Friday, June 22, 2012

Will your Internet data still be there in 100 years?

Does part of social media's future lie in the past? It's a question that's nagging some of the biggest names in the industry as they turn their attention to the swelling digital archives many of us have created online.

One of Facebook's recent overhauls saw the addition of a timeline to help users build a chronological narrative of their lives. Kevin Systrom, co-founder of photo sharing site Instagram, said this week he wants to give his users better access to their older images.
But as we increasingly rely on digital services as a repository for our life stories, is there any guarantee that we will be able to access them in years to come?

Multibillion dollar businesses such as Facebook and Google might seem like rock solid cornerstones of the Internet at the moment, but fortunes change and leviathans can and do go out of business. And a scroll through the fine print of most social media sites' terms reveals no mention of an obligation to safeguard our data.
With such a large question mark hanging over the tech industry, it was only a matter of time before someone smelled a business opportunity.

One of those people is Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, a service that allows users to archive images, documents and other data.

Libin made headlines at tech conference LeWeb London this week when he revealed that Evernote has 34 million users, of whom 1.4 million are paying customers -- up sharply from the 25 million users and 1 million paying customers he had announced in May. Three-quarters of these new users are coming from mobile devices, he said.

Already sitting on a $1 billion valuation, Libin's site -- often described as an "external brain" -- doesn't look like it has any immediate worries for the future. There's even talk of an Evernote IPO in the next few years.

But Libin believes that he can encourage even more people to park their data with Evernote if he can remove any question of doubt about his company's long-term destiny. To this end, he plans to later this year introduce a legally binding promise that guarantees users 100 years of access to their files -- not that his customers will be around that long.

This involves setting up a protected fund that, in the event of Evernote being taken over or shut down, will pay to maintain its data banks.

"We want people to have to believe that Evernote will be around for 100 years," Libin told CNN. "As soon as 10 years go by when it hasn't been in anyone's economic interest to keep your data, you can almost be guaranteed you won't be able to get it back. But as long as it's economical viable, it'll remain alive."

Eliminating this doubt makes smart business sense. Some data services have endured a rocky ride because of fluctuating faith in their prospects. In 2010, social bookmarking service Delicious experienced a sharp user exodus after Yahoo announced it was selling off the site.

Delicious still exists today and may continue to thrive long into the future. But online-archiving services must establish trust with their users to endure, said Maciej Ceglowski, founder of rival bookmarker Pinboard.

"An archive needs to have a credible plan for offering the same basic feature set over a time scale of decades," Ceglowski told the Personal Digital Archiving conference in San Francisco earlier this year.

In a world where computers and storage solutions are constantly evolving, such plans face hurdles.

"The main technology challenge is what format will be available in 100 years?" says Libin. "It's like people who had eight-track tapes of their favorite music from 30 years ago. Who's going to know how to play a CD in 10 or 20 years?

"There's no magical technology solution -- it's not like we have a file format that someone will be able to read in 100 years," he added. "So we have to make it worth someone's time to convert the data into whatever the newest format is."

Libin says his company is taking cues from the Long Now Foundation, a private organization that is examining ways to preserve data for centuries as part of its broader efforts to promote debate over humankind's distant legacy.

"They're planning for thousands of years," he said.

Of course, no one knows exactly what the Internet will look like a century from now. But Libin, and Evernote, are trying.

Source CNN

Oracle chief Larry Ellison buys Hawaiian island

The billionaire boss of technology giant Oracle is to buy 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, Hawaii's governor says.

Larry Ellison's successful bid is unknown, but the asking price was said to be between $500m (£318m) and $600m.

The the 141 sq mile (365 sq km) island is owned by billionaire David Murdock.

Known as "Pineapple Island", Hawaii's smallest publicly accessible island is home to 3,200 residents and now boasts several luxury resorts.

It was previously famous for its pineapple plantations but has seen tourism take over as its key business in recent decades.

Mr Murdock has owned Lanai since 1985 through private company Castle & Cooke.

Compassion sought
Confiming the successful bid, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said on Wednesday: "It is my understanding that Mr Ellison has had a long standing interest in Lanai.

"He is also a businessman whose record of community involvement in medical research and education causes is equally notable. We look forward to welcoming Mr Ellison in the near future."

A co-founder of Oracle, one of Silicon Valley's traditional tech giants, Mr Ellison is listed sixth on Forbes' list of global billionaires, with a net worth estimated at $36bn.

Castle & Cooke is the island's primary employer and owns the hotels, golf courses, water utilities and other businesses on Lanai. But it is losing as much as $40m each year on its projects there, the company has said.

The mayor of Lanai has described Mr Murdock as a caring landowner. Before Mr Ellison's involvement became known, he said he hoped any new proprietor would be considerate to the island's residents.

"I'm hoping that whoever buys the island will have as much compassion for the residents there as David Murdock. I'm hoping they will be conscientious owners," Alan Arakawa told Maui News on Tuesday.

The remaining 2% of the Lanai is not owned by Castle & Cooke.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Twitter crashes hard, Internet freaks out

Twitter crashed so hard on June 21 that the site didn't even display the famous "Fail Whale." Instead, it simply timed out.

Cue the collective Internet freakout! Twitter went down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, depriving users of a place to complain that Twitter was down.
The Twitter outage began at 11:59 a.m. ET, according to Twitter's page on tracking site Pingdom. Service returned intermittently around 1 p.m., but less than an hour later, Twitter crashed again.

"Engineers are currently working to resolve the issue," a Twitter spokeswoman told CNNMoney.
Twitter updated its status blog at 1:42 saying "the issue has been resolved and all services are currently operational" -- but at 2:16, another update from Twitter backtracked and said "the issue is on-going."
An hour later, Twitter seemed to be working for most users. Shortly after 3 p.m. ET, Twitter's PR account tweeted that the issue was caused by "a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components."
That explanation came after a hacker group, UGNazi, claimed to several media outlets that it had taken Twitter down in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
The June 21 Twitter outage was the longest service disruption since an hour-long episode on October 7, which came during a month filled with hundreds of very brief outages, according to Pingdom's data.
Downtime is a common problem for websites, though Twitter has been far better lately than it was a few years ago, when the site became notorious for its extensive outages.
Thursday's crash was extensive enough that Twitter didn't even display its famous "Fail Whale" error message. Instead, the site simply timed out.
Twitter's temporary demise sent users to other social networks, including the blogging site Tumblr. As one commenter put it on CNNMoney's own Tech Tumblr: "I enjoy the fact that when Twitter goes down, my Tumblr explodes. :)"
Others confirmed the crash by checking sites like outage tracker -- which, coincidentally, is the brainchild of a Twitter engineer.
Alex Payne wrote about his creation in a 2008 blog post, which also chronicled Twitter's growing pains at the time: "Of late, I've tried as much as possible to focus my time at Twitter on building a new system that works at scale and does so predictably and measurably. That's not easy when the current system is still on fire."
Compared to those problems, Thursday's outage appears to be just a tiny little brush fire.

Facebook to give users more control over controversial ads

The social network's settlement terms -- for a class-action law suit over using people's profile photos and other info in ads -- includes more control for users, Reuters reports.

If a judge approves Facebook's settlement of a class-action lawsuit regarding "sponsored stories," the social network will give users more control over the advertising tool, which features users' profile photos and other information in ads for businesses and products the users have "Liked."

Reuters reported today that the settlement agreement includes giving users the ability to determine what, if any, user information can be featured in ads, and adding new language to Facebook's guidelines informing users of sponsored ads, according to court documents filed Wednesday. TechCrunch reported that user opt-outs will apparently apply on a story-by-story basis and that users can't opt out of all sponsored stories in one fell swoop. Facebook agreed to keep the changes in place for at least two years.

While an economist hired by the suit's plaintiffs said the value of the changes is about $103 million for Facebook members, the company will pay just about $20 million to take care of attorney fees and pay organizations that are devoted to educating people about using social networking safely.

The case's plaintiffs -- who aimed to represent more than 100 million potential class members -- claimed the social network violated users' right to privacy by publicizing their "Likes" in advertisements without asking them or compensating them.

This may put a kink in Facebook's advertising plans, as sponsored stories was a potential answer to Facebook's money-making woes. Facebook officials said in court documents that the value of a sponsored story ad was at least twice and up to three times that of a standard ad.

Microsoft weighing its own Windows Phones, analyst says

According to a prominent Wall Street analyst, Microsoft is currently working with hardware makers to develop its own handset to coincide with Windows Phone 8.

The Surface tablet may not be the only piece of hardware Microsoft is cooking up.
According to Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, the software giant plans to follow through with the same strategy of developing both the hardware and software on its upcoming crop of mobile phones.

"Our industry sources tell us that Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop their own handset for Windows Phone 8," Sherlund wrote in a note to investors, which was relayed by Reuters this afternoon.
"It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft-branded handset," Sherlund added.
Asked to comment on the report, a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET only that "we are big believers in our hardware partners and together we're focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to market with them this year."
A new start

The move would be a departure from Microsoft's current mobile phone efforts, which so far has left up the design and creation of Windows Phone handsets to its hardware partners, who have worked off a reference design and a list of hardware requirements. By making its own hardware, Microsoft could upset that balance by working on software features for specific hardware elements only it would know about.

That very interplay between software and hardware is what Microsoft says enabled it to make its new tablet, which the company unveiled at a press conference earlier this week. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer noted specifically that there are serious benefits when designing both the hardware and the software together.
"We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects of the experience -- hardware and software -- are considered in working together," Ballmer said, right before unveiling the company's upcoming pair of tablets in Hollywood, Calif., on Monday.

Nomura's note also comes just a day after Microsoft debuted Windows Phone 8, the next major version of its mobile phone operating system, to developers at a private event in San Francisco. Microsoft said that software will arrive later this year, launching on new handsets made by HTC, Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung.

Source : Cnet news

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Happens In An Internet Minute?

Do you know what happens in one minute on the Internet? In just one minute, more than 204 million emails are sent. Amazon rings up about $83,000 in sales. Around 20 million photos are viewed and 3,000 uploaded on Flickr. At least 6 million Facebook pages are viewed around the world. And more than 61,000 hours of music are played on Pandora while more than 1.3 million video clips are watched on YouTube. 
Computing is transforming and touching more people in a wider range of devices. From smartphones to tablets, netbooks and notebooks and even automotive; it can often seem like every one of us is connected. But while it’s hard to miss the proliferation of portable devices, it’s what we don’t see that’s the bigger issue.
What many don’t see is that the increase in mobile devices has had a tremendous impact on the amount of data traffic crossing the network. It’s a little easier to comprehend once we think about all that’s done on a connected device like a smartphone. Listening to music, watching videos, downloading photos, playing online games, refreshing Twitter feeds and status updates – all of those activities generate network traffic. Following is an infographic illustrates just how much data passes through the network in 60 seconds. Nearly 640K Gb of global IP data is transferred in just one Internet minute!

Today, the number of networked devices equals the world’s population. By 2015, the number of networked devices is expected to be double the world’s population. And by the time we reach 2015, it would take five years to view all the video content crossing IP networks each second.
So can our existing networks handle this explosion in network traffic and maintain consumer expectations for immediate access from multiple devices? And if the networks can expand to accommodate this growth, can they do it while maintaining security? Telco equipment manufacturers and service providers will be on the hook to ensure that we continue to enjoy access to information and entertainment on our mobile without any interruption to service.
Intel is working with equipment managers and service providers to help them do just that. Just recently, Intel announced its next-generation communications platform, codenamed “Crystal Forest,” that will boost performance and beef up network security to handle the increasing network traffic. By enabling equipment manufacturers and services providers to deliver platforms that grow along with the network, Intel is also enabling consumers to stay connected on intelligent devices every Internet minute of the day.

Microsoft invites everyone to try social network

Just days after Facebook’s record-setting IPO, Microsoft has officially launched their social network known as (pronounced “social”). The education-driven project was developed by Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs and takes a different approach to social networking. was established with students in mind and was first made available as a beta to those enrolled at the University of Washington, Syracuse University and New York University late last year. Rather than simply have another outlet to post anything on one’s mind like Facebook, Twitter or Myspace (in its prime), allows individuals to network with their peers and share useful information from both inside and outside of the classroom.

Well, at least that was the original idea. Now that is available to everyone, it’s likely that shared topics will stray from purely educational material into more general themes. As ZDNet highlights, the service could be destined to become another layer of Facebook instead of being viewed as its own entity.
On paper, it’s actually starting to sound a lot like Pinterest where people simply post neat things that they like. If it proves to be successful, Microsoft could have a real winner on their hands although at some point they might want to shy away from the “educational” theme.
To use, users must sign in with either their Facebook or Windows Live account to get started. From here they are free to post photos, videos, text or even start a video party to discuss findings with friends. 
Do you think will stand a fighting chance against other seemingly similar services like Pinterest?

Facebook throw RSS Feeds    (How to use Facebook with a feed reader)

Are your Office IT block Accessing Facebook .... Still have a chance to access throw RSS Feeds till block that .

Anyway, I just had to explain to someone how to accomplish this feat, which made me realize how completely non-obvious Facebook has made this. Finding these feeds is a complete pain in the ass. They've really gone out of their way to hide the URLs you need to use
The only drawback I've found is that you also don't see notifications about photos that your friends have uploaded. follow these steps

 You have to subscribe to three or four different feeds.

Posts: Find the Posts feed by going to On the upper right of the page is a gray box, and at the bottom of that box is a link entitled "My Friends' Links" with the RSS logo next to it. Copy that URL. Subscribe to it in your feed reader. This is the RSS URL for any links and (external) images that your friends post.

Notes: Find the Notes feed by going to and repeating the above. This is the RSS URL for things that your friends post via the "Notes" app, which is (I guess) the more blog-like way of posting long things to Facebook.

Notifications: Find the Notifications feed by going to repeating the above. This is the RSS URL for things like "so-and-so commented on your status". You might not care to subscribe to this one because you can get all of these kind of notifications in email.

Status Updates: This is the RSS URL for the "What are you doing?" Twitter-like part of Facebook. This is the one you probably care about, and it is trickier, because Facebook no longer links to the feed URL! Nice one guys. You have to construct this URL by editing one of the above URLs. E.g., take the "Notes" URL and change the part of the URL that says"friends_notes" to "friends_status". Keep the parts of the URL before and after that, including the magic numbers at the end.

thanks :

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Facebook Will Disappear by 2020, Says Analyst

Facebook‘s sliding stock price has at least one hedge fund manager predicting a dismal decade ahead for the social network.
“In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared,” Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson told the CNBC show Squawk on the Street on Monday.
“Yahoo is still making money, it’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it’s 10% of the value that it was at the height of 2000,” Jackson added. “For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”
So how exactly does Jackson see Facebook’s power eroding by decade’s end? He says it will be the continued emergence of the mobile web — and Facebook’s struggle to adapt to that paradigm shift.
“The world is moving faster, it’s getting more competitive, not less,” he said. “I think those who are dominant in their prior generation are really going to have a hard time moving into this newer generation.
“Facebook can buy a bunch of mobile companies, but they are still a big, fat website and that’s different from a mobile app.”
Facebook bought the wildly popular mobile photo-sharing app Instagram — which some saw as a potential rival — for $1 billion in April. Still, the company has acknowledged mobile as a potential stumbling block for sustained growth.
In its required initial pre-IPO disclosure of 35 “risk factors” released in February, the company admitted that as mobile use of Facebook and the web in general continues to expand, its ad-free mobile platform will become more problematic. In an amended filing in May, the company underscored that challenge again.
Facebook stock officially went on sale on May 18 at $38 per share. It closed Monday at $26.90.
Jackson sees Facebook as a member of the second of three generations of modern Internet companies. The first generation, highlighted by businesses such as Google and Yahoo, served as portals that organized and aggregated the web’s wealth of information. The second generation, most notably Facebook, capitalized on an emerging social web.
The third generation is made up of companies whose sole goal is leveraging and monetizing mobile users.
“When you look over these three generations, no matter how successful you are in one generation, you don’t seem to be able to translate that into success in the second generation, no matter how much money you have in the bank, no matter how many smart PhDs you have working for you,” Jackson says.
“Look at how Google has struggled moving into social, and I think Facebook is going to have the same kind of challenges moving into mobile.”

What do you think Facebook’s status will be in five years? Share your predictions in the comments.

LinkedIn passwords 'leaked by hackers'

Social networking website LinkedIn is investigating claims that over six million of its users' passwords have been leaked onto the internet.

Hackers posted a file containing encrypted passwords onto a Russian web forum.
They have invited the hacking community to help with decryption.
LinkedIn, which has over 150 million users, has not released a formal statement, but tweeted: "Our team is currently looking into reports."
Security researcher Graham Cluley told the BBC he believed the breach was genuine.
"We've confirmed there are LinkedIn passwords in the data.
"We did this by searching through the data for (hashed) passwords that we at Sophos use only on LinkedIn. We found those passwords in the data. We also saw that hundreds of the passwords contain the word 'Linkedin'.
"Our advice is to change your LinkedIn password. And if you use the same password on other accounts, change it there too."
Privacy concern
The news comes as LinkedIn was forced to update its mobile app after a privacy flaw was uncovered by security researchers.
Skycure Security said the the mobile app was sending unencrypted calendar entries to LinkedIn servers without users' knowledge.
The information included meeting notes, which often contain information such as dialling numbers and passcodes for conference calls.
In response LinkedIn said it would "no longer send data from the meeting notes section of your calendar".
The company stressed that the calendar function was an opt-in feature.
However, the researchers who uncovered the flaw said the transmission of the data to LinkedIn's servers was done without a "clear indication from the app to the user".
In a statement posted on the company's blog, LinkedIn's mobile product head Joff Redfern said a new "learn more" link would be added to the app so users have a clearer picture about how their information is being used and transmitted.
Source BBC News