Weekly high-tech hot topics in the blogs: Facebook privacy, Twitter adverts

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending May 28: Facebook updates its privacy controls to give users more privacy, Twitter bans third-party networks from posting ads in the stream, Bach and Allard leave Microsoft as it restructures its entertainment and mobile sectors, iPhone gets cheaper before its imminent update, and Google removes the beta tag from its Mac and Linux versions of Chrome.

Facebook privacy controls
After weeks of complaints over Facebook's reduced privacy controls and third-party information sharing, Facebook did an about-face and made it (slightly) easier for users to keep their information private. The major changes included reducing the number of settings required to make all information private, giving users more powerful controls for basic information, and making it much easier to turn off all Facebook applications. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said "Facebook's New Privacy Improvements Are a Positive Step, But There's Still More Work to Be Done", Ars Technica wrote, "Facebook finally gets it with new, simpler privacy controls" and the Technology Liberation Front gave "Three Cheers for Facebook's Privacy Management Upgrade."

Twitter and adverts
Twitter announced it was banning third-party ad networks from using its API this week, effectively banning rival ad networks from posting in-stream ads. Wall Street Journal All Things Digital writer, Peter Kafka summed up the situation saying, "Twitter's Free Love Era Comes to an End: Time for Developers and Publishers to Pay Up" whilst Search Engine Land posted an FAQ explaining "Twitter's New Rules On Third-Party Ads." The Next Web said users should be pleased with the changes as "every point genuinely appears to be in the best interests of user experience and content ownership. Both integral to twitter's long term success."

Bach, Allard leave Microsoft
This week Microsoft announced that Chief Experience Officer, J Allard, and Entertainment and Devices President, Robbie Bach, would leave the company as part of an initiative to restructure and become more competitive in both the entertainment and mobile sectors (or as games blog Kotaku put it: "Father of the Xbox, Head of Gadgets and Fun Leave Microsoft"). Asymco speculated that the company's loss of the HP account was the "reason Robbie Bach was fired" whilst ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley commented "I think the Entertainment and Devices division needed a shaking up. I'm just not 100 percent convinced that Ballmer is the right guy to be leading the mobile and gaming charge."

iPhone gets price cut before being updated
The blogs started buzzing this week as the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, cut the price of the Apple 16GB 3GS iPhone by $100 ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple is expected to announce the launch of its fourth generation iPhone at the WWDC, causing speculation that Wal-Mart is either trying to sell of any extra stock ahead of the launch or that the 16GB iPhone is set to become the entry-level phone in the future and that Apple will stop making the 8GB iPhone altogether. After a very public outing of Apple's next-generation prototype device just months before Apple's largest annual event (WWCD) technology bloggers are all but certain that Apple will reveal a new phone at the conference. Technology blog Engadget has said the next-generation device will be updated with a front-facing camera and support for video chat.

Chrome update takes Mac and Linux versions out of beta
Google's Chrome browser for Mac and Linux platforms officially graduated from beta to "stable" on May 25, bringing with it many new features and speed increases. According to threatpost.com, the release also resolved "at least two ‘high risk' vulnerabilities and several security-related denial-of-service crashes." Google announced the news on its Chrome blog on May 25 saying, "Our stable release also incorporates HTML5 features such as Geolocation APIs, App Cache, web sockets, and file drag-and-drop."


Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Arts and Entertainment

Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Sergio Aguero prepares for the game

Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    IT Security Advisor – Permanent – Surrey - £60k-£70k

    £60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    MI Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – £25k-£35k

    £25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

    PPC Account Executive

    £25 - 28k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A PPC Account Executive is needed to...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album