Welcome to Episode #9 of Seriously Social News for Friday, 8th February 2013.
It’s Facebook’s 9th birthday, and it’s the 9th episode of the Seriously Social News podcast! Facebook tries to be a little more transparent by telling you when its tracking you, Twitter gets hacked and looks to enhance its security and Vine is apparently the next best thing since sliced bread! Amazon will be minting its own digital currency, Instagram enhances its web presence, a 4G price war begins in the UK and an asteroid is renamed “Wikipedia”.
Seriously Social News is a short weekly round up on all that is new in the world of social media, the internet and technology. With so much happening in the world of social media and technology, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest news that affects you.
Facebook Turns 9 Years Old & Lets You Know When it’s Tracking You
Facebook celebrated its 9th birthday on Monday this week. That’s right, just 9 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg created The Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard University. Originally it was just for college students with a .edu email address, but then it opened up to everyone in the world and now has over 1 billion users. This week Facebook has decided to make its targeted adverts a little more transparent by adding a new ad tracking icon when you hover over the cross on any ads that are targeted to you using your personal information. It’s fairly subtle, because the cross only appears when you hover over the image, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Of course, if you would prefer to not have targeted ads from Facebook following you as your surf the web you can opt out. Find out more in my guide on how to do a security audit on your Facebook personal profile.
- Facebook Turns 9 (All Facebook)
- Facebook to Make Targeted Ads More Transparent For Users (Ad Age)
- Facebook Will Let Users Know If Ads Were Targeted (All Facebook)
- This Icon Shows That Facebook Is Tracking You for Ads (Mashable)
- Facebook Friendship Pages Now On Mobile Web, Rolling Out On Apps (All Facebook)
- How to do a Facebook Personal Profile Security Audit (iag.me)
Twitter Hacked, Security & 2 Factor Authentication
Twitter had a large security breach which was announced last Friday which potentially exposed the email addresses, user names, session tokens and encrypted passwords of 250,000 users. Twitter shut down the live attack fairly soon, but the damage probably already have been done. In an effort to protect its users, it has reset the passwords of the 250,000 users. It is not known exactly how the breach happened, but the blog post from Twitter did mention a vulnerability in JAVA and recommended users disable JAVA in their browsers. It doesn’t seem a coincidence that Twitter has posted a job for engineers to help develop security features for users, such as multifactor authentication. This would be certainly a welcome move but it would be invaluable if Twitter allowed multiple administrators to manage Twitter accounts with different usernames and passwords. Currently a team has to share the Twitter password of an account which is hardly secure. As always I recommend using the password manager, LastPass, to enhance your security and allow you to manage your passwords easily.
- Twitter Hack Compromises 250,000 Accounts (ReadWrite)
- Twitter Hacked and 250,000 User Accounts Potentially Compromised: Change Your Passwords (LifeHacker)
- Twitter looks to add two-factor authentication to stop password hacks (Ars Technica)
- How To Create A Strong Password & Keep Your Social Media Accounts Safe (Simply Zesty)
- Don’t Get Caught in Shallow Waters, Protect Yourself from Phishers (iag.me)
- 10 Tips to Make Your Computer More Secure (iag.me)
- Your Password is not Safe (iag.me)
Is Vine the next best thing since Sliced Bread?
There has been a lot of hype about Twitter’s new iOS app, Vine recently. Vine allows you to create 6 second animated videos which can be shared on social networks and other websites as animated gifs. Twitter have made it very easy to splice short video snippets together just by pressing on the screen of your iPhone or iPad. Twitter CEO, Dick Costello, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal said they were looking for “the next big thing” after Facebook beat them to the post in buying filter photo sharing app Instagram. Apparently Vine is that “next big thing”. However there have been some teething problems as we reported last week with Twitter not getting a handle on pornographic clips appearing on Vine and in particular a pornographic clip mistakenly appearing as an editor’s pick! Twitter quickly implemented censoring of certain words in its search tool, but this wasn’t enough to stop Apple forcing them to change the maturity rating for the app from ages 12+ to 17+.
Currently Vine only exists as a mobile app for iOS with no release date planned for other devices. Although Vine has a website at vine.co, it is only to highlight the app itself, with no web interface to view vine clips themselves. However London based tech start up incubator, PXi ventures have created a website called VinePeek which randomly plays vines from users round the world.
- Twitter CEO calls Vine ‘the next thing,’ talks about getting a billion users in latest interview (The Verge)
- After Its Porn Problem, Twitter-Owned Vine Adds 17+ Age Rating To Video Sharing App (Tech Crunch)
- Vine App Changes Age Rating from 12+ to 17+ (Mashable)
- Apple reportedly pressured Vine to go “17+” on the App Store (Ars Technica)
- Vine Begins Censoring Searches, Weeds out #porn and more ( Ars Technica)
- Vine Peek (Vine Peek Website)
Amazon to Mint its own Currency
Amazon is to mint its own virtual currency specifically for its Kindle Fire Android tablet. The idea is that customers will be able to purchase apps, games and in-app items. Despite virtual currency not exactly having a good track record on the web with Facebook and Microsoft’s versions biting the dust, Amazon is pressing ahead with its plan and hopes to have them ready by May. It’s fair to say that app developers find it more difficult to get a return on their investment for Android apps than iOS ones, so perhaps Amazon hope to reverse that trend to make their Kindle Fire tablet a profitable device for developers.
- Why Amazon wants its own currency (The Verge)
- Amazon Launches Its Own Currency to Make It Easier to Spend on the Kindle (Wired)
- Amazon launches virtual currency (stuff.co.nz)
- Introducing Amazon Coins (Yahoo! News)
Instagram’s New Web Feed
Instagram is moving towards a better web experience by updating its web site for users. When logged in, users can now view their photo feed which will show them photos from themselves and from people they follow. Functionality is almost the same as the mobile experience– you can like a photo by double clicking on it and commenting on individual photos. Not everyone is happy though, some, such as Mashable writer Stephanie Buck are worried about Instagram’s new web feed crushing the intimacy it had when it was mobile only. What do you think? Please do let us know in the show notes.
- Finally! Your Full Instagram Feed Hits the Web (Mashable)
- Instagram’s New Web Feed Will Poison Mobile Intimacy (Mashable)
- Introducing Your Instagram Feed on the Web (Instagram Blog)
UK 4G Price War
There were more than a few raised eyebrows when UK telecoms regulator, OfCom gave newly formed mobile operator EE exclusive rights to roll out the next generation mobile internet data service 4G or LTE last year. Other mobile operators such as Three were understandably upset and reporting of EE’s 4G pricing plan hasn’t exactly been positive. Currently mobile operators in the UK are bidding on available 4G spectrum with the hope that they can offer it to their customers in the near future. Three which is currently offering the slightly slower HSDPA mobile internet to around 55% of the UK is hoping to be next inline. Three has announced that it won’t charge any extra for the faster LTE service and in doing so, potentially triggered a 4G price war despite EE currently having the monopoly.
- Three UK Promises no Upgrade Premiums on its Future LTE Plans (The Next Web)
- EE commits to adding 27 new towns to its 4G network by June 2013, covering 55% of the UK
- Three UK promises 4G access at no extra cost, pending spectrum auction results (The Independant Blog)
- Three to signal 4G price war in UK (The Financial Times)
Asteroid to be renamed “Wikipedia”
And finally, we all know Wikipedia is a stellar website, but did you know it exists in space too? Well there is an asteroid in space which measures 1 to 2 miles in length used to be labelled 274301, but the committee in charge of naming asteroids has decided to rename it “Wikipedia”. The asteroid was first discovered by astronomers in the Ukraine. The committee decided on the name on 27th January based on a suggestion from a Ukrainian member of the WikiMedia Foundation.