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No, Facebook Will Not Make You Have To Pay For The New Updates

facebook status scam

An example of some of the many Facebook scam statuses

By now you’ve probably heard the news that there will be some major changes to Facebook coming out over the next few days/weeks, including a whole new design for your profile called Timeline (which we’re not gonna get into right now, but basically it allows you to fill in all your memories from literally the time you were born in to your Facebook profile so it’ll be available online for all your friends to see forever. Yes, it’s that creepy. More info here). Now whether or not you like the new Facebook (other updates include the new chat and the new News Feed which you’ve already probably seen if you’ve logged on to Facebook this past week), one of the big things we’ve been asked since the announcement were if the statuses like the ones you see above were true. These status said that unless you re-posted the status you’ll have to start paying a monthly fee to use Facebook. Put simply, this is all a scam and completely untrue.

facebook homepage

Ever get one of those annoying mass texts that said that if you forward said text to (insert number of friends here) some company/organization/cat will donate money to a cause or that the next person you see will be your soul mate and you’ll live happy ever after forever? Sorry to say but like these Facebook statuses these are all scams and are completely made up by random people for fun. The only thing that will happen if you post them or forward them is you’ll end up annoying someone else. Facebook is free, and as they write on their homepage (which you can see for yourself if you log out), it always will be. No monthly fees, no subscriptions to get the updates– everything is free (I mean, Facebook needs you to want to continue to use their site. It’s how they make billions selling ads).

So if you see one of your friends falling for this latest scam feel free to calm them down and let them know that everything will be ok and that Facebook will still be free even after this latest update comes out.

Pic from Mashable

Facebook Announces Skype Video Chat– And Yes, It’s Awesome

facebook skype video chat

As expected, Facebook today finally announced one of its most long-awaited features– the ability to video chat with your Facebook friends. Powered by Skype and starting today, you’ll be able to easily video chat with any of your Facebook friends just by clicking on the video camera icon in the normal chat window. That’s it and it works in all the major browsers— Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari– on Mac or Windows, so no matter what you use you should have no problem video chatting (and like Skype on the computer, if you don’t have a webcam you can still see and hear the other person but they can only hear you). Done with the chat? Just close the video and you’re done.

And like regular Skype you can also leave video messages for a friend if they’re not online (like a private version of posting a video message on their wall which is open for all of their friends to see), and you can also now call or chat with your Facebook friends right from an updated Skype app (available for Windows users here).

facebook group chat

The new Facebook group chat

Facebook also today introduced two other updates to Chat– a better, more organized Friends list that has a sidebar for easy access to the friends you message most, and the ability to easily group chat with multiple friends (again, just by clicking the “add friends to chat” icon in the normal chat window).

Yes all this isn’t “groundbreaking” by any stretch, but the fact that it is such an easy and simple way to make an already very good instant messaging system better does in our opinion make it awesome.

The new Chat features will be rolling out to everyone over the next “couple of weeks” but if you can’t wait you can get right now here. Let us know what you think and don’t forget to Like us!

PSA: Facebook Plans to Share Your Address and Phone Number With Advertisers

facebook logo

We all love Facebook and use it for hours daily to share so much of our lives with our friends and other people we know. And while just like everything else on the internet there are risks to all this sharing, it’s our choice and we can control what information we share, who we share it with and can stop it at any time.

As you’ve probably heard, from time to time Facebook the company has had some interesting “ideas” (for lack of a better word) on how to use all the information we put onto their site to run their business (just think about The Social Network movie for an idea on the sketchy story on how Facebook was created). Obviously, when you build your business on others info, your biggest issue is how you handle privacy, and by that I mean how do they make money without selling out all of our information to advertisers and other companies. Thankfully, privacy on Facebook has been greatly improved over the years with some much better privacy controls (such as filters for exactly who can see particular posts, better controls on how people can find you and what they see if they’re not your Friend etc.), but now some possibly much more dangerous news has come out– if you added your address or phone number to Facebook they can now share that information with advertisers.

facebook app sharing cell phone info

An example of a Facebook app that plans to get your phone number and address from Facebook

According to the Facebook developer blog this type of “sharing” will only be used in applications (such as playing a Facebook game or logging onto Facebook from a Facebook Share button on a different site to post something directly to your wall), and these apps will need to explicitly ask your permission to get access to this info (see pic above. Note: these apps only have access to your info and not any of your Friends’ phone numbers or addresses). Of course when you think of how many times we all just click “I agree” or “Allow” to something– the legal thing that comes up every time you want to create an account on a website or install a program like Word or iTunes on your computer– without reading the full fine print its easy to see this move causing a lot of unexpected trouble for people.

We’re not gonna go into all the possible legal trouble in all this (for example what goes on with the info for all the Facebook users under 18) but you can fix this in a pretty simple waygo to your Facebook page and remove this and all other info you don’t want out there for the whole world to see (and yeah, we know this may make it harder for you to stay in contact with your friends– but you could always Facebook Chat them your info). Otherwise, don’t be surprised if sometime in the future you start getting calls or letters from a “Nigerian price” asking for your credit card info so he can send you a free iPad all because he found you on Facebook.

And I think this part goes without saying, but be careful what you share online.

More info: Huffington Post.

Update Your Facebook Security NOW

facebook account security

Facebook over the past few days has begun rolling out a new security update for its users, an update that you really got to switch to ASAP! This new update allows you to connect to Facebook much more securely, reason enough for you to want to enable it ASAP.

What this new update, which can be found in Settings–>Account Settings–> Account Security, does is it turns your connection from HTTP to HTTPS (HTTP is the protocol needed to load websites, which is why you see it in your browser’s address bar on every site you go to. The “S” added to it makes your browsing much more secure and is used by sites like PayPal and Amazon to protect your info like your credit cards). Basically, this makes it much, much harder for hackers to spy on and take your information— like your password– particularly if you’re accessing Facebook from a public internet connection such as a WiFi network in your school, in a mall or at a Starbucks that doesn’t require you to enter a password to connect.

It takes literally 30 seconds to do (once you’re in Account Security all you’ve got to do is check a box saying “Browse Facebook on a secure connection when possible” and hit save– the box in the pic above). And seeing all the protection this offers, it is definitely worth it.

And if you don’t see the update on your profile yet, don’t worry, Facebook has said it should be available to all users by mid-February so check back periodically until then.

For more info on this and other new Facebook security updates, see Facebook’s site here.

Facebook’s New Messages- What It Means to Teens

facebook messages 2010 update

You may have heard some news of Facebook introducing an update to their Messages system, taking it well beyond just a private version of Chat. Seeing as most of us spend most of our time on Facebook, this new update is pretty newsworthy particularly for us teens. So what exactly is it, and more importantly– what exactly does it mean to you? We’ve got the full breakdown after the jump, so read on.

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Facebook Getting Another Update?

Yes its that time of the year again. Its time for a new facebook layout. Will it be a welcomed update or will stir up a storm of complaints like the last update? Read on for more. Read the rest of this entry

Get the Wii Internet Channel for FREE

wii internet

Want to be able to view the internet right from your Wii but didn’t wanna have to pay the 500 Wii Points (about $6) to get it? Then boot up that Wii, head to the Wii Shop Channel and go download it now because Nintendo finally wised up and made this FREE for everyone, starting today.

Already bought the Internet Channel for that 500 Wii Points and feeling a little upset? Don’t worry, Nintendo is offering those of you who did a free NES game from the Virtual Console (as long as it’s 500 Wii Points). Oh, and you should also know that this has it’s perks too– Nintendo today also announced that they upgraded the browser (which is powered by Opera– meaning it’s a solid browser) to Adobe Flash 3.1, which means things like watching YouTube should be perfectly ok from your Wii.

I put this today on my own Wii (I didn’t want to spend the money on it, but hey, if it’s free why not), and I gotta say– this is really awesome. It works just like your Firefox/Safari/Chrome/Opera/Internet Explorer/whatever you use to browse the web on your computer, loading sites like ESPN and TeenTechBlog (I heard it’s an awesome site so I had to check it out), and it loaded both those sites perfectly (though I couldn’t play any ESPN Video).

More info on the Wii’s Internet Channel can be found at Nintendo’s site here.

All in all, watch’a waiting for– turn on that Wii and let us know what you think of Nintendo’s Internet Channel. Did I mention it’s FREE?

Firefox 3.5 Out– All the Info You Need and First Take

firefox 3.5

So, you like using Firefox 3 as your browser of choice over other options such as Safari 4, Opera 9, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 8? Hey, that’s not a bad thing at all and Firefox 3 is my proud browser of choice (I like it a WHOLE lot better than IE8, Safari 4 and Chrome– and I never really got into Opera). I really love its simplicity and speed, and today Mozilla, the guys behind Firefox, today have officially released the next version of Firefox 3– nicely named Firefox 3.5.

For all the info on what’s new in 3.5 and for a little first take, hit the more link.

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YouTube: Now Playing Full Movies For Free!

youtube

Yup you read that right- YouTube is now playing full length movies online for FREE! This is big news, and a real blow to Hulu, which until now, was the only LEGAL (yeah we know YouTube always had movies online for free 😉 ) way to watch TV shows and movies. Like Hulu, advertisements will be inserted by the video, you know to keep this all free.

Don’t get too excited though: these movies are right now only from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (aka MGM), and the movies aren’t among the most recent — like the old American Gladiators (not the TV show that was on NBC a few years back).

But hey, the big thing here is that movies are starting to come to YouTube, and hopefully soon we’ll have some more modern movies, possibly from even some other companies (though don’t count on FOX or NBC/Universal coming soon– the two companies created Hulu).

Anyways, what you think- you gonna watch more movies from the internet now, which site would you rather use for movies- Hulu or YouTube? Sound off in the comments.

Info from MSNBC.com

First Look: Google Chrome

Released a couple of weeks ago, Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser has received a lot of attention. We promised you a review of the browser– and if it is better than your current Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera or Firefox — and after playing with it for a bit, we have our opinion. Hit the more link for all the details.

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