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05 Mar 2012 11:04


Biz, Tech: The bloodshed begins: Yahoo will reportedly lay off thousands

  • 14,100 current Yahoo employees source
  • » Word is that a major restructuring is happening: New CEO Scott Thompson (no relation) reportedly plans to cut back heavily at the company, which analysts see as a key example of tech company excess, in an attempt to focus on the things the company does well. While the company has had some recent success (their Open Graph collaboration with Facebook has been a boon, for example), the company has not undeservedly built a reputation of acquiring other companies (for example, Delicious) and letting them languish under the corporate structure. It used to be mentioned in the same breath as Google, but now it’s more likely to be mentioned in the same breath as AOL. Would cuts bring Yahoo back to life?

01 Mar 2012 15:38


Biz: Zynga launches new website, insists they’re still down with Facebook

  • new move Online gaming company Zynga unveiled a new website today, independent of the Facebook template their games usually run off of. The site still requires you to log in with your Facebook info to play, however, and Zynga says they view the new site as “complimentary” to the social media platform.
  • the concern Any indication, however initially mild, that Zynga is moving towards their own platform could be a source of worry for Facebook. As we said at the time, one of the weaknesses they admitted to the SEC when filing for their IPO was that Zynga accounted for a whopping 12% of their total revenue last year. source

15 Feb 2012 15:23


Tech: Apple affirms that Path violated their terms, issues iOS update fix

  • Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.
  • Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr • In a statement about Apple’s privacy policies, as pertaining to the iPhone. This statement came hot on the heels of the revelation that two Democratic congressman (G.K. Butterfield and Henry A. Waxman) had sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, requesting information about privacy permissions. The inciting incident here was the iPhone app Path, which was revealed to be uploading users’ address books to their company servers without asking permission, or offering any notification. Path tried to curb the controversy by apologizing and offering an opt-out, but  the damage to their credibility (and, by association, Apple’s) had already hit. And amidst word that a number of widely-used apps — most notably Twitterdid the same thing, Apple has affirmed that what Path did was a violation of their privacy practices, and has released an update for iOS that allows users to delete the database by switching off location services. source

13 Feb 2012 15:26


Culture: Having too many Facebook friends can make you depressed

  • 354Facebook friends ought to be your limit source
  • » There’s nothing wrong with denying that friend request: A recent study presented at the annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology meeting asked a group of participants to check their friend’s status updates. After doing so, they rated their lives as “much less satisfying” than a group that didn’t check their news feed. They looked at how many friends the users had, and found that 354 friends was roughly the point at which reading status updates started making them sad. The theory is that status updates often paint a disproportionately positive picture of peoples’ lives. Readers of said updates compare their own lives to those represented in status updates, and figure that they’re having a lot less fun than everybody else. The solution, then, is to either clean up your friends list, or befriend a bunch of depressed misanthropes.

06 Feb 2012 10:33


Tech, World: Google, Facebook forced to block content by Indian high court

  • last month Facing legal complaints that their sites “create enmity, hatred, and communal violence” and “will corrupt minds,” Facebook and Google told an Indian court that they could not block content, and that it would be difficult to pre-screen. The complaint was filed by a journalist, Vinay Rai, who has been on a crusade over this issue.
  • this month Facing an order from the Delhi High Court to block said content from their services, Google and Facebook say they’ve already removed objectionable content, and Facebook has submitted a compliance report to the court on Monday, but not without joining Yahoo and Microsoft in having misgivings on the case. source

03 Feb 2012 17:04


Biz: Mark Zuckerberg won’t enjoy his tax bill after Facebook goes public

  • $1.5 billion in taxes for the Zuck after Facebook’s IPO source
  • » Why? Zuck plans to sell some of his shares: Back in 2005, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received a set of new stock options for his company. With said company looking to  go public, Zuckerberg will exercise those shares before the IPO, effectively buying them at the price they were worth back then, and sell them after the IPO, effectively setting himself up for a windfall of nearly $5 billion … and one of the largest tax bills in history. It’s not like he’s gonna be broke, though — in fact, he’ll still be worth $24 billion by the end of it, much of that invested in his company. So hard for him, gotta tell you guys.

01 Feb 2012 21:29


Biz: Facebook’s SEC filing reveals the things they worry about most

  • one Facebook Mobile, unlike the normal web layout, doesn’t have ads built into the interface. Meaning as Mobile grows, ad revenue will suffer.
  • twoGame developer Zynga accounts for a whopping 12% of Facebook’s total revenue. Therefore, any trouble for Zynga is trouble for Facebook as well.
  • threeFacebook’s revenue grew by 88% last year, which they deem unsustainable. In short, that level of growth will slow down someday.
  • fourThey could be sued for copyright infringement due to content uploaded by their users; quite likely the reason they opposed SOPA. source

28 Jan 2012 20:53


Biz: Greedy investment bankers won’t carve Facebook’s IPO too heavily

  • what Investment banks looking to get in on the upcoming Facebook IPO, expected to be filed for next week, may only take a 1 percent underwriting fee on the stock offering. How abnormal is that? Usually, the investment banking underwriters take 5 to 7 percent.
  • why Simply put, Facebook is such a big deal that the competition is extremely high for it; underwriting it is seen as a prestige move. “The Facebook IPO will be iconic,” notes one investment banker who says that Facebook gets to set the rules on this one. source

17 Jan 2012 23:05


Tech: Russian “Koobface” cyber-hackers gave themselves away

  • “Koobface” sounds like the cyberbully cousin of Scooby Doo. You might have been a victim of the Koobface gang. This Russian cybergang is responsible for viruses that spread through Facebook and other social network sites. Technically, none of the members are under investigation by law enforcement; it’s hard to prosecture people that you can’t find. Recently, the group has been “checking in” on Foursquare, completing their location with coordinates and pictures. With more and more information being leaked about the group, perhaps citizens, companies and governments will band together to help shut this group down — but even if they finally do, don’t click on anything you don’t trust. source

12 Jan 2012 23:58


Culture: A Beautiful, Bald Barbie? One four-year-old’s doll could inspire line

  • A new inspiring look for Barbie? Genesis Reyes, a four-year-old who lost her hair after receiving treatment for cancer, is getting a one-of-a-kind Barbie: a bald Barbie. “We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, alopecia or trichotillomania,” said Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin, who, after they were inspired by Genesis, built a Facebook page. This kind of Barbie could do quite a bit of emotional therapy for girls going through similar situations. Mattel, however, “doesn’t accept ideas from outside sources,” so we’re not sure yet if this movement will come to fruition. source