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Mark Zuckerberg

FWD.us adds Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates to lobbying group

FWD.us

FWD.us

Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration reform group has a lot of very well known technology faces, including web developers from Dropbox, Google, Facebook and has nabbed Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn.

Now the group has nabbed the CEO and ex-CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates.

Zuckerberg’s Big Political Plan

The big idea is to reform the way immigration and education happens in the US, to make sure people from oversees get the same opportunities US citizens get, if they are willing to work and learn.

Zuckerberg said he had the idea when lecturing a group and one of his top entrepreneur students said he couldn’t get into college because he wasn’t legally documented.

US immigration stances have been pretty opaque in some terms and not a lot has been done to give fair competition to oversees workers or people who were born but undocumented.

This move would be good for technology companies too, instead of hiring second class talent from the US, they can get the best worldwide to work at main office HQ’s in America.

Microsoft Joining The Fold

Bill Gates was originally thought to be a co-founder of FWD.us, he has been a strong supporter of education change and better commitment to developing the US as a powerful economy.

Gates does not oversee day to day activities at Microsoft any more and works primarily on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, helping work with poor countries all over the world.

The ex-CEO has been giving a large amount of his money away to charity and is a progressive thinker who has worked with Warren Buffet and other big names to push changes in the US.

With Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates both added to the list, this lobbying group becomes ever more stronger.

Zuckerberg bests Tim Cook, Larry Page in List of Highest Rates CEOs

Mark Zuckerberg topped the list of the highest-rated CEOs of 2013 in Glassdoor’s recently-published study.

mark-zuckerberg-facebook

The Facebook CEO received a 99 percent approval rating, besting other heads of companies from various fields.

Zuckerberg’s performance may be seen as impressive, given that during the month of May last year, the company’s stocks were quite unstable.

One commenter, whose name is not disclosed, lauds Zuckerberg’s ability to encourage trust and a sense of belongingness within Facebook. This, says the employee, promotes respect for the young CEO.

Apart from topping the list, Zuckerberg is also among the youngest CEOs, at 28 years of age. The Harvard dropout is likewise one of the world’s richest, with a net worth of $13.3B, according to Forbes.

Meanwhile, among the CEOs of tech-related companies who were included in Glassdoor’s list this year, as well, are:

Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe of SAP (99%); Joe Tucci of EMC, (96%); Paul E. Jacobs of Qualcomm, (95%); Pierre Nanterme of Accenture (95%); Larry Page of Google (95%);

Mark Templeton of Citrix (95%); Marc Benioff of Salesforce (94%); Jeff Bezos of Amazon (93%); Hans Vestberg of Ericsson-Worldwide (93%); Tim Cook of Apple (93%); Paul S. Otellini of Intel (91%); Tom Georgens of NetApp (91%); Brad Smith of Intuit (91%); Scott McGregor of Broadcom (82%); Larry Ellison of Oracle (82%); and Michael S. Dell of Dell (81%).

Glassdoor’s list is based on half a million reviews from employees collected between the dates February 25, 2012 to February 24, 2013.

It may be recalled that last year, Tim Cook was on top of the list. On this year’s list, however, Cook’s popularity as compared with the others dropped to the number 18 spot.

In the 2012 list, Cook was joined by Google’s Page, Intel’s Otellini, and Hewlett Packard’s Meg Whitman, among others. Whitman is absent from this year’s list, along with Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, who is relatively new. The Next Web notes that the only woman in the 2013 Glassdoor list is Sharen Turney of Victoria’s Secret.

via thenextweb

Facebook Trying Out “Extreme” Price Points for the Proposed Pay-To-Message Feature

facebook-pay-to-message

Facebook which started off a social network to keep in touch with your buddies, has transformed into a billion dollar industry. The company seems so hell bent on making money, that it recently proposed the introduction of video ads on the site, starting from 2013. And today, we’ve stumbled across another new money making venture which might not be as successful as the folks at Facebook think. Well, we all know the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and also a lot about his popularity on the social network. He has over 16 million followers on his Facebook page, which means there is obviously going to be a lot of fan mail, suggestions etc. But according to Mashable, Facebook could be looking to monetize this too, as the social network apparently is thinking of giving users an option to pay $100 so that their messages don’t end up in the spam folder (known as the “other” folder) but instead grab Mark’s attention.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t find this feature on your Facebook account as it is believed that the feature is only being tested out. This means that while it might appear to one of your friends, it wouldn’t necessarily appear to you. But it’s no secret now that the plan is real and that Facebook actually wants to bring this feature if positive results are reported. We really don’t see people taking a liking to this new feature, but even if they don’t there’s really not much of a choice. Everybody knows that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t personally read all the messages sent by fans and users as it is humanly impossible to do that. So maybe Facebook wants to prioritize and filter important mails from, well, the barrage of spam messages. It must be noted that Facebook wants this feature to be implemented to all and not just Mark Zuckerberg. The company said – “We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam“. Perhaps $100 is a little too extreme, and something like a $10 or $20 would have sufficed.

If the idea is to reduce spam, well then Facebook can be assured there will be none of that with this “extreme” price point. Facebook was believed to be experimenting with something known as the pay to message plan which would require users to pay a one-time fee of $1 to send messages to certain people, so this is a clear evolution of that idea. This is still far from being officially implemented, so we have to treat this as a test project for now. Regardless, it seems a little too extreme (pun intended) to be charging people to send messages. Even if it’s a celebrity, I guess this beats the whole purpose of celebrities being connected and in touch with their fans. But from one angle we have to wonder whether pay-to-message does hold weight especially for popular Facebook pages like the one mentioned in this article. Let’s see how things progress in the days ahead.

Via: Mashable

Facebook Wins Another Round of Legal Battle Against Paul Cegelia

Social Networking site Facebook took another big victory in its legal battle against Paul Ceglia after a New York Federal judge allowed the lawyers of the plaintiff to present forensics reports that would further indict the respondent for the commission of perjury.

Ceglia was taken into custody on fraud charges filed by Facebook last week after asserting that he has 50 percent interest of the social networking giant.

In his 2010 lawsuit, Ceglia claimed that he hired Mark Zuckerberg through a Craigslist advertisement in 2003 to write code for a project called StreetFax.

He allegedly paid $1,000 Zuckerberg for the coding work and then invested $1,000 in the Face Book project, which developed into a billion dollar business.

Ceglia claimed his investment in Zuckerberg’s project allows him to acquire a 50 percent stake in the company.

On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio denied the petition of Ceglia to exclude an expert witness report about the authenticity of some important documents, calling such request a ‘drastic remedy’ inappropriate in the court.

In a report prepared for Facebook by forensic document examiner and handwriting expert Gus Lesnevic, it clearly presented several differences between multiple versions of the purported contract.

Moreover, Lesnevich pinpointed 20 dissimilarities among the four images all discovered on page 1 of the purported contract. The forensic report further stated the typeface had been altered and the slant and slope of the letters were different from the genuine signature of the Facebook CEO.

According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Ceglia intentionally inserted a fake page into a contract signed by him and Zuckerberg to give the appearance that Zuckerberg promised Ceglia half of the company.

In addition, Ceglia allegedly manufactured fake e-mails that showed Zuckerberg making an offer to Ceglia and discussing details about the Face Book project.

Federal investigators already confiscated hard drives owned by Ceglia and discovered the original contract between Zuckerberg and Ceglia does not refer any dealing involving Facebook,” as stated by the Justice Department.

Via: CNET

Paul Ceglia arrested over false claims and lawsuits against Facebook

When Mark Zuckerberg was still a Harvard undergrad and was developing Facebook in his dorm, he sought help from his close friends but only very few actually stayed with him all the way through. But when Facebook became a hit, many have resorted to filing lawsuits claiming the Zuck promised them a percentage of it. One of those who claimed he is entitled to, at least, 50% of Facebook was Paul Ceglia who filed lawsuit after lawsuit presenting new evidences in court to prove his claim. The Zuck, however, only claimed Ceglia was a fraud and just recently, it seems like federal prosecutors believed him.

The court issued an arrest warrant against Paul Ceglia Friday morning. He was charged with a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud Facebook, Inc and its executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, for allegedly filing federal lawsuit falsely claiming that the Zuck promised him half of the company and fabricated new evidences to support his claims. The complaint also alleged that Ceglia destroyed the real evidences and used the U.S. Postal Service for his fraudulent claims. Federal prosecutors stepped in not because they want to help Facebook with its beef with Ceglia but because the person committed a federal crime in a bid to gain huge percentage of one of the biggest companies in the world.

“As alleged, by marching into federal court for a quick payday based on a blatant forgery, Paul Ceglia has bought himself another day in federal court for attempting a multi-billion dollar fraud against Facebook and its CEO. Ceglia’s alleged conduct not only constitutes a massive fraud attempt, but also an attempted corruption of our legal system through the manufacture of false evidence. That is always intolerable. Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution,” Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement released on Friday.

The prosecutors have been so thorough in their investigations before acquiring an arrest warrant against Ceglia. They were able to recover the real April 28, 2003 contract, which Ceglia emailed to an attorney in 2004. But contrary to his claims, the page one of the contract “does not refer to Facebook in any fashion, let alone give Ceglia a 50% interest in it.” The emails that he and Zuckerberg allegedly exchanged in 2003 couldn’t be found in Harvard University’s email servers. Moreover, forensic experts found out he had been busy deleting real evidences in a bid to support his false claims.

Paul Ceglia, 39, has been arrested in his home in Wellsville, New York, on Friday. He committed one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

[source: Press Release]

Zuckerberg Hints At Facebook Social Search

Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco recently after Facebook stocks plunged, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg divulged several plans that the social networking company has for the future.

One of them is better focus on mobile, which Zuckerberg says is important as users are generally more engaged when they use the social network on mobile devices. This also translates to more revenue for the company. He expressed his disappointment over its mobile apps and called it “one of the biggest strategic mistakes [they] made.” The company, however, he claims appears to be in the right track with its decision to go with native apps.

There was also a clarification that Instagram, a company that Facebook acquired, will be kept separate from Facebook itself. Likewise, he confirmed that Facebook has no plans of developing a smartphone, a rumor that surfaced several months ago.

However, among the Facebook CEO’s announcements, the one that perhaps got the most attention was his hinting at a social search service that Facebook could offer in the future. Even without this service, Zuckerberg reveals that the website gets more than 1 billion search queries every day. Seeing the potential, Facebook appears to be developing a search service would be different from the other ones available because it would harness the content that Facebook users generate. Reportedly, Facebook’s 955 active users who offer the Facebook system around 500 terabytes of data on a daily basis. This includes status updates, Like actions, photos, and other activities.

To give the audience a better understanding of the future social search service, Zuckerberg asked a sample question: “What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York, and liked?” According to Zuckerberg, the solutions currently available do not provide an adequate response to this question. The most it can provide is a list of sushi restaurants within the vicinity, as well as ratings of these restaurants. However, the information will not be able to take into account the preferences of one’s personal set of acquaintances.

via businessweek

 

The 60 Million Dollar Dentist

Mark Zuckerberg's Father, Edward Zuckerberg is now worth more than 60 million dollars photo: SAI

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of money in dentistry I have a good friend who’s an oral surgeon and can support his family and his hobby of racing Ferarri’s. However a 60 million dollar dentist is rare. Especially for a general practicing dentist, not a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills.

A 60 million dollar dentist is exactly what Edward Zuckerberg will become after Facebook officially goes public in May. The wondering is over as Facebook filed paperwork to go Public this past week. It typically takes 3-4 months for the SEC to review the paperwork for a company to go public.

The 60 million dollars isn’t coming from son Mark just because he has a good relationship with his father. Mark Zuckerberg’s dad gave his son the start up capital for Facbeook back in 2004.  In exchange Zuck granted his dad 2,000,000 class B shares of Facebook.

The original deal with his father was set to expire after a year however the Facebook board decided that expiring in one year wasn’t fair and in 2009 issued the elder Zuckerberg the 2,000,000 shares. Today, according to Facebook’s S-1 filing, those shares are worth $60,000,000.00

source: SAI

Even Blink 182 Couldn’t Save The HTC Status?

Rumors are running rampant across the interwebs tonight that AT&T is preparing to can the HTC Status.

The HTC Status was launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain back in February.  It took a little while to actually hit the United States. One of the reasons for the delay was that the Status was originally called the “HTC Cha Cha” and we have a company in the US that does a Q&A website and app called Cha Cha.  Of course that didn’t fly well with them so HTC abruptly changed the name to the HTC Status.

When the HTC Status launched a little over 30 days ago, the Facbeook button was the big selling point of this device.  The white, Android QWERTY phone features deep Facebook integration surrounded by the blue button.  From quick uploading of photos, to quick satus sharing, music sharing, wall writing and more, this phone was the Facebook users dream come true.  So why didn’t it catch on?

The HTC Status didn’t have a huge marketing budget, we didn’t see commercials for it the way we do Motorola Droid branded products and even some Samsung Galaxy branded products.  Marketing phones to teenagers and social media fanatics is a hard lesson learned by the fall of the Microsoft Kin.  Kin banked on the younger set of users who loved social media.  Analysts suggested that charging full on data rates to that particular set of customers was a challenge.  AT&T did the exact same thing with the HTC Status.

More after the break
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Zuckerbeast Puts Twenty Something Back Into Facebook Founder

It’s odd sometimes what some consider news…  Over the weekend Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and long time girlfriend Priscilla Chan got a brand new puppy.

Their new puppy is a Puli which is a Hungarian Sheep Dog, and it’s very cute.  Of course the “tech story” is that Zuckerberg and Chan naturally created a Facebook page for their puppy that they are calling “Beast”.

The human story though is that Zuckerberg and Chan have decided to share their puppy story and puppy pictures, well like any normal twenty something American couple that just brought a puppy home.  Aside from the gigantic living room that is featured in the photos, they look normal, human and in love with each other and Beast.

Of course the latest update is that Beast has learned how to climb the stairs like a “champion” we are secretly wondering if Zuckerberg thought about using “Winning” in that status update.

As one of the youngest, if not the youngest, billionaire on the planet sometimes we forget that Mark Zuckerberg is still 26 and to a degree just another twenty something with a Facebook page.

You can check out Zuckerbeast here

Source: Yahoo

Facebook Looking To Help Prevent Suicide

On Christmas Day, Simone Black, was feeling suicidal. She shared her suicidal feelings with her over 1,000 friends on Facebook by telling them she had taken an overdose, but no one reported it until the next day, it was too late.

Facebook has partnered with the Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center, to offer a new way of reporting people who may be considering suicide. One of the biggest problems with people these days is when they see something online that should be reported they skip over it assuming the next person will report it. The Facebook/Samaritans partnership creates an easy way to report that suicidal friend.

Facebook has created an easy to use form to enter your friends information, disturbing posts and status updates. From there someone at Facebook operations will either call police or turn it over to Samaritans in a very timely manner.

Samaritans Chief Executive Catherine Johnstone said

“Through the popularity of Facebook, we are harnessing the power of friendship so people can get help.

“As a friend you are better placed to know whether someone close to you is struggling to cope or even feeling suicidal.

For more information on this please visit the Samaritans Facebook page. It’s also a huge undertaking for Facebook. With nearly 750 million people on Facebook this may be a full department for Facebook. That shouldn’t bother Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as he has pledged to give half of his networth to Charity and to date the majority of  his philanthropic efforts have been targeted at students and teens.

Source: Tech Radar

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Has Chutzpah…


Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook has bravely gone where no uber rich geek has actually gone themselves and that is to the depths of Saturday Night Live.  We don’t know if SNL Producer Lorne Michaels has ever extended the invitation to Zuckerberg to ever host but if he did I’d bet Zuckerberg would do it.

Tonight Jesse Eisenberg, the guy who kinda sorta a lot looks like Michael Cera, was hosting SNL in celebration of “The Social Network” Oscar Nominations and Golden Globe wins. In the opening monolouge Andy Samberg joins Eisenberg on stage. Samberg is the SNL cast member who portrays Mark Zuckerberg every chance he gets.  Then they cut to backstage where the real Zuckerberg is questioning Michaels on why he’s not out there and the other two are.  Then Zuckerberg joins the other two on stage for one big Berg fest celebrating facebook.

It’s all hand shakes, pats on the back and right back to SNL Samberg exits and Zuckerberg and Eisenberg kick off the show.  To our knowledge Gates, Jobs, Schmidt, Brin and Page have never been on SNL although Steve Jobs is one of the most parodied people of technology in SNL history.

Source: NBC

Mark Pincus Takes A Cue From Mark Zuckerberg And Issues C&D For Blingville

It seems Mark Pincus of Zynga has taken a cue from his good buddy Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and issued a Cease & Desist to the makers of the social networking game Blingville, Blingville LLC.

The Cease and Desist order or C&D as they are known sometimes, claims the use of the word “Ville” is a violate of Zynga’s trademarks.  A rough check of the USPTO website did not show that Zynga owned trademarks on the word ville. If they did I’d worry about every little town in the United States called “Ville”.

Blingville was not one to be bullied and has filed a counter suit for court costs as well as well as their own lawsuit seeking declaration from the courts that Blingville doesn’t violate any of Zynga’s trademarks.  It’s worthy to note that Zynga has been sued by the makers of Farm Town (which came out before Farmville) and makers of Mafia Wars in 2004 and Mob Wars.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Zynga ends up in court with Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre over the name “Zynga” or the word “Bazinga”

Source: TFTS

There will be NO Facebook phone…Zuckerberg’s final answer

If the motion picture “The Social Network” were 100% true than Mark Zuckerberg has grown up a lot since college in that he gives great answers like the one in the headline and then qualifies them with a complete explanation.

From last week when Facebook sent the invites out for their “mobile” event yesterday, until well, yesterday, the blogsphere was a buzz with Facebook hardware rumors. There was speculation on both the Monday Night Android Guys’ podcast, and the Tuesday night Android afterdark podcast. Both podcast had panelists which thought there could be hardware, but both podcasts both had panelists which were sure it was just “deeper integration”. And it’s “Deeper Integration” For The Win.

In a post event interview, Facebook sat down with Mashable’s Ben Parr and of course the Facebook Phone was part of that discussion.

When probed about the Facebook phone rumors by Reuters’, Alexei Oreskovic, Zuckerberg said “First of all, we’re not a hardware company,”, and “Second of all, our goal is not to sell anything physical; our goal is to make it so that everything can be social.”

There are many reasons that we find this is no surprise. On Tuesday’s Don’t Hate the Geek podcast both “The Geek”, “MsFoxylady” and myself all gave good reasons that a Facebook phone wouldn’t work and all agreed the announcement would be deeper integration. Zuckerberg validated that yesterday.

Zuckerberg went on to say if Facebook were to offer a phone it would only penetrate a small amount of the market. Even if they sold 20 million units it would be just a small percentage of Facebook’s 500 Million user base, and an even smaller percentage of the entire amount of mobile devices in the world.

Although some consider Zuckerberg to be socially “awkward” it’s been his goal since the initial launch of Facebook at Harvard, that he wanted to use a website and the internet to actually make people more social. Zuckerberg has definitely achieved this goal. When you think about it, there are so many people who use Facebook as their main method of communication, which actually consists of more interaction with others than they’d have at a mall with 1000’s of people in it. If Facebook were to shift their focus to harware they would alienate some of their key partners needed to make mobile more social.

We’re confident that some sensationalistic rumor monger is going to say “what Zuckerberg said doesn’t matter they’re making a phone”,  but really, they aren’t. Zuckerberg is a really smart guy and so far hasn’t hoodwinked us. In fact he is adamant about not making a phone and added this final thought:

“We don’t sell hardware,” he stated. “That’s just not what we do. And it’s really damaging for us if that rumor is out, because then the people we actually partner with think we’re actually competitors.”

The Droid Guy Vindicated: Ipad is Not Mobile

We’re not going to waste your time with the boring details of the update to Facebook for Android. If you’re that interested please go to the market and get Facebook for Android 1.4.0, yes it’s got some perks but really I’ve never used places or groups. In fact people who are friends on my personal Facebook know its sort of just a tribute page.. LOL…

We’re also not going to tell you how great the non-existent Facebook phone is. We will say with all the hype given to the facebook phone rumor by the likes of many Android sites and Android After Dark last night, we were right all along, no phone (Hey Scotty the N2 isn’t coming out November 8 either)

The biggest piece of news to come out of the Facebook press conference, was that the Ipad is not mobile. Wait let me put that in quotes “The Ipad is Not Mobile”. Mark Zuckerberg actually said this in the press event held by Facebook earlier in the day today.  Zuckerberg did add that he didn’t mean for it to be rude. He probably also didn’t mean to have a bunch of tech journalists/bloggers take the quote out of context, so we won’t.

Zuckerberg said that the Ipad was simply not mobile and more of a computer than a mobile device. This serves two forms of vindication for thedroidguy. First, Steve Jobs always throws the Ipad and the Ipod Touch into his mix when trying to rebutt the number of daily Android activations.

Secondly, it vindicates the fact that a 10″ tablet is just too big. When compared to the size of some of the latest netbooks and of course the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Tab the Ipad at 10″ is just too big. A man of his way though, Steve Jobs, has said that 10″ is perfect and that Apple has no plans for a 7″ version…

Your thoughts?