Amazon updates Cloud Drive Photos for iOS with video support
The Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app for iOS has received an update, bringing support for videos. Appearing on iOS months after Android, TechCrunch reports that the app allows for videos up to 2GB or 20 minutes in length to be uploaded, with the Cloud Photos Auto-Save also updated to allow existing videos on an iPhone or iPad to be automatically uploaded to the service. Other tweaks include a "large upload mode" that disables the iOS lock screen to let uploads finish, and an indicator in the Settings screen showing the usage of Cloud Drive by media.
Agents infiltrate World of Warcraft
Eight tech giants, including industry competitors Apple, Google and Microsoft, have joined forces to demand reforms to the US government's surveillance tactics. In an open letter sent to President Barack Obama and members of Congress, the companies argue that current surveillance practices, as detailed in ongoing leaks from former National Security Agency staffer Edward Snowden, have created an imbalance "too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual-rights that are enshrined in our Constitution."
Mac mini arrays used for iOS app testing, general computing
Social media giant Facebook isn't generally known for its Apple technology use, but a new report suggests that it may have thousands of Mac minis in its data centers. According to ex-Apple engineer and current Facebook employee Christian Legnitto, the Facebook data centers in Prineville, OR and Forest City, NC both have "racks and racks" loaded with the diminutive computer performing "hundreds of thousands of tests every couple of hours" on iOS software in development.
Social network testing new list feature
Facebook is reportedly testing a new "Save For Later Reading" feature that enables users to compile content that appears in their News Feed. Mobile screenshot images posted by MyTechSkool and referenced by AllThingsD show an iBooks-style bookmark button next to news items, which can be later accessed via a new "Saved" category within the existing Apps menu.
Sandberg says teenage use stays stable
Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg said this week that the tech media has exaggerated the company's problems with teenagers, and that reports of declining engagement among younger users are overblown. Pulse 2.0 carried a report of Sandberg's most recent comments, which came in the midst of Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference event. Asked about Facebook CFO David Ebersman's comments on teen use during the company's last earnings call, Sandberg said that those comments had been misinterpreted.
Facebook Messenger updated for iOS 7, adds SMS
Facebook Messenger, a chat app for Facebook users, has received an update for iOS 7. Facebook Messenger allows users to read messages without opening Facebook, send photos privately, make free calls and more. Version 3.0 features a completely new design, optimized for iOS 7. Central to the update is that users can now message people that are not their Facebook friends, using SMS. Available for free, Facebook Messenger can be downloaded on iTunes.
Facebook offered three Instagrams for Snapchat
Popular image sharing app Snapchat reportedly turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Sources familiar with the matter claim that the world's largest social network offered three times the price it paid when acquiring Instagram for Snapchat, which allows users to send picture messages that expire soon after they are viewed. Those same sources say that the $3 billion offer was not Facebook's first attempt to court the image sharing service.
Profile outage follows similar incident on October 21st
A large number of Facebook users have reported that profiles and pages on the service had a few hours of downtime earlier today. The issue, affecting profiles from approximately 10:30am Eastern Standard Time until 1pm, prevented page content from loading, and instead showed the error "Sorry, but this page didn't load properly. Please try again."
Bug bounty offers up to $5,000 for vulnerabilities in server software
Microsoft is teaming up with Facebook to offer more bounties for bugs and flaws in software used to by a vast majority of websites. The Internet bug bounty, HackerOne, sees the two companies paying cash prizes of between $300 and $5,000 in exchange for details for vulnerabilities in server-based software and frameworks such as PHP, Ruby, Rails, OpenSSL, and Apache httpd.
Large growth in monthly active users on mobile boosts bottom line
Facebook today reported financial results for the third quarter, which ended September 30. Revenue for the quarter totaled $2.02 billion, an increase of 60 percent compared with $1.26 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Daily active users rose to 728 million on average for September 2013, an increase of 25 percent year-over-year. Net income was $425 million, compared to a net loss of $59 million for the third quarter of 2012.
Redesigned Messenger distances itself from Facebook website
Facebook will be updating its messaging app for iOS and Android with a new design and functionality, as the social network moves to make Facebook Messenger a more general-purpose "mobile-to-mobile" messaging app. The next version of the app will be made available to a random group of Android users, before a full rollout over both platforms in the coming weeks.
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter memo over spying concerns
A group of technology companies has asked members of the UK government that there needs to be a debate about Internet surveillance. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter have jointly written a memo to Members of Parliament (MPs) calling for more transparency in requests for information by government-controlled organizations, such as GCHQ.
Graph Search, new Messenger among plans
Facebook is preparing a series of major updates for its iOS apps, a source claims. The company's core app is slated to get access to Graph Search, a feature which lets people locate others with similar interests. The option should be integrated into the mobile app's search bar.
Laws would only offer more precision in reporting gov't. requests
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo are among the companies that have signed a new Center for Democracy and Technology letter asking the US Congress to pass Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-CA) Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013, and Sen. Al Franken's (D-MN) Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013. The bills were first introduced in August, and would let companies be more precise about when and how often they receive national security-related requests and hand data over to the government.
Facebook to tweak newsfeed ad settings
Facebook will soon tweak the settings of its ad engine in order make user newsfeeds show fewer ads that users aren't interested in. The social network will place more emphasis on user feedback, according to Reuters, with the number of times users hide or report an ad playing a role. The move is just the latest in Facebook's ongoing push to turn itself into a fully relevant ad platform.
New limited opt-out provisos may violate 2011, 2013 agreements
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it is evaluating if Facebook has violated an agreement it signed with the federal government in 2011 when it recently changed privacy policies for users. The agreement required Facebook to acquire the explicit permission of users before exposing private information, and Facebook's implementation of this agreement with the new policies may be in error, violating either the 2011 accord or the "sponsored stories" class action suit this year.
2010 slideshow identifies 38 different ways of tracking iPhone users
A National Security Agency presentation from 2010, leaked to Germany's Der Spiegel by Edward Snowden, calls former Apple CEO Steve Jobs "Big Brother" and iPhone customers his "zombies." The presentation is titled Exploring Current Trends, Targets and Techniques, and as a whole discusses NSA efforts to hack into iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Slides on iPhone location services make reference to Apple's own famous "1984" Macintosh ad, and by extension George Orwell's novel warning about government surveillance and the manipulation of history.
Instagram gains 50M users in last six months alone
Instagram is preparing to introduce advertising to the photograph sharing service and image editing app for the first time. A report claiming that it will be including advertisements within its app comes at the same time as the Facebook-owned image and video-sharing social network has broken the 150 million monthly active user barrier.
Microsoft adds 5M square miles of images to Bing Maps
Microsoft has updated Bing Maps to include another 13 million square kilometers (5 million square miles) of satellite imagery. The update, consisting of aircraft and satellite aerial imagery according to The Next Web, is spread over the majority of the world, including areas of Iceland, France, Brazil, England, Chile, Fiji, and China, with the added photographs totaling almost 316 terabytes of data.
US asks for most user data, followed by India, UK, Italy, Germany
Government agencies representing 74 countries requested details from 38,000 Facebook accounts in the first half of the year, the social network has revealed. Its first Global Government Requests Report, similar to transparency reports published by Microsoft and Google, shows the governments of the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany as making the largest numbers of requests for user data from Facebook for the period.
$10 million going to lawyers, $10 million to charity, privacy rules overhauled
Despite objections from privacy advocates to the contrary, Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California approved Facebook's $20 million settlement offer over its controversial "sponsored stories" program. Additionally, the social network must give users more control over how personal content is shared, which Facebook's attorneys places at a value of $145 million. Between January 2011 and August 2012, Facebook charged advertisers $234 million for the program in question.
AT&T rumored to carry Nokia Lumia 925 from next month
The Nokia Lumia 925 will allegedly make its way to AT&T next month for $99 on-contract. The smartphone, said to be replacing the Lumia 920 currently offered by the carrier by WPCentral, will apparently go on sale two months after the device launched on T-Mobile in the United States, and could head to other US carriers in the coming months.
Writing permissions now separate
Facebook has changed its permissions requirements for third-party apps, adding a new dialogue that specifically asks users if they want an app to post on their behalf. The move addresses a common criticism of the previous login procedure, which gave a single "all-or-nothing" choice for permission to access the user's data, post on their Timeline and send messages to their friends.
Dedicated Facebook button included for quick uploading
Shortly after launching a quartet of PowerShot digital cameras, Canon has revealed another for release next month, with a focus on social sharing directly through Facebook. The PowerShot N, shown to Electronista at CES earlier this year, now includes a dedicated Facebook Connect button for instant sharing of photographs to the social network over a Wi-Fi connection.
Technology companies working on cheaper Internet access plans
A group of technology companies have grouped together to launch a new initiative to bring Internet access to parts of the global population that do not have it. The collective, consisting of Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung and led by Facebook, launched Internet.org and will work together on projects to provide access to those without an Internet connection.
First company with offline translation app
Facebook has announced that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based company that specializes in speech translation technology. The company boasts of producing the world's first offline speech-to-speech translation app, Jibbigo, along with the first simultaneous interpretation system for educational lectures.
Listings currently US-, iOS-only
Facebook is this week updating its mobile apps with several features. Among these is previously-anticipated OpenTable integration, which will allow North American users to make reservations via a restaurant's profile page. When making a reservation, people will be able to pick from a selection of available times, and specify their party's size.
Would wedge TV-style spots into news feeds
Facebook is planning to start selling 15-second video ads to marketers, sources tell Bloomberg. The clips would be inserted directly into a person's news feed, and at least initially sold on a full-day day basis, with targeting based solely on a person's age and gender. A video would show no more than three times per person, per day, and cost marketers between $1 million and $2.5 million each day.
Social network seeks to increase mobile revenues via app sales, advertising
Facebook will be publishing mobile games, in a new program it announced today at the Casual Connect conference. The new pilot program will "help small and medium-sized developers take their mobile games global," with the company blog post suggesting it is aimed at indie developers that need help in marketing and tailoring their games to more lucrative customer markets.
Companies escape scrutiny via 'Safe Harbour' self-certification rules
The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner says it won't investigate Apple and Facebook over their sharing personal data with the US' National Security Agency, according to New Europe. Both Apple and Facebook have their European headquarters in Ireland, and an Austrian student activist group -- europe-v-facebook -- asked the ODPC to look into claims that the NSA collects emails and other private information from the companies through its Prism spying initiative. The ODPC states that the companies are covered under "Safe Harbour," which allows US companies to self-certify themselves as compliant with European Union data laws as long as they agree to a set of principles intended to protect how personal data is used.
Profit increase accompanied with similar increase in active monthly users
Social network Facebook today reported financial results for the second quarter, which ended June 30. Revenue for the second quarter of 2013 totaled $1.81 billion, beating Wall Street estimates. The result was an increase of 53 percent, compared with $1.18 billion in the year-ago quarter of 2012.áNet income was $333 million, compared to a net loss of $157 million for the second quarter of 2012.
Facebook 25 times more popular than Google for sharing
Despite Google's efforts to integrate its "social layer" across all of its services, Google+ trails every other major social networking platform. A new report out from Gigya pegs Google+ at only a two percent share of social sharing, behind even LinkedIn, which holds a three percent share. The social platform is in fifth place among the major social outlets.
Facebook 6.3 to include authenticity verification
Facebook's app for iOS received an update yesterday, with its release of version 6.3. The updated edition of the social media platform allows users to receive notifications when friends like and comment on their posts, share updates, photos and videos, and access all the other features that are found on Facebook.com. A small blue check has also been implemented to help verify the authenticity of celebrity, public figure, and brand profiles. Other additions to version 6.3 include bug fixes and improvements to places editing to fix categories, phone numbers and other info on iPad.
Move intended to keep music videos off FaceBook
Google has announced that it has signed a new agreement with music video purveyor Vevo. The move keeps the 50.2 million users a month it draws on YouTube, and prevents the content from being added to FaceBook. The deal is said to be worth between $40 and $50 million, and as part of the deal, Google is investing in the company.
Facebook claims to have never used, no longer be retaining numbers
Norton Mobile Insight, a division of Symantec, has flagged the Facebook application for Android as a security threat. According to the security researchers, the first time the app is launched, the device's phone number is sent over the Internet to Facebook servers, even without logging in, and regardless if the user even possesses an account on the social network.
Tech not yet available in native mobile apps
Facebook has extended its recently-launched hashtag feature, reports note. The first addition is the concept of related tags; when clicking on a tag or searching for one, Facebook will now suggest others based on what people are frequently posting at the same time. #equality, for instance, may bring up tags like #pride, #DOMA, or #lgbt.
Limited amount of users able to access new feature
Facebook is in the midst of constructing "Host Chat," a feature on the social network that allows users to set up AOL-like chat rooms that friends can join at will, without a specific invite. Users will receive a note in the news feed that a friend is hosting a chat room, and an option to join the ongoing chat is given. The feature is similar to the chat feature in Facebook Groups, but with fewer restrictions for entry for users not in the relevant group.
Will give people early access to new app features
Facebook is launching a beta testing program for its core Android app, according to an announcement. People who sign up for the program will be able try out upcoming features in advance. The tradeoffs include automatic feedback being sent to Facebook, and a higher risk of crashes and other glitches.
Instagram hosts photo gallery of celebrations
At least two major high-tech companies have issued statements supporting today's US Supreme Court decisions related to gay marriage, according to AllThingsD. "Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today," a message from an Apple spokesman reads. HP, meanwhile, is pointing to its history of supporting gay causes. "HP has more than 30 years of partnership with and participation in pride events, and works throughout the year to build and strengthen HP as an organization that values all employees, customers and communities," says Michael Thacker, the global communications chair for HP's Pride Employee Resource Group. "Our sponsorship at San Francisco Pride this year is a great example of how HP is committed to diversity and to creating a flexible, inclusive environment for everyone inside and outside of the company," Thacker's PR concludes.
Facebook, Flipboard, NFL Fantasy Football apps for Windows 8 in future
Microsoft revealed a number of details relating to the Windows Store and Metro apps at its Build 2013 developer conference, at the same time as showing off the Windows 8.1 update. New apps heading to the store were mentioned in the keynote presentation, along with the adoption of the app store by developers and users, and the future addition of Metro-style Office applications to the store in the future.
Dollar sale sold through entire inventory of HTC device
According to AT&T, the Facebook Phone is sold out, and the company will not be acquiring another batch. Very shortly after release, AT&T denied rumors that it was discontinuing the phone, despite marking it down to $1 with a two-year contract less than two months after release.
Mobile RSS reader to show content from friends, publishers
Facebook is working on its own mobile reading app, according to a new report. The potential app from the social network will apparently offer curated content from Facebook users and publishers tailored for mobile consumption, with the latest version said to be similar to magazine-style feed-reading app Flipboard.
Data leaked collected from friend network address books, not own user data
Facebook's "White Hat" hacker program has exposed a vulnerability in the social network's "Download Your Information" tool. According to the company's security blog, a flaw allowed users (but not developers or advertisers) to farm phone numbers and email addresses attached to friended-users Facebook accounts.
Instagram directly competing with Vine, records 15 seconds of video
Facebook has used its media event to show off an update to Instagram that adds video to the service. The new addition to the app, putting it directly against short video service Vine from Twitter, will allow users to record up to 15 seconds of video, with the option to add various filters and edits to the freshly-recorded footage.
Facebook for iOS adds status update icons, better sharing, more
Social network Facebook has updated its iOS app to v6.2, which brings new access to change who can see something a user has shared, the ability to start a conversation based on photos users receive in messages, and the addition of icons to status updates that show emotions or what a user is reading or watching. The "status update icons" were added to the desktop version of the program in April, but mobile support has been missing until now. The update also includes the usual bug fixes, and the app can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
Invitation mentions small team 'working on a big idea'
Social networking giant Facebook is holding a media event to announce a mysterious new product next week. The invitation, sent in a white envelope to reporters rather than through an e-mail, provides close to zero clues as to what will be revealed on Thursday, June 20 at the Menlo Park headquarters, except that it will be something fairly substantial.
Possible RSS reader code found within Facebook Graph API
The battle to take the place of the soon-to-close Google Reader has gained another combatant, in the form of Facebook. Mentions of RSS feeds buried within Facebook's API coding suggest that it is creating its own RSS feed reader, something that it could possibly launch before Google shuts down its own service on July 1st.
83 percent of respondents view Google favorably
Google is the most-liked technology firm in America, according to a new poll. The search giant showed a sizable favorability margin over both the iPhone maker and the world's largest social network, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. More than eight in ten respondents indicated a favorable view of the search company.
Facebook to no longer sync friends without useful contact info to iOS Contacts
9to5Mac.com reported yesterday that Facebook is trying to 'declutter' the iOS contacts app by no longer syncing friends that have no useful contact information. Users have observed missing contacts as being a bug, however the move is an intentional endeavour to improve the relevancy of imported contacts. A Facebook spokesperson stated that friends with no contact information other than a Facebook e-mail will not be synced to the Contacts address book from now on. These contacts can be added manually as desired.
Dish Network adds social network interactions to Hopper DVR using app
Dish Network has created a new app for its Hopper Whole-Home DVR for social networking while watching television. Social, usable from the Hopper's quick-launch bar, will allow viewers to log into and manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as showing a Twitter feed for the show or channel being watched at that time. A data bar at the bottom of the screen will provide more stats and information about the program, including what areas of the US are commenting about the show on Twitter, and the program's "sentiment rating."