MediaFile

LinkedIn “alert” shows users still on edge about privacy

By Gerry Shih and Himank Sharma

Looks like social media users are getting twitchy about their online privacy rights.

Days after Google made known its decision to establish a common privacy policy across  its scores of products,  a chain-message of uncertain origin began circling on the Internet, claiming LinkedIn had quietly changed its own policy on the treatment of user data.

The chain message — which contained step-by-step instructions on how to opt out of this supposed new policy — took on a life of its own, ricocheting across Twitter and spawning numerous discussion and email threads. It suggested LinkedIn had given itself the right to use personal information and photos in ads — without notification .

The catch is, LinkedIn had indeed made the changes last year — only to partially roll them back after users complained.

“Without attracting too much publicity, LinkedIn has updated their privacy conditions,” the message read. “Without any action from your side, LinkedIn is now permitted to use your name and picture in any of their advertisements.“

Despite tough economy, Wikimedia raises $20 million in donations

Wikimedia Foundation is marking the new year with a hefty deposit into its coffers.

The San Francisco-based non-profit group that maintains Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, officially closed its annual fundraising drive on Tuesday. The total amount raised: $20 million.

That’s a record, and a step up from the $16 million Wikimedia raised last year during a nearly two-month-long fundraising effort.

Groupon’s Andrew Mason demonstrates how to stonewall

By Sarah McBride in Palos Verdes

Once he got entrepreneurial, Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason had to change his stance on copycatting. What he once considered plagiarism – after a few years in the wild and woolly world of business – he now considers fair game. Sorta.

“They call it competition,” he told conference-goers at All Things Digital in Rancho Palos Verdes.

These days, “I’m used to it. I’m on board,” he said without enthusiasm, while the audience laughed. (Groupon’s online-deal competitors include Living Social.)

from Commentaries:

Humbled giants eye business phone market

Nokia e71LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Once they were warriors battling one another on the digital battlefield. Nowadays, Microsoft and Nokia are worriers, huddling together for comfort.

The world's top phone and software companies need each other to compete with Apple, Google and Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM), whose products increasingly define what users expect from phones and charge premium prices in consequence.

In the market for so-called "smartphones", Deutsche Bank estimates Apple and RIM now take home more than half of all profits, despite producing less than a third of high-end mobile phones. Nokia held a 45 percent share of the smartphone market in June, according to Gartner Inc. (Table 2 in Gartner release)

Schmidt quits Apple board, no surprise there

Few observers expressed much surprise over Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s decision Monday to step down from Apple’s board. Analysts said the writing was on the wall, as Google’s Android smartphone software competes in the same market at Apple’s iPhone, and Google’s forthcoming Chrome operating system prepares to enter a market against Apple’s Mac OS.

Schmidt said earlier this month he expected to chat with Apple about his role on its board, and what with increased regulatory scrutiny about the company’s ties, many say it was only a matter of time.

“It’s the collision course that they’ve been on for a while, I think they’ve managed it well up to until now,” said Todd Dagres, a venture capitalist whose firm Spark Capital funded Twitter. “I think Eric getting off the board may be an indication of sort of the last straw here.”

Microsoft and Yahoo: The morning after

Ah, the morning after.

Microsoft and Yahoo have finally come to an understanding, putting to rest what seemed like an endless back-and-forth (As Barry Diller said yesterday,  “We’re not going to have to talk about whether or not it’s going to happen anymore).

In case you were at the beach, on the golf course, riding your bike, or hiding out in a cave yesterday, here are the very basics: It’s a 10-year Web search deal; doesn’t include display; Microsoft will the guarantee revenue per search for the first 18 months; Yahoo expects deal to boost income by $500 million and save about $200 million in capex; Microsoft will pay traffic acquisition at an initial rate of 88 percent; Yahoo will act as the global sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers; etc. etc.

Just about everyone has weighed in on the deal, and more analysis is certain to come in the days ahead. In the meantime, here’s what we see as a few key questions about the deal.

Updated-Apple boasts 1.5 billion App downloads

(Updated to reflect that Apple was referring to application downloads, not application sales.  Many iPhone apps are free.)

Apple Inc impressed the tech world with the rapid take off of its applications store, announcing on April 24th that it had sold 1 billion apps downloads in just 9 months to users of its iPhone and its iPod Touch.

That was just for starters. Now it says it has sold seen another half a billion apps downloaded in around a third of that time, showing that its growth is speeding up despite the fact that its rivals have all opened their own apps stores.

App developers appear to be taking notice too as Apple says it now has 65,000 apps available in its store ready for download to the 40 million iPod Touch and iPhone devices it has sold.

Twitter, from poor man’s email to innovation leader

He once called Twitter the poor man’s email. But to hear Google CEO Eric Schmidt today, one would be forgiven for thinking it’s the next big thing.

Schmidt’s comments on the microblogging site are picked over with the kind of meticulous care often associated with neurosurgery, simply because Twitter is often rumored to be a Google acquisition target.

On Thursday, In an apparent reversal of his earlier pooh-poohing, Schmidt declared Google to be open to some sort of advertising partnership with Twitter.

Twitter has journalists chirping

News organizations are all a-twitter about Twitter: Is it a friend or a foe? Should it be embraced or eschewed? Will Twitter kill journalism or revive it?

As journalists learn about Twitter and how they can use it, they also write more about it. In the past day alone, there have been a handful of stories about Twitter.

The Miami Herald wrote about CNN’s Washington bureau chief David Bohrman talking about the importance of newer technologies like Twitter and YouTube. Bohrman said CNN has been using YouTube and Twitter to attract the more elusive younger audience, and had great success with the presidential-primary debates.

Tech earnings: Up, down and all around

This is turning out to be an earnings season when all bets are off on how technology giants will perform. With tech earnings taking the market on a roller-coaster ride, it wouldn’t be surprising if investors are a little sick in the stomach already. 

The hits and misses so far among the biggest and brightest:

Intel: Missed expectations, profit fell 90 percent and they said they wouldn’t give a detailed quarterly forecast due to the economic uncertainty.

IBM: Beat expectations and gave an outlook above Wall Street estimates. Not only did IBM shares surge on the news, it even lifted major U.S. indexes.