About.me Starts Testing @About.me Email Addresses

About.me Email
Snippet of email from About.me

About.me, a website for personal profiles, has started beta testing with selected users a new @about.me email address previously only available for staff. The email will be powered by AOL Mail and the email address is given as your username and the @about.me extension.

The new email address will be integrated into About.me from the dashboard but other than that all features will be the same as found in the normal AOL Mail. About.me are updating their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to reflect the new email service.

AOL purchased About.me in 2010, Business Insider reported that “well-sourced gossipers tell us AOL paid about $25 million”, however this figure was not confirmed.

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Google+ Games Breakdown [Screenshots]

Wondering what the Google+ Games looks like? Here are some screenshots from the new Google+ games feature which can be seen in selected profiles. The feature is now being rolled out and is accessible from the top buttons in Google+.

Click on each image for a description of the feature in Google+ games, which looks into the social aspects the games have built in and some game-play.

Meanwhile, Facebook has started to revamp its own offering for games with new interface updates such as full-screen for certain games, dedicated feed and a “most used apps” section.

Omegle Creates New Spy Mode

A question in Omegle Spy Mode

Omegle, a chat site which allows users to talk online anonymously, has officially released a beta of Omegle Spy Mode. The new mode allows you  to ask questions and watch responses from two other strangers.

Currently under the beta arrangement users can ask questions but to answer a question from a  stranger you must have several normal conversations to get invited to the feature.

The mode has been available on certain websites in an unofficial form as a Java applet which allowed users to read and manipulate the conversation of two others. Although the developer says that such activity is legal as Omegle does not have a Terms of Service it is highly inadvisable to “tap” internet conversations.

Metropolitan Police Posts Images Online for Identification of London Rioters

Suspected looters outside shop in South London
One of the images from CCTV camera footage and posted on the Metropolitan Police Flickr, "a group of eight males entering the shop. Note the male in the Stone Island hooded jacket, blue Nike tracksuit bottoms and blue face scarf."

The Metropolitan Police has started releasing the photographs of suspects found looting “from incidents of looting in Croydon over last night and in Norwood Road SE27 in the early hours of this morning” onto their Flickr website. More than 450 detectives have also been assigned to the case with some using leads from CCTV images.

Simon Foy, Head of Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said “Operation Withern is continuing apace. As well as the many arrests and charges the team is working hard to identify suspects.”

The Metropolitan Police have appealed that people who are able to identify the suspects call the Major Investigation Team on 020 8345 4142 and that “anyone can report crime and provide information anonymously” by calling 0800 555 111 for Crimestoppers.

Concerned internet users have started photo identification websites including Zavilla who are accepting photographs from email. They say “when a rioter is positively identified by several people, their information will be passed to police.” Catch a Looter and London Rioters also have published photographs of suspected rioters.

The Metropolitan Police so far arrested 768 people “in connection with violence, disorder and looting” as of August 10 according the Metropolitan Police Twitter.

US ‘Spam King’ Arrested for Hacking 500,000 Facebook accounts

Wall of spam cans
Spam Wall by Freezelight (Flickr)

Sanford Wallace, also know by his nickname “Spam King”, surrendered to FBI agents in Las Vegas on Thursday, he was charged in  San Jose with six counts of fraud with electronic mail, three counts of intentional damage to a protected computer and one count of criminal contempt.

Sanford Wallace had allegedly sent more than 27 million spam messages by compromising the friend lists of 500,000 Facebook accounts and stole personal information between November 2008 and March 2009.

Prosecutors say Wallace found a way to evade Facebook’s spam filter then automated a method to farm friend lists and post messages. Wallace was also believed to have collected email addresses and passwords for Facebook accounts using a deceptive method then sending them to a affiliate website where Wallace was paid for the users he redirected.

Sam O’Rourke updated a October 2009 post about spamming titled “The Fight Goes On“, saying “we applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI to bring spammers to justice and will continue to pursue and support both civil and criminal consequences for spammers and others who attempt to harm Facebook or the people who use our service. ”

Facebook has previously won $711 million in damages in 2009 from Sanford Wallace though he previously filed for bankruptcy. MySpace also filed a suit in 2007 after the spammer created 11,000 fake profiles to direct websites to questionable content.

Get a Google+ Invite Here! [Giveaway]

Google+

Still waiting to get access to Google+? We still have many invites to give to any readers who comment.

What you need to do:

  • Comment on one other story on Linear Fix. Try to add something to the article!
  • When writing your comment use guest mode and enter in your email address so we can send you an invite (see below).
  •  Guest mode will automatically send your email address to us, there is no need to write your email address in the comment.

commenting as guest

After you are activated on Google+ you are free to also invite your friends.

Google+ Estimated to Hit 10 Million Users

Card Puncher, an Integral Part of the Tabulati...
Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Paul Allen from Ancestry.com has predicted that the number of users to enter Google+, Google’s much hyped social network, has reached 10 million users. He says that this amount could reach 20 million by the weekend, growing at an exponential rate. Tracking the amount of users has also become harder saying that ‘the userbase is growing so quickly that it is challenging for me to keep up, since the number of users of any given surname (even the rare ones I am tracking) seems to be climbing every day.’

Allen used a surname analysis based on the top 100-200 surnames (based on usage) from the US Census Bureau, then estimated how many US users they were then compared it to the worldwide usage. He selected a ratio of ‘1 US user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users.’ He believes that the model he is using to predict the data is sound and compared his methods to what could be used in a low-budget census.

A report is expected to come out next Monday with more information available from Allen’s Google+1 post. So far, Google has not released any actual numbers to act as a comparison.

Google+ Runs Out of Disk Space and Causes Spam

Vic Gundotra and Eric Schmidt
Image by jolieodell via Flickr

Google has inadvertently spammed its users after running out of disk space required for the notification causing the system to send emails to users on a loop. Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president, posted an apology on his Google+1 profile saying:

Please accept our apologies for the spam we caused this afternoon.

For about 80 minutes we ran out of disk space on the service that keeps track of notifications. Hence our system continued to try sending notifications. Over, and over again. Yikes.

We didn’t expect to hit these high thresholds so quickly, but we should have.

Thank you for helping us during this field trial, and once again, we are very sorry for the spam.

Google has also had to limit the amount of invitations sent out for Google+, temporarily stopping the usage of any sent invites saying ‘we’ve temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon.

News Corp. Sells Myspace on Cheap

News Corp. has finally unloaded the fledgling MySpace to Specific Media for $35 million. The amount Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. purchased it for was $580 million six years ago. News Corporation will also keep a minority stake in the company though the ownership stakes owned by each company and Justin Timberlake is unknown.

Myspace, an old social networking favorite, is focused on entertainment. As part of the new deal, Justin Timberlake will ‘take an ownership stake and play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward,’ according to a Specific Media press release. The singer saying ‘I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.’

During January, Myspace reduced staff by 47% with around 500 staff members losing their jobs. It is expected that at least 150 employees will be removed from the company with  a further 150 employees put on a transition plan, where they can continue working for a few extra weeks while finding a new job.

Google Unveils Facebook Competitor with Google+

Google has unveiled a new social network branded as the Google+ project and only available by invitation. The social network is based on ‘Circles,’ which by dividing friends into groups, users can control what they share with each person as well as a ‘Hangout,’ a video chat service. Like Facebook, the social network will allow users to share updates in a stream with invitations, notifications. Google+ will also include ‘Sparks,’ a network for users of similar interests and ‘Huddle,’ group instant messaging.

Google has posted videos for each feature on their blog and said that ‘today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools,’ adding that the way we share information online was broken as it was ‘awkward.’

Google is adamant that data will remain the control of the user saying ‘we’re giving you more ways to stay private or go public; more meaningful choices around your friends and your data; and more ways to let us know how we’re doing. All across Google.’

The release has come after rumors from March 2011 surfaced with Tim O’Reilly tweeting ‘I’ve seen google circles, and it looks awesome. Tip of the iceberg too,’ the tweet has since been deleted. Google’s other social attempts include Google Buzz, Orkut and Google Wave, though these are yet to gain much traction from users. However, Orkut is one of the most popular websites in Brazil and India and Google Wave was closed.