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Goldman Sachs Halts FaceBook Offering to US Investors

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 in Economic News, Social Networking

Source: Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. halted an offering of Facebook Inc. shares to U.S. investors on concern that “intense media attention” on the deal may violate rules limiting marketing of private securities.

Instead, the sale, first reported Jan. 2, will be restricted to non-U.S. investors, the New York-based bank said in an e-mailed statement today. Goldman Sachs and funds it manages had agreed to buy $450 million of closely held Facebook before the bank began seeking investors.

“Goldman Sachs concluded that the level of media attention might not be consistent with the proper completion of a U.S. private placement under U.S. law,” it said in the statement. The move “was based on the sole judgment of Goldman Sachs and was not required or requested by any other party.”

Goldman Sachs, the biggest U.S. securities firm before converting to a bank in 2008, had been trying to sell as much as $1.5 billion in Facebook shares to investors inside and outside the U.S. before making the change announced today. The company didn’t say whether it still expects to raise that amount....

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BitTorrent Based DNS to Counter Homeland Security Domain Seizures

Posted on Dec 02, 2010 in - Geeks, Gadgets, & Gizmos, Social Networking

Source: TorrentFreak

The domain seizures by the United States authorities in recent days and upcoming legislation that could make similar takeovers even easier in the future, have inspired a group of enthusiasts to come up with a new, decentralized and BitTorrent-powered DNS system. This system will exchange DNS information through peer-to-peer transfers and will work with a new .p2p domain extension.

In a direct response to the domain seizures by US authorities during the last few days, a group of established enthusiasts have started working on a DNS system that can’t be touched by any governmental institution.

Ironically, considering the seizure of the Torrent-Finder meta-search engine domain, the new DNS system will be partly powered by BitTorrent.

In recent months, global anti-piracy efforts have increasingly focused on seizing domains of allegedly infringing sites. In the United States the proposed COICA bill is explicitly aimed at increasing the government’s censorship powers, but seizing a domain name is already quite easy, as illustrated by ICE and Department of Justice actions last weekend and earlier this year.

For governments it is apparently quite easy to take over the DNS entries of domains, not least because several top level domains are managed by US-based corporations such as VeriSign, who work closely together with the US Department of Commerce....

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News Corp Weighs MySpace Options, Sale

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: Reuters

News Corp is open to a sale of beleaguered MySpace after a relaunch of the social network as an entertainment site, Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey told Reuters.

A successful revamp of MySpace — still visited by around 60 million people in October, according to comScore — could possibly pave the way for a sale.

A sale or partnership are two of a number of options the company would consider for the once valuable social network site, which has suffered in the face of competition from new hot sites like Facebook, which is visited by about 151 million people monthly, and Twitter.

“There are opportunities here to do 20 things (with MySpace) but that doesn’t mean you’re going to do any of the 20. If there’s something there that makes sense you ought to think about it,” said Carey.

MySpace has been the subject of recent speculation that News Corp is seeking to sell the site or partner with other digital media companies such as Yahoo and AOL Inc.

Carey said that a potential merger “would have been largely a pretty tough sale process” before the revamp....

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The Social Patriot – a New Way to Network

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 in Featured Articles, Social Networking, Truth is Treason News

Kevin Hayden

TruthisTreason.net

I would like to announce the beta opening of my newest endeavor, the Social Patriot.

Here’s a little bit about it –

Do you avoid social networking due to privacy concerns?  Wondering who’s looking at your data?  Or are you simply tired of the usual choices and looking for something that combines the best parts of Facebook updates, Twitter headlines and regular forums?

Social Patriot offers an escape from the privacy problems of the big sites while still connecting you with friends, status updates, subject tags, integrated discussion forums, private groups and more.

This social media effort is being supported by www.TruthisTreason.net in order to provide a new way of networking.  Social networking is a very powerful tool for promoting local events, news articles, blogs, online radio shows, documentaries or simply connecting with like-minded friends.

Social Patriot was created for the grassroots effort… but unlike many of the recent “movements,” this site will remain independent with a steadfast focus on privacy, freedom, discussion and furthering the cause of Liberty.

Please join me for a “soft opening” throughout the weekend. ...

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Biometric Facial Recognition Software for Cell Phones

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 in - Geeks, Gadgets, & Gizmos, Social Networking

Source: PhysOrg

Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed software for mobile phones that can track your facial features in real-time. Eventually it will be able to tell who the user is, where they are looking and even how they are feeling.

The method is believed to be unrivalled for speed and accuracy and could lead to facial recognition replacing passwords and PIN numbers to log into internet sites from a mobile phone.“Existing mobile face trackers give only an approximate position and scale of the face,” said Dr. Phil Tresadern, lead researcher on the project. “Our model runs in real-time and accurately tracks a number of landmarks on and around the face such as the eyes, nose, mouth and jaw line.”A mobile phone with a camera on the front captures a video of your face and tracks twenty-two facial features. This can make face recognition more accurate, and has great potential for novel ways of interacting with your phone.”

Originally intended as part of a face- and voice-verification system for access to mobile internet applications such as email, social networking and online banking, alternative uses for the device could include fun applications that, for instance, attach virtual objects to the user’s face as they move around....

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Federal Agents Urged to ‘Friend’ People on Social Networks for Intel Gathering

Posted on Oct 17, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: FOX News

A privacy watchdog has uncovered a government memo that encourages federal agents to befriend people on a variety of social networks, to take advantage of their readiness to share — and to spy on them.  In response to a Freedom of Information request, the government released a handful of documents, including a May 2008 memo detailing how social-networking sites are exploited by the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS).

As of Thursday morning, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Digg had not commented on the report, which details the official government program to spy via social networking. Other websites the government is spying on include Twitter, MySpace, Craigslist and Wikipedia, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed the FOIA request.

“Narcissistic tendencies in many people fuel a need to have a large group of ‘friends’ link to their pages, and many of these people accept cyber-friends that they don’t even know,” statedone of the documents obtained by the EFF. “This provides an excellent vantage point for FDNS to observe the daily life of beneficiaries and petitioners who are suspected of fraudulent activities,” it said....

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Public Twitter Booth

Posted on Oct 04, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: Geekologie

 

Public Twitter booths: the new new public phone booth. Of course, if you can’t tweet from your cell phone already it’s probably time to throw the pager away and step into the 21st century.

...

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Truthy.Indiana.edu to Search & Identify Smear Tactics, Twitter-Bombs & Disinformation During Elections

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 in Science & Technology, Social Networking

Source: PhysOrg

Combing through thousands of tweets per hour in search of political keywords, the team based out of IU’s School of Informatics and Computing will isolate patterns of interest and then insert those memes (ideas or patterns passed by imitation) into Twitter’s (API) to obtain more information about the meme’s history.

“When we identify a trend we go back and examine how it was started, where the main injection points were, and any associated memes,” said Filippo Menczer, an associate professor of computer science and informatics. “When we drill down we’ll be able to see statistics and visualizations relating to tweets that mention the meme, and basically reconstruct its history.”

The team will then generate diffusion network images that visitors to Truthy.indiana.edu can view as groups of nodes and edges that identify retweets, mentions, and the extent of the epidemic. Visitors to the site will also see the output of a sentiment analysis algorithm that examines and extracts mood-identifying words and then assesses them on a known psychometric scale. That algorithm identifies the meme on scales ranging from anxious to calm, hostile to kind, unsure to sure, and confused to aware....

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Social Networking Powerful Tool to Promote Good Health

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: Natural News

The power of social networking to connect friends and help businesses connect with existing and potential clientele continues to be a driving force in today’s world because of its incredible success. But how can social networking work to promote better health? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) believes that if people promote healthy lifestyles within their social networks, public health as a whole will significantly improve.

Recent studies have shown that people’s behaviors rub off onto their friends. Bad habits like smoking and overeating are contagious, say many researchers. But so are good behaviors like eating healthy, exercising and getting good rest, which is why NIH is offering funding to scientists willing to work on improving public health through social networking.

“We’ve come to realize more and more that how people live and function in social networks is really important to health,” explained Deborah Olster, acting director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at NIH.

Several researchers have already come up with creative ideas to promote better health through social networks. Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School believes that creating artificial social groups around things like losing weight or eating better will help to encourage unhealthy people to improve their lifestyles....

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Social Networking Usage Doubles Among the 50+ Crowd

Posted on Sep 03, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: TG Daily

While it’s still the age group with the lowest concentration of social network users, the senior citizen crowd is starting to realize how fun Facebook is.

Teenage sons and grandchildren be wary because you may start getting friend requests from people you’d rather not share your wall posts with. Yes, almost one out of every two people over the age of 50 now has a social network account.

That’s up from 22% just one year ago, according to the latest study from the Pew Internet research group.

As more and more people from the older side of the spectrum start signing up, it seems to be creating a whirlwind effect. Older users are finally starting to see the value in being able to connect with friends. For them, it’s even more valuable as a way to get back in touch with long-lost buddies and colleagues.

61% of those between the age of 30 and 49 now have a social network account, and a blistering 86% of 18- to 29-year-olds are connected to Facebook or Twitter, or some other social network site – they do exist....

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The Man Who Traveled the World for Free Using Only Twitter

Posted on Aug 23, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: Oddee

The man who traveled the world for free using only Twitter

Paul Smith is a British blogger, writer and former radio executive. An advocate of social media, Smith coined the phrase “twitchhiking” when he travelled around the world using the social media network Twitter. In February 2009, Smith launch the Twitchhiker Project, an attempt to travel “as far around the world as possible in 30 days, relying only on the goodwill of people using the social media network Twitter.”

The rules of the project meant Smith could spend no money on transport or accommodation, he only accepted offers of help through Twitter, his travel plans could only be made up to three days in advance and if he was stranded anywhere for longer than 48 hours, Smith had to abandon his journey. After thirty days and with the aid of over 11,000 Twitter followers, Smith had travelled as far as Stewart Island in New Zealand, raising over £5,000 for charity.

You can read more about his adventures and visit his blog here....

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Campaigns Face New Social Networking Disclosure Rules Next Month

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: Washington Post

Maryland will become one of the first states in the nation next month to regulate how candidates identify themselves on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

A legislative review panel signed off Tuesday on rules adopted in June by the State Board of Elections that aim to keep Maryland’s disclosure requirements current with the evolving media world.

Under the new rules, for example, Facebook pages sponsored by candidates will have to include “authority lines,” making it clear that the campaign is sponsoring the page. The rules also speak to click-through ads on social networking sites and other Web-based advertising.

Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance for the elections board, said the two major gubernatorial campaigns in Maryland are largely complying with the new disclosure rules and that other campaigns should have no problem doing so when they take effect Aug. 3.

“The point of doing it is to bring some clarity,” DeMarinis said.

...

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FaceBook Uses Facial Detection Technology on New Photos

Posted on Jul 08, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: CNN

Facebook has begun testing face detection technology for Facebook Photos.

This is the first of what seems like a series of new features for its popular photo product.

The tests, which some users will see starting today [Friday], focus on decreasing the tediousness of “tagging” friends in Facebook photos. In the current Photos feature, users upload photos, click on each face in a photo, tag that photo with the friend pictured therein and continue the process until the album is tagged.

If you’ve got a large album or a lot of friends in a single photo, this process is inefficient and tedious. To solve this problem, Facebook has implemented face detection technology that will automatically find faces in photos and select them, eliminating one of the most tedious steps in tagging Facebook friends in photos. Your friends are already selected by the software — all you have to do is answer the Facebook prompt, “Whose face is this?”

Read entire article

Hayden’s Note:

Is this good?  Bad?  Most digital cameras employ this same facial recognition ability.  It’s not recognizing who it is, but rather that it has the characteristics of a human face. ...

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Limited Twitter & FaceBook Access – Weekend Updates Only

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 in Social Networking, Truth is Treason News

Kevin Hayden

TruthisTreason.net

Hey everyone,

I typically maintain this site from work in my spare time and access to Twitter was just cut off.  The IT personnel had thus far not noticed it or added it to the black list but the day of reckoning has arrived.  Facebook and other social sites, along with all streaming video has been blocked for quite some time, hence the lack of embedded video over the last several months.

I will try and update Twitter and Facebook accounts on the weekends when I can drive into town and access some wi-fi.  I have moved to the homestead property and we’re out in the middle of nowhere, living with limited electricity and very limited cell signal as we build the homestead and cabin.  I am currently writing an article on this very topic, so expect that next week!

For all you social networking followers, look for mass updates on the weekends for the time being!...

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Facebook Creator Called Trusting Users “Dumb F*cks”

Posted on May 14, 2010 in Social Networking

Source: The Register

Andrew Orlowski

Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users “dumb f*cks” for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the transcript.

Zuckerberg was chatting with an unnamed friend, apparently in early 2004. Business Insider, which has a series of quite juicy anecdotes about Facebook’s early days, takes the credit for this one.

The exchange apparently ran like this:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb f*cks

The founder was then 19, and he may have been joking. But humour tells you a lot. Some might say that this exchange shows Zuckerberg was not particularly aware of the trust issue in all its depth and complexity.

Facebook is currently in the spotlight for its relentlessly increasing exposure of data its users assumed was private.

...

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