Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Amidst so many things said and heard, Business insider has collected some crazy facts about Facebook that have made the company a treat for the readers.

Let’s take a look at 26 such facts that kept the giant social network in the news.

1. Facebooks Worth would be more than eBay, Yahoo, Groupon, LinkedIn, Netflix, IAC, AOL, Zynga and Pandora combined, when

it goes public

.

2. Eduardo Saverin, the Brazilian co founder of Facebook has renounced his US citizenship and is now investing billions in startups at Singapore.

3. Of all the incredible talents that Zuckerberg is bestowed with, his greatest and what seems to be his favorite is Firing People.

4. About 60 percent of the voting power at Facebook is controlled by Zuckerberg.

5. The big shot media company Viacom had offered to acquire Facebook, but was rejected by Mark Zuckerberg.


6. After agreeing to an acquisition offer from Yahoo while it was led by Terry Semel, Facebook staepped down from the deal when there were talks of lowering the offer price.

7. The Microsoft CEO, steve Ballmer had offered to buy Facebook. Steve has invested $240 million in Facebook till date.

8. Facebook interviewed Yahoo executive Ellen Siminoff, Apple veteran Bud Colligan, and former OpenTable CEO Jeff Jordan for the position of COO which is now held by Sheryl Sandberg.

9. Steve jobs had to cancel the presentation that he had offered Facebook for the iphone application in 2008. Jobs, who had expected Zuckerberg to do the presentation was disappointed by the audition of the engineer who was selected by the Facebook CEO.


10. Maintaining his reputation of having a a bad fashion sense, Zuckerberg wore a hoodie to the meeting with wall street investors.

11. In 2005, Mark Zuckerberg took CEO lessons to improve his managerial skills.


12. Mark Zuckerberg is said to be a big time Glee fan.

Google is testing a long-awaited full-text search API (application programming interface) for the Google App Engine, the company said on Tuesday.

The App Engine lets developers build Web applications hosted on Google’s infrastructure, and developers have long complained that the current search API is inadequate.

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“Beside the cruel irony [of] not having full-text search I am starting to wonder why it would take Google so long to implement this,” a developer wrote in the App Engine forum last month.

Google released the full-text search API in “experimental” mode and warned it could make changes in future versions that might be incompatible with the current API.

The API will allow users to search by keyword and delineate specific fields and ranges, Google said. The new capabilities also include scoring and snippeting.

Developers can use the API for free up to 20,000 calls a day or a total index size of 250 megabytes.

Tim Cook has pulled a startling coup, getting Larry Ellison to start cooking — if not eating — his own dog food.

The headlines make it sound like Oracle, the inherited owner of Java, has generously stepped in to help protect Mac owners from infections like Flashback. There’s an important backstory, though, that hasn’t hit the headlines.

Although Steve Jobs tried for years to get out from under the Java ball and chain, last week Tim Cook finally coerced Oracle into supplying updates for its own software. It only took 700,000 infected systems to convince Oracle to handle Java on OS X itself.

Steve Jobs dropped Java for the Mac in October 2010, removing it as part of the standard OS X install. The Mac OS X Developer Library post for Oct. 20, says, “The Java runtime ported by Apple and that ships with Mac OS X is deprecated. Developers should not rely on the Apple-supplied Java runtime being present in future versions of Mac OS X.” At the same time, Apple stopped accepting apps for the Mac App Store that relied on the Java Runtime Environment. Apple had never supported Java clients in itsiOS.

On Oct. 21, 2010, the MacRumors forum said that Jobs replied to a concerned Java developer, claiming, “Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.”

Of course, Jobs knew at the time he was blowing smoke — or perhaps a reality distortion field set in. With a few notable exceptions, Java’s owner has never supplied versions “for all other platforms.” Back when Java started, Sun supplied a version of the runtime for Linux because, as the “father of Java” James Gosling says, “there was no one else to do it.” Every other distributor — Microsoft,IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple — rolled its own version, based on Sun’s reference code.

Java 1.0 for Mac OS 9 was released in 1996, the year Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to the Apple fold. Jobs knew full well that Apple was developing its own version of Java, just like all the other platform providers.

Microsoft started taking its version of Java far afield, adding its own extensions to the language, and Sun sued in 1997 to get its trademark back. A bitter, extended, and very public court battle ended in January 2001, with Microsoft paying Sun $20 million for its transgressions and Sun taking control of Java updates. Until this last week, Sun had released Java versions only for Linux and Windows. All the other platforms made their own.

The fact is that Jobs had been trying for years to get Sun, then Oracle, to take over Java releases for OS X. Back in 2007, Jobs is quoted as saying, “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.” In 2010, when Jobs dropped Java like a hot cup of coffee, he tried to shame Oracle into supporting it. Since then, Java’s been a neglected stepchild in the Mac world, completely shunned in iOS.

As Gosling says, “In the early days, they [Apple] were insistent on doing the port themselves. They put terrific energy into it. They did a good job. But then, as OS X took hold and Apple was able to convince developers to target their nonportable/proprietary environment, Apple’s fundamental control-freak tendency took over and they put less and less energy into Java.”

Oracle is now distributing Java SE 7 Update 4 for Mac OS X, and that will become the default version on Java.com starting May 1. Henrik Stahl, senior director of Java product management at Oracle, says, “Oracle’s JDK and JavaFX release supports OS X Lionon any 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac. … There are community efforts based on OpenJDK to build JDK 7 [and JVM on 32-bit machines] for other configurations, easily found using your favorite search engine. We applaud these efforts! :-)”

Oracle has announced full plans to embrace OS X Lion and later with new updates to the Java Standard Edition and Java Development Kit. (The JDK includes the Java Runtime Environment, JRE, which in turn includes the Java Virtual Machine, JVM. And you thought Microsoft’s terminology was confusing!)

It’s not clear if Oracle will be updating the Java runtime for earlier versions of OS X. That’s particularly troubling because Dr. Web, the site that originally broke the story on the Flashback infections, now says that 25 percent of all Flashback infections come from Macs running OS X 10.5 Leopard, and 63 percent more are from OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Only 12 percent of all infections are in OS X 10.7 Lion, and those are the only machines that will be patched with Oracle’s Java SE 7 Update 4. Leopard and Snow Leopard users are left to the “community efforts.” If either Apple or Oracle is concerned about the hundreds of thousands of customers left swinging in the wind, there’s no indication I can find.

In contrast, Apple’s two recent Java patches covered Lion and Snow Leopard. They didn’t cover Leopard.

It seems that Jobs’ desires have finally been fulfilled, with the Java monkey now on Oracle’s back. Cook was at the helm — perhaps actively involved? — when it happened. Apple’s now able to wash its hands of all Java’s faults going forward. Oracle has responsibility for its own product. All it took was 700,000 infections.

Rumors have resurfaced that Facebook is working on a project to develop its own smartphone. There are clues and leaks suggesting that Facebook is exploring its mobile options with a possible device launch in 2013. The big question, though, is whether or not it makes any sensefor Facebook to do so.

Facebook is king of the social networks. It has already surpassed Google to become the online destination where users spend the majority of their time. Nearly a billion people around the world rely on Facebook to share photos, status updates, check-ins, and just stay connected with their networks of friends and family.

Facebook smartphoneDoes Facebook need to be in the smartphone platform/hardware business?For many users Facebook has become synonymous with the Internet. With as much clout as Facebook already has, what would it gain from jumping into the highly competitive smartphone market?

An article by Nick Bilton in the New York Times quotes an unnamed Facebook employee explaining, “Mark [Zuckerberg] is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms.”

Would that be so bad? Or, to rephrase—isn’t that a worthwhile goal that other businesses would love to achieve?

My PCWorld peer Daniel Ionescu describes the crux of Facebook’s dilemma. “While the social network uses several kinds of targeted ads to make money, it has difficulties monetizing some 200 million users who use Facebook from their mobiles.”

Facebook is already one of the most popular and widely used apps on the iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone mobile platforms. Rather than building its own smartphone, Facebook should focus on ways to monetize the massive mobile user base it already has. No matter how successful a Facebook smartphone could be, there will still be tens (or hundreds) of millions ofFacebook users on other mobile platforms.

There are two significant risks if Facebook is, in fact, developing its own smartphone. First, if it’s not a success it becomes a blemish Facebook’s reputation and brand. If it works, however, Facebook could run the risk of alienating other platforms–or favoring its own platform in a way that weakens the Facebook app on other platforms–and end up diluting its overall base.

The ultimate solution may lie with other currently circulating rumors. There are suggestions that Facebook may be developing its own Web browser, or just buying Opera and turning it into a Facebook browser, and persistent hints that Facebook may expand into online search–pitting it more directly against its archrival Google.

Having a Facebook-centric browser and Facebook-centric search would put the social network in a position to funnel the online activities of Facebook users to get ads in front of more people. It would make Facebook more valuable as a marketing resource, and generate revenue for Facebook following a similar model to Google.

Alone, the browser and search may not be enough. Facebook would still be dependent on users to choose its browser or search engine, or for other mobile platforms to employ them as the default browser or search–which is highly unlikely. But, if Facebook combines all three—browser, search, and smartphone—it may have a winner.

Without a Facebook-centric browser and search function, though, there would be little—if any—benefit from a Facebook smartphone. It would still rely on a third-party browser and search and wouldn’t really generate any more revenue.

The smartphone business is tough, but it’s not impossible. When the iPhone debuted, Apple’s rivals didn’t take it seriously. A few years ago there was no Android, and now it is the dominant smartphone platform.

If the rumors are true we’ll have to wait and see if a Facebook smartphone platform can become the next iOS or Android, or if it ends up struggling like Windows Phone, or fizzling into obscurity like webOS.