Latest Happenings in the Web World

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Here are a few recent ongoings in the web world which caught my attention

Google may face antitrust lawsuit

Microsoft is regularly blamed for being monopoly, but Google may be next to face action against monopolistic behaviour.President Obama’s nominee to be the next antitrust chief,Christine Varney, has warned that Google already has almost a monopoly in online advertising . It spells potentially bad news for Google, and may be an indication for Google to start building up its legal staff. For statistics, Google spends only $7,20,000 for its legal staff in Washington whereas the figures for AT&T are $ 27 million and for Microsoft, $ 8.9 million.

Google however is not very worried and feels that this threat to its business can be contained.
Some experts opine that Google’s case is much different from Microsoft’s considering that Microsoft was a dominant company with no real competition in 2001, whereas Google is a dominant company which has overcome really stiff competition.There is also the fact that Google has done nothing illegal to thwart competition.

Varney however has not been appointed yet and her words seem more like a prediction than a promise of action.What happens remains to be seen.

Facebook Changes Terms of Service, Reverts after Uproar

In a highly controversial move, Facebook changed its terms of service,first noticed by The Consumerist, almost 2 weeks after it was actually changed. The new Terms of Service(ToS) created an uproar among its users as Facebook basically told its users that when they posted personal information to their Facebook profiles (including photos, music , movies), Facebook owned that information forever and could use it in just about any manner that they wished, even after they left the service.

As users quickly began to leave, Facebook moved quickly to amend it and reverted to its old ToS. CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a statement stating that it was done only to obtain a license to share the posted content with other users. The statement,however,obviously failed to be convincing.Internet user advocacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) quickly filed a 25-page formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, arguing that Facebook had violated the law by altering the licensing of its users. Facebook called EPIC to say that they were considering reverting back to the old ToS and EPIC agreed to drop charges if they did so.

Facebook announced the same on Wednesday morning, with an unsigned statement by Zuckerberg stating : “We never intended to claim ownership over people’s content, even though that’s what it seems like to many people. … This was a mistake and we apologize for the confusion.”


Mozilla plans to launch a web-browser, Fennec, for mobile phones

Mozilla is working on Fennec, a mobile web browser, its competitor to Opera Mini. Mozilla claims its vision behind developing Fennec is ” to bring the Web to mobile phones in a richer, broader way than has been achieved before, and to make the Web a rich platform for developers who want to create compelling content and applications for mobile phones.”

Fennec is still in the very early stages(alpha) of testing and development and runs only on Nokia N810 Internet Tablets. You can however still test it with Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Lets hope it comes out real soon.

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