Yahoo launches multi-media search revamp

Friday, September 17, 2010

Searches to yield articles, images, videos and tweets all on one page

Khidr Suleman, 17 Sep 2010

Yahoo has redesigned its core functionality in an attempt to make searches more relevant and visually compelling as the firm tries to claw back market share from Google.

News searches will be more conveniently organised, with videos, images, articles and tweets appearing on a single page, the firm said in a blog post.

Searches for movies, music, artists or celebrities will also yield "richer content results" by combining images, news articles, videos, tweets, events and ratings.

The 'Trending Now' lists across the Yahoo network will be accompanied by slideshows later this year, allowing users to browse pictures from the entire Yahoo network without leaving the search results page.

"With more searches than ever for information-rich topics like music, movies and news, we'll be launching more visually compelling search results that let you discover information and be entertained all on one search result page," said Kaushal Kurapati, director of product management for emerging markets at Yahoo Search, and Caroline Tsay, director of product management at Yahoo Search.

Google unveiled its Instant search feature at the beginning of the month in an effort to make searching faster and more convenient.

Twitter is also rolling out a redesigned site in an effort to make it easier to share multimedia content and provide more information to about tweets.

This article was printed from the web site

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009 Incisive Media Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 04038503

Facebook Places launches amid continued privacy concerns

Geo-location tool allows users to 'check-in' each other

Phil Muncaster, 17 Sep 2010

Facebook launched its Places geo-location feature in the UK today, but the social networking site is still fighting off criticism related to privacy concerns.

The company has made the functionality accessible to UK users via the Facebook iPhone application and on after the US launch last month.

Facebook Places essentially allows users to instantly log where they are via GPS, and display the results on Facebook in a manner very similar to Foursquare.

People using the Places application are also asked to tag any 'friends' that may be at the same location, as with Facebook Photo.

However, privacy concerns persist over the default settings associated with the new tool.

Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro, noted that it is possible for people to tag friends in their own check-ins, meaning that an individual could be 'checked-in' without their consent.

Users can prevent this by altering their privacy settings, and are notified after the effect with the option to remove the tag. However, the default settings appear to enable checking in by friends, and represent a "risk to individual privacy", according to Ferguson.

"If Facebook persists in allowing check-ins by third parties it needs to ensure that the information is not made public until it has been agreed to by all people identified," he said.

"Otherwise it means that anyone with an interest in the location of their friends, colleagues, partners even ex-partners simply needs to become a friend of a friend, or just frequent the same places, and Facebook will do all the espionage for them."

The concerns echo those made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California when the tool was launched in the US last month.

"Facebook makes it very easy to say 'yes' to allowing your friends to check in for you. But when it comes to opting out of that feature, you are only given a 'not now' option. 'No' isn't one of the easy options," said a statement from the organisation.

"And if you use Places yourself, you aren't even given a 'not now', you're just told that friends are able to check-in for you and left to discover for yourself that you can change this setting by digging into your privacy controls. "

Facebook released a video soon after the US launch of Places designed to teach people how to change their privacy settings to avoid being checked in by others. First time users also receive an alert asking whether they would like to be checked in.

This article was printed from the web site

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009 Incisive Media Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 04038503

VMware rumoured to buy Novell's Suse

Virtualisation firm said to be keen to broaden its enterprise stack

Daniel Robinson, 17 Sep 2010

Novell is in discussions to sell off its Suse Linux division to VMware, according to various reports on the web.

The rumours indicate that Novell is attempting to sell various parts of its business, including its Suse Linux subsidiary, which the company acquired in 2003.

Various sources, including The Wall Street Journal, claim to have confirmation that VMware is to be the buyer.

Neither company would comment on the story when contacted by

VMware is said to be interested in the acquisition in order to widen its product portfolio to offer a complete software stack, and better compete against rivals such as Red Hat and Microsoft.

Although VMware is currently the market leader in virtualisation, Red Hat in particular has been touting its portfolio as offering a complete enterprise stack for customers, especially those planning for cloud computing.

VMware and Novell already have a partnership for development and support of ready-made virtual appliances based on Suse Linux to run on VMware infrastructure, so bringing Suse in-house would appear to make sense.

Other commentators have speculated that VMware could gain from acquiring the Unix intellectual property rights that Novell still owns, especially if it came to patent battles with rivals.

This article was printed from the web site

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009 Incisive Media Limited, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RX, is a company registered in England and Wales with company registration number 04038503

Opera posts security update for Apple and Windows

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Opera Software has released an update for its namesake web browser.

The company said that the 10.53 update would address security vulnerabilities in both the Mac and Windows version of the browser.

Opera said that the update would address a vulnerability which the company classifies as "extremely severe."

The company said that the vulnerability lies within a script that handles document files. An attacker could potentially modify a file to make multiple calls to the vulnerable component and cause an application crash. From there, a targeted system would be vulnerable to remote code execution.

Users of both the MacOS X and Windows versions of the browser are being advised to install the update. Other versions of Operawere not listed as vulnerable to attack.

The update comes as Opera is seeking to expand the reach of its browser business. The company has in recent weeks released an iPhone version of the browser and in March an updated version of Opera for the Android smartphone platform was debuted.


Twitter reveals app for Android mobile phones

Twitter has revealed a client for Android mobile phones that it developed with Google.

The application, which was first promised by Twitter at its first annual conference Chirp a couple of weeks ago, will only be applicable to phones running Android 2.1 and above, such as the Droid, Desire, Incredible and Nexus One.

Head of Twitter’s mobile user experience design team, Leland Rechis, described the application in the firm’s official blog as easy to use, and said it will offer users deep integration with Android mobile phones.

“Sharing any link or photo is super simple too – just look for the share button in your favourite application and choose Twitter,” he said.

“Reading tweets is easy in a bunch of places on your phone. Quickly access your timeline with the home screen widget, view a tweet location on a map, and see your friend’s latest tweet in your phonebook, GoogleTalk list or any application that uses Android’s QuickContact bar.”

Rechis joined Twitter last year after working on Android user experience design at Google for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile details.

Rechis said the Google Android team will open source the code used in the application in the near future.

“We look forward to the amazing experiences developers will create using Twitter APIs in their upcoming Android apps,” he said.

Twitter has recently started producing its own applications for mobile phones, rather than relying on third-party developers to do the work. For example, Twitter launched an official application for the BlackBerry under a month ago. The company has also bought Tweetie, the most popular Twitter client for the iPhone.

The strategy coincides with statements made by Twitter investor Fred Wilson, principal of Union Square Ventures, who said third-party developers focused on the Twitter platform should consider more radical innovation, and the creation of "killer apps", rather than filling holes in the Twitter product.