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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to have been outed as not caring one whit about your privacy. Zuckerberg’s apparent disregard for your privacy is probably not reason enough to delete your Facebook account. But we wouldn’t recommend posting anything there that you wouldn’t want marketers, legal authorities, governments (or your mother) to see.

Facebook has been on a relentless request over the past six months to become the center of identity and connections online. The site unilaterally decided last December that much of a user’s profile information, including the names of all their friends and the things they were “fans” of, would be public information — no exceptions or opt-outs allowed.

Zuckerberg defended the change — largely intended to keep up with the publicness of Twitter, saying that people’s notions of privacy were changing. He took no responsibility for being the one to drag many Facebook users into the net’s public sphere.

It’s an ambitious attempt to rewrite the web as a socially linked network. But many see Facebook’s move as trying to colonize the rest of the web, and keep all this valuable information in its data silos, in order to become a force on the web that rivals Google.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Twitter Issues Alert About Phishing Scam

Twitter has issued a warning about phishing emails that tell users they have unread messages on the Twitter site.

The emails come from a email address and say that you have unread, delayed, or undelivered messages on Twitter, and asks you to click a link in the email to view the mystery messages.

The email itself does not appear to contain malware, Twitter said. The link in the e-mail actually takes users to a pharmaceutical site, though to get to that site, users are re-routed through several other sites, which could contain malware.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Microsoft’s Income Rises 35%, Driven by Sales of Windows 7

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker reported record results for its third quarter, with sales rising 6 percent to $14.50 billion. But Microsoft’s numbers left investors wanting more. Shares of Microsoft promptly fell about 4.5 percent to $29.98 in after-hours trading on Thursday, after the release of third-quarter figures.

Its net income rose 35 percent, to $4.01 billion or 45 cents a share, from $2.98 billion, or 33 cents, in the period a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Microsoft to earn 42 cents a share.

Executives at Microsoft pointed to Windows as the main driver of revenue during the quarter, as sales of the software rose to $4.42 billion, from $3.45 billion in the same period last year.

According to Microsoft’s estimates, the PC market grew 25 percent during the last quarter, with the consumer segment rising 30 percent and business market rising 14 percent. The strength of the sales to businesses was a real highlight for Microsoft, because many companies have resisted buying new PCs.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Office 2010 Reaches RTM

Office 2010 has reached the release to manufacturing (RTM) stage. The official launch for businesses is May 12, and the ship to retail stores will be in June.

Amazon and Best Buy are now promoting Office 2010 pre-sales, as is Microsoft's own online store. What's clear from Amazon's site is that customers who opt for a fully boxed version of the software over a download will pay a heavy price for the extra cardboard. The boxed version of Office 2010 Professional is $499, while the download is $349.

Microsoft is offering free upgrades to a comparable version of Office 2010 to customers who purchase Office 2007 between now and September 30.

Along with the desktop versions of the software, Office 2010 includes an online version Microsoft is calling Office Web.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Israel bans imports of Apple iPad

Israel has banned imports of the iPad, citing concerns the powerful gadget consumes too much capacity on wireless networks and could disrupt other devices.

Customs officials said Thursday they have already confiscated about 10 of the lightweight tablet computers since Israel announced the new regulations this week. The ban prevents anyone from bringing iPads into Israel until officials certify that they comply with local transmitter standards.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission allows Wi-Fi broadcasting at higher power levels than are allowed in Europe and Israel — meaning that the iPad's stronger signal could throw off others' wireless connections.

Israeli officials said the ban has nothing to do with trade and is simply a precaution to assure that the iPad doesn't affect wireless devices already in use in Israel.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Microsoft signs outsourcing pact with Indian giant Infosys

Microsoft today said it has signed a deal with Indian outsourcer Infosys Technologies Ltd. to manage key parts of worldwide internal IT operations, and hopefully cut IT costs.

The agreement calls for Infosys to take over responsibility for managing Microsoft's IT help desk and desk-side services operations, as well as servicing the company's applications, devices and databases in more than 100 countries.

Although such agreements often lead to layoffs and/or the transfer of employees to the outsourcer, Microsoft said that "this new contract will not impact internal resources."

The value of the contract wasn't disclosed though Bendor-Samuel projected its worth at more than $100 million.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Apple Bites the Hand That Feeds It with New App Rules

Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Apple has changed the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple's proprietary Objective-C programming language. he new iPhone Developer Program License Agreement includes the following text:

"3.3.1--Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)."

By banning Adobe, Apple may be biting the hand that feeds it, though. Apple and Adobe have had a symbiotic relationship that has been mutually beneficial. The Mac computer has always been perceived as a superior platform for graphic arts and design, and Adobe has provided the fuel to drive that engine with products like Photoshop and Illustrator. Setting those considerations aside, Apple's war with Adobe puts developers in a tough spot as well. Apple has managed to establish itself as the de facto App Store--meaning that it is virtually a requirement to at least create an app for the iPhone and iPad, but it is not the only platform.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

HP's 'iPad Killer' Features Video Camera, Flash and USB Support

It appears to show that HP's yet to be named slate PC has a built in video camera, USB ports, support for SD cards, music player software, and direct integration with social media and file sharing sites. It will also support Adobe's Flash multimedia format.

A video posted online emphasizes the Windows 7-powered HP slate's functionality as a communications platform.

Numerous blogs, citing a report last month on the Spanish tech site, said HP's slate will debut in the U.S. in September at a price of about $540.

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

YouTube's big redesign goes live

YouTube's cleaner look is part of a bigger plan to simplify the site based on user feedback and testing, as well as to keep people from ever leaving.

YouTube UI designer Julian Frumar explained that the site was simply not working like it should with the addition of extra features over the years. There were too many things on the screen that were slowing down page views and overwhelming people.

The redesign goes beyond the people watching, and has been tweaked for content owners as well. The company hopes this will spur more subscriptions, and give users a better sense of who made it.

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