LEADING THE DAY: The head of Google’s Washington policy and lobbying operations, Alan Davidson, announced Monday that he is leaving his position to “explore other opportunities,” The Washington Post reported.
The search giant’s first employee in D.C., Davidson has led the company’s Washington efforts on policy issues such as net neutrality and anti-censorship of the Web. He’s also had to deal with scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission over Google’s privacy practices regarding Google Buzz and Google Street View.
“When I started at Google none of us really knew how the Internet, and this company, would grow and change. The mobile, cloud, and social technologies just taking hold then are now full-on revolutions today,” Davidson wrote in an internal memo announcing the decision.
Facebook execs on privacy: In an interview with Charlie Rose Monday night, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg discussed the company’s views on several issues it is facing, including privacy. Zuckerberg said that the company doesn’t view its sharing as “what do we want to know about people, it’s what do people want to tell about themselves.” He said he trusts users to use their own discretion in sharing what they’re comfortable telling others.
Sandberg added that “privacy is the most important thing we do, is something that’s been here throughout, and it’s really important for people.
Zuckerberg and Sandberg also made comments about their competitors, including Google. Sandberg said that the difference between Google and Facebook is that Facebook is focused on doing “one thing incredibly well,” whereas Google is off pursuing many products and services.
Apple security flaw: Apple has taken a much different approach to its App Store than rival Google, insisting on approving all applications to ensure security and consistency. But an Apple security researcher told Reuters that he has found an exploitable flaw in that could allow malicious users to “take data, send text messages or destroy information” from iPhones and iPads. Charlie Miller, a researcher working with Accuvant Labs, made a test app exploiting the flaw and his program was approved by Apple’s App Store, Reuters reported. Miller was able to program an app to download whatever other app he wanted it to once connected to his server. He has reported the bug to Apple and said that the company is “fixing it.”
HP reportedly considering webOS sale: Hewlett-Packard is reportedly mulling a sale of its webOS unit, Reuters reported. Possible buyers named in the report who may be interested in acquiring the well-reviewed software arm HP acquired from Palm in 2010 include Amazon.com, Research in Motion, IBM, Oracle and Intel. Citing unnamed individuals “close to the matter,” Reuters said that the deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars but likely still less than the $1.2 billion HP itself paid for the unit.
In September, the company’s then-CEO Leo Apotheker announced that HP would stop making webOS hardware and explore options for the software unit. Apotheker was then replaced with former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman.
Google, LinkedIn, White House team up for vet jobs: Google and the White House announced Monday that they will work together on an initiative to find jobs for veterans as President Obama kept pressure on Republicans to support the American Jobs Act, The Washington Post reported. The search giant is working with the National Resource Directory, a job site specifically for veterans, by providing a search engine that’s designed to keep the database as up-to-date as possible, Google’s Christine Chen wrote in a company blog post.
Professional social network LinkedIn is also working with the White House on the initiative, and will “tag job postings” on the social network that can be filled by veterans, LinkedIn’s Deep Nishar wrote in a company blog post. It will also launch a smaller site aimed specifically at veterans that offers tools and tips for the job search and is holding a “Veterans Hackday” on Friday, which is Veterans Day.
“We welcome all hackers and innovators to spend Veterans Day this year using their technical skills to help our veterans,” Nishar wrote.