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Friday, December 14, 2012

Facebook rolls out new privacy controls

Posted by David Bernstein

If you are a regular Facebook user then you most likely have seen all the constant changes that Facebook makes to their site. You may have also heard of the privacy concerns many Facebook users have had over the years and it’s hard to keep track of what data is private and what data is being shared with friends and other people.

On Wednesday Facebook changed its policies again and added some new tools that will make it easier for members to determine who can view photos, comments and other information about them that shows up on different parts of Facebook. Supposedly you can also request that any inappropriate photos that you may be in be removed from your timeline but not from the source.

There will now be easier ways to manage who can contact you as well as whom you want to block from contacting you. There will also be changes in how third party apps get permission to use your data. And with these new privacy changes come controls that are easier to understand and configure to make many  Facebook users more comfortable using the site.

There was some objection from many Facebook users but not enough for the new changes to go through

Friday, December 07, 2012

Microsoft starts its own social network

Posted by David Bernstein

Everyone knows how popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become so Microsoft figured why not start one of their own. They have been working on a beta version of their site which is called Socl for some time now and had been letting their employees as well as college students try it out since May. Now Microsoft plans on letting everyone else try it out starting this Tuesday.

If you have a current Microsoft or Facebook login then you will be able to log into Socl and start sharing your photos and other media with other Socl users. One thing you will notice on the Socl main page is that it shows content from all users and can be a little much even though it offers categorization by tags.

Microsoft stated in a blog: "Socl is an open social network where people connect around posts and choose to follow people, interests, or both. While you may discover some of your Facebook friends on Socl, you will more likely discover new people or topics you'd like to follow. Of course, you can invite your friends to join you on Socl by sharing posts to Facebook, Twitter or email or simply by sending them an invitation. If you choose to sign in using Facebook, your Facebook friends on Socl will also be easily visible from your People View on your Me Page."

Only time will tell if Socl will ever catch on since most people seem to get what they need out of Facebook and Twitter and generally don’t like to change.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Windows 8 sales on the slow side

Posted by David Bernstein

As with every new operating system release you have to wonder if it’s going to be a smash or a bust and sometimes is right in between. With the latest operating system offering from Microsoft now officially in full swing only time will tell if we will have another Vista or ME on our hands.

Windows 8 was released in October and people are already wondering if it will catch on and be the next big OS or not. But so far, everywhere you look sales have been a little disappointing and below estimates. The interest in Windows 8 at the enterprise level is only half that of Windows 7 during the same period in the operating systems' release cycles. Right before the release of Windows 7, 49% of North American and European IT hardware purchasers were interested in the new version of the OS. Just before the release of Windows 8, only 24% were interested.

It seems that the best chance Windows 8 has for success is going to be in the smartphone and tablet market from new smartphone users or from current users who are not happy with Apple or Android and want something different. With its new interface being applied to PCs it may be real hard to get people to “upgrade” to Windows 8 and have to learn how to use their computer again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Consumers taking their time upgrading to Windows 8

Posted by Jim Bernstein

It seems that Windows 7 just recently got here but in fact it has been out since July of 2009 and Microsoft is wanting us to upgrade again even though we are just now getting used to our Windows 7 PCs. And most people are happy with their Windows 7 PCs and don’t like spending the time and money to upgrade already.

Well it seems as though most Windows users don’t have any immediate plans to upgrade to Windows 8 any time soon and in fact the latest Microsoft operating system is not getting the warm response Microsoft has hoped for. Windows 8 is designed to run on smartphones, tablets and PCs and shares the same interface between them which may be why many don’t want to upgrade. The new interface is drastically different than Windows 7 even though there are still some familiarities such as the Windows desktop and taskbar.

Antivirus firm Avast did a survey showing the less than stellar response to Windows 8 shown by the people surveyed. 6 out of 10 people surveyed were aware of the new Windows OS but only 9% said they would speed up the process to buy a new computer just to have Windows 8 and 70% decided to stick with what they had. In fact, many corporations are still rolling out Windows 7 to replace Windows XP computers in the office and other people in the survey said they will be switching to a Mac.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Microsoft reports over 1,000 Windows 8 compatible devices ready to go

Posted by David Bernstein

With Windows 8 due out any day now, PC and tablet manufacturers are getting their hardware ready to run the latest operating system from Microsoft. It’s hard to say for sure if Windows 8 will be a hit or a flop but hardware manufacturers are getting ready just in case. Microsoft CFO Peter Klein says that they have certified over 1,000 unique Windows 8 systems. In fact, Microsoft is coming out with their own $499 Windows 8 tablet which doesn’t sit will for other hardware manufacturers.

Microsoft needs Windows 8 to be successful since revenue is down thanks to slower PC sales because of the increased popularity of tablets. Their net income came in at $4.47 billion which is 22% lower than the $5.74 billion in the year ago quarter. Revenue was down 8% at $16 billion from last years$17.37 billion. But things may be looking up thanks to $800 million in presales of Windows 8 OS licenses. But with only 4000 Windows 8 apps they have a long way to go to catch up to Android and Apple.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Facebook will let you promote if you are willing to pay

Posted by Jim Bernstein

Just like most websites out there, Facebook is apparently looking for a way to make a buck to keep its investors happy. And many Facebook users are looking for ways to make sure everyone sees their super important and exciting posts. Now there is a way to satisfy both parties.

Facebook is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to promote to their friends for the right price, similar to how advertisers promote their businesses. This feature can be used to promote big events that you don’t want your friends to miss. Facebook has not released pricing on this new feature at the moment but it’s rumored to be around $7 for the promotion.

Normally your posts are shown in others feeds based on things such as how interesting or relevant it is to other users. But if you pay to promote a post it will get bumped up higher in your friends news feeds so they will be more likely to notice it. Facebook has been testing this feature in 20 countries so far and is bringing it to the U.S.