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Google to launch social web Friend Connect May 12, 2008

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Following Facebook and Myspace, Google will join the social network data portability crowd to allow its users to port user data to partner sites, media reported Monday.

Google’s Friend Connect will be a set of “APIs for Open Social participants to pull profile information from social networks into third party websites,” speculated TechCrunch.

Google has been taking a more open and distributed approach with its OpenSocial API, which allows compliant applications to work across any social network. By extension, Friend Connect would provide glue to allow any site to add a social dimension and build connections to other social networks.

Facebook Connect announced on Friday it would make it easier for people to share their favorite pictures, information and applications with family and friends anywhere on the Internet. MySpace on Thursday announced Data Availability, with Yahoo, eBay, Photobucket, and Twitter as initial partners for its effort to let members port their data.

The key for all the data portability efforts is that users have granular controls to manage their data and to maintain privacy and security. Facebook and MySpace have not fully disclosed how their privacy controls will work yet.

David Glazer, Google director of engineering, said in March the big challenge isn’t the technology but applying existing and emerging standards, such as OATH (secure API authentication), OpenID (identity management) and OpenSocial APIs (application integration).


Salesforce adds Google e-mail, office programs April 17, 2008

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Salesforce.com Inc, a maker of business software for tracking sales calls, on Monday started integrating its products with Google Inc’s e-mail service.

Google’s Gmail – as well as its word processor, spreadsheet and other office productivity programs – were scheduled to be available to Salesforce customers on Monday morning, the two companies said in a press release.

Salesforce is not charging customers for the Google office applications. The programs have long been available for free from Google.

The advantage of accessing the Google programs through Salesforce, which distributes its software over the Web, is that customers will be able to automatically integrate information from the Google documents with data entered into their Salesforce accounts, the companies said.

Who google for sex and who for money March 1, 2008

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Indians, Egyptians google for ‘sex’, Chinese for money

Sex was the keyword most frequently used by Google users in Egypt, India and Turkey, the search engine giant has said, but in mainland China people hunt for money and technology.

A list recently released by Google China showed four of the top six favorite search topics in China were wealth-related: Three banks and “stock.” China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, ranked second, third and sixth, all having listed in 2006 and proving a big draw for investors. Fourth on the list was “stock”, not unsurprising with Shanghai shares having risen 97 percent last year after more than doubling the previous year.

Google users’ passion for stocks was also reflected in another list, which ranked blogs that were most searched. The top two were written by securities analysts.

Besides, on the list of the 10 most googled sentences that start with “what is”, seven were about stocks, including such questions as “what is a blue chip” and “what is an open-end fund.”

In an information-driven age, the others on the list were: “QQ”, a Chinese instant message service and also an automobile brand, at No 1. The others were: “game” (5th), “Google Earth” (7th), download tool “Thunder” (8th), the Chinese anti-virus software “Kaspersky” (9th), and “MSN” (10th).

But when it comes to Chinese, food can’t be far behind. Foreigners might be voting with their chopsticks for Kung Pao Chicken, but the most googled dish was sweet-and-sour ribs, followed by fish-flavored shredded pork, home-style braised pork and braised eggplant.

And for unexplained reasons, the most googled English word was “wire mesh”, followed by “crystal”, “china”, “mushroom” and “ballast”. Among entertainment stars, Taiwan R&B star Jay Chou was No 1 followed by Chen Chusheng, the champion of the television contest Happy Boy last year. 

Pamela Anderson, Michael Jackson, Harry Potter used as bait for spreading trojan February 25, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet, Internet Safety.
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PandaLabs has detected the mass-mailing of messages with sensational subject fields to spread the Downloader.SQV trojan. Subjects used include two supposed earthquakes in the USA, the third divorce of Pamela Anderson or the release of the film “Jumper”.

The email format is the same in all cases, only the subject field varies. Yet it always involves some kind of sensational title, such as:

Pamela Anderson divorces in third times!!!

Michael Jakson glued up a person a plaster

CIA tortures prisoners!!!

Harry Potter was purchased by pentkhaus!!!

Two powerful earthquakes happened in the USA!!!

Princess Diana ´Could be have been killed by MI6´ – conclusions of experts!!!

The variable subject of the email also appears in the text body, along with the text:  “New Video!” and a link with the words “Download Now”. Any user clicking the link will be redirected to a web page that will infect their computer with Downloader.SQV. This trojan then downloads two other trojans: Spammer.AGF and KillFiles.BU. The first is designed to resend the emails, using the infected computer as a server, while the second prevents certain system functions from operating correctly.

“Malware creators frequently use sensational headlines or celebrities as lures to distribute malware. This is known as social engineering, and it is generally an effective technique”, explains Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

To avoid falling victim to these malicious codes, PandaLabs advises users not to click links in emails from unknown sources. It is also advisable to have a good security solution installed and up-to-date to protect against both known and unknown threats.

Facebook says hola to Spanish-language amigos February 9, 2008

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Facebook.com has introduced a version of the site for Spanish-language speakers, the first of several languages beyond English the social network site plans to offer, the company said.

Facebook, the online social network phenomenon that has enjoyed explosive international growth over the past nine months despite remaining an English-only site, said it will introduce German and French-language versions within weeks.

Sixty percent of Facebook’s roughly 64 million users live outside of the United States. More than 2.8 million active users live in Latin America or Spain, the company said.

Facebook users can choose to view the site in Spanish by changing their account settings. Starting on Monday, Facebook users who sign on to the Web from Spanish-speaking countries will automatically be directed to Facebook en espanol.