OS X Lion Coming, Automatic Facebook Updates and Google Antitrust Case

For Friday’s offering, I bring you 3 top stories that I haven’t already covered this week. Speaking of which, after this week’s articles, I have successfully talked myself into getting a Windows Phone 7 device, practically almost fell out of my seat when I realized I might be getting rid of iPhone once and for all and learned that Nokia might be stepping back into the U.S. marketplace with new Windows phones slated for 2012. In other words, I’m done talking about all these changes for now! See you next week!!

OS X Lion

Snow Leopard has received its final update in preparation of OS X Lion coming out very soon. The new 10.6.8 update provides better support for iPv6, improved VPN reliability and addresses some known security issues including:

  • Bogus Mac Defender software
  • Malicious fonts embedded into documents that wreak havoc on Mac machines
  • Maliciously embedded ColorSync profiles
  • Ability for network admins to view wireless tranmissions

The update also modifies the operating system to allow for a direct connection to the Mac App store allowing users wishing to upgrade to Lion the ability to do so as a direct download rather than going into an Apple Store to purchase the disc. Both options are available for $29.95. OS X Snow Leopard was more of performance and reliability upgrade rather than adding new features, but Apple promises OS X Lion will be all about new features.

If updating from 10.6.7, the new update download will be 275.3MB.

Automatic Facebook Update Service

If there was ever one of those times where you can say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”, this is it! According Precreate Solutions, clients have reported more home break-ins whenever they leave Facebook status messages claiming they’ll be out of town for extended periods of time. If we didn’t already have so much to worry about this day in age, now we have to wonder who will be seeing our updates as invitations to go to my house and steal my tv. I don’t know what’s worse—that people are actually actively looking for these things on Facebook or that one of my “friends” actually wants to rob me!

Anyway, Precreate Solutions is now offering a service that will monitor and update your Facebook statuses to give the impression that, not only are you home, but that your everyday digital life is continuing without interruption. Of course this service comes with a fee. A quick look at their website doesn’t seem to offer this service outright, but it may very well be an add-on service for existing clients.

The service works by using messages from a pre-approved message list to be applied to your Facebook status. Whether or not these messages can be created by the client is not known, but one thing’s for sure: don’t start posting your own statuses when you get to your vacation spot or you’ll instantly blow your cover!

Google Antitrust Case

Although Google claims they are still “unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are”, Federal regulators have launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s business practices. It seems that competitors are complaining that Google uses their enormous clout to favor their own services and business operations over those of their rivals. Google stated on their blog site: “We make hundreds of changes to our algorithms every year to improve your search experience, [and] not every website can come out at the top of the page, or even appear on the first page of our search results.”

It would be hard to imagine Google playing this game considering that their main focus has always been on the user and the overall search experience. Google’s own philosophy is that if they focus on users, all else will follow. Since the complaints are coming from competitors and not users, one would think that the organic search results showing up on Google are being generated completely by the users.

Besides, if Google happens to offer a service for just about everything you can think of, wouldn’t you assume that their presence in the search results will be fairly large? I think the real complaint is that rivals are not getting the results they want and because Google handles 2 out of every 3 searches online these days, they just need someone to pin it on.

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