iFive: Twitter And Bin Laden, Huge Facebook Income, 10 Million Credit Cards Says Sony, MIT Earns Donation, Time iPad Apps Freed

It’s a fresh week, so get a fresh start on the early news by reading iFive–our summary:

1. As well as being early in breaking the news about the death of Osama Bin Laden, Twitter was apparently the place the news was covered in real timealbeit unwittingly. An IT consultant was taking a break in Pakistan, and covered the presence of helicopters and sounds of explosions as they occurred. Consequently, the tech news web is alive with commentary about the news-worthy powers of Twitter–as well as the news itself. 


2. Facebook‘s earnings are reported
to be rising faster than it predicted they would, which is apparently
raising speculation about the company’s IPO. The firm’s EBITDA, a key
financial indicator which is a measure of real earnings, is now likely
to exceed $2 billion in 2011. This would place the company’s value north
of $100 billion at IPO, beating many other big-name tech firms like
Amazon and Cisco.

3. Over the weekend, Sony apologized for its PlayStation Network hack and subsequent long-drawn-out outage, and reported most of the PSN will be back over the next week or so. It also revealed that up to 10 million credit cards may have been compromised to some extent. But, interestingly, it also has found “no link” between the payback operations of the Anonymous hacker group (acting to punish Sony for its treatment of the PS3 hacker) and the latest data breach.

4. MIT has just earned a surprising hoard of new funds–Dr. Amar Bose, head of the famous Bose audio firm, has donated the majority of shares in the private company to MIT, a place he graduated from in 1951. MIT won’t get any say in the company’s operations, but will receive dividends as and when they’re paid out, and is instructed to invest them in its research and teaching programs.


5. Time Inc. has announced a deal to make all its iPad editions free to print subscribers. It’s a move that involved negotiations with Apple,
and it puts an interesting light on the digital subscriptions market:
Time is effectively saying the iPad edition is the same as the print
magazine (a slightly different position than the New York Times, where a
cheaper print subscription nets you free access to the more expensive
iPad edition). 

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.


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