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'We're public now, so could you please click on an ad or two'

Plus: 'Disaster for Apple!'

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Quotw This was the week when Facebook stocks took an early drubbing in the market before recovering somewhat to a more stable, albeit reduced, price.

The social network wasn't able to find its feet in time to stop a slew of lawsuits from disgruntled investors who jointly and severally blame Facebook, Zuckerberg, the IPO underwriting banks, the NASDAQ stock exchange and the early angel investors for the rubbish debut.

The NASDAQ is in the firing line for technical glitches on the first day of trading that saw orders to buy and sell – as well as cancellations on those orders – delayed. This left investors unsure of how much stock they had and at what price they'd bought or sold it at.

The exchange held its hands up immediately, with its chief exec saying he was "humbly embarrassed" by the snafu.

He understated:

This was not our finest hour.

Chief Robert Greifeld added that the error had been so bad, the NASDAQ would be revamping its whole IPO process.

The New York-based stock exchange is pretty much resigned to paying up, having set aside some funds to deal with rightfully aggrieved investors. However, others in the suits are claiming innocence.

Morgan Stanley, one of the underwriters accused of changing its mind about its earnings forecast for Facebook, has denied any wrongdoing. The underwriter had altered its forecast in response to the social network's admission that it hadn't yet figured out how to make money from mobile customers and that its revenue growth wasn't keeping up with its subscribers.

The bank said that Facebook's risks were clearly laid out in its revised publically available prospectus and that is what made it change its forecasts:

In response to the information about business trends, a significant number of research analysts in the syndicate who were participating in investor education reduced their earnings views to reflect their estimate of the impact of the new information. These revised views were taken into account in the pricing of the IPO.

As is fairly standard operating procedure for a tech company under fire, Facebook itself has stayed mainly silent on its dreary coming out party, with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg ducking questions about it after a speech to Harvard University.

She did, however, find the time to shamelessly, and somewhat pitifully, try to get some revenue for the company, adding this to the end of her talk:

We're public now, so could you please click on an ad or two while you're there.

Meanwhile, Google is still facing le smackdown from French regulator CNIL, which remains unhappy about the web giant's newly amalgamated privacy policy.

The regulator has been trying to make sense of Google's answers to various questions it had on the policy and has not been satisfied yet:

The CNIL considers it impossible to know Google's processings of personal data, as well as the links between collected data, purposes and recipients, and that the obligation of information of the data subjects is not respected. The CNIL also notes that Google has not provided a maximum retention period for the data.

Over at Microsoft, there are probably a few staffers suffering from whiplash after the about-turn the bigwigs did on the Aero interface first introduced with Windows Vista.

Despite having once championed the design, which is still being used with Windows 7, Redmond has had a change of heart. It is apparently now of the view that Aero is lame.

Jensen Harris, director of program management for the Windows user experience team said in a blog post:

This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now, but at the time, it was very much en vogue.

Security specialist Eugene Kaspersky is still talking up the dangers of Apple's attitude to viruses. He previously said that Apple's popularity was making it a target and that security-wise it was where Microsoft was 10 years ago.

This week Kaspersky said he was peeved that Cupertino wouldn't let security firms develop solutions for its iOS and that this would spell its doom:

We as a security company are not able to develop true endpoint security for iOS. That will mean disaster for Apple.

It is much more difficult to infect iOS but it is possible and when it happens it will be the worst-case scenario because there will be no protection. The Apple SDK won’t let us do it.

And things took a turn for the frankly bizarre at SAP in the US, when one of its execs was nabbed by the cops for stealing LEGO. No, you didn't read that incorrectly.

Despite having a job at SAP's Palo Alto Labs Integration and Certification Center, the accused exec has been charged with four counts of burglary for seven boxes of LEGO worth around $1,000, pilfered through a surprisingly elaborate scheme.

The man allegedly swapped the shop's bar codes on the boxes with his own homemade versions that gave him a better price. He would then sell them at the right price on eBay.

Although he was only busted on four counts of theft, the exec may have made off with many more boxes of LEGO, NBC reported:

[Supervising deputy District Attorney Cindy] Hendrickson said they found "hundreds and hundreds" of LEGO boxes in his home. They also discovered that since last April, he had allegedly sold 2,100 LEGO items totaling about $30,000 on eBay using the handle "tomsbrickyard". Inside Langenbach's car, Hendrickson said, were 32 pre-made barcode stickers. ®

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