RIM Hacked In London, LinkedIn Price Tumble, Facebook Releases Messenging App, CERN Brings Large Hadron Collider To Homes

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

Facebook Releases Standalone Messaging App. The new app, called Facebook Messenger, groups together Facebook chats, texts, messages, and emails into a single application available on both the iPhone and Android devices. It also introduces the ability to have group conversations, including with people not on Facebook, so you can coordinate while you’re on the go. More than simply offering users a pared-down version of Facebook functionality, the social network seems to be re-thinking how people communicate and to be developing a tool that works for that. “More of us rely on our phones to send and receive messages. But it isn’t always easy to know the best way to reach someone on their phone. Should you send an email or text?” writes Lucy Zhang on the Facebook blog. “Messaging should be easier…. You should be able to write a message, click ‘Send’ and know that you will reach the person right away.” –EBB


Awkward Fit. While London suffers through a real bout of violent unrest, Levi’s has released a new ad that depicts scenes reminiscent of riots. The spot features Charles Bukowski’s The Laughing Heart narrated over shots of youthful protest (and general carrying on).
It’s an unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your views on the absolute good of publicity) bit of timing, though the European campaign, which has featured exploding buildings, has been running for some time, and is part of the larger “Go Forth” initiative, which has carried a theme of positive change. The campaign was created by agency Wieden + Kennedy. —TI


Updated 5:00 p.m. EST


RIM’s BlackBerry Blog Hacked. After it was suggested that BlackBerry messages were the London rioters’ communication mode of choice, device makers RIM spoke up to announce that they’d cooperate with London’s Metropolitan Police. Swift punishment came to them today though, from the hacking group TeaMp0isoN, who owned up to hacking into RIM’s BlackBerry blog site. In this episode of arm-twisting, the group said they had access to RIM’s databases, which they would make public if RIM “made the wrong choice.” —NS


 Updated 1:20 p.m. EST

LinkedIn Price Falls To Bits In Market Crash. While tech stocks seem to be one of the least affected by the severe market slip in the wake of S&P’s US downgrade, LinkedIn is suffering very badly indeed. Is it because it’s so young and isn’t as established a name (with market confidence in tow) as Google, Apple and others? Speculation is rising that the market crash caused by S&P’s move, as well as hints that Moodys may still downgrade US debt too, may have severely damaged the window for IPOs. With big names like Facebook planning offerings soon, the tech world has bumpy times ahead. –KE

–Updated 9:10 a.m. EST


Amazon Crashes, Takes Down The Internet.
Okay, Amazon’s EC2 (and Amazon Web Services) failure last night didn’t
take down the entire internet, but big name properties like Foursquare,
Instagram, Quora, Netflix,
and Reddit were zapped or had their offerings severely crippled. Amazon
worked quickly to repair its infrastructure and restores its service,
but the brief outage has again highlighted that there are issues of
reliability and data integrity on the way, en masse, as more and more of
our online llife is lived in the cloud. –KE

Cern Brings LHC To Your Home.
The European Center for Nuclear Research, CERN, has launched a new
version of its LHC@home system that actually lets you take part in the
hunt for the Higgs boson, by using spare computing cycles on your
computer to simulate near light-speed protons colliding in the real
Large Hadron Collider. The idea is that the “virtual supercomputer” that
results will help scientists shape experiments at the real collider in
Geneva. And the system’s also designed for social good, by helping
scientists in developing countries–letting them run disaster
simulations, damage assessment, working out clean water supply problems
and so on. –KE

Amazon Android Store Dirty Tricks? More evidence is emerging that Amazon is trying some very shady business practices to promote apps on its own curated version of the Android marketplace: App developer Shifty Jelly, which also makes iOS apps, has noted that it was rewarded zero cash after Amazon slashed its product price–promoting a run of sales–even though it was promised a cut of at least 20%. Other developers are alleging similar practices, and Amazon’s asking people not to talk about the way it’s re-writing its deals with coders after the fact. –KE


Updated 06:15 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user nanpalmero]

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