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.
Joining their other social networking brethren, Facebook announced this week that they’d be the next to provide “usernames,” which will translate into custom URLs.
“We're planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with you,” writes Blaise DiPersia on Facebook’s official blog. “When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future.”
But, like other sites that provide the same feature, you can’t change your username once you’ve selected it. So, while “Turd Ferguson” may seem like an attractive choice, perhaps you should consider something else?
Facebook this week announced that Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) made a $200 million investment into the social networking site in exchange for preferred stocks. The deal gives DST nearly a 2 percent equity stake in Facebook, and for you number crunchers, values the company at a healthy $10 billion.
"This investment demonstrates Facebook's ongoing success at creating a global network for people to share and connect," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We've worked hard to bring than 200 million people -- 70 percent outside of the U.S. -- onto Facebook to share with friends, family, and co-workers. A number of firms approached us, but DST stood out because of the global perspective they bring."
And the $200 million. Facebook had previously said that it doesn't expect to generate positive cash flow until sometime next year, so the cash infusion during a global recession comes well timed.
Last month, David Murphy wrote that "open-source projects like OpenID are paving the way for a new generation of connectivity, one where differing Web entities come to you for information and display it in a format and location of your choosing." Taking a giant step in that direction, Facebook has officially become an OpenID relying party.
What that means is that Facebook users can now link their Facebook account to a Gmail address, OpenID URL, or any OpenID provider that supports automatic login. It's a move that has proved popular so far, according to Facebook.
"In tests we've run, we've noticed that first-time users who register on the site with OpenID are more likely to become active Facebook users," Facebook says. "They get up and running after registering even faster than before, find their friends easily, and quickly engage on the site."
The social networking site says it plans to integrate more OpenID providers as time goes one, one of which is expected to be Microsoft.
Flock takes its Web 2.0 experience a few notches higher with the release of version 2.5 of its social networking browser. The new version updates its core code to Firefox 3.0.10, the latest Firefox build (in final release form) currently available.
New in version 2.5, Facebook Chat has now been integrated as an instant messaging service As has been Flock's M.O., users have the ability to drag content from web pages directly into the chat box. The Flock team also completely overhauled the browser's Twitter integration. Replies, now called @mentions, and direct mentions are now separated in the sidebar, and a new widget added to MyWorld makes it possible to perform and save Twitter searches.
Other new features include FlockCast, which allows users to broadcast actions from the web directly into Facebook, and the addition of Bebo as a People service.
When's the last time you surfed on over to your Pligg and updated what you were doing for the entire Internet to see? What about Elgg? Have you changed your favorite movies to reflect that big blockbuster hit you saw this weekend? You probably don't have to, because all of your friends using the Tweetero client on their iPhones could just log on and see exactly what you were up to. Or not. Because you aren't on Twitter -- you're on Identi.ca, the open-source equivalent of the popular messaging program.
Unlike the open-source software world, where even the smallest gems of programs can find a meaningful existence, the open-source social networking world depends on people. Masses of people. You can't just launch a new social networking platform and expect it to flourish if it doesn't have a decently sized audience. And you're never going to pull away the users that are already comfortable on their existing Web 2.0 platforms if you just imitate the best practices of the current litany of sites. But that's what's happening in the open-source social networking world right now. There's a healthy mix of innovation and duplication, giving some segments of the online world new and interesting applications... and others with their 25th version of Twitter.
Which areas of social networking are dead zones for open-source development? Click the jump to find out!
Or at least, stay off of social networking sites that show your activity. Unfortunately for a yet unnamed ex-employee of a Swiss insurance company, her Facebook activity got her fired.
The story goes, the woman had called in sick and claimed that she had to be away from her monitor, so as to not worsen whatever sickness she had at the time. However, she was reportedly seen on Facebook by a colleague, and subsequently fired. “This is an abuse of trust, rather than the activity of Facebook, led to the ending of the work contract,” said a spokesman for the firm.
The woman did admit to using her iPhone’s Facebook app, but counter-accused her employer, Nationale Suisse, of sending her a shady friend request so that they could monitor her activity. They immediately denied the accusation, sustaining that one of her coworkers turned her in.
Going foreword, the woman has claimed that she’s happy to have been neutrally terminated, and doesn’t want to go back. “My trust for this employer is gone,” she stated.
Abuse of trust or not, sometimes its just best to cover your own butt when you call in sick, so that nothing you do can be misconstrued. For some tips on how to prevent this from happening to you, check out this video.