Technology News Headlines for May 21 2012 ( Monday )

Hey Facebook, Google Is Still The Most Talked-About IPO In Internet History.
Facebook may be Wall Street's new favorite water cooler topic since its historic IPO last Friday, but Google still ranks as the most talked-about IPO in Internet history, according to HighBeam Research. The research firm calculated the number of media mentions garnered by the Internet companies with the largest IPOs. From largest to smallest in dollar amounts, that list looks like this: Facebook, Google, Zynga, Groupon, LinkedIn. But in terms of most to fewest media mentions, that list looks more like: Google, Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, LinkedIn. Which is all to say Wall Street goes where the media tells it to: Google, currently valued at more than $200 billion, remains by far the most valuable company on the list.

Microsoft Quietly Debuts New Social Network,
Via Techdows: Microsoft launched its own under-the-radar social network over the weekend., pronounced "social," [Ed note: Nuh-uh!] is a topics-based social network from Microsoft's FUSE research group, originally designed to be an academic resource for students and now open to everyone through either a Facebook or Windows Live account. More Google+ than Facebook, lets users surface and aggregate multimedia content into a single post that they can share with others. also provides users a slew of fairly standard social features, including sharing and re-sharing features and commenting on posts. The network's "video party" feature combines videos with a chat feature so users can watch and discuss together. is what Microsoft describes as "an experiment in open search," meaning searches on the network can be viewed by other users and third parties.

Greece Orders Blocking Of Music Piracy Sites
Greece's courts have just ordered the nation's ISPs to block a short list of websites that it says are contributing to music piracy. Strangely, the sites targeted by the ruling don't seem as piratical as, say, the Pirate Bay (which remains uncensored) because it includes low-cost Russian MP3 site and, a site that ITProPortal notes has "recently disappeared," rendering the Greek court's decisions somewhat irrelevant. The moves come in the wake of yet another recent study that suggests music pirates/sharers actually boost music sales through legitimate channels.

Foxconn Spending $210 Million on New Apple Production Facility In China
China Daily reports that electronics manufacturer Foxconn is going to invest some $210 million to build a wholly new production facility in October in East China's Jiangsu province. According to officials from Huai'an city, where the plant will be, it's specifically for Apple products. The facility is said to be 40,000 square meters in size and will employ around 36,000 staff making products that equate to an output value of up to 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion). This comes after an April announcement that Foxconn plans a new Apple facility in Hainan, south China, and suggests Foxconn is both dedicating more of its efforts solely toward its customer Apple, and also that it's building factories in the remote provinces where staff for its mainland China efforts often migrate from.

Europe Proposes Antitrust Settlement To Google, Gives Just Weeks To Comply
The European Union has been investigating Google's actions as an alleged monopoly in search engines online, centering on how Google's algorithms seem to place greater emphasis on its own services than rivals's results when they're relevant to a user's search query. Competition regulators have now written to Google outlining their specific areas of concern, and have given Google "some weeks" to enact changes that fully address the EU's worries--at which point it can then move on to a discussion of a settlement. Otherwise Google may be persued with a full lawsuit and ultimately be landed with a punitive fine. The EU was among the first bodies to criticise Intel over its browser monopoly, and handed out a $1.4 billion also recently fined a cartel of LCD makers close to a billion dollars for price fixing.

YouTube's Seventh Birthday Sees 72 Hours Of Footage Uploaded Every Minute
Sunday was YouTube's seventh birthday, and just like last year the site celebrated with a short blog post and a dab of news. This year the news is astonishing growth: At age 6, YouTube was seeing 48 hours of footage uploaded every minute, and just one year later it's saying 72 hours--that's one whole extra day--is uploaded each minute. YouTube recently announced it would be launching a food channel with some veteran TV hands on board, and its growth was confirmed by a different set of statistics that said for the month of April viewing rates were up 55% for the same period in 2011. 

Twitter Blocked Then Restored By Pakistan's Censors On Blasphemy Grounds
Yesterday the telecom authorities in Pakistan ordered a nationwide blocking of the entirety of Twitter, at the instruction of the country's Ministry of Information. Twitter was accused of linking to a competition on Facebook that involved posting images of the prophet Muhammed--an act that is considered blasphemous in Islam. Facebook itself seems to have complied with Pakistan's requests to block access to the pages within Pakistan, but Twitter refused to take down the links, and incurred the censorial wrath of the Information Ministry. Late yesterday local time access to Twitter was restored, but Twitter hadn't complied--suggesting that the global backlash may have been responsible, and prompting a debate on Islamic influence in Pakistan's official bodies. Iran, China, Egypt, Syria and other troubled states have experimented with censoring social media over the last year.
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