theEweekly Wrap: Ping, Twitterbook and HTML 5

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Manchester
Problems for Ping Just a day after theEword brought news of Apple’s new social network Ping, stories have begun to surface about security problems. Despite being part of iTunes itself and Steve Jobs highlighting Ping’s security credentials, it has apparently been bombarded with spam.

The music-based network was launched as part of iTunes 10, and allows fans to recommend artists and ‘follow’ their favourites. Today, links have been spotted which advertise free iPhones, but in fact have a dubious URL. As well as spam and URL filters, Ping may need to begin verifying its musician profiles, to guard against the already-prevalent impersonators.

Twitter, happier Twitter has reported a 62% rise in mobile use since April, taking their number of users past 145 million. Co-founder Evan Williams cites the acquisition of Tweetie a key element to this success, as it enabled them to rebrand it as Twitter for iPhone, an official platform.

Also crucial is the recent move to introduce Twitter-branded apps on as many operating systems as possible, such as Android and Blackberry. To top it all, Twitter for iPad was launched earlier this week, complete with intuitive touch-screen gestures enabling users to layer additional information about Tweeters or links on the same interface.

Follow us on... Facebook? Perhaps in an attempt to replicate some of Twitter’s glory, rumours abound regarding Facebook’s decision to trial a ‘subscribe’ button on some accounts. If it goes ahead, users will be able to subscribe to – i.e. follow – friends of their choice, never missing a single update or content post.

Whilst it remains to be seen whether this service will be implemented at all, or will feature an ‘opt out’ setting, there is feeling in the online community is that perhaps this is a step too far. It would allow the wrong person to track every movement of an unsuspecting friend or acquaintance, and seems at odds with the recent introduction of a panic button.

HTML Fire Canadian art-rockers Arcade Fire have released their new video for new single, We Used To Wait. The interactive piece, entitled The Wilderness Downtown was made by director Chris Milk, showcasing the potential of new web coding revision HTML5.

The video combines cinematic clips with animation in windows opening and closing all over the screen, including a flock of birds which responds to mouse movements. It also invites the viewer to enter the address (or in the case of UK fans, hometown) where they grew up, so the video can incorporate panning shots of Streetview and satellite pictures of that place.