Facebook To Reduce Notification Clutter With User Affinity Score

In a bid to reduce the clutter of notifications that third party apps display to Facebook users and also to optimize the resource consumption, Facebook has developed a ‘user affinity score‘ that will tell the system how useful a particular notification from a third party app is.

In a patent application filed with the USPTO, the fifth ever filed by Facebook, the inventors describe a way to study the implicit and explicit feedback offered by users to app notifications. The patent application elaborates

“an application can provide a notification to the member on the member’s web page. If the member ignores the notification when viewing the web page, e.g., does not click on or otherwise interact with the application, this is an implicit feedback that can be interpreted to mean that the member is neutral towards the application. But, if the member clicks on a link in the notification that unsubscribes the member from further notifications from this application, the member has provided explicit negative feedback towards the application. On the other hand, if the member clicks on a link in the notification that provides the member with more information about the application, the member has provided an explicit positive feedback about the application.”

Based on these user interactions, Facebook assigns a user affinity score to each application which would tell the system whether or not to display a notification from a particular app to users. Users could thus expect a reduction in the overall number of notifications received.

Facebook user affinity score for applications

This is not all. The patent application further uses the affinity score to determine new user invitations. As most Facebook users might have experienced, there are quite a few apps that would not let you proceed unless you invite a particular number of friends to the app. With this affinity score in place, Facebook would internally determine whether to send the invitation to all selected members or only to a predetermined number.

Facebook app friend invitation

What do you think of this? Do you think this will help reduce clutter?

App Store To Include Separate Category For Explicit Content

There has been a furore over the way Apple banned a majority of iPhone apps with sexual content over the past week citing customer complaints. That has apparently not gone down well among developers who were grounded to the floor from revenues of  several thousands a day.

Now, it appears that a separate category titled ‘Explicit’ could be added to the App Store. This was discovered by developers on iTunesConnect, the platform for new app submission. However, this category only made an appearance for a short period and has since then been removed.

Apple has indicated that while they are contemplating the move, “it’s not going to happen anytime soon”. But something tells me it’s going to happen in the next couple of days!

[via Cult of Mac]

iPad Camera Will Come With Flash And Zoom?

Officially, the iPad does not come with a camera. But as we have already heard, the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK indicates support for a forward facing camera that will allow video conferencing.

Now, here is more information – The iPad camera could also come with flash and zooming ability. Indications of this have been dug out from the latest beta version of the iPhone SDK. According to a report on MacRumors, the the code snippets confirm the presence of camera flash and zoom besides a forward facing camera. No details have yet been dug out on autofocus, though that could be another likely feature.

We are getting curiouser by the day over why Apple has chosen to do away with a camera for the first generation of iPad when so much of the back-end work has anyway been completed.

What do you think is the reason?

[via MacRumors]

HTC Desire On AT&T Launching In May

Remember our story earlier this month that Nexus One could be launching with AT&T? Well it turns out that the AT&T connected device might actually be HTC Desire and not the Google branded clone as we earlier thought.

Spilling the beans on this, folks at BGR write that while it is still possible that the Google branded Nexus One is offered with AT&T over Google’s website, the device on AT&T’s shelves could be HTC Desire and the launch could be around the May-June time frame.

BGR also reports that certain physical attributes of the handset like material finish and color could change in the device on shelf.

[via Boy Genius Report]

What Does “Series” In Windows Phone 7 Series Mean?

Most of us overlooked the name Microsoft gave to their new line of mobile phone operating system. Why was it called Windows Phone 7 series and not Windows Phone series? Now, according to a podcast from Microsoft Australia developers Michael Kordahi and Andrew Coates, there shall be three ‘chassis‘ upon which Windows Phone 7 series will run.

“Chassis 1 is for PC makers developing “big touch screen” phones. These will be touch-only devices, with 1 GHz processor and a dedicated graphics processor. These are the phones that will be out first at launch this holiday season.

Chassis 2-compliant phones will support real sliding keyboards plus touch. These would be more Palm-Treo-like.

Chassis 3 phones might be candy bar phones”

So these will be three platforms or series that every version of Windows Phone moving forward will be built for.

[via ZDNet]

MacBook Pro 2010 Memory Modules Spotted?

Rumors are doing the rounds that the RAM modules for the upcoming MacBook Pro has been spotted in the wild. This was first reported by Greek website ThesMac.

However, there appear to be some inconsistencies in what we have been expecting and what is apparently available. For instance, the leaked pictures claim to run on a Core 2 Duo processor and a bus speed of 1.33 GHz. However, we have heard that MacBook Pro 2010 will be coming with Core 1.7 M 620 processor  running at 2.66 GHz.

So, we would like to take this with a bit of skepticism, though the rumors should be cleared anytime now since Apple is expected to launch the new MacBook Pro pretty soon.

[via MacRumors]

T-Mobile Entering Netbook Arena With Dell Mini 10

Speculations surrounding T-Mobile’s foray into the Netbook market has been doing the rounds for quite a while now. However, it is only now that the actual product behind the rumors is coming to light.

Quoting trusted sources, folks at TmoNews claim that the carrier could be partnering with Dell to bring its newly unveiled Dell Mini 10 netbook to the market. No information regarding the price or launch date is known as yet, though a roll-out is expected by the end of March.

Dell Mini 10 was unveiled earlier this year during the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas and has since then garnered overtly positive reviews.  In fact, Dell Mini has been a popular choice among the carriers. After Sprint Nextel introduced the device, AT&T Mobility too has jumped in. T-Mobile’s entry while later than the other major players could still be a significant business decision moving forward in 2010.

What do you think?

[via TmoNews]

iPhone OS Coming To Other Platforms

A recent job posting on Apple’s website reads

“The Core Platform team within Apple’s Core OS organization is looking for a talented and inspired manager to lead a team focused on bring-up of iPhone OS on new platforms. The team is responsible for low level platform architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware platforms. The team consists of talented engineers with experience in hardware, firmware, IOKit drivers, security and platform architecture.”

This announcement is exciting and intriguing at the same time. We are not exactly sure what “platformApple is referring to here. As TiPb notes, this might be referring to Apple TV;  a device that debuted alongside the iPhone but has failed to take off. It is possible that Apple is looking at an integration of platform among the iPhone, Apple TV and other devices including iPod and iPad in order to create Apple households.

This might also be referring to other new devices in the making, though it is unlikely considering that Apple is just out with the iPad.

What do you think Apple is implying here? Tell us your thoughts.

[Apple Job Board via TiPb]

Verizon To Stop Selling Blackberry Storm?

After reports of numerous device cancellations, it is now being rumored that Verizon, the sole US carrier to currently offer RIM’s Blackberry Storm touchscreen mobile device is likely to cease operations to bring the device to their customers.

This speculation has been fueled by a note from analysts that has been doing the rounds among investors. While the research firm that has issued this note is not yet known, The Street writes that a cut in supply, if not an outright cancellation, of Blackberry Storm handsets is very much on the cards.

RIM and Verizon have not responded to the speculations.

[via The Street]

iPad Wi-Fi Pre-Order In USA Starting On February 25th

The iPad is not scheduled to arrive anytime before March 27th. During the unveiling of the device at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts, Steve Jobs had promised to bring the device within 60 days of the announcement.

Now, rumors are doing the rounds that pre-orders for the Wi-Fi only model of the iPad could start as early as this week. According to sources that folks at App Advice have spoken to, the pre-orders for US customers could begin on February 25.  Deliveries could happen in a month’s time.

We are not very enthused by this rumor and so would advice you to take this with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, tell us. Will you be pre-ordering if the rumors are true?

[via App Advice]