Stories about digital world

Facebook Messenger app: “We know what you did last night…”

We live in an increasingly digital world and depend on our smartphones as a daily driver for staying informed, keeping in touch with our family and friends, and also for many other wide ranging applications. Facebook is a large part of our daily lives; while it helps us stay connected socially, there might be something more up its sleeves than we would have thought. Recently, it has been discovered that the seemingly ubiquitous and unassuming Facebook Messenger app for mobile phones is more than it has previously let on. This application has been downloaded well over one billion times on Android and iPhone respective mobile platforms by ...

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Why I miss printed photographs!

Not too long ago, photographs used to be printed and stored in proper albums. However, thanks to the social media and various digital photo sharing options, the trend of getting your photographs printed is fast vanishing. Here are seven things I miss about the printed photographs era. 1.  The big, fancy albums: Facebook albums might have tried to replace the good ol’ albums that the whole family used to treasure, but they can never, ever have the same sentimental value. We will probably realise this to a fuller extent after a decade or two. 2.  Ageing: Printed photographs age with the passage of time. ...

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I love you, but you can’t have my password

I recently read a blog post about sharing personal e-mail accounts with your partners or spouse. The blog said about 33 per cent of women and 30 per cent of men share their online information with their partners. It also said that among unmarried couples, 10 per cent of the time, this led to a discovery of their partner’s infidelity. The figure was lower for married couples – about three per cent. The identity theft expert who gave these stats, Robert Siciliano, went on to warn that this figure was among those who had admitted to account sharing and discovering the infidelity ...

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Don’t hate Rebecca Black, she may change the world

On March 14 this year, 13-year-old singer Rebecca Black from California released her song Friday. In a matter of three days, the YouTube video was closing in on 14.5 million views. As of April 3, it has been viewed over 80 million times. Why Rebecca Black? It isn’t uncommon for catchy songs and humorous videos from renowned artists to become viral hits but this song does not fall into either of those categories. Billboard said the song came “straight out of auto-tuned hell”; Rolling Stone characterised the song an “unintentional parody of modern pop”, and CNN called it “an internet sensation for ...

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Are Pakistanis really getting dumber?

A friend told me how miffed he was on being told by his editor that his blog had not been shared online because it wasn’t “share friendly” or “reader friendly”. He was told it was a great write up, but it wouldn’t appeal to the average reader because it was above his or her IQ level. The incident made me think: is our society in danger of being a victim of stupidity? Cyber warriors ahoy! Reading comments posted by cyber warriors makes one realise how our society is being slowly and inexorably sucked into the vortex of stupidity. The polarization of views in ...

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Tech for thought: The geeks have overcome

My phone today is exactly as powerful as the brand new computer I bought 12 years ago. It is not just processor power; we have come a long way with Internet connectivity as well. The Internet speed I get on my mobile phone today is faster than my dial-up internet speed ten years ago. Terrorists, militants and fundamentalists have obviously not slowed down the advent of technology in Pakistan. I can order books online from Kitabain.com and pay on delivery. I can buy anything else on homeshopping.pk and beliscity.com and do the same with nearly anything except groceries. It may not matter ...

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Cricket fever goes digital!

It’s finally here! What we’ve all been waiting for — the ICC World Cup 2011. The tournament has brought with it a month of cricket madness. But what happens to the dedicated cricket fan when, God forbid, you miss an important match? The world wide web may have a solution. While you wait for match highlights on TV, you can also obtain a complete low down of what went on during a match through numerous cricket websites. You can view a ball-by-ball commentary of the matches, get updates on the latest news in the world of cricket, as well as ...

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Why pay for online information?

Shortly after the internet revolution, newspapers and magazines were publishing their articles and news online for readers and it was not long before it was necessary for them to have online editions. Publications started competing for more website visitors resulting in the emergence of the e-paper which put a scanned version of the publication online for free viewing. It did not take long for people to become dependent on these free e-papers and many readers cancelled their subscriptions of the print edition. As revenues fell, publishers were left scratching their heads. Had they made a mistake by going online? However, they could not ...

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Mubarak’s departure: Triumph of the citizen

Three Fridays, eighteen days. There is no greater testament to the power of people, ordinary people that is, than what the Egyptians have achieved yesterday. Overthrowing Mubarak is historical, not just for the overthrowing of a deeply entrenched dictator, but because the revolution straddles both, the present and the future of the idea of social aggregation. Present in its ability to rid a society of autocracy and futuristic in its ability to do so without revolutionary leaders, this, and the Tunisian revolution, has shown the world that age-old notion of heroes rescuing troubled damsels in distress is just that – ...

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Scandalous Islamabad: Facebook’s gossip vultures

On an idle Sunday afternoon spent eating pizza and chatting with my sisters-in-law, I was introduced to ‘Scandalous Islamabad’. In case you don’t know what it is, ‘Scandalous Islamabad’ is a Facebook group inspired by American TV show Gossip Girl (remember the mysterious “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me xoxo Gossip Girl?”) Currently, this Facebook group has a following of almost 5,000 people. The grapevine is active The group that was created in January this year keeps disappearing and reappearing. Apparently, this is because they got hacked. There is a post on their ...

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