Overheard on CNN.com: Care to comment? South by Southwest triggers tech talk
An Instagram photo of the Hong Kong skyline by Tyson Wheatley, a Senior Editor for CNN.com.
March 12th, 2012
07:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Care to comment? South by Southwest triggers tech talk

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

South by Southwest (aka South By) is beginning again in Austin, Texas, and our readers are talking about several stories related to the annual tech, music and film festival. Are you going? Show us SXSW through your eyes.

Instagram hits 27 million users, says Android app coming 'soon'

The social photography app Instagram's days as an Apple-only thing are numbered, as the Android version is coming soon. The photo at the top of this post is an Instagram image. The story naturally reprised an ongoing tech feud.

kirkewilliam: "The reason why I don't use Android (besides having to reboot the phone several times a day because Android OS doesn't know how to handle memory issues) is that it takes a year for apps to come out for it. My iPhone works 'out of the box' when I buy. Android users have to root their phones to make it workable. Yes, I went from the SkyRocket to the 4S."

ReasonPolice: "My Android has never failed me. Two of my mother's iPhones quit working after less than two months of use and a friend I know with one recently had to switch because his iphone kept removing programs and files and shutting down. It just depends who you ask."

If you're reading this, it's probably safe to assume that you have at least some interest in commenting online in some way. We heard a lot of candid opinions and ideas to improve the commenting world from readers of the following story about a presentation by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton.

Have online comments sections become 'a joke'?

The most-liked comment blamed Americans' education level for the quality of many comments you see.

Apatheist: "The comment sections are only as good as the people commenting. Since most Americans are ignorant imbeciles, most comment sections are going to be flooded with a lot of ignorant and moronic comments."

Others talked about whether online anonymity is a good or bad thing.

EmmaInBalt: "One of the main problems is the anonymity of the comment section empowers people to express their vile innards without fear of repercussions. It basically gives voice to the side of people that they would otherwise try to hide."

hesaidwhat2: "However, that same anonymity also allows people who are oppressed to express themselves without repercussion. These days you can be Googled by employers and coworkers who may not like your point of view. Do you really agree with all the views of everyone you associate with?"

They walk among us.

Jason McCann: "I rely on comments to remind myself just how twisted society is. If you don't think America could easily go fully into barbarism, read a comments sections online. These are real people with real jobs, families, etc. These are their real thoughts. This is how these children behave when you simply remove consequence. It helps me remember how lost this civilization is. Everyday someone makes a conscious decision to attempt to destroy somebody else. Barbaric fools fighting over the waterhole. Except in the Internet World, there is no watering hole. You are fighting over an imaginary waterhole, and you are sacrificing your character and morality in the name of it. Yes, we know you feel justified. They all do."

But don't hate the trolls, hate the lame.

indifferent07: "There is far too much conversation hating on the trolls. Have we not grown in society to the point where we can embrace each other’s differences? I recently heard of an instance in which a young troll was so victimized by the negatively that they paid for the plastic surgery to appear more like an ogre. Stop the hate."

Speaking of comments, there were some good ones to be had in a post about Rainn Wilson.

Rainn Wilson: 'The Internet is the future of spirituality'

Apatheist: "Why have faith? Faith is the absence of reason. Why would you blindly follow something when you can use reason to know what is probably true and what is probably not true?"

CDOPHX: "Apatheist, I think your question is exactly the kind of discussion he is promoting on his site. You asked an intelligent question in a reasonably respectful manner. Comment sections would be alot more valuable if everyone stuck to those principles."

One of today's most-viewed stories was also from South by Southwest.

Turning the homeless into 4G hotspots

Homeless people are participating in a project where they stand outside the convention center holding 4G hotspots that can be accessed with a donation.

thesparky1: "I like it. I always thought about accessing the various free wifi spots and then turning around reselling it. I mean with all the free wifi that's in Vegas, this one company figured out how to mine it. They have hotspots all over, especially in the cheap motel area just southeast of the MGM. This company offers free wifi for the first day then sells it to you after that. It allows the 10 or so motels that are served by the routers to put, "Free wifi" in their online descriptions and marquees. I think it would be neat to have a portable system that sucked up free wifi feeds and somehow resold it on the fly. People could log into the router and then get limited access. Then they would need to buy further access. If you try this with your own internet account, the service will figure it out and not only shut you down but demand all your proceeds. But if you use the free services to use as a backbone, they can't sue you."

But then again ...

passizle: "It all starts with hotspots ... and you end up with Soylent Green."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. If you're going to South by Southwest, upload a photo from the festival. Or, put yourself on video and share your opinions on the latest technology.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Android • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. nsaidi

    Hello! I have a couple questions for people who arrive at this post, of which I am the writer.

    1. What do you think about all the current technology that's out there, including apps and other software? What trends are you watching, or do you watch them at all? Does the Apple-Android feud mean anything for you?

    2. Of course some readers come here regularly and we occasionally talk about commenting and the issues surrounding all that. So I'm interested to know what you thought of the piece on the SXSW panel, and what ideas you have for commenting communities in general. (It'd be nice to come up with some ideas that could be implemented without having to invent a new kind of wheel).

    March 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Niki

    I've never had the chance to use the Instagram. Judging from this photo tho, the instagram looks like a painting. Beautiful shot anyway.

    March 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ♔Mmmmm♕

    i suffer from O L D so I don't watch trends...

    March 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Ms.Saidi – A few years ago, about 10 to be exact, as a "hobby" I took an interest in studying application architecture, building Windows based desktop applications. Needless to say, I could and still can build working apps for computers. I don't know that much about these apps for this avalanche of new phones, but there isn't much that impresses me. Poor english on menu bars, dialog boxes. I've downloaded apps that don't do anything. The tech market is oveloaded with junk apps. Gives me a headache just thinking about it.

    March 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    The best applications are those of the bible.
    "It is when men forget God that tyrants forged their chains"
    With each new *application* comes high $$ then comes the next *new* application, and so on and so forth... keeping us focused on Satans distractions; Technology being one of them.

    Good night

    March 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Someone say bible apps? There's one on the internet, thats sort of new. Can't remember the URL. All I remember is that it is called the You Version bible. And they have all different kinds of online bibles like KJV, NIV, Jewish Orthodox, plus many more. They have a word lookups for detailed verses. They also have daily bible reading based on a yearly reading or one iteration of the bible. Really nice. The best part is it's free. Google it and check it out.

    March 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |

    eventually we all learn to change w the times

    March 14, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |


    March 14, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. William Revis

    Illinois is broke FEMA refuses to aid Illinois residents hit by majors storms. They want the state to pay with what I ask?.
    Or is it we are being punshed for not voting the party line. We are bleeding to death here businesses leaving the state the Governer refuses to go after Abbott Labs what got major taxs cuts to build a new plant and add jobs to Lake County Illinois that was under Big Jim Thompson, now Miles White CEO of Abbot is breaking up the company and running out of the state. And the Whhite House has turned it's back on the presients home state!!!

    March 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. William Revis

    Subject: Loss of the young American Veterans PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN

    Our young veterans are returning home from a far off war. The young veterans carry the demons within them, survivor guilt, after seeing their friends and co workers eviscerated before their eyes by enemy fire or improvised explosive device. Coming home to the sleepless night with your mind racing to keep the demons caged and under-control. Self medicating with alcohol to get through the night. Jumping at a back fire from a truck or car. Fire works, the thump of a star shell leaviing the tube is the same sound a enemy mortar makes in the night. The flash of a camera, you fight the instinct to hit the floor. The relationships at home with wife, friends, and family fall apart. Anger becomes a way of life; loner lone wolf becomes a way of life. If you’re a veteran you might find your self driving around for no reason it's an escape.

    Suicide by cop.

    A veteran’s cry for help is sometimes over looked by the system! Young men and women many act out to get attention for their needs. Sometimes with fatal results example pointing a laser equipped toy gun at someone. And refusing the orders of a police officer to drop the weapon, as recently happened in Waukegan.

    Then turning and acting out in anger toward the officers usually ends badly and in most cases is fatal to the veteran. Hind sight is 20/20 you have to be on the other end to understand, do I go home to my wife and kids or die. Some of our veterans meet one another in a jail cell and make their way home to the V.A. The veteran carries these demons with him or her sometimes under control, sometimes just under the surface fighting to keep the lid on. Other times with the help of a friend, family member, other veterans, and with proper mental health care move toward a somewhat normal life.

    I ask if you know a veteran that needs help try to get them to a Veterans Hospital or any hospital, veterans origination's, state, local or county.

    Please understand they may refuse the help at first, but it's something you and others may have to work at.

    William H Revis

    March 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kathy Sanford

    Just a quick reply to the smoking Ad's. If The CDC Were so concerned over smokers quitting, Why didn't they spend the money on free medicine , free doctor's expenses, in a real effort to aid those who do wish to quit. No they will not do that, This war is with the tobbacco Companies , they have had this vendetta going for quite a few years now. Want to help people quit smoking , put the money where it will help, and not another ad. Your concern is soo sooo touching.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
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    April 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |