Following a period of freak-out on the Internet on Monday, Facebook appears to have pulled a controversial feature that let the social network's users get a digital list of other Facebookers nearby.
The "Find Friends Nearby" feature was not accessible in a CNN test on Tuesday morning, and other media outlets,Β including CNET, reported that Facebook had pulled the service.
In a statement e-mailed to CNN, a Facebook spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
"This wasn't a formal release - this was something that a few engineers were testing," the spokeswoman wrote. "With all tests, some get released as full products, others don't. Nothing more to say on this for now - we'll communicate to everyone when there is something to say."FULL STORY
You probably woke up this morning to realize the Internet is totally screwy.
Is it the online apocalypse? Not so much. Google, Wikipedia, Boing Boing and others have gone dark, along with thousands of others, who are protesting two anti-piracy bills that are up for debate in the U.S. Congress.
It's a debate that's pitted the Web against Washington. And if the goal of these protests was to get people talking, that sure seems to have worked, with every media organization on the planet talking about piracy today.
Many of these sites are using creative techniques to bring attention to the two bills -Β one called SOPA, the other PIPA -Β and making very clear their viewpoint on it.
Before you panic, read our quick-and-dirty guide to these online protests.
So, what are these piracy bills about?
With all of these sites going dark, it is important to know why this topic has become the center of a heated debate.
CNNMoney has a genius explainer on this topic, for those interested in all the gritty details. The gist is this: Media companies are upset that their copyrighted content gets stolen and given away for free by some websites. Two bills aim to crack down on this piracy by restricting access to U.S. websites that potentially could link to this pirated content. Tech companies in Silicon Valley say the bills have unintended consequences that could tamper with the way the Internet functions.
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Kidding! That blackout technique is part of the point these sites are trying to make today as they fullyΒ go dark.
Siri can help you find drugstores and bars, but the iPhone 4S digital assistant is clueless when it comes to the locations of abortion clinics, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The advocacy group this week launched an online petition asking people to send e-mails to Apple saying that "if Siri can tell us about Viagra, it should not provide bad or no information about contraceptives or abortion care. Send a message to Apple: Fix Siri."
"Although it isn't clear that Apple is intentionally trying to promote an anti-choice agenda, it is distressing that Siri can point you to Viagra, but not the Pill, or help you find an escort, but not an abortion clinic," theΒ group wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "We're confident that the developers at Apple want to provide iPhone users with accurate information."
Apple said Thursday the omission was not intentional:
"Our customers want to use Siri to find out all types of information and while it can find a lot, it doesn't always find what you want," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said. "These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better and we will in the coming weeks."FULL STORY
America is older and more middle-aged-looking than ever before.
Thatβs the take-away from a new dump of data the U.S. Census Bureau released on Thursday morning as part of its efforts to quantify American life.
In demographer-speak, the median age of the United States is now 37.2, according to census data. That means there are the same number of people older than that age as younger. Or, in everyday-language, the country is approaching that ripe old age of 40.
βForty makes it sound like a middle-aged country,β said Carl Schmertmann, an economics professor at Florida State Universityβs Center for Demography and Population Health.
Many Verizon Wireless customers were unable to access the mobile internet early Wednesday morning because of a network glitch, the company said.
The "technical glitch," which occurred during network maintenance, stopped Verizon users from being able to access mobile websites from about 1:40 to 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday, said Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman.
The outage affected a "large part of the country," but not all Verizon customers, Nelson said. Verizon users were still able to send and receive data on Verizon's 3G network, he said, but could not access websites through a phone's mobile browser.
Reports of a "nationwide" Verizon outage hit tech blogs and Twitter on Wednesday morning. Engadget had this to say on the subject:
"We've heard from a bunch of folks this morning that Verizon's 3G network is experiencing a slight bout of disconnectedness, causing a great deal of grief and discombobulation around the country. Just sit tight, we're sure engineers are engineering solutions as we type this, and will update you as soon as things have been rectified."FULL STORY
As iPhone 4 buyers prepared to unbox their new smartphones on Thursday morning, some screamed with joy. Others trumpeted vuvuzelas.
But shortly after testing out the world's new "it" phone, some of those consumers turned to the internet to report problems with the new Apple product.
On Web forums and on blogs, some consumers posted videos and rants about the iPhone 4's new antenna, which is built into a metal rim around the phone and, some claim, causes the phone to get unnecessarily bad reception.
The blog Gizmodo has posted a roundup of the complaints. Several people say that when they hold the iPhone 4 by its metal sides - essentially, when they're touching the antenna - the reception gets worse or drops.