Are grown-ups taking over Facebook?


iStrategyLabs ( has released new numbers based on a study from January to July 2009 which apparently shows a growth of 513.7 percent of Facebook members aged 55 and older , a drop of 16.5 percent in high schoolers and 21.7 percent drop in college students.

But before you panic and think that Facebook’s popularity is over among the “cool kids”, take a moment to read about why these numbers appear like that.

iStrategyLabs did not actually survey Facebook users, it just looked at the user’s affiliations where Facebook members choose to identify the school they attend. So how does this explain the drop?

A blog from Business Week has the idea that between January and July, millions of young people graduated from school, so perhaps they also dropped their online affiliation with their alma maters, and not because they have left the site entirely.

Another good reason why there is a decrease in the number of users is that university and high school affiliations make it rather easier to track people, increasing their concern over privacy.

With school affiliations, teachers or parents can easily find your page and see that newest pic you had when you were out partying last night – so why take the risk? In my book, it’s easier to drop those affiliations than being grounded for a week right?


New LED-backlit LCD HDTV unveiled from Sharp


Sharp introduces its first LED sets from its Aquos line of HDTVs and is now available in the market at mainstream prices.

Sets using LED backlights improve black-level performance and uses less power when compared to those sets that use fluorescent-tubes. LG and Vizio has already realeased their own sets using this new technology, giving consumers more alternatives since LED backlighting used to be limited only to pricey sets such as Samsung and Sony.

One feature that this new set offers is the Aquos Advantage Live. This allows a Sharp customer service rep to remotely adjust the customer’s TV settings while on the phone with him or her.

The new models come in four sizes: the 32-inch LC-32LE700UN ($1,099.99), 40-inch LC-40LE700UN ($1,699.99), 46-inch LC-46LE700UN ($2,199.99), and 52-inch LC-52LE700UN ($2,799.99).

I doubt if it will take long before using LED backlighting becomes a standard feature on most LCDs and prices for these babies won’t be too high by then.


iPhone’s new competitor


T-Mobile’s MyTouch 3G is now open for pre-orders and will be available starting August 5. The phone, which was announced by the company last month, is the second smartphone the carrier has introduced which uses Android, Google’s open-source mobile operating system.

MyTouch is thinner and slightly smaller that the G1 (the world’s first Google Android phone which came out last fall from the same carrier) and has a 3.2-inch touch screen. This phone also has 3G and Wi-Fi support and boasts pre-installed applications including integrated Google Apps. Users can also access the Android Market where they can browse the 5,0000 apps available for download.

Personalization is what they claim to have an edge over the iPhone. According to T-Mobile executives, no two MyTouches will be the same since users can customize their phones based on their own needs and lifestyles. Not only can they download applications, they can also make changes on their unit’s home screen such as change its background and even organize application icons on it.

Also, because the phone uses the Android software, users can easily switch between multiply applications that are open on the device and allows information from one application to be fed or viewed in another application.

“It will appeal to the same consumers that are interested in the iPhone,” said Denny Post, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at T-Mobile USA. “But the applications used on this phone won’t be just for show. They won’t simply be a novelty. Instead they will be very useful and purposeful.”

Ouch. Let’s hear what Apple has to say to that.


NASA’s shuttle ready for take off


NASA’s space shuttle Endeavor is preparing its third attempt to launch on a construction mission to the International Space Station scheduled on Saturday, [7:39] PM EDT.

Why third attempt you ask?

Well, the last two attempts to launch the shuttle were cancelled because of potentially dangerous hydrogen fuel leaks. Technicians already fixed the leaks though and just last week, filled the fuel tank with 500,000 gallons or 1.9 million liters (big huh?) of supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. This was done to test if indeed, the repair was successful.

The mission? The Endeavor crew will install a porch onto Kibo – Japan’s first human space facility which enhances the unique research capabilities – for science experiments, replace batteries in a solar panel wing, and do other maintenance tasks.

The 3-day launch countdown began last Wednesday. Meteorologists however, predicted that conditions suitable for the launch this Saturday will only be 40 percent.

“We’re all eager to get Endeavour and her crew on their way to the International Space Station,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, a shuttle launch manager. “We’re ready to fly this mission.”

Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain on their parade 😉


Have a buck? Buy a Netbook!


Have a buck? Buy a Netbook!

Yup, you read that right – a buck for a Netbook – no kidding.

With the advent of pint-sized computers, more and more computer companies are jumping in the bandwagon and producing their own Netbook models as demand for them increases.

Mega-retailer Best Buy and Sprint has joined forces and resulted to what could be the cheapest Netbook to date. Compaq Mini 110c-1040DX Netbook will be sold for 99 cents with a two-year service contract provided by the telecommunications company and will be available in participating Best Buy stores.

The Compaq Mini 110c-1040DX Netbook runs on a 1.6GHz processor and 160GB hard drive.

The 3G wireless service from Sprint will cost you $60 a month for the 5GB data monthly for two years. I’mma do a quick math here – so the netbook’s true cost would be $1,440.

Consumer response this plan however, is still shaky as they might be deterred of the overall pricing for the Netbooks with the two-year fixed data contract when they can surf the web for free if there are Wi-Fi spots available.

Best Buy also plans to sell the Netbook to Verizon Wireless and AT&T for $199.99, again, with a two-year lock-in period.


Google OS coming soon


Another news from Google and this time, they’re not just staying on the web. Rumors have been going on about an operating system from the giant company and now it’s confirmed!

Google has announced last Tuesday night in its blog that there will be an operating system based on Google’s browser, Chrome soon, which was released to the public December 11 of last year.

This OS will be carried by lower-end PCs more known to the public as Netbooks and will be included in the second half of 2010. Manufacturers of Netbooks haven’t been revealed though. This open-source project will be run under the covers by Linux.

This move by Google shows how serious they are with their business. “Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small Netbooks to full-size desktop systems,” Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director has both said in the blog post.

Google’s browser is created with a “minimal design with sophisticated technology”, makes you curious about what the OS would look like eh?

Something tells me Microsoft will be making a run for its money soon now!


Happy Birthday App Store!


Another event to celebrate for all those Apple fans out there!

The App Store which was launched on July 11, 2008 will be nearing its first birthday and Apple is making sure it gets the celebration it deserves.

First off, to celebrate this milestone, Apple has dedicated an entire section on the iTunes store where it lists some of the company’s favorite apps for iPhones and iPod Touch. It also lists new apps as well as titles of the top paid apps.

Apple also recently celebrated its one billionth download on the App Store, giving that downloader some pretty cool gifts.

Since its launching, the App store has boasted more than 50,000 applications on its virtual shelves and still counting. Among the applications include crowd favorites such as IM utility BeeJive, ebook reader Stanza, and games such as The Sims 3 and Flight Control.

Pretty awesome for something barely a year old, huh? J


Gmail is Beta no more!


So five years was all it took for Google to finally shed its beta preface.

Google has just announced today that its applications which included Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Talk is up and ready to tackle the world and is ready for prime time. Google engineers have finally given the go signal and are now satisfied with the applications’ performances.

So why did it take so long for them to get of the beta phase? According to Google’s product management director Matthew Glotzbach, they’ve “focused their efforts on reaching their high bar for taking their products out of beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark”.

If you’re guessing that there will be upgrades after this, guess again. There is still no word from Google about upgrading their enterprise applications as of this writing.

For applications in beta phase though, Google’s apps doing pretty well. The company boasts that some 1.75 million companies are already using their suite of enterprise software to this day and TechCrunch writer Erick Schonfeld notes that Gmail users have increased to an astonishing 48 percent in 2008!


iPhone 3G S unlocked


Yes, he did it again.

George Hotz, 19, who was first known to the world as the first person who unlocked iPhone, claims to have developed an application that can “jailbreak” the latest gadget from Apple.

The application – purplera1n – allows third-party software to be installed in the iPhone 3G S which means even those applications not approved by Apple can run in the phone.

This recent development in the hacking world is a big deal because not only does it make the phone more open to more apps, it also shows that overcoming Apple’s built-in security is not an impossibility.

Hotz released the software which can run on a Windows-based computer on July 3, less than a month after iPhone 3G S was made available to the public. This can run on a PC and the latest version of iTunes and an iPhone 3G S running on the latest iPhone 3.0 software. He released a Mac version of the app today.

He is quick to point out to people though, to do a backup before starting the application as this is still a Beta version.

A lot of blogs posts scattered in the internet have confirmed that the application does work, thus testifying to his er..hacking prowess. And so he says, “We release, Apple fixes, we find new holes”.


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