Facebook's Drones and Lasers Internet Project

Video: Facebook is using laser-shooting drones to spread Internet access

By on March 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM.

Video: Facebook is using laser-shooting drones to spread Internet access

Facebook and Internet.org on Thursday announced the Connectivity Lab, a team that will work on connecting more people to the Internet by using some new technologies including unmanned solar-powered drones, low-orbit satellites and a laser-based technology to connect the elements of the system in order to accomplish its goals. More →

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Google Facebook Privacy Lawsuit

Google and Facebook get sued over their ‘incomprehensible’ privacy policies

By on March 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM.

Google and Facebook get sued over their ‘incomprehensible’ privacy policies

Have you ever tried to really read through Google and Facebook’s privacy policies? If you have then you might find that your eyes start to glaze over after just a few paragraphs. Now ZDNet reports that French consumers group UFC-Que Choisir has filed a lawsuit against Google, Facebook and Twitter for having privacy policies that are “illegible” and “incomprehensible” to the average user and that should be rewritten to make more sense. UFC-Que Choisir has slammed all three companies in the past for writing opaque policies that give the companies a lot of leeway for potentially violating their users’ privacy. More →

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Facebook Oculus VR Acquisition

Facebook is growing up: With Oculus buy, a social network prepares for its next act

By on March 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM.

Facebook is growing up: With Oculus buy, a social network prepares for its next act

Social networks aren’t always going to be en vogue. Facebook may have a billion users today, but what happens when that growth stalls? What happens when it turns negative? If it’s no longer the only source of revenue, the answers to those questions matter much less — hence, the purchase of Oculus VR. Lately, Facebook’s been buying (and trying to buy) companies that don’t exactly mesh with what it is. You could look at it two ways: It’s either getting into businesses that it has no concept of how to handle (see: Cisco’s purchase of Flip Video), or either it’s brilliantly diversifying its portfolio.

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Facebook Oculus Rift User Interface and Brand

Facebook denies that it plans to rebrand Oculus Rift with its own logo

By on March 26, 2014 at 6:17 PM.

Facebook denies that it plans to rebrand Oculus Rift with its own logo

Facebook on Tuesday made a surprising announcement, revealing that it purchased the Oculus Rift virtual reality startup in a $2 billion deal, although it’s not yet clear what the company plans to do with Oculus Rift in the future. According to a report from The New York Times though, a person familiar with the deal said the company “eventually plans to redesign the Oculus hardware and rebrand it with a Facebook interface and logo.”

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Minecraft Oculus Rift Canceled

Notch says Facebook creeps him out, cancels Minecraft for Oculus Rift

By on March 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM.

Notch says Facebook creeps him out, cancels Minecraft for Oculus Rift

Not a lot of people are happy about Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift, but Notch might be the most upset of us all. In a blog post Tuesday night after the news broke, Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft and founder of Mojang, announced the cancellation of his team’s efforts to bring Minecraft to the Oculus Rift.

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Facebook Oculus Rift Acquisition

On Oculus Rift and Facebook’s grand acquisitions

By on March 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM.

On Oculus Rift and Facebook’s grand acquisitions

So… Microsoft buys Nokia, Yahoo buys Tumblr, Twitter buys Vine, Google buys Nest, Facebook buys Instagram, Facebook buys WhatsApp, Facebook buys Oculus Rift. Notice the pattern in the recent big tech acquisitions? Facebook is really, really spending big on getting all futuristic.

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Facebook Oculus VR Acquisition

Facebook to buy virtual reality gaming company Oculus VR

By on March 25, 2014 at 5:54 PM.

Facebook to buy virtual reality gaming company Oculus VR

Wow. It seems Facebook’s ambitions are growing by the day. Little more than a month after his company bought messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday that Facebook was acquiring virtual reality gaming company Oculus VR for what The Wall Street Journal reports is for $2 billion. In his announcement Zuckerberg said that virtual reality technology is going to be the next major frontier for online interaction and that Oculus VR’s Rift headset was at the forefront of virtual reality innovation.

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Facebook Facial Recognition DeepFace

A whole new invasion of privacy: Facebook can identify your face 97% of the time

By on March 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM.

A whole new invasion of privacy: Facebook can identify your face 97% of the time

If you thought Facebook’s invasion of privacy had hit its peak, think again. Facebook announced earlier this week that its DeepFace facial recognition technology is “closely approaching human-level performance.” Modern facial identification has its limits, but with Facebook’s limitless access to facial images through photos on its website, the company has put together a method that is 97.25% accurate for any given face, even in suboptimal conditions. That means that Facebook could identify you from even your worst selfies, which could be the most frightening threat a high school student has ever heard of. Next time you upload your family photos to the ubiquitous social network, just know that you might be helping this process even further. Then again, it’s probably already too late.

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Facebook Apps Instagram WhatsApp FB Messenger

How Facebook is grinding its mobile app rivals into dust

By on March 7, 2014 at 4:25 PM.

How Facebook is grinding its mobile app rivals into dust

Yahoo keeps grimly churning through acquisitions; buying and shutting down small tech firms with mechanical fervor. Facebook is buying far bigger, far more expensive companies and with fairly stunning results. Instagram is the most dazzling example. More →

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Facebook Android App Permissions

Facebook’s Android app wants to do strange things to your phone

By on March 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM.

Facebook’s Android app wants to do strange things to your phone

In a post on Geektime, My Permissions CEO Olivier Amar points us to the new permissions in the Facebook Android application that are a bit uncommon, and appear to be related to the $19 billion WhatsApp purchase. More →

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Facebook WhatsApp

Google exec bashes Facebook for $19 billion WhatsApp buy

By on March 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM.

Google exec bashes Facebook for $19 billion WhatsApp buy

Google wanted to acquire WhatsApp but it couldn’t get the deal done. Now, Google is apparently venting some frustrations that Facebook beat it to the punch. While speaking at the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Google’s chief business officer Nikesh Arora voiced his opinion that the huge $19 billion sum Facebook is paying to acquire WhatsApp is exorbitant. More →

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Facebook Drones Internet Project

Video: Facebook attacks Google’s balloons with drones

By on March 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM.

Video: Facebook attacks Google’s balloons with drones

For obvious, ad-related reasons, both Google and Facebook are interested in bringing more people online, with each company having its own initiatives to offer affordable Internet connections to developing markets. One Google effort includes blanketing the sky with balloons that would create a wireless network, and Facebook may soon have a response to that. But instead of relying on balloons, Facebook may use drones for its Internet.org-related interests, TechCrunch reports. More →

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How Rich Are WhatsApp's Founders

Facebook employees tell us how they really feel about WhatsApp

By on February 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM.

Facebook employees tell us how they really feel about WhatsApp

When Facebook bought WhatsApp last week, only a few executives besides CEO Mark Zuckerberg were aware of the deal, which is similar to what happened when Facebook bought Instagram. So when regular Facebook employees heard about the deal it came as quite the shock. More →

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