Facebook Criticized Over Email ChangesLast week, Facebook moved all of its users from the e-mails they had used to sign up for the service over to a new @facebook.com e-mail address scheme. Users immediately began complaining, however, when it became clear that the change was not simply made behind the scenes, but was actually impacting mobile contact lists and address books, without prior authorization from the device users. (Anyone syncing contacts with Facebook, then, was in danger of having old, legitimate e-mail addresses deleted and replaced with "Facebook e-mail" addresses that the people may not even be using or aware of.)
It also appears that e-mail now forwarded directly to a user's Facebook "inbox" doesn't trigger a notification on other e-mail systems. So someone could accidentally e-mail you, hit your new Facebook address and you wouldn't even know until the next time you remembered to check in with Facebook directly.
CNET this week discovered that the automatic altering of users' contacts without notification was, in fact, actually built into Apple's new iOS 6 Facebook integration: Facebook for iOS will change address books without any warning.
Facebook issued a statement blaming user "confusion" for the issue: "By default, messages from friends or friends of friends go into your Inbox," a spokesperson told CNET. "Everything else goes to your Other folder. That is likely where the messages are being sent from other people's emails. Even if that person is friends with them on Facebook, if the friend doesn't have that email on their Facebook account, the message could end up in the Other folder."
QUESTION: This is hardly new behavior from Facebook, which has a long history of implementing drastic changes it wants people to use, rather than updates demanded by users themselves. How bad is this? Will it make lots of people less likely to sync their phones with Facebook? And how many more changes like this will it take for people to begin reconsidering their Facebook use?
Amazon Plans Smartphone, Buys 3D Mapping Startup UpNextBloomberg is reporting that Amazon is developing a new smartphone to vie directly with Apple's iPhone and Android devices. The project would be a collaboration with China's Foxconn, the company that currently manufactures the iPhone along with numerous other hardware devices. The company is also said to be pursuing patents that would cover wireless technology, in the hopes of stemming any potential infringement allegations down the road.
Earlier in the week, Amazon closed a deal to acquire 3D mapping startup UpNext for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition marks a move into new territory for the eCommerce giant, which currently doesn't have a mapping system of its own. (Currently, to access maps on the Kindle Fire, users must download third-party Android apps or access online mapping services through the browser.)
UpNext offers interactive, detailed three-dimensional maps of cities and venues. Currently, iPad, iPhone and Android apps are available - 50 cities are featured, with 23 of them boasting "enhanced features." The company was founded by four high school friends from New York in 2007, who mostly bootstrapped the company until March 2011, when they raised $500,000 from investors including Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, David Cohen’s Bullet Time Ventures and David Tisch’s Box Group
Sources told GigaOm that investors are getting a 5x return on the investment from 16 months ago.
QUESTION: Amazon is coming in late to the market - what can they bring to the table to make an Amazon phone competitive? Who poses a bigger threat to Apple long-term - Google or Amazon?
SOURCE: Bloomberg and GigaOm
Storms Take Out Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest and OthersStorms in North Virginia last week caused power outages at Amazon Web Services data centers which affected some top US sites. Amazon explained that 10 data centers lost power after lightning strikes, but the backup power supply only failed at one of those 10 centers. Most downed sites used Facebook to inform users of the outages.
It was the second large-scale dropout of its cloud service in as many years. Last year, Amazon suffered a service failure at the same Northern Virginia data center, and it dragged on for the better part of four days. That failure was ultimately blamed on a software error.
Amazon spokeswoman Tera Randle said, “While no amount of downtime is acceptable, in the six years of running these services our customers have been quite pleased with our operational performance.”
Pinterest and Netflix were back online by Saturday afternoon while Instagram returned later in the day, though it still suffered recurring issues.
The failure came only days after Google announced its intention to get into the cloud computing services space.
The storm system that knocked out Amazon's center also caused widespread damage over the weekend in West Virginia, D.C., and the capital's Virginia and Maryland suburbs. 13 people were killed, most of them by falling trees.
QUESTION: As this was related to extreme weather, can Amazon really be held responsible for this outage? Would this make you less likely to rely on Amazon's cloud service? And wouldn't you think Netflix, essentially an Amazon competitor, would have its own cloud service at this point?
Google Places for iOS Becomes Google+ LocalGoogle has revamped its iOS app for Google Places, and also retitled the product Google+ Local. Google describes Google+ Local as, “everything you loved about Google Places and more.” Changes include the ability to search by voice command. The Verge noted that, while the voice search is not an "intelligent assistant" like Siri, it is functional if users want to avoid typing.
Other updates include the inclusion of Zagat scores alongside Google user reviews - an early indication of some of the company's plans for that 2011 acquisition - and the ability to rate business and locations within the app.
Engadget weighed in, saying that that, “The refresh makes it similarly easy to find locations that aren’t directly close by, and there’s a tighter login process to keep that bar search history away from prying eyes.”
This release comes alongside the iOS debuts last week of Chrome and Google Drive at Google I/O.
SOURCES: The Verge and Engadget
Netflix Monthly Viewing Exceeds U.S. Cable NetworksAccording to a public Facebook post by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the streaming video company's subscribers watched a total of 1 billion hours of video for the first time in June. That comes out to more than an hour of video per subscriber each day. The numbers would more than make Netflix the most watched cable network, by way of comparison. (The average TV viewer watches about 5 hours per day.)
After announcing plans to split apart and rebrand its DVD-by-mail service — and then rescinding those plans — the company lost subscribers in the last year’s third quarter. Since then, it’s been working to repair its brand image--and apparently succeeding. Netflix ended the first quarter with more than 26 million subscribers worldwide, a new high, and more than 1.5 million above the number it had in Q4 of 2011.
items 1 - 5 of 11
today on Ranker
start a list with results
close sorting window
use the search box to filter your list