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App: PATH
Platform: iOS / Android
Cost: Free
Filter: $1.99

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Facebook Home Hits 500K Downloads In Five Days, Pales In Comparison To Instagram’s Android Shift

It would appear that Facebook Home has just surpassed 500k downloads on Google Play since launching on the platform five days ago on April 16. The app’s Google Play listing notes the milestone, and Ben Evans confirmed on Twitter.

Facebook Home isn’t so much of an app as a user interface for the phone, putting Facebook smack dab in the center of Android users’ smartphone experience. Users with Facebook Home can post status updates and view the newsfeed straight from the lock screen, and conduct messaging without ever being interrupted, thanks to Chat Heads.

In essence, it’s Facebook’s push past being an app like every other app and being a central force of the smartphone, a launch pad. Hopes are seriously high, as foreshadowed by Zuckerberg’s sweaty brow at the announcement, but word had originally circulated that users weren’t all that into Facebook Home around launch day.

Clearly, that’s not true as the app has garnered over 100,000 downloads a day since launch. Still, these aren’t blow-out numbers. Remember when Instagram launched on Android and hit over 1 million downloads in a day? And then hit over 5 million downloads in six days? Yeah. Those were blow-out numbers.

You also have to consider that Facebook has over a billion users, so 500K doesn’t really move the needle.

But in Facebook’s defense, the Home application is only available on select devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, and the HTC One X+, along with the Facebook Phone, the HTC First.

Oh, and Facebook is now quite happy for Instagram’s success on Android after that slight $1 billion acquisition.

10-Foot-Tall Lego Trump Tower Is the First Trump Building I Actually Want to Visit

via Gizmodo by Jack Loftus on 9/4/11

Using a transparent Lego brick technique I can only describe as amazing, builder Sean Kenney has recreated a reflected skyline in the “glass” on this 10-foot, 65,000-brick Trump International Hotel and Tower monstrosity.

eBooks Are Now Overtaking All Other Formats

via Gizmodo by Kwame Opam on 4/16/11

It’s starting to get a little frustrating when people ask whether or not they should get an eReader. Yes. If sales are any indication, whether you opt for a Kindle, Nook, or even your iPhone, ebooks are officially the present.
The Association of American Publishers is reporting that ebooks outsold their print counterparts in February, with sales coming out to more than $90 million. That comes a month after Amazon reported that Kindle ebooks were outdoing paperbacks. Paperbacks sold $81.2 million last month.
It should be noted, however, that the report isn’t definite. Andi Sporkin, spokeswoman for the AAP, told CNN that the findings don’t account for every book sold as some publishers may choose to not submit their numbers. What’s more, they do admit that the numbers are coming out of the Christmas season. However, 202% growth in any medium can be used as a barometer for what’s going on right now.
[CNN Money via AAP]

Big cable-backed broadband bill soars through NC House, one step closer to stifling ISP competition

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 3/30/11

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Time Warner Cable is made up of some insanely shady folks. And frankly, it’s not just TWC to blame here — CenturyLink, Embarq and a smattering of other big telecom companies are banding together in order to push the ironically-named H129 “Level Playing Field” bill straight into law. Unfortunately, said bill sailed through the clearly oblivious (or “persuaded”) North Carolina House this week, with just 37 sane individuals voting against 81 delusional proponents. For those outside of the loop, the bill effectively suggests that commercial entities — municipal ISPs like Wilson’s own Greenlight that provide greater levels of service with lower costs — are unfairly competing against for-profit monoliths. In short, that’s an absolute joke. Rep. Bill Faison nailed it with this quote: 

“This bill will make it practically impossible for cities to provide a fundamental service. Where’s the bill to govern Time Warner? Let’s be clear about whose bill this is. This is Time Warner’s bill. You need to know who you’re doing this for.” 

Yours truly just so happens to reside in the wonderful state of North Carolina, and knows first-hand what it’s like to live in a major metropolitan area with a single high-speed broadband carrier. TWC has only recently announced impending DOCSIS 3.0 coverage, but early installations in the heart of Raleigh have been fraught with latency issues and router difficulties. Oh, and it’s charging $99 per month for a service with 5Mbps up; for comparison’s sake, Greenlight gives customers 10Mbps internet (in both directions), home phone and expanded basic cable for the exact same fare. So, NC lawmakers — how exactly do your constituents gain access to that “level playing field?” 

[Image courtesy of IndyWeek]

ME2: The Arrival: Covert Ops Guide + AHTV!

via Rooster Teeth News on 3/30/11

The Reapers are coming . . . and I am here to help you sneak into a prison and break someone out. Hope you enjoy it!

Also right now I am streaming on AHTV so you should stop by and have a good time!

NoDo Windows Phone 7 update hits the Venue Pro, Dell update to follow

via Engadget by Donald Melanson on 3/30/11

Well, it looks like Venue Pro owners will be getting not one but two software updates in the near future. Dell has just confirmed that the much-anticipated NoDo Windows Phone 7 update has begun rolling out to devices today, and also announced that a separate update of its own will be “coming later.” NoDo, of course, adds copy and paste functionality among some other updates and tweaks, while the Dell update is only said to have “more fixes.” Feel free to let us know how the update works out for you in comments.