tech in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 19, 2013 06:16 PM
Nobody likes a virus, unless you’re the evil warlord in a bad superhero film. Google, in particular, is no fan, and last month announced that it would put some of its copious cash where its mouth is and expand its Patch Reward Program for those who can identify and fix any bugs on its various platforms, such as Chrome. Now the company has added more platforms to the bug-bounty program, including any issues found on Android.
The internet gurus that successfully track down and eliminate bugs can make anywhere from $500 to, well, quite a lot. Just last week, a bug-bounty hunter by the name of Pinkie Pie dealt with “multiple memory corruption issues” and picked up $50,000. “The goal is very simple: to recognize and reward proactive security improvements to third-party open-source projects that are vital to the health of the entire Internet,” Google said in a statement.Continue reading...
now hear this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 12, 2013 07:33 PM
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were quick to clear their names at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, where both tech leaders expressed their thoughts on the now-infamous National Security Agency's tactics for collecting user data from major tech companies.
"If you don't comply, it's treason," Mayer told the audience. Neither company can discuss what information has been handed over to the government agency, but both stressed more transparency from the NSA's end. Both Yahoo and Facebook have joined others, including Microsoft, in requests to the government to allow them to reveal more about what the NSA collects.
Either way, none of the execs invovled are happy with the way things have unfolded in the last few months, after a rogue NSA agent disclosed classified documents and information to major media outlets—and identifying a handful of global tech companies that supposedly supply information to the NSA through is PRISM program.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 21, 2013 05:08 PM
Lately, major brands are hell-bent on bringing internet access to the masses, even if it's by balloon. Now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is heading up a group of major tech brands to provide easier, more reliable access to the internet for all of the world's far off places.
Joined by Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, the initiative, dubbed Internet.org, aims to simplify phone applications and improve mobile efficiency in order to provide more affordable access on the most basic mobile phones.
“The Internet is such an important thing for driving humanity forward, but it’s not going to build itself,” Zuckerberg told the New York Times. “Ultimately, this has to make business sense on some time frame that people can get behind.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 9, 2013 04:44 PM
Just as Twitter launches its own PAC (Twitter#PAC, naturally) and hires its first lobbyist (Will Carty) in Washington, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's super-PAC, FWD.us, has had a rough go of it since its launch.
With the backing of numerous Silicon Valley big-wigs and a hard focus on immigration reform, the group has fielded criticism from liberal grassroots organizations including Progressives United, CREDO, the Sierra Club, the Daily Kos and Democracy for America, all of which pulled their ads from Facebook after FWD.us began running ads for the Keystone Pipeline, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and attacks on Obamacare.
It's been said that the super-PAC "doesn’t understand the tech industry,” and in turn is alienating the core of the Democratic party. In response, the group has tried to revamp its image through enlightening TV spots and videos. The latest, "Serve," follows immigrant Alejandro Morales and his fight to join the US Marines—an ambition which is blocked by his undocumented status.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 25, 2013 06:09 PM
For now, Facebook seems to have dodged major concerns about its ability to shift its ad operations to mobile, with strong Q2 earnings boosting shares 17 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday and climbing 26 percent Thursday.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s major bet on mobile software is delivering robust ad sales on mobile devices, so much that revenue is poised to surpass ad sales on desktop computers. According to Stifel Nicolaus & Co analyst Jordan Rohan, the shift is delivering on Zuckerberg’s promise of making Facebook a “mobile-first” company. “There’s latent demand for marketers to spend money on Facebook,” he told Bloomberg. “The company finally introduced the right set of ad products to facilitate that.”Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2013 04:52 PM
In the wake of the PRISM scandal, brands are continuing to jockey for their place among the most transparent as the government slowly concedes to releasing more surveillance data collected through the top-secret NSA program, which was made public by whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Requests by Facebook, Microsoft, Google and the like to release data requested by the government have been answered this week. While the initial accusations that the internet companies allowed the NSA to troll data through a wide-open back door was ruled false, the companies still wished to clear their names in conjunction with the thousands of written data requests with which they are charged to comply with per federal laws.
To date, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft have disclosed the number of requests received over certain blocks of time. Facebook published its first transparency report, where it said it received up to 10,000 requests between July and December 2012. Meanwhile, Apple said it faced up to 5,000 federal, state and local requests between December 2012 and May 2013, Microsoft reported 7,000 requests from July through December 2012, and Yahoo reported the most, with 13,000 requests for data in the past 18 months, the BBC reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 9, 2013 07:27 PM
It turns out that still, business and politics make difficult bedfellows as 'disruptive' Mark Zuckerberg finds himself—and Facebook—the target of progressive scrutiny over his newly minted political agenda.
The Facebook CEO’s FWD.us super PAC focuses mainly on immigration reform in the name of creating a better, brighter workforce, but the group, which includes Silicon Valley superstars Bill Gates, LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman and Dropbox's Drew Houston, is getting push-back from a coalition of nine liberal grassroots organizations including Progressives United, CREDO, the Sierra Club, the Daily Kos and Democracy for America, all of whom pulled their ads from Facebook after FWD.us began running ads for the Keystone Pipeline, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and attacks on Obamacare.
Groups boycotting the ads cite the "cynical" strategy behind them. “Leaders in the technology community have every right to talk about how immigration reform will benefit their businesses,” Progressives United's Josh Orton Feingold told Mashable. "But instead, FWD.us has chosen a strategy that’s condescending to voters and counterproductive to the cause of reform."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2013 06:41 PM
It’s here, and it’s not just a phone. Facebook's highly anticipated event today confirmed swirling rumors that the social network would release a product closely tied to a mobile device, and that product is Facebook Home.
"We asked ourselves if sharing and connecting are what matter most, what would your phone be like if it put your friends first?" Facebook stated. "Our answer is Home. Home isn't a phone or operating system, and it's also more than just an app. Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps."Continue reading...