Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in public for the first time since the company's troubled IPO four months ago, says Facebook is betting its future on mobile devices. No duh.
From the Chronicle's Benny Evangelista and James Temple: "For every "person who's using Facebook on mobile, there's more engagement and they're spending more time," Zuckerberg said during an interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. "We think we'll make a lot more money than on the desktop."
'Facebook has previously said its future is in mobile devices, an obvious strategy because more than half of the social network's 950 million members around the world - Zuckerberg included - now rely on smartphones or tablets."
"But hearing that message directly from the typically fast-speaking young CEO - as well as his disappointment over the Menlo Park company's stock performance and hints about coming improvements - seemed to hearten the standing-room-only crowd at the Concourse at the San Francisco Design Center, where Zuckerberg sat for a half-hour onstage interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington."
Speaking of Facebook, the site's controversial move to the TimeLine feature is providing fertile ground for hackers.
From G.W. Shulz at California Watch: "Internet security experts say the complaints have created an opportunity for hackers – special apps or browser plugins that promise to turn off the Timeline feature while also possibly misusing your sensitive personal information, such as details about where else you’ve been on the Web."
"Researchers at Campbell-based Barracuda Networks looked at six such plugins available through the Google Chrome Web store that offer to remove Timeline. Plugins are downloaded and added to your Web browser – Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome – and can be used for everything from blocking pop-up ads to translating pages from a different language."
"Three of the plugins request permission to access your Facebook page, which is necessary to block Timeline in the first place. The other three, however, claim to block Timeline, but they also request permission to access data from your activity elsewhere on the Web, even if you’re not logged into Facebook, said Jason Ding, a research scientist at Barracuda. They can do so because the plugin is attached to your browser, which you use to crisscross the Internet, not just check your Facebook page."
California's economically battered and deeply troubled timber industry finally caught a break: The governor signed legislation to allow a tax on retail timber to pay for regulatory costs which up to now have been shouldered by the industry.
From Chris Megerian at the LAT: "The measure also benefits the industry by restricting how much money government agencies can seek when suing for damages in wildfires caused by negligent practices. Federal prosecutors and members of President Obama's cabinet had fought the bill, which tightens the rules for tallying damages."
"Timber company officials said the new arrangement would prevent the industry from being squeezed by government fees, onerous regulations and overzealous prosecutors."
"They hope the new 1% tax on lumber sales, which takes effect Jan. 1 and is expected to raise $30 million a year, will lower their costs and make it easier to compete with out-of-state firms."
Meanwhile, the governor's campaign to get voters to approve new taxes in November is awash in cash.
From John Myers of News 10: "Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign war chest for his tax increase initiative grew by some 25 percent on Tuesday, with new donations totaling more than $2.8 million and his largest single day haul to date."
"Brown's committee in support of the state budget balancing Proposition 30 has now reported a total of about $15 million raised this year -- a good clip, but only a portion of what he'll likely need to wage a successful campaign on TV airwaves through November 6."
"Of the contributions reported Tuesday night, the governor also scored his first seven figure checks: $1.5 million from the California Hospitals Association and $1 million from the California Teachers Association (CTA)."
There's irony in San Francisco's plans for green energy: A proposal under consideration could wind up providing a lot of dough to Shell.
From the Chronicle's Matier and Ross: "Under the terms of the CleanPowerSF program now before the Board of Supervisors, the city would contract with Shell Energy North America - a subsidiary of Shell Oil - to provide households and businesses with 100 percent renewable electricity."
"The original idea was simple enough: Buy five years of clean energy on the open market and resell it to locals who want to go green. The politics were equally attractive: Break the stranglehold that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has long had on consumers, while encouraging the growth of local green alternatives like wind and solar power."
"But the final product isn't what everyone expected. For starters, Shell Energy - whose parent company just started drilling for Arctic oil off the coast of Alaska - wound up winning the contract."