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All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 8:29pm

Facebook won a legal victory that many of us had been expecting: the dismissal of the latest lawsuit filed against Facebook by about a month ago in Boston federal court.

The twins had filed suit in Boston at the end of June, right after withdrawing plans to take their case to the U.S. Supreme court.

The two have been trying to increase the settlement — now worth roughly $100 million due to the increased value of Facebook’s stock, but originally $65 million — previously agreed upon with Facebook and its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

Boston’s U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock dismissed the case on Friday, according to Reuters. A copy of the dismissal order appears beneath this post.

Facebook spokespeople declined to offer an official comment on the dismissal.

By now, most people have grown weary of the Winklevii’s dissatisfaction with the settlement, a phenomenon that surely would have made any attempt at a fair, unbiased trial almost impossible, assuming any judge had the patience to hear the case.

Readers, are you relieved to learn of the judge’s dismissal of the case?


Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 7:56pm

When 63-year-old Jerry L. Cannon received a 17.5 year sentence on Tuesday for using Facebook to solicit and distribute child , he sobbed like a baby.

According to Alabama Live, the former non-denominational, Dry Ridge, Kentucky pastor blubbered at his trial:

I’m very sorry. God forgive me. I was so stupid. It hurts. It hurts bad.

Cannon insisted he never has had a desire to touch children sexually.

The Mobile, Alabama U.S. district judge presiding over Cannon’s case was not moved and instead stated, that the prison term handed down was appropriate for a man of his age and profession.  The case was tried in Alabama because that was the home of the person with whom Cannon was attempting to trade pornographic pictures of children.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began delving into Cannon’s pornographic Facebook activities when someone tipped off an Alabama agent earlier this year.

The criminal complaint filed by the FBI stated, that Cannon used 13 Facebook accounts with different names, one of them his own, to post child pornography on the social networking site.

The complaint also alleged that Cannon expressed an interest in pictures of young girls between the ages of 10 and 16.

However, the federal investigators never stated, that the accused photographed the children himself.  Cannon told authorities that he provided child pornography to others to keep them away from children.

In addition to his actual profile, Cannon had a compilation of more than 1,000 pornographic images and videos, some depicting children as young as 9, getting raped, that were linked to his accounts. The former minister was arrested on February 21 and brought up on federal charges of soliciting and distributing child pornography.

Cannon clearly violated one of Facebook’s most upheld rules listed in the site’s :

You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.

The ex-pastor who is married, started his Church of God in his home town of Dry Ridge, four years ago along with two other couples.

Readers, would you report pornographic activities if you came across any on Facebook?

Categories: Facebook

Verizon expected an iPhone 5 this summer

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 7:49pm

Verizon expected to see an iPhone this summer, even after they had worked out a deal for the iPhone 4, according to a CNBC interview with its COO Lowell McAdam. In the interview, McAdam commented on the impact that not having a new iPhone released in the quarter had on revenue growth.

“We had assumed that we would see an iPhone early in the summertime as it’s been usually,” said McAdam, “and that’s going to be a little bit later in the year now. We are probably what I would view as maybe a quarter behind what we had talked about in January, primarily because we expected an iPhone 5 refresh sometime this summer.”

McAdam also noted that they still have no idea when the next iPhone will arrive, highlighting the fact that Apple really does give the carriers as little information as possible about new iPhone models until very close to release. He went on to say that only Apple knows when the new phone will be coming but that Verizon expects it ‘sometime in the fall’. He also said that he thinks that people will see a ‘significant jump’ in revenue for Verizon when that happens.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 7:35pm

Facebook clearly wants some form of “greatest hits” recap of our , but apparently it’s still a work in progress.

Today we spotted a reincarnation of this test feature, now labeled Previous Status Updates. While this seems a more accurate name for the feature, that’s a mere incremental improvement and not a true fix.

The randomness of this misses the whole point — why show random posts from the past instead of the most popular ones? Doing so would provide the best opportunity for keyword advertisements and have the most appeal for users, making the feature a win-win for all involved.

And this is the exact same comment we’ve offered about the feature’s previous incarnations — which makes it all the more puzzling why Facebook hasn’t yet linked this to engagement data. We’ve presumed that information would be easy to obtain and code into the feature.

So far, that’s hasn’t occurred, although at least Facebook’s stopped the ironic misuse of the word “memorable.”

We noticed  on May 16. had shown up for us on January 12 and the preceding , although the latter was more of a flash in the pan compared to the prior appearances.

Other Facebook users have reported first seeing these previous incarnations at different times than us, in some cases a couple of months earlier than we did.

The test has recurred enough to suggest that Facebook really wants to make something happen here. We’re all in favor of it, and hope that some day soon we’ll get to see what were our most popular status updates — they would serve as reminders to all of us on how to optimize our engagement on the site.

Readers, are you seeing any friends’ previous status updates on Facebook? If so, how does this latest incarnation compare to what you might have seen or heard about previously?

Categories: Facebook

T-Mobile courts iPads and unlocked iPhones with Micro-SIMs

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 7:26pm

T-Mobile USA is now specifically targeting unlocked iPhones on its website by offering Micro-SIMs that are compatible with the officially, and unofficially, unlocked versions of Apple’s GSM iPhone, reports Appadvice. The iPhone is an exclusive to AT&T in the US, so T-Mobile has not been able to overtly court these users.

Now that Apple is offering unlocked versions of the GSM iPhone directly from its , T-Mobile is able to directly market these SIMs to iPhone users without getting heat from Apple or AT&T.

Already have a GSM phone or iPhone that you need to activate – or have an unlocked GSM phone you want to use on the T-Mobile network? Just get a Micro SIM card and choose a plan. Slip the ready-to-use Micro SIM Card into your phone and you’re ready to go.

These Micro-SIMs can also be used in the GSM models of iPad and iPad 2, also technically AT&T exclusives. iPads are not locked to a carrier though, and a simple carrier settings change will enable them to work on T-Mobile just fine, albeit at slower 2G speeds.

The Micro-SIMs are offered on T-Mobile’s website for free, but are tied into a 2-year contract. This makes them technically a worse deal for iPad users as AT&T offers a no-contract data plan. If, however, AT&T service in your area is terrible or nonexistent, this does provide you with another option for an unlocked iPhone.

iPhone owners have been unlocking the iPhone since 2007 for use on T-Mobile’s network via unofficial unlocking tools available on jailbroken devices. T-Mobile currently carries over 1 million unlocked iPhones on its network.

As always, rumors of the iPhone coming to T-Mobile persist, but it is unlikely that we will see any additional US carriers this year. Apple is launching a new iPhone model this fall on the two largest (by far) carriers in the states and I think that T-Mobile will have to remain an alternative for unlocked iPhone users for now.

Categories: Facebook

Facebook developer blog - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 7:00pm
This week, we updated the and extended the timeline for apps to migrate to OAuth 2.0 by October 1st. Dark background for the Facepile plugin Similiar to other social plugins, the plugin is now also available in the dark color scheme. You can preview Facepile in the dark background by toggling the 'color scheme' field to 'dark' in the .

Uploading Photos to the Graph API via a URL Earlier this year, we released support for directly via the Graph API. This requires sending the photo as a MIME-encoded form field. We are now enhancing our photo upload capability by introducing the ability to upload photos simply by providing a URL to the image. This simplifies photo management for a number of use cases:

  • App developers who host their images on Amazon S3 or a similar service can pass the S3 URL directly to Facebook without having to download the file to their application servers only to upload it again to Facebook. This improves performance and reduces costs for developers.
  • Apps written on platforms that don't have good support for multipart file uploads can create new photos more easily.
To upload a photo via a URL, simply issue an HTTP POST to ALBUM_ID/photos with the url field set to the URL of the photo you wish to upload. You need the publish_stream to perform this operation. You can also include an optional message parameter to set a caption for the photo. For example: top.location.href='" . $dialog_url . "'"); } else { $token_url="?" . "client_id=" . $app_id . "&client_secret=" . $app_secret . "&redirect_uri=" . urlencode( $post_login_url) . "&code=" . $code; $response = file_get_contents($token_url); $params = null; parse_str($response, $params); $access_token = $params['access_token']; // POST to Graph API endpoint to upload photos $graph_url= "https:///" . $album_id . "/photos?" . "url=" . urlencode($photo_url) . "&message=" . urlencode($photo_caption) . "&method=POST" . "&access_token=" .$access_token; echo ''; echo file_get_contents($graph_url); echo ''; } ?> The HTTP POST may take some time to complete, depending on picture size, network availability, etc. Attaching Existing Facebook Photos to Wall Posts This week we released the ability to attach existing Facebook photos from a user’s album to new posts on their Wall. To do this, issue an HTTP POST to USER_ID/feed with the parameters. Include an object_attachment parameter which specifies the photo ID of the photo you wish to attach to the post. The User must be the owner of the photo, and the photo cannot be part of a message attachment. For example: top.location.href='" . $dialog_url . "'"); } else { $token_url="?" . "client_id=" . $app_id . "&redirect_uri=" . urlencode( $post_login_url) . "&client_secret=" . $app_secret . "&code=" . $code; $response = file_get_contents($token_url); $params = null; parse_str($response, $params); $access_token = $params['access_token']; // POST to Graph API feed endpoint, which is the user's Wall $graph_url= "https:///" . $user_id . "/feed?" . "message=" . urlencode($wall_message) . "&link=" . urlencode($wall_link) . "&object_attachment=" . $photo_id . "&method=POST" . "&access_token=" .$access_token; echo ''; echo file_get_contents($graph_url); echo ''; } ?> See the connection on the Graph API object for further details. Documentation Activity for the Last Seven Days We have updated the FQL documentation for the following tables:

103 docs are under review Fixing Bugs Bugzilla activity for the past 7 days:

  • 201 new bugs were reported
  • 71 bugs were reproducible and accepted (after duplicates removed)
  • 20 bugs were fixed (16 previously reported bugs and 4 new bugs)
  • As of today, there are 1,288 open bugs in Bugzilla (down 82 from last week)
Forum Activity Developer Forum activity for the past 7 days:

  • 442 New Topics Created
  • 176 New Topics received a reply
  • 13% received a reply from a community moderator or a Facebook employee
Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 6:36pm

Facebook users: . We repeat: . Your Facebook wall could cost you employment opportunities — if you don’t use any of the privacy settings, that is.

Reputation-management outfit expanded on a startup we’ve previously covered, , which performs Internet background checks on job candidates, by doing a little research of its own.

After analyzing some 20,000 Facebook profiles, Reppler found that:

  • 12 percent contained derogatory language on their walls;
  • The same applies for 17 percent of users under 35, while dropping to 5 percent for users over 35; and
  • 38 percent of users who had derogatory language on their walls had used the offending terms themselves, while 81 percent were “victimized” by friends’ postings.

Like Reppler’s own blog says:

So what does this all mean? As we have said in the past, more and more employers are screening job candidates by checking out social networking sites. A recent survey by Jobvite indicated that 45 percent of hiring managers always search for candidate profiles. Some employers are doing the screening themselves, and others are using services like Social Intelligence. This trend places the burden on individuals to monitor their online presence more closely, as inappropriate content on social networking sites, like Facebook, could damage their reputation and limit their chances of getting a job.

Readers, are you confident about your privacy settings or worried about the content on your Facebook walls?

Categories: Facebook

The secret to success on Twitter: Link sharing.

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 6:11pm

Brands’ approach to Twitter is in many ways more of an unknown than Facebook. With the way that Facebook Pages have developed, there is a very clear structure to how you run your business presence on Facebook. There is a place for your photos, video, wall updates, then tabs on the side to do pretty much whatever you want with and a clear distinction between friends and Likes. With Twitter, it’s not so straightforward.

Sure, everyone has the same basic tool to use: 140 character messages, but there’s little direction for brands. Do you post news, facilitate customer service, are you meant to @ people who don’t follow you, how do you grow followers, when should DM and not @? It causes many problems for brands, who open up a Twitter account, only to leave it to die a slow death as they realise they’re not really sure how to use it for their brand or what value it can drive. A few interesting studies have been published lately that all seem to point to the same conclusion – the secret to Twitter success is driving links.

If Charlie Sheen can do it….

Perhaps one of the most unlikely sources for analysing Twitter success for brands comes via Charlie Sheen. Last week he sent a tweet that contained a link to a tool (developed by TNW!) called Twittercounter. Through its analytics, we tracked that the tweet brought in 23,754 page views over a 24 hour period. That equates to a 0.5% click through rate. While to some that may seem like a low figure, I’d consider that to actually be very impressive. When you consider the way in which Twitter works and how easy it is to miss people’s updates if you don’t see them straight away, 0.5% is a good click through rate, especially for a free bit of marketing.

What this shows, is that people are actually clicking on links within Twitter, which is a good starting place to look at how a Twitter strategy can work for brands, and the importance of sharing links. In the case of Charlie Sheen’s tweet, the tweet itself wasn’t necessarily particularly engaging – how many people are really interested in the ins and outs of his own Twitter stats? So what this showed is that without even working hard on making the tweet engaging and enticing people to click through, they’re still clicking. This of course works well in the case of celebrities, who can then put a pretty nice sum on the value of their tweets and product placement through links (though not in this particular case).

Twitter drives 4 times more traffic than you think

What brands need to consider of course, is how much of this link sharing is occurring purely within Twitter, versus how much traffic it’s actually driving to your site. The tracking platform Awe.sm has just released some findings that show just how much referral traffic Twitter can deliver. The answer is that Twitter is driving four times more traffic than you might think it is. The study is particularly interesting as it calls into question other findings, that look to Twitter as a poor traffic driver, and look beyond the basic referral traffic approach. They can more effectively follow the journey of links throughout the Internet, attributing the original traffic source no matter what other platforms a link has been shared through. What they found was that just 24.4% of links shared on Twitter, actually had Twitter listed as the traffic referrer, meaning that 75% of Twitter referral traffic is largely going unaccounted for.

Further to this, they found that just over 62% of links that were clicked on Twitter, weren’t showing up in analytics as having a referrer at all – therefore they were just showing up as direct traffic. This can be largely attributed to the fact that so much Twitter activity occurs via mobile, which many analytics packages mark as direct traffic as it didn’t occur directly within a browser. These findings from Awe.sm actually lift the lid on Twitter analytics and just how well links function within tweets. Taking this approach, if we increase Charlie Sheen’s to 2%, assuming that 75% is largely unaccounted for, it becomes wholly more impressive.

Twitter as a news platform

Twitter is increasingly becoming a space to share content and receive information, as opposed to a more direct platform such as Facebook, where you might just converse with friends. When we go into our Twitter stream, what we want is information and news, and we get that by streamlining the people we follow to get relevant information, mostly contained within links. Twitter is developing much more as its own news platform, competing with traditional publishers in this respect. Herein lies the biggest opportunity for brands. Instead of looking at Twitter as the place where you just try and converse with people and make friends, consider what you can give them that is going to allow them to get more out of their Twitter experience. Tweeting links to relevant articles and other content will allow people to attribute a value to you – as an important news or information source.

In 2010, when 90 million tweets were being sent per day, Evan Williams revealed that 25% of these tweets contained links. This is an incredibly high proportion of tweets being sent that contain links to external sites and it shows the importance of links to the Twitter ecosystem. Links are what we want to share on Twitter and they’re what we want to discover as well. Brands should be taking advantage of this and include it as a vital part in their Twitter marketing strategy. Of course behind this lies a complete content strategy that needs to be considered. Sharing links to interesting things online is one thing, but you’re only going to start seeing real value if this interesting content is actually on your own website and is being produced by you. Original content is what people want most of all.

Content is the third most important on Twitter

To confirm the idea that what people want is interesting content on Twitter, an infographic released by Get Satisfaction provides an interesting perspective. Looking at why people follow brands on Twitter, compared to Facebook/Myspace, the results may surprise yo :

Looking at the figures above shows us two things. Firstly, interesting and entertaining content is the 3rd most important factor when following a brand, coming after special offers or deals and being a current customer, at a very high 22.7%. Secondly, it also shows that interesting content is more important to people on Twitter than Facebook, as on Facebook, this comes in at 18.2%. This shows the importance for brands of developing a separate strategy on Twitter that is weighted more towards providing interesting content through links, as opposed to purely offering discounts or promotions, which would be more of a standard practice on Facebook.

When developing your Twitter strategy the important thing is to keep trying new approaches to see what works best for you. Maybe you get a better click through rate when sending through one link each day that summarises your content, video links might not work as well, pure news links might engage people more etc.. The value you get out of your Twitter account will largely depend on the analysis behind it. One thing is certain – links is what people want and what brands can provide.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 6:08pm

Two calendar applications take forward on the weekly growth leaderboard, but the true competition rests between the returning question applications and the slowly slipping page creation tools. Read on, and for more in-depth statistics take a look at our detailed used to build this countdown.

Facebook’s Fastest Growing Applications Name DAU MAU Weekly Growth 1. MeinKalender 501,058 2,766,943 2,363,529 2. Static HTML: iframe tabs 2,252,919 35,387,997 2,267,811 3. 21 questions 1,926,936 18,458,592 1,725,941 4. MyCalendar 331,843 2,047,705 1,472,002 5. Friend Buzz 155,136 5,445,040 824,474 6. Yahoo! 10,230,567 17,641,770 711,011 7. Global Warfare 218,069 4,692,428 675,178 8. Truth Game 744,520 7,525,209 615,545 9. Truths About You 513,890 5,123,115 498,246 10. Socialbox 402,896 2,059,437 471,688 11. Gardens of Time 3,886,249 15,576,090 465,339 12. Gourmet Ranch 398,276 2,230,621 464,485 13. Harry Potter 69,989 1,373,661 452,690 14. Hosted iFrame 187,839 2,587,457 421,365 15. Between You and Me 545,993 5,703,084 419,755 16. Sayfalar için Hosgeldiniz Sekmesi – Davet ve Begen butonlu! 63,841 1,009,930 419,587 17. Welcome tab app for Pages 407,827 7,908,649 411,684 18. Get Revealed 364,012 3,595,859 403,851 19. Sinematik! 246,966 830,236 371,931 20. Bandsintown 155,314 2,697,776 371,742

Get Organized

Taking 19 massive steps forward, German application makes it easy to remember and organize birthdays of those close to you on the social network. The calendar app kicks off our countdown with a 2,363,529 increase. Just three places behind, similar English alternative ‘s 1,472,002 adds helps in its excellent seven day progression.

Create A Page

Page creation tools take a hit overall but still manage to leave a notable impression as fastest growing apps. is ousted from its comfortable No. 1 perch, and its weekly growth total of 2,267,811 has it setting for second. The 421,365 page views and tabs built total for puts it in the 14th position.

slips this time around, but a 419,587 finish has it hanging on in the 16th spot. places in 17th seeing a 411,684 increase.

Get Questioned

Making a massive return to the countdown, the competition between question applications is on once more. Leading the pack in third place, welcomes 1,725,941 new curious minds. also returns after a long absence as it skyrockets to fifth with the help of 824,474 social networkers.

In the eighth and ninth spots respectively, and rest comfortably; the first finishes with a 615,545 growth total while the second welcomes an additional 498,246 quiz-takers.

The second half of this week’s countdown includes who completes the week with a 419,755 15th place finish. Newcomer has 403,851 Facebook friends answering questions about one another—an 18th place first time appearance.

Stay Connected

connects accounts with Facebook to create an easy constant conversation. The application has reached an impressive monthly and daily active user total, but its 711,011 weekly growth total helps it take the sixth position.

Though it takes a four spot drop to tenth, desktop chat app finishes the week acquiring 471,688 new talkative Facebook users.

Game On

It is a seventh place finish for Global Warfare; 675,178 new gamers are off to war. Kicking off the second half of the countdown, Playdom’s increases by 465,339 players.

After an extended absence, returns to land in the 12th position; 464,485 people are constructing their own ranches.

Movies And Videos

Watch various clips surrounding the latest release on this application that earned a 452,690 increase — a 13th place finish. In Turkey, the view totals continue to increase for . Landing in the 19th spot, the video clip service accrues a 371,931 weekly growth increase.

Rock On

It is always excited to see when musicians add new tour dates, and is continuing to be the growing tool of choice for these annoucements; the application helps 371,742 musicians to end the week in the 20th position.

Readers, do you have an opinion about any of this week’s fastest growing applications? Please share your thoughts in the comments section beneath this post.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 5:28pm

With the debt ceiling and other budget issues being hotly debated on Capitol Hill, of the U.S. House of Representatives are taking to to answer constituent questions and clearly state their views on the economy and issues of the day.

Once relegated to communicating via press releases, press conferences and media interviews, members are leveraging Facebook’s many features — from taped questions and answer sessions to livestream chats and town halls — to directly address voters.

And Facebook’s “” page is capturing your congressional leaders’ every move on the social networking site.

Here are four recent examples of the issues discussed on the Congress on Facebook page.

Representatives continue to use Facebook to announce their positions on the federal debt crisis. Rep. , R-N.C., led female GOP members in a round of special-order speeches condemning President Obama’s handling of the issue, while Rep. , D-Calif., posted a video of her weekly press conference, where she criticized Republican tactics during the debate.

, R-Mich., concluded a Facebook town hall meeting and was pleased enough with the turnout that he promised more interactive opportunities in the future. Huizenga, who also has the GOP jobs plan Facebook tab popularized by , R-Ohio, engaged voters on the debt limit to legislation before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., tried to rally support for the Respect for Marriage Act by writing up a supportive post and tagging fellow Senator Patrick Leahy, a leader on the Respect for Marriage Act in the Senate. The bill would scrap the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, allowing the federal government to provide marriage benefits to single gender couples.

House Republican New Media Caucus Co-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers was disappointed she couldn’t answer questions live during last week’s Facebook DC Live show with fellow Co-Chair Rob Wittman  so she recorded some answers to questions.

Have you have used Facebook to contact your member of Congress?

Categories: Facebook

This Week’s Most Talked About Social Media Tools

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 5:18pm

This is the seventh of a weekly series, in which every week, we’ll look at five social media tools and platforms that have created some buzz over the last week. This week we’re featuring Kyoo.com, Zaarly.com and more.

Here they come…

  1. Conduct ‘at-a-glance’ buzz analysis across all of the major platforms with  – This is essentiallyaddictomatic.com on steroids. Kyoo.com let’s you search for terms and then gives you a snapshot of buzz, ranging from Twitter to WordPress. The world map feature is especially useful.
  2. Create your own Facebook ‘welcome’ tab in minutes with  - Here’s a really useful tool that you can try right now. Simply download Welcome Applet and you’ll be able to create a landing page for your Facebook page without the costly developer fees. are Find out more about Welcome Applet at Goso.com.
  3. Zaarly.com helps you buy and sell with the people around you – The premise behind Zaarly is simple; Re-use and recycle the stuff you don’t need with people who live in your community with the help of geo-location technology. This service is just available in selected US cities at the moment but plans for expansion are in the pipeline. Check out the introductory video .
  4. Make more of your video content with EmbedPlus.com – Embedding video content is common practice these days but customizing that content for your sites isn’t as easy as it probably should be. Thankfully a new solution called EmbedPlus fixes that issue and gives your video more features than you can dream of.
  5. ThinkUpApp.com stores all your social activity in the one place – Analyse, search, visualise and export your social media content with ThinkUp. This handy app is best explained by  home page.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:56pm

Facebook users who can relax: Help is on the way, thanks to Tal Ater, founder of Green Any Site.

Ater, who that Facebook was testing a video chat feature last November by examining the social network’s code, was back at it this week, coming up with easy fix that involves changing one line of code, after which the sidebar chat will only display friends who are online, rather than selecting random contacts.

More details on the coding fix are available on Ater’s Facebook Fixes site, and the fix is available for download as either a browser add-on or in code form.

Ater described the process via email:

A couple of nights ago, while digging through Facebook’s new chat code (it’s a hobby of mine), I found hidden in one of their JavaScript functions, a very quick and easy fix for the chat problem everyone is complaining about.

It turns out, all it takes is changing one line of code, and Facebook chat no longer chooses random friends to show you in the chat panel, but instead only shows the friends who are currently online. No more letting Facebook decide for us who we want to talk to.

I just published the code as open source on GitHub, so that everyone can use it.

And for the less geeky crowd, I even created a little executable that you can download and run to fix the Facebook chat once and for all (it runs the code for you automatically when you visit Facebook).

Readers who are unhappy with Facebook’s new sidebar chat: Will you try Ater’s solution? Or if you already have, how’s it working for you?

Categories: Facebook

Apple hands out bikes to staff, just don’t call them iBikes

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:35pm

Apple has given its green credentials a boost by offering employees bicycles to commute across its vast campus in Cupertino, California.

9to5Mac quotes Brazil-based MacMagazine:

“…the bikes that Apple is now offering its employees are all aluminum, very good taste, have only three gears (heavy, light and normal) and still have a bag for MacBook, Cases, and the like.”

The new bikes will prove handy, as Apple continues to grow its presence beyond its main campus on Infinite Loop, to the nine new buildings they recently leased.

And we reported last month on Apple’s plans to build new, bigger premises in Cupertino, on land Apple purchased from Hewlett Packard. Steve Jobs made a personal pitch to the Cupertino City Council with a view to having his plans approved.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:18pm

Facebook recently launched a commenting feature that allows users to embed videos, photos and web links in comments . The comment will include a video player, a thumbnail of a photo, or a brief overview of the website being linked to.

The preview can be removed with a simple click. With that in mind, it’s time for a refresher course on the do’s and don’ts of .

Don’t Be A Stalker

Signs of a stalker include constant notifications, strange and relentless instant messages, and commenting on very old photos. It doesn’t matter how good they looked, it’s a bit creepy to comment on that revealing poolside photo from five years ago if you’ve been friends for a while.

Do Show Restraint

Facebook is a place where too many people vent their frustrations. Do you really want everyone to know how much you hate it when your cat ignores you? That’s probably because it’s a cat. When it comes to commenting, show some restraint. Let’s say you were cropped out of a friend’s photo. Instead of going off the deep end, just ignore it. If you must get revenge, try something like “Well, you cut out the best part of this picture.”

Don’t Be Illiterate

There is a fine line between disregarding some vowels in text-speak and being grammatically pathetic. Read a book and maybe they won’t delete your comment next time.

Do Contribute To The Conversation

If someone posts something meaningful or thought-provoking, don’t deliberately post something off-topic or ignorant just to get a rise out of people.

Don’t Hijack Someone’s Status

Don’t use someone’s status as a battlefield. It makes the person who posted the status and everyone else involved uncomfortable. If you feel the need for a political argument, start your own thread with that person, preferably in private.

Do Show Support

It’s fine to back someone’s opinion up. It’s not fine to like everyone’s comments because you don’t like to take sides. It confuses everyone and you look fake.

What other types of Facebook comments do you despise?

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:18pm

There was an interesting mix of applications on our list of the the fastest growing on the Facebook platform this week by monthly active users. They included professional networking, Google+, Hulu, dating, videos, profile badges and MySpace’s music app.

The apps on our list grew from between 118,200 and 322,700 MAU, based on AppData, our data tracking service covering traffic growth for apps on Facebook. All in all, it was a pretty typical week for the emerging category, which we define as apps that ended with between 100,000 and 1 million MAU in the past week.

Top Gainers This Week

Name MAU Gain Gain,% 1.  المزرعة 323,485 +322,653 +38,780% 2.  Animal Party 854,405 +261,471 +44% 3.  BeKnown 509,334 +210,072 +70% 4.  Direct Access 279,889 +210,064 +301% 5.  1 vs 100 234,308 +197,276 +533% 6.  Hulu 477,171 +194,398 +69% 7.  Seçim Anketi 540,359 +177,176 +49% 8.  Deal or No Deal 392,049 +176,045 +82% 9.  Millionaire Boss 285,505 +163,501 +134% 10.  Video Land 229,535 +158,164 +222% 11.  แฮปปี้เบบี้ 956,055 +146,760 +18% 12.  BILD Profil-Badges 156,416 +140,966 +912% 13.  Myspace Music App 868,988 +126,075 +17% 14.  Perfect Getaway 857,160 +125,585 +17% 15.  The Pokerist club — Texas Poker 540,241 +125,385 +30% 16.  Total Domination: Nuclear Strategy 444,396 +123,790 +39% 17.  المزرعة السعيدة 751,522 +122,819 +20% 18.  100YearsWar Philippines: An UNREAL 3D MMORPG ★★★★★ 311,893 +119,401 +62% 19.  Super Mario 3 693,689 +119,164 +21% 20.  JackpotJoy Slots 270,568 +118,210 +78%

BeKnown was at the top of our list with 210,100 MAU. Then Direct Access followed with 279,900 MAU; this app doesn’t appear to be an official Google+ app but asks users to add their friends to this new social network via Facebook.

Hulu was next on the list with 194,400 MAU. Hulu seems to be giving Facebook integration another try with its . Then Turkish dating app Seçim Anketi added 177,200 MAU. Video Land, a video app, added 158,200 MAU.

The German BILD Profil-Badges grew by about 141,000 MAU this week and the Myspace Music App grew by 126,100 MAU. This app claims to be a “light” version of the MySpace artist profile enabling users to share content on both networks at the same time. The rest of the list was composed of games.

Categories: Facebook

Murdoch Alert: The browser extension that warns you of News Corporation websites

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 3:16pm

With Murdoch and his media empire gaining more enemies by the day, one enterprising developer has created an add-on for the Firefox browser called Murdoch Alert.

Released yesterday, the Firefox extension warns users whenever they land on one of the 100+ websites owned by Rupert Murdoch’s corporation.

The notes for the add-on state:

“NewsCorp agents in multiple countries have been arrested for hacking into the phones and computers of at least thousands of innocent people. Since the Murdoch family controls 100+ high-traffic domains, it is difficult for average users to know which sites could potentially place them at risk.

MurdochAlert identifies the domains that may place users at risk for Murdoch-related hacking. MurdochAlert features A bottom warning box that appears whenever you visit a Murdoch-controlled sited.”

This was first reported on News Junkie Post, and as Ole Ole Olson notes, this is the second anti-Murdoch add-on to be released this week. A version called was released for Chrome on Wednesday and, when installed, a warning screen appears whenever you visit a Murdoch-owned site. At the time of writing, it has been installed almost 700 times. You can even choose which of the websites to block:

Both Murdoch Alert and Murdoch Block let users choose to continue onto the website if they so wish.

You may also want to check out istyosty.com, a proxy service that lets you browse the Daily Mail website without actually landing on the website. It even provides users with shortened links so you can easily share Daily Mail stories with others without worrying about inadvertently leading friends to the actual website. The proxy service works for The Sun newspaper too.

If you want to see a full list of the websites owned by the Murdoch empire, click .

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 3:15pm

Facebook continues to ramp up its efforts, according to the latest quarterly financial disclosures filed with the U.S. Senate late Wednesday.

The social network spent $320,000 on Congress and other government agencies between March and June, 2011, nearly as much as it spent in all of 2010, about $350,000.

Issues such as and continue to keep Facebook in front government officials. The filings show that some of the legislation Facebook addressed was The Do-Not-Track Act of 2011, the Child Online Protection Act and the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights of 2011.

It’s still a meager sum when compared to Google, which spent $2.06 million on lobbying in the second quarter, setting an all-time company high and marking the first time the company has bested rival Microsoft.

The Center for Responsive Politics’ opensecrets.org web site will break out these numbers in the coming weeks, which we will report.

What do you think of Facebook’s growing lobbying efforts?

Categories: Facebook

UK online shoppers spend 5 days a year waiting for home deliveries

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 1:46pm

A new survey of UK shoppers has found that the number one gripe when buying online is not being given a specific enough delivery period, meaning they have to take time off work to wait at home for items to arrive.

The survey was conducted by The Co-operative Electrical and, as reported in today’s Guardian, from the 3,000 respondents, 90% noted that waiting at home not knowing when their delivery was going to arrive was the biggest frustration when buying online.

The survey also found that almost two-thirds of online shoppers in the UK have asked family and friends to wait at home on their behalf.

In the first half of 2011, UK shoppers spent over £31bn online, a fifth more than in the same period last year. But bulky items, or items requiring a signature, need someone to be at home to receive the goods. Many online retailers do offer free delivery, but with that comes anything up to a week’s delivery period. You can then pay extra to specify a specific day, and you can pay even more to request a morning or afternoon slot.

It’s thought that shoppers in the UK waste an average of five days each year simply waiting for deliveries at home.

Of course, it’s easy to understand why online retailers find it difficult to offer very precise delivery times. There are many logistical factors that can influence the journey time of an item from the warehouse to a person’s home – adverse weather conditions, traffic jams among other unforeseen delays. But it seems that one of the issues here is the way the deliveries are made.

We’ve written about Shutl before, a UK company that has developed technology that aggregates capacity across local courier companies into a single web service. The upshot of this, is customers can choose between a speedy delivery (within 90 minutes of purchase) or a one-hour delivery window at any time…24/7.

Shutl has been piloting its service with Argos, and the company recently secured a further £650k investment. So UK shoppers may be enjoying better home delivery services soon.

Categories: Facebook

Google+ reached 10m users in 16 days. Want to know how long it took Facebook and Twitter?

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 1:24pm

took a mere 16 days to hit 10 million users. By comparison, both Twitter and Facebook took over 2 years to hit that milestone, requiring 780 days and 852 days respectively.

has kindly put together this graph, which helps put Google+’s hockey-stick growth into perspective, compared to its social networking counterparts:

Whilst there’s little doubt that Google+’s growth is impressive, it’s probably also worth noting that it did have a considerable head-start on both Twitter and Facebook, which were both starting from scratch – as a social network, as a brand…as everything.

Google, on the other hand, has thirteen years’ growth behind it and is one of the most recognizable digital brands in the world. It already had a mammoth user-base across its plethora of products, so it’s perhaps not all that surprising that it could notch up 10m users in around a fortnight.

Google+ is thought to have reached the 10 million users mark around the 13th of July, and it had doubled-up again by about a week later. That’s 20 million users in three weeks.

Google’s latest attempt at creating a social network seems to be paying off, and it has so far received pretty favorable reviews. The Next Web carried out a quick survey of our readers in early July, and we found that two-thirds of users preferred Google+ to Facebook, with less than half saying they preferred it to Twitter. The latter was perhaps an unfair comparison, given that Twitter is a different social beast to Google+.

But what about LinkedIn? We wrote earlier this month that Google+ may actually be a bigger threat to LinkedIn than it is to Facebook or Twitter. For the record, LinkedIn was launched in May 2003, and it didn’t hit the mark until April 2007. It now has over members.

Interesting statistics. It’s still early doors for Google+ – will it continue on its upwards trajectory, or will it begin to plateau once the hype subsides? Only time will tell.

Categories: Facebook

Google+ Games confirmed; Will appear in new “Games Stream”

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 1:24pm

We know that Google has a lot planned for Google+, adding brand pages and support for new features in the browser and via its mobile apps in the near future. There was talk of games coming to the platform but today the new feature has been confirmed via a Google+ help page.

Slashgear reports that in a section entitled “Content that appears in the stream”, Google explains the different ways that content can be displayed and accessed, making note to a previously unannounced “” that will post updates from games connected to the service.

Currently, the Games Stream help page delivers a “404 – Not Found” error, suggesting Google is currently putting the finishing touches to its platform and its help section before it rolls out the feature to its users.

Deep within Google+’s source code were a few hints of services we may have seen in the future, one of which was a gaming feature of sorts with a line of code that reads: “have sent you Game invites and more from Google Plus Games.”

TechCrunch’s Google+ tipster had previously found API endpoint and even a logo for the service:

Aside from the logo, Schaap also found references to API endpoints such as “/_/games/getGameFriends”, “/_/games/getActivities” and, perhaps more interestingly, “/_/games/postToStream”, pointing to a characteristically social gaming service.

This will come as no surprise to many, considering that Google was actively acquiring game developers like Slide and SocialDeck last year and has been  for its gaming team.

Google+ Games could be the search giant’s take on Facebook Games and Apple’s Game Center, two of the biggest social gaming portals.

The interesting thing to note is that Google has taken feedback from Facebook users and used it to its advantage, separating notifications for games so that it does not pollute the stream, Many users of the world’s most popular social network have often complained about the lack of filters on games on their Home Feed.

We have contacted Google for more information on this feature and will update the article should we receive a response.

Categories: Facebook

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