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Here’s An App To Help You Avoid Human Contact, Especially At A Certain Texas Festival

Hell is other people at SXSW.

SXSW started today, and an Austin tech developer wants to ensure that Texas residents won't be too overwhelmed by the invading indie masses. Enter "Avoid Humans," an app that uses Foursquare to tell you what locations to steer clear of if you want to leave your house but not interact with your species.

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Hell is Other People: Anti-Social App Helps You Avoid Running Into Your Friends

If you could figure out where all your friends were at any given time, you'd probably want to avoid them.

Ever had a day where you just don't want to have to deal with other people? Ever taken a different path than usual because there's someone you really don't want to run into on the way? Good news, an app developer has leveraged social media to direct you along routes where your friends aren't. The app, called Hell Is Other People, is an experiment in anti-social media. It monitors your friends' check-ins on Foursquare to figure out where they might be and then creates a map with "optimally distanced safe zones" to decrease the chances that you might cross their paths.

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Foursquare is Changing Its Privacy Policy, Probably Because That Worked so Well for Instagram

Foursquare is continuing to grow despite the very subjective metric that I haven't seen one of those "Check in Here" stickers at a business in a while. I sort of forgot about Foursquare. Still, they've had a great year that saw millions of new users and their three-mbillionth check-in. They've branched out their services to be a stronger competitor to Yelp, whose stickers I have seen a lot of around New York. Now Foursquare is telling its users that it's going to be updating its terms of service, making more user information public. I don't see this going well for you, Foursquare.

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Visiting a Planetarium Could Now Earn You a Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare

Geeks are a lot like hobbits: Aside from enjoying a good fantasy story and a hearty meal, neither of us venture beyond the comfortable confines of our home unless there is an absolutely necessary reason to do so -- which still necessitates heavy consideration. That's the stereotype, anyway. Case in point, NASA's teaming up with Foursquare to present those conquering their agoraphobic tendencies with a Curiosity rover-themed badge if they follow NASA via the social media platform and check in when they arrive at a NASA visitor center or any other approved locations -- such as a museum or planetarium -- that provide an educational experience. Sadly, events like Star Wars movie marathons at your local theater or science fiction conventions don't count toward receiving this special badge.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Checks in on Foursquare, Probably Only Candidate for Mayor

In what is surely the best use of technology to date, NASA's Curiosity rover that happens to be performing serious science on the surface of Mars just checked in via Foursquare. This is obviously the best way to tell that it's actually on Mars, though we probably can't meet up for drinks. All snark aside, the rover's almost guaranteed to become the mayor in short order due to a dearth of competition. What perks this might entail aren't exactly known at the moment.

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Site Confirms You Knew Social Platforms Before They Were Cool

There's a particular phenomenon popularized on the Internet wherein users who consider themselves early adopters look down on those who were late to the party. Now, thanks to, folks can figure out exactly how much cooler folks are than other folks. The site asks for authorization to Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and Github. After being authorized, it spits out where that account exists, in percentage points, when compared to all other accounts.

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Abandoned by Facebook and Foursquare; Creepy, Stalker-Enabling App Girls Around Me is Pulled by Developer

what is this I don't even

Gotta love those stories that you come across late in the day, and then by the time you get a moment to report on them, they've already sort of solved themselves. For about two months now, an app called Girls Around Me has be available on Apple's App Store, and, for what it's worth, it's not that it's explicitly intended to make it easy to pretend that you know a girl, or find a girl who may be susceptible to drunkenly going home with you... Well, actually I take it back, it's explicitly intended to do both of those things. As Cult of Mac expertly summarizes it: "Girls Around Me lets you identify women, find out where they are, look at pictures of them and then research their personal lives, all in pursuit of a 'one-night stand.'" Its creators wanted to make the lives of "ballers and pick-up artists" easier, which, while not my cup of tea, doesn't remove the fact that they're also giving would-be stalkers and date-rapists a incredible convenience.

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[UPDATED] Planned Parenthood Wants You to “Check In” on Foursquare Every Time You Use a Condom

It Goes Ding When There's Stuff

A regional chapter of Planned Parenthood, god bless them, is running a promotion that asks responsible young men to "check in" on Foursquare every time they practice safe sex, so they can proclaim, "I am wrapped up and proud!" But, um, what about the people with whom these fine young men are practicing the safe sex? I guess "a gentleman never kisses and tells" is not a thing anymore?

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President Obama Joins Foursquare

After hosting a town hall meeting on Twitter, it would seem President Obama decided to continue the White House's modernization and joined Foursquare. Announced on the White House blog, Obama's joining of Foursquare will allow followers to discover "tips" from the White House "featuring the places President Obama has visited, what he did there, plus historical information."

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World of Fourcraft Turns NYC Foursquare Into Huge Game of Real-Life RISK

Whether you love it or hate it, RISK has been a board game staple ever since its release. Over the weekend at Game Hack Day NYC, a team of seven people modded Foursquare and turned New York City into a giant game of RISK. Using Foursquare and Google Maps API, World of Fourcraft allows players to swear allegiance to one of New York City's five boroughs, then when a player checks into a borough, the game acts as though the player just put a new army on a territory, and an algorithm decides which team controls which neighborhood based on the number of people checking in. Ricky Robinett, a member of the World of Fourcraft team, felt Foursquare and RISK weren't addictive enough, and aims to add a leveling-up style feature that would make frequent users' checkins more effective at claiming and securing territories. As if Foursquare needed to get more addictive. Check out the game over at its website.

(World of Fourcraft via Mashable)

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Twitter Adds Content from Amazon, Foursquare and More

Twitter has added support for six new third-party services to the Twitter stream: Amazon, AOL Video, Foursquare, Gowalla, Meetup and Plancast. The new additions allow for multimedia to appear whenever someone tweets out a link from one of the supported services. Twitter continues to add support for third party, non-140-character-related services, as it added support for, Dipdive, Instagram, Rdio and Slideshare back in December, and have now added six more services, a few of which are much more popular than the five added in December. Though the addition of third-party multimedia makes Twitter a prettier place than the simple 140-character text allows it to be, there is probably a large subset of people that aren't too fond of the additions, considering that the display of multimedia will complicate the stream of what is supposed to be a limited, minimal -- and thus, easy on the eyes -- service. How do you like your Twitter? 140 characters of text or prettied-up with multimedia? (via Mashable)

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Amazon Cloud Computing Platform Goes Down, Takes Major Social Websites With It

Amazon's elastic compute cloud (EC2) is a popular hosting platform for social websites because it provides a cheap, scaleable, generally reliable place for them to live online without having to purchase a floor full of their own servers. But a major EC2 outage today highlights the potential perils of outsourcing one's own hosting needs onto the cloud: When the cloud goes down, there's not all that much you can do.

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Foursquare Sets New Daily Check-In Record

This morning Dennis Crowley, the founder of the check-in service Foursquare, tweeted that the company set a new record for the number of check-ins in a single day. Crowley says that yesterday during Foursquare Day (4/16, four-squared, get it?), users checked-in with the service over three million times. He gives the exact count as 3,073,635. This announcement not only trumpets the success of the Foursquare Day promotion, which was a grassroots creation merely supported by the check-in service, but also a mile-stone for the company. Last year, the company clocked their first record for single day checkins at a million, which looks quite paltry compared to yesterday's achievement. Despite the service's early critics and rising competition from Gowalla, FaceBook, and Google, Foursquare is certainly making an effort to show that it is still relevant. Though single-day use of a service is not a clear-cut metric for use, especially during a promotional event, it does show that Foursquare continues to be a major player in the social networking world. If nothing else, it shows that people love to earn their badges. (Twitter via The Next Web)

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Billboard Dispenses Dog Food When Passersby Check In on Foursquare

GranataPet brand dog food figured out a clever way to beat the problem with food ads: In most forms of media, consumers generally can't taste or smell the food being advertised. Granted, they solved the issue with dog food, rather than people food, and the billboard is in Germany instead of everywhere, but they solved the issue nonetheless. When one checks in at the billboard via Foursquare, some of the dog food slides out of a dispenser and into a bowl, ready for dogs sample. The billboard isn't too complicated, as the checkins are sent to a server that is connected to a box which controls the dispenser. Head on past the break to see a video of the billboard and adorable freeloading dogs in action.

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foursquare Rolls Out Version 3.0, Introduces Recommendation Engine

Just days before South by Southwest, the foursquare team have rolled out a sweeping upgrade to the service which will have impact beyond the hallowed grounds of Austin -- and which may help it scoop up new users from far and wide. Last night, foursquare 3.0 went live for iPhone and Android users, bringing with it an overhauled leaderboard, a suite of new rewards merchants can give their foursquare loyal, and, most significantly, a brand-new recommendation engine which will allow users to find cool restaurants, clubs, etc. nearby that are deemed relevant to their interests, based on their foursquare history and the history of their friends as processed by a proprietary algorithm.

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Foursquare’s Official Badges for Rally to Restore Sanity, March to Keep Fear Alive

Apparently, these here are the badges that Foursquare is giving to people who check in at Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and Stephen Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive, presently underway in Washington, D.C. (Our own Susana Polo and Scott Smitelli are there, as totally unbiased and objective observers.) Live video feed for the event here. (via TDW)

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Foursquare Had Its Most Signups Ever Yesterday: The Day That Places Launched

Yesterday, Facebook launched its Foursquare killer, Places, a service that allows Facebook users to broadcast their location to their social network. At least, if you live in America and have an iPhone.

Compatibility with Windows and Android phones is promised but not available yet. In the absence of a Facebook feature to turn to, it looks like some of those non-iPhone or non-American consumers who didn't realize they needed a geolocation based blogging platform in their lives until now have already found a replacement.

That is, Foursquare, which had its biggest single day of new user sign ups ever yesterday.

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Facebook Places Launches Today

Facebook Places was announced in March, a geolocation-based answer to Foursquare, and today it officially launches. An updated Facebook iPhone app (TechCrunch has some helpful screenshots) went up for download last night, and users are already reporting the ability to broadcast their location to everyone they know as Facebook cautiously rolls out the "check-in" ability so as not to overload their servers. Of course, if you don't own an iPhone and live in America you're out of luck. (Or in luck?) Places is currently only available in the US, and Android and Windows Phone apps, while promised, are not available yet.

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Foursquare Users Worried About Privacy, Continue Providing Locations to Potential Stalkers

"Investigative reporting" or creeping, you decide: To show Guardian reporter Leo Hickman was able to track down a woman selected at random with her Foursquare account, recent tweets, and personal details acquired from Google searches, including a photo. Needless to say, Louise was quite "unnerved" when a reporter showed up at the central London pub she was in.

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FourSquare Has Its First Million-Checkin Day – And Then Its Second

Foursquare reached a milestone this weekend - twice. On Friday, the location-based social network hit one million "checkins" from users in a single day — then followed-up on Saturday with its second million-checkin day.

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