Web sites from Wikipedia, Google and Facebook to Mozilla, Major League Gaming and Reddit are dark today in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), but bill supporters insist the effort is nothing but a publicity stunt and an abuse of power. In a Tuesday statement, Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)—and a former Connecticut senator—said Web sites participating in the blackout are “resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.”

The MPAA and its musical counterpart, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), have been big supporters of SOPA and PIPA, prompting opponents to accuse bill sponsors of bowing to lobbying dollars. Both bills target overseas “rogue” Web sites that traffic in fake goods, from purses and prescription drugs to pirated DVDs and MP3s. But the power that SOPA and PIPA provide to the Justice Department to go after these bills is worrisome to opponents, who fear the legislation will put legitimate Web sites at risk. As a result, Jan. 18 has been dubbed SOPA/PIPA blackout day, with many high-profile Web sites shutting down service or adding anti-SOPA/PIPA signage to their sites.

read more

Imagine yourself at a party or a bar or perhaps at a meeting, now imagine you meet someone new there and become real-life friends with them. The next obvious logical step would be to add them over on Facebook to become friends in the online world, right? Well, if you and your new friend have an NFC-equipped smartphone and have a certain app installed, you can just tap the two together to become Facebook friends! No more of that awkward waiting period between you sending them a request and waiting for confirmation!

This “certain app” is called Add Friend (Facebook). The concept behind Add Friend is based on how, in the modern world, people (apparently) don’t exchange numbers, they exchange Facebook names. It is based on Near-Field Communication technology (used in services like Google Wallet) which allows two devices to exchange data when they are near each other.

read more

About one in five young workers in the U.S. picked Google Inc. as a most desirable place to work according to a survey by Universum, an employment data and consulting firm. Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., the U.S. State Department and Walt Disney Co. round out the top five.

Universum queried about 6,700 early-career professionals, defined as college graduates under the age of 40 with one to eight years of work experience, and asked them to pick as many as five ideal employers out of a list of about 200. This is the second year that Universum has conducted the survey. Google topped the earlier survey as well.

read more

Google has refused to rule out extending controversial facial recognition technology, despite being hit by a storm of complaints over privacy. The internet search giant already offers one facial recognition feature through its Picasa photo software, which scans your pictures and suggests matches with other pictures that may include the same people. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt would not rule out a further roll-out, saying: ‘It is important that we continue to innovate.’

However, he said the decision to introduce facial recognition on a wider basis would not be taken lightly. ‘Facial recognition is a good example… anything we did in that area would be highly, highly planned, discussed and reviewed,’ he told the Financial Times.

With facial recognition a face is detected and tagged by the user. It is then rotated so that the eyes are level and scaled to a uniform size and compared with all the other pictures on the user’s database. The system then displays any close matches. There are fears this technology could be added to the Google Goggles tool, which was launched last year. This currently allows people to search for inanimate objects, like the Eiffel Tower, on the internet by taking a picture of it on a mobile phone. However, if combined with facial recognition software, customers could use it to identify strangers on the street. In theory this could make it very easy to track someone’s private information down just by taking a picture of them.

read more

Ticketmaster, the world’s most-loved company, announced today a new partnership with Facebook that allows user to share where they’ll be sitting at upcoming concerts and other events, and to see where their friends, family or sworn enemies plan to sit. Launched last year, the so-called interactive seat maps feature is accessible through the Ticketmaster website. As of today, users can login to Facebook directly from Ticketmaster.com, which opens access to the map’s Facebook integration functionality.

Once logged in, a user can see if anyone they know is attending the event and, if so, where those people are sitting. Users can then purchase their seat, and tag themselves. This information is then shared through Facebook, to either just friends, or everyone who checks out the seating map for that event. A “Check out my seats” post is automatically generated and posted to a user’s Wall, which includes a “buy tickets” link, along with the standard “like” and “comment” options.

read more

Some people may find Elgg manual on building your custom API to be inconcise, vague and perhaps even uneasy to follow. This tutorial will show you how to implement Web Services using several custom methods and ready-to-use examples. This guide will walk you through step-by-step on how to create a custom API plugin and implement the insert functionality. We will use REST/RPC hybrid as this is the Elgg’s protocol of choice; and also because it is much easier to integrate with other social networks like Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.

The required knowledge for this article is advanced, proceed only if you know what you’re after.


Read Full Guide


read more

Described as a “test flight” of IPv6, today marks the biggest concerted effort by some of the web’s marquee players to turn us all on to the newer, fancier web addressing system. Internet Protocol version 4 has been the template by which we’ve addressed everything connected to the web so far, but that stuff is now nearing exhaustion, so the future demands a longer, more complex nomenclature to tell our smartphones, tablets, printers, and other webOS devices apart. For end users, June 8th won’t really feel too different from June 7th — this will be a change that occurs mostly behind the scenes and there’s an IPv4 fallback option if you can’t connect in the modern way — but Google does warn that a very limited subset of users may experience connectivity issues as a result. Hit the links below to see how well prepared for the future you are.

read more

Elgg is a popular all-in-one, learning, CMS platform that is designed for social interaction and sharing. However, being a relatively new player in the market, it has some undiscovered caveats that are usually only encountered during customization or heavy development. This article covers the notorious IOException error and provides both proactive and reactive solutions. This article aims to equip an Elgg developer with the essential knowledge of some existing issues, including the notorious IOException error and to provide possible solutions, both proactive and reactive.

Article was published in March edition of php|architect


Read Full Article


read more

Two reliable sources say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is talking to Skype about either buying the company or forming a joint venture, according to Reuters.

One of the sources said Facebook is considering a buyout of Skype at a price of between $3 billion and $4 billion. The other source told Reuters the deal won’t be a purchase by Facebook but rather a joint venture between Facebook and Skype.

Skype and Facebook are no strangers. In October, when Skype released its version 5.0 software for Windows, it included a Facebook tab that let users chat or call Facebook friends via Skype, right from the Facebook newsfeed that can be viewed from within the Skype application. At this point, details are still hazy and rumor-infused, though it’s certainly not shocking to hear these kinds of murmurs buzzing around. Skype’s been integrating Facebook more deeply into its software for a while now and has gradually branched out to Android, as well (albeit with mixed results). Both Facebook and Google would also stand to benefit from Skype’s millions of users and all the targeted advertising potential they’d offer.

Update: while Facebook and Google were contemplating on the amount, Microsoft have finalized a deal acquiring Skype for whooping $8.5billion in cash!

read more

Servers don’t run themselves. It takes juice—the electric kind—to keep the internet live, storing data and connecting visitors to websites, online services and social networks. The social media giant Facebook, for example, has nine third-party data centers in the US, with plans to build a tenth in Oregon. Current estimates are that Facebook uses 60,000 servers to help its more than 500 million members reconnect with people they didn’t even like in high school.

The company’s data centers range from from 10,000 square feet to more than 35,000 square feet, and their energy use is enormous. The average leased data center uses between 2.25 megawatts of power and 6 megawatts of power. This could provide electricity for one month to somewhere between 1,730 and 4,615 homes. With their new data center, however, Facebook aims to lift a little of its guilt, saving approximately 2.5 million kilowatt hours per year with efficiency measures. They’ll save the company $230,000 and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,000 tons. Yahoo has also increased energy efficiency, using hydroelectric power. Google is thought to have 36 data centers, and the company claims they are among the most energy efficient in the world.

read more

Google is making a big new push into social with a feature called “+1” that is similar in purpose to the Facebook “Like” button, but integrated directly into the world’s biggest search engine.

Google defines this action as a “public stamp of approval,” and it is exactly that. When you +1 something, your name becomes associated with that link “in search, on ads, and across the web,” according to the company. It also shows up in a feed on your Google Profile, which is required to use the product.

The move builds on a number of social features that Google introduced in search earlier this year, such as the ability to see which friends have tweeted a given link in search results. Today’s move, however, is clearly something much bigger. Beyond showing up in search results, Google plans to offer to publishers a +1 button that lets readers +1 something without leaving the publisher’s site. Facebook has a big head start here with its Like button — some 2 million sites and counting have it installed — but Google’s button will instantly have a lot of appeal, given the company says +1 data will directly influence its market share dominating search rankings. Similarly, we have to imagine that +1 is more bad news for content farms, whose content is less likely to be shared. In another twist, users will also be able to +1 ad, which essentially adds a “recommended by friends” component to AdWords and AdSense. as the company explains on the AdWords blog.

read more

Intel announced that it finalized its acquisition of McAfee, which will now be a part of the company’s software and services group but will operate under its own brand name. The company originally announced in August that it would buy McAfee for $7.7 billion in cash. Intel has a potential upside of 17.7% based on a current price of $21.47 and an average consensus analyst price target of $25.27.
While on the subject of major purchases, rumors have it that Facebook and Google are looking into buying Twitter for $10B. JPMorgan is also thinking about the same thing but for only $4.5B.

read more
Eric Schmidt - the future is friendlyEric Schmidt explains the changes at the top of Google and his vision of what the world of computing will look like in 50 years’ time.


“I am incredibly optimistic about what is going to be possible in the next decade, we have spent our whole career getting to this point”

Changes at the top of Google are ultimately tactical matters. When he looks ahead a decade or more, Schmidt knows that he is standing on the cusp of the next big shift in technological innovation. Google is a search company. Facebook is a social media company. But Schmidt uses the word “social” more often in his discussion with journalists than “search”. Search, he says, is becoming social.

Anyone who thought Google could be starting on the down curve had better reconsider.


Some of the highlights of this conference are:

  • Schmidt says, Facebook is not a competitor because the more people use Facebook the more they use Google. “That is a net positive.”
  • “We still think of search as something you type,” Schmidt said. “Perhaps a decade from now, you will think, well, that was interesting, I used to type but now it just knows.
  • There will be a ubiquitous computational capability that is just so free and so amazing that people will assume that it is an assistant. It knows who you are, it knows what you do, it makes suggestions, it intuits things for you.
  • 10-15 years ago, we couldn’t do the maps. We couldn’t do the searches. We couldn’t physically do it. You couldn’t get enough hardware. You couldn’t get enough power, whereas now it is trivial. So 50 years from now, people will think of us the way we think of the conversion from black and white to colour television. They will think: ‘Why couldn’t they do these extraordinary things?’
  • The rise of Google, the rise of Facebook, the rise of Apple, I think are proof that there is a place for computer science as something that solves problems that people face every day.
  • It eventually gets resolved, and in the case of StreetView (where personal data was inadvertently collected), resolved quite positively. I think that will be the norm. The days when we could just ship a product are gone. We do much, much more than five years ago. It is a permanent change.
  • There will certainly be future rows and battles, but as society faces a new technological age – the age of convergence and convenience – the future power of Google is almost impossible to overestimate.

read more