Remember MySpace? It was the place people went to carve out garish online identities before Facebook made everything clean and homogeneous. If you used to have an account, there's a pretty good chance that your login details have been hacked: LeakedSource is boasting it has the passwords for over 360 million MySpace accounts. (That's a lot of shrines to bad '90s bands and angsty teen poetry.)
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Free access to social networking sites has been used as a carrot to attract mobile users before, but 3's latest deal is pretty comprehensive: free access to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and MySpace for contract mobile customers.
Tech site Ars Technica saw a university study reporting that photos and other images posted by Facebook, MySpace and other social network users are often left on those services' servers long after the posters hit "delete". They put that finding to the test. Images posted to Flickr and Twitter were immediately gone upon refreshing, but images could still be found on Facebook and MySpace's servers two months later, with both companies saying the issue was one of third-party server response. Anyone who can grab a direct link, in other words, can get at your stuff long after you want it gone. Need some web reputation triage? Break out the web Band-Aids and get to managing your online reptutation.
Email consolidating web application NutshellMail takes the inbox-overloading status updates from social networks like Facebook or MySpace and sends periodic emails with a quick snapshot of everything you missed. Once you've created a free account on NutshellMail, you can add accounts from social sites Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter—or even infrequently checked email addresses—set the dates and times you would like to receive email updates, and you will receive a single email showing you everything you missed. The only downside is that you have to give their web application access to all your social accounts—a potential privacy and security problem for many readers—but after turning off email updates in the other social networks, this service could really come in handy for cutting down on the email clutter. NutshellMail is a free service, signup required.NutshellMail
MySpace might feel like a teenage nightmare from two years ago, but the site still commands an audience of more than 20 million users a month just on mobile phones. This week, MySpace has upgraded its mobile phone interface, and also announced plans for Palm Pre and Nokia S60 applications for accessing MySpace (it already offers BlackBerry, Android and iPhone versions). MySpace's famously cluttered interface needs some serious stripping down to work on a phone, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Do you prefer accessing social networking sites via your existing mobile browser, or through specialised applications?MySpace Mobile
If you don't fancy hand-coding the look of your MySpace profile, the newly-rolled-out Profile Themes editor can do the job for you. Currently in beta, the tool is basic but functional, offering you a choice of themes in eight pre-designed categories such as Arty, Tech and Sports. You can customise the themes by changing colours, borders and background images. Access the editor by selecting Edit Profile from the Profile menu and then Profile Editor.
If you're a regular visitor to MySpace and you haven't already installed Gears, you might as well go ahead and do so before the site starts nagging you to get it. MySpace has used Gears for a while to provide localised message stores, but has only pushed the option to users with more than 5,000 messages stashed away. At today's Google Developer Conference in Sydney, MySpace revealed that it will shortly lower that threshold, prompting anyone with more than 2,000 messages. Shifting to Gears enhances your ability to sort and manage messages, which sounds like something anyone with 2,000 messages could use. Gears is supported on Windows, Mac and Linux (principally via Firefox, including 3; IE is fine, Safari is, at this moment, not).
The Oz reports that MySpace has announced it's launching an ad-supported music portal called MySpace Music. MySpace is already home to over 5 million musicians, and MySpace Music service like will be "woven" into their profiles. It will offer paid ringtone and music downloads, concert tickets, tshirts and band merchandise.
Over at PC Magazine, columnist Sascha Segan argues that many of us are going to have a big ol' pity party down the line, when we realise that social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook make it difficult to look through sentimental memories and messages like you can with paper or email. MySpace is bad enough, he writes, but:
Facebook is even worse, because so much Facebook information is metadata, a stream of "pokes" and "virtual gifts" and other non-e-mail-related information that adds up to a history of human interaction.
Segan raises an interesting point: How do we archive our relationships and significant moments when they happen on a social network? If Facebook, MySpace, and the like aren't around in five or 10 years, will you miss the personal history you've stored up on them? If you did want to "back up" your social network information for later viewing, how would you go about it? Share your ideas in the comments.
Windows only: Free music downloading software Freemusiczilla listens to what's playing in your web browser and makes it available for downloading as distinct mp3 files. We've featured individual music service downloading apps before, like Pandora's Jar, but Freemusiczilla seems to sniff out nearly any Flash or AJAX-based music player, be it Last.fm, Pandora, iMeem, MySpace, or many more custom or streaming services. The program limits you to 10 mp3 downloads per day, presumably in waiting for a fully-enabled "premium" version, but gives you three minutes into each track to decide if you want to download or not.
Between your iGoogle page, your MySpace or Facebook accounts, your Mac or Vista desktop and even your iPhone, your computing life has a lot of room for widgets. Clever Hippo, an app and widget search site, could make it easier to find add-ons for all those platforms and more. The site lets searchers vote widgets up or down, grab search-specific RSS feeds and search from an iPhone-optimized version. If you can admit that you're a regular widget tweaker, you could save yourself some time by getting your fixes in one place.Clever Hippo
Skype VoIP services will be offered to MySpace IM users under a new deal between MySpace and Skype's owner, eBay.
The Age wrote up the deal which will see MySpaceIM offer free voice chats between MySpace and Skype users, and let MySpace users link their profiles and photos to their Skype accounts.
The MySpaceIM with Skype software will be available for download in November. The Age reported that "In addition to free PC-to-PC communications, it will support Skype's fee-based services like SkypeOut (for calls to landlines), SkypeIn (a local phone number allowing users to receive calls from landlines or mobile phones), voicemail and call forwarding."
The story says MySpace has around 25,000 local users for its IM application - a figure I have to admit struck me (a MySpace newbie) as quite high. Have you used MySpaceIM, or would the new Skype features tempt you do so? Let us know in comments.