This week saw Microsoft jump onto the social media bandwagon with its very own answer to social networking: So.cl (pronounced social, of course), which is aimed at students and is not looking to upset any of the social media big boys, according to Microsoft.
So.cl was ever-so-quietly rolled out over the course of last weekend and is only accessible once you have received an invite to join. The idea is to give students the opportunity to share research material socially, so every search they put in is automatically posted in friends’ feeds, enabling others to see how their mates are approaching essay questions.
According to the So.cl FAQ section, the site is intended to focus on learning communities and is part of a FUSE Labs project. The general public can access the site though and we doubt if MS would be too upset if it took off enough to become a genuine contender against the likes of Facebook and G+.
Instagram acquisition produces Facebook result
Facebook this week brought out a new photo-sharing app, Facebook Camera, which has quite obviously utilised features contained within Instagram. Well, nobody thought that Facebook were spending $1bn for nothing did they?
The new app allows users to edit photos and upload several at once, as well as easy tagging with a tap. Facebook Camera also allows for the application of filters to a photo, in a similar way to Instagram, but is lacking the tilt-shift and border features that they Instagram app has.
This has prompted speculation that the Facebook team was already working on the camera app before it bought up Instagram.
Facebook Camera is currently only available for iPhone and is free to download at the iTunes Store.
Microsoft ask Google to remove 500,000 links
Software giants Microsoft has this week asked Google to remove more than 500,000 links from its index in a bid to further fight piracy of its software. Google agreed and in a blog post explained that it had complied with the request as “it believed there should be transparency when something gets in the way of the free flow of information”.
Google get a lot of requests to remove links which are related to piracy and has recently said that they will make them available for scrutiny; the company grant around 97% of requests to remove links from search results when they relate to copyright infringement.
Forget Wi-Fi, think Li-Fi
Researchers have found that a simple light bulb could power home networking connections by creating a flicker that’s indiscernible to the human eye. The flicker occurs when an LED bulb is switched on and off very quickly, resulting in the creation of 1s and 0s, which can then be compressed enough to increase the throughput of data.
Whilst the technology can’t be used with older, filament light bulbs, the emergence of LED lighting could mean that ‘Visible Light Communication’ (VLC) will become the comms technology of the future, as it will be cheaper and safer than current methods.
The patent for the technology is owned by Edinburgh University, where German-born researcher Harald Haas has been working on the project. However, it seems that commercial companies are now showing an interest in the technology and it’s rumoured that Casio and Intel are already in on the action.
Research into the technique has been going on since around 2003, but it’s only recently that Haas proved that it worked in a presentation to a stunned audience at TEDGlobal late last year.
As yet, the technology doesn’t have the range or penetration to be able to replace radio waves, but this is something that could change in the future as more research is carried out.
Jedward Water World
The annoyance that is Jedward were featured on this week’s Guardian viral video list prancing around in a fountain. Whilst the Irish duo were unharmed during filming, they did get very wet and if you are looking for something to really top off an irritating day, then you should check the video out below.
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