San Francisco’s Newsle has just made it easier to stalk, eh, I mean research, your friends by now offering instant news alerts. The service, founded by two Harvard University sophomores and released in beta in January 2011, finds articles about users’ friends and colleagues, and sends notification minutes or hours after they are published. Learn more on the Newsle blog.

Facebook is said to be launching Timeline for brands any day now, which means soon people will be griping about how pages like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, as well as those of their cousins and college friends, are busy and hard to read. According to Reuters, 70 percent of users call it a “catalog of nothing.”

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