Social networking

Google's augmented-reality glasses: Is it all PR?

I know many people will be out this weekend, practicing walking down the streets and not looking where they're going.

This is in preparation for Google's new augmented-reality glasses -- code name Project Glass -- which were teased this week.

I use the word "teased" advisedly. Always.

For though the sight of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wearing the glasses in public might offer credibility to the high-tech specs, it might also reveal a desire on Google's part for outpourings of love.

You see, those who have spent much of their lives working … Read more

Instagram for Android gets tablet, Wi-Fi, SD card support

Instagram seems to be on a mission to add hipster photo filters to all your mobile devices this week. First, the long-awaited Android version of the popular iPhone app dropped and quickly racked up over a million downloads, and now an update opens up support to tablets and Wi-Fi devices in the Android universe.

The news is more salt in the wound of scorned iOS users who were apparently under the impression that their Vegas honeymoon with Instagram would live forever, but times are changing and it doesn't make sense for many apps to be monogamous these days. … Read more

Google+, not exactly a 'ghost town,' sees visits jump in March

Google+ may be a ways off -- a long ways off -- from unseating Facebook, but it's not exactly a ghost town, either. U.S. visits to Google's still fledgling social network exceeded 61 million in March, up 27 percent from February.

That's according to Experian Hitwise (report not available on the Web), which shared its figures with me by e-mail. Here's how Experian reckons the growth in Google+ visits since its inception last June:

Just to be clear, Experian Hitwise defines a single "visit" as any period in which a user stops by … Read more

No 'Arab Spring' in Saudi Arabia anytime soon

SAN FRANCISCO -- The autocratic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doesn't have much to worry about, at least not yet, from democracy activists and the Internet, one of the country's best known bloggers predicts.

"It is very unlikely that we will see any change in the country in the short and medium term," Ahmed Al Omran, creator of, said at an event in CNET's offices in downtown San Francisco yesterday evening. Al Omran left Saudi Arabia to study at Columbia University and now lives in Washington, D.C.

A so-called Day of Rage protest … Read more

For IBM CEO, is golf's sexism on par with the tech world's?

While you might be enjoying eating various confections of bunny this weekend, IBM's CEO, Virginia Rometty, has to wear casual business attire and mix with men for whom she is an unwelcome species.

For Rometty's company, you see, sponsors the U.S. Masters. The U.S. Masters tournament is played at the charming Augusta National Golf Club. And the Augusta National Golf Club hasn't -- as far as we know-- invited Rometty to join.

It's not that Augusta has anything against IBM's fine CEOs. The last four have all been offered club membership. It's … Read more

Facebook ID theft threat impacts all iPhones, Dropbox

Although Facebook says that a vulnerability allowing someone to access another user's account only affects jailbroken iPhones, two reports say that's not the case.

U.K. app developer Gareth Wright and The Next Web have separately confirmed that the issue, which originates from Facebook's iPhone application, actually affects any iPhone, and not just those that have been jailbroken.

Wright announced his findings earlier this week. He claims that Facebook's iPhone application includes a vulnerability that fails to encrypt log-on credentials when a user accesses the social network from its mobile application. Wright said that he then … Read more

Facebook under fire (again) for all-male board

The campaign to get Facebook to appoint a female board member is ramping up. The FACE IT campaign launched earlier this week to draw attention to the fact that the social-networking site had no women on its board of directors and now other groups and individuals are signing on.

Joining the campaign today is the group Ultraviolet, which is a women's group co-founded by Nita Chaudhary who was most recently the outspoken campaign and organizing director for Political Action. Although Ultraviolet is fairly new on the scene, it already boasts 300,000 members.

"The fact that … Read more

Facebook says ID theft threat only on jailbroken phones

Reports are making the rounds on the Internet of a security hole in Facebook's Android and iOS clients that could allow identity theft.

However, the threat posed to most users of mobile devices that use those platforms is apparently minimal, and the blame for the vulnerability is misplaced, Facebook says. According to a blog by U.K. app developer Gareth Wright, who discovered the alleged vulnerability, the social network's mobile clients didn't encrypt users' log-on credentials, leaving them open for hijacking over a USB connection or rogue app.

Wright wrote on his blog that he discovered the … Read more

Twitter to spammers: We're suing

Twitter has had enough of TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, Troption, and Justinlover. So much so, that the microblogging site filed a suit against these five tool providers and spammers in San Francisco's federal court this morning.

"Our engineers continue to combat spammers' efforts to circumvent our safeguards, and today we're adding another weapon to our arsenal: the law," Twitter announced on its blog today. "With this suit, we're going straight to the source."

By working to shut down these tool providers, Twitter hopes to stop other spammers from using those tools. The tools function … Read more blends the personal, professional you online (video)

Tony Conrad and Ryan Freitas started the site as a way to aggregate people's social-media content like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter into a single hub. Think of it as the personal and professional you all in one place online.

If you only get one chance to make a first impression, says Conrad, "We think it should be the whole you."

Since launching the site, it has grown to more than 1 million users. The business was acquired in 2010 by AOL, which has enabled to launch a mobile app. SmartPlanet visit its San … Read more