No Facebook IPO Till 2012, Facebook Investor Peter Thiel Confirms

, which has been growing exponentially will not offer an Initial Public Offering (IPO) till 2012. This was confirmed by Peter Thiel, who is a board of director on Facebook to FOX Business Network.

facebook

In an interview on FOX Business Network, Peter Thiel confirmed that Facebook will not offer an IPO, at-least until 2012. The revelation was made during an Regulation and Innovation interview at FOX Business.

Thiel who was also the first investor in Facebook said:

Facebook will not IPO for awhile. I think we will follow the example of Google which is you do not go public until very, very late in the process. This is a by-product of Sarbanes-Oxley. At least two years. I think the company is on record saying it will not go public until 2012 at the earliest.

Watch the video of the conversation below:

Google: Orkut’s “Bom Sabado” Worm Did Not Compromise User Information

Yesterday, Orkut was paralyzed and transformed into a booby trapped minefield by the “Bom Sabado” worm that spread like wildfire. While most of the world was oblivious to the attack, its effect was felt in countries like India and Brazil where Orkut has a sizable presence.

Orkut-Hacked

As suspected, the worm exploited an XSS (cross-site scripting) vulnerability present in Orkut, to load a third-party JavaScript that automatically sent scraps to everyone in an affected user’s friend list. However, contrary to popular belief, user’s cookies weren’t stolen or poisoned.

A Google spokesperson issued the following statement:

We took swift action to fix a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability on orkut.com that was discovered early Saturday. We were aware of a script being used to spread messages on orkut, but our analysis of the script code did not reveal any evidence of users’ accounts becoming compromised; nonetheless, the issue is now resolved. We’re in the process of cleaning affected profiles, and we are studying the vulnerability to help prevent similar issues in the future.

Twitter Starts Selling Wine to Help Promote Literacy in India

What does Twitter and alcohol have in common? Apparently a lot. A year back, Twitter started accepting pre-orders for 2009 vintage wines under the label Fledgling Wine. Now, they are finally ready to start shipping the first lot of wines.

According to the website, these wines are being made using some of the best vineyards in California by the acclaimed winemaking team at Crushpad. Twitter is currently offering two variants –

2009 Fledgling Pinot Noir: A suave rendition of Pinot Noir produced from top-flight California vineyards.
2009 Fledgling Chardonnay: A pure expression of brilliant California Chardonnay from acclaimed vineyards and a superb vintage.

A single bottle (750 ml) will set you back by $25, while an entire case (12 bottles) will cost $300.00. But, all of this is for a good cause. The revenue generated from Fledgling Wine will be donated to Room to Read, which will be working with children in Uttarakhand, India to promote literacy. Twitter says, “For each bottle you buy, $5 will be donated to Room to Read, a transformational non-profit that brings books, libraries and ultimately literacy to people in the poorest areas around the world”.

Orkut Gets Flooded with ‘Bom Sabado’ Scraps

If you are amongst the few who still give a damn about Orkut, you might have noticed something fishy going on over the past few hours. A large number of users are randomly flooding their friend’s scrapbooks (Orkut’s equivalent of Facebook Wall) with the following message:

Orkut-Hack-Bom-Sabado

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the “Bom Sabado!” messages are automatically generated by a script. However, it is not clear if this is simply a script exploiting vulnerability in Orkut, or have the accounts sending the automated scraps been compromised.

If you are amongst those affected, it’s highly recommended that you follow the steps highlighted below:

  • Switch to the “older version” of Orkut.
  • Log out of Orkut.
  • Clean your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Log in and change your password and security question.

If you haven’t been affected yet, it is strongly advised that you avoid Orkut until the issue has been resolved. I managed to trigger the same exploit while researching this article. Recently other high profile websites like Twitter and YouTube also fell victim to XSS attacks.

This is a developing story; we will update this topic as soon as we learn more. In the meanwhile, stay tuned to Techie Buzz and don’t forget to share your experience, if you have also been affected.

Update 1: The worm appears to have originated in Brazil, where Orkut is still exceptionally popular. Many of the affected users are noticing the Brazilian flag on their status messages. Additionally, the word ‘Bom Sabado’ means ‘Good Saturday’ in Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil. We are still awaiting an official response from Google.
Update 2: ‘Bom Sabado’ is now trending on Google.

Bom-Sabado

Update 3: Google has finally responded. An update posted on the official forum claims that the ‘Bom Sabado’ bug has been contained.

We’ve contained the “Bom Sabado” virus and have identified the bug that allowed this and have fixed it.
We’re currently working on restoring the affected profiles.

However, we are seeing new variants of the worm (such as ORKUT 3XPL0!T5) appear, which suggests that the underlying vulnerability is yet to be plugged.

Update 4: Google has officially confirmed that the attack did not lead to any compromised user account information. For more information check our follow-up post.

Kaspersky: Opera’s Community Website Is Being Used to Distribute Malware

MyOpera – Opera’s official community website, is being misused to distribute malwares, according to a researcher at Kaspersky Labs.

My-OperaThe Norwegian browser maker allows anyone to sign up and host photos, upload files, publish blogs, participate in discussions and more at myOpera. Unfortunately, the ease of creating an account is being exploited by malware developers to host PHP based IRC botnets on myOpera.

In the recent past, malwares were discovered on Mozilla and Google Code’s servers also. Although I am still awaiting an official response from Opera regarding the security measures they currently have in place, by Kaspersky’s own admission, the problem isn’t very widespread. Dmitry Bestuzhev, the expert from Kaspersky who made the discovery, has so far found less than hundred malwares hosted on myOpera, which has more than 5 million registered members.

Incidents like this goes on to prove that staying careful alone can’t always protect you. XSS vulnerabilities in popular websites like Twitter and YouTube, HTML injection attacks in popular blogs and untrusted files on community websites like myOpera are just some of the techniques being used by malware creators to fool even savvy internet users.

Facebook "DNS Failure" Outage Takes Over Google Search Trends

If you thought that "DNS Failure" outage earlier today only affected Facebook, take a look again. 15 of the top 16 top Google search trends in USA today include Facebook not being accessible to users.

Facebook DNS Failure Google Search Trends

As you can see from the screenshot above, "DNS Failure" which was shown as an error message when people visited Facebook was the most searched term today, followed by 14 others which were either related to the Facebook outage or to Facebook in general.

It is understandable when one or two terms end up as "Hot searches", however, having almost 16 out of 20 shows how important Facebook has become in people’s lives. I saw the same trends in several other countries where Facebook went down during non-earthly hours.

Social networking is definitely good, but it has become a part of lives that we could not do without it for a few hours. Several users took to when Facebook went down, and Facebook also used their official Twitter account to update users about the outage. Similarly, people take to Facebook when Twitter goes down.

Someone on my timeline also joked, what if Facebook and Twitter goes down at once? That would definitely not be a joke in reality, since it would definitely void a huge part of our lives, isn’t it?

Facebook Down, Suffers Huge Outage

Looks like servers aren’t able to handle the load of their 500 million users and have been out for a while now. If you head over to this search for "Facebook Down", you will see tons of users complaining about Facebook being down.

facebook_down

I can confirm that Facebook is down for me too and is displaying an error saying that "An error occurred while processing your request".

This definitely looks like a big outage for Facebook, more updates to follow soon.

Update: Facebook just tweeted that the issue should be fixed for everyone, no updates on what caused it though.

We’ve resolved the tech issues that caused the site to be unavailable for some people. Everyone should now have access.

Update 2: Facebook has released a response on why the problem occurred, it turns out that it was more of a programming error which caused flooding of the DB. Read more about the details on the outage here.

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.


Twitter Instant Follows YouTube Instant and Google Instant

It looks like we have to start bracing ourselves to hear the word "Instant" overdone in the next few weeks and months. After was launched a Stanford student created YouTube Instant and almost landed a job with .

twitter_instant

Now, behold, someone has gone ahead and created a Instant search (http://beached.org/twinstant/) which works on the same fundamentals, results change as you type. However, it still has a lot work to do as far as the "guessing before you type" feature which both YouTube Instant and Google Instant have.

The author of Twitter Instant is riding the Instant wave and asks whether he should now ask for a job at Twitter. Twitter Instant aside, the fact that social media was leveraged and used to do something and then get a job offer in return will now see many such kickoffs where people do something interesting with a company’s product and then pitch it to them through social media in hope of a job or maybe just for fun.

Social media has definitely come a long way since it’s inception where people just wanted to keep in touch in friends. These days it has been used and sometimes overused for a variety of things including getting jobs, proposing to your girl/boy friend, pitching a product and more.

So are you going to follow the "Instant" wave and created something to please a company in hopes of landing a job? Considering the job market, this looks like the fastest way to land one, right?

(Source: TNW)

"YouTube Instant" Lands Stanford Student Job at YouTube on Twitter

Just a day after was released, a Stanford Graduate created something called as YouTube Instant which allowed for instant search and play of videos.

YouTube Instant Job Offer

The service which can be seen at http://feross.net/instant/ works pretty well and has apparently impressed the YouTube CEO who offered the Stanford student a job with YouTube. The entire conversation happened on and goes like this.

@Chad_Hurley, the YouTube CEO first tweeted:

Hey @FreeTheFeross! Loving YouTube Instant…http://feross.net/instant/ Want a job? ;)

To which Feross replied:

Hey @Chad_Hurley. Glad you liked YouTube Instant! Is that a for-real job offer? ;)

This prompted another reply from Chad, which read:

@FreeTheFeross Are you ready to leave school? :) I’ll send you a DM.

There was no response from Feross after this, however, it looks like they took their conversation private to direct messaging. This is definitely an interesting incident on how Twitter or social media can be used to spot talent and make job offers. So who is on the hiring list next?

(Source: Venture Beat / Techmeme)