ShadyURL Turns Your Normal URLs Into Frightening, Terror Inducing URLs


If you’ve ever wanted to share a link and have absolutely no one click on it or just scare the crap out of your less-technically-inclined friends head on over the ShadyURL.com and turn your links into terrible looking virus-y/phishing looking links.

Seriously, I have no idea what the usefulness of this site is but it does create some interesting looking URLs that you would never willingly want to click on.

via Reddit

Google Goes Gaga


I’m not exactly a Lady Gaga fan but I really have to give her credit for what she’s been able to accomplish and how she was able to accomplish it. Lady Gaga was interviewed by Google’s Marissa Mayer recently and as part of the introduction they played a little video mashup of Lady Gaga and Google using Poker Face. It’s pretty freaking awesome.

Utopic.me Aggregates Your Friends' Likes and Shares and Displays Them in Little Boxes of Goodness


Yesterday I posted about a new content curation service called Cliq.ly. While they’re UI is pretty awesome looking, as of now there’s not many features available, although as I mentioned I’m sure more will be coming.

Today I came across a similar service called Utopic.me. Utopic.me is much more refined and is specifically tuned into your social networks and aggregating the content and hot topics your friends are currently sharing.

Currently you can connect Utopic to your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. You even have the option of blocking people and or sites from your Utopic feed.

I spoke with Jüri Kaljundi, the CEO and co-founder of Utopic, to ask him some questions about how exactly the content was aggregated. Here are his answers.

Input from your friends (or friends of friends):
– how many times an item has been posted, liked or retweeted by your friends on FB/Twitter (or favourited / liked on Youtube)
– same among your friends of friends, in case we have data about that

Global input statistics:
– how popular something is among all Utopic users or all Facebook/Twitter/Youtube users (accessed via their API’s)

Self-learning elements inside Utopic that tune in time:
– how much you have clicked some domain objects eg. if you click more on techcrunch.com or cnn.com objects, we show more of them over time
– same for object types, eg if you click more on videos or music, we show more of that on first page over time
– on which friends items you click more

The interesting bit is the big data we collect on backend about people’s links and interests. For example even for 500 users we have collected 2+ million links they and their friends have shared, retweeted or liked. This can open interesting possibilities in the future for trend analysis, so this is not just an UI play.

The self-learning feature is what really caught my attention. You don’t have to worry about adding feeds and or missing out, Utopic will automatically learn to detect the content you like and display it for you.

Of course with all of this data being stored by next question for Jüri was about privacy concerns. If all of this data is being stored how can we be sure that it’s safe.

We take privacy very seriously, so inside the system, only you see the stuff that has been shared to you on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. We don’t keep really all data about each link you click, just the processed generic data of what types of things you like. For other stuff, it’s the same information that’s available over FB, Twitter, Youtube API’s anyway.

You can currently filter your content by videos, photos, music, events and movies. Here are some more screenshots below.
Obviously the more friends you have connected to the service the more content your Utopic will generate. I could defiitely see this as a nice homepage to open up to in the morning to get an overview of what’s happening around your social networks.

Five Firefox 4 Extensions to Get You Up and Running


With over 8 million downloads and counting it’s a good bet that not only are a lot of current Firefox users downloading Firefox 4 but it may actually be winning over some new IE users and, dare I say, winning back some Chrome users.

One of the first things I noticed after downloading and beginning to test FF4 was just how dependent I had become on many of my Chrome extensions. I was pleased to see that many of the Chrome extensions I hadn’t seen on Firefox previously had made their way into Firefox 4.

Must Have Firefox 4 Extensions

  • Awesome Screenshot: Back before I made the switch to Chrome “Screengrab” was my extension of choice. Since that wasn’t available I finally found Awesome Screenshot and loved it. Not only can you take screenshots with a number of options you can edit, annotate and upload the screenshot to a hosted site. I even wrote a review about the Awesome Screenshot Chrome extension.
  • gpum: Similar to the Google Mail Checker Plus extension for Chrome, gpum is a Google mail popup manager that lets you preview your Gmail in a convenient popup window. It even has a better UI than GMCP in my opinion.
  • InstantFox: This is a huge one for Chrome users that have become accustomed to using Chrome’s “omnibox” for not only entering URLs but for quickly doing Google searches as well. InstantFox extension allows you to do that and more. In the address bar type “g” then your search term. You can also type “i” will which will do a Google Image Search and “m” which will do a Google Maps search. There are also shortcuts for Wikipedia, YouTube, Amazon and even the Weather. This is a great plugin.
  • Tab Scope: This is a pretty cool extension that allows you to not only preview your tabs through popups but also allows you to navigate in the popups as well. The one caveat to this extension is that some users have complained of it being a bit of a resource hog. I haven’t experienced that yet but if you install it and begin experiencing some slowdown you may want to consider uninstalling it and see if that helps.
  • Speed Dial: Not quite as robust as the the Chrome start page with access to your apps as well as your most visited sites, but Speed Dial is a popular Firefox extension that now works on Firefox 4.

I haven’t used Firefox in a while but I believe some of these apps are new to Firefox 4, even if they’re not they’re definitely still worth installing.

What did I miss? What are some of your must-have FF4 extensions? Leave a comment and let us know.

Firefox 4 Smashes IE9's 2.3 Million Downloads in 24 Hours With 7 Million and Counting


Poor IE can’t catch a break. Last week they published a post touting the fact that IE9 had been downloaded 2.3 million times in the first 24 hours.

Just a few days later Mozilla responded with its official release of the long-awaited Firefox 4 along with a kick-ass interactive stats and download page with a live download counter as well as a world map showing where the downloads are coming from in real-time.

As of this posting the live-counter was only about 150,000 downloads away from the 8 million mark.

Cliq.ly Launches Graphical Content Curation


Cliq.ly, which is currently available at the longer URL GoCliqly.com, rolled out yesterday with an interesting take on the ever growing content curation business.

Cliq.ly currently displays a toolbar with (would be) links to “Popular Scenes”, “Views” and “Account”. Currently none of these links work but I’m sure as we see the product develop, apparently in real-time, it looks like people may have the ability to create their own channels of content that they can then share with others.

The filter text box currently works and allows you to filter your results by keywords. Cliq.ly is currently pulling content from Google Blogs, Engadget, TechCrunch, TNW, ArsTechnica and others. Again, one would imagine that as the site grows users will have the ability to control which feeds go into their stream. A lot of questions are still unanswered but the upside is you can watch the growth as it happens.

GroupOn President and COO Rob Soloman is Stepping Down


According to Reuters citing and a WSJ interview with Soloman:

Groupon Inc’s president and chief operating officer Rob Solomon is stepping down from his position at the Internet company in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The Journal cited an interview with Solomon, who said he would remain special advisor to Groupon, the article said.

Solomon said that he decided to step down partly because “Groupon got really big,” growing from 200 employees a year ago to some 6,000, the article said. Solomon said he reached his decision to leave in consultation with Groupon Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason, the article said.

I can’t help but wonder if this has something to do with the infamous GroupOn Super Bowl ads.