Gavin O'Malley, Jun 7, 2012, 11:34 AM
foursquare Unveils New AppThe Next Web

Trying to keep the dream (of LBS, or location-based social networking) alive, foursquare just unveiled a new and improved mobile app.

“This new version of foursquare is more about finding things around you based on where you are right now,” The Next Web notes. “Instead of loading up the app when you arrive at a restaurant or bar and checking in, foursquare wants to be the app that you use to find new places to go. The ‘All New foursquare’ is all about discovery.”

“With this release, Foursquare becomes a direct competitor to the current recommendations leader, Yelp,” remarks ReadWriteWeb’s Richard MacManus. “Foursquare is also aiming to beat Yelp on the social part, hence social functionality has been enhanced in the new version of Foursquare.”

For some -- including MacManus -- an improved foursquare couldn’t come soon enough. “My usage of Foursquare dropped off markedly over the past year,” he admitted. “It was one of those apps that was addictive for a while, being the mayor of my local cafe and so forth, but then it just became a drag.”

“Two years ago, Foursquare was the star of the New York start-up scene,” The New York Times writes. “Since then, the buzz … has cooled and growth has slowed, leaving it in the position of having to prove that its decision [not to sell to Yahoo or other prospective acquirers] was the right one.”

Will foursquare’s redo breathe new life into company? Well, if nothing else, “The new app looks vibrant and clean,” according to The Verge.

“With a new redesign, it is simplifying its interface and pushing for more social interactions between users,” writes VentureBeat. “Both of those factors could make the service more addictive and not just something people casually use.”

“The Explore tab is the best part -- it helps you figure out where to go by analyzing your activity, your friends' activity, and your current location,” comments MSN.com’s Gadget Box blog.

 

“Foursquare needed a significant new version,” writes Gizmodo. “It's trying to do too much at once, and it showed: clutter. But the newest release is not only more ambitious -- it wants Facebook turf -- it's elegant, thoughtful, and clean. And hugely useful.”

Read the whole story...
  • Gavin O'Malley, Jun 7, 2012, 12:00 PM
  • World Waits For Facebook "App Center"Business Insider Ready to rock the world of mobile, Facebook is reportedly preparing to debut its own app market in a matter of days. “The App Center gives developers a reason to stick around on Facebook because it helps users find their applications,” Business Insider reports. “It also incentivizes making good apps, because Facebook can highlight them and reward their hard work.”  Already on the defensive over its immature mobile strategy, Facebook has a lot riding on its app initiative. “Without an app store, developers might flee to other platforms that aren't connected to Facebook -- like solitary iPhone or Android apps, or apps connected to Google+,” BI notes. According to BI, Facebook has been soliciting developers for screenshots and collecting assets to make the apps in the App Center meet a certain quality standard. The App Center is supposed to aid in discovery of applications, as well as spread usage as an alternative to viral promotion tactics companies like Zynga used to use. All that said, BI hedges its bet with a warning that Facebook might hold off on the debut for now.   Read the whole story...
  • IE "Do Not Track" Standard Falls Foul Of New SpecWired Released Wednesday, the latest proposed draft of the Do Not Track specification requires that users must choose to turn on the anti-behavioral tracking feature in their browsers and software. “That means that Microsoft IE 10, which the company announced last week will have Do Not Track turned on by default, won’t be compliant with the official spec,” Wired reports. “Which means that tech and ad companies who say they comply with Do Not Track could simply ignore the flag set by IE 10 and track those who use that browser. Which means Microsoft has no choice but to change the setting.” Microsoft announced its plans for IE and its Do Not Track setting late last week. On the news, as Wired notes, some suggested that the move was meant to gouge Google, as the search giant’s ad system depends on tracking cookies. “But it also enraged many online ad companies and industry groups, who saw the move as overly aggressive and a threat to their business model.” The Do Not Track spec is the work of a group of privacy advocates, browser makers, technology firms and online ad companies.   Read the whole story...
  • Hacker Hits EHarmonyLos Angeles Times In the wake of a similar security breach at LinkedIn, eHarmony is the latest victim of a password hacking attack, which has so far resulted in 1.5 million stolen passwords -- most of which have already been “cracked.” Reports suggest that the lists only contain passwords and not actual logins, which would make the passwords useless even if cracked. “But in all likelihood, the hacker also has the logins,” writes the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the attack is believed to be by the same hacker who just stole 6.5 million passwords from LinkedIn. The bigger question, however, is the degree to which these security breaks will damage both brands, and discourage consumers from using their services. Last year, for example, Sony suffered over a dozen data breaches, stemming from attacks that compromised Sony PlayStation Network, Sony Online Entertainment, and Sony Pictures, among other Sony-owned Web sites. Ultimately, the brand is understood to have faced an ongoing customer relations fallout -- as well as class-action lawsuits -- over its failure to protect over 100 million user records. As of Thursday, eHarmony has confirmed that some of its passwords have been stolen.   Read the whole story...