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Today, the popular professional networking service LinkedIn began suffering from several technical issues. Some users were unable to load their profiles, while other profiles were missing bits and pieces of information. Additionally, other profile issues arose such as missing photos or certain posts not showing up.
As of this writing, some reports are still coming in that their profile is not working as normal, or that it is unreachable altogether. LinkedIn said in a Twitter post that they are aware of the issues and their team is working on fixing the problems now. My profile was down this morning for a few hours and appeared to be down at the time of this writing, but a quick clearing of my browser cache solved the issue and I'm now able to see my full profile again. So if you're experiencing issues, try clearing your browser cache to see if the issues are resolved for you as well.
All Twitter users are being advised today to log into their account and revoke access to all third-party applications after an Islamic hacker managed to pull the entire OAuth database for users of Twitter. Calling himself the Mauritania Attacker, the hacker from the West African country of Mauritania posted details from just over 15,000 Twitter users earlier today and claims to have millions more. It's not clear whether he attacked Twitter or a third-party site. The latter is much more likely. Twitter says they are looking into the situation.
Twitter says that the stolen files do not include passwords, but do contain all of the usernames as well as OAuth access keys used by third-party applications to manage your Twitter account on your behalf. Security expert Allen Woodward, of the University of Surrey in the UK, told website Gigaom that the easy way to protect your account is to log-in and delete all third-party access to the account. Then by simply reauthorizing those accounts, a new key will be generated and everything will be safe again.
"Personally, I do regular housekeeping where I go into the Apps settings of Twitter and delete the third party apps that have access. The reason is that at present Twitter OAuth tokens once issued do not expire. You have to manually revoke them," said Woodwars. "So, I think best thing one could [do] is to go in and revoke third party's apps rights and then just relogin when/if you want to reaccess Twitter via that app. This way a new token will be issued."
Today, LinkedIn announced that it has launched a new Page for Universities feature that allows post-K-12 educational institutions to have their own featured page similar to the pages companies currently have. LinkedIn is hoping that this new feature will better help high school students choose the right university for them.
The program launched today with over 200 universities participating worldwide. Each university's page displays very important metrics such as where the majority of the institution's alumni work and what careers many of its alumni go into. Universities can set up their respective page for its community similar to how pages on Facebook work. They can then assign page managers who can post announcements and updates to the page for anyone that is following. LinkedIn's Christina Allen officially announced the new Pages for Universities in a blog post that I have copied below (source #2).
According to a report from website All Things D, Facebook is working on a system that will allow users to make payments via their mobile device in similar fashion to how PayPal and Google allow users to pay with their smartphone. The report says that the new mobile payment solution is in a very limited test at the moment and will let shoppers make purchases with credit card information stored in their Facebook account.
Of course, this will only work if you have a credit card already on file with Facebook that you have used in the past to purchase gifts, in-game purchases, or even targeted advertising. The new one-click mobile payment system will use the same information and will allow shoppers to quickly navigate around entering details such as billing addresses, expiration dates, and even security codes found on the back of their cards. For the moment, it is unclear if Facebook will expand the mobile payment program beyond its current test, and with all of the security and privacy concerns already surrounding Facebook, this may be one tough cookie to sell to its members.
Celebrities are an odd on bunch. One moment they accost the public and demand privacy, but just a few minutes later, they will jump onto Facebook or Twitter and post about every moment of their daily lives. Apparently posting to Facebook is not easy enough for celebrities and the company is said to be developing a new VIP app that would allow them extended access to the social network.
The new VIP app will allow celebrities and public figures to better manage their content and engage with their followers. Some see this as an effort on Facebook's part to lure celebrities away from Twitter and back into the white and blue social network. The app will supposedly let celebrities jump into conversations about them even if they are not following one of the commenters or are not a part of the group of friends having the conversation. Website TechEYE says that Facebook is even briefing celebrities on "best practices" for interaction with their fans on Facebook.
Today, Facebook has announced that it has finished rolling out its Graph Search feature to everyone using US English as their primary language. Eight months ago, the company launched the advanced search feature to a handful of select beta testers and then began to slowly roll the service out a few months later.
Graph Search lets users search using common phrases such as "pizzerias in my city that my friends have visited and liked." In the early weeks of the beta program, the service received much criticism as the level of search capable was just to much for some people to be comfortable with.
A search phrase such as "photos of friends of my friends at the beach" would return photos of all the friends of your friends who were at the beach. This became a problem because many of those photos featured women in bikinis. Facebook has since restricted certain search phrases and this issue is no longer a problem.
I have had Graph Search since the beginning of last October and was one of the original groups of beta testers. The novelty wore off after only a few weeks, and I have not used the search terms more than three or four times since. I am hoping that with everyone now using Graph Search the algorithms will become smarter and return more relevant results.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg has to be celebrating as his company's stock hit $37.96 per share in late trading on Tuesday. That equates to an increase of more than 7 percent for the day. The jump in share price comes after the company posted impressive second quarter earnings last week, which derived from better-than-expected mobile growth.
Facebook says that it now has more than 800 million active monthly mobile users and that mobile ads are accounting for more than 40 percent of the company's ad revenue. This is up from 30 percent the previous quarter and more than triple what it was during the previous year. The rise in stock price can also be attributed to the social network's new program announced today for game publishing in which it will help distribute games from small- and medium-sized developers and in turn collect some of the profits for itself.
Pinterest announced today a new addition to its popular image collecting service that allows users to edit their feed to provide them with content that is related to what they have been pinning. Dubbed the "Edit Home Feed" option, users can now opt out of letting Pinterest track your activity on other sites.
Pinterest now tracks you on sites that have a "Pin It" button whenever you pin something from that website. It then uses this data to suggest boards based on your interests. Opting out is a simple as ticking a box in your account settings. Pinterest added this feature to help ease concerns over online tracking which is been at the forefront of the news for the past few months now.
When the announcement was first made that Yahoo had purchased Tumblr, thousands of users began posting their concerns that the service would remove its erotica category which made up roughly 10 percent of the social blogging service's user base. Yahoo shortly thereafter released a statement that said they had no intentions to remove any of the adult material, pages, or blogs from Tumblr.
Yesterday, Yahoo completely backtracked on the promises and removed more than 12 million blogs from the service that were marked as featuring adult content on both Tumbler's internal search results and the indexing of all of the major search engines such as Google and Bing. Additionally, the "Erotica" category has been removed alongside other adult themed content.
While the blogs are still hosted on the site, removing them from any and all search results as well as any internal linking that would help users find their way to such blogs renders them virtually invisible and only findable through direct links. Additionally, a recent update to Tumbler's iOS app removed search results for the hashtags #Gay, #Lesbian, and #Bisexual.
A few months back, I reported that the French authorities were pushing Twitter to release user data on one of its members who posted an anti-Semitic tweet to his account. Today, the company said in a statement that it has complied with a French government request to hand over tweets related to a rash of anti-Semitism on the site.
The offenses took place last October when several anti-Semantic tweets and hashtags appeared on the short message social network. I won't repeat the tweets here because they are quite offensive, but if you must read them, you can head over to Source #1 below. The tweets caused an uproar in the Union of Jewish French students and other anti-racism groups around France.
The UEJF took their case to the French court system and won a ruling in January that said that Twitter must hand over the account information and names of those who posted the anti-Semitic tweets. Just two months later, the UEFJ sued Twitter for $50 million when the company failed to comply with the court's request.