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Facebook gaining and social media abstaining

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comScore says Facebook is beating Google. Students at Harrisburg University are being forced to abstain from social media for a week.

Mashable tracks social media trends 

Mashable has a post borrowed for Forbes.com that shows us some of the developing trends in social media.  Facebook, Twitter and locational services get the nod as concepts to watch.  On that Facebook note, Mashable points out that instead of sending your friends animated puppies, you can use the credits to help fight cancer during tonight's telethon.  

Finally, the site has the details on a new comScore report that shows Facebook usage is topping Google, Yahoo or YouTube in the United States:

...it’s a worrying stat for Google. Google’s many online properties (Gmail, Search and YouTube, to name a few) have vast influence and reach. But right now, without a large social networking property (Orkut doesn’t count as serious competition to Facebook anymore), Google will have a hard time snatching users’ time from Facebook’s hands.

Not hard to believe given Google's enormous bust with Buzz.

Detoxing

TechCrunch has a post about Harrisburg University's grand experiment: they're turning off social media.  For a week.  Devin Coldewey has a couple of takeaways, namely that students will immediately find ways to get around it.

First of all, the experiment is doomed to failure from the beginning, in a way; the Provost surely recognizes that much of the social web is accessible via smartphone, and text messages have largely replaced instant messenger applications (although within dorms, they are still well-used) for quick communication. But by eliminating the convenient built-in network for these types of social applications, students and faculty still might flail a bit before finding the path of next-least resistance for their social urges. In the post-mortem, it will provide interesting data to hear, for example, which people and groups ended up relying on phones, which actually walked down the hall, and which tried to avoid the whole mess by working from home.

Funding infrastructure

The City Fix (h/t Infrastructurist) has a comprehensive rundown of opinions about the Obama administration proposal to create an "infrastructure bank."  The bank would use federal dollars to invest in infrastructure, and repair the nation's crumbling rails and roads.  

Also via Infrastructurist, Business Insider has its list of infrastructure projects that need attention.  On the list: a next generation air traffic control system and better freight rail connections across the northeast.

Your car on shrooms

Technology Review has a piece up about "Neospora crassa," a fungus that could accelerate the production of ethanol.  Transferring the fungus genes into yeast (which turns plant sugars into ethanol) can turn more matter into fuel.

App atlas

Still trying to figure out what Apple releasing its app store rules mean for you?  TechCrunch has a breakdown of the best of the rules, including:

2.18 Apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes, will be rejected

Stupid YouTube tricks

On deadline for a history project and need to get up to speed quick?  Kottke points out that you can just search YouTube for a given year, and get a rundown of the events that happened.  1999, with top hits for Britney Spears and Bone Thugs N Harmony, was a particularly good year.

Make good decisions

If you're already tired of fall, you can flash forward to spring 2011 with New York Fashion Week.  Mashable has the details on how to follow all the action.  

Can't figure out what to wear?  Blogging Innovation has a list of three ways to make decisions.  Choose from the simple pro/con, the "scored pro/con" and the "plus minus interesting model."  

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