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You can’t watch or read anything news related without it mentioning Twitter. Twitter has become the place where casual conversations occurs on a daily basis. Due to Twitter’s default settings your conversation with @name will only be seen by people who following you both. Conversations start and someone else might want to join in if they find something interesting to comment on. Others then hop on the conversation bandwagon and it’s hard to keep up.

Twitter’s linear structure doesn’t capture these type of conversations. We see @mentions, retweets, and bits of conversation here and there, if we’re logged in. If you could follow it ‘better’ it could provide you with a lot of information. One tweeter can start a conversation about a museum they visited, an artist’s work they saw, another can chime in and inform others where else their work is currently showing or had been, or even a similar artist someone might appreciate. The list goes on about the type of information that can be had from this type of conversation or any topic. But remember unless your logged in while this is happening, you miss the entire thing.

Twitter has recently tried to group this information by allowing you to select your location for displaying local trending topics instead of global ones. What this does is allow you to see what’s going on in your area so it can be useful to you. Unfortunately, half the information might not be of any actual use because it’s not centralized to your location.  But it doesn’t matter, you still have obtained information you could pass on to others in ‘normal’ face to face conversations, you might otherwise have not known.

There have been several tools that have attempted to isolate these bits of relevant information. Here are some of those tools:

Sparse.ly –  Displays trends within people you are following so you are spared the noise of what the rest of the world is talking about.

Cadmus – An app for catching up on conversations (that you missed). You don’t have to be a part of the conversation for it to show up on your page but it will only show tweets and conversations between people that you are following.

Microchats – for moderating chats on Twitter. You can create your own public or private chats and participate in others. Provides a listing of all the lastest chats and Google Buzz too.

Mixero – Reduces the noise of Twitter information overload. It also has groups and listings management and support for several Twitter accounts, as well as Facebook, simultaneously.


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I can’t tell you how much I love Sean Metcalf’s illustrations. Quirky, colorful and with a unique style, what’s not to like. You can buy his prints at his deviantART store, or visit his website.

Carriers Review

By Rose Elle

Rated: PG-13

Directed by Alex and David Paster

Running Time: 84 minutes

Synopsis: Post viral pandemic outbreak, four friends set out for the beach, deemed to be a safe zone. What they don’t expect is that there is something worse in store for all of them, far worse than the pandemic itself.

Review: Initially shelved after filming had wrapped in 2006, Carriers was given a limited release after Chris Pine shot to stardom in ‘Star Trek’. This was smart, since having Chris Pine more recognizable now than he was in 06’, gave this film a nice shot in the arm.

It starts out seemingly predictable and normal enough for the type of movie it is. The standard four-young-friends-on-a-road-trip-trying-to-stay-alive-through-a-viral-pandemic crisis type. The leader of group, Brian (played by Chris Pine) and his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo) along with Brian’s brother (Lou Taylor Pucci) and friend Kate (Emily Van Camp), have all survived thus far, by following a set of rules. Upon hearing these rules, told to us in voiceover reminiscent of the ‘Zombieland’ rules, you automatically think this is a movie about zombies. But it’s not.

It is more about how humans turn into selfish, kill or be killed, survival seeking animals in times of crisis. The movie has some slight suspenseful moments, but overall, it tells a story, one that is shocking as it is believable because we can all imagine some, if not most, of the human population acting this way, given no other choice. It breaks your heart.

Carriers is by no means a ‘great’ film, but it is surprisingly good in that it is not at all what you expected when you sat down to view it. So it gets points for originality.

Chris Pine gave a solid performance, quite a different turn than his portrayal of Danny in ‘Blind Dating’, which was fun to see, while Perabo and her fellow actors held their own. However, I felt the ending was a bit too neat and it was unfinished, as if the writers simply said “Okay, let’s stop here”.

Overall, it’s worth a watch, at least once.

Rating: 6.5/10 stars

Originally posted at openbooksociety.com