New Mac OS X Mountain Lion Let Loose, Facebook Launching Verified Accounts, Apple Responds To Contact Privacy Concerns

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

Apple Lets Loose Mountain Lion OS On Devs. Apple is releasing an early version of “Mountain Lion,” their new OS for the Mac, to developers today. Early reviews of the OS show that Apple is unifying their display options and features across their mobile devices and the Mac. For example, the main Notifications Center that debuted on the iOS 5 is now part of Mountain Lion. Also new: Twitter and iCloud are woven more tightly into the OS X than seen before on a Mac. Messaging via the Messages feature will work across all iOS devices as well as the new OS X, and in fact, is already available for download in beta to the current Lion OS X. –NS


–Updated 8:50 a.m. EST

Opera Buys Two Mobile Ad Networks. Still serious about its mobile browsing service, Opera has acquired Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Adverising. Opera also released its fourth quarter results, revealing a rise in revenue from $7.4 million last year to $10.5 million in Q4 this year. —NS

Twitter’s Grammy Count. Twitter activity during the Grammys didn’t look quite as flashy as the record-breaking numbers it saw during the Super Bowl, but it was still pretty impressive. 5 million tweets contained the word “Grammys” between noon and midnight Pacific Time, and got most intense–10,901 tweets per second–when Adele won Record of the Year for 21. —NS

–Updated 7:50 a.m. EST

iPads Going Off Shelves In China, But Possibly Not For Long. Since a China court awarded Proview Technology the rights to the “iPad” brand name, more and more stores are ceasing to sell Apple’s iPad in the country. This may not last long, though–Chinese customs has warned that the iPad is too popular to ban. Meanwhile, Apple has asked Amazon to stop selling iPads on its China site, but only because Amazon was not authorized to do so in the first place. —NS



–Updated 7:30 a.m. EST


MSN Launches msnNow News Service. Microsoft’s news and entertainment network MSN is launching an editorially curated service that will map “breaking news trends from Twitter, Facebook, Bing and” msnNOW could give MSN an edge over other big news portals like Yahoo and Google’s News, and bears some resemblance to magazine app Flipboard’s Cover Stories feature. The service will work across platforms, on PCs, smartphones, and tablets. —NS

–Updated 6:25 a.m. EST

Google May Launch Jelly Bean In June. Google may launch its latest mobile OS, Android 5.0, codename Jelly Bean, as soon as this June. According to suppliers who’ve got DigiTimes’s ear, the OS will be focused on, but possibly not exclusive to, tablets. In context Motorola, Google’s new buy, says the current 4.0 edition won’t hit many phones for up to a year.  —NS



Facebook Launching Verified Accounts. Facebook is changing its real name policy to allow pseudonyms, and will also allow celebrities with high follower counts to get themselves a verified account. Unlike on Twitter or Google+, you can’t ask to be verified, you have to be “chosen,” TechCrunch has learned from Facebook. —NS

Apple Responds To Contact Privacy Concerns. In response to a letter from Congress, Apple has said it is changing its App Store policy to require that apps ask users permission before accessing address book data on their devices. This comes after news broke that social network Path, (and other apps too, it turned out) had been uploading member’s contact list data without their consent. Apple previously noted the uploads were in violation of existing policy. —NS

–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user Denise Cross]

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Congress Quizzes Apple On Path, Google Updates Wallet With Partial Fix, Zynga Posts Q4 Loss, Apple May Cuts iAd Prices, and more!