Twitter Will Be More Secure With HTTPS

Twitter announced today that it is adding HTTPS to their service to make it more secure. Twitter users should be able to go their user’s setting and choose a box to always use HTTPS. Twitter says HTTPS is recommended for users who use public Wi-Fi where network connections are less secure.

HTTPS is a combination of HTML and SSL/TLS protocols. HTTPS are often used for payment and banking transactions on the web. HTTPS usually displays a locked key on some browsers, or a modified or certified address bar in some browsers.

Twitter hopes to have HTTPS as the standard setting in the future.

250 Billion Tweets and Counting

Twitter had 250 billion tweets in 2010. It also added 100 million new users. An amazing growth for a company that’s only been around for a few years. Twitter has also improved its infrastructure exponentially, being able to support growth while minimizing downtimes. I haven’t seen or heard the fail whale for quite some time. That’s a good thing. The last I heard was during the World Cup this past summer. I might have missed one or two along the way.

So, what’s new this year? Twitter’s development team continued to innovate and add value to the Twitter’s experience, by cranking out new features, such as a new homepage, embedded media, tlists, and so on. And what do I expect next year? Twitter will probably double its record number of tweets. Maybe add a few more hundred million users. How about a trillion tweets. Why not.

Finally, there’s a nice story in the San Francisco Chronicle about the artist who drew the infamous fail whale.

Get Extra Space from Dropbox

Dropbox is one my all-time favorite application. The file sharing application gives you the ability to synch several computers by simply dropping a file to a folder. All your other computers (Windows, Mac or Linux) that have Dropbox installed, will synchronize automatically and get the updated files.

When you join Dropbox, you probably selected a free account that came with 2GB of disk space. To increase space, you can refer friends, family and others to join Dropbox and you and your friend will get an additional 250MB of space. I’ve referred several friends and now have 4.38GB. It’s nothing compared to someone I read online that had 17GB.

While referral is great, there’s another easy way of getting extra space from Dropbox. If you connect your Twitter account with Dropbox, you’ll get an additional 128MB. If you connect with Facebook, it’s another 128MB. If you follow @Dropbox on Twitter, it’s another 128MB.

If you tweet how much you love Dropbox, it’s another 128MB. Hence, my tweet about Dropbox the other night. All in all, if you do all of the above, you’ll get an additional 640MB of free disk space. Mind you, these are services that you already have, since most people already have Facebook and Twitter accounts. All you have to do is activate your free disk space.

To get your free space, just login to Dropbox and access Dropbox for free. One more thing, if you haven’t joined Dropbox yet, use this link to join. You and I will get an additional 250MB for using that link.

RockMelt Browser Emerges

I heard RockMelt mentioned twice in two days. What’s RockMelt? RockMelt is a brand-new browser that’s designed around you and how you use the web. Curious? Yes, me too. Well, wait no more. You can sign up and get an early invitation.

From RockMelt’s blog

RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages. It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search. And of course, RockMelt is fast, secure, and stable because it’s built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser. It’s your browser – re-imagined and built for how you use the Web.

You can follow RockMelt @rockmelt as well as in Facebook.

Finally, here’s a couple of videos to whet your appetite.

Twitter Shutting Down Basic Authentication

On August 31, the Twitter API team will shutdown all basic authentication on the Twitter API. If you are using any of the third-party Twitter-based applications that uses basic authentication, the application you’re using will no longer work as of August 31.

Twitter has given developers enough warning of the switch. In fact, Twitter has postponed the cutoff date at least twice in the past few months to accommodate developers into adopting the OAuth authentication protocol. This time, the cutoff date will most likely stick. What this means is there will be a number of applications that will no longer work after the deadline.

How does this affect you? If you are a WordPress user and you are using a Twitter-based plugin that requires authentication, there is a good chance your plugin does not use OAuth authentication. There at least 250 Twitter plugins written for WordPress. A number of them do not require authentication, but some require authentication.

If your plugin requires authentication, better check.

One way of finding out which plugin uses OAuth is to check the plugin’s Option pages. If you’ve entered your Twitter credentials such as username and password, then you are using the older and soon to be obsolete basic authentication.

If you’ve entered a consumer key and a consumer secret key, then you are using OAuth authentication protocol.

Another way of finding out if your plugin uses OAuth is that the login process should take you back to the Twitter’s login page such as the example below.

To be sure, check for updates of your plugin. If the developer does not plan to update the plugin, better start looking for an alternative.

I didn’t get a chance to look at each plugin because of the sheer number of Twitter-based plugins in the Plugins directory. One plugin that supports OAuth is Twitter Tools.

Dell Streak

Introducing the Dell Streak. It’s a 5 inch go-anywhere entertainment, social connection and navigation device. For $549 and a 2 year contract with AT&T you can have a Streak which browse the web, watch videos, access social media Facebook, Twitter and more, Google Maps with navigation, and hundreds of other applications from the Android Marketplace. Oh yes, it’s an Android powered device. It’s too bad, just like the iPhone, it’s only available from AT&T. Will you get one?

Track Tweets Between People Using Bettween

Ever wonder if there was a way to track conversations between two people on Twitter. Check out Bettween, the ultimate conversation tracker. At Bettween’s website, they feature several conversations between people like @mrskutcher and @perezhilton. Interesting stuff.

I learned of Bettween while reading Matt’s post about the Thesis theme violating WordPress’ license, which has generated a ton of comments. One of the comments had a link which captured conversations between @pearsonified and @photomatt.

Bettween is great. The only thing is, you can’t track conversations with your friends or followers that have private Twitter accounts. Fair enough because of privacy issues, but this tool comes very handy.