Today in Tech: Facebook’s anti-Google smear campaign

May 12, 2011, 2:23 PM UTC

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* This one’s a whopper… The Daily Beast discovered that Facebook hired public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to pitch anti-Google stories to publications. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed as much to the Web site last night, citing concerns with Google’s social networking activities that raise privacy concerns and issues with Google’s use of Facebook data for its own social networking services. UPDATE: BetaNews has an interview with the controversial story’s source, privacy advocate Christopher Soghoian. (The Daily Beast and BetaNews)

* Why Facebook needs COO Sheryl Sandberg. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

* Android creator Andy Rubin hired former Danger engineers and colleagues Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt, the folks behind the once-popular Sidekick smartphone, to work on in-house Android hardware. (Fortune)

* A first look at the new Google TV. (GigaOm)

* F.C.C. commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who four months ago voted in favor of the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, now says she’s leaving her post to join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office. (New York Times)

* As predicted, Google unveiled the initial batch of Chrome OS notebook offerings from Samsung and Acer at the company’s I/O conference yesterday. Engadget gave Samsung’s Series 5 laptop a spin and found much to like, including well-built hardware that puts other notebooks in the sub-$500 market to shame and an 8.5-hour battery life. (Engadget)

* Gartner Research says consumer solid-state drives, those swift yet still-pricey hard drives available in some computers like the latest crop of MacBook Airs, will have a break-out year in 2012 thanks to falling prices: $1 per gigabyte by the second half of the year. (PC World)

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