Episode 05 News: Tech News Value Meal, Super-Size the Fries

Hey, why go to other social networks when you can just build your own? Perhaps that’s Microsoft’s motive for dropping $1.2 billion dollars in cash for Yammer, a four-year-company specializing in making corporate social networks. At least if you have your own social network, you don’t have to worry about Facebook constantly changing stuff up on you, like it did recently when it switched everyone to a facebook.com e-mail address and made it visible on profile and timeline pages. (At least you can change your settings back as sites like Gizmodo and Lifehacker nicely explain…but still.)

On a happier note, Facebook named its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, as its first female director, elevating her to a board that includes seven men. (Hey, does this general female-male ratio vaguely make you think of a certain recent movie, too?)

Sony’s got a new smartphone to add to the mix – its Xperia Ion is a 4G LTE Android phone with a 12-megapixel camera and 4.6-inch 1080p HD screen; according to at least one review, call quality seems to pretty far down on the feature list, though. It’s available through AT&T and will cost $99.99. (Hey, doesn’t Sony have a big ol’ summer movie of its own coming out next week?)

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has a new report out on e-books and public libraries that’s interesting, but what’s even more interesting — and possibly a bit enraging if you’re a traveling Mac user — is that the Orbitz site told the Wall Street Journal that it showed Mac users different and often more expensive hotels compared to people who surfed the site on a Windows PC. They said it was an experiment and they never showed the two groups the same room for different prices, but I plan to experiment by never using Orbitz again for my future travel plans.

Apple seems to be taking a sharper focus on Mac OS X security, including backing off that “Macs don’t get PC viruses” claim and reportedly increasing the frequency of security-update checks for the looming Mac OS X 10.8 Cougar — I mean, Mountain Lion — system. Meanwhile, Google plans a standalone version of its Google Maps app for iOS and recently updated its Gmail app to work with the iOS Notification center. The company also found time this week to announce its new Nexus 7 Android tablet (among other things) during its I/O conference.

And finally, in the Not So Much News Department, a study from McAfee security reports in a new study that 70 percent of teens hide online behavior from their parents. The Internet may be relatively new, but really, kids have been sneaking around for centuries

P.S. Like fries? Check this out.

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