Archive for the ‘Rumor’ Category


British Soccer Star Sues Twitter Over Privacy Issue

For weeks, British tabloids were prohibited from outing a soccer star who allegedly had a longtime affair with former supermodel and reality-TV star Imogen Thomas. It was due to something issued by British courts called a “super-injunction,” which many British celebrities and personalities obtain, so salacious personal details aren’t published by the papers.

Of course, information wants to be free, so that little roadblock didn’t hold back the aptly named @InjunctionSuper, who went public with the allegation May 8 with the above-mentioned tweet. Now the soccer player (still officially unnamed) has turned to the courts yet again, this time with a decidedly harsher legal action.

In papers filed Wednesday with the High Court, an individual identified only as “CTB” sued the social media giant and at least one anonymous user for violating the super-injunction. Of course, after @InjunctionSuper’s tweet, many media outlets began relaying the information.

Ryan Giggs, who’s named in the reports, is one of the most decorated players in the history of Manchester United, the most valuable sports franchise in the world and Britain’s most legendary soccer club.

London-based lawyer James Quartermaine told Bloomberg that there’s little chance Twitter will cooperatewith the suit, even though the British courts claim worldwide jurisdiction. Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco.

“Twitter will probably just ignore it and consider it to be offensive to their First Amendment rights,” he said. “It’s probably an attempt to try and show that actions have consequences in cyberspace.”

Twitter has so far refused to comment on the legal proceedings.

Advertisements

More Skype Rumors: Big News Soon, Microsoft In The Mix

By @xbee30 May. 8, 2011,

For the past week or so, rumors have been swirling around Skype, the Internet telephony company. Reuters has reported that the company has been in talks with both Facebook and Google, either for a partnership or for an outright acquisition. And if my sources are right, we will find out more details very soon.

How soon? People familiar with Skype indicate that some kind of news is forthcoming later this week, perhaps as soon as Monday. At present, corporate attorneys and other senior managers are burning the midnight oil this weekend, ahead of some kind of announcement. A Skype person replied to my email query by saying, “Thanks for reaching out – as a matter of practice  – Skype does not comment on rumor or speculation.”

Sources also say that Microsoft has entered the mix and is interested in either partnering with, acquiring or investing in Skype. While they are late entrants to this game, Microsoft’s interest makes sense for several reasons:

  • Skype would givemMicrosoft a big boost in the hotly contested enterprise collaboration market places, thanks to Skype’s voice, video and sharing capabilities. It would be particularly useful for competing against Cisco and Google, two of its main rivals in the collaboration business.
  • It would give them a must-have application/service that can help with the adoption of the future versions of Windows Mobile operating system.
  • it would give Microsoft an outside chance of working with carriers, many of them looking to partner with Skype as they start to transition to LTE-based networks.

What is my take on all the rumors? First of all, this is not the first time we have heard them. While I clearly see value in these companies partnering with Skype, an acquisition doesn’t make much sense. But an investment from one of the three could give Skype the cash cushion as it waits out for its initial public offering, and could also be a way to buy out an antsy investor. And while a partnership would make sense for Facebook, it doesn’t need to acquire Skype — I’ve heard the two companies are about to make some kind of joint product announcement soon.


Rumor: Facebook wants to buy Skype

By Emil Protalinski | May 4, 2011, 5:10pm PDT

Summary

Skype wants to strike a deal with either Facebook, Google, or both, according to a new rumor. Alternatively, Facebook wants to buy Skype outright.

Skype is reportedly talking to Facebook about some sort of deal. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been involved in internal discussions about buying Skype, while Facebook also reached out to the Luxembourg-based company about forming a joint venture, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions, cited by Reuters.

Google has also reportedly held early talks for a joint venture with Skype. The discussions are in early stages and as is typical with rumors like this, all three companies are not commenting, and the sources wish to remain anonymous.

A Skype deal could be valued at $3 billion to $4 billion, while Skype’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) is expected to raise about $1 billion. In August 2010, Skype filed a registration statement to go public, but the October 2010 appointment of a new CEO, Tony Bates, delayed the IPO till the second half of 2011.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to start a Skype video call with your friends on Facebook? Integrating the video conferencing technology into the social network would be great for both companies, although both parties are still young and neither has a proven revenue model. I’m not quite sure Facebook has to buy Skype outright to get what it wants.

Facebook teaming up with Skype is not a new rumor (a potential partnership was discussed as far back as September 2010, but the two could not reach an agreement). When Skype 5.0 was released in October 2010, the new version offered voice calling between Facebook friends, but it did not include a video chatting feature. The integration was a one-way road: only Skype added some Facebook features to its client. If Facebook were to integrate the VoIP service on its website and its mobile apps however, the social network would suddenly be competing with many services that offer video calling, including Google’s Gmail and Apple’s FaceTime.

The rumor is a popular one because Facebook users apparently want voice (and video) chat. Just two months ago, the rumor got yet another boost: Facebook resumes talks with Skype.

Earlier this year, Skype added a group video calling feature that allows 10 people to videoconference together. Unfortunately, the option is only available as part of the Premium package, which offers group video calling together with access to live chat customer support, but sets you back $4.99/€3.49/£2.99 per day or $8.99/€5.99/£4.99 per month. Still, if this option was available via Facebook, it could make Skype very popular amongst the social network’s 600 million users.

Kick off your day with ZDNet’s daily e-mail newsletter. It’s the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Is Facebook Shutting Down?

Posted: January 22, 2011 in Rumor

So is Facebook shutting down? Here’s the official response from Facebook on the matter:

Facebook: We didn’t get the memo about shutting down, so we’ll keep working away like always. We aren’t going anywhere; we’re just getting started.

So there you have it, no, Facebook isn’t shutting down anytime soon… And why would they with the recent investment from Goldman Sacks.

Where’s this rumor begin, about Facebook shutting down on March 15th?

The Internet rumor was sparked by a report from the “Weekly World News,” a website which also includes a story insisting “Alien spaceships to attack Earth in 2011″ and another titled “Mike Tyson Pigeon Fetish.”

According to their Facebook “story,” the super popular social media website would be shut down in March because Mark Zuckerberg was getting too stressed out.

“Facebook has gotten out of control and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life,” the newspaper quoted Zuckerberg as saying at an alleged press conference in California on Saturday.

The questionable story apparently sent Facebook users into a panic. The phrase “is facebook shutting down” was the 14th most searched for on Google Saturday and the 10th most as of Sunday morning.

Here’s the article from World News:

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in March. Managing the site has become too stressful.

“Facebook has gotten out of control,” said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, “and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”

Zuckerberg went on to explain that starting March 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

“After March 15th the whole website shuts down,” said Avrat Humarthi, Vice President of Technical Affairs at Facebook. “So if you ever want to see your pictures again, I recommend you take them off the internet. You won’t be able to get them back once Facebook goes out of business.”

Zuckerberg said that the decision to shut down Facebook was difficult, but that he does not think people will be upset.

“I personally don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said in a private phone interview. “And to be honest, I think it’s for the better. Without Facebook, people will have to go outside and make real friends. That’s always a good thing.”

Some Facebook users were furious upon hearing the shocking news.

“What am I going to do without Facebook?” said Denise Bradshaw, a high school student from Indiana. “My life revolves around it. I’m on Facebook at least 10 hours a day. Now what am I going to do with all that free time?”

However, parents across the country have been experiencing a long anticipated sense of relief.

“I’m glad the Facebook nightmare is over,” said Jon Guttari, a single parent from Detroit. “Now my teenager’s face won’t be glued to a computer screen all day. Maybe I can even have a conversation with her.”

Those in the financial circuit are criticizing Zuckerberg for walking away from a multibillion dollar franchise. Facebook is currently ranked as one of the wealthiest businesses in the world, with economists estimating its value at around 7.9 billion.

But Zuckerberg remains unruffled by these accusations. He says he will stand by his decision to give Facebook the axe.

“I don’t care about the money,” said Zuckerberg. “I just want my old life back.”

The Facebook Corporation suggests that users remove all of their personal information from the website before March 15th. After that date, all photos, notes, links, and videos will be permanently erased.