In a survey of over 1,000 people conducted by Sodahead, a social-voting-based site, about 86 percent of the Facebook audience said they strongly disliked the changes that the site recently underwent. Facebook recently launched both the Ticker and the Timeline applications, which essentially replace the News Feed and Profile, respectively. Although people can opt out of the new profile page initially, people will eventually have to switch to the Timeline format.
The changes at Facebook have also launched a new internet hoax. An email is circulating that Facebook will now start charging for their service. Here is a copy of one of the chain emails going around. "THIS IS OFFICIAL... IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS... FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES... IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON, IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY!!". It is a hoax however as Facebook has publicly claimed they will not be charging anyone to have a profile on their website.
Facebook users who were spying on their Timeline to see who had unfriended them in the past will no longer be able to do so. Late last week, Facebook users discovered that when accessing the social network's new Timeline feature and choosing a year, they could find out which former friends had unfriended them. When viewing their friends list in a particular year, users who saw an "Add Friend" icon next to a person's name knew that that particular user had unfriended them since that time. As expected, folks who have access to Timeline rushed to the new feature to see who had decided against keeping in contact. Meanwhile, some privacy advocates complained that the feature was a violation of user privacy, since it was made abundantly clear to de-friended people who no longer wanted contact with them. After just a couple days of outcry, Facebook nixed the feature, telling some reporters it had been a bug.
It appears that on October 7th, Apple will announce the arrival of the iPhone 5. Not only that however, they plan to offer it to Sprint customers. This could easily boost the new phone to an even greater market share. In the meantime, Samsung is trying to keep the phone out of parts of Europe, just as Apple has kept Samsung out of Germany and Australia.
The OnStar automobile communication service used by 6 million Americans maintains its two-way connection with a customer even after the service is discontinued, while reserving the right to sell data from that connection. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says that's a blatant invasion of privacy and is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Last week Onstar started continuing to track the movements, speeds, locations, and even whether or not the people were wearing their seatbelt, even after the customer has terminated the service. Onstar claims you also have to request the tracking to be turned off or it will continue to happen.
Courts in the Netherlands and Australia heard arguments from Apple and Samsung on Monday, the latest in a months-long patent war between the two smartphone manufacturers. In Australia, Apple temporarily excluded two of five patent claims against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, according to itnews Australia. The two dropped patents covered the use of a slider icon that unlocked the tablet's touch screen as well an icon that bounced when zooming. In the Netherlands, according to IDG Netherlands, a judge postponed until October 14 a decision on whether or not Samsung should be allowed to pursue an injunction on Apple products based on Samsung patents that are declared essential to all 3G devices.
Research In Motion's retail partners have begun slashing prices on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in an effort to bolster unimpressive sales. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed on the company's second-quarter earnings call that price drops were imminent after the company reported just 200,000 units shipped into channels during the tablet's first full quarter of availability. BGR reported reported earlier this month that Rogers employees were able to purchase the PlayBook starting at $250, and now the general public can finally get in on the action. Read on for more. RIM currently offers three versions of its QNX-powered tablet - a 16GB entry-level model, a 32GB model and a 64GB version - and all three models are on sale at numerous nationwide retailers. Staples has knocked $200 off the price of each slate, $100 in instant savings and $100 in the form of a mail-in rebate. Office Depot is offering the same deal: each PlayBook model is available for $100 off MSRP, and then customers get another $100 back in the form of a rebate.
Zynga is bringing its most popular game, CityVille, to Google's Google+. The two companies have been partners from the beginning of Google+ Games. Google is an investor in Zynga, and when the gaming platform launched in August, one of its first 16 game titles was Zynga Poker. CityVille has drawn a lot more traffic to Facebook than Zynga's poker game. The former has more than 70 million unique players every month, while the latter has about 30 million, according to AppData. Zynga is hoping for a similar effect on Google+. Why? Because right now Zynga is largely dependent on Facebook.
A brand-new security feature to be included in Windows 8, designed to block some types of malware, is drawing fire from advocates of non-Microsoft operating system. In particular, they accuse Microsoft of launching a stealth attack against people who choose to install open source operating systems on their Windows-branded PCs. The feature in question, unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI), is designed to be a more flexible replacement for the BIOS that's long featured in PCs. "In most PCs today, the pre-operating system environment is vulnerable to attacks by redirecting the boot loader handoff to possible malicious loaders. These loaders would remain undetected to operating system security measures and antimalware software," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows group at Microsoft, in a blog post. "Windows 8 addresses this vulnerability with UEFI secure boot, and using policy present in firmware along with certificates to ensure that only properly signed and authenticated components are allowed to execute."
As hackers and hostile nations launch increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks against U.S. defense contractors, the Pentagon is extending a pilot program to help protect its prime suppliers. That program could serve as a possible model for other government agencies. It is being evaluated by the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a potential effort to extend similar protections to power plants, the electric grid and other critical infrastructure. Efforts to better harden the networks of defense contractors come as Pentagon analysts investigate a growing number of cases involving the mishandling or removal of classified data from military and corporate systems. Intrusions into defense networks are now close to 30 percent of the Pentagon's Cyber Crime Center's workload, according to senior defense officials. And they say it continues to increase.
email from listeners:
Ken from Seattle asks "Can I link Google + to Facebook so I don't have to have two different social networking sites?"