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Google to launch social web Friend Connect May 12, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Google, Internet.
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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.

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.

Amazon.com to sell music downloads September 29, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Apple, Gadgets, Internet, Music.
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Amazon.com to sell music downloads as SpiralFrog goes for free

The world of online music stores is growing rapidly as Amazon.com  has started testing a digital-music download service to compete with Apple’s iTunes, while another iPod killer, SpiralFrog plans to offer free downloads of millions of tracks, legally.

The Amazon MP3 store will allow shoppers to buy and download individual songs or entire albums that can be copied to any device or computer, burned onto CDs and played on most types of PCs and music players, including Apple’s iPod or iPhone. Songs will cost 89-99 cents each and albums will sell for $5.99 to $9.99.

Amazon.com said the new service will include tracks from more than 20,000 record labels and they will be available in the MP3 format without anti-copying programmes known as digital rights management software (DRM).

iTunes was the largest online music store in 2006, with 70% of the market, according to research firm NPD Group. But record companies, such as the giant Universal Music Group which controls 25% of the world music marke, are trying to reduce Apple’s domination of the digital music marketplace by refused to renew a long-term agreements to sell their music on iTunes.

Apple sold more than 3 billion songs since iTunes’s April 2003 debut and the service currently offers more than 5 mln songs, 550 TV shows and 500 movies. On the other hand, as music lovers been getting free music online since the days of Napster, peer-to-peer sites such as Limewire and Bit Torrent are getting more common, but are also deemed in violation of copyright and can expose users to viruses and malware, not to mention poor recordings.

Newcomer SpiralFrog has the support of dozens of music companies, including Universal Music Group and the site offers more than 750,000 songs for free, including popular tracks from U2, Timbaland, Amy Winehouse and others. The only snag is that SpiralFrog tracks cannot be downloaded to iPods, by far the most popular of all portable media players, though downloads can happen to Windows-compatible devices.

Users also have to renew their free subscriptions every month to retain access to the SpiralFrog library, at which time they will also be required to fill out a survey on their music and buying habits. They will have to wait 90 seconds for every download, during which time they will hopefully look at ads which is where SpiralFrog aims to make money.