Google takes on FaceBook with OpenSocial

31 10 2007

Google’s open social networking platform play is the buzz of the blogosphere tonight. (see Techmeme). Indeed, it is called OpenSocial in that the set of APIs allows developers to create applications that work on any social network that joins Google’s open party. So far, besides Google’s Orkut social net, LinkedIn, hi5, XING, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning (see Marc Andreessen’s post) have joined the party.

Oracle and are also supporting Google’s OpenSocial efforts, which indicates that they have plans to add social networking elements to their application platforms. OpenSocial will officially launch on Thursday.

Plaxo emailed a statement about OpenSocial this evening, getting ahead of the stampede:

“Dynamic profiles redefine what users should expect in terms of how they can represent themselves in a social or business network,” said Todd Masonis, Co-Founder and VP of Products for Plaxo. “We believe that users should have full control over what they share with whom – and that the catalog of widgets that they can choose from should be as open and diverse as the web itself. We are excited to support in dynamic profiles any application written to Google’s just–launched OpenSocial APIs. ”

According to TechCrunch, which first reported on Google’s larger social networking ambitions, OpenSocial consists of APIs for profile information, friend information (social graph) and activities, such as a news feed. OpenSocial users Javascript and HTML rather than a markup language as Facebook does.

This comes on the heels of the Facebook’s dynamic growth based on opening its social graph to developers and Microsoft’s $240 million investment for 1.6 percent of the company. However, unlike Google, Facebook doesn’t open its APIs to support other social networks. The other social networking giant, MySpace, is also planning to open its platform to developers.

This openness is part of what Vic Gundotra, Google’s head of developer programs, meant when he said last week, “In the next year we will make a series of announcements and spend hundreds of millions on innovations and giving them away as open source.”

He explained the newfound openness as more than altruism: “It also makes good economic sense. The more applications, the more usage. More users means more searches. And, more searches means more revenue for Google. The goal is to grow the overall market, not just to increase market share.”

What does OpenSocial mean for Facebook? Read the rest of this entry »

Governor to Dress as Indy Pit Crew Member for Halloween

30 10 2007

Governor Mitch Daniels plans to dress as an Indy Racing League pit crew member as he hands out goodies to trick-or-treaters at the Governor’s Residence on Halloween.The Governor and first lady Cheri Daniels plan to hand out candy donated by four Indiana companies as well as toys from their official residence on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. There will also be an IRL race car on display.

In previous years, the Governor has dressed as a pirate and the Cowardly Lion for Halloween.

GRRR! Halloween Pedophiles

30 10 2007

Parents beware: the pedophiles will be out in full force on Wednesday, while your kids are out trick-or-treating in their Halloween costumes.

And little do you know that you might be helping child predators live out their fantasies by allowing your kids to wear inappropriate costumes?

In a simple Web search for “preteen” costumes — for ages 7 through 12 — I found several costumes that would make many a pervert’s day.

For instance, I saw one called “Mega Star,” which might as well be called “Britney in ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ Video Costume.” In other words, NO.

Of course, if that’s not colorful enough for your 8-year-old, you can always shell out for the “Leopard Rock Star,” which — with its midriff-baring top — is sure to get the blood boiling for pedophiles everywhere.

At, by first clicking Halloween and then girls, you’ll be treated to pics of prepubescent girls who make even the most ridiculous JonBenet Ramsey beauty pageant photos look tame in comparison. “Winners” include the “Bad Spirit” cheerleader’s costume. Read the rest of this entry »

Just For Halloween

28 10 2007

Creating Scars….. 🙂

For professional costume make-up ideas, create a more recent scar, raised higher above the skin, and paint clear liquid latex on a piece of glass or any smooth, nonporous surface, shaping the latex into the type of scar you want. Let the latex dry thoroughly to the point of being faintly yellow in color. Apply spirit gum on the spot wehre the scar is to be affixed. Allow both the gum and your latex piece to feel tacky to the touch before attaching the scar. Finish with highlights and shadows. A touch of maroon cream liner on the scar aids in believability.

Batman Fan?

Got a Batman fan at home? If your child loves Batman, get him an outfit so he can become the superhero. Depending on your budget and your needs, you can choose from variations of the officially licensed Batman costume. Here are some Batman costume choices for you.

Get the Batman Begins playset for the budding crime fighter. Your child can play dress-up with a cape, chestpiece, batarangs, and mask. This $25 set works well for the shopper wanting to spend a bit less on the Batman costume for children.

Rather than getting the whole costume, you can get individual accessories as well. The Batman belt, Batman mask, and Batman Gauntlets are available child sized and retail for under $10 per piece.

The mid-priced Batman Begins costume retails for $30 and has a full costume with jumpsuit, cape, belt, and headpiece. The costume comes with printed muscle and belt details.

The all black Batman Begins muscle costume is the deluxe version and retails for $40. With this costume, you get a padded muscle chest jumpsuit, boot tops, cape, and belt.

You can also get the older style Batman costume with molded chest for $35. This grey and black version comes with the padded muscle chest jumpsuit, boot tops, and belt.

Want to go with the Batman Beyond version? For $30, you’ll get a jumpsuit with attached wings, and Batman Mask.