Facebook makes user profiles smarter
LONDON: Facebook has unveiled new profile pages that give photos centre stage, allow users to highlight important friends and go into far more detail on their jobs.Previous changes on the world’s largest social networking site have sometimes resulted in criticism on how the company handles privacy issues, generating occasional backlashes against Facebook. The revamp comes amid ongoing speculation about when Facebook will launch an initial public offering. In a blog post, Facebook software engineer Josh Wiseman said the overhaul would make it “easier for you to tell your story and learn about your friends.” Users with the new profile get a strip of photos at the top of their profile pages. Under the old system, users keep photos under a separate tab. Bigger photos accompany lists of interests, such as favourite television shows and sports teams, helping them pop out from the screen.
Over 1,000 N Koreans jailed
SEOUL: More than 1,000 North Koreans have been jailed for secretly watching South Korean TV shows and films as the communist regime battles an inflow of foreign culture, a Seoul-based defector group said Monday. North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity said some 1,200 people are in jail in the north-western city of Kaechon for the offence. It cited a source in the prison, which has a total 3,000 inmates. Access to foreign pop culture is strictly banned for ordinary people in the isolated nation, with violators facing hefty fines or jail terms.
Spain may extend state of alert over strike
MADRID: Spain’s government may extend a 15-day state of alert imposed in response to a strike by air traffic controllers, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Monday, a move that would cover the Christmas holiday period.
“The government has issued a decree for a period of a state of alert to ensure normality,” he told reporters. “Depending on how the situation develops, the government will take the decision to extend the measure, and will of course do it taking public opinion into consideration and in conjunction with political parties,” he said in his first comments on the strike.
He gave no further details. But the daily El Mundo said the government may extend the measure for two months in order to train military personnel to take the jobs of those who have been dismissed and to ensure no further disruptions during the Christmas and New Year period.
BD says pirates steering ship towards Somalia
DHAKA: A Bangladeshi-flagged vessel hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea off the coast of India was heading towards the Somali coast on Monday and would reach there within days, officials said. The M.V. Jahan Moni, which has 25 Bangladeshi crew on board, was captured on Sunday about 550-km off the coast of Cochin in southern India while sailing to Greece. The vessel, owned by Bangladeshi shipping company Brave Royal, was carrying 43,000 tonnes of nickel ore from Indonesia. “So far, we have information that all the Bangladeshi crew are safe. Until it reaches the (Somali) coast, we cannot say whether the pirates are likely to seek a ransom,” Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan told AFP.