Tag Archives: Facebook

First Photo Of Facebook Phone [Geeky Fun]

If you have been reading tech news today, you might have come across the news that was speculated to be building a Facebook phone but later denied it. Trust the Internet to make fun out of news like these and come up with some really tacky things, remember the  announcement?

So, if you are up for some fun, here is the first photo of the Facebook Phone created by Sean Percival, all the Pun intended Winking smile.

facebook_phone

 

(More from The Creator)

So, Is Facebook Really Building a Phone?

The blogosphere has been hyped today about a possible Facebook phone in works. It all started with the TechCrunch post about Facebook Is Secretly Building a Phone which was quickly picked up by other major media sources including Silicon Alley Insider, CNET and even Gizmodo. Speculations ranged from building an actual phone to building a mobile platform.

Facebook, however, quickly denied the news in an official statement to Mashable:

The story, which originated in Techcrunch, is not accurate. Facebook is not building a phone. Our approach has always been to make phones and apps more social. Current projects include include everything from an HTML5 version of the site to apps on major platforms to full Connect support with SDKs to deeper integrations with some manufacturers.  Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this. For an example, check out Connect for iPhone and the integration we have with contact syncing through our iPhone app.  Another example is the INQ1 phone with Facebook integration (the first so-called Facebook Phone’). The people mentioned in the story are working on these projects. The bottom line is that whenever we work on a deep integration, people want to call it a Facebook Phone’ because that’s such an attractive soundbite, but building phones is just not what we do.

Many blogs, however, calling this denial a playing-around-with-words still think that Facebook is building something. Silicon Alley Insider claims that Facebook has simply denied the manufacturing of phone hardware but not the highly speculated premise that Facebook is taking Android and making it into a Facebook-flavored platform. Something that will give Facebook much more control over the smart phone industry than it currently has. That means Facebook can have their own unique mobile advertising service and many third-party apps features which currently don’t make it to mobile Facebook due to platform restrictions.

So, even though, we are unlikely to see a Facebook branded phone soon, we may see a highly customized platform that will make Facebook users less dependent on Android or iPhone.

Facebook Alternative for Kids – Try Togetherville

togetherville-logo Most of you know that kids under 13 are not supposed to use Facebook. However, you also probably know that there are lots of kids cheating on that limit. Some of them are doing so with their parents’ knowledge. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I could argue that it’s not safe for adults on Facebook, because of all of the privacy problems that they’ve had in the past.

Now there is a new service called Togetherville. They promise to make it safe for kids to share online. Here’s a short video about the service.

Click here if you can’t see the video.

So why is it safer? I’m not sure that it’s completely safe, but the first layer of defense is that the kids can’t sign up themselves. In order to create an account, an adult must sign in using a Facebook account, then set up the accounts for the kids they are responsible for. There’s nothing to prevent kids already in Facebook from creating adult accounts at Togetherville, but this first requirement will help prevent it.

Togetherville also tightly controls the video and game content on their service so that the kiddies won’t see frightening and weird stuff. If they make sharing and gaming attractive enough to the kids, this new service may be a big help for parents.

This new service may not be perfect, but it’s a lot better than letting your 11 year old use Facebook.


Bloglines Shuts Down, Cites Twitter and Facebook as Reason

A few years back Bloglines was one of the most popular feed reader around, however, over the years it has been surpassed by several alternatives including .

Bloglines Logo

In early days Bloglines was one of the biggest contributor towards a websites feed count, and it still is for many. However, sadly users who used Bloglines will not be able to do so after October 1, 2010. Older websites feed count may also decline, specially for publishers who have been around for 4-5 years or more. However, the users are bound to move to other providers, so the count may jump back again.

Ask.com, who had bought Bloglines for $10 million in 2005 have decided to close it down because the RSS market has constantly been shrinking due to social networking sites like and . To be frank, I agree with that, because I have hardly visited my Google Reader account since past 4 months and instead rely on several twitter lists to follow feeds.

I remember having an argument with Robert Scoble on one of his posts about Twitter replacing Google Reader, and back then I did think that I would stick with Google Reader. However, as time has passed, I have realized how much more easier it is to actually follow news on Twitter, specially more after Twitter Lists were introduced.

Do you use Feed Readers or have you shifted to Twitter or any other similar service? Let me know your thoughts about using RSS feeds vs Twitter or Facebook to catch up on news.

(Source: TechCrunch)

Facebook Adds Remote Logout Feature

If you have used for a while, you might have seen a feature where Gmail displays you the devices you are logged in through and also allows you to logout of all other sessions remotely.

Facebook Remote Activity/Logout

It looks like is now testing the same feature, which will display the devices you have logged in from and also allow you to remotely logout of the sessions.

According to PC Mag, the "Account Security" section of your Account Settings page will now include a menu that displays "Most Recent Activity," as well as "Also Active," if your account is signed active in two or more locations. However, this feature is not yet enabled for all accounts and it might be rolled out to users in a phased manager.

Users can log out of logged in sessions by clicking on the "end activity" link, which will then clear the session on the listed device. The remote logout feature in Facebook will definitely be useful since you might easily have forgotten to logout of a public computer or friend’s computer. This security feature in Facebook might save you those Oops moments that might occur if your account is compromised.

iTunes Ping Removes Facebook After Facebook Blocks API Access

Yesterday, Apple introduced iTunes Ping a new social networking platform for music lovers introduced with iTunes 10 (Read iTunes 10 and iTunes Ping Review). However, after a while Apple removed Connect from Ping.

iTunes Ping

There have been several reasoning as to why that happened, however, Boomtown has confirmed news that Apple pulled the plug on Facebook Connect after Facebook blocked API Access because they could not reach an agreement with Apple.

The major reason behind Facebook blocking Ping’s API requests is not because of it being a competitor, but because of the amount of users iTunes currently has, 160 million to be precise. So even though Facebook’s Connect API is free to use, however, if someone wants to use it a lot, which is the case with iTunes, they have to have an agreement with Facebook.

It seems like both Apple and Facebook were negotiating on it, but they could not finalize anything and the Facebook Connect feature was introduced even though both did not have an agreement. This is when Facebook started blocking API requests by Ping. Now Apple suggests users to use the email invites feature to connect with your friends or use the search feature.

So will this problem between Facebook and Apple turn out to be bigger in the future? Only time will tell.

Facebook Testing "Subscribe To" User Feature

Looks like both and is busy with adding new features to their respective sites. Facebook is in the process of testing a new feature which will allow users to subscribe to a specific user and receive notifications whenever the user performs an action.

Facebook Subscribe To

This feature is a bit different than the regular Facebook feed because it will send you a notification whenever someone performs an action just like Twitter shows you when a user tweets as you can see in the screenshot below.

Facebook Subscribe Notifications

The new “Subscribe To” feature will allow users to track certain users and find out what they are doing, however, considering the privacy problems that this feature would invoke among users, Facebook would have to tread carefully. Hopefully, Facebook will not allow the world to subscribe to your updates, or allow you to entirely turn off the feature.

Earlier last month, Facebook had rolled out a feature to allow users to control notifications on likes and comments, so this would just be another step forward.

(Source: All Facebook)

Facebook Overtakes Orkut as the Leading Social Network in India

Facebook Orkut has long been the dominant social network in India. Exactly what made millions of Indians throng to the mostly forgotten social network from Google is still a baffling mystery to me. Nevertheless, Facebook – the most popular social network in US and all over the world, has now surpassed Orkut even in India.

Traffic analytics firm comScore is claiming that Facebook became the top social networking website in India in July with 20.9 million visitors. This represents a 179 percent year-on-year growth. Comparatively, during the same period Orkut managed to grow by only 16 percent. The social networking audience in India grew by an impressive 43 percent during the past year.

In related news, Orkut has unveiled a new grouping functionality that can be used to communicate with groups of contacts (coworkers, relatives, friends etc.). The groups are visible only to the user and essentially acts as filters.

Why You Couldn’t Block Mark Zuckersberg on Facebook or Anyone for that Sake if it is done en Masse

Facebook users were quite annoyed a few days ago when they discovered that they cannot block Mark Zuckersberg. They speculated that it was a mechanism deliberately put into Facebook so that no-one could block Zuckersberg. As it turns out, this is not the case and Mashable has received a clarification from Facebook on this.
facebook-logo

The response from Facebook says,

This error isn’t specific to any one account. It’s generated when a person has been blocked a certain large number of times. In very rare instances, a viral campaign will develop instructing lots of people to all wrongly block the same person. The purpose of this system is to protect the experience for people targeted by these campaigns. We’re constantly working to improve our systems and are taking a closer look at this one.

Clearly, it is a mechanism to save people from personalities being hit by viral blocking campaigns. The whole matter fired up when a website  Block Zuck launched a  campaign to block Zuckersberg.

This feature in Facebook was not seen or heard of until now. However, with Facebook’s shady methodology, it is not clear as to which came first. The mass-block protection feature or the blocking mechanism?

Disable Facebook Places Tagging And Stop Friends From Checking You In

recently revealed a new feature called Facebook Places which allowed you to check-in to places you visit, but trust Facebook to make a Privacy mess out of everything, irony huh?  The Facebook Places feature is already annoying users because Facebook allows your friends to check you into places by default.

This is definitely a huge privacy issue for people who do not want to get themselves checked in maybe a bar or uhm a strip club by their friends. Thankfully, Facebook does provide users with an option to disable people from checking you into places.

To do that, head over to Facebook and from the "Account" dropdown in the top right corner, click on Privacy Settings and then click on the "Customize Settings" link. Now follow the instructions below to disable the Facebook places tagging from appearing in your timeline or stopping your friends from checking you into places.

Disable Facebook Places Check-ins from Appearing in Your Timeline

Disable Facebook Places Check-in From Timeline

To do this, select the drop down next to "Places I check in to" and click on the "Customize" option. Select "Only Me" in the "Make this visible to" drop down list, this will ensure that your check-ins are not visible to anyone else.

You might also want to uncheck the checkbox next to "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in" so that you are not clubbed along with other people for check-ins.

Disable Friends from Checking You into Facebook Places

disable_friends_checking_facebook_places

Facebook Places allows friends to check you into places by default, now this could be very annoying since you have no control over it unless you explicitly change your privacy settings.

To disable friends from checking you into Facebook Places, Disable the option from under "Things others share => Friends can check me into to Places". This will ensure that no one except for you can check you in to Facebook Places.

There you go, you can now have your peace of mind back knowing that no one is going to check you into a place you did not want to Smile.

Facebook Caught Plagiarizing Open Source Code in the Official iPhone App

One of the many nifty features present in the official Facebook app for iPhone is the “Pull to Refresh” functionality, which was pioneered by Tweetie. This UI (user interface) element is derived from the open source TTTableHeaderDragRefreshView class created by Enormogo. Unfortunately, it appears that Facebook was using third party open source code without proper attribution.

Obviously, folks at Enormogo weren’t pleased when they discovered the similarities between their code and Facebook’s implementation. Shaun from Enormogo wrote in a blog post, “To find out that they took our code, re-released it as their own, and take credit for it though? That’s not cool Facebook. Not cool at all”.

Before the daggers come out, it’s worth noting that this was most probably an honest mistake by Facebook. Here is the statement issued by David Recordon, the head of open source programs at Facebook:

Back in February a developer outside of Facebook sent a GitHub pull request which included this pull to refresh functionality. At the time we believed that the developer wrote the code themselves and thus didn’t realize that it actually came from Shaun’s open source library EGOTableViewPullRefresh. I’m sorry that we messed this one up. Three20 has over a dozen different contributors (http://github.com/facebook/three20/blob/master/AUTHORS) and we try really hard to give credit where it is due.

The required attribution has already been added by Facebook and will be committed to the GitHub soon.

Facebook Launches New Geolocation Service: Facebook Places

Facebook has launched its long awaited geolocation service, Facebook Places. Places is very similar to other location based services like Foursquare and Gowalla. It allows you to check in to places you visit, and also tag friends with you at the same place. You can also edit the privacy controls to disable tagging with Places.

You can view the recent activity of your friends at the place you are checking in. There is also a “People Here Now” section which allows you to see others who are checked in at the same place at that time. You can prevent yourself from being added to the section by editing your privacy controls.

Facebook Places

Facebook is also working with companies like Foursquare, Gowalla, Booyah and Yelp; they can use the Places API in their applications to get and send location data to and from Facebook.

Facebook Places is currently available only for users in the US. To start using Places, you can download the latest version of Facebook for iPhone or use touch.facebook.com if your mobile browser supports HTML 5 and Geolocation.

Facebook has a 500 million user base which is much higher than all the other location services combined. With Places, it can also rule the geolocation space.

Warning: Cashreport.org Scam Hitting Facebook

Quite recently one of my friends wrote a weird message on my wall. It said that he had made some dollars in a day and got paid thanks to a site called cashreport.org.

Facebook Cashreport Scam Message

Facebook Cashreport Scam Message 2

Now that in itself is not fishy, but the same friend also wrote on several other people’s wall citing different amounts of money he made all credited to the website cashreport.org. The screenshots above are from two different profiles.

Facebook Cashreport Scam

When I went out and checked my friends profile, he was busy writing the same thing on several other people’s wall as you can see in the screenshot above. Though I am not sure how exactly this message was sent out or what my friend did prior to sending out those messages, I am pretty sure that this is a spam message that might be spreading over Facebook.

I have sent out a note to my friend to ask him whether he visited any website or granted access to any app earlier today. However, keep away from this site, though it is not flagged as dangerous there are few users who have marked it as a scam or phishing on McAffe. The whois record for this site also says that it was registered on June 12, 2010 which is why there are very scarce reports about it.

Please be aware of what link you are clicking or what application you are allowing access to your data on Facebook. Do spread this message to your friends to keep away from this site.

How To Delete/Deactivate Facebook Account Permanently

users are usually worried a lot about their privacy and what information is available online. Facebook does help users to setup simplified privacy controls, however, there have been a lot of controversies over Privacy at Facebook.

Delete Facebook Permanently. Quit Facebook.

If you are someone who is fed up of the privacy issues with Facebook or just want to delete your account, here are the instructions you will require to perform the task. If you are looking for an easier way, you might want to check out How To Delete your Account from Any Website.

Deactivating Your Facebook Account

Deactivating your Facebook account will not completely delete it, however, it will temporarily freeze the account and your profile and all information associated with it are immediately made inaccessible to other Facebook users.

Deactivate Facebook Account

However, when you deactivate your Facebook account, your profile information including friends, photos, status updates etc are still available with Facebook. You can use the deactivate option when you are looking to go on a temporary break or are not sure whether you really want to delete your Facebook account.

To deactivate your Facebook account, follow the steps given below.

  1. Login to your Facebook account
  2. Open your Account settings page
  3. Click on the "deactivate" link at the bottom of the page. You will be taken to another page where Facebook will try to defer you from deactivating your account and provide you with options on what you want to deactivate etc
  4. After you have made your selections, click on the "Confirm" button at the bottom of the page to "Deactivate your Facebook account"

The plus point with deactivating your account is that you will be able to reactivate it at a future date and get your profile back as it is.

Deleting Your Facebook Account

delete_facebook_account

Some users might just want to delete their account forever. If you are someone who has decided to delete your Facebook account forever, follow the instructions given below.

  1. Login to your Facebook account
  2. Head over to the "Delete My Account" page
  3. Make sure that you want to delete you account and then click on the Submit button.

Follow whatever steps you are asked to go through to close down and delete you Facebook account permanently. You can also read more at this help page on Facebook.

Unsubscribe From Facebook Comment and Like Notifications

One of the reasons I do not comment or like posts by popular persons on is that I start to receive several notifications that other people have also liked or commented on the same post. Notifications are fine if they are one or two, but getting 100s of notifications is definitely not cool.

Unsubscribe From Facebook Notifications

However, looks like Facebook has heeded my complaints from the past about this and now allows users to unsubscribe from notifications for comments or likes made on other’s posts or even on your own posts.

Once you comment or like a post, you will now also see a link called "Unsubscribe", clicking on which will stop sending you notifications if anyone else comments or likes the same post. Once you have unsubscribed from the post, you can also Subscribe back to it by clicking on the "Subscribe" link. Definitely helpful and will keep your notifications in Facebook to the minimal.