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Social Hour: Twitter kills Cher, Facebook shows off Home app and the mobile phone turns 40

by Tiffany Gibson Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm •  Published: April 9, 2013

Let’s start off this week by clearing up a rumor that was circulating on Twitter on Monday.

Cher is NOT dead. The rumor started over a hashtag for Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s former prime minister, who actually died Monday at age 87.

When the news broke, the hashtag #nowthatchersdead began trending on Twitter, but people thought it was intended for Cher, not “now Thatcher’s dead.”

But no need to fret, the 66-year-old pop singer and actress is alive and well.

Next on the agenda is Facebook’s new smartphone. The company didn’t actually build a phone, but it did integrate its social network into Android phones with a new home feature.

Zuckerberg calls it “the soul of your phone,” according to Buzzfeed.

“We’re not building a phone, and we’re not building an operating system, but we’re building something a whole lot deeper than any other app,” Zuckerberg said.

The company announced the new system last week, detailing new features and a colorful design.

So far the design seems to be similar to the Flipboard application with blown-up photos. Even so, the company said it wanted to be different, explaining that notifications are now based around people, not apps.

The phones will also have a new features known as “Chat Heads,” Facebook’s messaging system. With this, you can message friends on Facebook without leaving another app or page. The message will pop up over the window and minimize in the corner of the phone as long as the conversation continues.

Sounds pretty nifty, right?

Well, don’t get too excited just yet. The HTC First will be the first phone preloaded with Facebook Home, but you’ll have to wait until April 12 to get your hands on one.

Buzzfeed reports that Home will also launch the HTC One X, One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. It looks like iPhone users will just have to resort to looking over the shoulder of an Android user, AKA new best friend.

Lastly, I would like to wish the mobile phone a belated Happy Birthday. It turned 40 Wednesday.

On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper used his Motorola DynaTAC cellphone prototype to place a call in downtown Manhattan. The call lasted 20 minutes and drained his battery, but it was the beginning of mobile technology.

To celebrate, we posted about the 40th anniversary on NewsOK’s Facebook page to ask people to share and describe their first mobile phone experiences. Here’s a look at what some readers had to say.

That’s all for today’s social hour, but check back next week for more tech news and week recaps.


by Tiffany Gibson
News Online Editor
Tiffany Gibson has worked for the Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the digital news team. In addition to writing and web editing, she also creates multimedia features for the website and maintains social media accounts. A Tennessee...
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