Yahoo is attempting to procure Tumblr for $1.1 billion, and its board will meet on Sunday night to discuss the deal, according to Peter Kafka and Kara Swisher of AllThingsD — who at this point may have a direct line into Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s occipital lobe (Update: the deal has been approved by Yahoo’s board, says Kara Swisher). With over 100 million visitors per month, according to comScore, and 108 million blogs, according to Tumblr’s homepage, Tumblr could be a great acquisition for just about any major company. But what kind of company is Yahoo trying to become?
Jeffrey Rosen, New Republic:
As the world watched footage of the body of Christopher Stevens being dragged through the streets, YouTube reached a similar decision. Despite allegations that the riots had been caused by an Arabic-language version of the video posted on the site, it turned out that an English version of Innocence of the Muslims had been in circulation since July. YouTube had determined that the clip didn’t violate its terms of service, which by then were similar to Facebook’s: “Sometimes there is a fine line between what is and what is not considered hate speech.
Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic takes a look at Silicon Valley’s biggest companies and the battle over the future of the first amendment online.
That is a frozen piece of pizza, on the ground, covered in snow. I found it in the parking lot this morning as I was leaving school. I posted an Instagram of it.
At the outset of the new year, I set some social media goals for myself. Things like learning to better leverage Twitter as a networking tool, expanding my presence and my brand online, and trying to take more Instagram photos. I hoped to achieve that last one by taking at least one Instagram photo each day for the entire year. For the first few weeks, I did quite well. I started taking photos of everything, some days posting more than one. On occasion, more than five.
Amid all of the CES hubbub, Facebook has invited the press to a special event at their Menlo Park headquarters in California next Tuesday, January 15th, 2013. The invitation teases “Come and see what we’re building”, implying a major product unveil. Could this be a significant revamp or redesign of the Facebook website? The long-rumoured Facebook Phone? Or could it simply be an ad-network? Only time will tell, and CE will be reporting on the event next week, which starts at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM EST.
2012 has been a monumental year in technology. This year we’ve watched Facebook truly realize the complete “American Dream,” as it went through with an IPO that valued the social network at $90 billion in May, lost 47 percent of its value in 94 days, and subsequently began a slow ascent back to respectability. The Internet rallied its voice and defeated major legislation across the globe, including SOPA and PIPA that attempted to regulate the Internet. Major gadgets were released, including the Nexus 7, iPad mini, Microsoft Surface and iPhone 5. Copyright and patent laws around the world were put to the test as Apple and Android OEMs embarked on a game of ‘who can file lawsuits against each other in the most countries,’ with Samsung arising as the first victim of the lawsuits to the tune of $1 billion, which of course is being appealed.
All in all, it was a very eventful year in tech. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights.
The impending changes have serious implications that could impact users in an extremely negative way. The most significant change is that Instagram — much like its owner Facebook — has now granted itself the perpetual right to sell user-generated content (images) without payment or notification being sent to the user. This means that Facebook has the right to sell all public photos that are shared by users on Instagram to companies or any other organization for advertising purposes. Unless users of the social sharing network delete their accounts prior to the January deadline, they will not be able to opt out of how their images will be used.
Facebook just released version 5.0 of its iOS app, and they have finally made the change everyone has been begging for — the social networking giant has gone native. Before today, Facebook’s application ran on HTML 5. HTML is portable, so much of the same code can be used on different platforms, but it is notoriously slow when used to power an entire application interface. Viewing and sharing photos, for example, sucked so much that Facebook built its own camera app and purchased Instagram. The News Feed in the old app would often crash, and navigation was a pain. Thankfully, all of that changed today. Facebook promises the new native app is twice as fast at starting up, scrolling through the News Feed, and loading pictures. And boy does it deliver.
The photos experience is now on par with Facebook’s blazing Camera app. Photos render smoothly, just a tad slower than on Instagram, and expand instantly when you tap on them. Swiping up or down on an expanded photo dismisses it with a bouncy flourish; a little obnoxious, but much better than it used to be.
It’s hard to overstate just how nice the News Feed feels in Facebook 5.0. Scrolling is finally smooth enough to match or best the rest of iOS, and there’s a new banner that appears at the top, alerting you when a friend makes a new post. Tapping on the banner pulls you to the top of the News Feed so you can check it out. It’s a nice touch, and a lot more useful than you might imagine. If you think smooth scrolling and a banner aren’t that big of a deal, let me put it this way: Facebook for iOS feels so good that I uninstalled the Facebook app on my Android phone.
Once you use native Facebook on the iPhone, you won’t settle for less.