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.
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.
Samsung’s lawyers are getting creative in their dispute against Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) over patent infringement: they have asserted the general design for a tablet computer used in the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” as prior art suggesting the iPad design isn’t quite as novel as Apple would like us to believe. It’s a bit of a stretch, perhaps, but FOSS Patents spotted the court filing overnight in Samsung’s U.S. dispute with Apple over whether or not the Galaxy Tab Android tablet and other Samsung smartphones infringe on Apple’s design patents for the iPad and iPhone. The document contains a list of exhibits that Samsung would like to use as part of its defense that its phones and tablets were not inspired by the iPhone, and an image from the Stanley Kubrick film ( included below ) showing two astronauts eating a meal while glancing at tablet computers is one of the dozens of examples cited by Samsung.
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.
UPDATE on December 12, 2012 : We've updated our controls for managing your content.
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.
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?
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.