Facebook has announced Social Graph, a tool that lets users search their contact list for specific people, places, photos or interests. Experts say the feature is useful, if somewhat limited, but will gain utility -- and appeal to advertisers -- as Facebook draws more data into its social web. "It is not aimed at toppling Google from its perch as the king of Web search any time soon. Instead, it is the opening round in a long-term campaign to erode Google's monopoly over the most powerful and profitable business on the Internet," Miguel Helft writes.
Social media posts are more memorable than faces or literary works, according to researchers at the University of Warwick. Subjects were 1.5 times more likely to recall Facebook posts than lines from books, and 2.5 times more likely to recall Facebook posts than people's faces, a study found.
Victoria Devine has landed a job as a "social media butler" for President Barack Obama's second inauguration, as part of a luxury package offered by the Madison Hotel in Washington. For $47,000, guests get a luxury stay and a high-end tour of the capital, with Devine on hand to document the trip and update guests' social media accounts. "As a good 'butler' I will tweet and Facebook with a smile," Devine promises.
Photographers don't give up the right to their images when they post them on Twitter, a judge has ruled. The case focused on the use of tweeted photos by news agency Agence France-Presse and The Washington Post after an earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The judge rejected the organizations' argument that posting an image to Twitter means it's publicly available and can be freely republished.
At the 13th annual FIRST Robotics Competition this weekend, more than 300 student-designed robots from around the country will vie for a piece of the $4.5 million in scholarship money available. Founder Dean Kamen said he conceived of the robot games as a way of promoting often-overlooked careers in science and technology.