveal a list of sex tips that are instructive, surprising and downright informative. Warning: You may blush.
1. Sex Isn’t a Race
Men’s Health magazine’s so-called “#1 sex tip”? We expected something ultra-racy, but we have to agree that this tip takes the prize: Slow down, fellas! “Sex isn't a race, so take time to explore her,” the editors write. “Focus on her thighs and lower belly. Make a mental circle 2 inches around the outside of her vagina and don't cross the line while you kiss, lick and caress.”
Photo by Tetra Images / Getty.

2. In Praise of the Scalp Massage
We loved seeing Maxim UK’s advice to men about head massages. “Girls love being given a head massage,” the editors write. “It can send tingling sensations all the way from her scalp down to her…”—you know where. “And although this may not sound erotic, we defy you not to get a result.” We say yes, yes, yes to this advice.
Photo by OJO Images / Getty.

3. Work Out Together
Fat-burning as foreplay? Men’s Health reminds us that working out with your sweetie can raise dopamine levels and ease anxieties—the perfect storm for satisfying, inhibition-free sex. We knew that, of course, but here’s what was news to us: “[Men’s] post-run sweat has androstadienone, a testosterone derivative that spikes her arousal when she smells it,” the editors write. That may be true, but we still recommend a shower after hitting the gym. Clean also smells sexy.
Photo by Shutterstock.

4. Compliment, Compliment, Compliment
Men’s Health surveyed 2,000 women, and guess what they say we want most in bed? Compliments! And, no, “Wow” or “You’re hot” are not exactly what we’re looking for. Tammy Nelson, PhD, a licensed psychotherapist and the author of Getting the Sex You Want, encourages men to be specific about giving compliments, and we couldn’t agree more. Here are some examples she gives: “‘Your breasts are so soft,’ ‘I love the way you smell,’ ‘I love the sound of your voice.’ The more detailed your praise, the more personal it is to her—it shows her that you derive pleasure from herbody, not just from any naked body." Agreed! Psst, ladies: Guys like compliments too! "The biggest part of the love-and-care tactic is complimenting your partner's physical appearance,” says Aaron Goetz, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at California State University at Fullerton, who also spoke to Men’s Health.
Photo by Shutterstock.

5. Focus on the Feet
If your husband suddenly decides to give you a foot massage before bed, he may have read about one of’s top four tips for helping women orgasm. Surprisingly, one of the website’s sex correspondents reports, “What most of you probably didn’t realize was the importance of warm feet in increasing the likelihood of her experiencing an orgasm. According to Dutch scientists from the University of Groningen, the odds are increased by 30%.” Thanks, guys! We’ll be wearing wool socks and asking for foot rubs more often!
Photo by Shutterstock.

6. Slow Dance
When’s the last time you danced with your husband? At your second cousin’s wedding last summer? At your own wedding? Yep, time for an encore…in the bedroom, say the editors of Maxim’s UK edition. In fact, slow dancing appeared on their list of top 100 foreplay rules as a way to get the juices flowing. “Slow dancing is a long-forgotten part of human seduction, now only performed in half-arsed, awkward fashion at school discos,” the editors write. “We say reclaim it!” And we say, brilliant!
Photo by iStockphoto.

7. Pretend—In Bed
While role-playing may not sound like your thing, the editors atMaxim encourage you to try it. “Done right, role-play can bring a new charge to sex,” writes Maxim’s Elena Wilson. “Many women find taking on another persona liberating, because it frees them from expectations about how they’re supposed to behave in bed.” The bottom line: Keep it simple and fun, and if it doesn’t feel right, laugh it off.
Photo by iStockphoto.

8. Choose Your Music Wisely
Music can make or break the mood, so we like this tip from Men’s Fitness about programming iPods with an appropriate romantic playlist: “Make an iPod playlist to run throughout the night, something that can fill the background. The music should vary throughout the evening,” one of the magazine’s experts advises. “Start out soft yet upbeat, no dance or rap, and let it continue to mellow out as the night progresses." Yes, it’s true, guys: You will never woo us with Metallica.
Photo by Shutterstock.

9. Be Spontaneous
We liked this advice from “Spontaneity is a key ingredient that is often missing from many sexual relationships after a while,” write the editors. “The bed gets used all too frequently because it’s easy. But it doesn’t matter where you do it—sex can get stale even if you always have it in the kitchen. It might be in the same position with the same amount of foreplay (or lack thereof). Capturing spontaneity again is one of the key ingredients to breaking out of your stale sex routines, so whatever you normally do, don’t. In fact, go ahead and do the opposite.”
Photo by Shutterstock.

10. Try a Daring New Position
Psst! Have you and your husband used the same ol’ position for years? The editors of Men’s Health have a racy suggestion. They rave about something called the “Cuban Plunge” position, which caught our attention. “As you assume the man-on-top position,” they write, “ask her to bring her knees to her chest and drape her legs over your shoulders. Her vagina will be elongated and extended, and your penetration will be deeper and more pleasurable for her, which qualifies as a win-win situation.”
Photo by Shutterstock.