Yahoo’s patent battle with Facebook is getting nastier.
In court papers filed Friday, Yahoo Inc. expanded its six-week-old lawsuit against Facebook to include more allegations of intellectual property theft. Yahoo says Facebook’s social network infringes on 12 of its Internet patents. That’s up from 10 alleged patent violations previously.
Yahoo also denied allegations that it has been infringing on 10 of Facebook’s patents and accused its rival of engaging in shady behavior.
Among other things, Yahoo says Facebook violated an agreement between the two companies to notify each other of possible patent infringements before filing a court claim.
The acrimony is spilling out as Facebook Inc. is preparing to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering of stock that is expected to be the richest in Silicon Valley history.
I think it’s fairly safe to say that when we see a “Like” button on the Web, we almost instantly associate it with liking something on Facebook, at least I know that I do.
Two years ago, WordPress.com launched its own “Like system”, which allowed readers to like something that they read, which would then add their gravatar to a cluster of other people that liked it, too. When it was announced, the company said that it hoped the feature would drive people to explore other blogs and bloggers.
It seems that users liked the idea, because WordPress.com has posted some of its recent success with the system, as well as some new enhancements.
According to the graph below, the traction of the feature has picked up since its launch, seeing well over 800,000 clicks a week:
While those number might not seem overwhelmingly huge, the growth is definitely a good thing and shows that Facebook might not own the “Like” after-all. Either that, or all of the users clicking the button are assuming that it’s related to Facebook, even though WordPress.com blogs have a share button for the service. Confused? Don’t be.
In what seems to be a push to turn WordPress.com into more of a social network, the company announced that it has added the option to put the buttons on all of your content, instead of on each individual blog post like before.
By editing your Like button options, you can allow people to click the button on your home page, blog posts, and individual pictures within slideshows. Here’s what the button looks like on a front page of a WordPress.com blog, which now lets you click the Like button without having to drill into the content:
Since liking posts can be a way to bookmark items for yourself and to show off on a profile, your interactions will now show up on your profile page under “Posts I Like”:
So go forth and get your Like on, but don’t expect it to show up on Facebook. You’ll have to click the share button for that.
Facebook now has an astonishing 901 million active monthly members, which is up almost a third since the end of quarter one of 2011, when it recorded 680m.
The social network, which revealed an intriguing set of financials ahead of its planned IPO, will surely hit one billion active members within the next few months and almost certainly before the end of 2012.
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525m of those MUAs (Monthly Users Active) use the site on a daily basis.
The S1 filing to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) comes with the IPO rumoured to be happening on May 17 or May 24.
Revenue is up for Facebook, once again scaling the billion dollar mark to $1.06bn (650m), which is up from $731 million (£453m) this time last year. However, it’s slightly down on Q4 2011.
A number of factors, including rising marketing and R&D costs, resulted in a fall in profits from $233 million (£144m) to $205 million (£127m).
That profit would have been completely wiped out had Facebook’s purchase of Instagram happened prior to March 31st.
The filing reveals that Mark Zuckerberg paid Instagram $300 million (£186m) in cash for the company, along with 23 million shares in Facebook. All in all, the purchase was valued at a billion dollars
On the Instagram acquisition, the filing reads: “Following the closing of this acquisition, we plan to maintain Instagram’s products as independent mobile applications to enhance our photos product offerings and to enable users to increase their levels of mobile engagement and photo sharing.”
Although, that’s nothing we didn’t already know, had the deal not gone smoothly, it would have cost Facebook a $200 million break-up fee.
India has overtaken the US to become the world’s leading contributor of spam emails, research from Sophos has revealed.
The security company published its ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of spam relaying countries on Monday, noting that between January and March 2012, 9.3 percent of all offending emails were relayed through the Asian subcontinent.
India’s rapid rise up the list has been attributed to the nation’s growing number of internet users and the apparent lack of security measures implemented by both ISPs and computer owners. Consequently, a greater number of computers can be compromised to form larger botnets used for spamming.
“The latest stats show that, as more first-time Internet users get online in growing economies, they are not taking measures to block the malware infections that turn their PCs into spam-spewing zombies,” Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in a statement.
Other ranking countries on the list include the US, forming 8.9 percent of global spam output, and South Korea, contributing 5.7 percent. Meanwhile, the UK, which appeared at number six on last year’s list, has fallen out of the Dirty Dozen, with a 47 percent decrease in relayed spam year-on-year.
Sophos states that while the overall throughput of spam has dropped since early 2011 with the help from ISPs, the decrease reflects a shift in methods from the spammers. In addition to substituting basic marketing spam with malicious software links used for phishing, spammers are switching to social media platforms to access a broader audience.
While Facebook and Twitter have been used in spam barrages before, Sophos identifies the rising social network Pinterest as a key hotbed on which spammers are launching campaigns.
Facebook has announced a deal which will see it acquire 650 of the patents AOL sold to Microsoft earlier this month.
The social network was believed to be interested in acquiring the patents during the original sale, but its bid was rejected for being too low.
Sharing the burden
As part of the agreement, Microsoft will retain ownership of 275 of the 925 patents it acquired from AOL, as well as a license to those that Facebook has bought. Facebook will pay $500 million (£310m) for the patents and will also receive licenses for those that Microsoft has retained.
Microsoft bought the original portfolio for $1.1 billion (£700m), which comprises patents related to search, advertising and mobile and relate to a number of AOL’s current and former businesses such as Netscape, MapQuest, CompuServe and Advertising.com. Microsoft also received licenses for AOL’s 300 remaining patents.
“Today’s agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft. “As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio.”
Facebook, which acquired 750 patents from IBM to cover various software and networking technologies in March, is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Yahoo over patents relating to privacy, messaging and advertising.
“This is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook’s interests over the long term,” commented Ted Ullyot, general counsel for Facebook.