With its 'Nearby Friends' feature, the social media giant enters an already crowded and somewhat contentious space occupied by the likes of Foursquare and Tinder.
By Reed Albergotti, The Wall Street Journal
Facebook (FB) users will soon be able to receive notices on their mobile app when they're near friends, signaling an effort by the online social network to play a bigger role in real-world interactions.
Users will have to opt in separately to the feature, called "Nearby Friends," and agree to give Facebook permission to track them at all times, even when not logged into Facebook.
Some privacy advocates expressed concerns about the implications for users of opting into the service. Chris Conley, a policy attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said Facebook should keep users "regularly aware" of everyone with whom they're sharing location. Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, called on the Federal Trade Commission to review the product.
Dubbed 'Project Ara,' the phone would have interchangeable parts, such as cameras or lighters, that could be slotted into a metal frame and held in place by magnets.
By Alistair Barr, The Wall Street Journal
Google (GOOG) is planning a "modular" smartphone that consumers can configure with different features, executives said on Tuesday.
Google envisions hardware modules, such as a camera or blood-sugar monitor, that would be available in an "app store," like its own Google Play store for software applications.
The modules would fit into a metal "endoskeleton" designed for the phone, which Google calls Project Ara. Flat rectangular "modules" can be slotted into this frame, where they will be held in place by magnets, designers said.
With Google Glass on sale to the general public today, it's time to have a serious and overdue discussion about technology and privacy.
By Christian Madsbjerg, Fortune
Although spots are limited, the expansion of the Glass club has created tremendous excitement across tech blogs and Silicon Valley -- finally, the tools are readily available to record our complete existence, every moment of our lives on Earth, every face we encounter.
And what about the people on the other side of the camera? As they have no legal or political mechanism for opting out of Glass, they can either jump on the bandwagon or stay home: Our entire lives are now fair game for recording and sharing.
Lest we fret too much about the prospect of full disclosure, Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg reminds us that privacy is no longer a "social norm." It's so last century, right?
The widespread security flaw, discovered this week, leaves much of the Internet at risk of exploitation. Here's how it works and what you can do to protect yourself.
By David Nield, Fortune
Late Monday afternoon, the details of one of the most serious security problems to ever affect the modern Web were posted online. Dubbed Heartbleed, the vulnerability has major companies scrambling this week to patch their systems and could have been exploited to harvest data from millions of users.
The bug has been in the wild for more than two years, and leaves no trace of suspicious activity. Some estimates suggest that two-thirds of the Web has been at risk since 2011.
Heartbleed affects OpenSSL, one of the key technologies used to encrypt data online. It allows attackers to retrieve sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details from servers running the software. While OpenSSL is not used by the likes of Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL), it's a popular choice for countless companies large and small.
By creating an independent, peer-to-peer 'mesh' network among devices, users could wrest the Web free from the hubs of giant corporations.
By Ryan Bradley, Fortune
A few weeks ago, a messaging app called FireChat launched. It looks, at first, like just about any other messaging app in an already very crowded market, but FireChat is sneakily subversive and quite possibly the most important thing to happen to the Internet since international network hubs began to form in 1995.
(This is the moment when you ask: "Wait . . . what? Why?")
FireChat uses a criminally underexploited feature in iOS 7 called the Multipeer Connectivity Framework. This sounds fancy and complicated, but all it means is that one Apple (AAPL) device (an iPhone, an iPad, even an iPod Touch) can connect to another without using the Internet.
That last part is the most important and worth repeating: The device need not have a traditional network connection -- 3G, wireless, whatever -- but is instead creating its own network with another device. Two smart, connected machines, communicating via their own wireless signals, or Bluetooth, to talk to one another: This is what's called a peer-to-peer connection. It's also how Apple's Airdrop feature works.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
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Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
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