Happy Halloween! So I’m running a bit behind today after gettinga hysterical phone call from a spooked dude about his computer being haunted. The CD drive would eject on its own, the mouse was moving about as if haunted, web pages were opening in new tabs, and his mail was being opened in front of his eyes. This is someone whose wife can’t understand why their computer keeps getting vicious and malicious infections, since (wink, wink) he swears he’s not cruising porn. There was no ghost in his Windows machine, big shocker I know, but I keep an imaged copy of his computer on hand since those malware tainted phishing emails to click and view hot chicks are apparently too much temptation. Just the same, you should keep an eye out for Halloween terror tricks, pranks and poisonous treats like the “virus of doom” or a haunted computer.
Now to something really scary – in the time it takes you blink, at least two Facebook accounts have been hacked. To honor National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Facebook, the huge intelligence spy machine, claimed that “security and safety are at the core” of the social network. According to a security infographic, “only” 0.06% Facebook logins are compromised daily. While .06% each day looks like a tiny number, with more than 1 billion Facebook logins per day, that small percentage of potentially hacked accounts is actually equal to about 600,000 attempted breaches every 24 hours. However, to really boggle the brain, Sophos’ Graham Cluley, who always keeps an eye on Facebook and alerts users of the newest scams, broke down the Facebook figures even more. “If you really like to make your mind melt,” those 600,000 daily breaches mean there is “one every 140 milliseconds. (By comparison, a blink of the eye takes 300-400 milliseconds),” Cluley wrote.
In the Naked Security comments, a Facebook security team member seemed to take exception to their own terminology on the infographic and wanted to clarify, “600,000 times a day, we STOP a bad guy from getting access to an account even though he has guessed, phished, or stolen the login and password of an account.” The security infographic states, Facebook ‘roadblocks’ “250 – 600,000 accounts on any given day to help protect the integrity of the site.” Okay, then for every blink you make, Facebook security locks out at least two potentially hacked accounts. Wow, still sounds like a favorite hangout playground for cybercrooks.
When Facebook tooted their new security measures horn, to protect users’ privacy, it made me accidentally swallow my soda down my windpipe and then choke violently for a good minute. The company that still hasn’t enabled privacy-by-design has allowed users to choose “trusted friends” who can help prove your identity if you get locked out of your account. “It’s sort of similar to giving a house key to your friends when you go on vacation–pick the friends you most trust in case you need their help.” The blog post continued, “If you forgot your password and need to login but can’t access your email account, you can rely on your friends to help you get back in. We will send codes to the friends you have selected and they can pass along that information to you.” It’s better than nothing, but it seems to be flawed logic. For example, if your Facebook account is hijacked and the attacker wanted to keep control, wouldn’t the attacker change who is listed as your trusted “Guardian Angels”?
Despite the Facebook Immune System (FIS) that battles against spam, infections seem to spread like a person with a cold who sneezes on his hand and then, in the next second, holds out the germy thing to shake hands and thereby exploit a vulnerable friend who trusts him. Recent research showed that Facebook’s 800 million users are vulnerable to socialbot attacks even if their profile is protected by privacy settings. Because “the socialbots posed as friends, they were able to extract some 46,500 email addresses and 14,500 physical addresses from users’ profiles- information that could be used to launch phishing attacks or aid in identity theft,” reported New Scientist.
Facebook claims to “ban IPs, user accounts and apps that are reading public data too aggressively.” Yet what about the aggressive tactics by Klout? Danny Brown wrote about how Klout was using our family on Facebook to violate our privacy. Brown gave an example of a child’s private Facebook profile which had allowed no access to Klout, but was gobbled up and given a Klout social influence score based off one comment on his mom’s public Facebook wall. Brown said to Klout, “If you’re going to activate accounts for people who have their feeds set to private, and justify it by saying, ‘But they spoke to someone who has a public account’, that’s crap. That’s like saying, ‘Well, we’re going to telemarket call your son’s private phone number because we overheard you asking for his new number on your public phone’,” Brown said. Then Pam Moore the Marketing Nut lashed out at social puppetry for Klout. It’s “a dream come true for Facebook as we were feeding the puppet eating data monsters with every click!” Facebook must not regard Klout’s scraping data off profiles set to private “aggressive” enough to block.
It is probably quite the cybersecurity nightmare to try to protect users, who are the weak link, from phony chat messages, or “a friend needing help,” clickjacking, like-jacking, and rogue apps that don’t even exist like those to block profiles, to appear invisible or to see what creepers are checking them out. Then there’s survey scams at the end of games, offers to get something such as Facebook credits, an iPad, or gift cards for free. Don’t forget alleged breaking news or fake celebrity gossip with sexy, shocking, or extra sensational headlines. Not just on Halloween, every day there’s countless tempting treats on Facebook that users find out too late were instead tricks tainted with poison.
Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/242894/every_time_you_blink_facebook_locks_out_two_potentially_hacked_accounts.html
Mark Zuckerberg once said he could not have built Facebook if he had not ventured to Silicon Valley.
Now he’s saying that you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to succeed. In fact, if he started Facebook today, he says, he would stay in Boston. (He was a Harvard undergrad when he started working on it.)
His gripe about Silicon Valley: It has a short-term mentality. And Zuckerberg, who knows he will never have another idea this good again, is in Facebook for the very long term (thanks to Sean Parker).
But Zuckerberg acknowledges that Facebook may never have turned out to be Facebook if he hadn’t moved to Palo Alto. (According to Kara Swisher, Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, is closing in on 1 billion users).
“I knew nothing, so I had to be out here. Facebook would not have worked had I stayed in Boston,” Zuckerberg said Saturday during an onstage conversation at Stanford University with Y Combinator’s Jessica Livingston at an event called Startup School. “But I think that now, knowing more of what I know, I think I might have been able to pull it off.”
He added: “You don’t have to move out here to do this.”
It’s a nice theory, but just ask every place on the planet that is trying to replicate Silicon Valley -– the money, connections, advice, power, risk-taking –- and you’ll hear the same thing: The only place not trying to be Silicon Valley is, well, Silicon Valley. And Silicon Valley is home to many companies — Apple, Google, Oracle and on and on — laser-focused on the long term.
Speaking of Google, Zuckerberg said he was terrified “Google was about to build our product.”
“And look how long it took for them to build our product,” he said with a laugh, referring to Google+.
For that, apparently he has Eric Schmidt to thank. (Also, remember when Sergey Brin said this? “We don’t feel at a higher level that we need to own everything successful on the Internet.”)
Heads are turning to Internet’s golden child
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg braces for ‘The Social Network’
Google’s Eric Schmidt says he didn’t push hard enough for deal with Facebook
– Jessica Guynn
Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking at Startup School on Saturday at Stanford University. Credit: Robert Scoble
Article source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/10/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-boston.html
Facebook chose Prineville in central Oregon as the site of its first company-owned data center, where a collection of servers stores and transmits photos, links and status updates for many of the social networking service’s 800 million users. The facility employs 55 people and expansion plans are already in the works.
Such “server farms” are popping up around the world to facilitate a voracious appetite for high-bandwidth applications like streaming video and cloud-based computing.
Facebook chose Prineville based in part on the tax breaks, but also because of the cool and dry high-desert climate that helps reduce the amount of energy needed to cool rows of humming computers.
The company this week announced plans to build its first data center outside the U.S. in Sweden near the Arctic Circle. It’s also expanding a facility in North Carolina. Google Inc. last month opened a data center in Oklahoma, and Microsoft Corp. recently announced it will expand a facility in Iowa.
Many of the projects have benefited from tax incentives offered by local governments eager to lure high-paying jobs.
Officials in Crook County, where unemployment reached a high of 18.7 percent in June 2009 and still sits above 15 percent, hoped Facebook’s decision to build in Prineville would help incubate a new industry for a region decimated economically by the decline of Oregon’s timber industry.
Under its agreement with local officials, Facebook built its data center in a rural enterprise zone, allowing the Palo Alto, Calif., company to pay property taxes only on its land, not on its buildings and other assets, for 15 years.
Confusion arose when the state Department of Revenue asserted that Facebook is a utility company because it’s involved in the communications business, and its taxes should therefore be assessed by the state under a different section of the tax code.
Oregon lumps Facebook with 75 other corporations classified as cable and Internet companies. Many of them are television and Internet access providers, but the list includes technology companies including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Inc. and AOL Inc.
State officials say their decision doesn’t change Facebook’s tax bill — about $26,000 this year — and the money still goes to local governments in Crook County. But Facebook is concerned that the state will someday try to tax the company based on the value of its intangible assets, perhaps including computer files, patents, its labor force and goodwill.
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/after-luring-facebook-data-center-oregon-pokes-social-media-giant-with-confusion-over-taxes/2011/10/31/gIQArd0lZM_story.html
Twitter Inc., the biggest U.S.
microblogging service, won a trial in which closely held VS
Technologies LLC alleged infringement of a patent for building
A federal jury in Norfolk, Virginia, today cleared Twitter
of claims made by VS Technologies, according to a statement from
Twitter. The patent, issued in 2002, is for “creating an
interactive community of famous people.”
Twitter, which says it has more than 100 million active
users, argued that its service works differently than the VS
system covered by the patent. San Francisco-based Twitter had
urged the jury to find the patent invalid.
“We are gratified that a jury has agreed that this suit
had no merit,” Sean Garrett, a spokesman for Twitter, said in
an e-mail. “While we would prefer to compete on the Internet
rather than the courtroom, we will continue to vigorously defend
groundless patent lawsuits filed against us.”
VS, based in Alexandria, Virginia, had been seeking about
$8.4 million in compensation, an amount Twitter said would have
been unreasonable even had it lost, according to a court filing.
The case is VS Technologies v. Twitter Inc., 11cv43, U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk)
To contact the reporters on this story:
Susan Decker in Washington at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Shepard at
Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-31/twitter-wins-patent-trial-over-virtual-internet-community.html
Washington Post reporters or editors recommend this comment or reader post.
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/phoenix-coyotes-forward-raffi-torres-taking-heat-for-wearing-blackface-with-jay-z-costume/2011/10/31/gIQABsovZM_story.html
As expected, the NBA lowered its lockout hammer Monday on Micky Arison for offering opinions on the ongoing work stoppage on his Twitter account last Friday.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed to the Sun Sentinel that the league has fined the Miami Heat owner. Yahoo reported the sanction was $500,000.
NBA Commissioner David Stern had issued an edict before the July 1 start of the lockout that team and league personnel would not be allowed to comment on the lockout beyond the confines of league-approved media sessions.
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was fined $100,000 in September for comments made to an Australian publication regarding the lockout. At that time, the league only acknowledged the sanction, not the scope of the fine. Such was the case again Monday.
While Jordan mentioned Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut by name in his comments, Arison did not mention specific players while responding to questions on his Twitter account (@MickyArison).
Arison is considered among the owners pushing hardest for a resumption of play, reluctant to lose additional games with his stacked roster of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that advanced to last season’s NBA Finals.
In the wake of Stern canceling games through the end of November due to an impasse in the negotiations, Arison began replying to lockout-related posts sent to his Twitter account.
It started with a post directed to his Twitter account that read, “Guess what? Fans provide all the money you’re fighting over you greedy (expletive) pigs.”
Arison responded, “Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner.”
That response later was deleted.
Later, from another Twitter account came this post to Arison’s account, “Know it’s not ur fault at this point, it’s become child’s play. Grown men making stupid decisions over money.”
Replied Arison, “Exactly.”
That had the initial poster chiming in with, “Then can you bark at the other owners? This is RIDICULOUS!!!”
Replied Arison, “Now u r making some sense.”
Arison then retweeted a post from another account that read, “Heat ratings proved that fans want to see super teams in big markets instead of a ton of small-market teams each with one st(ar).”
Another account offered, “NBA labor is a joke! You owners don’t care about us FANS at all!,” to which Arison responded on his account, “Wrong we care a lot.”
Later, he retweeted the question, “are you allowed to comment about ur feelings on the small market/big market issues some of the owners bring up?” He replied, “No.”
From there, Arison retweeted a post that read, “having ‘all 32 teams compete’ is complete BS. Such an unrealistic and stupid idea.” In response he simply offered a smiley face (since there are only 30 NBA teams).
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/iraheatbeat.
Article source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/sfl-miami-heat-micky-arison-s103111,0,5066029.story
Guest post written by Alistair Rennie
Alistair Rennie is IBM‘s general manager for social business.
Alistair Rennie: More than Facebook.
The era of social business is here and it is becoming clear just how transformative it will be.
But many are still asking, “What does social business really mean?”
Companies are increasingly adopting social media technologies, using Facebook to reach out to customers or YouTube to demonstrate new products. These are good first steps, but there is so much more that “social” has to offer. Social media is just one dimension of today’s social business.
Gone are the days of businesses limiting or even entirely restricting employees’ access to the Internet and social media platforms. Today, by combining social networking tools – internally and externally – with sophisticated analytic capabilities, companies are transforming their business processes, building stronger relationships among their employees, customers and business partners and making better decisions, faster. This is what makes a social business – embracing networks of people to create new business value and opportunities.
Leading edge companies, including China Telecom, Nokia and Cemex, understand what it means to embrace social. They recognize that they can’t afford to relegate social technologies to people’s personal lives and have instead implemented social tools and concepts to drive brand awareness and ultimately, their organization’s bottom line.
While embracing social technologies, these organizations are also creating a new business culture that encourages employees to tap into the expertise of their colleagues and clients, to communicate and share ideas across departments and geographies, and to learn from others to create new products, respond to problems, and build the brand. Theses organizations not only see the power behind social, but they’re actively combining social networking with sophisticated analytics to glean insights from social activity streams and behaviors to find out what they need to do better to drive financial results.
What’s keeping other companies from following their lead? Many executives recognize that social media is powerful, even if they still wonder in the back of their minds whether it’s just a time sink. Yet, even when they decide that there is potential, these execs get hung up on trying to figure how to apply social technologies to their companies, how to engage and empower their employees to participate.
Here’s the trick with social business: Focus on people and culture.
People by nature are social beings. We naturally form networks based on trust and similar interests. With social technology, executives are providing the necessary tools for their employees to easily tap into the creativity, intelligence and community that they crave. They’re now able to reach networks of people inside and outside the company to get work done more efficiently, more creatively, more collaboratively. But will they? Not without trust and encouragement from the top. Just as important as the tools, building trust and encouraging social interactions are essential to driving a social change in the workforce. Creating a social business culture can be the most difficult hurdle to overcome, but it’s also the most important.
Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2011/10/31/more-than-facebook-the-time-is-right-for-social-business/
If Mark Zuckerberg were starting Facebook again today, the CEO wouldn’t do it in Silicon Valley, he said Saturday in an interview at Y Combinator’s Startup School, summarized by TechCrunch.
“If I were starting now, I would do things very differently,” he told Y Combinator partner Jessica Livingston. “I didn’t know anything. In Silicon Valley, you get this feeling that you have to be out here. But it’s not the only place to be. If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston. [Silicon Valley] is a little short-term focused and that bothers me.”
Zuckerberg explained that the short-term nature of the Valley is something he once discussed with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Amazon is based in Seattle, a city where people on average, stay in a job twice as long as they do in Silicon Valley.
“There’s a culture out here where people don’t commit to doing things, I feel like a lot of companies built outside of Silicon Valley seem to be focused on longer-term. You don’t have to move out here to do this,” the Facebook co-founder said.
Zuckerberg also gave some insight into the early days of Facebook. He told Livingston that when he moved out to California the summer after his sophomore year of college, he thought he would build a startup one day, but he wasn’t sure Facebook was that company.
“It wasn’t until we got our first office in Palo Alto where things became more like a company. We never went into this wanting to build a company.” However, he said he found that forming a company was the best way to unite people to achieve the same goal.
He didn’t just talk about the early days. Zuckerberg also gave a glimpse into what Facebook’s future looks like.
“I think the story that we look back on will be the apps and things that are built on top of Facebook. The past five years have been about connecting people and the next five to 10 years are about what are all the things that can be built now that these connections are in place,” he said.
In the interview, Zuckerberg also gave advice on choosing investors and handling acquisition offers.
You can see the entire interview here.
For more from Leslie, follow her on Twitter @LesHorn.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395584,00.asp
Image: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
Microsoft just updated its Facebook Windows Phone app with some excellent new features that handily illustrate the best Windows Phone has to offer.
The new app (version 2.2) gives you the ability to “pin” messages, events, and your news feed straight to your home screen.
In turn, accessing the most important parts of Facebook takes a fraction of the time it does on competing platforms.
These new features demonstrate one of Windows Phone’s greatest strengths: the ability to let you pin specific parts/elements of your favorite apps onto your home screen.
If Microsoft can convince top developers to take advantage of the Windows Phone operating system‘s best features, it might just have a chance. Tight Facebook integration is a terrific start.
It appears that the two companies have been working together closely on Windows Phone integration that goes beyond simple API’s developers have access to. Windows Phone’s native Facebook chatting works like a charm, which neither Android nor iOS can figure out.
Also, Windows Phone has built-in face recognition and tagging for Facebook photos.
These are the kinds of “killer” experiences that make one of today’s most popular operating systems more compelling than another.
It may be a long shot, but if we were Microsoft, we’d focus some of our new ads on Facebook—an area where Windows Phone provides far and away the best experience. Some of Facebook’s 800 million users are sure to bite.
Article source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-windows-phone-app-2011-10
Image via CrunchBase
Actor Ralph Fiennes made headlines last week when he claimed that the rise of social networking is ruining the English language, stating that ”I think we’re living in a time when our ears are attuned to a flattened and truncated sense of our English language, so this always begs the question, is Shakespeare relevant? But I love this language we have and what it can do, and aside from that I think the themes in his plays are always relevant.”
Indeed, a reporter at the Telegraph received a comment from John Paul Davidson, the author of the recent book Planet Word, who concurred with Fiennes theory of Twitter turning English speakers into, well, twits:
Fiennes, who does not use Twitter, is not alone in his theory. JP Davidson, the author of Planet Word and a linguistic expert, talked this week about longer words dying out in favour of shortened text message-style terms.
He said: “You only have to look on Twitter to see evidence of the fact that a lot of English words that are used say in Shakespeare’s plays or PG Wodehouse novels — both of them avid inventors of new words — are so little used that people don’t even know what they mean now.
Honestly, I can sympathize with this point of view. Until I joined Twitter, I was also skeptical. But now that I’ve been hanging out there awhile, I often find myself delighted by the level of conversation that can happen in 140 characters. The 140 character restraint not only forces efficiency, but it also lends itself to some really, really fun wordplay. Especially in the form of #hashtag humor, which enables some really nuanced jokes that I think would be difficult to pull off otherwise. I think it’s an enjoyable hangout for what it is.
That said, Mark Liberman, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, decided to take a more analytical approach. Faced with Davidson’s claim that Twitter was phasing out longer words in favor of shorter ones, he decided to see if that was the case.
So I grabbed the text of Hamlet, the text of a number of P.G. Wodehouse stories(Leave it to Jeeves, Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest, Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg, Absent Treatment, Helping Freddie, Rallying Round Old George, Doing Clarence a Bit of Good, and The Aunt and the Sluggard), and the 100 most recent tweets from the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn’s independent student newspaper. I figured that the DP ought to count as a good representative of the Kids Today who are responsible for the alleged word-shortening trend.
I wrote a little program to adjust these texts in appropriate ways (removing the character attributions and stage directions from Hamlet, removing the Gutenberg boilerplate from P.G. Wodehouse, removing the @’s and #’s and URLs from the DPtweets, etc.), and then to count the letters in each word.
The result? The mean word length in Hamlet (in modern spelling) was 3.99 characters; in P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories, the mean word length was 4.05 characters; in the DP‘s tweets, the mean word length was 4.80 characters. [emphasis added]
Once again, numbers foil an unsubstantiated claim!
I’d also say that it’s worth mentioning that most tweets that come across my timeline are links to longer pieces. I don’t know if most tweets include links, but I’d wager that they do. And that facilitation of audiences to longer pieces is another way in which Twitter is improving the language – by making available great content that people wouldn’t have noticed before.
(h/t Alan Jacobs)
Follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Read my Forbes blog here.
Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/10/31/no-twitter-isnt-ruining-the-english-language/
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