Zynga Announces Game Network, FBI’s Billion-Dollar Biometric Database, Walmart And Facebook Go Local

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

Zynga Announces New Network, “Project Z” At an event today, Zynga COO John Schappert announced they would soon launch a website with their own network of browser games. Project Z would feature user identities to be used across multiple games called zTags, not unlike the tags used on Xbox Live, PSN, and other game networks. The games at Project Z will likely use HTML 5, as many of Zynga’s new games do. And though this move seems to indicate a desire to diversify away from Facebook, the service will still use Facebook Connect for users to login–thus enabling games to be played between users on Facebook and those on Project Z. —KO


— Updated 3:35 p.m. EST

FBI Launching Billion-Dollar Biometric Database. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that their long awaited 21st-century update of the traditional fingerprint database is going live in January. Within 15 minutes of scanning a suspect’s picture, law enforcement authorities will have a list of all possible matches from a database of more than 10 million mug shots. FBI agents will have access to the database starting in January; local law enforcement agencies will have to wait until 2014 to gain access. —NU

— Updated 12:00 p.m. EST

RIM’s BlackBerry Services Hiccup Again. For the second day running, Research In Motion’s data services have hiccuped, even as its share of the smartphone market is being steadily eroded. Blackberry users around the world experienced outages to their email and BlackBerry Messenger service, with RIM saying they were working on restoring normal services. —NS 

–Updated 11:30 a.m. EST

U.K. Government May Partially Censor Porn. Urged on by the Mothers Union, a U.K.-based Christian charity organization, the U.K. government is set to roll out a proposal that will require Internet subscribers to opt in to access sexually explicit content. David Cameron has been in talks with the charity about various policy changes that would protect children from sexual content, the Guardian reports. Cameron is also expected to announce curbs to other media, such as images on billboards and in advertising, the Guardian reports. —NS


iOS Is King Of The InterwebsA new study from comScore shows that U.S. web traffic from smartphones and tablets has crept up to 7 percent of total U.S. traffic. The lion’s share of mobile traffic-58.5%–came from Apple’s iOS. Among the tablets, the iPad is trouncing the competition, generating 97.2% of all tablet-led web traffic in August 2011. (Tablets are an important market, Apple Insider explains, because most online shopping is conducted on those devices.) In terms of web traffic, the iPad’s popularity has outpaces the the iPhone’s: 46.8 per cent of iOS traffic was iPad generated, compared to 42.6% coming from the iPhone. —NS

–Updated 7:30 a.m. EST

“Mythbusters” Hosts Get Steve Jobs Special. Discovery Channel has commissioned a one-hour special documentary into the life of Steve Jobs, titled iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, of Mythbusters, are to host it, with Savage already excited by the prospect of covering the notion “all progress is made by unreasonable men.” The show will air October 16. –KE

[YouTube IYqfbOWQL-Q]

Walmart And Facebook Go Local. U.S. residents can now connect with their local Walmart on Facebook. The “My Local Walmart” Facebook app will keep a running list of deals, events and new products at 3,500 stores across the U.S. After acquiring the social media savvy startup Kosmix (renamed @Walmartlabs) in April this year, Walmart execs said the company was serious about exploring the social retail space. The friend-a-Walmart app seems to be the first of a number of social changes to come. —NS

India’s New Telecom Policy. After almost a decade, India’s Telecom Minister announced a new policy for the country’s rapidly growing telecommunications sector. The policy aims to see 100% connectivity in rural parts of the country, up from its current 35%. Also, the policy suggests ammendments that would streamline and consolidate the sector, by allowing cell phone carriers to share air waves. As the BBC notes, India has the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. –NS 


–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Facebook Releases First iPad App, Netflix Dumps Qwikster, U.S. Feds Seek Out WikiLeaks Emails, Sony Wants Rights To “Steve Jobs”