Friday, October 29, 2010

Facebook's apps secretly sending out users' information to third parties.

It has been revealed this last week by the Wall Street Journal that many of the most popular apps on Facebook have been secretly transmitting users' identification information to several Internet tracking companies and advertising firms. The most troubling aspect of the revelation, is that it has happened to even users who have chosen Facebook's strictest privacy settings.
Among the information transmitted, are users' names, gender, age, income level, Online activities and information about their friends too. Most of these information transmitting apps belong to outside developers including some of the most popular game makers like Zynga Game Network Inc.'s FarmVille, and Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille may have violated Faceboook's rules and the social network site has taken action and some of those offending apps have been temporary disabled while the social networking company is looking for a technical solution to turn the loophole.

For more, see

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Verizon Wireless to start selling Apple's iPad by month

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., is to start selling Apple's runaway hit, the iPad tablet computer. Until now, Apple has made the iPad available only through its stores and at some Best Buy stores. But given the smashing success of iPad and the frenzy it has created among a wide array of devices makers to come up with a tablet of their own, Apple felt compeled to widen its lead in the category by making it available through more outlets. Working towards that goal, Apple has recently decided to have all Best Buy stores carry the iPad and concluded deals with Target, Wal-Mart and its parent company Sams Club to let them carry the prized tablet. But the the recently news that Verizon Wireless, the U.S. biggest wireless carrier will soon include the iPad in its line up, may be the biggest of them all. There seems to be two reasons for that: for the first time, Apple is breaking from its exclusive relationship with AT&T as network partner; second, by patterning with Verizon Wireless, Apple is hoping to ride the waves of the carrier' reputation of coverage quality among cell phones users. Another smart phones maker that has ripped the profits of associating with Verizon Wireless, is Google whose Android phones has recently taken the first spot from Apple in the last quarter as the best selling in the market.
Verizon Wireless will start offering the iPad October 28 the same day it will be offered at ATA&T own stores too for the first time.
Unlike AT&T,Verizon Wireless won't sell a 3G version of the iPad. Instead, users will have to buy a device called MiFi about the size of a business card and roughly 0.4 inches thick, that connects to cellular networks and creates a portable Wi-Fi hot spot that can support up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Verizon Wireless's iPad/MiFi bundle is priced the same as iPads with AT&T's 3G service, ranging from $630 to $830 depending on the size of the device's memory. AT&T offers a cellular data plan with a 250 megabyte limit for $15 a month, and a 2 gigabyte cap for $25 a month.
Actually, Verizon Wireless will offer customers the option of bundling their iPad with its "MiFi" gadget for about $130, less than half the current cost of the device.
Verizon Wireless is also cutting the price of its data plans for the iPad, offering users 1 gigabyte of data for $20 a month, compared with current options of $40 for 250 megabytes and $60 for 5 gigabytes. Users can pay more for bigger plans, including a $50 a month plan for 5 gigabytes according to the Wall Street Journal.

For more, see

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gmail Calling offers unlimited free calls to and from the U.S. and Canada.

Gmail, Google very popular free e-mail service, has been offering free Internet based calls to and from the U.S.and Canada regardless if they are made to a computer or to an actual phone with Gmail Calling. But Gmail Calling works best with a free Google Voice account, which assigns you a phone number that links to all your other lines – work, home or mobile. It acts like a personal switchboard operator, allowing you to decide which phone will ring when someone dials your Google number. Without Google Voice, you can only place outgoing calls through Gmail.
Gmail is hardly the first Internet phone service. Skype has offered VoIP calling to computers since 2003 and telephones since 2004. Skype's presence is greater with nearly any computer in the world able to call any phone or other computer. Gmail calling now works only for U.S.-based Gmail accounts and charges for calls to international numbers cost from 2 cents a minute to landlines in much of Europe and Asia, to 99 cents a minute to Cuba. But Gmail calling with Google voice is versatile, because it can handle calls to your other phones. For the moment, it's also cheaper for certain types of calls. On Skype, computer-to-computer calls are free. But calling a phone costs 2.3 cents a minute to the U.S. and many other countries, or 2.99 a month for unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada. On Gmail, all outgoing calls to U.S. and Canadian numbers and all incoming calls are free, through at least the end of the year according to the Wall Street Journal.

For more, see

Friday, October 22, 2010

Verizon Wireless is rumored to begin selling iPhone next year.

Earlier this month, some persistent rumors have surfaced pointing to Apple's move to make a version of the iPhone available in the Verizon Wireless' network. The move is mainly a response to the growing threat posed by Android, the Google smartphone heavily promoted by Verizon Wireless and which took over the iPhone in the last quarter, as the best selling phone in the market.
Apple plans to begin mass producing the new iPhone by the end of the year, and it would be released in the first quarter of 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal. The phone would resemble the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T, but would be based on an alternative wireless technology used by Verizon, still according to the Journal.

For more, see

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Microsoft proposes a "collective defense" system against computers botnets.

Trying to tackle the ever growing problem of hackers taking over computers and using them to commit all kind of criminal activities as part of rings called botnets, Micrososft has decided to do something about it since PCs are the most susceptible of such crimes. Microsoft's plan calls for blocking computers part of such rings, from accessing the Internet all together.
Experts at the software company call the system "collective defense" modeled after public health measures like vaccinations and quarantines, PC world reports.
Under a new proposal, " PCs would be issued a "health certificate" that showed whether the system was fully patched, that it was running security software and a firewall, and that it was malware-free. Machines with deficiencies would require patching or an antivirus update, while bot-infected PCs might be barred from the Internet. "
The new proposal which could face resistance from privacy advocacy groups, already face criticisms from some Internet experts who foresee the impracticable nature of the proposal.

For more, see

Wednesday, October 20, 2010, a customer service rating service of employees, is soon to launch.

Have you experienced a bad customer service lately? Instead of going to the culprit company's Web site and vent your frustration with no way of knowing that it will be heard, there is a better way to go about it. It is offered by a new Online service called Tello which lets users rate specific employees and business based on the level of customer service provided. It just launched this week with a website and an iPhone app.
Tello founders set to make the service to look more like Tweeter in the sense that people can rate an employee in less than thirty seconds. But Tello goes a bit further by allowing users to identify good employees so that they can seek their service the next time they are doing business with the company in question. Also, Tello will provide customer reaction data to businesses whose employees are rated by users of the service in the hope that they will encourage employees to provide better service and reward employees that consistently get good reviews on Tello according to the New York Times.

For more, see

Monday, October 18, 2010

Google to discontinue GOOG- 411 directory-assistance.

After three years, Google is doing way with GOOG-411 its directory-assistance service who looked revolutionary and way ahead of its time when it debuted. But compared with today's more advanced voice-search tools including the one for smartphones from Google itself, GOOG-411 appears obsolete.
However, we should never forget that GOOG-411 paved the way for today's relatively refined speech-recognition tools used by Android phones, including voice search, which lets you search Google by speaking rather than typing. In addition, voice input lets you fill a text field by speaking. And you can call a business simply by saying its name (into the phone).
Despite their gain in the marketplace, not everyone uses a smartphone and the loss of GOOG-411 will have the greatest impact for those still using flip/phones. Those users are offered a somewhat archaic tool consisting of sending a text message with the name and location of the business that they are looking for to "GOOGLE" or 466453. In return, they will receive a text back with the desired information.
GOOG-411 will shut down November 12.

For more, see

Business - Google News


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