Today in Tech: How your Facebook ‘Likes’ become ads

June 1, 2012, 6:04 PM UTC

Obama order sped up wave of cyberattacks against Iran [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

From his first months in office, President Obamasecretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Google unveils new search mechanism in China [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

The Internet search giant unveiled on its Chinese search site this week a new mechanism that identifies political and other sensitive terms that are censored by Chinese authorities. For example, when users search for keywords like “carrot”—which contains the character for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s surname—a yellow dropdown message says: “We’ve observed that searching for ‘hu’ in mainland China may temporarily break your connection to Google. This interruption is outside Google’s control.”

On Facebook, ‘Likes’ become ads [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Amazon is one of many companies that pay Facebook to generate these automated ads when a user clicks to “like” their brands or references them in some other way. Facebook users agree to participate in the ads halfway through the site’s 4,000-word terms of service, which they consent to when they sign up. With heightened pressure to step up profits and live up to the promise of its gigantic public offering, Facebook is increasingly banking on this approach to generate more ad revenue. The company said it does not break down how much revenue comes from such ads. Its early stock market performance — down 22 percent from its offering price — is likely to increase the urgency.

Microsoft does the right thing with default ‘Do Not Track’ [PC WORLD]

In a blog post explaining the decision, Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch acknowledges that online advertising is important to the Internet economy, and that consumers receive value in the form of a more relevant, personalized Web experience. In the end, though, Lynch states, “We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used.”

Microsoft recruits designers in race for Windows apps [BLOOMBERG]

Microsoft Corp. is so eager to have a panoply of applications for the next version of itsWindows operating system that it has lined up design firms, recruited interns and sent engineers on an around-the-world road show to help developers get them built.

Verizon to buy Hughes Telematics for $612 million [DEALBOOK]

The deal is aimed at building up Verizon’s offerings in products like GPS and auto safety and entertainment features, at a time when telecom companies are seeking new sources of revenue.