Today in Tech: Inside Facebook’s ‘war games’

February 11, 2013, 5:33 PM UTC

Also: Samsung as Apple’s foil; meet the man behind Google Docs. 

At Facebook, zero-day exploits, backdoor code bring war games drill to life [ARS TECHNICA]

Facebook employees immediately dug into the mysterious code. What they found only heightened suspicions that something was terribly wrong. Facebook procedures require all code posted to the site to be handled by two members of its development team, and yet this script somehow evaded those measures. At 10:45am, the incident received a classification known as “unbreak now,” the Facebook equivalent of the US military’s emergency DEFCON 1 rating. At 11:04am, after identifying the account used to publish the code, the team learned the engineer the account belonged to knew nothing about the script. One minute later, they issued a takedown to remove the code from their servers.

Samsung emerges as a potent rival to Apple’s cool [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Yet these two rivals, who have battled in the marketplace and in the courts worldwide, could not be more different. Samsung Electronics, a major part of South Korea’s expansive Samsung Group, makes computer chips and flat-panel displays as well as a wide range of consumer products including refrigerators, washers and dryers, cameras, vacuum cleaners, PCs, printers and TVs.

Menlo Ventures’ Pishevar and Goldman’s Stanford to found Sherpa, a startup aimed at making new startups [ALL THINGS D]

Pishevar confirmed his move, but Stanford did not respond to a query about the new effort.

That said, sources said he is poised to leave the investment bank and partner with Pishevar in a new venture called Sherpa, which has two parts.

One is called The Foundry, which is being funded by a number of major strategic corporations, who are presumably looking to gain a digital edge. It will also include well-known entrepreneur partners, but no investors or venture capital firms.

Why user-recommendation engine Sailthru just raised $19 million [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

Here’s how it works: Sailthru tracks the kinds of links you are clicking and the purchases you are making on the back end, and helps create a profile of that user and what they are interested in. When a page on a site like loads, it calls in the recommendations from Sailthru built off that profile in real time.

The idea is to get that reader or shopper to return a second, or a third time, and extend the value of the customer over a longer period of time.

The man behind Google Docs is trying to reinvent the web at Box [GIGAOM]

“The crown jewel of hard problems … is around collaboration,” he explained. Although the Google Docs team eventually rebuilt Writely as a native word processor, Schillace and Writely co-founder Steve Newman didn’t have that luxury. Because the browsers all behaved differently, they had to write some “hairy” logic to merge changes on the server and then send it back down to the user in a format that particular browser could understand. Sometimes, they’d run into what Schillace calls “edit fights,” where a browser would actually fight itself.

Don’t miss the latest tech news. Sign up now to get Today in Tech emailed every morning.