1) iPhone, the apple of Steve Job’s spying eye?
2) More on Google’s internet efforts
3) Reuters Space, a social network for finance types. LinkedIn also growing fast
4) OpenSocial inside Facebook, and who’s side is Amazon on, anyway?
5) Banner ads that take over your computer
6) Threadless retail chain breaks Web rules
iPhone, the apple of Steve Job’s spying eye? — A forum for hackers of Apple products, called hackint0sh.org, is digging into the fact that the company can track your equipment’s unique identity number, or International Mobile Equipment Identity number. This number is used to identify individual devices on networks. Some uses of it are actually helpful. For example, if your phone gets stolen, you can report it to your carrier and they can disable it from working (this Wikipedia article has more). The problem seems to be that Apple was doing this secretly to track your behavior, through its weather and stock-quote applications. A couple of blogs have more details.
More on Google’s internet efforts — Blogger Andrew Schmitt, with Om Malik’s confirmation, reports that Google is building its own 10-Gigabit Ethernet switches, using Broadcom’s silicon. We’ve contacted Google about the Broadcom angle but haven’t heard back. Last week, reports also surfaced about Google’s plans to bid alone for a part of the wireless spectrum. Google may also be looking at investing in mobile Wireless internet company Clearwire but it’s not clear how seriously. We’ve also looked at how Google may consider working with Sprint and Sprint’s WiMAX mobile internet technology.
Reuters Space, a social network for finance types. LinkedIn also growing fast — Reuters is hoping that social networking is a feature for its financial news service, not a competitor’s product. It’s aimed at analysts, hedge fund managers and traders, and plans to use its proprietary data to check the employment status of people who want to join. Some are finding LinkedIn the best service for connecting with other business types — as evidence by its growth from 1,750,000 users to 4,919,000 US users last year, according to Nielsen (via Valleywag). Younger folks are finding Facebook more suitable for social network — a far larger, multi-purpose site growing nearly as fast. Incidentally, we have at least one friend in the hedge fund industry who deleted all her college-age information once her co-workers started joining Facebook.
OpenSocial inside Facebook, and who’s side is Amazon on, anyway? — It’s not just Google’s ads in Facebook, it’s OpenSocial. This application is trying to port OpenSocial apps into Facebook. Some social networks, like Tagged, already let developers run the code for their Facebook applications inside their networks.
In other social networking news, it’s not clear if Amazon is going to work with OpenSocial. ReadWriteWeb had a fascinating series of posts here about Amazon PR first sending it a draft press release about the Seattle company joining OpenSocial then retracting the release at literally the last minute.
Meanwhile, old rumors are flying that Facebook tried to pay $85 million for a Chinese social network called Zhanzuo, which Facebook is adamantly denying. We heard this rumor over a week ago, from another source. Zhanzuo is backed by Sequoia China and Morningside Capital.
Banner ads that take over your computer — Banner ads appearing on various websites you’d normally trust — Canada.com and the Economist being two examples — are capable of taking your computer over, according to Wired. A combination of redirects to an infected site and scripting compromises user’s computers, at which point they’re told to download software. Ironically, it appears the malware is being used to sell anti-virus software.
Threadless retail chain breaks Web rules — A site pointed out perhaps more often than any other as the ultimate implementation of collaboration, wisdom of the crowds and other touchy-feely Web 2.0 concepts has gone physical. The Threadless retail store in Chicago is a smashing success, says BusinessWeek, and the company is thinking about expanding with more stores. Even Amazon.com didn’t turn on us like this.