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Tech Industry

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

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?
•  Zuckerberg pledges $100m to Newark, N.J., schools

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.
•  Twitter: The new stage for hacker hijinks

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.

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.
•  How the iPhone could get to Verizon
•  Apple No. 1 in smartphone satisfaction survey
•  Secrets of Apple's customer success
•  Analyst: iPhone 5 has 4G aspirations

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.
•  HP settles with former CEO Hurd

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.
•  Dell to add second Android tablet to lineup

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.
•  Amazon spruces up Kindle Android app, but...
•  Hey, what happened to Google Editions?

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.

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.
•  Google News turns 8 (images)

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.
•  Smart-grid services to hit $4.3 billion by 2015
•  IBM chief: Smarter energy isn't 'futuristic'

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.
•  Netflix service might expand beyond Canada
•  Netflix: We didn't pay actors to dupe anyone

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