1. Facebook may start tracking your cursor as you browse the site
Facebook has studied your likes, comments, and clicks in order to create ads that are more targeted to you. Now, they are considering tracking the location of your cursor on your screen. Facebook analytic chef Ken Rudin told The Wall Street Journal about several new measures the social media giant is currently testing in order to improve its user-tracking. One measure is seeing how long you hover your cursor over an ad and whether or not this leads to a click. The data gathered using these methods could Facebook create more engaging advertisements. While these methods are not uncommon, Facebook hasn’t gone very deep in behavioral data management until now. “Facebook should know within months whether it makes sense to incorporate the new data collection into the business,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
2. Apple discovers ‘manufacturing defect’ causing iPhone 5S battery woes for some customers
New tech, new problems. Apple has confirmed to The New York Times that some iPhone 5S owners are experiencing very poor battery performance. “We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Apple spokesperson Teresa Brewer. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”
3. Google donates 17,000 Nexus 7 tablets to help New Yorkers still affected by Hurricane Sandy
It’s been a year since Hurricane Sunday, but the northeastern section of the US is still feeling its impact, in the form of facilities and jobs that never re-opened. Google hopes to help alleviate this problem by donating 17,000 Nexus 7 tablets to the New York State Community Action Association. This non-profit will then hand out the Nexus 7’s to community centers, libraries, and business development groups. Some will also go to senior centers to help older residents communicate with friends and family. Whether or not this is a charitable action or a giant PR stunt, this act will undeniably help out people in need.
4. BlackBerry and Facebook met to discuss potential buyout, reports WSJ
Facebook has showed interest in buying out BlackBerry. Last week, BlackBerry sent representatives to California for a meeting with Facebook executives to discuss a potential bid. It is unclear how serious Facebook is about this, or if Facebook is actually considering entering a bid to begin with. But, Zuckerberg has expressed a strong interest in getting Facebook on as many phones as possible, and purchasing BlackBerry may reset Facebook’s embarrassing phone-fiasco, when their HTC First failed to impress consumers.
5. SoundCloud and Instagram partner to turn your photos into album art
Today, SoundCloud, which many people call “the Twitter of music” announced a partnership with Instagram that will let Instagram users upload their photos as album art onto any of their tracks or playlists. Soundcloud explained that the square format of Instagram photos was a good match for record and CD sleeves. Since Instagram provides no easy way to save photos on a desktop to upload to other services, this feature has generally been warmly received.
6. Twitter timeline becomes more visual with previews of images and Vines
Up until now, if you want to see an image attached to a tweet, you have to actually tap on the tweet. This has been putting Twitter out of step with visually-based social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram. However, Twitter is catching up with an update that inserts previews of images and Vines directly into tweets on the web and on Twitter apps. If you want to see the entire image or the Vine, you tap on the preview image. This update makes the timeline more interactive by allowing users to reply, retweet, or favorite tweets without leaving the main timeline.
7. NSA reportedly tapped into Google, Yahoo data centers worldwide without telling either company
MUSCULAR: a top secret plan between the NSA and the UK’s GCHQ that has been used to access Google and Yahoo data centers around the world. MUSCULAR was revealed by documents released by Edward Snowden and confirmed by sources at The Washington Post. This breach of privacy could affect hundreds of millions of users, as neither company was aware that their data centers were being accessed. Google said that they were “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and [they were] not aware of this activity.” Yahoo said they had, “strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and [have] not given access to [their] data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.”