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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tony La Russa sues Twitter over alleged fake page

ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is suing the social-networking site Twitter, claiming an unauthorized page using his name damaged his reputation and caused emotional distress.

The suit filed last month in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco seeks unspecified damages.

Messages left Thursday with La Russa's attorney and San Francisco-based Twitter were not returned.

The lawsuit claims that someone created a false account under La Russa's name and posted updates, known as "tweets," that gave the false impression that the comments came from La Russa. The suit said the comments were "derogatory and demeaning" and damaged La Russa's trademark rights.

The account bearing La Russa's name is no longer active.

La Russa's lawsuit said the page bearing his name was hurtful to the 64-year-old manager, who has led the Cardinals since 1996 and also managed the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A's during a 30-year managerial career.

The lawsuit includes a screenshot of tweets with the heading "Hey there! Tony La Russa is using Twitter," with a picture of the manager. Among other things, the lawsuit claims the page includes distasteful references to two Cardinals pitchers who have died in recent years.

The same page includes an aside that reads, "Bio Parodies are fun for everyone."

Some professional athletes and others connected to pro sports have embraced Twitter. Shaquille O'Neal posted a message on his site saying he was pulling for former teammate Kobe Bryant to win a fourth championship as the Lakers entered the NBA finals against Orlando.

"I am saying it today and today only," O'Neal tweeted. "I want kobe bryant to get number four, spread da word."

Buffalo Bills receiver Terrell Owens posted a message on his Twitter site Tuesday that his search for a home to rent hit a snag because residents "(don't) want any drama n their neighborhood!! LOL!!! Wow!!." more..

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Debating the power of Google's Wave

We've had about a week to absorb the Google's pitch for Wave, its new experimental communication platform, and about a day to try the actual early "sandbox" build of the service. See our hands-on review. But there's more to talk about with Wave. It's not just an app, it's an important evolution in the philosophy of written communication.

People will see Wave in different ways. For some, it's a clever take on e-mail. Others will see it as instant messaging with new features. Developers will look at Wave's open specs and APIs, and see a framework for new collaborative apps. But is it really any of these things, or just a crazy experiment from Google's Australian outpost?

Is it better than e-mail?

CNET Editor Rafe Needleman:
In some ways, it really is. With Wave, you don't reply to a message with a new message, you instead add your reply to the message itself. When there are multiple people involved in a conversation, this can prevent a lot of confusion. There's only one "wave" in a conversation, not a volley of messages flying around that repeat each other.

CNET Senior Writer Stephen Shankland:
Gmail users accustomed to conversation view, which stacks the back-and-forth discussion into a single view, will have an easier time adjusting to Wave's ways.

And just as Gmail works best if you only deal with one e-mail at a time, Wave is good at only one wave at a time. That's fine for a lot of IM-like chats, but if you work in depth on multiple waves simultaneously, think about opening multiple browser tabs. There are boldface indicators of new activity in your inbox, which tell you who's active, but with multiple tabs you won't always see them--especially if your inbox gets crowded with new waves.

It's fun to play with now, but we don't know what using Wave will be like once we start getting overflowing inboxes of waves.

Right. Every Net communication technology goes through a honeymoon period where just you and your close contacts use it. Then the whole Net discovers it and your little paradise becomes just another conduit for spam, inane jokes, and trivia. Expect the same issues with Wave.

The thing everyone is going to make a big deal of in Wave is that you can interrupt someone who's carefully writing a message to you. You can barge into a message before they're done with it, demand the writer's immediate attention, and force them to shift from composing to replying. There will be a way to hide your real-time activity in Wave, but the default mode is real-time. It's interruptive and very different. There will be people who hate it.
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E3 game trailer : Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2

will continue the open-world, over-the-top action game that made a splash in 2007 on Xbox 360. Microsoft announced the game at the company's E3 2009 press conference, but details of a launch date were not disclosed. Crackdown 2 will be an Xbox 360-exclusive title when it does actually release.more...E3 game trailer

Can u Believe Beatles : Rock Band Together

LOS ANGELES-->If You Were Among The Thousands Of People At Microsoft's E3 Press Briefing On Monday, It's A Pretty Sure Bet That The Appearance On-Stage There Of Paul Mccartney, Ringo Starr, And Yoko Ono Was One Of The Most Unexpected Things Imaginable.

But If You Think About It, The Very Existence Of The Game That Led To Their Showing Up During The Xbox Press Briefing, Harmonix And Mtv Games' "Beatles: Rock Band," Is Even More Surprising. After All, The Beatles Have, Over The Years, Maintained A Stranglehold Over Control Of Their Music. For Example The Beatles Are Still The Holy Grail That Itunes Has Not Yet Been Able To Corral.

The game will be released on September 9 (09.09.09) on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, and the Wii.

So how did the game come to pass?

Since the two remaining Beatles weren't able to come to the phone for this article, I decided to stop by the Harmonix booth at E3 and ask the game's lead designer, Chris Foster, for the skinny behind what has got to be one of the biggest coups in video gaming history.

Foster said the story begins a couple of years ago, when MTV President Van Toffler ran into Dhani Harrison, son of the late Beatles guitarist George Harrison, in some random social setting.

"It was just sort of through happenstance," Foster said. "Dhani was a big 'Rock Band' fan, and there was this sort of, 'Wouldn't it be nice if...but it'll never happen.'"

Beatles RockBand rocks E3

But being a "Rock Band" fan, Dhani Harrison took his idea to Harmonix CEO and co-founder Alex Rigopulos and began a conversation about what a Beatles version of "Rock Band" could be. Foster said that the idea seemed like a huge challenge, but, deciding to pursue it, Harrison began evangelizing the idea to Apple Corps, the Beatles' U.K. publisher, and its shareholders, particularly McCartney, Starr, and Ono.

"So then, from that point, it was just sort of getting them familiar with ('Rock Band')," Foster said, "and getting them understanding what the game could be like."

By now, the discussions were far enough along that Harmonix put together a simple demo of the kind of music and conceptual art that could be used in the game, Foster said.

And, amazingly, inexplicably, it worked.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Have head One of Google Chrome’s First Extensions: AdSweep

AdBlock Plus, an add-on that prevents advertisements from being loaded on web pages, is one of the most popular add-ons for Firefox (Firefox reviews). The non-profit Mozilla Foundation (whose corporate arm, Mozilla Corporation, does profit mainly from advertising) has never tried to thwart the add-on.

For the maker of Chrome (Chrome reviews), Google (Google reviews), advertising is a much more serious business. The company makes billions of dollars in web-based advertising, and it definitely won’t be too happy when AdSweep, an ad-blocking extension for Chrome, becomes widely available.

Yes, this extension has been around for a couple of months, but extensions aren’t yet officially supported by Chrome and there’s no easy way to install it. This will change, as Google has recently opened up an API for third party developers, with plans to start officially supporting extensions soon.

According to LA Times, Google has been ambiguous on the subject so far. Of course, Google Chrome (Google Chrome reviews) has a relatively small chunk of the web browser market (1.42% in April, according to some estimates), and the users that install AdSweep will not be a threat to its revenue. But ultimately, Google’s goal for Chrome is to attain as much market share as possible; if Chrome’s market share rises, AdSweep and similar extensions will become more and more of a problem for Google.more

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bing is start...let,s test bing...

Bing, Microsoft’s latest effort to beat Google (Google reviews) at what it does best - search - is now live for everyone. It’s bearing the ubiquitous “beta” tag, and contrary to what many expected from Microsoft, the search is decent. But it’s also strangely familiar. Is it decent enough to compete with Google? Read on.

Anxious to see what Microsoft has in store for us, I’ve fired up a couple of usual examples: “Mashable (Mashable reviews)“, “Stan Schroeder” (the standard vanity searches), “MSI megabook 677” (some random piece of hardware), “Star Trek” (new movie, old series, let’s see which will get prioritized) etc.

The results were solid, too good, perhaps, for a very new search engine, but also oddly familiar. And then it dawned on me: it’s The results for any query are exactly the same as on And we’re not talking about the first couple of results; we’re talking about all results.

(*note: I was lucky to be able to try it out, because 20 minutes after I started writing this article, started redirecting to Of course, it’s now the same search engine.)

So, what does Bing do differently? It puts related search on the left side of the screen, instead of the right. It also gives you short preview of the contents of search results as you mouse over them, and autoplays videos. Nice. But there’s no trace of better organization of search results that we were promised, or anything really interesting here. Videos, images? Also pretty much the same as on Shopping? Merely a redirect to

*edit: the above stands for the UK version of Bing. Manually setting the location to various places in the world, i.e. switching from UK to US changes Bing significantly. There’s at least three very different versions of Bing right now, and depending on where you are, your Bing experience will be very different. It’s a very weird decision from Microsoft, bound to cause a lot of confusion, but hey: it’s the Microsoft way.

So, let’s test the US version. The Shopping is now Bing’s own, instead of a redirect to Ciao, while video and image search is very similar in both versions. The core of the search engine, from what I can see, is still, but the search results for some queries are indeed organized topically; for example, for “Star Trek” the results will be divided into general results, Star Trek cast, Star Trek Wallpapers, Theme Song, DVD, Episodes, and so forth. It doesn’t always work; for “Wolverine,” I just get the standard list of results; oddly enough, they’re worse on the US version (if you’re looking for the movie, of course) than on the UK version, which brings more results relevant to Wolverine the movie. For the same query (”Wolverine“), Google blows both out of the water.

How useful are Bing’s search subcategories, which are arguably its most important feature? Depends. If you’re used to entering precise queries, such as “Starbucks menu”, you’ll never see them. If you prefer entering a broader query “Starbucks” and then choosing from subcategories such as Recipes, Menu, Franchise, Nutrition and Coupons, Bing will work great. However, these subcategories aren’t all that different from ye olde search suggestions, and although they’re often helpful, I doubt they will revolutionize search.

Most importantly, Bing is currently still changing. I’d like to hear your experiences and thoughts about Bing, but right now, it seems like a half-way transition from to something new, and it’s very hard to assess its true value until the various versions scattered around the world are consolidated into one.more...

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