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Monday
Dec052011

Google Search Makes Graphing Math Functions Easy and Free


Students can now plot mathematical functions including trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic, using Google search.


Simply type in a function and Google will show you an interactive graph at the tip of the search results page. You can zoom in and out across the plane to explore the function in more detail and also plot multiple functions.

"I still recall the day when my friend Yossi came to school and showed off his brand new graphing calculator," Google Engineer Adi Avidor writes on the Google Inside Search blog. "I was stunned by how easy it was to plot complicated functions -- meanwhile, the rest of us were still drawing them by hand on graph paper."

While there are a number of free and paid mobile apps that function like...

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Monday
Dec052011

Is @TwitterMusic Faking its 256K+ Followers?



@TwitterMusic, a verified account on Twitter, has 260K+ followers but the vast majority don't have any tweets, followers or photos which makes us wonder if Twitter is faking its followers?

The @TwitterMusic handle, which first tweeted on Oct. 17, seems to be a Twitter-owned account because we doubt Twitter would verify a fake account. While @TwitterMusic does have seemingly legitimate followers, such as @hanaofangel with a Klout score of 57 and @MikeyS809 with a Klout score of 41, in addition to having a spot on the @TheGRAMMYs/grammynoms list, many of the handles other followers have little to no Klout.

LAUNCH has contacted Twitter via email, Twitter and phone and will update this story if we hear back from them.

Other users following @TwitterMusic include @RahmiSoq, who...

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Monday
Dec052011

Never Give up, Never Surrender


By Jason Calacanis

A year ago SNS (social network service) Path.com launched as the anti-Facebook. With odd product choices like a 50-person friend limit and an iPhone-only release, the service created a lot of discussion.

I became a huge fan of the privacy-first Path because, as many of you know, I've had a slight problem with the way in which Facebook has flipped user privacy, with opting folks in to features they would never embrace.

The government had a problem with Facebook's approach as well, and just last week Zuckerberg admitted his track record was a disaster.

Facebook agreed to a 20-year, third-party audit.

It's worth reading the settlement.

Back to Path. The service was considered dead.

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Friday
Dec022011

Gowalla Acquisition Means Better-Looking Apps for Facebook



Facebook has acquired social guides service Gowalla for an undisclosed amount, a source close to Gowalla told CNN Money, which partnered with Gowalla back in 2010.

This is certainly an admission that despite a lot of effort, Facebook's mobile products are simply not as elegant an well-designed as those of Instagram, Gowalla and the new Path. Gowalla, which is known for superior design and UX, partnered with Facebook in August 2010 when Facebook launched Places. 

As part of the acquisition...

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Friday
Dec022011

Facebook Boosts New York's Startup Cred -- Here's Why NYC Is So Hot

[ Image courtesy of fotopedia.com via creative commons license. ]

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Facebook's New York engineering office earlier today, the Big Apple saw its startup cred go up more than a few notches.

Facebook's first East Coast office for engineering is set to open in early 2012 with long-time engineer Serkan Piantino heading it up. No word yet on how many engineers it will hire, but 15 positions are currently open. Facebook will join -- and compete with -- top New York born-and-raised startups like Tumblr, Etsy, Kickstarter, Gilt Groupe and foursquare.

New York-based Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon, whose company eBay just acquired, tweeted, "Congrats to Serkan & Facebook. Awesome guy & great for NYC.

Gilt Groupe retweeted Bloomberg's note, and Foursquare appears to have...

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