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Now, access Facebook on mobile without internet
NEW DELHI/ Mumbai, MAY 17 (PTI/Agencies):
Published on 17 May. 2011 11:48 PM IST
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Singapore-based software applications developer U2opia Mobile has developed a new application for mobile phones that will allow them to access Facebook on all kind of handsets without paying for a data connection. “We are using USSD technology, which will enable users to access Facebook without having a GPRS connection on their phones,” said Sumesh Menon, the co-founder and CEO of U2Opia Mobile.
Unstructured Supplementary Data (USSD) is the technology used by telecom players to send alerts to their users that inform them about their balance at the end of call or for sending miss call alerts.
Menon mentioned that though the technology will not provide access to graphics, it will help users send and view updates on their friends’ Facebook walls. “It is like sms and hence, the load on the network is negligible. We have built some commands through which a user can receive alerts on activity happening on his wall as well post an update,” said Menon.
U2opia launched this application Tuesday with Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel.
While Airtel customers can update their Facebook status through this USSD service free of cost, Rs 1 per day will be applicable for accessing the full-feature application, which enables viewing news feeds, commenting on or liking news feed stories, posting on friends’ walls, confirming friend requests, viewing notifications and finding as well as adding friends.
“In the Indian market scenario, where the penetration of smart phones is relatively low and the use of internet on mobiles is primarily limited to key cities, many users are excluded from accessing their Facebook accounts via mobile phones,” said Shireesh Joshi, Bharti Airtel Director - Marketing, Mobile Services, in a statement.
Airtel users can dial *325# and *fbk# for non-qwerty mobile handsets to access Facebook without subscribing to data plans, the statement said. “We look forward to bringing millions of Facebook users in India closer to their love for social networking by allowing them to access it anytime, anywhere on their Airtel-powered mobile phones,” Joshi added.
Cyber attacks Hit Facebook users
Facebook users were in for a rude shock on Monday, when they fell prey to a cyber attack. Worldwide experts suspect that the spam attack was launched to affect maximum number of users possible via people’s friends list. Users received wall posts from their friends with an attached Youtube video link. This was accompanied by comments like “hey XYZ (persons name) how come I see you in this video”, “Wat are you doing in this video”, “please get yourself untagged from this video” or “you look so stupid in this video”.
On clicking the link, users found that they were unable to check the video. Instead, the link was posted on their friend’s walls. By Monday evening the spam had propagated to all the active and inactive users on the site. Vinoo Thomas from Mc Afee labs said, “Cyber criminals use major events like the Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Japan and the Osama killing to launch cyber attacks.”
Another major spam attack that was observed on Facebook went under the tag of ‘check who is viewing your profile’ which included a javascript text in the browser. “The user is not only infected but the post would go to everyone on his address book. His account would now be under control of the cyber criminals who could misuse it in future,” said a web expert. The current spam, experts said is using a similar method to trap users.
The Facebook team is yet to fix the spam. Experts say the only way to prevent being affected further is to avoid clicking on any such unknown posts and links on the account.

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