A Verisign internet security group entitled iDefense has found that a hacker is attempting to sell one and a half million social networking usernames and passwords, and the more friends an account has, the more expensive the account. This is an unprecedented type of sale and could be the result of all the phishing scams that have been recently occurring. The hacker claims to live in New Zealand, although other rumors put him in Russia, and he apparently already sold 700,000.
Neil VidyarthiManaging Editor I've been interested in the cultural and business implications of social graphs since Facebook launched their app store. I've had the pleasure of working with Electronic Arts, Research in Motion, Epson Japan and Level Social, and from those experiences found my true passion: writing. I enjoy covering this emerging space and helping our writers find their own voices and interests as well. Follow me on Twitter @neilvidyarthi or email me at neil "at" socialtimes.com
PETA, the animal rights group, posted a blog post criticizing Zynga’s Mafia Wars for promoting cruelty to animals with its latest ‘animals’ update. The animals update allows players to bring animals along with them on their missions and can use them to attack other animals and people. It’s certainly something that happens in a lot of games, but just because it’s common doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments and read more after the jump.
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In a recent interview, Mark Pincus encouraged Facebook to be more like XBox Live, “where there are achievements, a consistent user experience, a way for web publishers and networks and sites to participate and an easy way for developers to develop amazing game experiences that enhance relationships among people.” He discusses a series of analogies to describe the current landscape of the app economy, where independent application developers create competing applications on a standardized platform. We analyze the interview and make a few assessments of our own after the jump.
In a blog post today, Yahoo announced that they are adding yet another feature to their Facebook Connect implementation: populating your contacts’ details pages with information from Facebook. The feature makes it so that with one click, your entire Yahoo contacts database is updated with all your Facebook contacts and all their personal information. This is exactly the kind of easy information flow that a lot of privacy-concerned users worry about, but for those people who just want to centralize their information, the feature is good.
By purchasing virtual goods, Zynga users have raised over $130,000 to support clean water in Haiti and research for Huntington’s disease. Zynga ran two separate five-day campaigns last month, and encouraged users to purchase limited edition items in Mafia Wars to benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) and in Fishville to support Water.org, a non-profit co-founded by Matt Damon for bringing safe water to developing countries.
This morning, you may have noticed when you logged in to Facebook that it asked you to update all your likes & interests and add them to ‘pages’. Facebook is unrolling their steps to create the semantic web this morning, and that starts by creating ‘pages’ for everyone’s lists of interests and hobbies. This ties people’s interests to real information and allows people to connect with other people that like their interests in an easier way. If you haven’t seen it yet, Facebook will be unrolling it soon in your area.
These days it seems as if the only applications getting attention on Facebook are games, but Mingleverse is making some waves with their recently released 3D voice chat application. The program allows users to enter a virtual room and have virtualized (hence 3D) audio chats with the other people in the rooms, and the application makes it easy to share media like Youtube videos and photos.
Playdom, hot on the heels of a few gaming acquisitions and new hires, have launched their newest social game, Big City Life, and it’s all about becoming as popular as possible. The idea is that you create an avatar, dress it up, and then go out on the town and do tasks with your in-game friends, like taking them out on dates and just being popular in general. The more you do, the more experience and money you gain and the better you look.
According to a recent interview with Rooney Mara, one of the stars of the upcoming “The Social Network’ movie based on the history of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg really got started on Facebook after getting dumped. The movie is being written by Aaron Sorkin and financed by David Fincher and is well-financed, highlighting stars Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones (of The Office and Parks and Recreation) and Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland). Mara gave away a few interesting tidbits about the movie in her interview.
DennisHong from Cracked has accessed the deepest recesses of his comedic mind to examine the psychology behind posting a status update, and he’s summarized the results in a neat little flowchart. In addition to examining the thought process of your average Facebooker, he’s created a points system that helps you determine whether your thoughts are postworthy. See the flowchart after the jump.