Social

Last weekend, we wrote about Ello, a proposed "Facebook-killer". Despite its myriad of lacking features and minimalistic interface, the service has grown incredibly in the past couple of weeks, all thanks to a bad move made by Facebook: Forcing people best-known under an alias to use their real names. The drag community has been integral in making Facebook take note that forcing a real name is not a great idea. Outside of that community, there are many legitimate reasons why someone might want, or need, to use an alias. Nonetheless, changes are coming, and I'm sure that's something many will be... Read more...
Here's a story that just keeps getting stranger. Lizard Group, a hacker group that claimed responsibility for Sony's PSN downtime over the weekend, has created a stir that'll no doubt have the FBI involved. As if claiming that it took PSN down wasn't enough, it tweeted earlier today to American Airlines that it had been "receiving reports" that a plane carrying Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) president John Smedley also had explosives onboard. Importantly, the group did not claim that it had anything to do with said explosives, only that it knew of them onboard. Twitter threats are taken just as... Read more...
People have a tendency to get ticked off if you mess with their heads, especially without their permission. Facebook, the world's largest social network, found this out the hard way when it revealed that it had altered nearly 700,000 user feeds to study people's emotions. Not cool, but are these types of studies necessary in order to build a better online experience? Online dating site OkCupid seems to think so. "OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Neither does any other website. It’s not like people have been building these things for very long, or you can go look up... Read more...
The Heartbleed Bug illustrated just how vulnerable our global communications structure really is, and now a glut of important tech companies in collaboration with the Linux Foundation are launching a new initiative called the Core Infrastructure Initiative to better support the open source projects and technologies that keep the Internet afloat. Image Source: Flickr (snoopsmaus) The first item on the docket is increased support for OpenSSL, which if you’ll recall was the source of the Heartbleed problem. OpenSSL “could receive fellowship funding for key developers as well as other resources... Read more...
The U.S. government might not negotiate with terrorists, but it is willing to use social media as a tool to engage in conversation with jihadists and their sympathizers online. Why bother? The U.S. government hopes that it can convince potential terrorists to go in another direction. It's an ugly world the government's stepping into, but can it work? "We are actually giving al Qaeda the benefit of the doubt because we are answering their arguments," Alberto Fernandez, coordinator of the State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), tells CNN. "The way I see it... Read more...
As unfortunate as it is, DDoSing is as easy to pull off as it is frustrating. With enough computers at their disposal, anyone could force enough traffic to a website in order to take it down, and even massive services are not immune. A perfect example of this is ongoing, with popular social networking site Meetup. This is a site that's ranked in the top 500 globally, but despite that, it's been down more than it's been up since DDoS attacks began on Thursday. Here's what's interesting about this particular DDoS attack: Meetup could stop it for a mere $300. Given the fact that this site spends millions... Read more...
Understanding Facebook’s privacy settings is notoriously difficult. Facebook’s services are constantly evolving (wait, we’re “poking” each other again?), therefore by nature altering which privacy settings alter what aspect of the service, and of course the privacy settings and policies themselves are always in flux. To say it’s a moving target is an understatement, and frankly, we’ve completely given up trying to stay on top of it. If you feel like a newb because you can no longer explain to your mom how to keep this or that private on Facebook don’t... Read more...
Some people stay in relationships simply because they are afraid that their prospects aren't good. They don't have the confidence to leave. For them, there's a new Facebook app, which launched last Friday.  It's called WaitingRoom. Some criticized the Facebook app Breakup Notifier, which would let a user know via email if someone they were interested in changed their relationship status. That app was banned last week, just prior to the launch of WaitingRoom. Instead of letting you know when someone changed their relationship status, WaitingRoom encourages them to change their relationship... Read more...
Yesterday, Nov. 17 was National Unfriend Day (NUD). The brainchild of Jimmy Kimmel, the day is supposed to a day when you unfriend the faux friends you have on Facebook (or any other social networking site). Kimmel gave us some guidelines to use to determine who to unfriend on National Unfriend Day. They were: If you wouldn’t loan someone 50 dollars, unfriend them. If you wouldn’t invite them to your birthday party, unfriend them. If you wouldn’t cry if they got hit by a bus, unfriend them. How many faux friends have you unfriended today? Or instead, would you rather have more... Read more...
Delta Air Lines and Alvenda are teaming up to give users the ability to book flights with friends directly on Facebook. Touted as the travel industry’s first ecommerce capability on Facebook, this initial release of Delta's Ticket Window lets users book a flight and share arrival times with their Facebook friends directly from the confirmation page. “Our cus­tomers are spend­ing more time online and are look­ing for new ways to con­nect with us. We’re now bring­ing Delta to our cus­tomers rather than the other way around – on our own web­site, on Face­book, on travel web... Read more...
Hey, Twitter -- you know that business model you've been searching for? Yeah, this may be it. In a new report from NYTimes' 'Bits' blog, Dell has admitted to generating around $3 million in sales that could be directly attributed to Twitter. $3 million! That's the amount that Dell has garnered since it began using Twitter in 2007, using its account to serve up delectable coupons and to spread the word on deals and new products. In the last six months alone, Dell's 'Outlet' store earned a cool million dollars in sales in customers that linked in through Twitter, and just to put things in comparison,... Read more...