Facebook’s News Feed: What Changed and Why

Facebook’s News Feed: What Changed and Why.


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Listening to Loyal (East Coast Version) [feat. Lil Wayne & French Montana] by Chris Brown

Listening to Loyal (East Coast Version) [feat. Lil Wayne & French Montana] by Chris Brown at Welling

Preview it on Path

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Leap Motion Lays Off 10% Of Its Workforce After Missing On First Year Sales Estimates

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Apple again plans AirDrop wireless file-sharing for iOS



Apple is currently testing versions of iOS 7 internally that include the AirDrop WiFi-direct file sharing tool from the Mac, according to people familiar with the software.

Like with the Flickr and Vimeo integration that we previously reported on, it is very simple for Apple to remove any single feature from the new operating system ahead of the mid-June unveiling.

Additionally, Apple has scrapped AirDrop late in software development from iOS before. Last year, we reported that Apple was developing an AirDrop tool to take advantage of the new WiFi hardware inside of Apple’s latest iOS devices. Because Apple has postponed the feature before, we believe it is possible that the feature could be pushed back again…



Sources say that the AirDrop functionality is currently integrated into the standard iOS share menu. AirDrop will work between two iOS devices and potentially between an iOS device and a Mac. The feature will make it easier than ever to transfer, for example, a photograph or document from one person’s iPhone to another person’s iPad.

While iCloud synchronization works well for sharing photos and documents between two iOS devices owned by the same person, the AirDrop feature will allow seamless individual file exchanges between iOS devices belonging to different people. Apple launched this functionality between Mac computers in 2011 with OS X Lion.

Notably, this potential addition will increase feature parity between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Android has included peer-to-peer file sharing for multiple releases of the software, but the implementation can be confusing due to fragmentation. For example, Samsung has its own unique fork of peer-to-peer file sharing while Google’s stock Android builds include its own implementation. AirDrop for iOS will be seamless in that it will work the same way on all of Apple’s supported products.



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Google Buzz Is About to Finally Buzz Off

ImageMore than 18 months after announcing that it was shutting down Google Buzz, Google is taking the final steps in snuffing out the platform.

According to an email sent to Buzz users, as of July 17, 2013, Google will remove the posts from its public servers and archive them to users Google Drive acounts.

Google Buzz — for those of you who don’t remember — was Google’s first attempt at a broader social strategy. In many ways, the network can be viewed as a precursor to Google+.

It took elements from Twitter and Facebook, but was focused on existing within a special tab in Gmail. The idea was that users could share quick updates with their followers or frequent contacts from within the inbox. The service could also syndicate content from other services — a la FriendFeed — and conversations could take place around that content.

Almost from the start, Buzz was beset with questions over privacy. Its opt-in, auto-follow and subscribe nature was met with a user backlash. Just seven months after the service was launched, Google had to settle an $8.5 million class-action lawsuit with users over the potential privacy breeches in the product.

Even worse, the product just never caught on with users. The idea of having a social network feed built into the inbox wasn’t a bad idea, but the service didn’t offer any compelling features to draw in users.

Google would try again with social, with the launch of Google+ in June, 2011. Google+ has had much more success, with the company now boasting 190 million active users.

The email sent to Google Buzz users is reproduced below.

Buzz user,

In October 2011 we announced Google Buzz was shutting down. On or after July 17th, 2013, Google willtake the last step in the shutdown and will save a copy of your Buzz posts to your Google Drive, a service for storing files online. Google will store two (2) types of files to your Google Drive, and the newly-created files will not count against your storage limits.

The first type of file will be private, only accessible to you, containing a snapshot of the Google Buzz public and private posts you authored.

The second type of file will contain a copy of only your Google Buzz public posts. By default it will be viewable by anyone with the link, and may appear in search results and on your Google Profile (if you’ve linked to your Buzz posts). Note, any existing links to your Google Buzz content will redirect users to this file.

Any comments you made on other users’ posts will only be saved to those users’ files and not to yours. Once the change described in this email is final, only that user will be able to change the sharing settings of those files. This means that if you have commented on another author’s private post, that author could choose to make that post and its comments public. If you would like to avoid that possibility, delete all your Buzz content now.

The new Google Drive files will only contain comments from users that previously enabled Google Buzz, and the files will not contain comments that were deleted prior to moving the data to your Google Drive.

Once the files are created, they will be treated the same as any other Drive file. They are yours to do with as you please. This includes downloading them, updating who can access them, or deleting them.

Before these files are created, you can view the Google Buzz posts you have authored here. If you do not want any of your Buzz posts or comments saved to Google Drive files, you can immediately delete your Google Buzz account and data.


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Skycore launches cross-carrier delivery of Apple’s Passbook items by MMS



Apple’s Passbook reads data from .pkpass files, which can be attached to email messages and embedded on web sites. The system lets Safari and Mail clients running on Mac, iPhone, iPod and iPad devices to automatically import tickets, digital coupons and other items into the Passbook application and sync them across devices via iCloud. That’s all fine and dandy, but what if there was an easier way to share Passbook passes? Thanks to a company called Skycore, Passbook items can be now delivered to users via MMS…

According to a media release, the Skycore cloud and its application programming interface (API) facilitate secure delivery of Passbook passes via MMS. Tapping such a pass embedded in the message automatically imports it into the Passbook application.

The company’s platform currently supports Passbook MMS delivery to the big four U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

What’s more, because Passbook is also supported on Android via third-part apps like PassWallet, Skycore can easily deliver Passbook tickets via MMS to Android handsets.

Companies opting for Skycore can monitor MMS delivery receipts and confirmed installs. Additional features include disabling Pass downloads after installation, updating Passes after installation and Pass management with reporting.



Passbook, now a registered trademark of Apple Inc., launched alongside iOS 6 last September, is slowly but surely gaining traction.

The app acts as a centralized repository for all your digital tickets, loyalty cards, boarding passes and other items and has seen adoption across the airline, retail, real estate and mobile payment industries, theme parks, sports and other events, in addition to high-profile brands such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Coupons.com and others.

Still, Passbook has to cover lots of ground until it becomes ubiquitous.

Word on the street is that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S will feature fingerprint sensor integrated into the sapphire crystal capacitive Home button and NFS for wireless device-to-device sharing of Passbook items.

Do you use Passbook at all?

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FDA begins cracking down on medical diagnosis apps starting with ‘uChek’ iPhone urinalysis app


Bloomberg reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is launching a first of its kind inquiry into medical diagnosis apps starting with the ‘uChek’ urine analysis app from Biosense Technologies. The free app, which is currently still on the App Store, requires users to purchase a kit containing urine test strips that can be visually analyzed with the iPhone’s camera. The problem, according to a letter sent to Biosense from the FDA, is the fact that the test strips have only been cleared for “direct visual reading” and not automated analysis from an application:

Please note that though the types of urinalysis dipsticks you reference for use with your application are cleared, they are only cleared when interpreted by direct visual reading. Since your app allows a mobile phone to analyze the dipsticks, the phone and device as a whole functions as an automated strip reader. When these dipsticks are read by an automated strip reader, the dipsticks require new clearance as part of the test system. Therefore, any company intending to promote their device for use in analyzing, reading, and/or interpreting these dipsticks need to obtain clearance for the entire urinalysis test system (i.e., the strip reader and the test strips, as used together).

While Biosense plans to work with the FDA to resolve the issue, Bloomberg notes that this is only the start of a broader crack down on apps that claim to diagnose medical conditions: Read more

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