LEADING THE DAY: The debate over online piracy continues at 10 a.m. Friday, following a marathon session Thursday. Lawmakers representing the interests of old media and new media traded barbs over the effects of Stop Online Piracy Act in an all-day hearing, The Washington Post reported.
The session took on a circus atmosphere, reflecting the emotional nature of the debate over how to protect copyrighted movies, songs or books online without trampling on the free speech of individuals and companies. Despite chairman Rep. Lamar Smith’s entreaty for civility among “Judiciary friends,” lawmakers questioned one another’s expertise on copyright and technical issues and, on occasion, traded personal insults.
Zynga: Zynga released its official numbers for pricing on its initial public offering late Thursday, pricing 100 million shares at $10 a pop. That gives Zynga a $1 billion IPO, and the largest tech offering since Google.
The company has seen enormous growth in the past few years, thanks in large part to its relationship with Facebook. Its “ville” games — FarmVille, CityVille, etc. — set the tone for social gaming on the network, but it remains to be seen whether the company can continue innovating on the platform.
Research in Motion: Research in Motion fell in trading Thursday following its latest earnings call, which revealed that the company will delay offering its next generation of handsets until the second half of 2012.
The delays, combined with the disastrous sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook, have only heightened criticism of the company’s co-chief executive structure and of the abilities of top executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to lead the company in the competitive smartphone field. The executives will take a $1 salary, they announced.
Square Enix investigates possible hack: Game company Square Enix has said it’s investigating a possible hack of its Web site — an attack that could have affected up to 1.8 million users. The game publisher, which produces the Final Fantasy series, said that there’s no possibility that credit card data was taken, but that the breach may have affected 800,000 North American users and 1 million Japanese users.
Facebook releases new layout for all: Facebook has officially rolled out the Timeline layout for everyone, months after previewing the new look at its f8 conference for developers. Users have seven days to review what they want posted to the scrapbook-like look of their new profiles before anyone else can see it, the company said in a blog post.
The company’s new layout has been criticized by privacy advocates, who say that it could cause users to inadvertently release more personal information from their profiles because of the company’s “frictionless sharing” partnerships with media companies.