Category: Articles

Instagram and Twitter: The Final Break-Up

As of today, December 5th 2012, Instagram has dropped support for Twitter “cards.” This means that Instagram images will no longer be displayed properly on Twitter. This doesn’t eliminate the ability to post Instagram images to Twitter but makes visible the now weak compatibility between the two companies. Why has this happened?

Well, the feud between Instagram and Twitter all began when CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom approached Facebook for an appraisal on the company after very recently receiving a valuation from Twitter which was said to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This offer from Twitter was given in April of 2012 after Instagram had reached tremendous growth since its initial launch in October of 2010. It was Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, keen photographer and an original investor to Instagram, who made the offer. Dorsey’s intent was to have Instagram highly compatible with Twitter and the two companies work together.

Once Systrom went to Facebook looking for a better assessment to his company, the relationship between Instagram and Twitter quickly retrogressed. Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million in cash and stock just 48 hours after the two companies met.

It was July 2012 when Twitter blocked Instagram from accessing data on friend connections on Twitter. This disabled automatic connections with Twitter friends through Instagram upon using the Instagram app. Twitter never publicly revealed the reason for their change in policy with Instagram, but it was quite obvious that Twitter felt betrayed. The previous ally is now a part of Twitter’s biggest competitor and the tensions continue to grow.

By September of that same year, Instagram had more mobile users than Twitter – a 7.3 million to 6.9 million victory and real slap in the face for Twitter. In October Instagram established a branch that would re-open Twitter access to its users. They were able to use their own user database to allow users to share Instagram images on Twitter.

This brings us to today’s latest quarrel between the two social media companies where Instagram dropped support for Twitter “cards” – which makes Instagram images easily viewable on Twitter. Despite the back and forth feud between the companies, CEO Systrom’s latest statement on the matter is “we have a really good relationship with Twitter.” On top of that, he has also announced that the dropping of Twitter cards was “deliberate and intended to drive users to the new web client for Instagram.” – Christopher Mims’ “Instagram to Twitter: We are never ever getting back together

So Systrom, is this just a love-hate game we are playing or are things officially over with Twitter?

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Facebook Messenger Android Update

Exactly 20 years ago from yesterday the first SMS (text message) was sent. The progress this area of technology has made is incredible. It’s a shame that so many tech giants want SMS to come to an end.

Facebook launched their latest attack against SMS this morning – Tuesday, December 4th 2012 – as the company made its messenger app available to Android users in five different countries. This does not require a Facebook account either! You can simply download the Messenger app and sign in with your phone number and you are ready to start messaging your contacts… who use this application.

Since the beginning of SMS (short messaging services) its uses have been controlled by cellular carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. – until now. This is not the first attempt by a tech company to grab hold of this market, but none the less, a very important release for Android users. As social media companies have updated to the mobile world, a piece of the text messaging pie has since been in their cross-hairs. One can’t help but wonder how long it will be before Facebook develops their very own mobile devices… or have they already started?

This Facebook Messenger App is available for both Android and iOS phones.

This release brings about the possibility for international expansion. There’s no telling how far companies like Facebook will stretch their arms for a strong hold on the SMS market. Starting today the product update will initially reach five countries – India, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, and South Africa – all areas showing very expensive SMS rates. This gives Facebook a greater chance at securing the SMS market in these areas, whether they have an account or not. It’s no surprise the update is beginning with Android powered phones as it is the fastest spreading smartphone platform in the world and available on a wide price range of phones.

There isn’t any word on the update for iOS users as of yet. It is more than likely that Apple will not be very fond of Facebook stealing users from using their SMS and switching to the app driven messenger.

Current competitor levels are certainly considerable, with mobile messaging platforms such as WhatsApp – one that Facebook has personally expressed interest in. However there is no development in the movement on securing this as their own. Owners of Whatsapp Brian Acton and Jan Koum have made clear their intent to remain as an independent company.

For now, SMS is still in the lead with mobile messaging, but who knows how long it shall remain. It’s been a solid 20 years SMS, but your days may be numbered.

You can find out more about the Messenger App from Facebook here.

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Yahoo Faces $2.7 Billion Charges in Mexican Court

In response to Mexico’s $2.7 billion US dollars judgement, Yahoo states they “will vigorously pursue all appeals.” The non-final judgement made by a Mexico City court ruling is for a breach of contract with a former partner – Ideas Interactivas and a company Worldwide Directories. Josh Constine explains the intent of the book-form directory:

The idea was to augment its online local business search with printed book. Yahoo hoped that the two-pronged strategy would let it compete with Google. The books would include maps, business and landmark listings, and a catalogue of offers and discounts. There would be flexible, low-cost advertising options in Yahoo! Páginas Útiles, which was slated for an initial circulation of 800,000 free copies followed by a second print run of 1.7 million units according to a April 2003 article from Mexican website Noticias

 Yahoo says the case is “without merit.”

The ruling comes at a time when Yahoo! and its owners are looking to find a new direction for their business and its focus. Just another obstacle for CEO Marissa Mayer who just recently shut down services in Korea. The company has not been generating much traffic through Korean browsers as many users have turned to Google Inc.’s search engine and leading social media service providers such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.

You can read more on the details of the agreement announced in 2003 here.

The $2.7 billion ruling against Yahoo is pretty troubling considering Yahoo’s total revenue for last quarter was just $1.2 billion, and only $226 million the quarter prior. If Marissa Mayer’s appeals are unsuccessful this could prove to be a serious disaster for the CEO’s new direction. The case could take months or even years to be settled and the penalty their facing doesn’t hang well on the wall until then. As these charges will surely hurt their reputation, the intent of the former partners’ actions seems far more painful.

Josh’s article also explains the absurdity of the judgement in a relative matter:

The scope of the contracts between the companies are not yet clear. If the deals were for Mexico alone the penalty would amount to $30 per resident. A 2005 study said there were 4.29 million businesses in Mexico, which would mean Yahoo would pay $630 each. That seems somewhat absurd, so the total Yahoo has to pay could definitely get reduced if it doesn’t beat the charges all together during appeals.

Word from Yahoo on the details of the courts initial ruling and the agreement made with Worldwide Directories and Ideas Interactivas is still being anticipated.

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GoDaddy’s Unlimited Upload File Size – Know The Facts

Recently there has been an argument on the GoDaddy Support Forums over the ability to upload files with no file size limit. You can view this thread here.

The thread began by jchasko who questioned a file size limit after receiving failures  upon uploading files around 4 gigabytes (GB).  GoDaddy Forums staff member christianh replied by referencing to an article on the GoDaddy Support website.

The article states that the upload file size limit is 1GB per file or 1GB total for all the files being uploaded at one time. Also, the upload size is limited by the space available on the user’s account. The article seems to explain the uploading limits clearly.

In another thread, viewable here, a few members requested cancellation of their accounts and refunds for not being given SFTP – a secure connection to their online storage folders.

One member, web_site_creat says:

Add me to the list. A secure connection is a must, there’s no good excuse not to have sftp or some sort of encryption without using the interface.

GoDaddy Forum staff member JasonP replied in the original thread that the upload file size limit is in fact 2GB – NOT 1GB as previously stated in the article provided and by christianh. About a month later, the same staff member, JasonP, then replies and says the upload limit is 1GB. This is after he said 1GB was wrong and that it should be a 2GB file size limit for uploads.

As if this was not enough confusion for the web hosting users, there was further complications with the GoDaddy’s features list. The Online Storage webpage from shows plans, pricing, comparisons between the GoDaddy features and other competitors, and more. On this page it states that with the GoDaddy services you get “Unlimited Sharing – Both for the number of files AND the file size.”'s Storage Features Comparison List

Following this statement is subtext in fine print that states “Subject to plan storage space limits” – which is suppose to clarify that file size limits are different for different accounts and their specifications. The problem is that this doesn’t quite simplify things or shine any light on the true details. In fact, upload file size limits are capped at 2GB according to most users’ experience at GoDaddy. That’s not even what the article that many staff members referred to says, as it claims the upload limit to be only 1GB total.

User bbakersmith comments about the upload file size limit and its intangibility:

Are you planning to update the information on You’ve obviously been made aware of this issue and yet it still states that the file size limit is “Unlimited” and that one of the features you offer is “Unlimited Sharing°. Both for the number of files AND the file size.”

The “°Subject to plan storage space limits” fine print doesn’t seem adequate as this implies that the max file size is the same as the max storage size.

All in all, the lesson here is that you must always read the fine print before making your final decision and ultimately, your purchase. File size limits can be an important point that must be covered when dealing with web hosting or server space because you may need access to large files such as: videos, downloads, programs, executable files, etc.

Always consider every possible need for your web hosting or server. Many times, companies will require you to purchase Virtual Private Servers (VPS) to acquire unlimited file sizes for upload and other undesired restrictions.

Thanks for reading.

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United Nations Defends Internet to Russia’s Control

Within the current year, a couple of researchers from George Mason University, have established a website called This site allows users to upload and share documents that many government officials don’t want you to know about. One of which being the “Draft Compilation of Proposals with Options for Revisions to the ITRs.”

This ties into Russia’s desire to censor the internet. The United States plans to put this action to a halt at a United Nations conference later this year. Russian officials say they want the right to block access where it is used for “interfering in the internal affairs, or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature”.

This may sound like a reasonable cause but the power that this would give the Russian government is far too fearful.

Members of the United Nations will gather this December to create a treaty for the World Conference on International Telecommunications. Russia has clearly shown the direction they want internet development to head in.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly felt a need for centralized control over the internet.

President Vladimir Putin, on right, pushes for centralized control of the web.

U.S. delegation has promised to block any and all proposals from Russia, and other countries for that matter, that they find to threaten the current governing structure of the internet or give “tacit approval to online censorship.”

However, these assurances have yet to lessen tension for bureaucrats and those that hold the power of the internet so dearly. The possibility of damaging the world’s single most powerful engine for exchanging information, employment opportunities, and revolution across the globe has kept many on their toes.

“Examples of where the internet has acted as a voice for change include when social networks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings that last year upended regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.”

Besides these factors, the provision has also been found to be in violation of Article 19 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says “people shall have the right to access information through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Such an amended treaty would be sure to be followed by intense investigation by lawmakers wary of its promising dangers.

The U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) works around the general agreement of the public. So its proposals can be stopped by a considerable amount of objections from various countries.

Protesters from the Anonymous India group iun Mimbai of hackers protest laws that give government control of internet usage.
More than 190 nations are expected to attend the Dubai conference and the U.S. delegation now seeks support for positions at the meetings in anticipation of the conference.
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Facebook Faces Sponsored Stories Lawsuit for $10M

About a month ago, Facebook settled a lawsuit for “Sponsored Stories” and was forced to pay $10 million. This just became public from federal court in San Jose, California.

What is a Facebook Sponsored Story?

Sponsored Stores are advertisements including a friend’s name, profile picture, and text saying that they like a certain product, service, or person that is being advertised. These “stories” are valued at 3 times the amount of a regular advertisement and act as a recommendation. However, that friend’s “like” is made public without their awareness and they are not being compensated for their referral.

Five Facebook members filed against the social network for this as it is in violation of California law. This could have included a substantially larger number had the word gotten out and Facebook would be facing billions in penalties.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found the Sponsored Stories to cause “economic injury” be involving people’s names, pictures, and interests. Therefore, a cy-pres settlement was issued, meaning Facebook’s $10 million will be sent to charity.

“California has long recognized a right to protect one’s name and likeness against appropriation by others for their advantage,” Koh wrote.

Yet another privacy lawsuit for Facebook has reached their door. Not only in court, but outside Facebook has been spending large amounts on various causes. From their expansion of their headquarters and $1 billion Instagram purchase, to possible future purchases – Facebook is showing just how financially powerful it is.

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Installing Your New Internal Hard Drive

So you just bought a hard drive and want to start filling that sucker with some files or whatever you want to put on it… Whether you don’t know how to install it into your computer’s case or just on the BIOS you have come to the right place. Here I am going to show you step by step how to install the new piece of hardware into your case as well as how to be sure it is populated properly on your PC.

Hard Drive (Hardware) Installation

Step 1) Open your computer’s case.

Your case should support at least 2 hard drives if not more. The hard drive bays are located (usually) below the bays for the CD/DVD drives. Most modern cases have locking mechanisms for the drives as you can see in Figure 1 next the the numbers for each bay.

7-Pin SATA Cable
Figure 2 (7-Pin SATA Cable)

Now if this is your first hard drive you are installing you are going to want to choose a bay that works well with your power supply connection’s cord length. So don’t choose the bottom bay with a cord that runs to hard drives as well as CD/DVD drives because you probably will have trouble reaching them up at the top of your case. The amount of space and cord length which you are given is always important to consider when installing ANY new hardware in your system.

In Figure 1 below you can see I labeled the following important items:

a) SATA Cables – Also called “Serial ATA” cables as seen in Figure 2, these connect from your motherboard to CD/DVD/Bluray Drives and SATA hard drive disks.
b) CD/DVD Drives – Usually located on top of the hard drive bays and are larger in size.
c) Hard Drive Bays – This is where you are installing your new hard drive. You will most likely need to remove a locking mechanism from the bay before you can insert a new drive. Be sure to pick an easily accessible bay with adequate cord length to the mother board and PSU.

Figure 3 (4-Pin Molex to SATA)

d) Molex Cables – These are usually white or clear 4-pin connectors that have 4 male outputs to connect to devices, see Figure 3. Most modern power supplies will have these molex connectors attached with adapters to connect to SATA devices like the hard drive. See Figure 3 for the connector to your new hard drive.

Not all hard drives come with SATA cables to connect to the motherboard. Make sure you have one before hand or that it comes with one!

Computer Hardware Layout
Figure 1 (Computer Hardware Layout)

Step 2) Place hard drive in case.

Once you know where you are installing the hard drive slide it into the bay and be sure to use the locks on the side of the bays that come with the case. This will keep the hard drive from sliding back and forth.

Plug in the SATA cable shown in the Figure 2 in to your motherboard and then into the back end of the hard drive. Then plug in the power cable to your hard drive and be sure it is connected properly to the power supply.

Tuck away any loose cables to be sure they are as far away from any fans as possible.

Once you have your hard drive installed in the case it should resemble something like Figure 5.

Figure 5 (Hard Drive in Case)

 Step 3) Install the device’s drivers.

Great! You have the hard part over with. Now that the drive is securely installed in the case we can close the case back up, power on, and start uploading.

When you boot up your computer after the hard drive is installed you should automatically get a notification from Windows detecting a new device. This will install the device’s drivers onto Windows. If Windows doesn’t tell you it has found a new device, go to:

Start > Right-click Computer > Properties > Click Device Manager

Right click on “Disk drives” and go to “Scan for hardware changes.” This should find your newly connected hard drive and run driver install/update.

If this fails to detect the hard drive, you may need to recheck your installation in the case. Make sure all cables are plugged in securely, or try another SATA port on the motherboard.

 Step 4) Add drive to Disk Management.

Last thing before you can start utilizing your hard drive. Before the hard drive is recognized as a partition part of your computer’s disk management you must do the following:

Start > Right-click Computer > Manage

On the left go to Storage > Disk Management and in the main window you should see your new drive in the list of volumes. Right click on the drive and go to “Format…” From here it will format the drive for your operating system and you can name it, etc. It will then populate the drive’s details, and whalla!

Enjoy using your new hard drive!

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The Truth About SOPA and PIPA

Stop SOPA and PIPA
Protect your online rights! Stop SOPA & PIPA!

So, you might have heard some word about these bills “SOPA” (Stop Online Piracy Act) and “PIPA” (Protect IP Act). These bills were established October 26th, 2011 with the introduction of SOPA from the House of Representatives congressman – Lamar S. Smith. Basically the reason for the creation of these acts is to put an end to online piracy and the spread of illegally downloaded software, games, music, you name it. These bills come from the constant demand for intellectual property protection from organizations such as Universal Media Group, RIAA, and the MPAA. While this may seem like a very necessary and helpful action, the true potential of these bills is in fact far from its proclaimed intent.

What does SOPA and PIPA mean to you?

Together, these bills will allow for full censorship of the world-wide-web, otherwise known as the internet. What does that mean? It means that whatever you post on your Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or whatever it may be – is up for revision by the U.S. government. Sounds a little bit like the censorship of the internet taking place in the People’s Republic of China, doesn’t it? That’s because it ultimately IS.

Let’s say you post a video on Youtube, whatever the intent of the video may be, and you include a song in that video. If you do not personally own the rights to that song, that video will be removed. Think of all the videos on Youtube right now that fit that description… That is a LOT of content, just gone now. Or maybe you post an image on your Facebook, something you found funny or just liked. Once again, that being an image you do not personally own, will be removed. This affects a lot of content and innovation that we all love so much on the web.

Here’s what will happen if SOPA and PIPA become laws of the U.S. constitution:

  • Security threats – countless websites will be forced to modify their software opening security holes and increased vulnerability to their websites.
  • Free Speech Infringement – the government controls what you can and can’t publish to what was once the worlds greatest free information resource.
  • Innovation Out the Window – developers and publishers will have a very hard time establishing government-approved content and products.
  • Internet Police” – The federal government will be using ISPs, cable companies, web hosts, etc. as their task force to achieved a censored internet.

That is just the quick summary of what these bills could mean. Maybe the bill sponsors Lamar Smith and Patrick Leahy didn’t intend on infringing on free speech or basically destroying the internet we all know and love, but that is exactly what these bills threaten to do if passed.

The sad part is that there are other ways to run a business in these industries without violating U.S. law or taking part in online piracy. Services such as iTunes, Steam, Pandora, and Last-FM all offer services for digital goods like music, movies, and games, and they do it LEGALLY. All it takes is a little innovation to provide a better service like these organizations do. What does the federal government want to do? Take full control of the internet and online life.

What can you do?

I know it seems like there isn’t much you can do about this sort of thing, but you are the ones that CAN. Contact your local representatives office and give them a piece of your mind!

Find and contact your local representative:

Join the fight against online censorship:

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Balance and Composure – Only Boundaries EP (2009)

After their first released EP in 2008 – “I Just Want to Be Pure” – Balance and Composure released a new EP titled “Only Boundaries.” Although this CD only has four tracks they are quite amazing. Written in October of 2009, Blake Solomon describes this EP as “The most memorable 4-song feast of 2009.” The CD holds a very unique emotional connection and their live performance of these tracks is even more sensational. There has yet to be a release that delivers such the emotional message that Only Boundaries does. I couldn’t agree more with Solomon’s words – “It’s just so heavy without being heavy.”

The overall tone of the band’s latest release follows a similar taste of their first – a harsh look at reality that focuses more on the cheerless parts of their lives. In the song Only Boundaries – “As you grow old you’ll see that it’s useless to make an attempt to escape reality.” I think that this expression is not usually found with such powerful effect as present in Balance and Composure’s latest tracks.

Balance and Composure - Only Boundaries Album Cover


01. I Can’t Do This Alone
02. Only Boundaries
03. Show Your Face
04. What’s Wrong With Everything

Record Label: No Sleep Records

Band Members:

Jonathan Simmons – Vocals/Guitar
Andrew Slaymaker – Guitar
Matthew Warner – Bass
Erik Peterson – Guitar
Bailey Van Ellis – Drums

Visit Balance and Composure’s Myspace!

May 11th, 2010 Balance and Composure and Tigers Jaw released their split. You can download the split as well as the Only Boundaries EP here.

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Such Gold – Stand Tall EP (2009)

Genre: Pop Punk / Hardcore
Year: 2009

Mightier Than Sword Records

Such Gold - Stand Tall Album Cover


1. Four Superbowls, No Rings
2. You Always Know What’s Best
3. What’s Left Of You
4. The Greatest Comeback Of All Time
5. Stand Tall

Visit Such Gold’s myspace here!

Get this album on iTunes!

You can download their Stand Tall EP here!

Every once in a while you listen to a band and wonder about their future as a group and whether or not they’ll trail off into sell-outs for major record labels or loose the focus they have as an early group. Such Gold, from my first listen, never seemed to be a band I would worry about one’s future. Their focus is clear in quick beats and great chants as well as a desire for an exciting and unique pop-punk/hardcore performance. From Rochester, NY Such Gold has only been around for a little over a year, but their execution – in this writer’s opinion – appears to be dead on.

Currently their band is made up of the following members:

Ben Kotin – Vocals
Nate Derby – Guitar
Tim Heald – Guitar/Vocals
Devon Hubbard – Bass/Vocals
Devan Bentley – Drums

I found a link on Google for the lyrics to this EP, check them out here!

Check out this Youtube video too:


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