A German regulator accused Facebook of tracking users with cookies after they have canceled their accounts with the social-networking giant, according to reports Wednesday.
Bloomberg News reports that the Hamburg Data Protection Agency suspects the company is tracking users in a way that breaks German privacy laws.
“The probe raises the suspicion that Facebook is creating user tracking profiles” that remain with the user whether that person remains a member of the Palo Alto social network or cancels the account, Johannes Caspar, an agency representative, said on the group’s website. That kind of tracking, which Casper said could go on for two years after an account is canceled, would be against German law, he stated.
In a statement emailed to this newspaper, Facebook flatly stated that it “does not track users across the web.”
A spokeswoman did say that some cookies — small software files that embed into a user’s browser — remain after a user deletes a Facebook profile, but insists they are not used as tracking devices. Instead, the company said they are used in “identifying spammers and phishers, detecting when somebody unauthorized is trying to access your account, helping you get back into your account if you get hacked, disabling registration for under-age users who try to re-register with a different birthdate,” along with assistance with some security features
identifying shared computers.
Facebook did say that account-specific cookies are deleted along with an account and said “we do not receive personally identifiable cookie information when logged-out users browse the web.”
Casper, however, said Facebook’s explanation does not hold water.
“Arguments that all users have to remain recognizable after they leave Facebook to guarantee the service’s security can’t stand up,” he said.
“Facebook has been tracking the Internet activity of users even after they have logged out of Facebook, ” the letter stated. “Facebook has been engaging in post-logout tracking for at least a year, and only issued a partial fix after facing intense criticism, indicating an unwillingness to respect consumer privacy without external pressure.”
Post-logoff tracking accusations have even reached the court system — an Illinois Facebook user named Perrin Aikens Davis filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status on the issue in San Jose federal court in late September.
Facebook has steadfastly denied that it actively tracks users’ Web activity.
Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.
Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_19247981?source=rss
Paul Ceglia, the New York man who claims to own more than half of Facebook, now alleges that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg destroyed emails that Ceglia says detailed a partnership between the two.
Ceglia on Wednesday asked a federal judge in Buffalo, N.Y. to sanction Zuckerberg for the alleged deletion of the emails from the Facebook founder’s Harvard University account dating from 2003 and 2004, according to Bloomberg. He also requested a court order to prevent Facebook and Zuckerberg from disputing the authenticity of Ceglia’s purported email correspondence, which Facebook attorneys have already done publicly.
Attorneys for Facebook have called Ceglia’s claim to a stake in the social networking company “delusional” and “fraudulent.” Ceglia filed a lawsuit in June 2010, claiming he
possessed a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that gave Ceglia half of the company in return for a $1,000 investment, plus an extra 1 percent stake for every day Facebook was not online past January 1, 2004.
That gave Ceglia an 84 percent stake in Facebook, according to his calculations.
After examining Ceglia’s documentation and computer, Facebook lawyers claimed that what they found proves that Ceglia’s case is the work of an “inveterate scam artist.”
Ceglia, who has retained several different lawyers during the legal battle, recently hired his fourth legal team since filing the initial lawsuit, according to Bloomberg.
A Facebook legal spokesman was scathing in his denunciation of the latest legal move by Ceglia.
“These filings by Ceglia and his latest lawyer are truly delusional,” said Facebook attorney Orin Snyder, according to the news agency. “These are the desperate acts of a man whose fraudulent lawsuit has now been fully exposed.”
Ceglia’s relationship with Zuckerberg began in 2003, when the New York resident hired the then-Harvard student to do coding work for a company called StreetFax. Ceglia has passed a lie detector test that focused on the authenticity of his claimed contract with Zuckerberg, according to documentation filed by Ceglia’s lawyers in June.
Zuckerberg and Facebook have been no strangers to disputes over the ownership of the company. A claim to a stake in Facebook by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their business partner Divya Narendra, who were at Harvard when Zuckerberg attended the university, has been an ongoing headache for Facebook’s legal team and was central to the plot of the film The Social Network.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395768,00.asp
According to grand jury testimony recited in court Wednesday, among the comments posted on the page were that the ex-boyfriend, a narcotics detective, was “high all the time,” had herpes and frequented prostitutes and escort services.
“I’m a sick piece of scum with a gun,” Thornton allegedly wrote.
At issue is a New Jersey law that makes it illegal to impersonate someone “for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another.”
Attorney Richard Roberts, representing Thornton, attempted to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the law makes no mention of electronic communications. New Jersey’s legislature is reviewing an amendment that would add that provision to the law; Roberts argued Wednesday that the mere fact that the law could be amended amounts to a tacit admission that the current one doesn’t cover his client’s alleged actions.
“How do you quantify the harm?” he asked. “There was no money involved. We live in the real world where words are thrown around all the time. How does that rise to the level of what is in this statute?”
State Superior Court Judge David Ironson disagreed and said the law was “clear and unambiguous.”
“The fact that the means of committing the crime are not set forth in the statute doesn’t lead to the conclusion that the defendant didn’t commit the crime,” he said.
Thornton didn’t comment on the decision after the hearing. She is next due in court for a pretrial conference on Dec. 7.
The issue of online impersonation and cyber-bullying came to the forefront after a 13-year-old girl committed suicide in a St. Louis suburb in 2006. It was later revealed that she had been targeted online by a fictitious 13-year-old boy whose MySpace page had been created by the mother of a teenage girl. Prosecutors contended Lori Drew sought to humiliate the 13-year-old because she suspected the girl had spread rumors about Drew’s teenage daughter.
Drew was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of accessing computers without authorization, but a federal judge in 2009 threw out the convictions.
There are no criminal cases in New Jersey that offer any precedents, Roberts said Wednesday.
Amending New Jersey’s identity theft law could prompt a review of numerous other laws, said Megan Erickson, an Iowa-based attorney who blogs about social media and the law.
“If the legislature specifically references online conduct in one statute, should it take an inventory of how all others laws may apply in the context of the Internet and amend them as well?” she said.
Bradley Shear, a Bethesda, Md., lawyer who works on online issues, said he expects to see more cases like this one in the near future. The New Jersey case could be a difficult prosecution, he said, because of the way the state’s law is written.
“This specific situation sounds like it may be better handled in civil rather than criminal court,” he said. “It’s very tough to say this is a violation of the law.” It is, however, a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, he said.
So far, only California and New York have laws specifically banning online identity theft. Shear said those states are leading the way largely because of the large number of celebrities who live in them. But he said such laws can get tricky to enforce because it’s legally thorny when the alleged offender is out of state.
“There may need to be some national conversation in the future about the Internet,” Shear said. “The Internet knows no jurisdictional boundaries.”
AP Writer Geoff Mulvihill in Haddonfield contributed to this report.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/judge-nj-woman-can-be-tried-for-allegedly-creating-fake-facebook-profile-of-ex-boyfriend/2011/11/02/gIQAVbEDgM_story.html
VMware is no longer a member of the Java Community Process SE/EE Executive Committee, but Twitter has joined, according to election results finalized this week.
Azul Systems, maker of the Zing Java virtual machine, also won an open seat on the JCP board, which oversees and fosters the development of the open-source programming language. Ericsson, SAP and Intel were re-elected to ratified seats.
In addition, IBM, Nokia and SK Telecom gained re-election to ratified seats on the Java ME committee, while ARM Limited and Werner Keil won open seats.
VMware remains significantly invested in Java through its SpringSource division, which sells a range of products for Java application development and deployment.
Some 23 percent of eligible members cast votes in the election, according to a post on Oracle’s official Aquarium blog this week. “That’s much more than the 11% seen for the 2011 EC Special Election but probably less than what one could hope for,” the post reads.
Oracle gained control of Java through the purchase of Sun Microsystems. It holds a permanent seat on the committee but is prevented from “dominating” the JCP, according to a FAQ document.
“Oracle, and the other Executive Committee (EC) members, serve as technology oversight groups for the work of the Expert Groups,” it states. “The ECs do not micro-manage the day-to-day workings of Expert Groups. Rather, the ECs have the opportunity to review the work of each Expert Group at well-defined points as their specifications proceed through the JCP.”
Still, Oracle has aggressively defended its stake in Java through actions like its lawsuit against Google over alleged Java intellectual-property violations in the Android mobile OS.
And in the past, some have alleged Oracle has tried to exact behind-the-scenes influence over JCP elections.
The JCP also lost high-profile members such as the Apache Software Foundation, which left due to what it saw as undue control by Oracle over Java.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris’s e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com
Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/243010/vmware_out_twitter_in_at_java_oversight_committee.html
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
Here’s a better question: Is anything about this lockout reasonable? Given the timing of Micky Arison’s tweet, not to mention its severe implications, it’s easy to understand why Commissioner David Stern came down way harder, compared with previous fines on Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.
This lockout is all about the unified front, right? Arison’s tweet sure made it sound like he’s ready to cut a deal and play. And, really, after shelling out hundreds of millions for LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who can blame him?
The funny thing is other owners reportedly pressured Stern to fine Arison as much as he did. Stern may well have reached a similar conclusion on his own. But it certainly speaks to the possibility of disagreement among the owners on the question of deal or no deal. Just like in the players association.
In other words, it’s time to stop analyzing tweets and fines and strike a deal to play ball.
[Updated Nov. 2, 1:41 p.m.:
Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times
Let’s be honest, Heat owner Micky Arison’s tweets were highly entertaining, something that had to make you smile at some of its content.
Now, was the $500,000 fine he was allegedly given by the NBA for speaking out on Twitter to an angry fan reasonable?
No. What happened to free speech?
Then again, every NBA owner and team personnel knew when the lockout started that Commissioner David Stern had informed them that they would be fined if they spoke out about the lockout.
Arison is a smart man and had to know his pocketbook would get docked.
Apparently he didn’t care, as long as he was able to get his message out to his players, to other players, to the NBA fans and to other owners who are slowing down the process.
I hope it was money well spent by Arison.]
Steps that could end the NBA lockout
NBA lockout: Players union appears disjointed
Photo: Micky Arison. Credit: David Adame / Associated Press
Article source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/11/nba-lockout-miami-heat-micky-arison.html
(CNN) — Lives have been saved, small businesses have avoided shutting their doors and average folks have met their political leaders, sports heroes and other celebrities. All because of Twitter.
That’s the story the micro-blogging service wants to tell with Twitter Stories, a new site meant to showcase what Twitter calls the power of a single tweet. Because while good stories can begin with a tweet, most can’t be told in 140 characters.
Twitter critics, many of them non-users, have always been quick to dismiss the site as a repository for vapid, short-attention-span oversharing. And there’s been no shortage of that — not to mention some of the most atrocious spelling on the Web — among the site’s more than 200 million users.
But Twitter has also been credited for playing a major role in everything from fomenting political revolutions to spreading breaking news to sparking thoughtful debates.
Launched Tuesday, the initial batch of Twitter Stories include a tale of a man whose off-color tweet — “Sh-t, I need a kidney” — led to a donor coming forward just days later.
Others include a profile of film critic Roger Ebert, who found an outlet on Twitter after cancer stole his ability to speak, and of Japanese fishermen who use the site to sell their catch each day before they’ve even reached shore.
“Each story reminds us of the humanity behind Tweets that make the world smaller,” read a post on the official Twitter blog announcing the site.
The new site is asking users to suggest their own Twitter tales. An @TwitterStories account has been created to collect people’s stories, and users are encouraged to use the hashtag #twitterstories to make sure staff members see them.
A collection of new stories will be shared each month, Twitter says.
By Wednesday afternoon, the account already had more than 160,000 followers and users were offering their personal Twitter stories, from accounts of finding jobs to the heartening tale of a stray dog that likely would have died were it not for an outpouring of support after a single tweet.
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Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/02/tech/social-media/twitter-stories/
Kimihiro Hoshino, AFP/Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-11-02/facebook-paul-ceglia-lawsuit/51044504/1
It’s one of the most common perils of the Internet age: Is what you’re seeing actually true?
On Facebook, that question often goes unasked.
For many, Facebook has become a secure network of trusted online relationships. This has caused users to drop their collective guard, causing incorrect information to spread even faster than it did in the days of now-quaint chain letters and emails.
We’re seeing the proliferation of photos that are too good to be true, but are shared by Facebook user after Facebook user.
This photo, posted to Facebook, shows a Washington, D.C. police officer restraining a dog on Sept. 12, 2010.
In the last couple of weeks, Facebook has enlarged the photos shared on the home page, making them more easily readable and giving them more impact.
And many photos are publicly viewable by default, so posts can quickly go viral because they can be seen and shared by any Facebook user who comes across the post.
Photo not even a photo
Last week, on Diwali — the Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus and others — an incredible image began to spread on Facebook purporting to show India from a NASA satellite, with brilliant multicolored lights blanketing the country and viewable from space.
The image carried the caption: “India at night during Diwali NASA.”
That’s apparently all the proof many needed. The image was shared an untold number of times — at one count, it was well over 100,000 — with exultations such as “Amazing!” and “What a cool photo!”
Just one problem: It wasn’t from Diwali. It’s not even a real photograph.
The image, made in 2003, is actually a composite of satellite images of India from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to Chris Elvidge, a physical scientist at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center.
The composite of cloud-free satellite images is intended to show population growth over time, Elvidge said. The white lights depict where populations were centered before 1992 and more colored lights were added in subsequent years to show the movement of people.
The original poster appears to have been a single Facebook user near Hyderabad, whose post has been shared more than 87,000 times.
Another photo, showing a Washington, D.C., police offer restraining a dog before gunning it down when he said it charged after him, has been given legs by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has gripped several cities with scenes of skirmishes between police and protesters. Many posters have mistakenly linked the photo to an Occupy confrontation.
The photo, though, was taken on Sept. 12, 2010 — more than a year before the first Occupy Wall Street protest was staged in New York City.
“This is sick … Please spread the word …” said one of the thousands of Facebook users who spread the photo. “I am so outraged I’m crying!” said another.
Occasionally a savvy commenter seeks to set the record straight, saying that the photo isn’t from the Occupy movement at all, but the effect is a bit like trying to use a soup ladle to stop a ship from sinking.
Earlier this year, when an unusual 5.8 earthquake hit the D.C. region, a photo quickly popped up online showing the supposed damage: a single plastic lawn chair tipped on its side.
Many shared it with a laugh, but that photo, too, has been online for years and was not what many said it was.
Seek the truth doggedly
No harm, no foul? Maybe.
But as people increasingly depend on friends and other online connections for news and information, the Facebook effect can’t be ignored.
Another image being spread this week shows a Great Dane leading another apparently blind Great Dane through a field, its leash gripped between its teeth.
“They have been together for five years and Madison guides Lily by the leash and touches him to make sure he doesn’t stumble over anything,” the Facebook post read. It’s also being shared thousands of times.
That story, though, turned out to be true.
The Associated Press reported last week that the British animal shelter housing the two dogs had been inundated with offers of help.
Still, next time something seems too good to be true, do a quick Google search before spreading the post. It might just be.
Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-11-01/fake-facebook-photos/51042366/1
Facebook veterans Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein on Wednesday took the wraps off their highly anticipated new company, which aims to help people work more efficiently.
Asana is a Web task manager that lets teams of people manage their work flow by breaking projects into tasks. Much the same way that Facebook helps manage how people connect with each other, Asana is designed to manage how people work with one another by becoming the one place everyone can see what their colleagues are working on and get updates on how a project is progressing.
Moskovitz and Rosenstein say they think of it as the modern way of working.
Moskovitz, a self-taught programmer, and his roommate Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to build Facebook into the world’s most popular social network.
As the company grew, Moskovitz, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, found himself spending more time trying to stay on top of managing hundreds of new employees. He shared his frustrations with colleague Rosenstein, a gifted programmer who was intrigued with figuring out better ways for teams to collaborate.
While at Facebook, Moskovitz created a program that helped Facebook employees build apps. Then he added more productivity tools, all of which Facebook still uses today.
In 2008, Moskovitz, at 27 the world’s youngest billionaire, and Rosenstein left Facebook to tackle the project full time on their own. They began building work productivity and collaboration tools not just for Facebook but for companies, nonprofits, artistic endeavors, anyone who needed them.
“At some point we realized that this was not just a problem for Facebook and tech start-ups, this was a problem that was fundamental to all human behavior: how to keep everyone on the same page,” Rosenstein said in an interview this week. “There is rich information squirreled way in people’s heads and their inboxes. There is nowhere to go to see what people are working on now, what people have done recently and how far a project is from the finish line.”
But Asana’s founders say they are not creating Facebook for business.
“Facebook is social software that puts people at the center of the graph. Asana puts work at the center of the graph,” Rosenstein said.
It’s an ambitious gambit for a young start-up. Moskovitz and Rosenstein are newcomers to the competitive business of selling business software. Asana is going after the lucrative businesses of technology giants such as Microsoft that have been making productivity and collaboration software for years. Google has also been making inroads in business software with Google Docs. Other upstart rivals include Salesforce.com, Yammer and Jive which have sprung up more recently.
But Moskovitz and Rosenstein say the cumbersome and slow software that most companies produce has not convinced people to stop relying on email and Post It notes to plan tasks and keep up with their colleagues on a project.
“Other people have tried to crack this nut before. All the solutions are fundamentally failing. We know that because no one has adopted them, even companies that pay for fancy collaboration software, it just sits on the shelf,” Rosenstein said.
Asana, which has 19 employees in San Francisco’s Mission District and has raised $10.2 million from investors including Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, has been beta testing the software since last year with thousands of users at hundreds of companies. One of those companies is the sports and entertainment talent agency Wasserman Media Group, which uses it to organize its executive team.
Asana is taking an unconventional approach to promoting its business software. Usually a company’s top IT manager buys productivity software. Asana is giving away its software free to groups of up to 30 people in hopes that once employees become enamored with the software, they will persuade their companies to buy a paid version with more features that Asana plans to release down the road.
“We think the best software will win,” Rosenstein said.
So how does the experience of building Asana compare to Facebook?
“I feel much more experienced. I have a better network this time. I have been able to draw on the experience to more proactively shape the company I want to work at,” Moskovitz said. “A lot of things are very similar, too: the ethos of the company and how we approach building products, the kind of values we have, and what it’s like to work here.”
“Certainly we think this is one of the very key things we could be doing in software. We think it will be as impactful on the world as Facebook was.”
Tech firms try to outperk one another
Facebook co-founder leaves for start-up
Tech status symbols emphasize mind over material
– Jessica Guynn
Photo: Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, left, and Justin Rosenstein, founders of Asana. Credit: Asana
Article source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/11/facebook-co-founder-dustin-moskovitz-unveils-new-company-.html
BELMONT, CA, Nov 02, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –
Actiance, enablers of the safe and compliant use of unified
communications, collaboration and Web 2.0, today announced financial
services firm Raymond James has implemented its Socialite platform,
successfully enabling the company’s financial advisors to utilize
social media sites including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The firm
is also offering advisors optional marketing support with access to a
library of pre-approved content and analytics to measure engagement
and their social graph.
“We made a public commitment earlier this year to provide additional
marketing and communications support for our advisors who wish to
connect with existing clients and prospects via social networking
sites. Our partnership with Actiance has enabled us to keep that
promise while ensuring regulatory compliance,” said Mike White,
Marketing Director at Raymond James. “In addition to incorporating
the technology and archiving platform, with Actiance, we have
developed guidelines, training sessions and marketing and
communications support to help advisors leverage social media in
their client engagement and new prospecting activities. We believe
our comprehensive suite of social media tools and resources represent
industry-leading support, consistent with our commitment to providing
our advisors with unique marketing agency services to support their
communication, marketing and branding efforts.”
Raymond James sought a single platform to effectively enable users,
while ensuring compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory
(FINRA) regulations. Actiance’s Socialite platform provides granular
control for social networking sites, including the specific ability
to manage access and share content in a controlled fashion across 200
features on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It is also the only
platform that enables organizations to proactively approve content
and changes made to advisors’ social media profiles through its
static content pre-approval workflow capabilities. Socialite’s
ability to share content, record conversations and messages, capture
posts, messages and commentary in context, and provide export of that
data to an archive for post review, is also ideal for eDiscovery
Advisors, using Actiance’s Socialite platform, will control both the
content and the distribution channels but can virtually automate the
process, creating their own or leveraging a pre-approved library of
social media-friendly content.
“Financial advisors are increasingly recognizing that communication
is moving to social media. Our Socialite platform is helping them to
engage with clients and prospects, expand their social reach, and
increase their book of business — in essence, results that are
measurable by real revenue,” said Kailash Ambwani, President and CEO
at Actiance. “Socialite, the associated enablement services,
materials and training provide the financial services industry with a
tested and award-winning technology platform that gives Raymond James
financial advisors the ability to leverage social media to attract
and retain new clients — all while meeting compliance and regulatory
Actiance customers include 284 FINRA registered firms, nine of the
top 10 US banks and 1600 organizations worldwide. For more
information, please visit:
About Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Raymond James Financial
is a Florida-based diversified holding company providing
financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities
through its subsidiary companies. Its three principal wholly owned
broker/dealers, Raymond James Associates, Raymond James Financial
Services and Raymond James Ltd., have approximately 5,400 financial
advisors serving 2 million accounts in 2,400 locations throughout the
United States, Canada and overseas. In addition, total client assets
are approximately $256 billion, of which approximately $32 billion
are managed by the firm’s asset management subsidiaries.
For additional information, please contact Anthea Penrose at
Please visit the Raymond James Press Center at
Actiance enables the safe and productive use of
unified communications and Web 2.0, including blogs and social
networking sites. Formerly FaceTime Communications, Actiance’s
award-winning platforms are used by more than 1,600 customers for the
security, management and compliance of unified communications, Web
2.0 and social media channels. Actiance supports or has strategic
partnerships with all leading social networks, unified communications
providers and IM platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,
AOL, Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco.
Actiance is headquartered in Belmont, California. For more
http://www.actiance.com or call 1-888-349-3223.
Copyright 2011 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.
Add RJF to portfolio
Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/raymond-james-selects-actiances-social-media-solution-for-financial-advisors-2011-11-02?reflink=MW_news_stmp
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