Intel and GridRepublic joined forces this week to launch a Facebook application that will tap into your PCs spare processing cycles to both fight diseases and study climate change.
Intel calls the application 'Progress Thru Processors,' which is built on the Facebook platform and gives users the ability to choose up to three distributed computing projects, including Rosetta@home (find cures for diseases), Climateprediction.net (aimed at gaining an increased understanding of global climate change), and Africa@home (currently focused on finding optimal strategies to combat malaria).
"By simply running an application on your computer, which uses very little incremental resources, you can expand computing resources to researchers," Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager of corporate marketing, said in a statement.
The application, which was launched Monday as a public beta, will only fire up when the PC has processing cycles to spare. You can download the app here.
Facebook has a long ways to go before its video service comes anywhere close to serving up the same number of videos as YouTube (1.2 billion per day), but the social networking site did reach a milestone that's nothing to scoff at - over one billion video views last month, CNet reports. All tallied, Facebook now claims four times more video views than members.
Pretty impressive, considering Facebook Video launched just over two years ago in June 2007. Even more impressive is that the service took just two days to implement. A promotional video describes how a pair of engineers, Soleio Cuervo and Chris Putnam, came up with the idea to add video to Facebook and the 40 hours spent coding the service.
"One product that I worked on was video, and I remember thinking to myself, 'Having just a video camera built into our laptops, wouldn't it be great if you could just record a video and send it to someone,' your mother for Mother's day or to your girlfriend just to wish her a good night, not blasting a video across the entire Internet," Cuervo reflects.
Later on, the ability to upload higher quality videos and embed Facebook videos on other websites would both prove instrumental in boosting video views.
Last month, Facebook users were for the first time given the opportunity to reserve custom usernames in a move aimed at simplifying account URLs. Facebook had advised its users to approach the christening process very seriously as the usernames chosen by them would become inextricably tied to their profiles.
Those of you who are still ruing your questionable choice of username can now stop. Facebook has spread its arms wide open for all those still drenched in a cocktail of desolation and regret. In an act that manifests its magnanimity, Facebook is now giving users the opportunity to change their usernames, but they only have one final shot at getting it right.
As more users flock to Facebook, MySpace owner News Corp sees a need to shake its social networking site up, and it plans to do that by transforming the social playground into a bigger online gaming platform. Johathan Miller, News Corp's head honcho, hopes the move will inspire videogame suppliers to use MySpace's data to develop better games and then launch those apps on the site.
"MySpace is and will be more in the future a gaming platform, a space for people to meet and play games," Miller said at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference in Pasadena, California.
Whether or not the gamble on gaming works, MySpace is need of a change if it is to stay relevant. According to comScore, Facebook recorded 307 million unique visitors in April, compared to less than 125 million for MySpace. And further underscoring the divide between the two social networking sites, Facebook last month passed MySpace's peak number of unique monthly users in the U.S., 76.3 million, which was set back in October 2008, Reuters reports.
"If you look at the big activities online, games right now is number three," Miller added. "Communications, search, games. So it's clearly going to be a major focus."
Facebook dragged social aggregator Power.com to court about six months ago. Though the news was soon followed by whispers of an out-of-court settlement being near, there has been none. Power.com has now decided to take the fight to the opposition by countersuing it.
Power.com allows users to manage their accounts on some of the major social networks on the internet – it removed Facebook after it got sued - through its website. Users don’t even need to register to use the website; instead, they can log in using the id/password combination they use to access any one of their accounts on MySpace, Hi5, Orkut, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Facebook had accused Power.com of using its data without securing prior consent. The former was mainly rankled by the fact that Power.com was storing user credentials.
Power.com has accused Facebook of obstructing users from transferring their data in the fashion they see fit. The social aggregator has requested the court to order Facebook to cease such unlawful, anticompetitive practices and to award monetary damages to the plaintiffs (defendants in the original suit filed by Facebook). Why don’t you be the judge, jury and executioner in the comments section? Give us your take on Data Portability.
"Be careful of investing here," he told Reuters when prodded about the possibility of News Corp acquiring Twitter. He was speaking upon his arrival at the Sun Valley media and technology conference. “Hell no,” was his terse, emphatic reply when asked about his willingness to sell MySpace. He even took a dig at Facebook by likening it to a humdrum “directory.”
Lady Shelley Sawers probably forgot that though posting family photographs on Facebook is a fundamental right of every free human being, it should be exercised in moderation when those photographs can betray certain vital details about your country’s top spy – the location of his London flat, personal details of his children and that he is a beach bum with trunks that this writer can neither exalt nor properly deride. The pictures have now been removed from Facebook.
The British government has a decent sense of humor and has downplayed the entire incident, although the pesky British tabloids certainly think it is serious stuff. “It is not a state secret that he wears Speedo swimming trunks,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband quipped in a TV interview.
Miliband also liked the entire idea of having Sir Sawyer's photographs on Facebook as it paints a more human picture of the soon-to-be MI6 chief. Facebook is certainly making counterespionage very easy.
"The performance gains they are touting in the press, we are not seeing in our applications. We are literally in real-time trying to figure out why that is and if there are optimizations that we can do. Otherwise, we are kind of left with current-generation technology and current-generation scale," he said during a Q&A session involving GigaOM’s founder Om Malik.
He said companies like Facebook and Amazon require their servers to be both power-efficient and affordable. Heiliger also commended Google for its server-designing prowess.
According to Variety, Columbia Pictures is putting the pieces in place to release "The Social Network," a film about the formation of Facebook. David Fincher appears to be the front runner to direct the new flick, who's previous works include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Panic Room, Fight Club, and others.
As for the movie itself, Variety says the film will focus on the 2004 creation of Facebook by then Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg and follow the social networking site's evolution to where it is today, over 200 million members strong.
This isn't the first time social networking has been linked to Hollywood. A Twitter-based reality show is also said to be under way, which will seek to "put ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format."
Move over MySpace, and make room for Facebook. In fact, just get out of the way. According to May data released by comScore, Facebook has finally leapfrogged ahead of MySpace in the U.S. by claiming 70.278 million unique visitors compared to the latter's 70.255 million hits.
While not a huge gap in visitors separate the two social networking sites, it's worth noting that just a few months ago MySpace claimed 9 million more unique visitors than Facebook. What's even scarier (for MySpace) is that Facebook shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
On the contrary, Facebook recently began offering vanity URLs, a move which enticed half a million people within 15 minutes of launching.