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Twitter getting into online shopping business with ‘@earlybird’

Twitter’s new service,  named @earlybird, is an official Twitter account that the company plans to feed with deals at both online and offline retailers, as well as “sneak peeks and events.” Users who follow the account will see these entries just like any other tweet in their stream.

This is a new way Twitter found to increase its income and at the same time try to give its users some interesting offer deals.

Twitters can interact with it, by sending in companies and events they think the company should work with and share with the other thousands of followers of @earlybird.

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Twitter confirms auto-follow bug

Following Zero
Twitter has confirmed the existence of a bug that can force one user to follow another.

The bug appears to have originally been noticed by a Turkish blog, followed by the blog Webrazzi, which successfully tested it out and forced the Twitter accounts of industry luminaries like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Evan Williams to follow a dummy profile. The flaw allowed members to add followers to their own accounts, basically, by tweeting “accept” followed by “@” and any given Twitter user name.

As a result, it’s not yet clear how long the bug had been in existence or whether it could potentially give Twitter users access to the contents of “protected” accounts in which all tweets are private.

But according to the Twitter’s Status Blog, protected updates did not become public as a result of this bug.

Update: apparently the counters of Following and Followers are normal again.

Twitter phishing hack hits thousands of users

Thousands of Twitter users have seen their accounts hijacked after a viral phishing attack which sends out messages saying “this you??” or “hey, i’ve been having better sex and longer with this here” and other sex-related “direct” messages.

Among those who fell victim were the BBC correspondent Nick Higham and the Guardian’s head of audio Matt Wells.

The purpose of the attack, which began early on Thursday morning, is initially to draw people to the sites that hijack the accounts, and possibly install malware able to steal passwords on the user’s computer. Another purpose may be simple identity theft: because people often use the same passwords and usernames on multiple services, getting access to one service can provide access to others too.

Twitter users are advised to follow Twitter safety account, which provides advice when such scams are spreading.

Account-shortening services such as can block dangerous links, but only after they are alerted to them. The other option is to inspect the link before clicking on it – which the Twitter web page and Tweetdeck, a cross-platform program, do allow.

Spam and phishing attacks are a continual problem for Twitter, which is comparatively easy to join.


Bill Gates Rejoins Facebook and Gives Twitter A Try

Last summer, Microsoft founder Bill Gates made the somewhat surprising announcement that he was quitting Facebook after being inundated with friend requests, explaining “It was just way too much trouble so I gave it up”. Yesterday, it looks like he’s decided to give it another go. Gates launched both a new Facebook Page and a Twitter account (@BillGates).

Gates’ first updates on Twitter, which were first noticed by TheNextWeb are mostly related to the crisis in Haiti, which may well have spurred his decision to join. President Obama recently sent his first tweet from an aid center in Haiti, and plenty of other celebrities have used the platform to help encourage donations.

Gates won’t have to deal with the countless friend requests he used to get on Facebook, because both Twitter and his Facebook Page use one sided connections — anyone can follow him without any action required on his part.


Facebook testing tool to push updates onto Twitter

Social networking site confirms feature is being tested but no word on official launch date.

Facebook and its social networking compatriot Twitter are jointly taking new steps to help users share information.

Facebook, the top social networking site, this week began testing a new feature that’s designed to enable posts on its network to be automatically published on Twitter, Malorie Lucich, a Facebook spokeswoman, confirmed today. She did not discolse when the feature is likely to be officially launched.

Reports have circulated on the Internet that the feature might be released this week, but Lucich wouldn’t confirm those reports.

This new move to help users share information comes just a week after Facebook disclosed that it had revamped the social network’s privacy settings. That move has moved some users and privacy advocates to criticize Facebook. The critics contended that the changes would push more user data onto the Internet and, in some cases, make it harder for Facebook users to protect their privacy.

The new Facebook settings consolidate some privacy options and group them in a single interface. As it stands now, Facebook users can establish a privacy setting for every item they post on the site, using a drop-down menu.

News Suggest by Daniel Almeida


Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 friend Facebook

Users of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles can now brag about their achievements on Facebook.

Both systems are integrating the social network this week.

Microsoft Corp. switched on a slew of new features for its Xbox Live online service, allowing owners of the Xbox 360 consoles to update Facebook and Twitter directly from their consoles.

The console can also stream music from the Internet radio service

Sony Corp., meanwhile, is letting PlayStation 3 users connect their systems to Facebook through its latest software upgrade.

Both companies have been looking to turn their consoles into entertainment hubs beyond gaming.

From Yahoo! Tech

Hands-on: Social networking on Xbox 360

Microsoft was expected to release Twitter, Facebook, and apps for the Xbox 360 as part of a system software update that went out back in August. It was decided that the apps should be delayed for a fall release, but CNET got a sneak peek of the apps on Wednesday from Ron Pessner, Microsoft’s general manager of games for Windows Live.

The company is still mum on an exact release, despite marketing materials on the U.K. site briefly pointing to a November 17 debut. Pessner confirmed that the new apps were indeed set for November release, but he could not provide a hard date. In the meantime the company is releasing a public preview ahead of time for a select group of users who sign up to be a part of the beta test (you can sign up here).

What we saw of the three apps was impressive but in many ways extremely limited compared with their desktop counterparts. Microsoft has had to shoehorn the three Web apps into a system with a control scheme that does not implement a mouse, keyboard, or Web browser. Instead, all three make use of the Xbox 360 controller and the on-screen keyboard, or an attached USB keyboard (or Microsoft Chat Pad accessory which you can buy for $30).

This lack of the usual top-to-bottom controls found on each service’s Web sites changes each experience considerably from what users are familiar with on their computers and mobile devices. This is made even more noticeable by the fact that the Xbox 360 still does not have a built-in Web browser. Never before has this been an issue, but stop and think for a second: are Twitter and Facebook as useful, or as interesting if you can’t click on any of the links? We don’t think so.

That said, there are some definite things to look forward to when the software update drops next month. Read our early impressions after the jump.


The Twitter app is the most beautiful of the three new apps. It’s big, blue, and can be left running on your TV for hours while it updates with new tweets on the minute.

Twitter is big, blue and pretty on the Xbox 360.

(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

The app lets you cruise through the last 50 tweets from people you’re following. It can also drill down into each of those messages and let you quickly reply, retweet, and favorite it in about two button presses. It also includes Twitter’s search tool, and a list of trending topics right from the main page.

And as a nice touch, the app is in no way tied to your Xbox Live account, meaning you can switch between multiple Twitter accounts from the same Xbox Live user profile. It can also just save your credentials between sessions, but there’s no way to have it remember past log-ins.


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