The outrage over Carrier IQ was bubbling just below the surface for months before it exploded out of modding circles a few weeks ago. The diagnostics software is on many phones, particularly Android handsets, and is used to gather extensive usage data. After the public outcry, Sprint has announced that Carrier IQ will no longer be used on its phones, and will be disabled on current devices.
The new Facebook is here a little later than expected, but still too soon for some. The Timeline profile is going live for all users. It aims to tell the story of a user’s life in a giant scrollable page. Users are encouraged to fill in relevant details that Facebook might not know. Go ahead, give them more data. Cunning.
For a few hours today, Facebook users were able to snoop around in other users’ private photos thanks to a flaw in the Facebook code. Interestingly, the issue was present in the abuse reporting tool. The flaw did not expose all a user’s photos, but several choice snapshots could be harvested with the hack. Facebook patched the exploit, but not until the Internets snatched some of Zuckerberg’s personal photos.
Some of the biggest technology firms in existence are reportedly squaring off against India’s telecommunications minister over the filtering of user-generated content. According to several individuals that have been present at meetings, Minister Kapit Sibal is demanding that the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo proactively screen user content for disparaging or defamatory statements.
Where data is concerned, there are few companies that even come close to rivaling the size of Facebook’s data reserves, constantly replenished by a ceaseless stream of Likes and much more. But as they often say, with large amounts of data comes great responsibility. And that is where the European Commission (EC) seems to have a problem with the world’s largest social network.
Dolphin Browser HD is one of the most popular alternative browsers on Android, which is why the latest news on that front is so disconcerting. According to an exhaustive investigation by Android Police, Dolphin HD is sending all user URLs in plain text to a Dolphin webserver. The goal is to match URLs to a webzine whitelist service that Dolphin then provides to users, but as Android Police said, this is “an amateur solution.”
Google announced last May that it intended to begin adding business interiors to Google Maps Street View. Now the first test images are rolling out. Users browsing maps will be invited into shops and offices that make use of the same 360-degree panning view that we’re used to with street view. Considering the very different nature of the content, Google has changed the way they acquire these images.
In a bit of a reversal, Google+ will reportedly be moving away from its strict real name policy and allow users to use pseudonyms. The news was apparently relayed by Google social chief Vic Gundotra himself. There is no timeline for the change, but it is likely tied to the user verification program.
If the idea of sending your shady search queries into the ether makes you a little nervous, Google is coming to the rescue with a plan to encrypt searches. In the next few weeks, users that are signed into their Google account will automatically be directed to the HTTPS search page for secure searches.
Brooke Rutledge of Lafayett County, Mississippi, is taking Facebook to task over claims the social networking site is illegally tracking user behavior, even when they're not logged into the site. At the heart of the issue is a discovery by Australian blogger Nik Cubrilovic that appears to show Facebook has the ability to track users across the Web on any page with a "Like" button or other Facebook integration.