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Facebook hit with U.S. privacy complaints

Ten privacy and consumer groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, filed a complaint Thursday with the U.S.Federal Trade Commission, saying that Facebook’s newly revamped privacy settings are deceptive and unfair. Facebook unveiled the new privacy settings last week, saying that they were giving users more granular control over their settings, but critics immediately jumped on the fact that Facebook’s new default settings push information that may previously have been semi-private onto the Internet and they now give users no way to block their friends’ Facebook applications from accessing personal data.

Linux czar ends reign

Mark Shuttleworth, the South African-born entrepreneur who founded Linux distribution provider Canonical, will be stepping down from his post as company CEO, Canonical announced. Jane Silber, currently the chief operating officer and director of online services for the company, will take the role of CEO by March 1. Shuttleworth said the shift in duties came about to address the commercial demands the company faces. Shuttleworth will continue to focus on product design and development for Canonical, as well as meet with partners and customers. He will also continue his participation in the Ubuntu Community Council and the Ubuntu Technical Board.

Google flowcharts Android fragmentation

Google is providing developers with a dashboard that is aimed at helping them decide which versions of the software to support and that shows the fragmentation of the Android platform. The chart, displaying the percentages of Android phones using different versions of the software, also offers a peek at how the various Android phones are selling. The goal of offering the data is to help developers decide whether or not to build applications that support older versions of the software. The chart only represents a snapshot of the market, as it displays phones that accessed the Android Market between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14.

Intel projects return to growth

After a turbulent first half this year, Intel’s business is looking up and expected to improve as PC shipments rise, a company executive said on Thursday. Intel felt the impact of PC shipments slowing down in the first half, but consumer demand for PCs is rising and will continue to have a positive impact on Intel’s business, said Stephen Smith, vice president and director of PC client operations and enabling, during a press event. IDC on Wednesday said that PC shipments worldwide will grow by double digits on a yearly basis through 2013, partly due to increased commercial spending and increased demand for portable PCs like laptops and netbooks. Shipments either dropped or were flat during the first three quarters of 2009 compared to last year.

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