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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Facebook Users Have More Friends, Pandora Crashes, And Project Spartan?

A recent survey of 2,255 adults shows that frequent Facebook users are 43 percent more likely to be trusting of others which is contrary to previous reports claiming that users of the site were more likely to be more lonely and depressed. The study also discovered that the average Facebook user had 229 friends of which 22% are from high school, 12% from extended family, 10% coworkers, 9% college friends, 8% immediate family, 7% voluntary groups, and 2% neighbors. In short however the study shows that people who use the site tend to have closer relationships.

Microsoft finally released the SDK for use with it's Kinect in order to use the device with a PC. The long awaited Software Development Kit hit beta today allowing developers to create applications which can take advantage of the Kinects depth sensors to control certain aspects of the program. An example of this would be using the Kinect in order to navigate around the world of Minecraft and build objects using gestures. This has already been done using unofficial software however with the addition of Microsofts official development kit we will all hopefully see increasing use in this technology.

Pandora Media shares plummeted today dipping 24% below its initial public offering price. Shares closed at $13.26 after rising as high as $26 in the only 2 days of public trading. The main concern currently is that Pandora will not be able to cover it's expenses. The way the licensing deals work for music streaming is that the more music is streamed, the more the company pays out to the music industry. The company does however hope to close the gap by way of advertising based on custom user information.

Project Spartan, the name sounds oddly Sci-Fi related and almost militant in nature however this is the rumored code name of Facebook's new project. The idea behind project Spartan is that the company will bypass Apple's app store by turning applications used on their site into HTML5 enabled programs. This would allow for Facebook to also bypass Apples terms of collecting 30% of all in app purchases. While mobile sites and applications tend to have more free reign over there App-store brethren they also are usually not as enjoyable. however what Facebook is doing would custom tailor the site specifically for mobile use. The company is reportedly working with 80 or so outside developers on the project.

The question of the day is do you believe users of Facebook actually have better, closer relationships?

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