Ford Opening R&D Outfit In Silicon Valley, Iran Clamps Down On Internet Use, 45,000 Facebook Log-ins Stolen By Worm

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

Samsung’s Q4 Profits Soar On Smarphone Sales. Samsung posted a quarterly profit of $4.5 billion, thanks in no small part to its success in smarphone sales. In Q3, the company passed Apple to become the largest smarphone supplier, and is expected to ship 170 million smartphones in 2012. —NS


–Updated 8:00 a.m. EST

Ford Is Building A Research Center In Silicon Valley. Cars aren’t the zippiest adopters of new mobile tech, but at least one company is taking serious steps to get a move on innovation. Ford has announced that it is building a research facility in Silicon Valley, with the goal of establishing deeper relationships with technology innovators in the San Francisco Bay Area, and supplement work happening at their existing labs in Dearborn, MI. The lab will open in the first quarter of 2012. —NS

–Updated 7:45 a.m. EST

HTC’s Profits Slip. HTC is Asia’s second-largest smartphone maker, so when it reports a net income slip of 26% versus last year for the fourth quarter–which should be boosted by holiday season sales–the industry sits up and takes note. Analysts are suggesting tough competition at the high end from Apple and Samsung is to blame, and it’s worth noting that HTC makes many low- to mid-level Android smartphones. –KE

–Updated 7:15 a.m. EST

Iran Clamps Down On Internet Use. Iran’s Cyber Police have issued a new set of rules for web use in the country, in a bid to gain even more control on information access and sharing, the Wall Street Journal reports. Among the new measures taking effect, VPN access to secure networks outside the country have been cut off, and Internet cafes have been given 15 days to install security cameras and take steps to collect personal information and monitor their customers’ browsing habits. —NS


45,000 Facebook Log-ins Stolen By Worm. Log-ins on several thousand European Facebook accounts have been chewed through by a security threat called the “Ramnit” worm, Seculert has found. The data stealing malware was first identified chasing bank accounts for financial details in April 2010, but has diversified its diet to include Facebook security. —NS

NASA’s Open-Source Website Is Now UpNASA is inviting the collective enthusiasm and skills of the web to participate in select projects. They’ve listed a first crop of open-source projects that space-enthusiast programmers can work on and contribute to from their desks at home, on Earth. —NS

Study: iPhone 4S Is A Data Hog. According to a new report, Apple’s new iPhone and features (while lovely) means that on average, it uses double the amount of data as the iPhone 4, and three times as much as the iPhone 3G. Or perhaps, more properly, its users access more data using these phones versus earlier ones. In part, this is due to the smartphone’s new clever, quirky, data-hungry personal assistant, Siri. —NS

–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST


[Image: Flickr user NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center]

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: AP And New York Times Launch NewsRight, DHS Announces Media Surveillance Program, Walmart Buys iOS Developer Small Society, and more!