News Byte

Facebook to Offer Extra Security — Via Your Friends

Facebook announced Thursday that it will roll out “Trusted Contacts,” an extra authorization layer of security that allows users to select a few friends who can help verify a user’s identity. Give from three to five of your friends personalized security PIN numbers to hold for you. If you have problems logging in, getting three of those PIN numbers from friends will let you access your account. Nifty! Also, interesting timing for a release, considering all of Twitter’s recent security snafus.

Betting the Farm: Zynga Gives Its Top Facebook Game a Major Facelift

FarmVille 2 offers much better graphics and game play than the original, but will it be a hit?

Exclusive Joint Interview: Facebook’s Sandberg and Yahoo’s Levinsohn Talk About Patent Peace

The smooth COO of the social networking site and the hairtastic interim leader who would be CEO are now BFFs.

Zynga’s FrontierVille Explores New Territory by Limiting the Need for Friends

Zynga is launching a major update later today for its FrontierVille game, which came out a little more than a year ago.

Viral Video: Jen Aniston's Sex Tape (It's a Virus!)

While BoomTown is usually tired of the overexposed Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston, she is pretty funny in this online commercial for SmartWater, in which she tries make a video that “turns into a virus” by taking advantage of a number of viral Internet video trends. If only her movies were this clever.

App Way to Gripe (or Praise) About Service

Katie looks at Tello, a new website and mobile app that encourages users to chime in on their customer-service experiences, good or bad.

News Byte

Path Raises $8.65M From Kleiner, Index

Path, the personal media-sharing app, has raised $8.65 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures and Digital Garage Japan. The company said today it had facilitated the sharing of “over 2 million moments,” a.k.a. iPhone photos and short videos. Path is expanding ever so slightly to allow users to email pictures from within its iOS app, which makes sense since many people’s close friends and family don’t all have iPhones.

Google Latitude Adds Check-Ins (How 2009!)

Today Google Latitude will give users the ability to share their location with friends and strangers by “checking in” to a particular establishment.

Facebook Testing Social Commerce Feature "Buy With Friends"

Facebook is testing a new feature called Buy With Friends to give users social incentives to increase their purchases of virtual goods from games on its platform, according to the company’s product marketing manager for commerce, Deb Liu.

Help! I'm Addicted to CityVille

Among the early adopter types I know in the tech industry, there’s a sense that casual gaming on Facebook serves an entirely different demographic from their own. The thinking is that games from Zynga and the like replace relatively mindless activities like soap opera watching. But as someone who has just reorganized her virtual retail shops to be surrounded by virtual trees so as to accumulate more virtual bonus points, I see how social gaming–especially as it gets more social–might appeal to the desire for mindless diversions in all of us.

New Facebook Profiles Susceptible to Pranks

Pulse News App for iPad Gets Social

Live from Facebook's Email Messages Launch

Is My Email Address My Identity?