Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Develops New Platform for Work Environment

Facebook has confirmed the development and pilot program for, “Facebook at Work,” a platform used to enhance work productivity and office communication dynamics.

Though expected to roughly look and function like its current recreational iteration, Facebook at Work is being designed to help separate personal and work worlds. A key goal of this platform appears to be a system which allows current Facebook users to restrict personal updates and content from their work profiles. In addition, the platform will help to fulfill a networking market that is currently dominated by LinkedIn. And to top it all off, the platform will allow coworkers to collaborate on projects and share documents much like a current leader in enterprise social networking, Yammer.

Facebook at Work’s pilot program is reportedly based out of London, with a handful of companies currently participating as testers. In addition, Facebook’s own employees have been using the platform for more than 6 months.

At this time there are no accounts available to the public, but it is speculated that when available, the platform will be, at least initially, free-of-charge. We can assume this means that Facebook will be utilizing their current model of advertisement revenue generation. This could at first pose problems for the new platform’s use within government, non-profit, and other organizations that disallow advertisements in their products. In addition there are fears of industrial espionage that may accompany document sharing through a third party hosted application.

Overall, the project demonstrates a lot of promise. By developing this new platform on servers separate from its precursor, Facebook intends to help assure security between the personal and work platforms. Soon this will turn from a discussion of availability and possibility to a discussion of the platform’s real utility within a corporate setting. It’s easy to find studies that argue for and against social networking within businesses, especially concerning Facebook. Some studies show a reduction in productivity due to Facebook use, while other’s show increased happiness which results in increased productivity. Whichever side of the conversation your company tends to lean, it seem like Facebook at Work will be a hot topic to arrive at our work places in the near future.

Via: TechCrunch
Source: Business News Daily, Computer World, RT

Trove: Yet Another Social Reader App

The news aggregation space is getting more crowded, with everyone from the likes of LinkedIn to Facebook trying to get in on the action by building or buying a social reader application.

The latest? Trove for iOS. The new app was developed by the same team who developed the Washington Post Social Reader. We took it for a spin to get a sense of what it contributes to the daily news space.

Zynga Hopes For Rebound With New CEO

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has resigned and recruited a replacement, Don Mattrick, the former president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, which is giving the online gaming company’s investors hope for a fresh start.

UPDATE: Video Sharing Now Available on Instagram

Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom confirmed TechVoid’s expectations today by unveiling a feature to share 15-second video clips on the application, with editing ability and 13 design filters, which could offer the company another venue for advertising revenue.

All Instagram users on iOS and Android can use the new video-sharing feature right now- so commence video taking!

Tech, Telecom Giants Face Privacy Scrutiny for NSA Spying Program

Media reports accuse America’s telecom giants of providing vast troves of data about phone calls and Internet use to the National Security Agency (NSA), placing companies and politicians on the defensive against privacy advocates.

President Obama spoke on Friday in San Jose defending the use of network surveillance as a necessary tool to prevent terrorism.

“You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society,” Obama said. “I think that on balance, we have established a process and a procedure that the American people should feel comfortable about.”

The firestorm began with a report by the Guardian, which obtained a court order dated in April from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) that requires Verizon to give the NSA ongoing, daily information about phone calls in the US and abroad.

The FISA court had reauthorized that order every 90 days since 2007, according to the Washington Post. The NSA also reportedly used the FISA court to order data collection about phone calls from AT&T and Sprint Nextel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The NSA also collects data from the networks of nine U.S. Internet companies through an initiative called PRISM, according to the Washington Post, which obtained a slide briefing about the program used by agency employees.

This scrutiny about government surveillance could make it more difficult for U.S. telecom and Internet companies to gain approval from European Union regulators to expand their businesses into Europe, former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker told Bloomberg West.

British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has also gathered intelligence on British citizen through PRISM, the Guardian reports.

The PRISM documents list the dates at which the nine Internet companies joined the initiative. The companies are Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Statements from officials at those companies, including Google’s Co-Founder Larry Page and Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg, each denied involvement, claiming they did not allow the NSA direct access to accounts and that they do not disclose user data without a legal request from the government. None of the companies denied that the government had obtained user data from their networks.

These denials are carefully worded because the government does not need direct access to accounts to obtain information, according to Marc Ambinder, an editor at The Week, who explains how the government may access data using PRISM.

Reports of widespread domestic surveillance bring more heat on an already embattled Attorney General Eric Holder, who is facing criticism from members of Congress about the seizure of Associated Press phone records as part of a leak investigation and about the Internal Revenue Service’s admissions of allegedly targeting conservative groups.

Holder faced scrutiny about the Guardian story on the surveillance of Verizon’s phone calls on Thursday from members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce Justice, Science and Related Agencies, during a hearing that was scheduled coincidentally for the morning after the Guardian story broke. Guardian reporters detailed the meeting in a blog, including a subcommittee decision for Holder to give a future, classified briefing on the issue to the full Senate Appropriations Committee.

Former President George W. Bush began the NSA’s domestic surveillance of phone calls shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The New York Times unmasked the secret wiretapping program in 2005.

Mother Jones compiled a quick timeline of the NSA’s surveillance efforts spanning from 2001 to 2013.


[Image courtesy of Flickr user DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)]

Zynga Bleeds Jobs, Hopes for Mobile or Gambling Business

Social gaming company Zynga announced yesterday that it would cut 18 percent of its employees, in part because targeting consumers on mobile devices requires fewer employees than running a Web-focused company, according to news reports.

In addition to cutting more than 500 jobs to right-size itself as a mobile-focused company, Zynga is shuttering its offices in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, AllThingsD reports.