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YouSendIt steps on Dropbox’s turf with unlimited cloud storage service

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 10:59am

YouSendIt is best known as a convenient alternative to email when you have large files to send, but now the California-based firm is stepping up a gear with the launch of a Dropbox-style cloud storage and file sharing solution with a low-price unlimited plan.

Similar to Dropbox, the service offers storage which you can access via a Web-based interface, a desktop app (currently Windows only) and an app for the iPhone and iPad. Files and folders can easily be shared with others using three different permission levels: read and write, read only and read only without login.  Real-time notifications about shared folder activities are available and data is synchronised across all devices as files are modified.

In addition to cloud-based document sharing, YouSendIt is throwing in a signing service. Users can add their signature to documents using their mouse or mobile touch screen across a number of document formats including Microsoft Word and Excel and Adobe PDF.  Once signed, the documents can be saved and sent or shared quickly and easily. This removes the “print, sign, scan and email back” pain that many people will have had to deal with at some point.

Boosting productivity through simple and effective document sharing is the idea here, and although it won’t turn any customers away, YouSendIt is pitching its service as an enterprise-grade solution. The pricing‘s incredibly competitive too. As with Dropbox, there’s a free 2GB plan, and a 5GB $9.99 plan. However, YouSendIt is offering unlimited storage for $14.99 per month, where as Dropbox’s top plan is $5 more than that and only offers 100GB.

The product, which launches today, still has a couple of areas for improvement. You can’t preview files from the Web – even an image file is downloaded when clicked, when it would be useful to be able to view files like these and PDFs right within the browser. However, YouSendIt tells me that this function will be added later. Mac OS X and Android apps are also notable by their absence, but again – they’re on the way, launching in the next few months.

Categories: Facebook

HTC seeks negotiations with Apple over dual patent rulings

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 10:01am

HTC’s legal wrangle with Apple took a turn today, when the Taiwanese mobile phone maker said it was willing to negotiate with its Californian counterpart in the ensuing patent fight.

As we reported two weeks ago, the US International Trade Commission ruled that HTC had violated two of Apple’s patents, relating to data-detection and data-transmission technologies.

In a twist, HTC bought out S3 Graphics Co. for $300m earlier this month, just after S3 Graphics had won a similar patent infringement case against Apple, and this buy-out was viewed as HTC beefing up its patent arsenal in its ensuing war with Apple.

And today, as reported on Bloomberg, Winston Yung, Chief Financial Officer at HTC suggested that his company is open to discussing matters with Apple. He says:

“We have to sit down and figure it out. We’re open to having discussions. We are open to all sorts of solutions, as long as the solution and the terms are fair and reasonable. On and off we’ve had discussions with Apple, even before the initial determination came out.”

Whilst it’s thought that there hasn’t been any formal talks between the companies following the two separate patent rulings this month, HTC will have to come out all guns blazing if its to protect its share of the mobile phone market.

As we reported earlier this month, HTC hit record revenues for the third month running in June, but as Bloomberg notes today its shares fell 8.2% after it announced it was buying 3S Graphics on July 6th, from a fund controlled by HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang and VIA Technologies Inc. (2388), which is also chaired by Wang.

HTC is currently paying Microsoft $5 in patent fees for every handset it releases with the Android operating system on it, so the Taiwanese firm will be keen to avoid paying any more in patent fees. But given that the ITC ruled against Apple at the start of the month, finding that it violates two 3S Graphics patents relating to compression technology, HTC will now be in a stronger bargaining position with the iPhone makers.

Categories: Facebook

Amazon reportedly set to enter India in Q1 2012

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 9:22am

Times Of India reports that Amazon will be entering Indian markets in the first quarter of next year, which confirms our earlier report that Amazon will be opening an Indian office in 6 months.

According to the report, Amazon is currently in discussion with various homegrown e-commerce players like Flipkart.com, LetsBuy.com and Exclusively.in, although it plans to set up its own operations in India. This follows failed acquisition talks with several e-commerce firms in India, unlike eBay which entered the Indian market in 2004 by acquiring Baazee.com.

With the online retail industry pegged to reach $1.5 billion mark by 2015, sources suggest that Indian companies are currently seeing huge potential in the e-commerce segment and thereby resisting any acquisition offers they receive.

The report further suggests that Amazon is currently working on building a team of 200+ people across tech and non-tech divisions, which will be headed by Madhu M, a former Landmark Retail executive and the current SVM at Amazon.com.

Amazon will also be establishing a warehouse in India’s financial capital, Mumbai with offices spread across Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai, where Amazon has reportedly bought an 80,000 sq ft plot.

Categories: Facebook

Mozilla is building a mobile OS to take on Android’s faux-openness

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 6:40am

Mozilla has announced its own new project to offer a truly open alternative: a Gecko-based mobile operating system, CNET reports.

Gecko is the rendering engine that drives Firefox (and other browsers such as Camino) and Thunderbird.

Mozilla’s project will be called Boot to Gecko and code will be made available to the public as it is written. Andreas Gal :

We will do this work in the open, we will release the source in real-time, we will take all successful additions to an appropriate standards group, and we will track changes that come out of that process. We aren’t trying to have these native-grade apps just run on Firefox, we’re trying to have them run on the web.

Gal goes on to say that “we propose a project we’re calling “Boot to Gecko” (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web” that will run on phones and tablets.

The implication behind Mozilla’s stress on an entirely open development process with real-time publishing of new code is that the foundation doesn’t believe competitor Google’s Android is really built in the spirit of open source software.

Android has been called out in the past for taking advantage of the marketing benefits that come from adopting the open source label when the biggest competition, Apple’s iOS, is infamously closed and proprietary. Despite adopting the label, Google routinely closes off insight into the Android development process and even releases the source code for new projects well after the binary releases.

Despite the implication, the Boot to Gecko project will use some Android kernel and driver code to enable it to run on Android devices.

Categories: Facebook

How to fix Facebook Chat so you can see who’s really online again

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 5:15am

There’s a way to fix the new and functionally horrible Facebook chat list that debuted with the Skype partnership announcement, we’re told by Tal Ater, the guy who first tipped us off to evidence of Facebook video chat in the works in 2010.

The new chat bar shows a random collection of your friends who are online and offline, making it a pain to communicate with anyone who isn’t in the list or see at a glance who is really online.

Ater found that all it took to fix this glaring user experience problem was to modify one line of code, which he’s released as a browser extension for Windows user and a bookmarklet for OS X and Linux users.

“It used to be easy to see which of your friends were online in facebook. But these days, the facebook chat window is cluttered with the friends facebook thinks you should chat with, ignoring who is online and who isn’t,” says Ater on his site, where you can download the extension or install the bookmarklet.

Categories: Facebook

Avatar Kinect for Xbox available now in Kinect Fun Labs

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 4:37am

Only slightly earlier than our previous predictions, Xbox’s Avatar Kinect has finally dropped and is available through Kinect Fun Labs.

In the future, Avatar Kinect will require users to have an Xbox Live Gold plan, but there’s a free trial period for all users until September 8th.

Microsoft previewed Avatar Kinect at CES in January. It creates a virtual hangout or meeting space where you’re represented by your Xbox avatar, which mirrors with surprising accuracy your body’s movements and even facial expressions.

One of the obvious advantages of this form of conferencing is bandwidth. Where video conferencing requires a great deal of video data to be moved back and forth in real-time, the use of avatars cuts that down, making audio the biggest strain.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 1:50am

The Netflix Q2 earnings report released today noted that the video rental and streaming company will soon launch a Facebook integration, but only in Latin America and Canada, not the United States. This because the Video Privacy Protection Act prohibits the disclosure of a citizen’s rental history and genre preferences without written consent. A bill that clarifies the law is currently under review that would legalize Netflix’s Faceboon integration in the US.

The VPPA apparently doesn’t apply to all-digital video streaming company  earlier this month that allows users to share their viewing history with friends. This may be because Hulu does not rent, sell, or deliver any physical media.

The law specifically prohibits those who rent, sell, or deliver “prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual materials” from disclosing personally identifiable information such as rental history or genre preferences to anyone without written consent or a warrant. Netflix’s letter to its shareholders (.PDF) explains that “Under the VPPA, it is ambiguous when and how a user can give permission for his or her video viewing data to be shared.” The VPPA-clarifying bill HR2471 might allow users to give consent digitally, such as through Facebook extended permissions.

Currently, Netflix’s website has no integration with Facebook or any other social media platforms — not even Like or tweet buttons. This may be be significantly hampering viral growth for the service. Facebook has still helped drive growth for Netflix, though, as subscriptions to the service are frequently found as an option on the offer walls of social games, allowing gamers to earn Facebook Credits, proprietary virtual currency, and virtual goods for signing up.

The launch of the integration in Latin America and Canada, potentially followed by a US launch pending the success of the VPPA-clarifying bill HR2471, could drastically boost virality, Facebook users could receive recommendations or even previews of content their friends are watching, leading them to sign up for a subscription in order to view that content immediately.

This would support Netflix’s long-term strategy of pushing its customers towards streaming and away from shipped DVDs. Facebook would likely help promote the integration, as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sits on Facebook’s board.

We imagine the Netflix Facebook integration will be similar to Hulu’s. It might allow users to see a feed of what their friends are watching, leave comments on videos that friends can see and which are also syndicated to Facebook, and share either news of their viewing habits or actual video clips of what they’re watching directly to Facebook. It could also have Netflix-specific features such as allowing users to share their DVD shipping queue with friends, or even make a collaborative queue.

Even if HR2471 passes, Netflix will have to be very careful about how it handles privacy. If it can offer clear, simple to use but granular privacy controls behind social features that improve content discovery, it may be able to turn some of its 25 million subscribers into Facebook evangelists.

Categories: Facebook

Here’s what a redesigned New York Times could look like, according to Andy Rutledge.

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 1:14am

Designer Andy Rutledge says that news design online is broken in this article — one well worth reading for its screenshot-by-screenshot dissection of existing news websites alone.

“In an effort to disguise and mitigate the fact that they have little idea how to publish digital content properly—often sneakily called “differentiation”—some news outlets release apps for digital devices. These apps typically (but not always) do a better job of presenting content and facilitating navigation, but they’re a band aid on a festering abdominal wound. Digital media is simply digital media; if you do it right you publish once and it works anywhere. If you’re using an app to deliver content, you’re doing it wrong.”

But there’s something more interesting in Andy’s piece, and that’s a re-designed New York Times, including frontpage, section and article layouts. Here’s a taste — you can click through for more:

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 12:54am

The rumors of integrating with Facebook will finally graduate from to fact, but only for users in Canada and Latin America, initially.

Netflix’s latest earnings announcement included news that it will officially launch integration with the social network in Canada and Latin America  sometime during the third quarter.

Before U.S. Facebook users can gain access to the integrated offering, Congress needs to clarify a proposed law regarding video sharing.

The video-sharing company wrote in its earnings press release:

We’ve made great progress over the quarter on our Facebook integration, and we’ll likely launch it before our next earnings report. At this point, we plan to launch this initiative only in Canada and Latin America, as the VPPA (Video Privacy Protection Act) discourages us from launching our Facebook integration domestically. Under the VPPA, it is ambiguous when and how a user can give permission for his or her video viewing data to be shared. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a simple clarification, HR2471, which says when and how a user can give such permission. We’re hoping HR2471 passes, enabling us to offer our Facebook integration to our U.S. subscribers who desire it.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings was added to Facebook’s board of directors during the second quarter.

Readers, when Netflix and Facebook complete their integration in the U.S., will you take advantage of it?

Categories: Facebook

Facebook blocks access to its “secret” iPad app. So now what?

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 26/07/2011 - 12:02am

The saga of Facebook on the iPad has been long-standing. In case you missed the news from earlier today, the latest version of Facebook for iOS contained the “hidden” files that could be used to access Facebook’s iPad app. The only catch? You had to jailbreak your iPad in order to use it.

Only a few hours after we released the instructions for enabling the “secret” app, we started hearing reports that people were unable to access it. At first we chalked those up to people being unfamiliar with the process, but then the reports kept pouring in. Facebook, it seems, has closed off access to the files which were probably hosted on its own datacenter, then assembled into an application on the iPad itself.

As the title asks, so now what? We’re well into the 2nd generation of the iPad now, and the device is touting sales in excess of 29 million units, completely dwarfing any competition. There’s likely not a doubt in anyone’s mind that the iPad is the preferred way to sit around and browse content and yet Facebook continues to lag behind in providing what its users want.

However, Facebook isn’t alone in this. Recent social media starlet Google+ had to wait two weeks for Apple’s approval process before its iOS app could be released. When we finally got our hands onto it, we were equally impressed and depressed. The app doesn’t even begin to fully function in iOS 5 (which, admittedly, is still in beta) and it won’t even install on an iPad. In fact, the application won’t even install on an iPod touch, which ultimately led to us not bothering for a full review of the first version.

The biggest difference here is that Facebook doesn’t have a touch-friendly HTMl5 site that looks good on a tablet-sized screen. This is one area where Google+ has a definitive leg up. Though the dedicated app doesn’t work, the site itself is easily used and enjoyable on a tablet.

If Facebook is to maintain its dominance in the social space for any length of time then it’s going to have to shift its method when it comes to mobile. The mobile apps for Facebook have been mediocre, at best, and the lack of a dedicated iPad app for tens of millions of possible users is simply inexcusable.

Neither Facebook nor Google+ gets to hold the title of “the perfect social network“, but leaving millions of users out in the cold on a requested product is just bad business.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 10:53pm

Unfortunately, with the death of any high profiled celebrity, opportunistic scammers will try to capitalize off internet traffic and interest following said death. So it’s no surprise Amy Winehouse death scams took to Facebook just hours after she was found dead in her Camden home on Saturday. Watch where you click when this star’s name appears on the site.

There have been several iterations of the “Amy Winehouse is Dead” scam. Some mention a leaked video of Amy getting high on crack hours before her death.

Others claim to be “shocking video footage released of Amy Winehouse moments before her death.”

All of these are scams are fake, so don’t click on them unless you want your friends spammed with a link to take an online survey.  These scams usually use the interest in breaking news stories to trick people into taking a survey in which the scammers usually earn a commission for each completed survey.

The links usually promise the promoted video after completion, but since the video does not exist, the user will be prompted to enter a phone number or other information that scammers can use to either charge them, or take money right out of an account, according to Websense.

The article said anybody can use the same template application to create a Facebook thread in minutes. In fact, another scam based on the news was circulating last week, this one following the Norway attacks. Facebook was able to clean those out quickly, only to have the Winehouse scam replace it.

Bottom line: When breaking news hits, only click on news sources coming from URLs you know and trust.

Did you see posts n your friends’ news feeds resembling the Amy Winehouse or the Norway attack scams?

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 10:30pm

The last thing alleged Norway gunman Anders Behring Breivik did before embarking on his shooting spreee was to check in with his more than 7,000 friends .

We think that’s an unusually large friend list for a murderer –don’t killers tend to have few to no friends? Even more unusual, the  BBC claims the killer only set up his Facebook page on July 17. Huh?

Assuming this profile really belonged to Brevik and not an impostor, the  reveals some important clues regarding the extent of the lengthy planning that went into the rampage and the degree to which he wanted to control his image following his assumed capture.

Though his profile is no longer active, news accounts from Time claim that Breivik posted on Facebook a 1,516-page manifesto entitled, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” that reveals his extreme right wing and anti-Muslim views.

He voice his outrage at “cultural Marxists” and “multiculturalism” and blames them for destroying western culture.

On the Facebook page attributed to him, he describes himself as a Christian and a conservative, and lists interests such as bodybuilding and freemasonry.

He closes his Facebook message with: “I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51.”

His final Facebook post also includes a taped question-and-answer session with himself and a link to the 12-minute video on YouTube, called Knights Templar 2083.

An interesting side note is a growing rumor on the internet today that claims Breivik’s English language profile was altered to  identify the killer as a Christian and Conservative after his killing spree was over.

Several blogs, like this one, are making these claims with accompanying before and after images.

Today, the alleged shooter was due in court and reports claim he had hoped to use his appearance as a platform to share his views, a request ultimately denied. In fact, a Facebook page featuring more than 60,000 likes called “Shut The Doors on Monday,” was created, calling on the court to deny Breivik any publicity.

Unfortunately, Brevik wasn’t the first killer to post his final , and if anything, this might be a growing trend among those with suicide in mind. Ick!

Perhaps law enforcement officials need to look more proactively on Facebook for future killers — readers, do you have any ideas on how to achieve this?

Jackie Cohen added commentary to this post.

Categories: Facebook

Twitter search now has video and picture results [Updated]

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 10:17pm

Updated at the foot of the post.

As incredibly useful as Twitter search can be for real-time results, it’s always been a bit painful to actually use. You’d have to head over to to enter your query, then you’d be given a list of tweets from people who were talking about your search term. While it did work, it didn’t offer much in the way of anything extra.

With today’s launch of Twitter’s new search page (now found at ) you’ll get a lot more bang for the buck that you haven’t paid. Instead of a relatively low-style page with just tweet results, you now get all sorts of information such as popular photos and even video results:

Whatever theme customization you’ve done to your Twitter page will now be applied to the search results, so you might want to check to make sure that everything shows up as you’d want it to. With CSS changes to text coloring and the like, some themes can make things difficult to see.

The results (on the left) are still as clean and easy to find as they ever were, but the added #NewTwitter column on the right makes things a lot more rich than we’ve had in the past. It’s still no substitute for big data sites like DataSift, but it should be a welcome change for the typical Twitter user.

Overall, it should be a great addition to a tool that we use around TNW at least daily. With Twitter’s contsantly-growing base of users, it’s easy to get lost in the information goldmine that they provide.

Update: It’s worth noting, according to Twitter’s Carolyn Penner, that the site actually started photo and video results . In fact, the new page format was live then, too. The only change from today is that now redirects to .

Categories: Facebook

Social Intelligence offers official social media background checks

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 10:10pm

A new startup is offering a unique service for employers, that may come as unwelcome news for jobseekers. Social Intelligence runs social media background checks for potential job candidates, so the company is alerted to potential problems or issues that might be considered contentious. While this is something that many companies practice anyway when they’re recruiting for jobs, Social Intelligence formalises this service, making it a lot more official, and visible for candidates.

In the case of Social Intelligence, job seekers are required to submit to the test as part of the job application process. Information gathered is then passed onto the recruiter, omitting details such as religion or marital status (which should not be asked during an interview process).

Is it fair?

For many, this might seem like a wholly unreasonable ask. After all, what you choose to do online is your own business – the photos you share, videos you record, updates you write, are on your own time, in your own social domain. The only problem is that this information often happens very publicly, unless you’re extremely savvy about your privacy controls. And the inherent risk for the company is that information found online is then revealed perhaps to other employees, stakeholders, customers or clients, and the company itself is implicated. Given that they can access this information, would organisations choose to ignore it? Or rather, if the same things were revealed during the interview process, would it affect the decision to give the person the job or not? Of course, social media background checks are not just used to look for the negative, but also to discover facts that might further prove their suitability for the job, or the strength of them as a candidate. This is positive, but the risks when finding the negatives are far greater and it poses a difficult problem for recruiters.

The difficulty comes down to the fact that it’s subjective. What you’re posting on your social media profiles might seem acceptable to you, but unacceptable to the prospective employer. Examples given by Social Intelligence for cases where people haven’t been offered the job, include uncovering a Craigslist ad for Oxycotin, nude pictures posted online, and people making racist remarks or joining groups that clearly show their prejudices. Again, if this information was revealed during the interview process, you’d likely be straight out the door. But because this information is accessed online, without the candidate directly revealing it, it throws up many problems. The difficult fact is that while this social information is yours, once it hits the public domain, it can be accessed by anyone and, in a sense, owned by anyone.


While there is no easy answer here, the social checks run by Social Intelligence do verge on the side of over-policing. It’s worrying to think that companies can build up complete social profiles of you (albeit with your consent) that can cover every single reference to you online. The more of our time we spend online, the more and more information we build up publicly that can be interpreted in the wrong way. Something we posted online 2 years ago may in no way be a reflection of our character now, we could have sent drunken tweets, or even had friends pose as us online, joining groups or writing status updates when logged into other accounts.

This shows that social media ‘checks’, if they are to be run, need to be considered carefully. While companies may be able to access countless information about someone online, it’s not necessarily their right to use this to determine someone’s suitability for the job. The context in which social information is shared is important, and what this check actually does is discriminate against people that might be more active in social media, and who will have produced more social information to be accessed.

Checks like this are possibly too ahead of their time, as we are still getting used to how social media fits into our lives and affects our relationships with others. Using this information against someone for something like applying a job may be too drastic, before that understanding is developed.

Categories: Facebook

Apple releases revised 10.6.8 update for Snow Leopard

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 10:07pm

If you’re a Mac user that has yet to upgrade to OS X Lion, then Apple has an update for you. This udpate is 10.6.8 v 1.1 for Snow Leopard users only and serves as a replacement for the earlier 10.6.8 update as well as a patch for users that have already upgraded, reports Macrumors.

The new path primarily resolves issues in the transition from Mac OS X Snow Leopard to OS X Lion which have apparently been causing some issues.

The list of issues that the patch is said to resolve include the following:

  • Transferring personal data, settings, and compatible applications from a Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard to a new Mac running Mac OS X Lion
  • Certain network printers that pause print jobs immediately and fail to complete
  • System audio that stops working when using HDMI or optical audio out

So, if you’re a user of a Mac that is still running Snow Leopard, you can get this through system update. If you’re already running 10.6.8, you should still snag it as its an improved version.

Apple has provided a variety of direct download links for people who have updated to 10.6.8 as well as those who have yet to update. These can be seen on the

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 10:02pm

Last night, TechCrunch reported that the unreleased Facebook for iPad app was hidden within the code of the latest Facebook for iPhone update, and could be accessed from jailbroken iPads. Now it appears that Facebook has blocked connections from the iPad app, but not before plenty of screenshots of its interface could be taken. Here we’ll breakdown the feature set of the current state of the Facebook for iPad app, which a Techcrunch source says could be released soon in a similar form, though there’s a chance it could be delayed and altered.

A month ago, The New York Times revealed that . In its absence, several unofficial iPad apps had gained traction, though they’re now looking to , and more.

Traditionally, those opening the Facebook for iPhone app on an iPad only see the iPhone app loaded in the center of the screen. Over the last 12 hours, though, some users have been able to get the tablet-optimized Facebook for iPad app to load when opening the Facebook for iPhone app. They accomplished this by using a jailbroken iPad and changing a UIDeviceFamily setting in the iPhone app.

Now, though, those trying to login through the iPad app are receiving a “Failed Login: Unable to connect to Facebook. Please try again later” error, which may indicate that Facebook has blocked connections in an effort to prevent access before the official launch. TechCrunch’s MG Siegler tells me that he successfully connected last night but is now seeing features that require a connection ceasing to function, such as notifications.

The app is reportedly built on HTML5 so it can import information from m.. This is turn allows Facebook’s mobile team to push updates to a single set of code that interpreted by multiple different mobile apps, reducing development time. At this time, there’s no integration for third-party apps and games over HTML5, which Facebook is currently working on.

Overall, the Facebook for iPad app addresses many of the limitations of the Facebook for iPhone interface, improving on navigation, Chat, Photos, and more as we describe below.

Facebook for iPad Feature Set Sidebar Navigation

The most important difference between the iPad and iPhone apps is that the iPad app allows for navigation through an expandable sidebar menu. At any time, users can click the list icon t reveal the nav menu, from which they can access Facebook’s in-house apps including the news feed, Messages, Events, Places, friends, and Photos, as well as their different Groups. This will allow for speedier movement between apps than on the iPhone app, which requires users to return to a home screen.

A drop-down pop over stemming from one’s own profile in the menu reveals quick links to logout, or access one’s Facebook Account Settings, Privacy Settings, or the Help Center. Same as on the iPhone app, the Account and Privacy Settings links launch mobile-optimized web pages that where settings can be configured.

A search box in the sidebar navigation menu allow users to pull up friends, other users, and Pages. Rather than visiting dedicated screens to view notifications, respond to friend requests, or read and compose Messages as one does on the iPhone, these features are accessed as pop-overs from the top navigation bar. This allows users to quickly check for these types of activity without losing what they’re currently viewing.

Persistent Chat

Chat also uses a sidebar navigation design to permit persistent use while browsing the app. When uses flip the iPad horizontally, their buddy list appears as a right sidebar. Tapping a friend’s name starts a conversation with them, and users switch between the sidebar displaying an active conversation and the buddy list. Unlike the , the lack of a full-screen mode adds a bit of friction to carrying on multiple conversations simultaneously. Facebook could offer full-screen access from the sidebar navigation menu in the future, though.

Still, this interface is a huge improvement over the iPhone app’s Chat interface, which requires users to navigate back to the Chat feature each time they want to send an instant message. It should allow for more passive use cases by allowing one to maintain conversations as they watch TV or read the news feed.

News Feed, Places, Events, and Photos

While viewing the news feed, users can upload photos, or publish status updates through a pop-over that includes a lock icon for setting privacy restrictions on the post. As with the iPhone app, users can filter their news feed by story type. Users can check-in through the Places feature, as well as view a map showing the locations of nearby friends.

The Events feature displays a multi-pane interface, allowing users to select an Event on the left and view its details on the right. This will help users who’ve been invited to multiplie events to efficiently plan an itinerary. Clicking the “Birthdays” button in the top right corner reveals a pop-over of upcoming birthdays.

The Facebook for iPad app doesn’t appear to include the special features seen in the , such as filter lenses, multi-shot uploading, or location tagging. However, when viewing a photo from an album, a photostrip at the bottom of the screen allows users to skip around between photos in the album, similar to the iPad’s native photos app and Google+’s photos interface.

Those who haven’t already hacked their way to accessing the Facebook for iPad app and established a connection may have to wait for the official launch of the app. If that release looks like what we’ve seen today, expect the app to quickly gain traction and pull users away from the unofficial Facebook iPad apps. Facebook might choose to move up its launch date in response to the leak, but it also might wait until it can include HTML5 support for games and apps.

Categories: Facebook

The iPad may be outselling all Android tablets 24 to 1

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 9:45pm

While everyone knows that Android tablets have been shipping, the real question is how many have actually been sold to consumers. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber presents an interesting metric that seems to indicate that there are currently 1.2 million Android tablets in the hands of consumers.

With something like the iPad it’s easy to nail down sales numbers as they’re revealed to us by Apple’s quarterly reports. But with Android tablets it’s a bit harder because there are so many manufacturers and specifications that it can be tough to tell what is and is not a tablet.

In order to determine how many Android tablets are actually out there being used, Gruber refers to Google’s own measurements of how many of its devices have screens larger than 7″, a factor that Google feels is an indicator of a tablet device. The chart shows 0.9% of Android devices classified as tablets accessing the Android Market.

If you take this numbers and multiply it by the number of total Android devices sold so far, which Gruber says is 135 million, according to Google’s Larry Page, he gets 1.21 million. This is a tiny fraction of the overall Android device market and shows just how far the platform still has to go before it rivals the iPad.

But, Gruber’s numbers are actually a bit off. Larry Page actually announced 130 million total Android devices, not 135, during the recent earnings call. This means that the total number of Android tablets could actually be closer to 1.17 million. Either way, it’s not impressive.

It’s important to note that these figures were gathered over a 7 day period and registered only devices that access the Android Market. Still, even if you’re generous with those numbers, it’s a staggering difference between the number of iPads sold so far.

To give you a comparison, if you total up the number of iPads sold so far, according to Apple’s numbers, you get a comparatively massive 28.73 million.

These numbers are probably not 100% accurate due to a host of factors, but even if you doubled or tripled them, they wouldn’t even be close to the numbers for the iPad. In fact, if these numbers are accurate, the iPad is outselling Android tablets at a rate of over 24 to 1.

As a final note just for clarification, there were some statistics released by data firm Strategy Analytics that discuss the iPad slipping to 61% of the market, with Android tablets garnering 30%. These numbers are based on shipments of tablets, not sales. In the iPad’s case, we know that Apple sold every one they could make, as it stated most recently in its Q3 earnings call. Android’s actual sales numbers are harder to divine but the above figures are also backed up by Android versioning figures, as most true Android tablets are supposedly running 3.0 or 3.1 at this point.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 9:15pm

has moved the first of group of employees into its new campus in Menlo Park, California.

This isn’t an early move-in, as the company had mentioned it would phase-in the move over the course of a year.

TechCrunch discovered that Facebook Product Architect posted a photo album late on July 21 entitled Building 10 at Night, and captioned “”Taken just after the first group moved in.”

He posted 27 photos,  some showing very colorful new furniture, others revealing unfinished areas of the interior — which may remain in that condition, if Facebook’s digs in Palo Alto are any indication — and at least one relic of the previous occupant, Sun Microsystems.

We’ve reproduced some of these images for you here, along with Sittig’s captions — but bear in mind that he didn’t caption every single one. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

The turnstiles use lasers to detect if you walked through without badging in. Lasers!

Climbing rope screens

Some of the windows are glazed so that they appear purple at night. Looks kinda rad.

In the IT help zone.

Small hidden nook. Non-schedulable. Awesome.

The black surfaces are chalkboard paint.

We reused some of the Sun conference room sliding doors and left the logos there.

During the day, there’s good light coming from the skylight above.

Different soft seating areas were defined by different approaches and structures. Hopefully this will protect them from invasion by desk.

We’re deploying a new conference reservation system at the new campus. It’s supposed to be backed by a fancy facilities database so tools can be built on top of it. Could be a good new campus hackathon project.

IT Help desk rollup door.

Categories: Facebook

Scientific study confirms that Mondays suck

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 9:11pm

File this under things that we already knew, but a confirmation by science doesn’t hurt. A scientific study by Marmite has revealed that Mondays do indeed suck.

The findings fo the study, as reported by The Telegraph, indicate that many people don’t smile on Mondays until 11:16 am, and that half of us won’t turn up to work on time, either. Mondays also tend to be fairly unproductive, with only about three and a half hours of actual work getting done. And those in the 45 to 54 year-old demographic will moan for about 12 minutes on Mondays, making them the most susceptible to the suck that is Monday.

Experts indicate that the reason behind our hatred of Mondays is a result of humans being “governed by deep-rooted tribal habits” and that we prefer to ease into the week rather than tackle it head-on first thing Monday morning. In fact, those that do the latter may end up burning themselves out before Friday hits.

Want to make Mondays suck less? Marmite also revealed the top five ways you can try to do that:

  1. Watching TV
  2. Sex
  3. On-line shopping
  4. Buying chocolate or make-up
  5. Planning a holiday

So when you start off the week with a little less enthusiasm than your employer or coworkers might like, just tell them that it’s a proven scientific fact that Mondays generally suck.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 25/07/2011 - 8:57pm

Acceptly is a Facebook Connect application that leverages a user’s social network to help motivate and encourage them in the process of applying to colleges and universities. The app currently works only for high school students set on beginning their undergraduate careers, but the company’s community director, Kathryn Favaro, says eventually it could also be made available for graduate school applicants.

The free app gathers a user’s information via Connect, creates a profile, and then allows the user to begin racking up points by completing tasks that will aid them in their college application process, such as writing up their extracurricular activities or making a list of colleges they would like to apply to.

The app also directs students consistently back to Acceptly’s website for more information on, say, how to volunteer or why extracurricular activities are important.

When these tasks are completed, users receive points and badges, and there are several opportunities to publish these acts to their Facebook feed, thus alerting friends to their activities and inviting engagement around the college application process. It’s precisely the publishing of this information that Favaro says is the crux of Acceptly’s work.

“We’ve done a lot of research in game mechanics, and so the fun, social and motivation [aspect of Acceptly] is very much what we’re playing on,” she tells us. Additionally, Favaro says part of the company’s monetization model is to allow students to exchange their points for scholarships or discounts on textbooks.

Ultimately Acceptly is striving to become not just a tool students may use to organize their application process, and motivate themselves to do it, but also to become a community of would-be college students that can provide support internally. As that process continues, the company is also working to individualize and customize each users’ profile down to geography and specific needs, such as recommending a specific tutor to help a student with critical reading for the SAT.

Acceptly has an interesting integration because it seems to leverage the social aspect of a high schooler’s experience as it pertains to college, rather than trying to become the experience as other apps have done. We’ve written previously about  attempt to build a closed version of Facebook and  application’s most recent .

Categories: Facebook

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