Category: Facebook

Are you a Facebook user?
Beware of Malwares !!!

          If you are an active Facebook user, then there is a good chance that you have been exposed to malware at least once as you trolled through your friends’ news feeds. The recent statistics released by security firm BitDefender has claimed that approximately 20 percent of all news feeds on Facebook users led to malicious content, reports the BBC.

        The firm arrived at its figures after analysing data from 14,000 users who had installed its ‘Safego‘ security app. In a month since its launch, BitDefender also analyzed 17 million posts on the social network. By clicking on infected links in a news feed, the users risk having viruses installed on their computer. The majority of infections were associated with apps written by independent developers, which promised enticements and rewards to trick users into installing the malware, BitDefender said.

       These apps would then either install malware used for spying on users or to send messages containing adverts to the users’ contacts. Facebook has a thriving community of independent developers who have built apps for the social network. The vast majority enable users to tweak their Facebook pages, adding widgets, games or extra functions, such as delivering daily horoscope predictions.

Facebook said it already had steps in place to identify and remove malware-containing links. “Once we detect a phony message, we delete all instances of that message across the site,” the site said in a statement.

Crooks have targeted social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, because of their vast number of users, said Rik Ferguson, a security researcher for anti-virus maker ‘Trend Micro‘.

“Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they’re an attractive target for malware writers,” he said.

“Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they’re an attractive target for malware writers,” he said.

“You’re more likely to click on a link from someone you trust,” Ferguson added.


A firm owned by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sued Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and seven other companies, charging them with infringing patents filed more than a decade ago.
Google and Facebook blasted the lawsuit as “unfortunate” and “without merit.”
The complaint, filed Friday morning in a Seattle federal court, named AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and Google’s YouTube.
AOL, Apple, Google and Yahoo were each charged with four claims of patent infringement, while Facebook was hit with one. The other eight companies were charged with two claims each.
The suit does not name Microsoft, which Allen co-founded with Bill Gates in 1975 but left in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Microsoft did not reply to a request asking whether it had licensed some or all of the applicable patents from Allen’s firm.
Allen’s lawsuit claimed that the 11 companies violated patents developed by Internal Research, a Silicon Valley research lab he funded in 1992, but which shut its doors in 2000. David Liddle, who worked at the Xerox’s influential Palo Alto Research Center ( Xerox PARC) in the 1970s, was Interval’s CEO.
Those patents were later transferred to Interval Licensing, a company owned by Allen.
The two patents that make up the bulk of the claims are 6,263,507, “Browserfor Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented By Audiovisual Data,” and 6,757,682, “Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest.” Allen’s lawsuit alleges that all but Facebook violated the ‘507 patent, and all 11 companies infringed the ‘682 patent.
Interval filed applications for the four patents between March 1996 and September 2000, and was awarded the patents between March 2000 and September 2004.
The ‘507 patent refers to a possible application in a “news browser” that could be used to “review news stories acquired during one day from several television news programs, as well as from text news sources.” The ‘682 patent, meanwhile, describes technology for alerting users of Web content related to what they’re currently viewing, or of others’ activities that might interest them.
The ‘682 patent is the only one that Allen’s company claimed was violated by Facebook, the popular social networking site.
The remaining two patents spell out an “attention manager” that would flash advertisements, stock quotes and other information in front of a user.
The 15-page complaint singled out Google for special treatment, saying that Interval Research provided both funding and assistance to the then-fledgling search firm in 1998, the year founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated the company.
Included with the complaint was a 1998 screenshot of Google’s “About” page that showed Interval Research credited as one of four sources of research funding, and one of two outside collaborators.
In a statement Friday, Google called Allen’s lawsuit “unfortunate.”
“This lawsuit against some of America’s most innovative companies reflects an unfortunate trend of people trying to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace,” said Google. “Innovation — not litigation — is the way to bring to market the kinds of products and services that benefit millions of people around the world.”
Facebook’s take was more blunt. “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously,” said company spokesman Andrew Noyes in an e-mail.
Other Firms contacted by Computerworld, including Apple and Yahoo, did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
Allen’s suit seeks unspecified damages, as well as injunctions that would block the accused companies from continuing to use the patented technologies.
Earlier this year Forbes put Allen, 57, in the No. 37 spot on its world’s richest list, and estimated his net worth at $13.5 billion.

About 100 Million User’s Data on Facebook Leaked ….

LONDON: The personal details of 100 million users of social networking website Facebook are now available for download after they were leaked online.

Ron Bowles, an online security consultant, used a code to scan Facebook profiles, collected data not hidden by users’ privacy settings, and compiled a list, which is now available as a downloadable file, containing the URL of every “searchable” Facebook user’s profile, their name and unique ID, the BBC reported Thursday.

Bowles said he published the data to highlight privacy issues, but Facebook retorted by saying the information was already public.

“People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want,” the website said.

“In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook.”

“No private data is available or has been compromised,” Facebook said.

The list has already been downloaded by over 1,000 people on Pirate Bay, the world’s biggest file-sharing website. One user, going by the name of “lusifer69”, said the list was “awesome and a little terrifying.”

But internet watchdog Privacy International said Facebook had been given ample warning that something like this would happen.

“Facebook should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent it,” Simon Davies, an official of Privacy International, said.

“It is inconceivable that a firm with hundreds of engineers couldn’t have imagined a trawl of this magnitude and there’s an argument to be heard that Facebook have acted with negligence,” he said.

Facebook hit 500 million users in June this year.

           Facebook connects its 500 million users using an array of open source software to enable social networking as well as data intelligence. Facebook’s open source Web serving infrastructure has a lot more than just the traditional LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack behind it.

           During a keynote session at the OSCON open source conference, David Recordon, the senior open programs manager at Facebook, detailed the infrastructure in use today at Facebook.
At the language level of the stack, Recordan noted that Facebook is using PHP by way of its own HipHop PHP runtime project. Facebook officially announced HipHop earlier this year as a way to speed up PHP operations, improve efficiency and decrease CPU utilization.
           At the database tier, Recordan said Facebook primarily stores user data in the MySQL database. He said that Facebook runs thousands of MySQL nodes, though he added that Facebook doesn’t care that MySQL is a relational database.

           “We generally don’t use it (MySQL) for Joins and we aren’t running complex queries that are pulling multiple tables together inside of a database,” Recordan said. 

           Recordan said that Facebook has three different layers for data. At the first layer is the database tier, which is the primary data store and where MySQL sits. On top of that, Facebook uses Memcached caching technology, then a Web server on top of that to serve the data.

“We’re actually using our Web server to combine the data to do joins and that’s where HipHop is so important,” Recordan said. “Our Web server code is fairly CPU-intensive because we’re doing all these different sorts of things with data.” 

           In addition to MySQL, Facebook leverages a pair of NoSQL-type databases as well including Cassandra and HBase, which is part of the Apache Hadoop project.

“While we store the majority of our user data inside of MySQL, we have about 150 terabytes of data inside of Cassandra, which we use for inbox search on the site and over 36 petabytes of uncompressed data in Hadoop overall.”

           Recordan said that Facebook’s Hadoop cluster has a little over 2,200 servers in it, running a total of 23,000 CPU cores inside of them. He added that by the end of the year, Facebook expects to be storing over 50 petabytes worth of information.

           The Hadoop components help to enable Facebook to use the data it has to understand how people are using the site. Recordan said that Facebook uses data analysis for all sorts of product decisions including how Facebook sends e-mails and how it ranks news feeds.

           In order to help enable the data analysis, Facebook uses an open source technology called Scribe.

“Scribe takes the data from our Web servers and funnels it into HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) and into our Hadoop warehouses,” Recordan said.

           The problem that we originally ran into was too many Web servers trying to send data to one place, so Scribe breaks it up into a series of funnels for collecting data over time.”

           Recordan said that Facebook’s Hadoop cluster is vital to the business and the system is highly monitored and maintained. Facebook has what it calls a Platinum Hadoop cluster, plus a second cluster called the Silver Hadoop cluster where data from the Platinum cluster is replicated.
Additionally Facebook uses the Apache Hive technology, which provides a SQL interface on top of Hadoop to do data analysis. 

           “A large part of our infrastructure is open source and we really think that it’s important in terms of being able to allow developers that are building with the Facebook platform to scale using the same pieces of infrastructure that we use,” Recordan said. “Fundamentally we’re all running into the same sets of challenges.”

             Lahore High Court has issued an order to ban the access of popular social networking site Facebook in Pakistan for holding a contest of Prophet Muhammad’s Caricatures. Chinese News Agency Xinhua reported that Judge Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry had instructed the Ministry of Telecom to block the access of Facebook in Pakistan and submit a written reply by May 31.

             Islamic Lawyers Movement had filed a petition against a competition that was about Islamic religion founder Prophet Muhammad’s blasphemous caricatures on Facebook. The lawyers stressed, “The competition has hurt the sentiments of the Muslims.” The Ministry of Telecom officials told the court that after the news was reported, Facebook pages showing Prophet Muhammad’s blasphemous caricatures were blocked.

             However, the lawyers argued that the entire website should be blocked and hence Facebook is reportedly blocked in Pakistan by Telecommunication Authority. So until a written reply is received, the website will apparently be inaccessible in Pakistan .

         Courtney Purvin got a shock when she visited Facebook last month. The site was suggesting that she get back in touch with an old family friend who played piano at her wedding four years ago. The friend had died in April. She said, “It was like he was coming back from the dead.”
          Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, knows a lot about its roughly 500 million members. Its software is quick to offer nudges about friends you have not contacted in a while. But the company has had trouble automating the task of figuring out when one of its users has died.
          Facebook says it has been grappling with how to handle the ghosts in its machine but acknowledges that it has not found a good solution. “It’s a very sensitive topic,” said Meredith Chin, a company spokeswoman. Given the site’s size, “and people passing away every day, we’re never going to be perfect at catching it,” she added.

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         James E Katz, a professor of communications at Rutgers University, said the company was experiencing “a coming-of-age problem.” Now, people over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone, according to the research firm comScore. People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse. 

Early on Facebook would immediately erase the profile of anyone it learned had died. Chin says Facebook now recognises the importance of finding an appropriate way to preserve those pages as a place where the mourning process can be shared online. Of course, the company still needs to determine whether a user is, in fact, dead. 

         For a site the size of Facebook, automation is “key to social media success,” said Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research. “The way to make this work in cases where machines can’t make decisions is to tap into the members,” he said. “One way to automate the ‘Is he dead’ problem is to have a place where people can report it.” That’s just what Facebook does. To memorialise a profile, a family member must fill out a form on the site and provide proof of the death. But this option is not well publicised, so many profiles of dead members never are converted to tribute pages. 

                The search engine giant Google is rumored to be developing the a social networking platform called “Google Me” … Everyone say that it is for dumping the growth of Facebook… Will the existing Social Networking giant prevent themselves from their own dump… And with this issue some experts and online networking wizards comment that it is just a rumor.

According to The Week Magazine:
               Rumors are circulating within tech circles that Google is planning to launch a social networking rival to Facebook. According to Digg founder Kevin Rose, the platform will be called “Google Me” — apart from that, there isn’t much information available. Some commentators speculate it will be an upgrade to Google Profiles, others an amalgamation of Google’s Buzz, Wave and Orkut social networking features. Can Google create a legitimate competitor to Facebook?

Google has to try:
               Facebook is rumored to be setting up a search engine of its own — a clear move onto Google’s turf, says Amanda Fox at Helium. With its market share threatened, perhaps Google thinks it is “better to go on the offensive and hit Facebook where it hurts” — their “bread and butter” of social networking. And if anyone can make a “viable” competitor to Facebook, it’s Google.

There’s reason to think they’ll succeed:
               Look at the numbers, says Brad McCarty on The Next Web. Orkut has 100 million users, and Google Buzz has 200 million. It’s obvious that a successful Google platform could be a serious threat to Facebook. Throw in Google’s skill at advertising and widespread disatisfaction at Facebook’s security regime, and it could “actually come knocking with a heavy hand” at Mark Zuckerberg’s door.“Here’s how Google could take on Facebook”

Google doesn’t have a prayer:
               This could be a “giant mistake,” says Mike Carrall at Stark Silvercreek. Numbers aside, the public’s response to Google Buzz was a “huge yawn.” Meanwhile, everyone uses Facebook — so why would anybody opt for “an alternative me-too service?” If Google is lucky it will attrace a few niche markets. But competing with Facebook and Twitter across the broader market? Not a chance.
“If true, ‘Google Me’ is wrong move, wrong time”

Transport officials has announced that the Indian government will use the services of Social Networking sites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and even blogs to spread the message of safe driving on the Indian roads.

The Vice Chairman of the International Road Federation (IRF), K.K. Kapila has said that they have planned to use the modern technology to spread the knowledge on road safety.

“For generating mass awareness about road safety, apart from using traditional media tools, modern web-based social networking tools will be used to spread knowledge of road safety,”—she said.

She also said that they have planned to upload the videos which they have created to road safety and other aspects.

“We have developed videos on safe driving and other aspects of road safety. We plan to put them up on YouTube to cater to the growing number of people whose first choice to find information is to go online,”– she added.

She also said that they will seek news ideas to target speed and young drivers in the near future.

“Road safety is a community effort. We will seek additional ideas on tackling areas like aggressive driving, drug-driving as well as continuing to look for new approaches to saving lives by targeting speed and young drivers ,”—she said.