US Army Sees Twitter As Potential Terrorist Tool

Breitbart.com is reporting that in a recent draft that was filed by the US ARMY, Twitter is being considered as a potential terrorist tool.

“Extremist and terrorist use of Twitter could evolve over time to reflect tactics that are already evolving in use by hacktivists and activists for surveillance,” it said. “This could theoretically be combined with targeting.”

The report outlined scenarios in which militants could make use of Twitter, combined with such programs as Google Maps or cell phone pictures or video, to carry out an ambush or detonate explosives

Wow. I guess you know you’ve made it once people start claiming your web 2.0 microblogging service can be used as a tool by terrorists. To top it all off, Osamabinladen has been using Twitter for quite a while now. A U.S. Intelligence officer should direct message him and politely ask where he his hiding.

Glogster Reaches Version 2

Glogster, the service that gives people a chance to create posters of themselves which I reviewed here (Glogster – You In A Poster) has announced that they have reached version two.

The new version now gives you a chance to embed YouTube videos, pictures and sounds from websites by URL. Also, not sure if this will be a buzzword that will catch on but you can now live glog. Those of you who have a webcam will be able to turn it on and stream live from your glog. Thus, live glogging. Doesn’t sound as good as live blogging but this is web 2.0, anything is possible.

Glogster has improved the galleries by means of introducing romantic elements. Now you can spice up your Glog if you’re into that sort of thing. Last but not least, Glogster has added a multitude of languages from which to choose from when adding text to your poster. This ends up giving Glogster a shot at an international audience.

To see the new YouTube feature in action, take a look at my latest glog.

A Web2.0 Perspective Of The World

Every now and then, something very cool passes through the noise and this is one of those things. It’s called the Web 2.0 World Mosaic created by Appappeal. The mosaic features 1001 web 2.0 company logos when hovered upon, pop out at you for a bigger version. These guys have done a good job with the mosaic and it’s pretty cool to just move the mouse cursor around to check out which logos made the cut.

web2.0

The creator of the site told me the purpose behind the mosaic is to guide visitors through the world of web 2.0 web applications. On Appappeal.com, you’ll find independent reviews of the web applications found within the mosaic along with application comparisons.

Did you see your favorite apps on the mosaic?

ScrnShots Gone Social Or A SnagIt Alternative

ScrnShots Logo

Overview:

ScrnShots.com is a brand new service that is centered around uploading, tagging and then sharing screenshots. It’s also a clear indication that domains are getting harder to come by.

The Sign Up Process:

The sign up process for new members consist of your typical desired username, email address, password with the obligatory checkbox which gurantees ScrnShots that you have read their TOS as well as their Community Guidelines. No support for Open ID that I could fine.

After The Sign Up Process:

Finally, a service that doesn’t force me to confirm my email address to make sure I am who I say I am. Once logged in, you’ll see what looks like a user control panel. This control panel highlights your recent activity, popular tags, recent screenshots and stats along with RSS feeds to which you can subscribe to or share with others. These RSS feeds are for your Screenshots, Favorites and Contacts. Check it out.

Screenshot Of The Scrnshot Control Panel

Time To Take ScrnShots:

There two ways in which you can add scrnshots. The first is by uploading your image from your hard drive. The uploader supports the JPG, GIF and PNG file formats with a maximum file size of 5mb allowed. The second way is to use the ScrnShots Desktop tools which is in Beta for both Mac OSX 10.5 and Windows XP. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be using the Windows Edition of the ScrnShot Tool. The Windows version contains the following feature set:

  • Program lives in the taskbar which means its out of the way, but always there when you need to snap a quick screeenshot.
  • Select the area of the screen that you want to take a screenshot of.
  • Upload screenshots from existing files on your computer.
  • Describe, tag and add a url to images before uploading them.

The installation process was a breeze while the file size of the application was minimal. Great news for those of you who are already capped by your ISP. Upon starting the ScrnShots application for the first time, you are prompted to provide it with your username and password which is the same credentials you would use for the ScrnShots website.

Once installed, there will be an icon that will sit in your taskbar with the letters SS on it. Upon right clicking this icon, you’ll be greeted with a context menu which contains a number of options.

ScrnShot Context Menu

One thing I noticed right off the bat is that you can’t configure a hot key for this application. Instead, you have to right click on the icon in the task bar and select Take A Screenshot. However, after clicking on Take A Screenshot, the entire viewing area on your monitor (with the exception of your task bar) turns an opaque grey letting you know that the tool is active. Using your mouse, you can select any area on your screen in which to capture. Upon doing so, a dialog box will popup giving you the chance to configure a description, tag the image and then give attribution if necessary.

More Options To Configure

After The Upload:

After clicking the UPLOAD SCREENSHOT button, (notice how they used the correct word) the image is uploaded to your account on ScrnShots. From here, users can comment on your screenshot, embed your screesnhot or link to your screenshot. They can even add the screenshot to their favorites if they like it that much.

Here is what the screenshot looks like on the ScrnShot website.

A Scrnshot on your Scrnshot User Page

Here is an example of an Embedded ScrnShot:

Overall, this seems like a novice approach towards creating a social network through screenshots. Although I doubt this will put a dent in the userbase Skitch has, perhaps ScrnShots will tickle the fancy of someone looking for a different experience.

As for me? I’ll stick with my tried and true method of the SnagIt FireFox Extension.

CLIQ To Be Taken Down

Cliqin Logo

Well, if you haven’t taken down the CliqIN widget by now, you’ll be forced to. I received word today that on January 31st, Cliq will be taken down indefinitely. All members that have registered with the Cliq website will be notified this week. Personally, I thought CliqIN was a good idea. However, it never seemed to garner a lot of press and it never took off like BlogRush did. As for the reason why Cliq is shutting down?

As it turns out, CLIQ was a client of Offermatica, INC and was built as a way to extend their story into the social media space. Well, Offermatica has since been acquired by Omniture. Omniture already has a number of projects within the social media space and therefor, it makes no sense for them to continue development and funding for Cliq.

It was a decent ride I suppose. I’ll never understand why the bloggers who fell for BlogRush didn’t get smarter and move to something like CliqIN which gave the user full control over their blogging network. If you still have their widget published on your site, now would be a good time to remove it.

New Business Idea

ShoutMix Logo

So Mike, Mark and I each enjoy using the Shoutmix service. Shoutmix is a shoutbox provider. They host the box, content, ect and all you have to do is place the embed code on your website. It only costs $6.00 for 3 months of service and it’s worked out quite nicely.

Now between the three of us, we each have our own blog. And on our own blogs, we each have our own Shoutmix shoutbox. We were thinking, how cool it would be, to be able to use the same shoutbox on multiple blogs. To be honest, this is already possible by the mere fact of placing the embed code for one shoutbox on multiple blogs. However, the design of one shoutbox does not meet the design requirements for every other blog on the net. So the biggest problem we are facing is that, we can use the same shoutbox on different websites, but we can’t configure the shoutbox design to configure to our blog’s design.

I sent in an email to Shoutmix to see if #1 this was possible and #2 will this be a feature in a future version of Shoutmix. Here is what I found out.

For now V2 does not offer a convenient way to do this so this feature is not supported yet. I am considering it for the upcoming V3.

Just to make sure we were on the same page, I sent a follow up email and garnered this response:

I get what you mean, a singular shoutbox being shared over different sites or blogs, sharing the same contents. I’ll try to make that available in V3. It will take some time before V3 will be out though.

So it looks like we’ll be waiting a little while for something like that to be built into Shoutmix. Now to get to the new business idea. If you have been wanting to do a Web 2.0 startup and want to tap into the blogosphere, here is an idea how. Develop a shoutbox type of service similar to Shoutmix. Call the service BlogChattr to go along with the Web 2.0 naming scheme. You can offer your service in a number of ways. For instance, embed codes, links, widgets, ect. However, the biggest feature you would need to implement is the ability for one shoutbox, to have multiple designs.

Think about how cool that is. Think of it as an instant messenger for bloggers. Instead of having to browse each bloggers site to send messages to their respected shoutboxes, we could (chat from home). The main shoutbox would be the central administration area for every other shoutbox that connects to the chain. I’d like to see the option to lock down the shoutbox, unless exclusive access was given to a particular domain. So that way, I could add in domains that I accept having the shoutbox displayed on their website.

To tell you the truth, what I’m basically proposing is the combination of Cliqin and Shoutmix. The widget/design implementations of Cliqin with the administrative abilities of Shoutmix.

What do you folks think of the idea? Because I’ll tell you what, If I had the startup cash, this is one idea I would jump on because I think it has the ability to be a hot item in the blogosphere.