FISA requests detailed in agreement with US government
A group of tech companies have released more information about government requests from the NSA and other agencies for user information, as part of their transparency reporting programs. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all posted more statistics online for these Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests, following an agreement between the companies and the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
Agents infiltrate World of Warcraft
Eight tech giants, including industry competitors Apple, Google and Microsoft, have joined forces to demand reforms to the US government's surveillance tactics. In an open letter sent to President Barack Obama and members of Congress, the companies argue that current surveillance practices, as detailed in ongoing leaks from former National Security Agency staffer Edward Snowden, have created an imbalance "too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual-rights that are enshrined in our Constitution."
LinkedIn Pulse responds to feedback, enhances 4.0 update
LinkedIn Pulse, formerly Pulse, was released last week on iTunes and Google Play as LinkedIn's "main vehicle for [its] social news experience". Version 4.0 was met with criticism, leading the company to hurriedly issue version 4.0.1 to respond to complaints. The update includes full screen reading on iPad, increased density on the home screen, the ability to swipe to go back after reading a story, and several smaller fixes and performance improvements.
Facebook Messenger updated for iOS 7, adds SMS
Facebook Messenger, a chat app for Facebook users, has received an update for iOS 7. Facebook Messenger allows users to read messages without opening Facebook, send photos privately, make free calls and more. Version 3.0 features a completely new design, optimized for iOS 7. Central to the update is that users can now message people that are not their Facebook friends, using SMS. Available for free, Facebook Messenger can be downloaded on iTunes.
New feature scans users' emails for contacts, inserts LinkedIn data
Business networking and communications service LinkedIn released data on a new iOS-only service that it calls "Intro." The new service gives iPhone users emails enhanced with an in-line profile of the sender and relevant information stored on the social network.
iPhone app promotes hiring through LinkedIn
LinkedIn has introduced two new mobile services. The first, Recruiter Mobile, is an iPhone app that manages job applications, as well as talking with candidates and hiring managers. Recruiters can track candidates' profile updates, and respond to people via phone, text, email, or LinkedIn's own InMail. The app is a free download, but requires a special link provided by LinkedIn.
Laws would only offer more precision in reporting gov't. requests
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo are among the companies that have signed a new Center for Democracy and Technology letter asking the US Congress to pass Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-CA) Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013, and Sen. Al Franken's (D-MN) Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013. The bills were first introduced in August, and would let companies be more precise about when and how often they receive national security-related requests and hand data over to the government.
Facebook 25 times more popular than Google for sharing
Despite Google's efforts to integrate its "social layer" across all of its services, Google+ trails every other major social networking platform. A new report out from Gigya pegs Google+ at only a two percent share of social sharing, behind even LinkedIn, which holds a three percent share. The social platform is in fifth place among the major social outlets.
Some critical code left out
Apple is considering LinkedIn integration for iOS 7, beta code references suggest. In particular the references hint that LinkedIn could be supported in the same manner as Facebook and Twitter, meaning single sign-in support, and the ability to quickly post content via a share sheet or hooks in iOS apps. Some essential code strings are missing though, preventing LinkedIn options from turning on in the current iOS 7 release.
Discoveries leaking as betas are seeded to developers, testers
A handful of new information nuggets are coming to light about both the OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 betas given to developers and testers beginning yesterday after the WWDC keynote. Two examples of significant changes being found in the betas includes a new networking default in OS X, accompanied by a change in iOS 7 that will someday make Wi-Fi connections in public hotspots completely automatic. More minor tweaks include the addition of LinkedIn system-wide integration, and a new "active" icon for the clock app in iOS 7.
Google Play, T-Mobile start selling white Nexus 4
The white version of the Nexus 4 has gone on sale through Google Play, with T-Mobile also stocking the device. Google is charging $299 and $349 for the 8GB and 16GB models respectively, equaling the price of the black version, and will also provide a free bumper. T-Mobile is offering the 16GB model for $17 up-front and 24 monthly payments of $17, or $428 for it off-contract, though without the bumper.
May be tied into LinkedIn Today, demographic data, ad money
Work-oriented social network LinkedIn has confirmed earlier rumors and announced a deal to buy news aggregation service Pulse. The buyout will cost LinkedIn $90 million; the company hasn't announced many specific plans for its new holding, but says it wants to be the "definitive professional publishing platform," where "professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content."
Terms of deal not disclosed, expected to be between $50 and $100M
According to sources familiar with the matter, professional networking service LinkedIn will buy the newsreader app Pulse. A report on AllThingsD said the price of the acquisition fell between $50 and $100 million. The buy is thought to be used as part of a larger initiative into content development and distribution.
Borrows idea from CEO colleague at YouSendIt
Christmas came very early (or very late) for employees of business networking site LinkedIn: CEO Jeff Weiner on Wednesday gave all 3,500 employees of the company their own 32GB iPad mini during the usual biweekly "All Hands" meeting. The company said later the move was a "small gesture" to thank workers for their efforts and accomplishments in gratitude for their contributions. LinkedIn grew 81 percent year-over-year in 2012 and beat Wall Street estimates in the most recent quarter.
Ahead of Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest
Deal more complex than originally thought
Expanding on yesterday's news that Digg had been bought by Betaworks, further details have emerged that paint a more complex picture of the Digg sale. New and expanded information reveal that not only did The Washington Post Company play a part in Digg's sale, as was previously known, but professional networking site LinkedIn also acquired a portion of the fallen social news site. The newest information brings with it a recalculation of Digg's total selling price; all told, the site is thought to have gone for around $16 million.
Encrypted passwords reportedly posted to Russian hacker sites
(Updated with breach confirmation from LinkedIn) Wednesday brings reports of further security woes for LinkedIn, as Norwegian site Dagens IT carries a warning that 6.5 million encrypted passwords from the professional networking site have been posted to a Russian hacker forum. The passwords are said to be in an easily-crackable encryption format, and the files posted to the hacker site may contain user data as well. LinkedIn is looking into the problem, but the company is unable to confirm the breach as of yet.
Plain text data transfer in LinkedIn seen as security risk
Security researchers have found that a feature in the LinkedIn mobile app for iOS could be considered a security risk. Yair Amit and Adi Sharabani of Skycure Security found that, although it's an opt-in feature, it gathers and sends information back to LinkedIn when users access their calendar within the app. The insecurity is magnified by the data being transferred in plain text, including meeting details and other information that could be highly sensitive in nature.
Firm sues Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn and others on same day
A new lawsuit has been filed against Apple and its iOS Developer Program for patent infringement. Delaware-based Cathas Advanced Technologies believes the iOS Developer Program infringes on two claims of a patent entitled "Web-Based Design Software for Keep-Alive Boards," according to Patently Apple. Cathas expects a “reasonable royalty” along with a payment with interest for "suffered damages."
View meeting participants' profiles, postings
Capitalizing on the 22 percent daily userbase utilization of LinkedIn on mobile platforms, version 5.0 of the LinkedIn iOS application brings both a native iPad version as well as tight calendar integration to the year-old application. The LinkedIn application update is available on the Android Marketplace as well as a universal iOS version on the Apple App Store.
Nokia hiring PureView for Windows Phone engineer
Earlier hints from a Nokia exec about a PureView-badged phone running on Windows Phone have gained more traction thanks to a newly discovered LinkedIn job post. Thus far, the company only confirmed that a Symbian-powered 808 PureView (shown) is coming, but a Lumia variant is evidently on the way. The job ad seeks a Senior Specialist for imaging algorithms for Windows Phone, and the 808 PureView is directly referenced.
Apple, Path, Facebook, others in lawsuit sights
A new lawsuit (below) filed last week and uncovered on Friday by CNET could try and take Apple and key iOS app writers to task for alleged unapproved contact access. The potential class action case accuses those who've admitted to any access, such as Path, Twitter, and Instagram, of violating privacy by becoming "mobile radio beacons" that were "broadcasting and publicly exposing" contact lists to everyone. Questionably, however, it also names the developers of numerous other unverified apps of doing the same thing, including Beluga, Burbn, Chillingo, EA, Facebook, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Hipster, Gowalla, Kik, LinkedIn, Rovio (Angry Birds), and ZeptoLab (Cut the Rope).
Also implements simpler interface, card notes
LinkedIn says its it has relaunched CardMunch, one of its two iPhone apps. CardMunch is used to scan business cards and turn them into digital contact information. The overhauled app now automatically links a person's information with a LinkedIn profile where possible. This provides access to extended data, such as connections, education, and work experience.
Mimics Pulse's pre-selected content
The developer of Flipboard has released a major update of the iPad app, v1.5. Three main changes have been made, including support for an infinite number of feeds, the old limit being 21. A new Content Guide makes it easier to find material by sorting through favorites and sections, as well as by searching for people, publications, sites or topics. One focus of the Guide is on Pulse-like curated streams, featuring publications like The New Yorker and National Geographic.
iOS 5 may link to LinkedIn, more beyond Twitter
A further discovery inside the iOS 5 beta has shown that the social network integration runs deeper than just Twitter. Readily accessible settings in the contacts let users add Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, and even MySpace. The AllThingsD look showed that users just have to enter a given username and let the OS take care of the outbound links.
T-Mobile issues Android 2.2 update for Defy
Motorola and T-Mobile announced on Thursday in the T-Mobile forums that the Android 2.2 update for the Motorola Defy has been released. As the update is optional, users need to manually check for it and download it over the air. As the update is about 112MB in size, Motorola suggests users do it over a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Concentrates on industry tracking
LinkedIn has added a News feed to its iPhone app, which has been updated to v3.6. The News aggregator focuses on specific industries a person works in or markets to. Users can select the industries they want to follow, see what contacts have shared, and share headlines themselves. Articles can be archived for later reading.
Rogers adds limited time $40 smartphone plan
Canadian wireless and cable provider Rogers has started a new smartphone plans for entry-level smartphones, MobileSyrup reported on Thursday. The promotional plan is called an Exclusive $40 Promo Plan, and has gone into effect on January 25 for a limited, though unknown, amount of time. It requires a three-year contract and includes 200 minutes per month, 100MB of data and unlimited social networking, which grants unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket and LinkedIn.
Job postings for webOS support environment
HP and Palm, along with their recruiters, are attempting to hire a large number of programmers and software engineers, as evidenced by job posts on sites like LinkedIn, SimplyHired and Palm's own page. Positions to be filled include a senior software engineer for e-mail sync, a senior manager for information and product security and developers to "deliver compelling solutions and applications for the webOS ecosystem."
Ex-Microsoft exec John Matheny hired by Yahoo
Yahoo has very recently hired former Microsoft executive John Matheny, according to a Thursday AllThingsSD report. Matheny was involved heavily in the failed Kin project at Microsoft but was also the General Manager for the Windows Phone App Studio, Premium Mobile Experiences and MSN Platforms & Services groups, his LinkedIn profile revealed. At Yahoo, his new job is as senior VP of Yahoo's communications products and communities unit.
HP to use Palm for web-connected printers
HP during the call discussing its latest quarterly results provided the surprise that it would use webOS in printers. While the company had previously said it would use the Palm deal to make webOS tablets, chief executive Mark Hurd added that "web-connected" printer hardware was coming. They need an OS to get online, he said.
App enables Bluetooth connection with members
LinkedIn on Monday released an update to its self-titled app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Version 3.0 features a redesigned interface, with a new main screen displaying several large buttons.The Reconnect feature allows users to quickly find other LinkedIn members, while the In Person selection enables contact information to be swapped via Bluetooth.
Palm releases webOS 1.3.1 for Pre, Pixi
Palm on Friday announced users of the Pre smartphone on both the Sprint network and Bell in Canada will receive an automatic over-the-air software update to webOS 1.3.1. The Palm Pixi, released on Sunday, shipped with the updated operating system as well. A number of new features are made possible with the new OS, and some known issues were resolved. One such new feature is the integration of Yahoo contacts, calendar and messaging into Palm Synergy, along with Outlook EAS, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn accounts. The Yahoo contacts and calendars can also be integrated into the Pre's respective applications, while Yahoo! IM can be used in the webOS Messaging app.
Coupons hires Android head
Coupons Inc. has announced on Tuesday that it has hired Steven Horowitz as its chief technology officer. Horowitz will leave his position as Google's Engineering Director, a position in which he oversaw the development of the Android operating system and related software. Horowitz will oversee Coupons' global engineering, product management and technology efforts for its creation and distribution of coupons to retailers.