Week in review: Facebook dialing up a phone?

Facebook is reportedly working on its own smartphone, while the social-networking giant and Twitter have trouble keeping their sites up. Also: iPhone on Verizon?

Various reports have Facebook mulling the creation of its own smartphone.

TechCrunch got the ball rolling with a report stating that "Facebook is building a mobile phone...or rather, they're building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware." Facebook quickly denied the story, with a representative telling CNET that "Facebook is not building a phone. Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this."

However, CNET confirmed that the company has recently sought input from hardware manufacturers and carriers on whether a Facebook phone indeed makes sense. The idea is that an outside company such as Samsung or HTC would build the hardware for an Android-powered phone that would have Facebook's social-networking features deeply integrated and would run on a carrier such as AT&T.

As crazy as the idea may sound, a branded smartphone could be the social-networking king's key to getting more aggressive toward Apple and Google as the Internet heavyweights take turns competing, cooperating, and causing one another fits.
•  Report: Facebook working with INQ on two phones
•  Would you buy a phone from Facebook?
•  Foursquare courts the rest of us

More headlines

<b>Facebook suffers 'worst outage' in 4 years

Facebook users have trouble accessing the service while a key ISP struggles with packet loss. Are the two related?
&#149;&nbsp; Zuckerberg pledges $100m to Newark, N.J., schools

<b>Twitter patches flaw that ran rampant

JavaScript "onmouseover" command exploit hits thousands of users before Twitter gets patch in place. Attention now turns to those who may have created exploits.
&#149;&nbsp; Twitter: The new stage for hacker hijinks

<b>FCC ruling heralds 'Wi-Fi on steroids'

Agency OKs final rules for freeing up TV white-space spectrum for unlicensed use, opening the way to a potential wave of new wireless broadband services.

<b>Verizon CEO casts doubt on getting iPhone

In a speech at an investor conference, Ivan Seidenberg doesn't sound positive that his network could soon offer Apple's smartphone.
&#149;&nbsp; How the iPhone could get to Verizon
&#149;&nbsp; Apple No. 1 in smartphone satisfaction survey
&#149;&nbsp; Secrets of Apple's customer success
&#149;&nbsp; Analyst: iPhone 5 has 4G aspirations

<b>Ellison, HP keep lid on drama to open Oracle conference

Despite the tensions between the two companies over new Oracle Co-President Mark Hurd, HP and Oracle coexist peacefully at OpenWorld.
&#149;&nbsp; HP settles with former CEO Hurd

<b>Report: RIM unveiling BlackBerry tablet next week

Research In Motion is holding a developer conference in San Francisco, where the company will introduce a new tablet powered by software from recently acquired QNX, according to The Wall Street Journal.
&#149;&nbsp; Dell to add second Android tablet to lineup

<b>Nearly 1 in 10 using e-readers, poll says

Eight percent of U.S. consumers are now using e-readers and another 12 percent expect to buy one in the next six months, according to a Harris poll.
&#149;&nbsp; Amazon spruces up Kindle Android app, but...
&#149;&nbsp; Hey, what happened to Google Editions?

<b>Is your PC a sitting duck for hackers?

The new Zero Day Tracker site lists unpatched vulnerabilities in an effort to aid computer users and to put pressure on vendors.

<b>Google News turns 8 amid news industry turmoil

A boon and a bane to news sites and bloggers, the heavily trafficked news aggregator is drawing readers but needs to adapt to a quickly changing industry.
&#149;&nbsp; Google News turns 8 (images)

<b>Utility pros fret over consumers in smart grid

Utilities and tech companies say they must do a better job selling the benefits of a digital energy infrastructure because consumer buy-in is needed for energy efficiency gains.
&#149;&nbsp; Smart-grid services to hit $4.3 billion by 2015
&#149;&nbsp; IBM chief: Smarter energy isn't 'futuristic'

<b>Netflix migrates to Canada

Canadians can now sign up for Netflix's streaming service at $7.99 per month. It is the company's first foray outside the U.S.
&#149;&nbsp; Netflix service might expand beyond Canada
&#149;&nbsp; Netflix: We didn't pay actors to dupe anyone

Also of note
&#149;&nbsp; Gates still richest in U.S.; Zuckerberg tops Jobs
&#149;&nbsp; Texting drivers feel unsafe, but still do it
&#149;&nbsp; Hunters shoot down Google cables

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