Microsoft launches a social network with an awkward name, Hulu adds original programming, Facebook buys another app, and will 3G be in the future for FaceTime?
by Bridget Carey
With all the news focused around Facebook, Microsoft just quietly launched its own social network for students called So.cl (pronounced “social”). It’s different from Facebook and Google Plus in that it is focused around search. What students search for on So.cl is shared with other So.cl users — and it can be shared on other networks like Facebook. The idea is to give students a quick and easy way to share information found through searches.
Hulu has unveiled 10 original and exclusive shows that will begin airing in June. Streaming video providers like Netflix and Amazon are also producing original content to stay competitive. But as for Hulu, the original shows will include a movie review series called “Spoilers” with Kevin Smith, a travel series called “Up to Speed,” and a comedy called “We Got Next.” Hulu Plus boasts 2 million subscribers.
The historic launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket did not occur as scheduled on Saturday. The mission was aborted due to a last-minute computer hiccup. The rockets roared, the exhaust billowed out, and there was a countdown: 3, 2, 1, lift-off. But no lift! The team has replaced the problem valve, and there will be another attempt to launch early Tuesday at 3:44 a.m. Eastern.
A newly discovered warning message on Apple iOS devices has people speculating about the future of FaceTime, Apple’s video chat program. If users disable 3G while in a FaceTime call, a pop-up reads: “Disabling 3G may end FaceTime. Are you sure your want to disable 3G?” But 3G has nothing to do with making a FaceTime call; it can only be done over Wi-Fi. Some folks are speculating this is a sign that the next iOS update might allow video calls over a 3G connection.
The patent wars between Apple and Samsung may find some resolution Tuesday. A court ordered the CEOs of both companies to meet to try and resolve some of the intellectual-property lawsuits against each other. The legal disputes began in April last year, when Apple accused Samsung of copying the look and feed of the iPad and iPhone.
And today we’re putting a spotlight on Karma, a gift-giving app that Facebook acquired last week right after the markets closed on Facebook’s first day of public trading. Karma scans your Facebook friends for who is having a major life event, like a birthday, new relationship or new job, and suggests gifts you can purchase to send to them. These are real, physical gifts, like chocolate, notebooks or even socks. This acquisition would give Facebook another method to bring in more revenue.