Tech 2.0 for Thursday, September 27, 2012
Ever rented a computer? If so, the Federal Trade Commission says you may have been taken advantage of by the companies who leased them to you. The federal agency says a software design company and seven computer rental firms have agreed to settle charges that they secretly gathered confidential and personal information about renters. The FTC says software installed on the computers captured Social Security numbers, medical records as well as financial information -- and even web cam pictures of couples having sex. The commission says the software was licensed to the rental stores so they could track rented computers that hadn't been returned in time or had been stolen. The settlement bar the companies from doing any more spying -- and collecting information from its customers.
BlackBerry's fortunes may be waning in the United States and elsewhere. But the company that owns the mobile phone service says business is booming in parts of Africa. Officials with Toronto-based Research In Motion says its handsets are the number-one choice among those using smartphones in Nigeria and South Africa. For example, in Nigeria alone, the half of the mobile units in service are BlackBerry phones. An official with RIM says the company hopes to build on that popularity -- even though the phone maker faces similar problems in parts of Africa that have damaged its business model in the West.
Justin Timberlake is leading the revamp of MySpace. He was part of a group of investors who bought MySpace last summer for $35 million. Now MySpace has launched a promotional video featuring Timberlake that tells visitors they may request invitations to join the new site. The video shows a cleaner look and promises MySpace will start "totally from scratch." MySpace has billed itself as a place to discover music. Timberlake has not commented on the MySpace relaunch.
Words with Famous Friends? Well, you may not get to challenge Snoop Dogg or Edward Norton to a game of the popular Zynga game for smartphones and tablets. But you can see how they do in head-to-head battles against each other. Several stars will be playing a tournament for charity. Norton says he will win it -- in part because he's addicted to the game. He says he has gone through phases in life when he realizes the game is taking "too much of my day."
#blackberry Troubled BlackBerry maker sees Africa potential - Product Design & Development http://t.co/Ua2NaOPU
BlackBerrys stopped working in 3 continents yesterday http://t.co/j9i1EEzP
Can Africa be BlackBerry's savior? http://t.co/nRfIkC1j
Waaat? Justin Timberlake bringing Myspace back, It aint no lie baby bye bye bye!!
Justin timberlake is bringing MySpace back? #HowIronic
Just watched preview of new #Myspace. From what I can tell, it's a new search engine that helps you search for Justin Timberlake.
Justin Timberlake, MySpace Investor, Talks About the New (and VERY Improved) MySpace http://t.co/VAYxhVH4
Celebrities To Play Words With Friends for Charity - Sci-Tech Today: Sci-Tech TodayCelebriti... http://t.co/b5AqIfCu
Playing Words With Friends for charity. Go team @IMKristenBell!
Just joined Edward Nortons words with friends team. Time to do some charity work