'We're totally in LA pissing people off'

Plus 'The horror!'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Quotw This was the week when Facebook finally filed for its IPO.

The social network is hoping for a feeding frenzy for its shares that will net the firm $5bn, but there's some concern that Facebook could be overvalued, despite the Zuck's attempts to keep a lid on any bubble-like formations.

And while Facebook's filing is a little bit vague when it comes to figures about how many people are actually using it – and being exposed to ads in the process – and for how long they are using it, the social network isn't shirking its new SEC guidelines about admitting to cyber attacks.

In fact, as Zuck tells his bitches users, it's all about making the world a better, more informative place, and if he happens to make billions and billions of dollars by ramming ads into every available corner of the site, that's just incidental.

This was also the week when Apple was defending itself against accusations of generally awful behaviour with regards to its supplier factories in China. A piece in the New York Times was graphic in its description of an explosion at an iPad factory, so Apple refused to comment, but chief Tim Cook sent an email around to Apple employees about how much the fruity firm cares. And somehow, that presumably private internal email got leaked to the media:

We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.

It's difficult to believe any Apple employee actually leaked the mail without permission, since this week also brought new evidence that the Jesus-mobe-maker is paranoid in the extreme about staff loyalty.

A new book about the company written by Adam Lashinksy cites a former employee as saying that new staff members were sometimes given fake projects or dummy positions until it could be established that they were trustworthy. Another ex-employee then told Lashinsky in a Q&A session on LinkedIn promoting the book:

A friend of mine who's a senior engineer [at Apple], he works on - or did work on - fake products I'm sure for the first part of his career, and interviewed for nine months.

And no Appley week would be complete without a rumour, which was brought to us this week by Amazon France. The bookseller has some books about the iPad 3 slated for release in March, coincidentally the previously rumoured launch month for the latest fondleslab.

Three people familiar with the product have already been whispering to Bloomberg that the iPad 3 was a springtime tablet and that it would be pimped up with some new stuff, including a better display and processor. One of the leakers said:

Apple is bringing LTE to the iPad before the iPhone, because the tablet has a bigger battery and can better support the power requirements of the newer technology.

Meanwhile, the Megaupload saga trundled on with concerns for users' data, which had been subpoenaed by the Feds, but was in danger of being deleted after they were done with it.

The US attorney's office said it had finished its probe of the confiscated servers, outsourced to two companies in Virginia. But Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken said that since the law had also frozen the firm's assets, the company could no longer afford to pay the hosting companies for the server space.

Luckily, the Electronic Frontier Foundation was on the case, saying:

[The EFF is] troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning

The foundation has set up a website to try to get legitimate data back to its users, but server-owner Carpathia has said it has no direct access to the data, so content-holders may still have to rely on the Feds to get their info back.

In California, Google was busily giving a new definition to the word irony as it tried to inform everyone about the new changes to its privacy policy. Unfortunately, in the process it also managed to invade the privacy of some of its corporate customers. In the UK, both Virgin Media and Sky users were surprised to find that the Chocolate Factory had their email addresses and was letting them know directly about a privacy policy that didn't apply to them.

Sky had the goodness to email its customers as well, explaining:

We understand that you may have recently received an email to this address from Google with the subject title: 'Changes to Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service'. We'd like to apologise for any confusion this email may have caused. It was sent in error and should be ignored.

The week also brought a new twist in the Great Patent Wars, with the European Commission announcing the launch of a formal investigation of Samsung over its use of standards-related 3G patents as ammo in its IP lawsuits.

As they're used for the 3G standard, the patents are supposed to be licensed on FRAND terms, not used to bully rivals into submission.

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the ETSI, used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules.

Research in Motion didn't come out of the week looking too good. The beleaguered firm released a pointless statement of the obvious in the form of the conclusions of the governance review that found that the firm shouldn't have CEOs who are also chairs of the board. It was a bit late for such statements though, considering the shareholders had been narking at the board on the issue for seven months and RIM had actually already removed Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as co-chief execs/chairmen. The review said:

The committee believes that appointing an independent chair is the appropriate solution for RIM shareholders and will resolve the issue for RIM and its employees and business partners.

Which happened in the same week RIM let loose some exquisitely poorly planned marketing in the form of its "Bold Team" of superheroes, who induced a high level of abuse and ridicule on the internet.

Legions of Twitterati took to the 'net to brand the Bold Team – composed of GoGo Girl (The Achiever), Max Stone (The Adventurer), Justin Steele (The Advocate) and Trudy ForReal (The Authentic) – as deeply moronic. The BlackBerry-maker later attempted to dismiss the heroes as nothing more than a "fun infographic", but couldn't quite escape the shame of having a female superhero who saves the day with "a brilliant strategy, a smile, or a spatula".

Many tweets pulled no punches, such as:

RIM should just sell its IP and gracefully close. Because they're morons, and their products & marketing suck ass


The horror

And finally, Twitter did no favours for two Brits hoping to have a madcap American holiday.

The pair of tweeting tourists were given the third degree by Homeland Security and kept in the cells overnight, before being deported from the country, all because of what they claimed were some jokey tweets.

Hapless holidaymaker Leigh Van Bryan, 26, had posted a number of tweets about how he and mate Emily Bunting, 24, were going to be living it large in LA, which alerted the authorities to their terrorist potential before they even landed.

He tweeted:

3 weeks today, we're totally in LA pissing people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!


Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.

Unfortunately, the Feds did not believe their claims that the tweet about Marilyn was a quote from Family Guy and "destroy" meant get drunk and party. ®

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