Ahmed Elbatrawy

A ‘Leap’ forward in gesture control


(CNN) — You know that bit in “The Avengers” where Tony Stark spreads his fingers apart in mid-air and the stuff on the screen in front of him instantly appears on displays throughout the room?

A company called Leap Motion wants to make that kind of gesture control a reality, and it hopes to take the first step with a new type of motion controller.

The Leap is a simple motion controller that you can plug into any USB port on your computer. Once it’s plugged in and you’ve installed the Leap software, it turns the 8-cubic feet of air in front of it into “3D interaction space” — basically, it’ll track any and all motion within that space, letting you use your hands to do whatever you could do with a mouse.

How is that different from Microsoft Kinect? Precision — the company claims the Leap is 200 times more sensitive than current gesture-based tech, able to track movements down to a hundredth of a millimeter. Users will be able to fine-tune the sensitivity, Leap says.

The camera, which is about the size of a business-card holder, can discern all 10 of your fingers individually, and even tell your thumbs apart. Such detailed scanning lets you perform actions like pinch-to-zoom, or zero in on fine details in a drawing app (check out the video below for more applications).

It all sounds a little too good to be true — especially for a device that costs a mere $69.99. The company even acknowledges how far-fetched it sounds on its web page. Leap’s goals are anything but humble: The device is all about “changing the world” by making interaction with computers more natural and intuitive.

Can’t wait to try it out? You’re going to have to wait — the controller doesn’t go on sale until the winter, but you can pre-order one now. The company is also accepting requests for developer kits, which should be available in the next few months.

How do you like the Leap? If it holds up to its promises, would you use it? What for? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Read the original story on Mashable.

© 2011 MASHABLE.com. All rights reserved.





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A ‘Leap’ forward in gesture-control interfaces?


(CNN) — You know that bit in “The Avengers” where Tony Stark spreads his fingers apart in mid-air and the stuff on the screen in front of him instantly appears on displays throughout the room?

A company called Leap Motion wants to make that kind of gesture control a reality, and it hopes to take the first step with a new type of motion controller.

The Leap is a simple motion controller that you can plug into any USB port on your computer. Once it’s plugged in and you’ve installed the Leap software, it turns the 8-cubic feet of air in front of it into “3D interaction space” — basically, it’ll track any and all motion within that space, letting you use your hands to do whatever you could do with a mouse.

How is that different from Microsoft Kinect? Precision — the company claims the Leap is 200 times more sensitive than current gesture-based tech, able to track movements down to a hundredth of a millimeter. Users will be able to fine-tune the sensitivity, Leap says.

The camera, which is about the size of a business-card holder, can discern all 10 of your fingers individually, and even tell your thumbs apart. Such detailed scanning lets you perform actions like pinch-to-zoom, or zero in on fine details in a drawing app (check out the video below for more applications).

It all sounds a little too good to be true — especially for a device that costs a mere $69.99. The company even acknowledges how far-fetched it sounds on its web page. Leap’s goals are anything but humble: The device is all about “changing the world” by making interaction with computers more natural and intuitive.

Can’t wait to try it out? You’re going to have to wait — the controller doesn’t go on sale until the winter, but you can pre-order one now. The company is also accepting requests for developer kits, which should be available in the next few months.

How do you like the Leap? If it holds up to its promises, would you use it? What for? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Read the original story on Mashable.

© 2011 MASHABLE.com. All rights reserved.





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No, Abraham Lincoln didn’t invent Facebook


The first profile page? No. But the story that Abraham Lincoln had an idea like Facebook swept the Web anyway.

(CNN) — To paraphrase “The Social Network,” if Abraham Lincoln had invented Facebook, he would have invented Facebook.

But in a tall tale that would have made the Great Emancipator proud, a blog post saying that he did just that was making the rounds Wednesday. And some online media outlets were quick to take the bait.

Blogger Nate St. Pierre, a consultant who works with blogs and other Web businesses to help grow their sites, posted a fantastic yarn Tuesday about stumbling upon a tombstone in Wisconsin that ultimately led him to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

There, he discovered an 1845 patent filed by Honest Abe for a sort of personalized newspaper in which “every Man may have his own page, where he might discuss his Family, his Work, and his Various Endeavors.”

Each page would feature a profile picture at the top left. The user’s name, address and profession would appear at the top. On a sample page, Lincoln shared two poems he “liked,” a short story about the Pilgrims and details about what he did that day (went to the circus).


New firms emerge to challenge Facebook


IPO process like being a ‘rock star’


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“Put all that together on one page and tell me what it looks like to you,” St. Pierre wrote. “Profile picture. Personal information. Status updates. Copied and shared material. A few longer posts. Looks like something we see every day, doesn’t it?”

In short: Lincoln envisioned a paper version of Facebook, 160 years before Mark Zuckerberg.

Except for the fact that none of it is true.

“I just wanted to have fun with it,” St. Pierre said Wednesday. “I’ve done this before. Every couple of years, I do a hoax. I knew this would go big but didn’t expect those dozens of outlets to just run with it without 30 seconds of fact-checking.”

For careful readers, St. Pierre’s post is sprinkled with what should have been plenty of red flags.

For one, he writes that his search began after he discovered an apparent friendship between Lincoln and legendary huckster P.T. Barnum. You know, the guy widely believed to have said, “There’s a sucker born every minute” and “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time.” (Both of those quotes, by the way, may not have actually been said by Barnum.)

He even quotes Wikipedia’s entry calling Barnum “an American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes.”

The tombstone in question supposedly belonged to a carny who brags on it about how he “bluffed” Lincoln and Barnum in a poker game.

And photos like the one shown on the page Lincoln supposedly created wouldn’t appear in newspapers for several more decades.

“I just did it for fun: an homage to P.T. and his hoaxes … and Abe’s tall tales,” St. Pierre said. “Just something fun like that for the modern day.”

But he also wanted to make a bigger point: “That the Internet would fall over itself to be first and share without checking.”

In the first 24 hours after he posted, the article was shared on Facebook more than 10,000 times, St. Pierre said, adding that his personal blog got more than 50,000 visitors.

Forbes magazine posted a story under the headline “Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for a Dead-Tree Facebook in 1845.” By Wednesday morning, that story had been pulled.

“A Forbes contributor took Nate St. Pierre’s story at face value,” a spokeswoman said in an e-mail. “Once Forbes realized it was a prank, the article was pulled from the site.”

Tech blog ZDNet did the same. As of Wednesday afternoon, the story was still online, with a note saying that it’s a hoax and with some, but not all, of the fake information crossed out. (Hey, a page view is a page view, right?)

At tech blog The Next Web, a story was followed by another pointing out that the too-good-to-be-true story was, in fact, too good to be true. The first line of the original story? “You can’t make this stuff up, folks.”

Next Web writer Drew Olanoff said the story was popping up elsewhere online when he posted it under the site’s “Shareables,” section, which features mostly fun, light-hearted stories.

“While it probably should have been marked as fiction by the author, who is obviously extremely imaginative, these things do happen,” he said in an e-mail. “I’m sure it got him the attention he was seeking.”

For his part, St. Pierre said, he enjoyed watching tech bloggers on Twitter first share the story but then argue amongst themselves about who got fooled first.

“Dude, you both got punked,” he said with a laugh.

And while St. Pierre’s story was made up, he may have gotten a little closer to the 16th president’s true nature than he realized.

Lincoln never envisioned creating a way for his contemporaries to share cute pictures of their cats, much less play FarmVille (which no doubt would have seemed less exotic in rural 19th-century America). But he did become the only U.S. president in history to hold a patent for an invention.

According to the Smithsonian, Lincoln filed in 1849 for a patent on a tool designed to lift ships off of sandbars.

That tool, much like Abe’s proto-Web startup, never became a reality.






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Zuckerberg marries longtime girlfriend


Click to play

(CNN) — A day after his social media company went public, Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan on Saturday.

The news was announced where else but on Facebook.

“Mark added a life event to May 19, 2012 on his timeline: Married Priscilla Chan,” the page‘s activity feed said.


Facebook IPO opening


How to explain the Facebook flop?

Zuckerberg, 28, posted a simple wedding photograph, showing the couple against a backdrop of plants and small lights on a string.

Who is Priscilla Chan?

Both he and Chan also updated their relationship status to “married.”

What Facebook says about America

Zuckerberg ditched his trademark hoodie, appearing in a dark suit and tie, while Chan wore a sleeveless white wedding dress with lace.

The pair met during Zuckerberg’s sophomore year at Harvard University, where he first nursed Facebook as a dorm-room project.

Chan graduated this year from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, according to her Facebook page.

The marriage comes just one day after the company, based in California, made its market debut.

CNNMoney’s journey buying Facebook’s IPO

Its initial public offering was the biggest opening ever for a tech company and the third-largest IPO in U.S. history, behind only Visa and General Motors.






Share this on:

Mark Zuckerberg marries longtime girlfriend


Click to play

(CNN) — A day after his social media company went public, Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg married his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan on Saturday.

The news was announced where else but on Facebook.

“Mark added a life event to May 19, 2012 on his timeline: Married Priscilla Chan,” the page‘s activity feed said.


Facebook IPO opening


How to explain the Facebook flop?

Zuckerberg, 28, posted a simple wedding photograph, showing the couple against a backdrop of plants and small lights on a string.

Who is Priscilla Chan?

Both he and Chan also updated their relationship status to “married.”

What Facebook says about America

Zuckerberg ditched his trademark hoodie, appearing in a dark suit and tie, while Chan wore a sleeveless white wedding dress with lace.

The pair met during Zuckerberg’s sophomore year at Harvard University, where he first nursed Facebook as a dorm-room project.

Chan graduated this year from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, according to her Facebook page.

The marriage comes just one day after the company, based in California, made its market debut.

CNNMoney’s journey buying Facebook’s IPO

Its initial public offering was the biggest opening ever for a tech company and the third-largest IPO in U.S. history, behind only Visa and General Motors.






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When superyacht chic meets hybrid technology


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The Columbus Sport 130' Hybrid is powered by twin electrical and diesel engines that reduce emissions as well as running costs.The Columbus Sport 130′ Hybrid is powered by twin electrical and diesel engines that reduce emissions as well as running costs.

With a cruising range of 5000 nautical miles, the vessel can easily make the journey between glamorous ports in Monaco and Miami.With a cruising range of 5000 nautical miles, the vessel can easily make the journey between glamorous ports in Monaco and Miami.

The superior mechanical responsiveness of the electrical engines also gives the Columbus Sport 130' Hybrid increased manoeuvrability, its manufacturers say.The superior mechanical responsiveness of the electrical engines also gives the Columbus Sport 130′ Hybrid increased manoeuvrability, its manufacturers say.

The open air top deck of the Columbus Sport 130' Hybrid contains space for dining and sun-lounging.The open air top deck of the Columbus Sport 130′ Hybrid contains space for dining and sun-lounging.

The sleek exterior of the vessel is composed of aluminium which reduces the boats weight and energy consumption, its designers say. The sleek exterior of the vessel is composed of aluminium which reduces the boats weight and energy consumption, its designers say.

There are four cabins aboard the Columbus Sport 130' Hybrid providing luxury accommodation for a maximum of eight guests.There are four cabins aboard the Columbus Sport 130′ Hybrid providing luxury accommodation for a maximum of eight guests.


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Editor’s note: MainSail is CNN’s monthly sailing show, exploring the sport of sailing, luxury travel and the latest in design and technology.

(CNN) — How does the wealthy boating enthusiast reconcile a passion for gas-guzzling superyachts with concern for the natural ocean environment?

Sure, powerful engines and deluxe on-board facilities ensure the lap of high seas luxury, but these extravagant features are usually powered by high fuel emissions and energy consumption.

But for the millionaire mariner with the planet’s best interest at heart, help will soon be at hand in the shape of the Columbus Sport 130′ Hybrid — a new 40 meter ship that aims to fuse superyacht chic with an eco-friendly design concept.

See also: The limousine-shaped superyacht

Currently on the production line of Italian ship builder, Palumbo Shipyards, the lavish vessel is due for completion in August 2013 and will cost a cool $30 million upon delivery.

“The boat is really an innovative concept because (it) melds together very modern lines and high technology with environmentally friendly features,” says Giuseppe Palumbo, general manager of Palumbo Shipyards in Naples .

Palumbo explains that the vessel’s efficiencies are driven by twin electrical and diesel engines that combine performance to reduce emissions whilst simultaneously generating electricity for the ships myriad on board amenities.

See also: Charter a superyacht like a billionaire

It also includes extra eco features such as a bilge water separator — a device that extracts oil from sea water entering the vessel’s engines before it is disposed back into the ocean.

An all aluminum exterior and lightweight skeletal structure meanwhile ensure the ship is as slight and sleek as possible, therefore taking less energy to power, he adds.

Although there may be other yachts that offer greater speeds or performance levels, the Sport 130′ Hybrid “enable(s) greater maneuverability,” cuts noise pollution and reduces overall “maintenance costs” — on top of the obvious environmental benefits, adds Palumbo.

But while the vessel may stand out because of its high-tech eco friendly features, Palumbo is quick to ensure that it doesn’t skimp on the traditionally ostentatious superyacht features as well.

See also: The rise of the gigayacht

Four large cabins provide luxury accommodation for as many as eight guests at a time (served by seven crew members) while a spacious deck area ensures there is plenty of room for sunbathing, dining and partying come nightfall.

A custom made lounge area crafted by Italian interior design specialists, Hot Lab Studio, meanwhile includes a number of prominent glass windows that provide spectacular vistas of the surrounding seas.

Not only will this ensure that guests can enjoy panoramic ocean views, says Palumbo, but they will be able to do so safe in the knowledge that the environmental impact of their yachting extravagance is vastly reduced.






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How to tactfully fund your projects online


Kickstarter, arguably the best-known crowdfunding site, has raised money for a variety of projects.

Editor’s note: Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz are the sarcastic brains behind humor blog and book “Stuff Hipsters Hate.” Got a question about etiquette in the digital world? Contact them at netiquette@cnn.com.

(CNN) — It sounds like one of those weird, grainy late-night infomercials: “Get money for your projects NOW for FREE! There are people out there just WAITING to put REAL MONEY in your hands! Don’t wait, apply TODAY!”

All that’s missing is a leering old dude — clutching a pile of gold bars and wearing a suit made of money — pointing aggressively at the camera while you watch glassy-eyed from your couch, shoving pork rinds or whatever the hell you people consume into your greasy maw. We’re talking, of course, about crowdfunding — a trend that’s certifiably sweeping the nation.

For those whose eyes are too glazed with the aforementioned grease to see all the wonder that’s unfolding online, crowdfunding is a phenomenon whereby folks take to the Web, pitch projects and collect cash from interested parties to execute those projects.

Arguably the most buzzy among crowdfunding services is Kickstarter — the site launched in 2009, and since then more than $200 million has been pledged to projects launched on the platform. (Not all that money was collected, though. When folks create a project, they set a fundraising goal and they only get the cash pledged if they reach or exceed that goal). Still, there are a ton of other fundraising options out there — IndieGoGo, PledgeMusic and Flattr to name a few.

Lately, we’ve been struck by a few high profile acts’ use of crowdfunding — namely ex-Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer and the recently reunited Ben Folds Five. Palmer has so far raised close to $700,000 to fund production of an album by her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra.

Meanwhile, Folds has turned to PledgeMusic to fund the band’s first album in 13 years. We don’t know how much they’ve raised, since PledgeMusic doesn’t list monetary amounts, but we do know the band has far exceeded its goal. Yup, both of these bands have been highly successful crowdfunders, and both — naturally — could teach us all a lot about asking for cash in a classy way.

We can already hear the protestations: “Wait, are you asking me to model myself on famous people? Really? That’s idiotic. They have HUGE fan bases to help them out. It’s not like I have 700,000 people clamoring to see my claymation Edgar Allen Poe film with a modern-day twist: ‘The Brad Pitt and the Sean Penn-dulum.’”

Well, you’re right — they do have thousands of fans, otherwise known as people who like them. If they have that many people who like them willing to give them money, don’t you think they’re doing something right? Got you there.

We recently chatted with both bands about their crowdfunding campaigns and took away five key lessons from what they had to say. Read on for more on how to ask for money without making everyone hate you.

(1) Don’t bother your friends and family

We know, we know, Mommy has deep pockets and Daddy is a pushover — and your friends… well, let’s just say your first born is spoken for.

Still, that doesn’t make it OK to knock out a crowdfunding campaign and barrage your friends and family — and only your friends and family — with requests for dough. Sure, you can let them all know what you’re up to (and they likely will contribute), but you’re going to have to widen your net here a little if you want to teach yourself to fish, or whatever.

“I think it’s important to have at least a bit of a fan base before you try to Kickstart,” Palmer says. “You need to be speaking to someone on the other end of the phone before you ask for help, if you know what I mean.”

Before you take to Kickstarter or one of its brethren, start getting your work out there in other ways. If you’re raising money for your novel (Griffons are totally going to be the next vampires, you can feel it!), start a blog with samples of your writing and begin networking online with other writers.

If you’re a band and you need cash for your Midwestern tour (Hello, cornfields!), play a couple of warehouse shows and drop a few singles.

If you’re looking to go big with those scary faceless dolls you’ve been fashioning from potato sacks and twine and slowly puncturing with pins whilst laughing maniacally — well, then, maybe you’d better ask your caregiver to up your meds.

(2) Use your words…and video editing skills

At this juncture, we’re just going to direct you to this clip from the very hilarious Portlandia. When using a tool like Kickstarter, you have the opportunity to explain to the fullest — with video, text and whatever visuals you need — just how vital your “World’s Largest My Little Pony” is to the betterment of the Bronie art scene.

Use all of these tools, and use them well. As Palmer says, “Your video is your personal pitch. It needs to be short and informative. People want to know WHAT you’re using their money for.”

So cut out all the mindless babble and just admit that you want to create said pony to ride in the comfort of your own living room. Someone will totally fund that, right?

(3) To quote that terrible Haley Joel Osment movie, “Pay it forward”

We really hate ourselves right now, but that’s basically the only way to say it. When you ask other people for money and they oblige, you should probably keep the good karma flowing by sharing the wealth.

PledgeMusic lets users give a portion of their pledges to charity, which is why Ben Folds chose that service in the first place. He’s planning to donate a chunk of his fan-provided cash to music therapy and education. Folds is also primed to help out the fans who support his campaign by pumping their projects via the band’s social networks.

“When we step up front like this, we’re taking on the responsibility of getting talent out there,” Folds says. “Because every time a band like me or Amanda does these things, it’s a kick in the ass to the traditional record-selling machinery … . So it’s just now up to us — the bands that are stepping up and doing it in this way — we have a responsibility to reach out a hand and do something for the talent below.”

So, basically, when you get rich and famous after opening your drunk food restaurant, Tipsy’s — “You buy it, we fry it” (TM our friend Leah) — don’t forget the little people.

(4) Give investors their money’s worth

Most crowdfunding sites let you reward donors with products and services in exchange for donating different amounts of money. Make those gifts count — no one wants a coupon for one of your “famous moist hand massages.” Remember, you’re courting future customers and fans here.

If you take a look at Ben Folds Five’s campaign, the whole deal is more of a pre-order situation than a wild, pleading call for cash — a pledge of $10 gets you the digital album (pretty standard for an album), $15 gets you a CD, and bigger pledges score you signed records and discs. Not a mention of “the free 3-D glasses I stole when I went to go see Titanic” anywhere.

(5) Be prepared to do it anyway

If Palmer and Folds had somehow failed to reach their monetary goals, do you think they would have thrown up their hands and said, “Eh, forget this new band. I’m gonna take a nap,” or, “What’s 13 more years?” Nope. You’re asking for cash because you supposedly are passionate about doing something. If you fail, find a way not to.






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Surprise: The Internet hates rich people


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CEO Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq opening bell Friday morning from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook shares are priced at $38 each at opening. At that price, Facebook's IPO will raise $16 billion, making it the largest tech IPO in history.CEO Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq opening bell Friday morning from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook shares are priced at $38 each at opening. At that price, Facebook’s IPO will raise $16 billion, making it the largest tech IPO in history.

On the eve of their IPO, Facebook kicked off its 31st Hackathon, an all-night coding spree. Every few months the Facebook team gets together to build prototypes for new ideas.
On the eve of their IPO, Facebook kicked off its 31st Hackathon, an all-night coding spree. Every few months the Facebook team gets together to build prototypes for new ideas.

Facebook team members walk across the company's sprawling new campus on their way to Thursday night's Hackathon kickoff event. Facebook team members walk across the company’s sprawling new campus on their way to Thursday night’s Hackathon kickoff event.

A crowd gathers in an outdoor plaza, dubbed Hackers Square, to hear Facebook's CEO kick off the Hackathon. A crowd gathers in an outdoor plaza, dubbed Hackers Square, to hear Facebook’s CEO kick off the Hackathon.

Zuckerberg speaks to his employees before officially beginning the Hackathon. He got a standing ovation.
Zuckerberg speaks to his employees before officially beginning the Hackathon. He got a standing ovation.

Scenes from Facebook headquartersScenes from Facebook headquarters

Many of the company's most successful products have come out of its Hackathons, including the Facebook timeline, chat, video and the like button.Many of the company’s most successful products have come out of its Hackathons, including the Facebook timeline, chat, video and the “like” button.

Fueled by Chinese food and Red Bull, many employees work on coding projects into the wee hours. Fueled by Chinese food and Red Bull, many employees work on coding projects into the wee hours.

Scenes from Facebook headquartersScenes from Facebook headquarters

Scenes from Facebook headquartersScenes from Facebook headquarters

Part codathon, part slumber party, the Hackathon is a bonding ritual for many Facebook staffers.
Part codathon, part slumber party, the Hackathon is a bonding ritual for many Facebook staffers.

Facebook stock began trading publicly for the first time late Friday morning, making millionaires -- at least on paper -- of many of its young employees.Facebook stock began trading publicly for the first time late Friday morning, making millionaires — at least on paper — of many of its young employees.


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(CNN) — It’s no shock that people love to hate Facebook.

On Friday, for some, the emphasis shifted to hate as Facebook went public, turning its CEO into a billionaire and, as CNNMoney gracefully put it, making “thousands of millionaires” out of the rest of its staff and stockholders.

“Well most Americans are bitter and hateful toward anyone and anything more successful than themselves,” one commenter wrote on that story.

“Just me or anyone else really hoping for Facebook stock to take a nose dive and never come back up? I want to watch it drop like a rock,” one Twitter user wrote on the eve of Facebook’s initial public offering Thursday.

The anti-social network: Life without Facebook


Can you still make money off Facebook?


Who owns Facebook?


How much are you worth to Facebook?

Here’s a rant from one financial analyst, spotted by Time.com, which shares a parent company with CNN and authored a recent post called “Sick of hearing about Facebook? You’re not alone.”

“But do I really need to see another article about how the Ferrari dealers in Silicon Valley have brought in extra inventory in anticipation of all the new millionaires? Or how Menlo Park and Palo Alto housing prices, which were already sky-high, are soaring even higher from all the new money?” the analyst, Tracey Ryniec, wrote.

“I can’t wait for this week to be over so we can talk about some other companies.”

Some of the venom online was directed at the Winklevoss twins, those rowing-happy Harvard kids who repeatedly have been suing for part of Facebook.

Dubbed “the Winklevii” in the film “The Social Network,” Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are set to make millions off of Facebook’s IPO despite the fact that some courts have rejected their claims that Zuckerberg stole their idea for his blockbuster website. They could make $228 million for their 6 million shares in the company, according to a CNNMoney gallery on Facebook’s new billionaires.

At The New Yorker, Silvia Killingsworth writes that we all should give the Winklevii a bit of a break — especially since they’ve been good sports about their anti-fame:

“Sure, the Winklevii may sound a little cheesy finishing each other’s sentences — a well-enunciated mix of locker-room pep talk and well-worn entrepreneurial Web-2.0 jargon — and they will be subject to Al Gore-style Internet-invention jokes until the end of time. But who’d have known they’d be such good sportsmen about it? In the movie, Cameron gets frustrated at one point and hollers. ‘Screw it! Let’s gut the frigging nerd!’ In real life, the twins seem to have become entirely content with chasing the nerd around the courts, and collecting their cut of the biggest tech I.P.O. in history.”

Others are teasing CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself.

The comedian Andy Borowitz posted a fake letter from the 28-year-old to potential investors. It opens:

“For years, you’ve wasted your time on Facebook. Now here’s your chance to waste your money on it, too.”

It ends like this:

“One last thing: what will, I, Mark Zuckerberg, do with the $18 billion I’m expected to earn from Facebook’s IPO? Well, I’m considering buying Greece, but that would still leave me with $18 billion. LOL. Friend me, Mark”


View of Facebook from next generation


Why Facebook matters


Why Facebook isn’t like MySpace AOL

According to The New York Times, Facebook’s new billionaires may spend their money in subtle (but still over-the-top) ways. On Thursday, the paper looked at spending culture in Silicon Valley, finding that the really rich types spend money in ways that are difficult to detect without a rich-person radar:

“Fabulous home theaters are tucked into the basements of plain suburban houses. Bespoke jeans that start at $1,200 can be detected only by a tiny red logo on the button. The hand-painted Italian bicycles that flash across Silicon Valley on Saturday mornings have become the new Ferrari — and only the cognoscenti could imagine that they cost more than $20,000,” Somini Sengupta writes for the paper. “Even at Facebook, ground zero for the nouveau tech riche, peer pressure dictates that consumption be kept on the down low.”

Part of the reason some people are frustrated with Facebook this week is that all of us — the users of Facebook — are essentially the ones making the company so much money. My colleague Doug Gross looked at this on Wednesday. If you want to make the point really personal, check out this widget, which will tell you exactly how many dollars your Facebook page is making for the company.

It’s an estimate, of course, but it brings the point home. Here are details on the math they’re using to make the calculations, in case you’re feeling brainy.

Others used the opportunity to gripe about Facebook’s privacy settings, which are notoriously complicated (perhaps since the company wants info to be public):

Why is Facebook going public? They couldn’t figure out the privacy settings either,” wrote one Twitter user.

Not all of the reaction is negative, of course.

Many tech bloggers and Wall Street watchers are cheering on Facebook’s run at the market, saying it’s yet another Steve Jobsian expression of the American Dream. “In 2004, who could have predicted that a Harvard sophomore would be destined to lead his dorm-room creation to a gajillion-dollar IPO eight years later?” wrote Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg at The Atlantic. “The life and times of Mark Zuckerberg are dramatic, even epic, and — you might say — lyrical.”

For more on that, check out this faux-musical about the company’s rise.

“I’m happy for Facebook, Zuck and others put in their own time efforts and own capital they deserve this reward,” another Twitter pundit said. “American Dream!”

Some people will see this post and say, “Yeah, yeah yeah. Haters gonna hate.”

That’s the tack Facebook appears to be taking.

According to the blog TechCrunch, Facebook’s Toronto office created a poster that counters all the negativity by saying “Likers gonna like” — a riff on the site’s mechanism for sharing content with friends.

The blog post ends with this little bit of sappy futurism:

“Facebook’s mission is ‘making the world more open and connected.’ Sometimes that means making people uncomfortable at first. You don’t have to agree with how Mark Zuckerberg does things, and you can hate if you want to. But remember, Facebook’s just the messenger. The message is the future.”

Feel free to complain about that in the comments section.






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A look back at Zuckerberg in 2006

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  • ‘Social Network’ writer to pen Jobs film


    Aaron Sorkin, seen at the Academy Awards ceremony in February, will write and direct a new film on Steve Jobs.

    (CNN) — Aaron Sorkin, the celebrated screenwriter whose punchy dialogue propelled TV’s “The West Wing” and the Facebook movie “The Social Network,” will write and direct an upcoming film on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

    Sony Pictures has confirmed that Sorkin will adapt “Steve Jobs,” the in-depth biography of the tech icon that was written by Walter Isaacson and released shortly after Jobs’ death last year.

    “Steve Jobs’ story is unique: he was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time,” Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a written release.

    “There is no writer working in Hollywood today who is more capable of capturing such an extraordinary life for the screen than Aaron Sorkin; in his hands, we’re confident that the film will be everything that Jobs himself was: captivating, entertaining, and polarizing.”


    Steve Jobs in 2005: No one wants to die


    The legacy of Steve Jobs

    Sorkin won an Academy Award for adapting “The Social Network,” which in 2010 propelled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to household-name status. His other work includes “A Few Good Men,” “Moneyball,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The West Wing” and “Sports Night.”

    The yet-unnamed Steve Jobs film will be Sorkin’s first movie-directing gig.

    Sony reportedly wanted Sorkin for the film and began courting him immediately after securing the rights to Isaacson’s book late last year.

    Sorkin actually knew Jobs and wrote a piece for The Daily Beast about his memories of Jobs after his death. He wrote that he and Jobs had developed a “phone friendship” that led Jobs to invite him to write a movie for Pixar (the animation studio Jobs ran) and to tour Apple.

    “I told him I’d take him up on it and I never did,” Sorkin wrote. “But I still keep thinking about that Pixar movie. And for me, that’s Steve’s legacy. That, and the fact that I wrote this on a Mac that I loved taking out of the box.”

    Another Jobs movie is also in the works. An independent film starring “That ’70s Show” alum Ashton Kutcher is scheduled to begin filming in May.






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    Ahmed Elbatrawy