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Businesses

Facebook "Like" System Devalued By Fake Users 99

New submitter k(wi)r(kipedia) writes "A BBC investigation has found evidence of fake users skewing the results of Facebook's 'Like' recommendation system. The BBC set up a Facebook page for a fake business called VirtualBagel and invited users to 'like' it. The page reportedly attracted 'over 1,600 likes' within twenty-four hours. The test appeared to confirm the claims of a social media marketing consultant who contacted the BBC after he noticed a disparity in the distribution of users 'liking' the products of his clients. 'While they had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their "likes" appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt.'"
Censorship

Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes 164

Romy Maxwell posted a blog piece on Craigslist apparently shutting off access to Yahoo Pipes. Maxwell was working on a project, one of 2,111 using Craigslist as a data source, for a (non-commercial) Pipes-based mashup. He sent Craig Newmark an invitation to the alpha test, after a few rounds of friendly communication — "...as a rule of thumb, okay to use RSS feeds for noncommercial purposes." The apparent response, 4 days later, was for Craigslist to redirect any request with an HTTP referrer of pipes.yahoo.com to the Craigslist home page. Maxwell writes: "It's a sad day for me. I'm not too upset about my own project, as Flippity was already removing Craigslist as a data source. With the likes of eBay and Oodle not only providing open APIs but encouraging and rewarding developers, spending my time wrestling with Craigslist is just plain stupid and exhausting. I'm sure I'm not the only person to have come to that conclusion, and I wish it were different. ... If Craigslist wants to keep its doors shut to the world, so be it."
Microsoft

When Software Leaks (and What Really Goes Down) 179

Bryant writes "The Windows community is somewhat notorious for leaks from upcoming versions of Windows (obligatory link to this guy since that's most of what he does), and while the official PR word from Microsoft and many other companies with regards to leaks is a simple 'no comment,' no one has really gotten a candid, inside look at the various things that go down when word, screenshots, or builds of upcoming software leak. I managed to get some time with a senior Microsoft employee for the sake of discussing leaks, and the conclusions reached (leaks heavily affect communication, not so much the product schedule) as well as what these guys actually have to deal with whenever someone leaks a build, breaks an embargo, etc. may actually be a surprise given what most companies try to instill in the public mind."

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