Social

Facebook’s blockbuster $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp has raised a lot of questions--such as “Why?”--but among those unanswered queries is a concern that Facebook will collect user data for advertising purposes, which some privacy groups argue cuts against expectations that WhatsApp users previously had about what their data would be used (or not used) for. According to Bloomberg, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy are both calling for the FTC to examine how WhatsApp users’ privacy will be affected by the Facebook acquisition.... Read more...
T-Mobile’s prepaid phone service, GoSmart, is doing a little shimmy to get an edge in the prepaid market by offering Facebook access for free, irrespective of whether or not users have a data plan. It’s certainly an interesting idea, and Facebook is in on it. So many people spend so much time on Facebook, but for many, mobile access is limited because of data caps (or the complete lack of a data plan altogether). This deal allows users to spend as much time as they want on the social networking site and also use Facebook Messenger. T-Mobile noted in a press release that almost half... Read more...
Some people are just gluttons for punishment. A pair of self-professed online distraction addicts, Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff, have created a tool called “Pavlov Poke” that will zap them if they spend too much time on Facebook and not enough time working on their dissertations. The Pavlov Poke works by using a UI Inspector (the duo used their Mac’s UI Inspector), a bit of code to produce an onscreen alert when a site is visited too frequently, a USB-connected Arduino to send the shock circuit, and electrodes connected to metal strips on a keyboard rest. Admittedly, the Pavlov... Read more...
These days, anyone unconcerned about privacy violations is probably just being blissfully ignorant. There's plenty to be aware of, and apps like this certainly fit into the category. SecureIM Free Beta just launched onto the Google Play Store, supporting extra-support communications via the Google Talk protocol. Plus, support for secure Facebook Chat is coming "soon." If you're wondering what exactly it'll add to your phone, have a look: SecureIM is the first Secure-Chat application which is built to protect you from any possible or potential leak of privacy. These days organizations spy on our... Read more...
The Web isn’t difficult to navigate if you bring along some common sense and a healthy dose of skepticism, but those traits are sometimes in short supply among stock traders. Lately, would-be moguls are falling victim to scammers who are trying to influence the market with social media accounts that are designed to look like they belong to top industry players. News flows fast on Twitter, and it's easy to get sucked into the excitement generated by a tweet that seems to be from a legitimate source - which is exactly why you need to be on guard when using Twitter (or any source, for that matter).... Read more...
As it often goes, smaller startups tend to forget all about awesome parts of their business as soon as they're snapped up by larger companies. Even if the "larger company" used to be a "small startup" itself. When Sparrow got swallowed by Google, almost all of the innovation within Sparrow's own app came to a screeching halt. And now, Posterous looks to be saying goodbye to some of its core as it moves on to a world dictated by Twitter. You see, Posterous was purchased by Twitter around a year ago, after launching to much fanfare in 2008. The goal for the company was to make sharing photos and... Read more...
Is your mom telling you what you can and can't look at on the Internet? Do you have Web surfing restrictions? Back in the day, these restrictions were seemingly everywhere, and the media made it a priority to inform parents about the kinds of trouble their kids could get into online. Now, that has died down somewhat, and despite age restrictions attached to a number of Websites, a new survey found that more kids are using them than ever before. According to the findings, the amount of U.S. parents who would allow kids ages 10-12 years old to have a MySpace or Facebook account has "doubled" in the... Read more...
What have you 'Liked' today? Anything? Probably a lot of things. Well over 500 million Facebook accounts exist, and that number is growing rapidly every single day. The world is becoming more of a digital one, and it's safe to say we're living in a "digital age." With social networking becoming so prominent and playing such a huge role in our everyday lives, it's oftentimes easy to forget about the humans that actually surround us. Are we more fixated on online friends than our actual, physical neighbors? It's a real question, and it's a real concern according to Pope Benedict. The Pope touched... Read more...
As Twitter continues to grow hotter and hotter, pick up more funding, get more morons fired and facilitate more political conversations, individuals that are intimately involved with the operation are desperately looking for ways to monetize it. We'd heard whispers in the past of so-called "premium accounts," but now it sounds like those could be inching closer to reality.According to a new report, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has said that the firm has hired a product manager to "develop accounts for businesses that would have more features but would cost a fee to use." Of note, Stone didn't clarify... Read more...
There's a big kerfuffle brewing over on Facebook over the posting of photos showing moms breastfeeding their babies. Apparently, Facebook has not only pulled some of these photos, but it has also sent warnings to some users who posted the photos; and even terminated the account of at least one user. Facebook claims that the pictures it pulled were obscene. The ensuing response has been both a growing virtual protest and well as a physical protest that took place just this last weekend. On Saturday a "handful" of protesters showed up outside of the Facebook headquarters in downtown Palo Alto, California,... Read more...
Lance Ulanoff can't help noticing that the social networking site Facebook has more than a passing resemblance to AOL just before it went down like the Titanic: disgruntled users, ill-advised and unsuccessful attempts to monetize traffic, and inflated user rolls kept artificially high by the difficulty of removing your account from the service. Facebook has finally succumbed to pressure from users to allow them to remove their information from the service, so now all they have to do now is to start flooding the world with disks with installation hardware and the transformation will be complete.A... Read more...