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IT puts millennials to work - as mentors
Reverse mentoring helps seasoned IT execs get comfortable with new technologies like social media while gaining insight into what makes millennials tick.

The trouble with trolls (and how to beat them)
A vulnerable person. A sociopath or two on social media tormenting that person without consequence. That's trolling in a nutshell. Mike Elgan explains what you can do about it.

How to Craft a Social Media Policy
Crafting a social media policy for the workplace is as much about protecting your employees as it is about limiting your business' exposure to unwanted criticism or legal issues.

The biggest iPhone security risk could be connecting one to a computer
Apple has done well to insulate its iOS mobile operating system from many security issues, but a forthcoming demonstration shows it's far from perfect.

Twitter sets the stage for video ads
Twitter is looking to boost its advertising business by letting more businesses pay to include video in their tweets.

Messenger app users worry how Facebook uses a device's phone, camera
Facebook ignited a flood of criticism last week when it began requiring mobile users to load its Messenger app for Android and iOS separate from its basic Facebook app.

Google, Facebook go beyond social, beyond identity
In order to understand the strange but spectacularly profitable world of Google and Facebook today, it's important to start in the fall of 2010.

How to Generate Leads From 4 Top Social Networks
Most users turn to social media sites for entertainment and information, but for digital marketers social engagements represent a dynamic way to generate leads. Fostering leads, or potential customers, in social media is not as clear-cut or obvious as email, TV or print marketing, but there is enough history and background now to follow and replicate what is already working.

Austrian court rejects 'class action' privacy suit filed against Facebook
A 'class action' suit against Facebook over its privacy policies was rejected by the commercial court of Vienna, and referred to the regional court in the same city, a commercial court spokesman said Friday.

Facebook moves to protect user data with PrivateCore buy
Facebook Thursday moved to beef up its servers by agreeing to buy cybersecurity startup PrivateCore.

Big tech firms back Wi-FAR for remote broadband
Google, Microsoft and Facebook are cranking up an emerging wireless technology known as Wi-FAR to help reduce the digital divide in remote and unconnected regions of the world.

As Facebook privacy suit reaches 25,000 participant target, court is unsure if it will allow it
An Austrian 'class action' lawsuit against Facebook over the company's privacy policies is expected to reach a limit of 25,000 participants on Wednesday. It remains however uncertain if the commercial court in Vienna will accept the case.

How AWS Helped Scale App for World Cup Social Media Hub
Running a social media hub for any large event poses a challenge, but perhaps none quite so daunting as running the FIFA Social Hub, the official social platform of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Alex Burinskiy: OkCupid -- it's not me, it's you
So OKCupid has rushed to Facebook's defense by announcing that it, too, experiments on users' profiles. Is this any way to run a social site?

In search of a social site that doesn't lie
Mike Elgan would like to find a social network that doesn't lie to users, doesn't experiment on users without their clear knowledge, and delivers by default all the posts of the people they follow.

Update: Facebook back up after crash
Facebook said its website is back up after suffering a widespread outage for nearly two hours today.

PHP gets a formal specification, at last
Despite becoming one of the most widely used programming languages on the Web, PHP didn't have a formal specification -- until now.

In a hyper-social world, some seek a little privacy
After years of cajoling their users into sharing every thought, emotion and selfie, online firms are seeing that providing more private online spaces might also be profitable.

Facebook app gives free Internet to mobile users in Zambia
Facebook introduced an app on Thursday that will give mobile phone subscribers in Zambia access to a set of free basic mobile data services -- and Facebook.

Privacy groups call for Facebook to halt off site user tracking plans
U.S. and EU privacy and consumer groups called on privacy regulators to stop Facebook's plans to gather the Internet browsing patterns of its users while they visit other sites.

Using Instagram on public Wi-Fi risks account hijack
A configuration problem in Facebook's popular Instagram application for Apple devices could allow a hacker to hijack a person's account if they're both on the same public Wi-Fi network.

Facebook to require Messenger app for mobile chat
If you like to send messages via Facebook when you're on the move, get ready to download a new app.

Defending Facebook, OkCupid says it runs user-behavior tests, too
Facebook earlier this summer sparked criticism over a study in which it manipulated the feeds of some of its users, but the dating site OkCupid says what Facebook did is normal, and that in fact it has run its own user-behavior tests.

If you can't check in, is it really Foursquare?
In their quest to copy competitors, social sites and apps increasingly drop features that are part of the popularity and identity of their products, says columnist Mike Elgan.

SEC drops probe into Facebook's pre-IPO sales leaks
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped its investigation into disclosures about Facebook advertising sales before the company went public in 2012.

Do Your Employees Use Facebook? You Might Have a Problem
A new study ties Facebook a and, by proxy, social networks in general a to increased divorce rates. While the write-up goes to a great deal of trouble to suggest that further work will be needed to prove that Facebook causes divorce, the report presents pretty damning evidence.

How to Make Sure Your Cat Photos (and Other Pics) Don't Disclose Location Data
You know those cat pictures you keep sharing on social media sites? They may reveal more about you than your love of felines.

Facebook isn't giving up on search
Facebook reported Wednesday that it now handles an average of more than 1 billion searches a day, but it still has work to do to provide a comprehensive search tool.

Facebook reports a big sales jump, helped by mobile ads
Facebook's quarterly sales rose 61 percent on the strength of mobile advertising, the company said Wednesday.

What to expect in Facebook's earnings call today
With Facebook set to release its Q2 earnings today, it's a safe bet company execs will talk about mobile issues and user growth.

'Privacy Badger' Browser Add-On Protects You from Online Tracking
I'd never confuse Amazon, Facebook or doubleClick with the NSA, but I still don't like being tracked online. Tracking is more than just annoying; it lets unscrupulous companies that scarf up user data turn around and sell your information --A and despite statements to the contrary, the collection isn't always done anonymously.

EFF releases Chrome, Firefox plugin to block third-party tracking
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy rights group, has released a downloadable plugin for Chrome and Firefox designed to stop third parties from tracking people's Web browsing.

Twitter and Facebook see a bright future for in-the-moment spending
If you're an impulse buyer trying to reform your ways, Facebook and Twitter are not on your side.

Facebook tests 'buy' button to let users make purchases from their feeds
Facebook is testing a "buy" button that lets users make purchases directly from their news feeds.

Don't Give Your Job Search a Summer Vacation
For most people, summer's the perfect time to relax, take a vacation and operate at a more leisurely pace than during the rest of the year. But if you're a job-seeker, you can't afford to put your search on the back burner. Instead, use the slower pace and longer days to your advantage.

How Microsoft announces layoffs will show the company's PR IQ
If Microsoft pulls the layoff trigger today, as many expect, the company will face PR problems if it doesn't make smart moves, a crisis communications expert said.

A New Dawn for System Design
Today an enterprise system must engage the workforce the same way Twitter, Facebook, Google and a galaxy of apps have engaged the masses. That means the next system we deploy cannot be the result of a traditional negotiation between business analysts and technologists. It must come from the same place as those consumer apps and Internet successes: the nexus of fast-paced, multi-disciplinary and human-focused development that doesn't look or act at all like the people or processes that created the systems of the last 30 years.

Internet companies press for net neutrality in FCC filing
An association of more than two dozen technology companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Netflix urged the U.S. Federal Communications CommissionA on Monday to create strong, enforceable net neutrality rules for wired and mobile networks.

HP, Intel, GM and Walmart demand changes to renewable energy industry
A dozen mega corporations are demanding that the U.S. government and the energy industry boost renewable energy supplies and make them easier to buy.

U.S. lawmaker seeks FTC probe of Facebook 'big data' experiment
A U.S. senator has asked the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize the use of big data by Facebook and other Internet companies, following a controversy over a Facebook experiment on some of its users.

Could you quit Facebook for 99 days?
What would you do with your time if you gave up Facebook for 99 days?

Facebook kills Lecpetex botnet, which hit 250K computers

Facebook is a school yard bully that's going down
Facebook has grown and evolved in recent years. In addition to connecting people online, it bombards users with unnecessary ads and useless sponsored stories. And it runs experiments on its users. Columnist Alex Burinskiy is not amused.

Zuckerberg says basic Internet should be as universal as 911 service
Mark Zuckerberg sees the Internet as a vital service that should be made available to everyone across the world -- a service that can be as vital as, say, the ability to call for emergency help on a telephone.

Facebook, T-Mobile Owe Customers Sincere Apologies – but Don't Hold Your Breath
It's really not difficult to say, "I'm sorry." But getting companies to say it a and mean it a is sometimes akin to turning water into wine.

Ruby on Rails patches tackle SQL injection vulnerabilities
Two SQL injection vulnerabilities were patched in Ruby on Rails, a popular open-source Web development framework used by some high-profile websites.

EPIC says Facebook 'messed with people's minds,' seeks FTC sanctions
Facebook "purposefully messed with people's minds" in a "secretive and non-consensual" study on nearly 700,000 users whose emotions were intentionally manipulated when the company altered their news feeds for research purposes, a digital privacy rights group charges in a complaint filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Enjoy the Free Songza Music App While You Still Can
By now, you may have heard that Google acquired Songza for a rumored $15 million. That's a bargain, when you consider Apple's recent $3-billion purchase of Beats, which sells headphones, speakers and a streaming music service.

Facebook: We can't and won't control emotions
Speaking about her company's controversial psychological experiment for the first time, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg apologized for upsetting users.

7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment
With the uproar continuing over Facebook's manipulation of users' News Feeds to conduct an experiment on emotions, there are several things people need to understand.

Facebook emotional manipulation test turns users into 'lab rats'
Users and analysts were in an uproar over the news that Facebook manipulated users' News Feeds to conduct a weeklong psychological study that affected about 700,000 people.

Facebook moves to recover user data seized by New York
Facebook user data in bulk was sought last year by the New York County District Attorney's office and a court directed it to produce virtually all records and communications for 381 accounts, the company disclosed Thursday.

Microsoft botched all aspects of Exchange outage response
Microsoft blew it Tuesday when its Exchange Online hosted email service went dark and the company made no effort to explain what was going on to customers.

Like other tech giants, Facebook is very white and very male
Facebook has followed Google and Yahoo in revealing just how diverse its workforce is, and just like the other two tech giants, it's very white and very male.

Are Social Media Giants Betraying Your Trust?
The leading social media companies are outraged over NSA surveillance, but would that spying even be possible if Facebook, Google and Twitter weren't collecting data and selling it to online marketers? Social media companies unintentionally opened new windows for spies to creep into our lives, and their claims of innocence are insincere.

Inside Facebook's Linux-powered infrastructure
Facebook engineer Chris Mason is unequivocal about the primacy of Linux in Facebook's storage infrastructure.

New software targets hard-to-understand privacy policies
Have you ever tried to read a website's privacy policy only to give up after slogging through paragraphs and paragraphs of dense, lawyerly language? Privacy-focused companies Disconnect and TRUSTe have released a new browser add-on that attempts to translate those policies into easy-to-understand terms.

As Google+ nears 3rd anniversary, where does it go from here?
With Google's social network coming up on its third anniversary, industry analysts are wondering if the company is rethinking Google+ and where it goes from here.

Facebook Takes Another Swipe at Snapchat With Slingshot
Facebook is taking another run at Snapchat. This time with an app that works more like a boomerang than a slingshot. The app's unique features and silly sounds make for a playful experience, but's Matt Kapko writes it's also an awkward, unnatural and never-ending way to live life in the moment.

Facebook returns after brief widespread outage
Facebook's website went down temporarily on Thursday, showing an error screen when users attempted to log on to the social network.

Facebook announces its open data-center switch
Facebook has taken networking into its own hands, building a switch to link servers inside its data centers, and wants to make the platform available to others.

Europe to review personal data exchange between E.U. and U.S.
The Irish High Court has referred to a 14-year-old agreement governing the exchange of personal data between the European Union and the U.S. to the EU's top court.

Will full encryption sideline Google's targeted ads?
Mining personal data to deliver targeted ads is the lifeblood of Google's business -- and of many other online firms. But what if that data dries up at the source?

Facebook tries to stop Snapchat drain with Slingshot
Facebook took direct aim at social competitor Snapchat with its new mobile app, Slingshot.

Facebook takes aim at Snapchat with new Slingshot app
Facebook has launched a new photo- and video-sharing app called Slingshot that's aimed squarely at popular cool-kid Snapchat.

U.K. allows British spies to intercept Google and Facebook traffic
British spies are authorized to spy on British citizens' Internet communications transiting through servers outside the U.K., a civil rights group has discovered.

Internet in Iraq suffers government-ordered shutdowns amid violence
In what's become a familiar pattern in recent years, the government in Iraq appears to have ordered major Internet shutdowns over the past few days amid escalating sectarian violence in the country.

How Social Media Is Enhancing the World Cup Experience
More than a billion people will tune in to watch the final match of World Cup 2014. But before then, even more will share their highs and lows on social media. (And if Twitter and Facebook can't turn you into a futbol fan, maybe a Brazilian supermodel can.)

Facebook to collect more user data, but offer more control over ads
Facebook is moving to offer users a familiar trade-off: their browsing privacy in return for more targeted advertising. Those who find that no deal at all will be able to use opt-out tools, but all users will be given a little more control over the ads they see.

More apps coming from an expanding Facebook
Facebook is branching out from its flagship "blue app" to become a broad-based technology company both in its products and behind the scenes.

Snapchat Must Either Grow Up or Risk Disappearing
Snapchat had a rough May, and that's even before taking into account the massive competitive threats it faces from Apple and Facebook. The company has a lot of growing up to do. And it better do it fast.

Google buys satellite company for Maps, Internet access
Google is signing a deal to buy Skybox Imaging, a California-based satellite company, for $500 million in cash.

PayPal chief joins Facebook to strengthen mobile messaging
A stronger set of features, possibly including payments, might be coming to Facebook's messaging properties now that former PayPal president David Marcus has come to work for the social network.

Facebook to launch Slingshot, yet another photo messaging app
Well, that was awkward: Facebook just did a Snapchat of its own, briefly releasing a rival disappearing-photo app and then pulling it.

Snowden leaks after one year: Wrangling over the meaning of 'bulk'
A debate in the U.S. about whether the National Security Agency should end its bulk collection of U.S. telephone and business records has come down to an argument over the meaning of the word "bulk."

Malicious major website ads lead to ransomware
Malicious advertisements on domains belonging to Disney, Facebook, The Guardian newspaper and others are leading people to malware that encrypts a computer's files until a ransom is paid, Cisco Systems has found.

Senators question need to rein in NSA surveillance
The U.S. Congress would endanger the nation's security by passing even watered-down legislation to limit the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records, several U.S. senators said Thursday.

Instagram's Clutter-Free Environment Inviting for Advertisers (But It Won't Last)
Without a fully baked advertising platform, Instagram is building a business with old-school pricing models and direct relationships with agencies and brands. However, Instagram could soon make changes that will negatively impact the reach and efficiency of ad campaigns.

After 5 years, Bing still trails Google -- but it has other plans
Microsoft released Bing -- meant to be the great challenger to Google's ubiquitous search engine -- in June 2009. And while it remains mired in second place to Google, it's still looking for ways to grow.

China escalates rhetoric in campaign to ban Windows 8
China's state-run television today took new shots at Microsoft's Windows 8, using a two-and-a-half-minute segment on a national show to blast the OS as a data thief.

Instagram loads up on editing effects in major update
Instagram has added a suite of new effects to its app in a move to win over users who might otherwise turn to alternative software for photo editing tools.

Progressive Offers Its Take on Facebook's Video Ads
What's it like being one of the first brands to use Facebook's auto-play video ads? Progressive and its agency Arnold tells the entire experience was easy, liberating and even a 'breathe of fresh air.'

Backlash over Facebook's 'listening' feature is a problem of trust
Facebook will soon be listening to its users -- literally -- but some of them wish it would cover its ears.

Google diversity data finds mainly male and white workforce
A Google diversity report shows that some 70% of the cmpany's employees are men and 61% of its U.S. employees are white.

Facebook request for EU WhatsApp antitrust review could streamline process
Facebook is reportedly requesting that the European Commission review its pending WhatsApp acquisition, in what is likely an effort to avoid multiple, parallel antitrust scrutiny in several countries.

QuickCoin app brings bitcoin to Facebook users
If you're intrigued by Bitcoin but daunted by how transactions work, there's an app for that -- and it's on Facebook.

How to sort your Facebook feed by time on mobile
Weddings. Job promotions. News articles. Facebook thinks it knows what the best stories are to drop in your news feed. But some users might want to see things their own way.

How far are you willing to go to spy on your employees' smartphones?
The ultimate eavesdropping solution for people who want to see what their employees, kids or spouse are doing on their Android (or jailbroken iPhone) smartphone.

House approves weakened bill to limit NSA bulk collection
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would limit the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records, even as several civil liberties and tech groups withdrew their support after last-minute changes.

TMI! Facebook moves to stop over-sharing
Facebook is adding tools to helps its users to stop over-sharing their personal posts with total strangers.

Internet 'Do Not Track' system is in shatters
Chalk up another victory for corporate surveillance: Five years after advocates came up with an easy way to let you browse the Web with just a little privacy, the Do Not Track system is in tatters and that pair of boots you looked at online last month is still stalking you from website to website.

Lawsuit versus Oculus VR heads to court ahead of Facebook acquisition
The dispute between Oculus VR, a wearable virtual reality technology company that Facebook is acquiring, and ZeniMax Media reached court Wednesday.

Obama backs new spy law that tech companies reject
A tech industry group that has Facebook and Google as participants has rejected the latest draft of a U.S. legislation that aims to put curbs on surveillance by the National Security Agency.

Senator scraps legislation targeting patent trolls
Legislation aimed at curbing so-called patent trolls may be dead until 2015 after the chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee pulled the bill off the committee's agenda, citing a lack of consensus.

Facebook developing Slingshot, a Snapchat alternative
Facebook is said to be building a video-messaging app to rival the Snapchat messaging service.

Amazon, AT&T, Snapchat rated among the least trustworthy with data, EFF finds
Amazon, Snapchat and AT&T rank among the least trustworthy technology companies when it comes to how they handle government data requests, according to a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Online advertising endangers user security, privacy
The current state of online advertising endangers the security and privacy of users and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission should force the industry to offer better protections through comprehensive regulation, the U.S. Senate said in a report.

Open source tool encrypts Facebook chats
Facebook's messaging application doesn't support encryption, but an open-source chat program, Cryptocat, has made it possible to chat with friends there over an encrypted connection.

The rise of vagueness as a service
An unexpected trend is emerging in technology. Information presented to the user is growing vague. Columnist Mike Elgan explains why.

Facebook kills off its Poke and Camera apps
Facebook has removed its standalone Poke app, an early clone of Snapchat, as well as its Camera app, from Apple's iTunes app store.

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Chinese government bans Apple, really?

The situation for US tech firms in China has certainly become more difficult as a result of US surveillance activities.

Sheryl Sandberg's News Feed apology leans at first, then falls flat

Sandberg: Have you heard about my book?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) desperately wants to repeat its "happy mood" News Feed experiment. Why? For reasons unknown, many users haven't cottoned on to the idea they've been treated with the same kind of regard normally given to albino lab rats. Time for spin control, and so enters Facebook COO and self-promotion expert, Sheryl Sandberg. If anyone should know how to handle the press and fix Facebook's problem, it should be her, right?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers lean in another direction.

Mood experiment helps Facebook innovate a new way to creep-out users

Zuck pegs our creep-out meters.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) exceeding expectations once again -- has managed the impossible -- discovering how to creep-out: clowns, possessed toys, and that person you know that never blinks -- all at the same time. How? The social media company recently allowed a team of psychology researchers to validate a theory that happy and sad emotions can spread like a contagion on social networks.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers have had enough social media to last a lifetime.

Hey Facebook, why do you suck so bad?

 Is it good management to run a service that’s used by millions but so little liked? You tell me.

Will Facebook location sharing be a turn on?

Location sharing with Facebook notifications.

For anyone using Facebook who has ever felt the need to go off somewhere and be left alone, there is good news! A new Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) feature called Nearby Friends -- which notifies friends of your current location -- is optional (for now).

Why is Facebook killing iPhone battery life?

Facebook is one of the world's most popular smartphone apps so why, just why, is the Facebook app devouring iPhone battery life?

Will Facebook's drones pop Google's loony bubbles?

Zuckerberg: Droning on.

Train, bus, bike, or automobile? Regularly, most of us choose one in this list to get us where we need to go. If you are Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- you likely include drones, satellites, and lasers in your "go to" list. Not quite satiated with WhatsApp and Oculus Rift, we find Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg snacking on Ascenta: A UK company specializing in solar-powered drones...

NSA infects computers with malware using faked Facebook

NSA: Riding on Facebook's horse tail.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is once again close to denying reports that it is indiscriminately monitoring every computer on planet Earth. This time, the freshest, newest, most recent report of NSA mass-surreptitiousness (courtesy Edward Snowden -- ta) alleges the sneaky agency infects computers with malware via a fake Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) login page.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers play keep-away with the man-in-the-middle.

Facebook's new design is an oldie, but a goodie.

Good designers make all the difference.

After a year of hard work, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has just deployed changes to the desktop version of its "News Feed." Bloggers -- on the whole -- seem pleased with the changes. No problems, everything is great. Still, the "new look" has many bloggers scratching their heads, unsure of what has changed exactly.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers want to keep things the way they are.

20 years a tech journalist: Shift happens at warp speed

It's hard to beleive the change that's happened over the last 20 years.  Consider:

Digital Equipment Corp, Sun Microsystems and Data General were leading hardware manufactures.

Compaq was the fastest growing PC vendor.

Google didn’t exist.

Mark Zuckerberg was 9 years old. hadn’t launched yet

There was no e-commerce, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

Digital glasses were what Geordi La Forge wore in Star Trek.

WhatsApp's Facebook status is unclear

WhatsApp deal: Thumbs down?

High fives and thumbs up. That's what celebrating CEO Jan Koum of instant messaging company WhatsApp was doing after Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) decided to buy his company for 19 billion dollars. Not everybody is in cheer though: privacy groups Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) are determined to crash the party.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers check Twitter.

Facebook of the dead changes profile policies

Deadly serious about user profiles.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced on Friday it has dearly departed from its policy of changing deceased user profiles to "friends-only", choosing instead to leave profile settings "as-is." Also on offer is a "Look Back" video, intended for viewing by whoever has permission to peruse a loved one's profile.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers live for the weekend.

The downside of Silicon Valley's focus on ultra high-end skills

Silicon Valley’s wealth may be concentrating in firms that only hire people with ultra high-end skills. WhatsApp is a good example.

Closely examined IT companies disclose FISA requests

Under the gun and a microscope, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) are rushing to out-do one another in releasing their inaugural FISA reports to the public. FISA -- the pleasant-to-the-ears acronym of the dread Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- is a law that requires IT firms to hand users' data to a secretive U.S. court upon request.

Now eager to reverse negative perception, IT companies are spreading their FISA request numbers far and wide. That's fine with bloggers, as long as they aren't a favorite request.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers read between the lines.

How swindlers use apps to trick the gullible

Conmen will trade malware for mobile apps to fool the innocent into giving up personal information.