Happy birthday, Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

Happy birthday, Rupert Murdoch! Love him, hate him, the old boy is going as strong as ever as he celebrates his 83rd birthday. He certainly sounds feisty as ever on Twitter, tweeting on the New York mayoral election result and the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

And while the phone hacking scandal drags on with his former protégé Rebekah Brooks still in the dock, Murdoch is raking in the moolah big time. The Murdochs’ net worth is currently estimated at $13.5 billion by Forbes, up from $9.4 billion in September 2012 and $6.3 billion in March 2010. [Read more...]

Flipboard to get better with Zite technology

Zite

Zite

Flipboard, one of my favourite news apps, will get better at the expense of another: Zite.

Flipboard will stop developing Zite, which it is buying from CNN.

Zite will be shut down, but Flipboard will use its recommendations technology to become an even better news app.

It is its recommendations technology that makes Zite special. Zite is unique, giving me interesting news and stories that I would have never found myself.

I subscribe to a lot of websites on news apps and aggregators such as Flipboard, Feedly and Google Play Newsstand. [Read more...]

The man behind Urban Dictionary

Aaron Peckham

Here is the man who created the hippest, trendiest, most with-it dictionary that’s always up-to-date with the latest slang, the newest buzz word. Urban Dictionary is the brainchild of Aaron Peckham.

Peckham, 32, started it back in 1999 when he was a freshman computer science major at California Polytechnic State University. And, boy, has it grown. Now the dictionary contains more than 7.4 million definitions and is checked by millions every month.

It seems to have set a trend, too. Now the free Collins Dictionary displays word submissions by website visitors. That’s following the example of Urban Dictionary, which is entirely composed by website visitors. “Urban Dictionary is the dictionary you write. Define your world,” says the tag line on the home page. [Read more...]

Singaporeans among earliest bloggers

Singaporeans were among the earliest bloggers. I just found that Alex Au launched Yawning Bread in 1996.

Justin Hall

Justin Hall: Blogging since January 1994

That was only two years after Justin Hall, then a Swarthmore College student, created Justin’s Links from the Underground (www.links.net) in January 1994. It’s considered the very first blog. But he called it his personal homepage. [Read more...]

Lou Reed and Rolling Stone

It was on this day in 1967 that the first issue of Rolling Stone was published, The Writer’s Almanac recalled yesterday, and which I just happened to read today. I remember when the weekly looked like a newspaper, published on newsprint, with black and white photos and pages you could pull out, like from any daily newspaper. Those were the days it used to review new releases by artistes like Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper. What a long time ago that was.

Looking up the Rolling Stone website (I don’t see the printed magazine or listen to new musicians any more), I saw tributes to Lou Reed, who died last month.

I am a fan of the Beatles and the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan. Reed was too avant-garde for me. However, he was one of the great seminal musicians of the time.  So here is some of his music. [Read more...]

Blogger, Twitter founder’s new blogging Medium

Medium

Medium

I have been meaning to write about Evan Williams’ new blogging platform, Medium, ever since it was thrown open to everyone last month.  Now it’s got written about in The New York Times.

“A founder of Twitter goes long,” says the headline – in reference to the posts being published on Medium, which can run to hundreds of words.It is the polar opposite of Twitter, where you can tweet only up to 140 characters at a time.

One could say Williams is going back to his original vision, Blogger, which he launched in 1999 and which was acquired by Google in 2003, where one can blog posts of any length.

Medium is free to use like Blogger. You can write on it free of charge. Just sign in with Twitter and verify your email address.

So should you start blogging on Medium? [Read more...]

Twitter founders’ feuds and fortunes

Twitter founders (from left) Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams with CEO Dick Costolo

Twitter founders (from left) Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams with CEO Dick Costolo

Twitter founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams smiled happily as they posed for pictures with CEO Dick Costolo at the New York Stock Exchange as their little bird flew off to a dream start on the stock market.

But they have not been the best of friends. Dorsey, who was forced out by Williams, is now chairman of  the company. Williams, who was ousted as CEO in 2010, is a director of the company and its biggest shareholder.

New York Times tech columnist Nick Bilton describes  their power struggle in a new book, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal. [Read more...]

Zite the magic newsreader and Prismatic

I love Flipboard. And I have been using Feedly for years. But the most amazing newsreader? It has to be Zite.

Zite

Flipboard and Feedly are like your Facebook newsfeed. They give you updates from the websites that you like or rather subscribe to. You have to subscribe to the RSS feed of a website to get updates from it on Flipboard and Feedly.

Instead, on Zite, you explore topics. Click on topics you want to read about — and you will get stories from various websites on those topics. You can choose to read stories from selected websites, too, such as The Huffington Post and Atlantic.com. But what makes Zite special is that it is a topic-based newsreader. What’s more, it’s free. [Read more...]