Lunarr's Elements is a Twitter-like image-sharing tool to stoke the imagination

The downstream influence of social messaging service Twitter, which lets you message friends or hangers-on about what you’re doing or thinking at any given moment, is beginning to result in some interesting applications. One of those, Lunarr’s Elements, is kind of a visual Twitter, allowing users to share what they’re looking at with others.

Facebook and Twitter: There's blood everywhere, but no one's dying

Here we go again. Over the course of the last several months, we’ve heard that FriendFeed was going to kill Twitter. Then Twitter was going to kill FriendFeed. Then Facebook was going to kill FriendFeed. Now Facebook is going to kill Twitter. But something odd is happening. Instead of any of them dying, they’re all thriving, each gaining traffic and users — and they’ll continue to. So what gives?

Facebook opens status, notes, links and videos to apps and the web

Facebook has just opened central features of its site to developers, creating more ways for user data on the social network to be used within third-party applications and on other web sites. Features include access to status updates (like what Twitter does), notes (a simple blogging tool within Facebook), links to other web sites (formerly known as “posted items”), and Facebook videos.

ZunePhones: If you build it, Microsoft will come

Rumors picked up again yesterday that Microsoft was going to launch its own smartphone when two Broadpoint.AmTech analysts said sources told them as much. Not true, according All About Microsoft’s Mary-Jo Foley, who claims that her own sources say Microsoft is developing reference implementations for some phones, but not the phones themselves. Not yet anyway.

Gmail gets multiple inboxes, desktop email gets deader

Google just announced a new tool for Gmail through the Gmail Labs program, through which it tests new features: Multiple inboxes. Despite the name, this isn’t a way to access multiple email accounts in one Gmail window, but rather to create different inboxes within one account, and to see all of them at once.

100 million photos suggests Flickr has put geotagging on the map

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Location, location, location. As in, it’s going to be a big part of what we do on the web going forward. We’re seeing some of the big companies now get into it, like Google with its new Latitude service. And Yahoo’s Flickr service, which geotags photos so you have a record of where they were taken, is exploding — to the tune of 100,868,302 as of its last count this weekend,  according to the service’s Flickr Developer Blog.

Apple TV is at a crossroads

It’s nothing new for pundits and bloggers to say what functionality they think should be included in the Apple TV. The device, which brings iTunes and other digital content into the living room by hooking up to your TV, has the potential to be Apple’s next big thing — if it makes the right moves. Today brings two long reports about Apple TV’s future that take what are basically opposite stances.

OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard to be more iPhone OS-like

In a move that should come as absolutely no surprise, Apple’s next operating system, 10.6 also known as “Snow Leopard” will have tools to help developers use location and mutli-touch when building for the system. This is a direct result of the success Apple has had getting developers to use the same features on the iPhone.

Meebo launches Facebook chat, officially and securely this time

Instant message service aggregator Meebo is launching the first officially sanctioned version of Facebook’s IM service, Chat, to work on another web site. Basically, it lets you IM with friends who are logged into Chat on Facebook and chat with other friends on AIM, Gtalk, Yahoo Mail and other IM services all through a single interface.

PlaySpan makes virtual goods transactions more convenient

In-game commerce network PlaySpan is taking one of the hassles out of trading virtual goods. In the past, gamers had to engineer a risky drop-off inside a game world in order to trade valuable virtual goods between game characters. The gray-market system (often not sanctioned by game operators) required that player arrange to meet inside a virtual world and was also rife with fraud, as many people didn’t show up as promised.

2010: The year Windows Mobile 7 makes contact

Windows Mobile looks old and tired compared to some of the newer mobile operating systems on the market like Apple’s iPhone OS, Google’s Android and soon the WebOS running on the Palm Pre. Microsoft needs to figure out how to stay relevant, and it’s likely to take its first shot shortly with the unveiling of Windows Mobile 6.5 at the Mobile World Conference (MWC). But when will consumers actually see the new OS?

Rumors of a Palm Pre launch

With one month down, the countdown until the end of the first half of 2009 is underway. Why do I say that? Because that’s the stated launch window for the Palm Pre. And some new information today may narrow that window a bit further.

Most watched Super Bowl ever means more people hate 3-D glasses

So, I have to beat the dead horse on the 3-D glasses again. Reports suggest that this was the most-watched Super Bowl ever, with 98.5 million viewers. I even watched a few of the plays as I zoomed through to catch all 35 of the commercials. I donned the 3-D glasses that Intel and DreamWorks gave out for the trailer of animated film Monsters vs. Aliens, and the subsequent 3-D ad for SoBe soft drinks.

Facebook celebrates fifth birthday with growth in key sharing features

Five years ago tomorrow, Mark Zuckerberg launched a site out of his Harvard dorm called It was an immediate hit, despite competition from established social networks, because it offered a safe place for students to share things like party photos with just their real friends. So it’s hardly a birthday surprise that photo uploads — and a range of other methods for sharing personal information on the site — continue to gain popularity today, as can be seen from some new statistics just released by the company.

Android bakes voice search into the G1, no Cupcake though

Google is in the process of rolling out a new firmware update to G1 phone owners, but before you get all excited, it’s not the so-called “Cupcake” update. But that’s not to say this update doesn’t come with some interesting stuff, namely the addition of voice search as an integrated part of the web searching experience on the phone, as the Google Mobile Blog points out today.

Apple to shove aside Push Notifications for real iPhone background tasks?

A lot of people get all worked up about the lack of features like copy and paste on the iPhone. To me, by far the biggest feature lacking on the iPhone is the ability for third-party applications to run in the background. It’s such an obvious omission that I’ve predicted multiple times that Apple will backtrack and add it. A new rumor suggests that may just happen.

MMO Life to launch a network of online game portals

Do you really have a fantasy life online if there’s no one there to chronicle it? MMO Life is launching a network of online gaming portals that will deliver news, reviews and lots of demos for massively multiplayer online games. Some of the coverage will be about fans living double lives inside virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games.