Steve Jobs in Memorian

Steve Jobs changed the world with the role he played in nearly every Apple product ever released. Analysts are claiming that the last project Steve Jobs is iPhone 4S.

Politics News

The online conversation about the Occupy Wall Street movement turned global over the weekend as protesters provided live Twitter updates, photos and videos.

Facebook Begins Testing Facebook Credits for websites

Monday, October 24, 2011

Facebook has started working with a few developers to test the ability of using Facebook Credits on other websites. Palo Alto says the goal of Facebook Credits for websites is to let developers offer a more unified app experience beyond Facebook apps.

Facebook is not yet sure if it will expand the test more broadly. If demand for the virtual currency is high and the user experience is deemed solid, the company could one day allow all websites to process payments for virtual goods using Facebook Credits.

There is just one early example of the new system: GameHouse’s Collapse! Blast. If you are a developer interested in Facebook Credits for websites, you can sign up at the Facebook Credits Developer Support Form by choosing the fifth category from the list.

“At this time, we are focused on gathering early developer feedback,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We will keep you posted as our tests continue.”

In related news, Facebook has added new payment methods for Facebook Credits. Some of the recent additions include: Axeso5 (Brazil), Join Card (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand), Malaysia OBT (Malaysia), MEPS FPX (Malaysia), MEPSCASH (Malaysia), PayEasy (Philippines), PaysBuy (Thailand), SafetyPay (Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Austria, Brazil), and WebCash (Malaysia). The social networking giant now supports over 80 payment methods in more than 50 countries around the world.

Facebook Credits launched as an alpha in May 2009. The beta stage started in February 2010 and ended with a final version in January 2011. As of July 2011, all Facebook game developers are required to only process payments through Facebook Credits. It is not (yet?) a mandatory payment option for Facebook apps. Earlier this month, Facebook Credits became available as a payment option to mobile app developers.

Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of all revenue earned through Facebook Credits, leaving developers with the remaining 70 percent. It’s not clear how much revenue the company makes from the virtual currency, but it appears to be a growing percentage of its overall revenue. It could be massive if Facebook Credits for websites takes off.

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LinkedIn Wants to Make More Money From Job Recruiters

LinkedIn, the social network for businesspeople, is adding on to its biggest business: matching jobs to job seekers.

The company is announcing an addition to its hiring solutions business called Talent Pipeline at a conference for 1,500 job recruiters and personnel executives in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Pipeline is an effort to centralize the way recruiters find, track and stay in touch with potential hires and promotions. The product is intended to be used with candidates internally and outside the company. Employees, the company says, can more easily find out about job openings for themselves or candidates they know.

The company considers the recruiting industry as a fragmented global market worth $85 billion.

Not surprisingly, the Talent Pipeline also enables recruiters to connect the names on a résumé to their LinkedIn profiles. The idea is to enable them to build a bigger internal database with more information in it, including notes on a candidate that the hiring managers can share with each other, thus making LinkedIn more important to them.

“Most of the people you want to hire are in jobs where they are already happy – that’s why there are headhunters calling people up,” said Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s chief executive. But independent recruiters, with their personal networks and spreadsheets of candidates, tend to be specialized and incapable of looking globally for a lot of jobs, he said. “They don’t scale. We find when you unleash a search capability at scale you start looking through more variables, like geography, languages spoken, related fields and work history.”

The Pipeline will be introduced next year as part of the current service, called the Recruiter platform. It will also be available separately, though LinkedIn has not yet set a price for the service.

Building on hiring solutions is a big deal for LinkedIn. In the quarter that ended last June, the company made $58.6 million from Hiring Solutions, up 170 percent from a year earlier. That was 48 percent of the company’s total revenue, and its fastest-growing segment. LinkedIn’s second-biggest business is advertising, and it brought in $38.6 million. LinkedIn is a free service, but people pay premiums for things like access to anyone’s professional information; these premium subscriptions brought in $23.9 million.

Besides offering another reason to use the recruiting software, the company is looking to increase the time people spend interacting with its products, hoping it will also be used to structure how people work as well as how they get hired.

Some 6,000 companies use Hiring Solutions. LinkedIn is sharing parts of its database with partners like Success Factors, which makes software for planning and carrying out complex tasks, to build more uses for the talent data.

“We look at LinkedIn as an ecosystem or a platform,” Mr. Weiner said. “It’s not just about finding a job, it’s about helping people be great at the job they are in – they want to provide intelligence, participate in professional groups and share knowledge, share their expertise.”

Source from : NY Times
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Twitter Founder Pushes Square’s Payment Device Into Wal-Mart

Square Inc., the mobile payments company created by Twitter Inc. co-founder Jack Dorsey, said its credit-card reader for smartphones will be available in Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s locations nationwide, boosting the number of retail outlets where it is sold to more than 9,000.

The reader, which lets businesses handle payments via mobile devices, was previously available in about 200 Apple stores, as well as Target Corp., RadioShack Corp. and Best Buy Co. outlets.

Square is targeting small businesses that may not be able to afford machinery that handles credit cards, Chief Operating Officer Keith Rabois said in an interview. The company is vying with EBay Inc.’s PayPal as well as providers of so-called near field communications to help consumers pay for things on the go. At stake is a mobile commerce market that Juniper Research predicts will surge to $670 billion in 2015.

“Payments have a lot of friction, a lot of distraction,” Rabois said. “We can’t eliminate all of that this month, but our mission is to make Square ubiquitous.”

Square’s technology lets U.S. businesses handle payments via Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, as well as devices running on Google Inc.’s Android software. The card reader plugs into the headphone jack of the mobile device and lets merchants swipe customers’ credit and debit cards.

The device can be ordered free on the Web. The reader is sold at stores for $9.99, a cost that can be refunded online. Square makes its money from each transaction, with merchants paying 2.75 percent of the amount paid.

Square publicly launched last October and has about $140 million in funding, according to regulatory filings.

Square vs. NFC

The company is betting that consumers will choose its system over near field communications, which lets phones function like credit and debit cards by waving them in front of a reader. The process requires customers to take out a phone and place it near a reader, much like they already do with a credit card, Rabois said.

“We don’t currently believe that NFC as a payment technology is likely to improve either the merchant’s experience or the buyer’s experience,” he said.

More than 800,000 of Square’s devices have been shipped to merchants. The company says it is processing more than $2 billion in payments on an annual basis. PayPal expects more than $3.5 billion in mobile volume this year and processed $29.3 billion total in payments in the third quarter, according to a statement by the San Jose-based company last week.

Source from : Businessweek
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Facebook Creating Shadow Profiles of non-Users

Facebook is gradually building " shadow profiles" of non-users of the social networking site, a privacy watchdog has claimed.

Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC) claims that users are encouraged to give out non-user's personal details, like names, phone numbers and email addresses, which Facebook uses to create "shadow profiles" of those people.

Ciara O'Sullivan, a IDPC spokeswoman told '' that its audit of Facebook Ireland's privacy policies was part of a "statutory investigation" that the office anticipates will lead to immediate changes.

"The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner will be commencing a comprehensive audit of Facebook Ireland before the end of the month," O'Sullivan said.

However, Facebook, with 800 million users, has refuted allegations that it is tracking information of non-account holders too. "The allegations are false," Facebook's spokesman Andrew Noyes was quoted as saying.

He added: "We enable you to send emails to your friends, inviting them to join Facebook. We keep the invitee's email address and name to let you know when they join the service.

"This practice is common among almost all services that involve invitations, from document sharing to event planning. The assertion that Facebook is doing some sort of nefarious profiling is simply wrong."

The social network also said information from users it not used to target advertisements and information is not sold to other people.

Source from :  Times of India
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Successes Overseas Are Unlikely to Help Obama at Home

Sunday, October 23, 2011

President Obama’s announcement that the last American soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of this year capped a momentous week in which he could also take credit for helping dispatch one of the world’s great villains, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Conventional wisdom holds that none of this will matter to Mr. Obama’s frayed political fortunes, which will be determined by the economy rather than the notches he is piling up on his statesman’s belt.

Yet Mr. Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq — a campaign pledge kept — and the successful NATO air campaign in Libya — with no American casualties, and at a tiny fraction of the cost of Iraq — allowed him to thread a political needle: reaffirming his credentials as a wartime leader while reassuring his Democratic base that he is making good on the promises that got him elected.

This one-two punch may also strengthen the president’s hand against his eventual Republican opponent, according to Mr. Obama’s supporters, by depriving Republicans of a cudgel typically used on Democratic presidents, that they are weak on national security. The swift and fierce criticism of his Iraq decision by the Republican candidates shows how reluctant they are to cede this advantage to him.

“There is an aggregate effect to all the president’s foreign policy successes,” said Bill Burton, a former White House aide who is a senior strategist at Priorities USA Action, a political action committee backing the Obama campaign. “The notion of who is a stronger leader will be deeply influenced by the promises the president kept.”

Mr. Burton said he could foresee television advertisements playing up Mr. Obama’s foreign successes, including the deaths of both Osama bin Laden and Colonel Qaddafi, though he did not say whether his group had made such plans. On Saturday, Mr. Burton circulated a memo to producers of the Sunday talk shows drawing a contrast between the cost of the Iraq war and the lower-cost Libya operation.

Still, there is little doubt the election will be dominated by the economy and the weak job market, where the president is dealing with a steady drip of bad news and scant hope of improvement before Election Day.

A discussion of foreign policy has been largely absent from the debates among the Republican presidential contenders, a striking fact given that the nation is enmeshed in three major military conflicts and that Republicans have historically claimed an edge in national security.

“Foreign affairs is important, but when placed against the scale of the problem with jobs and the economy, it’s dwarfed,” said David Winston, a Republican strategist. “It’s the equivalent of a house on fire: he’s fixing the window while the rest of the house is burning down.”

Karl Rove, a former strategist to President Bush, said, “To the degree Obama tries to suggest he should be re-elected because of foreign policy strength, he looks like he’s dodging the main issue.”

Mr. Obama’s poll numbers also show he is getting little credit for his successes. His approval rating shot up 11 points, to 57 percent, in a New York Times/CBS News survey after he ordered the commando raid in Pakistan that killed Bin Laden in May, but fell back below 50 percent a month later as fears about the economy punctured the euphoria.

Last week’s successes could fade too — if sectarian violence in Iraq flares up after the American troops leave, if Libya becomes another Somalia or if a terrorist group manages to stage an attack on American soil.

“If things go off track in the next year or two, it’s not going to matter what the military successes were,” said David Rothkopf, a foreign policy expert who has written a history of the National Security Council.

Even as former Bush administration officials praised Mr. Obama for the victory in Libya, the Republican presidential candidates were trying to draw attention to the failed talks between the United States and Iraq over legal immunity for a small force of trainers that the Pentagon had wanted to remain.

Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. and Herman Cain all criticized the president’s decision, with Mr. Romney issuing the most strident condemnation.

Source from : NY Times
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United Nations Says Myanmar Has more Work to Do

Despite positive political developments in Myanmar, the government has a long way to go in addressing human rights concerns, a U.N. official said.

Last week, the government in Myanmar released around 200 prisoners as part of a general amnesty given to an estimated 6,300 detainees.

The release followed an appeal to the government from the head of the state-backed National Human Rights Commission to set free prisoners accused of ordinary crimes so they can participate in "nation-building tasks."

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special envoy on human rights in Myanmar, told the U.N. General Assembly that despite the political progress, he was receiving allegations of human rights violations.

"Measures to ensure justice and accountability, including access to the truth, are essential for Myanmar to face its past and current human rights challenges and to move forward toward national reconciliation," he said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch staff members expressed concern about ethnic violence in northern Myanmar. The organization in September said sexual violence and torture against ethnic communities were on the rise in that region.

Quintana said those complaints, along with reports of military forces using prisoners as human shields, showed there was much work to be done in Myanmar.

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Bolivian Revolt over Jungle road Growing

Bolivian President Evo Morales faced renewed pressures from Amazonian environmental protesters who want him to drop a Brazilian-funded road cutting through an environmentally fragile but impoverished part of the jungle.

As the protest entered the third month, campaigners calling for the road construction to stop spilled into La Paz, demanding immediate action from Morales, himself an ethnic Aymara and former trade unionist.

Officials said direct talks with the protesters' representatives wouldn't be ruled out.

The road will cut through about 185 miles of forest and will likely displace many of the clusters of indigenous communities. About 15,000 inhabitants are directly in the path of the highway, campaigners said.

The road protest has accentuated Bolivia's multiethnic politics, in which Morales enjoyed wide popularity across racial and social divides. But the road project has seen critics calling Morales elitist and disdainful of native communities from the Amazonian lowlands.

Opponents of the road project say the jungle highway, financed by Brazil, will ruin the Amazonian environment and deprive them of livelihood and a long-preserved lifestyle.

Opponents also say they fear the highway will bring organized crime, increase farming of coca, the main ingredient for cocaine, and encourage criminals engaged in illegal logging and land grabs.

As Morales foes seized on the protests to take the president to task, leaders of the campaigners said they had no quarrel with Morales and would seek an amicable settlement of the dispute.

Morales and his aides have said the highway is needed to help Bolivia's poorer regions develop and have accused the marchers of being influenced by Morales's foes.

Although the president has apologized to protesting citizens and ordered suspension of work on the highway, the campaigners want long-term assurances that the project won't be taken up again.

Only a few days ago thousands of Morales loyalists, including highland Indians, coca growers and union members, marched in La Paz in support of the government.

The pro-government rally contrasted with protest marches against the highway and other expressions of popular dissatisfaction, including blank ballots cast in a vote on the nomination of magistrates.

The road will link the Andean highlands of central Bolivia with the Amazon lowlands to the north increasing communication and trade exchanges between Villa Tunari and San Ignacio de Moxos. When the project began Bolivia and Brazil hailed it as a major step toward regional integration.

Opponents say the highway will irreversibly damage the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park, a rainforest region of exceptional biodiversity, known to be home to an extraordinary wealth of plant and animal species.

Isolated communities of Chiman, Yurucare and Moxos Indians live in the area, hunting, fishing and farming in the rainforest.

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