Catching Up (8/23)
Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, is planning acquisitions that will improve site design, keep its service reliable and advance mobile features to stave off competition from Google Inc. (GOOG) and Twitter Inc. The company aims to make about 20 purchases in 2011, up from 10 last year and one in 2009, Vaughan Smith, Facebook’s director of corporate development, said in an interview. Facebook Seeks Acquisitions to Fend Off Google Competition
Google fiber network beta goes live at Stanford Network World - Some lucky Palo Alto, Calif., residents are getting a glimpse of what Google's new fiber network will soon deliver to Kansas City, Kan. Google today lit up a beta version of its new experimental fiber network in residential neighborhoods located near Stanford University in Palo Alto. The network will apparently be free to use for students and faculty in the area for the next year before Google unleashes an even larger fiber network in Kansas City.
SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON (Reuters) - Online data tracking service comScore Inc siphons confidential information including passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers from unsuspecting users, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday. The proposed class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of two plaintiffs who downloaded comScore software, also says comScore scans all files on users' personal computers and modifies security settings, among other allegations. The lawsuit against comScore, one of the leading companies that measures and analyzes Internet traffic, seeks an injunction against several alleged practices, as well as damages under U.S. electronic communications privacy laws. Exclusive: ComScore takes users' credit card numbers: lawsuit | Reuters (Build 20110814042011)
Cheap TouchPads show what's wrong with tablets | News | TechRadar UK (Build 20110814042011) When the news broke about cut-price UK TouchPads yesterday afternoon, I came up with a cunning plan for people who hadn't already clambered aboard the tablet bandwagon: buy an HP TouchPad just now, and then get an iPad 3 or Android 4 tablet next year. I wasn't being sarky. At £400ish, TouchPads are a tough sell. At £90, they're a steal.
Six improvements we'd like to see made to Google+ (Build 20110814042011) Google+ has done right by the staff of Ars in many ways. In particular, we like the private discussions afforded by circles and not having to pretend to be "friends" with a bunch of people we just don't know. But there are other parts of the service that seem half-baked or are problematic, and there's almost nothing that the little red notification box does that isn't annoying. We know it's a free service, but given that the staff has already sunk a hefty amount of time sorting everyone we know into circles, we have some interest in seeing the service improve. Google: here are our suggestions on how to improve Google+. Circles you can hide from your main stream of news
UPDATE on December 12, 2012: We've updated our controls for managing your content. Learn more here. Today we're announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want. You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward.
Facebook Makes Sharing More Granular - Liz Gannes - Social - AllThingsD (Build 20110814042011) Facebook will attempt to address some perceived weaknesses of its interface by making content sharing more precise and visual in a redesign that launches this week. The obvious comparison is to Google+, the new social network that’s gunning for Facebook by making sharing more granular. And indeed, Facebook’s new user profile redesign (which is rolling out to one percent of users starting this Thursday) includes a dropdown menu beside new status updates that allow users to post content to individuals, groups of friends or the general public.
Mark Zuckerberg is the smartest social thinker I’ve met on my journey through life. He’s frequently misunderstood because he’s, well, generally too far in front of us. I remember meeting Doug Engelbart, the guy who invented the mouse (and showed it to us back in 1967 — way before Apple shipped the first consumer machine in 1984 that used it). Engelbart got kicked out of the research lab (SRI) where he developed the mouse because, well, his ideas were too weird for the time (Engelbart told me that he was kicked out because his fellow researchers couldn’t grok that everyone would have a computer in their pockets eventually). Zuckerberg will also be judged that way. Facebook’s new privacy and sharing defenses (they are quite nice) — Scobleizer (Build 20110814042011)
Facebook is simplifying privacy controls for posts. Didn’t mean for your boss to see a picture of you on the beach that day you called in sick? Maybe you hadn’t meant for the police to know you were mobilizing your friends to join a public protest? Facebook Aims to Simplify Privacy Settings - NYTimes.com (Build 20110814042011)
Following the FAA’s OK of using the iPad instead of paper manuals and charts, United is getting on board. On Tuesday the airline announced that it is ordering 11,000 iPads for its pilots to use in the cockpit. Each iPad will be loaded with navigation and terminal chart apps from Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck. With iPads, paper no longer flies for United — Apple News, Tips and Reviews (Build 20110814042011)
Exclusive: Apple suppliers building cheaper, 8GB iPhone | Reuters (Build 20110814042011) By Clare Jim and Kelvin Soh TAIPEI/HONG KONG Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:41pm EDT TAIPEI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Apple Inc will release a cheaper iPhone 4 within weeks, jeopardizing profit margins to win lower-end customers from rivals such as Nokia in China and other emerging markets. Asian suppliers have begun making a lower-cost version of the hot-selling smartphone with a smaller 8-gigabyte flash drive that will arrive around the same time Apple unveils its much-anticipated iPhone 5, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
For a long time now there has been suspicion that China is a hotbed of hacking activity either endorsed or ignored by the government and targeting foreign individuals, companies, and even governments. The Chinese government has always denied this, but high-profile pull outs such as that threatened by Google last year , demonstrate there is definitely something going on, and now we have proof hacking tools are being developed and attacks carried out at official institutions in the country. In July, a documentary full of military propaganda was aired on TV across China. China airs documentary proving military university is hacking U.S. targets – Tech Products & Geek News | Geek.com (Build 20110814042011)