Microsoft releases free antivirus software

Microsoft’s free antivirus program, Security Essentials, became available for download from the company’s website Tuesday.

Microsoft bills the software as providing “high-quality protection” against viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware and other malicious software. It updates and upgrades automatically.

Microsoft said its free program is not meant to cut into the business of commercial antivirus programs, by companies such as McAfee and Symantec, but will appeal to people who don’t already have security software on their computers.

Facebook shuts down Beacon marketing tool

Facebook says it will shut down its controversial marketing feature Beacon, an application that broadcasts users’ activities, including purchases, on other websites to their Facebook friends.

The feature was adopted in November 2007 and immediately drew complaints from Facebook users who said it invaded their privacy. 


U.S. to introduce net neutrality rules: report

The top U.S. telecommunications regulator is set to introduce net neutrality rules that will prohibit internet providers from selectively blocking or slowing web traffic, according to a report.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to outline the proposal, which will require internet providers to treat all traffic equally, in a speech on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The rules will also extend to the wireless networks owned by companies such as AT&T and Verizon, as well as wired networks run by cable companies such as Comcast.


GOP Senators Move to Stop Obama Net Neutrality Rules

Google acquires ReCAPTCHA

Google has acquired a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff that seeks to cut down on spam and fraud at websites while digitizing books.

ReCAPTCHA offers simple word puzzles that users must solve when registering at a website or completing an online purchase. Computers can’t decipher the twisted letters and numbers, ensuring that real people and not automated programs are using the site.

Facebook ‘cash flow positive,’ signs 300M users

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the social networking site has more than 300 million users, and earned more money than it spent last quarter.

In a blog post on Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote that the company was “cash flow positive” in the last quarter. He had previously projected that Facebook would meet that goal in 2010.