Following a very, very rocky start for Google’s latest social networking effort, Google Buzz, the Internet giant has settled a class action lawsuit related to the service. When Buzz launched earlier this year, Google found itself at the center of a media frenzy. The company decided it would forgo an opt-in process and share users’ locations with each Google account holder in their address books by default. The decision turned out to be a PR nightmare — and now it carries a financial burden with it as well. As a result of a class action settlement, Google has agreed to put in place an $8.5 million fund dedicated to “promoting privacy education on the web,” and it is now in the process of informing its users. Hit the break for the email Google is currently sending to all account holders. More →
Social networking is huge these days, and there are a lot of choices. Buzz, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Loopt, Foursquare; the list goes on and on. While all these companies have a slightly different slant on social networking, they all seem to agree on one thing: mobile devices are the future. So we wanted to know… what is/are your mobile social networking client(s) of choice, what mobile OS do your run said client(s) on, and what would you change about that client/service if you could? Most of us here at BGR use Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, how about you? Hit the jump to vote!
This post is part of Samsung’s Mobile Trends content series. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung or its partners.
How about some news for all you Google Maps enthusiasts? Today, Google has announced the addition of inline Map previews for its Gmail and Buzz products. The new feature will insert an interactive Google Map into your email or Buzz post containing address data or links to Google Maps. However, as Google notes: “Any Google Maps URL will work, but we currently only extract US addresses (we’re working on making addresses around the world work).” The new feature, as with all new Google features, can be switched on via the “Labs” preference pane. Happy mapping. More →
There was a lash, then a back lash, and now…a class action law suit. Google Inc. has been named in a class action suit filed in San Jose (CA) federal court alleging that Google broke the law when, via its new social platform Buzz, it disclosed the personal information of Gmail users without consent. The internet has been raging against the Mountain View company due to the way Buzz was rolled out; instead of the more common “opt-in” model, Google pushed Buzz out to all Gmail users making users chose to “opt-out” if they were not interested. The complaint cites the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984 and the suit has the potential to include all Gmail users — over 31 million users at the time of the Buzz release. A Google spokesperson said, “we haven’t yet been served, so we can’t comment on the suit until we’ve had a chance to review it.” We’ll stay on top of this one and report back when new information becomes available. More →
For the second time this week, the Gmail Team has announced updated security features to Google’s new social media platform, Buzz. Deployed last week, Buzz quickly came under fire for its automatic setup and less-than-impressive privacy controls. In response Google rapidly made several tweaks to Buzz two days after launch, and again yesterday, Google announced it is prepared to push out additional security modifications within the next few days. The new privacy settings include:
- Buzz will not automatically set up to follow anyone until you have reviewed the suggestions and clicked “Follow selected people and start using Buzz.”
- Buzz will no longer connect your public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items automatically.
- There will now be a Buzz tab in the Gmail Settings. From there, you’ll be able to hide Buzz from Gmail or disable it completely. In addition, there will be a link to these settings from the initial start-up page so you can easily decide from the get go that you don’t want to use Buzz at all.
Google had this to say for those that already have Buzz setup: “For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following. If you want to review this list now, just go to the Buzz tab, click “Following XX people” and unfollow anyone you wish. If you don’t want to share the lists of people who are following you and people you are following publicly on your profile, you can opt out at any time from the edit profile page.” Follow the read link to see the official Gmail Blog.
Just two days after the initial launch, Google, based upon feedback from users, is adding several requested features to their new social media platform Google Buzz. The changes, to be implemented later today, include:
- More visible option to not show followers/people you follow on your public profile
- Ability to block anyone who starts following you
- More clarity on which of your followers/people you follow can appear on your public profile
As you can see, most of the improvements revolve around privacy settings; giving greater control over how and to whom your personal information is shared — a concern/criticism that was quickly recognized by blogs and users alike. Buzz, as it currently exists, looks to be Google’s answer to Twitter, with a heavy emphasis on location awareness and your Gmail address book. We’re curious as to what your thoughts are on Buzz. Are you using it? Do you like it? Give us your musings in the comments. More →
When it rains, it pours for HTC. The leak of its portfolio shows a huge number of handset offerings in 2010, the Sprint Hero will be receiving the Android 2.1 update, the HD2 looks to be headed for T-Mobile and apparently their Sense UI is getting a nice update. The latter seems to have been outed via a ROM dump running on a Hero. It’s rumored that this version of Sense will be available on a HTC device codenamed Espresso — a handset that didn’t appear on HTC’s 1H 2010 list. It’s possible that this refreshes Sense UI will apply to all future HTC Android handsets. More screenshots after the jump!
If you live and die by HTC, you might be very excited to know that the company’s portfolio for the first half of 2010 has been leaked online. HTC’s portfolio was presented in Vienna back in October in a global meeting, and now it’s available for us to see. The phones are broken down by category: Design, Performance, Social and Productivity (can’t a phone be two or more?). Lined up are a number of Windows Mobile 6.5 devices and Android devices, so we hope you’re sitting down for this one. Hit the break to see how the phones are broken down by category and to see some images of the devices themselves!