Facebook Cited as Evidence in One-Third of Divorce Cases in the UK

Facebook A new report from the UK based Divorce-Online.com blames Facebook for one-third of divorces in the country. A similar study conducted in 2009 had pegged Facebook’s involvement in divorces at 20%.

The increasing impact of Facebook on people’s personal lives is hardly surprising, given that users around the globe are becoming more and more habituated to sharing stuff about their lives that they wouldn’t otherwise shout out in public.

“People contact ex-partners and the messages start as innocent, but lead to trouble”, explained Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online. “If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex then it’s the easiest place to do it”.

Marriages often fall apart when spouses discover secrets about their partner on Facebook. Anne-Marie Hutchinson, at Dawson Cornwell Solicitors, said, “If you are keeping things from your partner, Facebook makes it so much easier for them to find out.”

The top three reasons for including Facebook as evidence in divorce cases are:

  • Inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex.
  • Separated spouses posting nasty comments about each other.
  • Facebook friends reporting spouse’s behaviour.

By comparison, Twitter appeared only in 20% of cases, and when it appeared it was mostly because Twitter was used to make inappropriate comments about exes.

Rebecca Black’s Friday is YouTube’s Most Viewed Video of 2011

After Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Opera, YouTube is the latest bigwig to publish its own annual top 10 list. If 2009 was the year of Miley Cyrus and 2010 was the year of Justin Bieber, 2011 will go down as the year of Rebecca Black. Rebecca Black’s Friday, which often appears to have more haters than admirers, collected more than 180 million views. Other entries in the list include viral sensations like talking dog, talking twin babies and Nyan cat.

YouTube received more than 1 trillion playbacks in 2011, which amounts to about 140 views for every person on Earth! The most viewed channels were Machinama, IGN, and RayWilliamJohnson. Among videos from major music labels, Jennifer Lopez’s On The Floor and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem proved to be the biggest hits.

You can head over to YouTube.com/Rewind to browse through some of the biggest sensations of the year. YouTube has put together top 10s for a wide range of categories including fashion, beauty, sports, gaming, travel, fitness, food, science, tech reviews, family, pets, and wedding proposals.

Most viewed YouTube videos globally (excluding videos from major music labels)

Rebecca Black – Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Ultimate Dog Tease
Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)
Talking Twin Babies – PART 2 – OFFICIAL VIDEO
Nyan Cat [original]
Look At Me Now – Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)
The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)
Maria Aragon – Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga
The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
Cat mom hugs baby kitten

Most viewed YouTube channels globally (excluding channels from major music labels)
machinima
IGNentertainment
RayWilliamJohnson
expertvillage
BlueXephos
smosh
realannoyingorange
roosterteeth
thelonelyisland
barelypolitical

Most watched videos from major music labels globally

Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor ft. Pitbull
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song [Official Video]
Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
Pitbull – Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer
Pitbull – Rain Over Me ft. Marc Anthony
Jessie J – Price Tag ft. B.o.B.
LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
Katy Perry – E.T. ft. Kanye West
Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)

Some highlights from other categories:
Zach Wahls Speaks About Family was the most-watched political video
Japan Earthquake: Helicopter aerial view video of giant tsunami waves was the most-watched news video
25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes! was the most watched how-tovideo
iPhone 5 Concept Features was the most-watched science/technology video
Immortals was the most-watched movie trailer
Mountain Biker gets taken out by Buck was the most-watched sports video was the most-watched political video

Opera Reveals Mobile Web’s Top Websites

Social Media websites, whose very existence is threatened by SOPA, were amongst the biggest gainers in 2011, suggests a report published by Opera Software. The latest edition of Opera’s monthly State of the Mobile Web report, which is generated using aggregated information obtained from Opera Mini servers, takes a look at the top mobile websites at the end of 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Google Search topped the list, while Facebook held on to its position as runners-up. Wikipedia, Blogger, Spaces, Twitter and YouTube were amongst the gainers this year. Predictably enough, Wapdam, Orkut, Detik and Live vanished from the top 20, while Yahoo fell by a couple of spots. The top ten mobile websites, as reported by Opera are:

  1. google.com
  2. facebook.com
  3. youtube.com (up 1)
  4. vkontakte.ru (down 1)
  5. odnoklassniki.ru
  6. yandex.ru
  7. wikipedia.org (up 4)
  8. my.opera.com
  9. yahoo.com (down 2)
  10. twitter.com (up 2)

Opera Mini itself experienced a year-on-year growth of 80.6%. It finished November 2011 with 144.6 million users, a 3.3% increase from October. Opera Mini users viewed over 88.5 billion pages, which would have normally generated 13.2 petabytes of traffic. However, thanks to its server side compression algorithm, Opera Mini managed to reduce network traffic to less than 1.5 petabytes.

Opera-Mini-Growth

Most of Opera Mini’s growth came from Latin America and Africa. Asia, where Opera Mini has always been popular, continued to display impressive growth, but North America once again proved to be a tough nut to crack.

Google+ Hangouts Just Became a Whole Lot More Awesome

Circles might be the foundation of Google+, but Hangouts are undoubtedly its biggest selling point. Hangouts one-up pretty much every other social network out there by enabling effortless video conversation between up to ten people for free. Now, Google has announced a bunch of new features that will make Hangouts even more compelling.

Going forward, Hangouts will be embedded into all posts in order to encourage impromptu conversations among friends and acquaintances over a common topic. By clicking on the new Hangout button below posts, users will be able to post their Hangout invitations as a comment. This feature will be available on the web, as well as in the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Google is also making it possible to add people, who aren’t online, to Hangouts by calling them up. Calls made to US and Canada are completely free, while other international calls are remarkably cheap.

The “Hangouts on Air” feature that has been used by celebrities like the Black Eyed Peas to share performances will be expanded to hundreds of other Google+ users with a large following. Going on air is as simple as creating a new Hangout with broadcast and record option enabled. Once the performance or conversation is over, Google will automatically upload a full-length private copy of the event to YouTube.

Google-Plus-Hangouts

Finally, Google is making it harder than before to ignore Hangout invitations. Not only will they show up in your stream, but will also occupy a prominent permanent place in the Google+ sidebar, and notify you on your mobile if you aren’t online from a desktop.

Facebook Acquires Gowalla to Improve Timeline

CNN is reporting that Facebook has acquired location based social network Gowalla for an undisclosed sum. Gowalla, which was one of the stars of SXSW 2009, had been struggling in recent times, having lost the battle of check-in services to Foursquare. Towards the end of last year, it almost conceded as much by integrating competing services like Foursquare and Facebook Places into the mobile app. More recently, it has been trying to sell itself as a travel and storytelling app. On the other hand, Facebook also failed to hurt Foursquare’s dominance, and has been relatively quiet about the Places feature.

Gowalla

Considering the circumstances, an acquisition by Facebook might be the best possible outcome for Gowalla. The amount paid by Facebook for the acquisition is not known; however, it will almost certainly not be on the higher end of the spectrum. However, the more interesting question is what Facebook intends to do with Gowalla. Facebook has a frustrating habit of acquiring promising apps and killing them off. It’s most likely that they will do the same with Gowalla at some point next year. However, the travel diary and guide features unveiled by Gowalla at TC Disrupt are intriguing and compelling. CNN believes that Gowalla’s team will work on the Timeline feature that Zuckerberg unveiled earlier in the year. Timeline is still under beta testing, and available only to developers and select users.

YouTube Redesigns Itself Around Channels and Social

YouTube has unveiled what is possibly the biggest redesign since its launch. The new design makes a conscious effort to increase user engagement by leveraging channels and social media. The homepage makes it easier than ever before to view videos that you want to watch. A Facebook-like activity stream is at the front and center of the new design. Tabs on the left hand side allow instant switching between different streams, while the right hand side houses video and channel recommendations. Facebook and Google+ streams feature videos shared by your friends and contacts, while Trending and Popular steams house the latest viral sensations from across the web.

YouTube-Redesign

Channels themselves have been updated with new templates to make discovering videos easier. Users can check on their favorite channels without leaving the homepage or subscribe to channels while watching a video. The overall design has also been improved vastly. Google has incorporated the best aspects of Cosmic Panda to create a livelier and richer experience. “We’ve used your feedback to improve our overall design, and today, we’re presenting a cleaner and simpler YouTube, with a consistent gray background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page”, read the official announcement.

Head over to YouTube.com or view the video embedded above to check out the new YouTube. In the short time that I have used it, I have found the new design to be a lot more intuitive and elegant, besides being functional. There are a few oddities here and there though. Videos shared by people not in my circles show up in my Google Plus stream on occasions, and videos that you have watched aren’t automatically replaced with newer ones. However, as is typical with any redesign, there is already a minor backlash against it from avid YouTube users. Don’t forget to let us how you feel about the new YouTube.

Facebook Reveals Most Shared Articles in 2011

December is customarily the month when everyone loves to look back and reminisce. However, Facebook has already decided that it has seen enough, and has published its list of most shared articles in the US for the current year. The list is an interesting collection that includes viral videos and memes as well as the big events of the year like the earthquake in Japan and Steve Jobs’ passing away. The most shared article was a NYTimes report depicting the widespread devastation caused by the earthquake in Japan, while the runner up was about teachers taking issue with parents.

Japan-Quake-Satellite-Images

Although the articles that managed to find their way onto the list are diverse, their sources aren’t. All of the top forty articles are contributed by only six news organizations. Yahoo is the top contributor with 12 entries. CNN had 10 entries, while The New York Times and The Huffington Post had 7 articles each. Interestingly, traditional media dominated heavily on Facebook with Huffington Post being the only true new-age digital media organization among the top contributors.

Expectedly, the list had a lot of viral entries including the father daughter dance medley, talking twin babies, baby laughing at ripping paper, and the homeless man with a golden voice. Check out these viral sensations, if you missed them the first time around.




Curious pieces of news and trivia such as, things babies born in 2011 will never know, the most typical face on the planet, and man robbing a bank to get medical care in jail, were perennial favorites, as were parenting related articles. Head over to the Facebook Media blog to view the full list.

Top 3 Opera Extensions to Enhance Your Google Plus Experience

The jury is still out on Google Plus; however, Google’s phenomenal reach coupled of a refreshing take on privacy has ensured that it is off to a promising start. If you are amongst the millions who have already jumped ship to Google Plus, here are three Opera extensions to enhance your Google Plus experience.

Google-Plus-Notification-Bar-Opera Google+ Injector: One of the best features of Google Plus is the notification bar, which allows you to track what’s happening on Google Plus and instantly respond to new events without leaving the current page. Unfortunately, Google was too lazy to develop a truly cross-browser solution, and the notification bar just doesn’t work in Opera. Fortunately, there is a simple extension called Google Plus Injector that adds the missing CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code into Google Plus to add the missing options to the web toolbar for Opera users.

Google-Plus-Notifications-Opera

The extension works as promised for Google Plus; however, it would have been even better, if it worked across different Google services (such as Google Search). Currently, even with this extension, notifications aren’t available on Google properties other than Google Plus.

DownloadSupport for Google+: Google Plus’ excellent media integration support has made it a popular platform to share images and videos. This extension enables one click download of images and videos from Google Plus. You can either use album and batch download for images, or selectively download images from your Google Plus stream. For YouTube videos shared on Google, one click download option is available.

Google+ Notif: This extension displays a snapshot of the latest Google Plus notifications on Opera’s speed dial. Google’s global web bar doesn’t function properly in Opera; however, this is a nice alternative to stay on top of activities in your Google Plus stream.

Google-Plus-Speed-Dial-Extension

If you are an Opera user who can’t stay away from Google Plus, these three extensions are must haves. However, there are a couple of more Google Plus extensions for Opera, including the Simple Google Plus Access extension that provides quick access to the social networking website through the toolbar. Feel free to explore Opera’s extension gallery to discover more handy extensions.

Twitter + Facebook + Google Plus = Chime.in; A New Social Networking Site by UberMedia

Entrepreneur and investor Bill Gross, the CEO of UberMedia, a social media company that specialized in creating social networking apps like Echofon and UberSocial/Twidroyid, has officially launched a new social networking site, which is supposedly the clone of – Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus – called Chime.in

Chime.in is basically, well yet another social networking tool, which is about connecting people with same/similar interests. The fact that the newly launched social networking site is someway similar to Twitter, and this fact is being dodged by the CEO, making it a point that the project is all about enabling people to join and build dynamic communities around topics of similar interests, which easily enables users to create and engage with relevant media content.

Chime.in -  Connect around your interests

“Social media is the future of all electronic content and transactions,” said Bill Gross, CEO of UberMedia. “It will be everywhere, just like oxygen. However, now that a billion people are using social media, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of content that’s irrelevant to you. Chime.in, by focusing on your interests, and not just people, makes it much more relevant and engaging.”

Chime.in is all set to have a direct competition with the four major social networking giants Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Yet, the question strikes my mind do we need another social networking site? I don’t really think so.

Here are some basic features of Chime.in –

  • One can easily integrate media in every post. However, the good thing is that it does not allow you to post GIFs.
  • You have an option to either follow a specific category of a user or the user as a whole (includes all his/her categories)
  • Everything on Chime is public. There are no direct messages or PMs. This however, is a limitation which hopefully should be added when it is out of beta.
  • You can place ads on community pages and makes some bucks.

How different is Chime.in from Twitter and other social networks?

Chime has two unique and different features, which are

Chime is all about interests and topics. People stick around to topics that they are interested in, and all the discussions that take place are called as Chimes. These Chimesare automatically organized by Chime which will appear on your something called as Chimeline(a timeline).

The next feature is that you can post ads to the communities you create. For instance, you can pin Google AdSense advertisements to the communities that you create and make some money out it while you keep people engaged with topics. Alternatively, you have an option to let Chime.in populate it with advertising and give you a portion of the profits.

Chimes and Chimeline

Just like Twitter and Facebook, Chime also provides you with vanity URLs, where you append your own name or alias along with the domain.

Chime.in Profile

Updating a post on Chime is pretty simple and easy. The approach of adding a post is very much similar to Google Plus. You can add a link, post an image, upload/add a video, and even add a poll. However, the post box consists of two sections – Headline, which is optional and the “Chime”. The Headline is limited to 65 characters while the content (Chime) is limited to 2000 characters. You can enter up to 5 categories which you post could be related to.

Post Updates on Chime.in

You can as well connect your Chime account with Twitter and Facebook accounts. Just click on the “connect” buttons to authorize your accounts with Chime –

Connect with Twitter and Facebook

Like Twitter, you can add/change the background image for your profile.

Chime.in - Background Images

Verified Accounts

Chime.in verifies celebrity profiles, which will avoid scammers and users to create fake celebrity accounts to attract followers. Here’s a verified account of Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher Verified Chime.in Account

Yet another similar like Twitter, you can share, like or save a Chime to your favourites and view the same by clicking on the “Saved” option on the left sidebar.

Mobile Apps

Chime.in supports iOS, Android, and Blackberry for its mobile apps and allows you to compose Chimes, reply to Chimes, upload photos, browse your Chimeline and view profiles.

Click here to download the official Chime.in mobile apps

Chimes.in Mobile Apps

According the site, Chime is a place to learn and share with others who have the same interests. Where one day, your every interest, no matter how big or small, serious or silly, will have its own vibrant community of people who are just as passionate about it as you are.

10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

I have been bewitched by Apple products ever since I got my hands on my first iPod in college (a generous gift). My old friend, the iPod, has since been retired from my service, but still continues to bring music and entertainment to my dear ones. The time was ripe and on cue, I was bewitched by another Apple product. Enter the iPad. I moved from my initial skepticism (Oh, why do I even need something like that?) to pure delight when I got my iPad 2.

Having an iTouch may be enough for some folks,   but when you get used to it, suddenly, screen size does matter. On my iPad, I love reading e-books, watching videos, and even making notes on the larger, scrumptious 9.7-inch LED screen. The larger onscreen keyboard is a life saver for the days when my fingers feel especially pudgy. Having a front- and rear-facing camera is an added bonus for my many video chats. Still no flash though, sigh.

Here are my Top 10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

1. Kindle Cloud Reader

Being a big reader, I experimented with lots of free e-book readers from iBooks to Kobo to Stanza (to name a few). What really sold me the Kindle Cloud Reader was its beautiful interface and the constant fresh fodder (e-books) from the Kindle store. You have to use a very basic shopping concept here, good deals are only found if you regularly check what is on the clearance rack. Every day, the store provides fodder of a different genre. The magic is that I can pick some really good stuff for free! I also do not miss having a book spine on the screen (as is seen in iBooks).

2. Terra

The default mobile Safari browser is not bad. I like my browser tabstoo much to settle though. Terra is simple to use and I can open as many tabs as I want. It is strong on privacy; I can browse without saving anything in History, and I can set a pass code for my History and Bookmarks. (The following image is from technologytosoftware.com).

3. Instagram

I have cheated a bit here. As of now, its interface still looks like that of a stretched iPod app (the fit-to-screen type). But, I (and another 10 million users) love the simplicity and pure ingenuity of ¬†Instagram’s many fun filters. It’s easy to link to Facebook and Twitter too. This app is good news considering there aren’t any good photo-editing social networking apps.

4. Flipboard

This app creates a magazine from my numerous networking-site feeds. My updates from Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, and many other sites, are much easier to manage as a result. I mainly use Flipboard to save all my favorite stories to be savored at my leisure. Flipboard also won Apple’s iPad App of the Year award.

5. Evernote

This popular app is a lifesaver. I make about a dozen notes a day on the Evernote cloud. It is easy to get used to it.

 

6. Dropbox

This is another amazing cloud app that offers 2 GB of free space to its users. I can’t imagine how I lived without it. I can save and manipulate my data, as if on my local desktop, using Dropbox.

7. Skype

The beauty of having a camera on the iPad is that I can make a video call on a full screen with Skype while catching up with other friends. Who in the world is not on Skype?

8. NPR

This news app beats NY Times, WSJ, and many others because it does not have the painful limited (or paid) viewing of its content. Its articles are open to everyone. I enjoy the latest NPR news broadcast, or simply listen to its playlist of songs.

9. Twitterrific

There are numerous Twitter apps. An ideal app, in my opinion, is one that I get the hang of in less than 10 seconds. Twitterrific fits the bill. It is simple and intuitive. It has not failed me yet, so I see no reason to jump to TweetDeck.

10. AccuWeather

I believe that it’s good to have more than one source to check my weather forecast. AccuWeather is an American company that provides (reasonably) accurate weather forecasting services worldwide. The interface is clean and presentable. No overload of information here. The hourly update on multiple locations is a nice touch.

Bonus Free iPad App

11. Talking Larry the Bird

In a nut shell, Larry repeats what you say to him in his own ducelent tones. Its too much fun for a human.