LinkedIn Is Offering Free Trials To Lynda.com

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Lynda.com Acquired By LinkedIn For $1.5 BillionThe joint venture between LinkedIn and Lynda.com is taking on a more defined shape.

LinkedIn is now offering its users free trial memberships to the online education company.

LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com in April for a staggering $1.5 billion as first reported on this site back then.

They made the move to satisfy the need to provide more content for their users and to give them resources to better equip them as productive employees.

LinkedIn users with premium memberships can avail themselves of a 30-day free trial membership and those without will have the chance to get a 21-day free membership.

Those who don’t have a LinkedIn account, don’t fret: you would get a free trial membership as well, but it would be for a duration of 10 days.

The news represents the possibility of further integration between the two companies.

While you can’t take Lynda courses on LinkedIn just yet, and there are two different subscription forms for each company.

It stands to reason that the trial memberships are a test balloon of sorts for Lynda.com to offer course deals through the professional employee network.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Faecbook’s Moments App Uses Facial Recognition

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Faecbook's Moments App Uses Facial RecognitionFacebook’s latest application is looking to make those special times with your friends and family that much more tactile and easy to use.

On Monday, the social media company released their new Moments app.

Moments is an application that lets users create and share photos from their smartphones with their friends.

It’s not a standalone app; you’ll definitely need a Facebook account to use it.

It then hosts all of these photos in the cloud free of charge.

Moments also stores only the photos that you share, and not all that’s within your camera roll.

And it also utilizes facial recognition technology to identify all of your friends that may be in these photos.

The emphasis is on connectivity and the freedom to share and get an idea of how the photos are received thanks to a social graph.

Moments is the latest release from the in-house app creation studio known as Facebook Creative Labs that is their eighth since January of last year.

It’s now available for both iOS and Android devices.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Snapchat Adds Two-Factor Authentication

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Snapchat Removes Popular Feature After Discover Update - But Will Be BackUsers of the popular social chat application Snapchat will be happy to hear that the company behind it has taken more steps to reinforce its security.

The app recently released an update that makes it easier to enable a two step process of authentication.

When enabled in the settings menu, the login verification will require you to use a 6-digit code if you’re accessing Snapchat from an unfamiliar device.

Snapchat will then send that code to your phone number linked to the account via text message.

A user will also be able to install a recovery code of their creation to use in case the phone is either lost or damaged.

The updates will be available on both iOS and Android devices, but one feature that allows you to switch between rear and front cameras while in the app is only available for iOS devices.

Snapchat’s moves are welcomed as more and more apps are falling prey to back-door hacking, and should greatly lessen its potential to be included in that dubious group.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

“Facebook Lite” Launched

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"Facebook Lite" LaunchedFacebook has decided to extend its worldwide reach in a more pragmatic way, and with a slimmed-down look to it.

In an effort to reach more people in the developing world, Facebook has created a version that is devoid of many of the features that millions have come to associate with the social media platform. Dubbed “Facebook Lite”, it is designed to function on phones at the lower end of the mobile spectrum.

Standing in at a diminutive 1 MB, the app gets pretty crafty at giving a user the Facebook experience – one facet involves downloading photos at lower quality rates to make sure the app still retains its speed and won’t strain the lesser data connectivity of the phone.

It’s all part of the company’s push to get better Internet access for areas within South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

They discreetly launched the app in January in Nigeria, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nepal to great success and now plan to issue a wider release soon.

The app is free of charge, and currently only available on Android devices although some close to the Facebook wouldn’t rule out an iOS version down the line.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Pinterest Introduces Long-Expected Buy Button

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Pinterest Arrives At $11 Billion ValuationIt was only a matter of time before the social media platform known as Pinterest was going to throw its hat into the ring in terms of online retail shopping.

The social service has been building towards adding a key feature, the buy-button since earlier this year.

We first brought you word of their collaboration with Apple, and Pinterest made it official on Tuesday, launching the new feature for their 70 million users.

Visitors to the platform will notice the button, colored blue, next to the usual ‘pin it’ red button for any item available to purchase.

Buyers will then be able to make their purchases using credit card or Apple Pay in a system powered by both the PayPal-owned Braintree and Stripe.

Spokespeople for Pinterest stated that they wouldn’t be getting a cut of sales from either merchants or customers.

They are partnering with Shopify and Demandware to assist small businesses and slightly larger ones to offer their wares through the site.

It is likely that Pinterest would receive money from those merchants by way of paying to advertise using ‘promoted pins’ to stimulate customer interest.

So now all of those pins that users have been accumulating will translate into something very lucrative for Pinterest going forward.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Here’s Another Sign That Google+ Is No Longer Vital To Google’s Long-Term Plans

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Google_Plus_logoIt’s been quite a seemingly precipitous fall from relevance for Google+ over the past few months, and it appears another move has underlined that reality.

Depending on who you ask.

The social media platform that Google once heralded as key to its future success and was quietly hoped would be an alternative to Facebook can no longer be accessed via Google’s own search homepage.

Before, a user could simply click on their name at the top right of the screen to gain access.

Now, you will have to click on the apps icon to view the pull-down menu that includes Google Maps and others to get into Google+.

This is all part of the company’s launch of Google+ Connections, an new interface that was launched on Tuesday.

The interface is meant to foster more connections among the community that will be interacting via Google+ in this fashion.

For their part, Google reps claim that they “are incredibly focused on making it the best place to engage with others around interests and shared passions.”

However, it remains to be seen how users both current and future would take to it if they can’t access it as simply as they used to.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

SCOTUS: Violent, Threatening Posts On Facebook Not Enough To Convict

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Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalA decision handed down on Monday by the Supreme Court of The United States is set to add further fuel and confusion to the debate over what exactly constitutes a viable threat via the Internet.

The SCOTUS decision in the case of Anthony D. Elonis overturned his conviction in Pennsylvania based on Facebook comments he posted that threatened his ex-wife, threatened to blow up a school and threatened his former co-workers.

The conviction was made on the state level on the basis that these people had a reasonable right to feel as if their lives were at risk.

The court’s decision to overturn the judgement by a 7-2 vote was on the basis that they felt that there wasn’t enough to go on.

In the opinion offered by Chief Justice John Roberts, he stated: “Our holding makes clear that negligence is not sufficient to support a conviction.”

Elonis claimed that the posts weren’t meant to be anything but artistic expression inspired by rap lyrics from the artist Eminem, and that he had a right to free speech as protected by the First Amendment.

Elonis did receive a four year sentence in federal prison, but was released last year.

The decision is the first heard by the SCOTUS in reference to free speech and social media.

This decision was not made without some spirited dissent from Justice Samuel Alito, who noted that there were no further details as to the grounds for the votes of dismissal.

In the dissenting opinion, he wrote, “The court refuses to explain what type of intent was necessary. Was it enough if he knew that his words conveyed such a threat? Would recklessness suffice? The court declines to say. Attorneys and judges are left to guess.”

The case now goes back to the state level, but if they uphold the original sentence Elonis will be expected to go back to prison.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Facebook Exec Tells Business Page Owners “No One Gives A Shit About Your Page!”

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Facebook Exec Tells Business Page Owners "No One Gives A Shit About Your Page!"If you’re one of those brands who frantically obsess over amassing a heavy multitude of ‘likes’ on Facebook — you may want to reconsider.

According to Niall Fagin, head of Facebook’s entertainment division for the Middle East, Europe and Africa, the amount of fans a business page garners shouldn’t be regarded as a true measurement of impact.

The power of the ‘Like’ button is present everywhere on the Internet as a way to track and connect user activity to that Facebook business page.

It has spurred every brand name and business from small to massive to come up with various schemes and promotions to earn as many ‘likes’ as possible.

Fagin feels that Facebook itself is to blame for what he views as “the biggest mistake so many people are making.”

In making these remarks at the Sound City 2015 music conference in Liverpool, England,
Fagin stressed that the best way for brand pages and their creators to reach out to fans who will stick around is video content that redirects to places where more can be found that’s linked to the business like YouTube, for example.

“And that’s how you get awareness on Facebook — not through ‘Like my page’. No-one gives a shit about your page!” he joked.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Obama’s New Twitter Account Brings Outpouring Of Hate

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Now You Can Embed Twitter Videos On Your WebsiteOn Monday, the President of The United States, Barack Obama got his own Twitter account.

And undercutting the buzz of the moment was a truly horrendous digital response.

Not long after the first mirthful tweet sent from the @POTUS account, a slew of profane and disturbing tweets were directed towards it.

These tweets ranged from strings of curse words to suggesting the President commit suicide, complete with imagery that depicted him as a monkey and worse.

This torrent of digital hate  has been minute in comparison to the multitude of messages of welcome and support for President Obama, and the @POTUS account currently has 2.3 million followers.

The hate-fueled tweets directed towards President Obama are sadly nothing new since the first days of his presidency in 2008, which coincided with the rise of social media and the anonymity it offers those who choose to issue those messages.

It has led to the formation of the ‘Internet Threat Desk’, run by the Secret Service to monitor and investigate all digital threats towards the POTUS.

While there are no stats on record to capture all of the offensive tweets, one slur that was a combination of a racial epithet and Mr. Obama’s name was repeated close to 150 times on Monday, according to Topsy, a company that performs Twitter analysis on certain keywords.

Christopher A. Smith

HR

Adult Dating Site Hacked – Thousands Of Customer Records Leaked Online

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Adult Dating Site Hacked - Thousands Of Customer Records Leaked OnlineThe casual dating website AdultFriendFinder and its parent company have contacted investigators to report that they suspect they’ve been hacked.

On Thursday, reports surfaced that the California-based website found that 3.9 million of their member base may have had their personal information leaked including addresses and sexual preferences.

The website’s parent company, FriendFinder Networks, issued a public statement addressing the matter.

They’ve also engaged the help of Mediant, a cybersecurity company to look into the situation.

The firm’s statement went on to say, “Until the investigation is completed, it will be difficult to determine with certainty the full scope of the incident, but we will continue to work vigilantly to address this potential issue and will provide updates as we learn more from our investigation. We cannot speculate further about this issue, but rest assured, we pledge to take the appropriate steps needed to protect our customers if they are affected.”

Christopher A. Smith

HR