Blippy, is a social network for shoppers. Blippy users share with each other what they have just bought and socialize around their purchases. Apparently, some users got much more than they signed up for when there credit card numbers showed up on Google recently.
When a power user entered search term site:blippy.com “from card” , Google showed him a number of recent purchases by Blippy users along with their credit card numbers. As reported by VentureBeat, most of them were Citibank issued master card numbers. Investigation is still underway to determine how this happened, but Google has meanwhile blocked all searches for the site Blippy.com
What makes the event more interesting is the reply by Blippy Co-Founder Philip Kaplan, who saysit is not as bad as it looks. According to him, we hand our credit card to waiters and cashiers all the time and the 4 users affected by this incident need not worry since they are not responsible for any purchases made without their permission. He further explains how the credit card numbers go back during Blippy’s beta days when the data was on HTML pages and somehow those pages were still in Google cache.
Even though, the incident didn’t cause much damage, it is still shocking to see how vulnerable sensitive information has become due to it being accessed by every mom and pop social network. It is also interesting to know that Blippy had raised $11 Million of funding just a day before this credit card fiasco.
FourSquare is probably the hottest web property in town right now. We already knew that Yahoo! is probably trying to buy out FourSquare, but it seems like Microsoft and Facebook have joined the bandwagon too. The valuation FourSquare is getting right now seems to be north of $100 Million.
One should keep in mind though that besides these acquisition and partnership offers, FourSquare still has lots of VCs eager to pour money in. What will Dennis Crowley, the founder of FourSqaure, decide? He has already sold one of his startups , Dodgeball, to Google before and that wasn’t the best decision of his life.
Techcrunch is also reporting that Facebook may be more interested in a strategic partnership instead of an outright acquisition. This will serve Facebook well in complementing its own , location based service, which is talk of the town since last few weeks. Do you think Dennis Crowley should sell FourSquare or just trust its growth rate and wait for a bigger and better opportunity?
We told you earlier about 3 Idiots becoming available on YouTube for a legal download. Now it seems like the official YouTube video rental store has been launched at YouTube.com/store. You can use the store to rent movies and TV shows for a specific price ($0.99 to 419.99) and be able to watch them for upto a pre-defined limit (usually 24 hours).
The store already contains a number of movies (lots of Bollywood), documentaries, popular TV shows, biographies and even some educational videos. Most of the TV shows include information about the air date and even the number of views the videos have received. Before renting out a video, you can watch a 2 minute preview to see the video quality. You do need a YouTube account to use the rental service. Payments are made through Google Checkout.
If you need help with the service, YouTube has a separate support platform. The service does not currently allow you to download videos, but you can play it as much as you want during the allotted 24 hours. Another catch is that YouTube rentals are only available to US users right now. Plus, like every good video rental store if you were unable to play a video due to a technical issue, you can claim a refund by filling out this form.
It is interesting to see that some of the videos can be rented out for an unlimited period of time which means you’ll have access to them forever. Any organization with authentic videos that have a demand can become a YouTube partner and start renting out videos online. There is no fixed fee for listing but YouTube shares the revenue with you.
Do you think this model will work for YouTube? Also, with so many streaming movies available at Netflix for a fixed price, why would somebody pay-per-video to watch the videos on YouTube?
Everyday the battle between iPhone and Android gets more intense. Even though Android is nowhere close to iPhone yet, but the growth rate is phenomenal. A recent proof of that comes from the fact that Android market now has over 38,000 apps. FierceMobileContent reports that this is a 70% increase from last quarter.
More interestingly, Google claims that they are now selling and activating around 60,000 new Android phones every day. There are now 34 different phones from a dozen different manufacturers that are powered by Android. With Google’s acquisition of adMob, Apple starting a rival mobile ad platform and the high growth rate of Android apps, the competition between iPhone and Android will just get more fierce.
However, it is clear that Google has its fair share of problems when it comes to mobile. For example, the FTC still doesn’t like Google’s acquisition of adMob for $750 Million and is trying to mount an anti-trust challenge. If Google cannot hold ground in this issue, it would be a huge below for Android. There are tens of other mobile ad networks out there and with so many new phones coming out each week, the market is getting quiet competitive.
Facebook’s recently launched “Like” feature, which aims to make the whole web more social, is the most actively discussed topic right now. Webmasters across the world seem to be debating whether to implement the feature or not. Buy if you use Google Chrome, you don’t need to wait to see your favorite website implement the feature.
The Google Chrome extension let you ‘Like’ any website with a couple of clicks. Once you install the add-on from here, a small facebook icons appear next to your address bar. Clicking on that button while browsing any website would allow you to show your likeness for the website and also display recent activity from your friends. However, you do need to be logged in to Facebook to access this feature, if you are not, a pop-up window will ask you to do so first.
Whenever you ‘Like’ a webpage, the activity will show in your Facebook feeds, so make sure you don’t click on any websites that you don’t want to show up on your Facebook profile. It is a great little tool to make your browsing more social and share good stuff from across the web with your Facebook friends.
When 59 year old Bill Jordan went to get his iPad from the local Apple store, he paid a little more than the agreed price of $499. As the story goes, when the Denver resident left Apple store with his prized gadget, he had his fingers wrapped around the device so he doesn’t drop it. Little did he know that somebody more enthusiastic than him has been stalking him. As soon as the thief got a chance, he got into a physical struggle with Bill Jordan to snatch his iPad.
As crazy as it sounds, the thief tried so hard that in addition to the iPad, he was able to tore some flesh off the pinky. The finger had to be amputated to prevent further damage. The police, however, has caught the event on a surveillance camera and is trying to catch the culprit. Here is a picture of Bill Jordan after the incident:
The funniest part of the story is that Bill Jordan didn’t even know what an iPad is; rather, his company told him to get one as a business gift to a co-worker. Denver Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of $2000 to anybody who can lead to the capture of this iPad culprit. Am I the only one who thinks this iPad craze is going a bit too far? Below is the video from one of the surveillance cameras showing the incident:
Traditionally, if you want to sell something online you would either setup a store or put it up on eBay. Even though both these options are great, they don’t work for each and every situation. For example, if you want to sell only a couple of items and want to target them to a certain group of people, none of these would work. In such situations, a better solution is to use a service like TinyPayMe.
It takes less than 2 minutes to setup a sale on TinyPayMe; you can include as little or as much information possible including price, quantity, pictures, description, tags, location and any personal info that you want to publish. You can sell physical items as well as digital content using TinyPayMe. Once you have created your listing, simply share the link with desired audience or embed it on your website or blog. A user will be able to purchase the item through PayPal instantly.
The service however is not free, they do charge 5% of the selling price as their service fee. You can also donate a portion of every sale to a specific charity if you want. There is also an option to display pageviews, include listing in search results and require a shipment address from the buyer. Over all, TinyPayMe is not a world-changing solution but can work really well if you are trying to do a very targeted sale and think the convenience is worth the 5% fees.
Far away from all the hubbub of China vs. Google, a Chinese company has made a silent albeit important acquisition. The company being acquired is Echolane, one of the top solution providers and consultants for many cloud-based technologies including Salesforce.com. Echolane has been bought by a Chinese technology company called hiSoft which is one of the leading IT outsourcing companies in the world. Founded by Salesforce.com alumni, Echolane will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of hiSoft.
With this latest acquisition in the cloud-based technology, it is clear that Chinese companies know where the future lies and are trying to get ahead of the game. They might not beat Google or Microsoft when it comes to offering cloud-computing, but with globally dominant outsourcing, they’ll probably be involved in the process somewhere in between. With this ever increasing reliance on Chinese companies for outsourcing, would the US ever be able to confront China on any technology issue? Let’s just say Google had deep enough pockets to accept the consequences of walking out of China, but would small and mid-size companies be able to afford to do so? I don’t think so.
With every such move, it’ll just get harder for US to sever technology ties with China. On the other hand, China has proved again and again that when it comes to technology, the world needs them more than they need the world. With Baidu and AliPay, China doesn’t need Google or PayPal, but these global internet giants still dream of establishing themselves in the huge Chinese market and capture billions of dollars of potential revenue.
Wikipedia is no doubt one of the most commonly used websites for reference. It is the first place people turn to when looking to explore a new topic. However, reading all those pages online is not always easy, so, here is a way to organize multiple Wikipedia pages into a PDF book that can be downloaded, printed and read on your favorite mobile device.
Here are a few short steps you need to take to turn any set of pages into an eBook:
3. Under the Print/Export menu on left side-bar, click on Create a book.
4. Now every article you visit will have an Add this page to your book option. Click on that to add as many articles to your book as you want.
5. Once done, click on the show book button to see and download your book.
You can also give your book a title, create chapters, sort it alphabetically and download it as an OpenDocument. If you want to have it printed and delivered to you, there is an option to do that as well costing $7.90 for a book of up to 100 pages. While managing your book, you can simply drag and drop the items to re-arrange their order or click on the trash button to remove them quickly.
With the battle between iPhone and Android gaining serious momentum, the two parties are not leaving any chance to drag each other out. In a recent response to a customer inquiry about Apple’s policies, Steve Jobs said that users who want porn on their phones should get an Android device.
When Matthew Browning, an Apple customer, emailed Steve Jobs about unjustified removal of Mark Fiore’s application and ranted out about Apple’s recent policies regarding seemingly inappropriate apps, here is what Steve Jobs had to say:
Fiore’s app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and Android phone.
Originally shared with TechCrunch by Matthew, this email clearly shows how a corporate/brand war has converted into an aggressive PR battle. However, this is not the first time Steve Jobs has tried to criticize Android for allowing porn. At the recent iPhone 4.0 OS event, he said:
You know, there’s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go so we’re not going to go there.
To me, that is a little bit more than what we call bashing your competition. It is almost as if Jobs think of Android as a promoter of pornography and iPhone as a saint. Can somebody ask him how his views about adult apps changed so suddenly and why he allowed them in his app store for a long while before blocking them without any notice? One thing is clear though, the Android and iPhone war is much more serious than we think it is.