Dave Parrack is a freelance writer from Manchester, England, with an unhealthy level of interest in technology and pop culture. You can connect with him at About.me now.
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I previously wrote an article detailing 5 of the commandments that govern the Internet. These are more like adages than laws; more a form of etiquette than hard rules. Still, it set my mind to thinking about the actual rules and regulations which govern what we all do online. To be honest the Internet is a fairly lawless entity. Mainstream use of this amazing tool sees people still apply a moral and ethical code to the Web.
Pinterest is, for the uninitiated among you, a social network which revolves around images, with users pinning pictures of anything and everything in vast collections. It’s an intriguing idea which seems to resonate mostly with women, hence Pinterest grew quickly and gained a lot of female users through the course of 2012. However, it also has numerous detractors and some highly questionable content.
If you’re online – which we know you are as you’re reading this article – then you’ll be aware of social networks. Hell, “aware” is the very least you’ll be, and you’re more likely to be a member of one, two, three, or more of these notoriously pervasive entities. Owing to this job I belong to an inordinate number of them, though you can count on one hand the number on which I’m truly active.
Spotify has changed the way many of us consume music, myself included. I used to buy albums on a regular basis, but once the time came when I’d rip the CD to my computer’s hard drive and then have no further use for it, I knew the times they were a-changin’. Once Spotify arrived on the scene then I stopped buying albums altogether, and I haven’t looked back since. Spotify tips and tricks help make the experience of using the service even more fulfilling.
YouTube has become the new home for original content creators, with many forging exciting new careers for themselves by making videos which are watched by millions of people. In the same way that reality television has managed to find stars lurking among the masses, YouTube (as well as its various alternatives) has offered an opportunity for talented people to find an online audience. One genre that demonstrates this trend extremely well is animation.
Social networks are absolutely everywhere you look online. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are built into the very fabric of the Web, being omnipresent even on sites that they have no direct involvement with. Even MakeUseOf – look to the left of this paragraph to see for yourself how far their tentacles reach. Beyond that there are other social networks with more of a niche intention.
HTML5 continues to go from strength to strength, with more websites switching to the new standard that brings multimedia content to the Web without the need for plugins such as Adobe Flash. Is that blasted thing dead yet? Sadly not, but the need for it is slowly being removed. And not before time. While HTML5 is far from ubiquitous at this point, an increasing number of websites are using it.
Another day, another viral video phenomenon takes the world by storm. Just as people were recovering from Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake took its place, with people posting videos of themselves performing the insanely stupid dance at a faster rate than any sane person could cope with. It’s easy to see why videos are so popular online. Uploading a video to YouTube and its alternatives is very easy indeed.
The best video games are often those with simple ideas at their core. Tetris is a perfect example – it’s simply piling odd-shaped blocks together in order to form a solid wall, and yet it’s highly addictive, even if you’re only playing the unofficial online clones of Tetris. Then there is Angry Birds, which is addictive for many reasons. Even Call Of Duty is simple in the sense that you shoot the bad guys, and that sells like the proverbial hotcakes.
Geekdom has long been perceived as the domain of men, with teenage boys who are fascinated by technology and Star Wars becoming grown adults who are obsessed with technology and Star Wars. While it’s true that there are some facets of being a geek that seem to appeal more to the male of the species, there is a growing army of female geeks more than capable of teaching men a thing or two about all things geektastic.
Thanks to a combination of the ubiquitousness of YouTube and the omnipresence of smartphones (Justin Pot not included) the Web has become awash with short clips showing anything and everything you care to mention. Add social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter into the mix and the age of the viral video is born. Viral videos are videos which, for whatever reason, go viral.
There are quite a few of us here at MakeUseOf who are very keen on photography. I count myself as one of those people, though I do it purely for fun. I’m not even that good at it, but in an age when smartphones have made everyone capable photographers (as well as making life easier) the quantity of shots taken has somewhat taken over from the quality of shots taken.
The Chromebook has been with us since the end of 2010, when Google introduced a prototype of the new form factor that was never put up for sale. In 2011 the first commercial Chromebook devices showed up, and these have done reasonably well ever since. There are more affordable Chromebooks on the way, but Google surprised almost everybody when it took the wraps off of the not-affordable-to-most Chromebook Pixel.
After months of speculation Sony recently entered the eighth generation of video games hardware, joining Nintendo, which kicked it all off by releasing the Wii U at the end of 2012. The not-very-imaginatively-titled PlayStation 4 will be released before the year is out, with PlayStation fans able to look forward to the 2013 holiday season with gusto. Sony chose to reveal its next-gen plans during a huge conference titled PlayStation Meeting 2013.
The Google search engine is a fantastic resource for those of us who spend half our lives online, hence its inclusion in the list of the 7 wonders of the Web, but it isn’t the only one of its kind. Love it or hate it, Microsoft does offer an alternative in the form of Bing, a highly capable search engine that deserves more exploring.