social networks

Facebook confesses to anti-Google PR campaign

Facebook has admitted hiring a PR firm to seed anti-Google news, in an attempt to raise alarm over the search giant's policies toward user privacy. The social network - and public relations firm Burson-Marsteller - confirmed to The Daily Beast that it had offered journalists assistance in writing critical newspaper articles about Google invading privacy.

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Disqus Adds @ Mentions To Comment Threads

If you frequently comment on tech sites such as ours you'll notice that many employ the Disqus commenting platform. It helps us serve, track, and manage our commenting system while connecting us with a large community of Disqus users. After recently raising $10 million in venture funding, the company launched today a new @ mentioning feature.

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Osama bin Laden dead: Raid was confidential but Twitter wasn’t [Video]

The reports of Osama bin Laden's death may be ubiquitous now, but the story inadvertently broke - and played out amid the firefight - on Twitter first. Abbottabad resident Sohaib Athar noted a "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)" and then "A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S" without realizing he was giving an on-the-ground insight into what the US government has described as a 40-minute "surgical raid".

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Google: All Employees Responsible For Success Of Our Social Strategy

Google has been stepping up their social strategy big time despite little success with the deployment of various features including a discussions system in Google Docs, social features in Google Maps, the Google +1 search recommendation feature, and even a Google Me social platform to rival that of Facebook. And now with new CEO Larry Page on board, a memo has been sent out to employees that puts the social success burden on salary bonuses.

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Google +1: So Simple These Babies Get It

These babies know more about internet than you ever will. Listen, er, read the subtitles of their wise words and learn about the glory that is +1. It's just that simple. You have to listen to them because they're babies on the internet. They do a better job of explaining and entertaining than a posse of a million. Enjoy.

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Google +1 embeds recommendations into search [Video]

Google has launched a sharing button of its own, competing for space with Facebook's "Like" button and the Twitter "Tweet" button. Google +1 takes advantage of the search engine's huge user base, flagging up the recommendations of your friends and contacts directly on the search results page; as long as you're signed in, you'll see positive feedback on the results your friends approve of.

Video demo after the cut

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Changing My Relationship Status

I found out that my sister broke up with her last boyfriend because Facebook told me. Not a Facebook friend, the Web site itself. She had linked to him as her "relationship," so when you went to her profile page, it said that she was "in a relationship with . . . " that guy. Then they broke up. Being children of a digital age, they decided to tell Facebook before they told actual humans. They both changed their relationship status to "single," and Facebook sent out a message to all of their friends. The message said they were "no longer in a relationship." Facebook is a bit too smart for its own good. It saw their relationship status change and put two and two together. Or rather, it subtracted from two, and came up with zero.

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Facebook Tests Real-Time Ad Targeting

By now, we're all used to targeted ads. Whether you're getting daily Groupons in your inbox or if you're one of the 600 million who regularly browse Facebook, you've seen a targeted ad. Until now, these advertisers have been aggregating your data, grouping you and targeting ads to you based on these groupings. Facebook has been testing a new service that alters the method by which ads are chosen. Traditional targeted ads are based on aggregated data. Facebook has begun serving ads to a small subset of their users based on real-time data mining.

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Color image sharing app sorts by location (& gets privacy zealots worried)

Privacy advocates and social networking addicts alike are all aflutter over new image sharing app Color today, a start-up with $41m of investment and a desire to get proximal photos onto your screen at the same time. Available for iOS and Android, Color allows you to take a photo or video and then upload it for general viewing - hence the privacy concerns, since there's no security or filtering available - and gathered by being taken within a 150ft radius.

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Google Me social network debut at Google I/O?

Google's plans to challenge Facebook and other social networks with "Google Me" are tipped to come to a head at Google I/O 2011 in May. According to TNW's sources, Google is expected to announce the "social layer" at its developers conference, part of a broad social networking initiative that will touch on all of the search giant's online services.

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Facebook and Skype in talks over video calling to take on FaceTime?


Facebook and Skype have apparently returned to the negotiating table, with the prospect of Facebook users being offered video call functionality. Talks last year between the two companies resulted in the launch of Skype voice calls between Facebook friends, but according to Bloomberg's pair of sources the discussions had also tentatively covered video calls as well.

That failed to appear in the October Skype update, but with Apple's FaceTime system gaining momentum - likely to be aided with the launch of the iPad 2 later this week, which features twin cameras for FaceTime support - it seems Facebook's interest has re-awakened.

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The Different People I’ve Been

When I was 14 my parents bought me an account on the Prodigy network. This was back in 1989, before I had a clue the Internet existed, and four years before the first graphical Web browser would be introduced. I did all the things on Prodigy that you did when you first discovered the Internet. I had email conversations and grew addicted to the chiming sound when I fired up the 2400 baud modem and discovered I had new mail. I posted messages on bulletin boards and got into long-winded arguments with people for no good reason. I did research for school projects, played games and read news, and generally poked around the seemingly limitless world the growing network offered. I also pretended to be someone else.

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