That game, called PrivacyVille, is launching today. And it's not really a game as much as a tutorial on the social gaming company's privacy policies. The reward is that players who follow along and learn about the company's practices for protecting users' personal information get redeemable points.
PrivacyVille is modeled after Zynga's most popular game, CityVille. But unlike Zynga's other games you don't have to register with Zynga or be connected with Facebook to play. But if you … Read more
No real surprise here: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will once again get the opening-night spotlight at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.
The Consumer Electronics Association today confirmed Ballmer will be giving the kick-off keynote address.
"We are pleased to welcome Microsoft back to the CES keynote stage," said CEA President Gary Shapiro. "From mobile to desktop to gaming and beyond, Microsoft has a significant impact on all aspects of the consumer technology industry, and Steve Ballmer's keynote is a great way to kick off the exciting 2012 International CES. We are excited to hear Microsoft's … Read more
Is Sony looking for a fresh start with its PlayStation Network?
The Register is reporting that Sony is testing out a redesigned PSN in some markets.
The report cites sources familiar with the new design who say Sony will "de-clutter" the PSN main screen in favor of "an aesthetic layout with logically marked sections and rolodex lists."
The sources say Sony is also tweaking the search function by adding a live search feature and a deals section to highlight content on sale; bringing in an "IMDB-style" movie database for movie purchases and rentals and a similar style database for games; and possibly ditching the traditional blue background for bolder color. … Read more
Hewlett-Packard Senior Vice President Jon Rubinstein attempted to cheer up his staff following some less-than-stellar TouchPad reviews by comparing them to initial complaints about Apple's desktop operating system, according to memo published today by PreCentral.
Rubinstein runs the Palm business unit, which produced the WebOS-based HP TouchPad that went on sale for the first time last week. Reviews were generally mixed--some complained that WebOS is too slow and that it doesn't have enough apps. CNET's own take on it is that it "would have made a great competitor for the original iPad, but its design, features, … Read more
Facebook is having an event Wednesday, and one report says it will be to announce a partnership with Skype to support video chat.
In a post today, TechCrunch cited "a source with knowledge of the partnership" that Facebook will introduce an in-browser video-chatting feature that is "powered by Skype."
The report adds that the feature will "include a desktop component." TechCrunch points out that Facebook and Skype have a history of product integration, including the ability to instant-message with Facebook friends from within the Skype client.
The speculation around what Facebook might announce comes … Read more
Today, BGR, the site that posted the original letter from a RIM executive, has two more anonymous letters from RIM folks that it says it has picked out from "dozens" that came in yesterday. Only two were posted today, but BGR says there are more that it may post in the coming weeks.
One letter is from a former employee in the legal department, the other from someone in the BlackBerry services department.
An investor push for Research In Motion to split its dual-CEO structure was unexpectedly withdrawn today after an agreement was made with RIM.
RIM announced today that after discussions between the two groups, Northwest & Ethical Investments will withdraw its shareholder proposal before RIM's annual meeting.
In exchange, RIM will set up a board of directors committee that will look at the necessity of having a lead director on the board versus a chairman, whether co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie need to have "significant" board-of-director-level titles, and provide guidance on whether to continue with the jointly … Read more
An open letter posted online today from an anonymous Research In Motion employee begged for accountability, and an admission that things need to change at the BlackBerry maker.
Well, someone at RIM did read it. But the company's subsequent public response did nothing to address any of the letter writer's complaints. Instead RIM's brief, two-paragraph response basically adds up to a dismissive, "we're fine."
First, RIM's official statement calls into question the letter's authenticity (which BGR says it verified). But then goes on to say, "[R]egardless of whether the letter … Read more
An anonymous Research In Motion employee has penned a devastating open letter to the company's senior management.
The letter was posted on Boy Genius Report by a reportedly "high-ranking" employee who bemoans the company's current "chaotic" transition period. (Boy Genius Report said it has verified the identity of the writer.) The writer's main objective is getting co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to seriously consider his or her suggestions to stop RIM's slide into irrelevance in the mobile industry.
The beginning of the letter:
I have lost confidence.
While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone -- the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams.
Mike and Jim, please take the time to really absorb and digest the content of this letter because it reflects the feeling across a huge percentage of your employee base. You have many smart employees, many that have great ideas for the future, but unfortunately the culture at RIM does not allow us to speak openly without having to worry about the career-limiting effects.
Before I get into the meat of the matter, I will say I am not part of a large group of bitter employees wishing to embarrass us. Rather, I believe these points need to be heard and I desperately want RIM to regain its position as a successful industry leader. Our carriers, distributors, alliance partners, enterprise customers, and our loyal end users all want the same thing...for BlackBerry to once again be leading the pack.