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Tech Industry

Google faces off with Facebook (week in review)

The rivalry between two Silicon Valley giants is heating up, while Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves. Also: Strip searches laid bare.

The rivalry between two of Silicon Valley's most prominent companies is heating up as the two duke it out over data policies and employees.

A few days after Google changed the terms of service for sites using Gmail contacts data to require two-way data exporting if they want to allow their users to automatically import Gmail contacts, Facebook figured out a way around the restriction. In response, Google e-mailed tech reporters an unsolicited statement that said the company was "disappointed" in Facebook's move.

All this posturing boils down to whether Facebook should allow users to export all their data from the social network. Facebook currently lets users export things like photos, but not the list of friends--and the corresponding contact information--that make up your social network. Google has made data portability a key portion of its manifesto, while Facebook isn't sure that this is proper in social media, since a Facebook user hasn't necessarily given their friends permission to take that data outside of the service.
•  Why you're a pawn in Facebook vs. Google

Another point of friction between the two companies is employee retention. Google has been losing high-profile employees to its social-networking neighbor, and it apparently wants to stem the bleeding. To that end, Google told its employees they are getting a 10 percent raise and a $1,000 cash bonus in the new year. "We want to make sure that you feel rewarded for your hard work," Google CEO Eric Schmidt wrote in an e-mail announcing the move.

However, the Google employee who leaked the memo to the media wasn't deemed as very valuable and was apparently rewarded by having his employment at Google terminated.

More headlines

Backlash grows over TSA's 'naked strip searches'

But security agency tells CNET that it has "received minimal complaints" in response to widespread installation of full-body scanning machines at U.S. airports.
•  Biochemist says 'naked' X-ray scanner may be unsafe

Chalking up the Windows Phone 7 launch

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 hit store shelves in the U.S. and Canada this week, so how is it doing so far? We check in with retailers and see what the company is doing to market the device.
•  Report: 40,000 Windows Phone 7 devices sold
•  An inside look at the testing of Windows Phone 7

iOS 4.2, where iPhone meets iPad

Expected by the end of the week, the software update will have several promised new features such as wireless printing. It also means Apple's two mobile devices will now share the same platform.
•  Rumor: iOS 4.2 waylaid by Wi-Fi bug?

Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer

Two companies complain about antitrust and other issues with Microsoft's plan, but several analysts argue that Redmond isn't bundling and any protection is better than none.
•  Google pulls app that revealed Android flaw, issues fix
•  Microsoft plugs hole related to Word-launched e-mails

Get hacked and spill the beans, anonymously

A new site will allow companies that suffer data breaches or attacks to anonymously report the problem and receive analysis comparing theirs with other security incidents.

Amazon to boost publishers' Kindle Store revenue

Newspaper and magazine publishers can increase their share of sales under new rules, which may help make the Kindle Store more attractive to users.
•  E-book sales to hit almost $1 billion this year
•  How to self-publish an e-book

Will the IT guy learn to love Apple?

Apple has been a fixture in the home for years. But courting corporate customers is a slog against history, perception, and the appeal of tech uniformity.
•  IT admins mourn Xserve's death

Yes, insults on Facebook can still get you fired

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against company that fired an employee over Facebook posts. But it's not carte blanche to say what you really think.

Also of note
•  Google News spammer has new site, same trick
•  Magazine apologizes for lifting blogger's story
•  IAC bows to Google, kills search at