Social networking

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

Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare: Tools of the modern burglar?

Think twice next time you're planning to tweet about what a great time you're having on your vacation, thousands of miles from your empty, vulnerable home.

A survey of 50 convicted burglars in the U.K. suggests the tools used by today's modern criminals include more than just a black ski mask and crowbar. Seventy-eight percent said they'd used Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social-media sites to target properties.

Also notable, nearly three-quarters of thieves have stepped into the 21st century and take advantage of Google Street View to case joints that might be worth robbing.

The home of Israel Hyman in Arizona was burglarized a few years ago, shortly after he tweeted road trip status updates like "preparing to head out of town," "another 10 hours of driving ahead" and later, "made it to Kansas City" to his 2,000 followers.

Bloggers like myself rarely worry about this sort of thing since I write every CNET post from home and have everything delivered to me via Amazon Prime. In case I didn't make it clear, I never leave my house. Never. I'm way too far behind on polishing my gun collection to go out. And you know what else I like? Booby traps -- they really put the fun in home ownership.… Read more

Larry Page: Google wants to be 'deserving of great love'

Larry Page marked his one year anniversary as Google's CEO with a sweeping review of the last year -- one that declares Google "a company that is deserving of great love."

And in a side reference to the "Do No Evil" motto that Google unveiled when it went public, Page said that Google has "always believed that it's possible to make money without being evil." At the same time, however, he acknowledged that tapping that emotional chord is harder than simply turning a slogan into a corporate goal.

In his 2012 Update from the CEO,Read more

Facebook goes with Nasdaq for IPO

While Facebook has been battling Yahoo over patents on the West coast, the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq have been battling for Facebook's business on the East.

The winner is reportedly the Nasdaq, which has long been home to high-tech public companies. The stock will trade under the ticker, FB, The New York Times is reporting.

The Nasdaq built its business by housing some of the biggest names in high-tech -- Microsoft, Apple, Google and Intel among them -- but the NYSE has been aggressively trying to lure new issues. Last year, for instance, it landed LinkedIn … Read more