Make Sure Online Images are Safe for Use

In my Writing Content for the Web class, we discussed the use of images on websites. There was much talk on copyright issues and how it is generally better to use one’s own photography as opposed to content found online (there are several usage rights and copyrights involved). Well, if you’re a web developer without a camera — which you absolutely should have –, or just simply can’t generate the image you want yourself, here is a way to be absolutely sure an image is safe for you to use.

Google what you’re looking for

I’m sure many of the other popular search engines have similar features to the ones I will be talking about, but I use Google for all searches. Anyway, say you’re looking for an image of a sunset. Type ‘sunset’ in on Google, as you would normally. All the results that are displayed are both images you can’t use, along with ones you’re legally allowed to.

At the bottom…

…of the page (you may have to do some scrolling) there is a link that says ‘Switch to Basic Version’. Click that link. It takes you to the Google of 2005, the way the image page used to look. At the top of that page, under the search bar, there is a link for ‘Advanced Search’. Click that link.

Advanced Image Search

That is the heading you should now see. You can modify keywords, search by size, type, color, aspect ratio — you name it. But the one we’re after is the ‘usage rights’ at the bottom. If you click the drop down box, you’ll be able to select from different usage rights options. The one you want is ‘labeled for reuse’; after you’ve selected that, click the ‘Advanced Search’ button at the bottom, and you’ll be directed to a page containing only images you’re allowed to use legally. Enjoy your sunset pictures!

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Facebook Worth $116.6 Billion

Yes, you heard right. Facebook is worth over $100 billion, and the crazy thing is, they did it in eight years!

Facebook’s recent IPO debut, which showed the public these staggering numbers, also revealed the fact that Mark Zuckerburg, the 28-year-old CEO of the company, is worth $21 billion himself, making him #29 on the list of the world’s wealthiest people.

Facebook shares, which amount to over 400 million at this time, started trading under the symbol ‘FB’ last Friday for $42 a share. This raised in itself $17.7 billion for the company.

I don’t really have a point here other than to say that it’s just stunning how an eight-year-old company, which is truly still in its infancy, generates this type of worth in such a short amount of time. Facebook will, in my opinion, continue to be a force in the long list of (rapidly growing) internet companies.


Google Goggles — The New Mobile?

I just saw this video in my Internet Marketing class yesterday, and I couldn’t help but think how drastically this product could change the world of mobile as we know it. As of today, we think of mobile generally consisting of smart phones, laptops, and tablets, but this product could shift the landscape and make a splash in the future.

While still in development, it is fun to imagine the world this way, everyone walking around with Terminator-esque eyewear, capable of giving exact locations, listening to your voice commands, and giving you reminders and details of your surroundings all along the way.

There are, however, some questions for Google to tackle before they are able to release the product into the market:

  • Is there a feature to shut it off? Say, while driving?
  • Will they be sleek and fashionable, or will I look like Cyclops from the X-Men?

All in all, this product (which has a release date of somewhere in the end of 2012) seems interesting, and really cool! I am excited to hear what people have to say when it is finally released.


The End is Near…

Wow, can’t believe that the semester is almost over. It seems like yesterday was January, and we were just being handed syllabi and preparing for what was to come. Maybe it was the lack of a real winter, or maybe it was the addition of work hours at my job, but I can’t believe it’s almost coming to a close.

But now it’s crunch time — the time that separates the real, serious students from the would-be graduates. I hope to become the former, of course. I hope to graduate after this coming fall’s semester, with a Certificate in Web Marketing along with an Associate’s in Web Development & Design. That way, this wild ride will amount to something. Time to get in gear and finish this semester with a bang!


Waiting for Windows 8

I am in desparate need of a laptop, and my old one couldn’t have died at a worse time. In the summer, when I have no classes and am able to work unlimited hours, buying a new laptop would be no problem; in the midst of finals and crunch-time near the end of the semester, it’s a disaster. I am by no means [for lack of a better word] screwed, I assure you — but there is a sense of freedom that you take for granted when your laptop is taken away. I can’t just bring my work / homework with me anywhere I go anymore, and it’s really affecting my productivity. As you can see, I struggle with prWindows 8oductivity as it is.

Anyway, despite my desire for a newer, faster laptop, I have chosen to wait until Windows 8 is released to buy a laptop. Windows 8, which will be the newest Windows OS, hits the market in June. Though designed for touch screens, Windows 8 has complete functionality for traditional PC’s (which I intend on purchasing) as well. I don’t want to run into the dilemma of going out and getting a PC now, only to have Windows 8 released days later. I hope it’s worth the wait.


Why Twitter Will Take Over Facebook

Calm down, Facebook fanatics – in my opinion (I will speak only in my own opinions from here on out), Facebook will never truly go away. The social network has become so ingrained in our everyday lives that to lose out on this medium would be disastrous to American life as we know it. With almost half of the U.S. population alone on Facebook (152 million), it is amazing how a platform can connect the world so effortlessly, and it is hard to say that this amazing tool will ever be obsolete.

What I do see happening in the future, however, are more and more people reaching to Twitter in order to connect; I will say this without reserve, and I whole-heartedly believe it: the amount of users on Twitter will surpass the amount of users on Facebook within the next 20 years. As of June 2011, Twitter has 350 million1 active users, up over 300% from 20102. Twitter users are growing at a slightly more rapid rate than Facebook users, and eventually the late-adopters of Facebook won’t account for enough to keep up with Twitter’s rapid increase.

Numbers Don’t Lie

First of all, Twitter is growing faster than Facebook is currently. And while there are still slews of untapped markets over in the developing world and beyond for Facebook to dip its hands into (its ultimate goal is, inevitably, to connect everyone), Twitter will have the opportunity to tap into those markets at basically the same time. Remember, Facebook must attribute its immense amount of users to its two-year head start (Facebook 2004, Twitter 2006) over Twitter. Twitter is keeping up pretty well for giving Facebook a pretty hefty head-start.

Going Mobile

The second reason that I see Twitter’s following surpassing Facebook’s is the mobile browsing craze that is currently sweeping the world. With the increase in smartphone demand, as well as the increase in sales, Twitter will become a more accepted platform than ever before. The ability to live-tweet from a smartphone from basically any location where cell service is available makes it almost an effortless way to connect with the people around you. Having your social network with you on-the-go, every day, is another reason why users will sway more toward Twitter in the coming years.

Virality

The final reason that Twitter will outshine Facebook is due to Journalism and Current Events. Regardless of the social network, I am consistently seeing one theme: people like to talk about what is going on around them. Twitter does an excellent job of facilitating this type of communication by having “Trending Topics” on their home page, as well as their introduction of the hash tag to facilitate discussion on relevant, searchable topics. Just last week, Twitter reported surges of tweets before, during, and after the NCAA Men’s Championship game on Monday night. Over 2 million tweets over the course of the tournament were recorded, as well as over 240,000 tweets during the championship game alone3.

Will Facebook suffer the same fate as MySpace has today? Probably not, but watch out for Twitter in the next few years. I’m excited to see just how far this little birdy can fly.


Mental Spring Cleaning

Certainly I enjoyed my break just as much as the next guy, but I can’t seem to get rid of that post-spring break funk. Hopefully I’ll be making some headway in the next few days; I started off my day today by doing some real-life spring cleaning. First was the office (cluttered desk is a cluttered mind?), then off to clean out the car. You’d be surprised how much you accumulate in a car over the winter … if you’re anything like me. After I literally cleaned, it was time to clean out my to-do list that has been nagging me all throughout break, and still is now. Apply for a bar license, finish homework, make-up homework — even making a to-do list became stressful!

I am currently managing to keep track of my to-do’s by using a slick little app I picked up called Astrid. It makes task management slightly more bearable, which is something I need otherwise I would get nothing done.