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Facebook Faces High-Level Staff Exodus

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the more-time-with-family dept.

Businesses 346

angry tapir writes "It has been troubled times for Facebook since the social network's IPO in May. There has been speculation that Facebook could suffer a talent drain in the wake of the IPO, and now the organization has lost four of its high-level managers the space of a week: Ethan Beard, director of platform partnerships; Kate Mitic, platform marketing director; Jonathan Matus, mobile platform marketing manager; and Ben Blumenfeld, design manager, have all resigned from the company."

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Walking wounded... (5, Interesting)

wermske (1781984) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969279)

I really don't give a damn about Facebook (the firm). The survivors of event triggered churn (following milestone events) can be painful for the remaining staff.

Additionally this business phenomenon presents a new challenge for both inexperienced managers and leaders that have become intoxicated by constant build-grow success. Add in the additional inconvenience, ramp time, and dollar cost of finding and onboarding replacement staff, event related staff churn can have a damaging effect on the morale and productivity of the existing workforce (and impact their resumes).

The walking wounded; however, can choose to affect the situation or be affected by it. The survivors and thrivers will confront this challenge and exploit the opportunity for what it is... a chance to learn and grow.

It won't kill FB (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969377)

The exodus of the 14 execs won't kill FB

How many execs have left Yahoo ?

Is Yahoo still around ?

FB won't die until it runs out of cash. As long as it has cash left, it will go on, just like Yahoo

Re:It won't kill FB (5, Insightful)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969549)

Yes, but Yahoo is not going to improve , unless something extraordinary happens Yahoo will die.

Re:It won't kill FB (5, Informative)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969791)

If AOL is still around and kicking today, it's pretty hard to believe that Yahoo will just up and die. It's important to note that Yahoo still has 10s of millions of active email users, the best fantasy sports platform on the internet, a pretty solid website in Flickr, and a bunch of other random shit. AOL has much less, yet somehow stays alive.

Re:It won't kill FB (4, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40970007)

How much are MySpace and Digg worth now?

Re:It won't kill FB (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969557)

And FB will have cash until the users stop showing up.

I'm curious about how the exodus will happen. I don't see it going to G+, really. I think Diaspora died along with one of the young founders. FB copycats are a dime a dozen, but haven't heard any word in the way of compelling alternatives. Perhaps individual services will eat away at them through mobile...

Re:It won't kill FB (4, Insightful)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969875)

The exodus of high level leaders at same time, however can definitely kill a company. Think of it this way, if several generals or even majors of an army quit at the same time, it leads the army directionless for a fair bit. If the competition is shrewd, this will be the perfect time to throw in some innovative twists and come up with something new. And if that happens, cash, which essentially comes from advts. will dry up instantly. And that will lead to even more mass exodus. One way to beat vicious cycles is to not to get into one.

And this is surprising? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969289)

I'd bail too from a ship that just went over a cliff.

Re:And this is surprising? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969385)

I especially want to bail out of the ship when the SEC is going to start sniffing around.

Re:And this is surprising? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40970089)

Ya, no shit! I'd cash out too while the stock is still valuable all while laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:And this is surprising? (2)

rwven (663186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969699)

By that logic, bailing isn't going to do you much good at that point. :-P

I think you meant to say a ship heading for a cliff... ;)

Re:And this is surprising? (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969869)

In fact, it's a derailed ship which has been driven into a ditch, is now stuck in a nosedive, and is about to go over a cliff.

And? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969293)

That was the plan all along. Cash out and move on. It's a shallow company with no real long term potential. People are fickle, color me surprised.

Re:And? (2)

klingers48 (968406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969331)

From a purely self-interest perspective, what these managers are doing by leaving now is actually the smartest decision they could make.

The stock price has probably got further down to go. Depending on their stock options they'd actually stand to lose money by staying don't they?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969347)

The stock price has probably got further down to go. Depending on their stock options they'd actually stand to lose money by staying don't they?

No. They would not lose money. Most of the stock options prior to the IPO is effectively valued at a few cents per share, at most.

Seriously, the company still has $50+B valuation. The old options will not be out of money for a while still.

Re:And? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969645)

No. They would not lose money.

[...]

The old options will not be out of money for a while still.

So cash out now or wait while their options continue to lose value? They chose to leave now. And holding out until the options are underwater doesn't sound even remotely like a good move to me.

Re:And? (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969445)

From a purely self-interest perspective, what these managers are doing by leaving now is actually the smartest decision they could make.

The stock price has probably got further down to go. Depending on their stock options they'd actually stand to lose money by staying don't they?

That makes no sense. How do they lose money by staying at Facebook? Why can't they cash in their stock options and still continue to work at Facebook?

The fact that people are leaving usually indicates that it's a shitty place to work and/or they see no future for themselves or for the company.

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969625)

I'll do this with an analogy. There is a boat captain who sees that his boat needs a lot of maintenance. So he tells the higher ups, who don't respond high enough for him. So he says, fine get someone else to captain your boat. He goes off to captain another boat with a different company. So the first company gets a new captain and the boat pops rivets under his first watch. Now who would everybody blame for the failure of the boat? Even if he hadn't had the opportunity to discover the problem, most likely, the new captain will still get the blame. High level positions are similar; they all operate on a post hoc blame system.

Additionally, companies will sometimes say that you can only exercise the option when you leave or at an IPO, rather than at will. There are complicated reasons for this but the short version is, as long as the stock price is going up or going to increase, yours and the companies interest is aligned. However, if you assume that the stock price is going to keep falling, then you want to quit before it falls below your call and lapses.

One last thing I just thought of. They may be contractually limited to short sell the shares while working for the company. So if they quit, they can make more money as the stock falls from a short sale.

Re:And? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969655)

Stock options will have a vesting period to keep people attached, where if they leave before a certain point they won't get them and so on. Because of the way facebook managed to delay its IPO for so long I suspect a lot of people are starting to run out of their options vesting period, and more will in the next year or two.

The fact that people are leaving usually indicates that it's a shitty place to work and/or they see no future for themselves or for the company

Not true at all. Especially when you're talking about the facebook pay bracket. A lot of these people (especially top executives) will have been making a few hundred thousand a year, which is a lot, but suddenly they have millions in the bank, they can even buy boring government bonds and other relatively safe securities and live off the interest and retire. Why work if you don't have to? Or they'll have significantly more lucrative offers elsewhere.

Especially really top executives, who suddenly have tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, they have a lot of opportunities to do their own things too. That might be owning a little league or making a facebook competitor, or anything in between. They don't even need to think about facebook.

Now admittedly, with a share price, and a share price that's going down the job will have changed and be significantly more stressful than it was. That's probably making a lot of people like their jobs a lot less.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40970027)

The stock goes up when the company announces stuff, and down when it doesn't, but you can't sell options when the the company makes announcements, because the SEC makes you go into employee blackout periods during those announcements. Result is you get to hear all your former co-workers crowing about making a mint on the same options you can't sell, and to keep the SEC happy, most newly IPOed companies go into an almost continuous employee blackout period trying to boost the stock price.

Besides... (2)

schnell (163007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969381)

So four people left... are these really surprising super high-level departures? At least in the Big Company I come from, you aren't considered any kind of "executive" unless you have some kind of "* Vice President" or "C*" in your title. "Director" or "Manager" may mean you're actually doing important work, but is nobody's idea of an "executive."

Maybe Facebook is very different, though...

Re:Besides... (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969667)

"At least in the Big Company I come from, you aren't considered any kind of "executive" unless you have some kind of "* Vice President" or "C*" in your title."

So does being a "C/C#/C++ Programmer" make you some kind of big shot?

Re:Besides... (4, Funny)

schnell (163007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40970085)

So does being a "C/C#/C++ Programmer" make you some kind of big shot?

By virtue of having three consecutive alphanumeric Cs in your job title, you would outrank everyone else in the company. Unless of course they hired a CCCCEO.

Re:And? (1)

reybo (2540564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969637)

There are SEC rules on when executives can sell stock after an IPO. The magic date may have passed last week. Would you want to work for these creeps if you didn't need to work?

Sinking ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969299)

Rats leave first. Really though, these people we're biding their time at the company for the big IPO cash out. They know companies like Facebook come and go.

Manage THIS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969305)

But...but...geeks don't like managers!

They can sell their stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969315)

With the way FB stock is moving, it is better to quit - so they can sell their stocks before it goes down even more

Do we really care? (1, Funny)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969317)

Do we really care?

What's this FaceBook thing anyway?

Does it compile into native code or P-code?

If you put facebook through a compiler ... (1, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969469)

... the outcome is a bunch of soiled butt-papers
 

Re:Do we really care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969551)

Does it compile into native code or P-code?

Does it run on a Beowu...

Re:Do we really care? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969577)

Exactly. This isn't a technology story at all.

-jcr

Re:Do we really care? (5, Interesting)

suy (1908306) | more than 2 years ago | (#40970119)

Do we really care?

What's this FaceBook thing anyway?

Does it compile into native code or P-code?

Fun fact: FaceBook uses HipHop [facebook.com] , a tool they developed themselves to convert PHP code to C++, and then compile it to native code.

And the craziest thing is that they compile everything into a single 1.5 GB binary [arstechnica.com] :

Because Facebook's entire code base is compiled down to a single binary executable, the company's deployment process is quite different from what you'd normally expect in a PHP environment. Rossi told me that the binary, which represents the entire Facebook application, is approximately 1.5GB in size. When Facebook updates its code and generates a new build, the new binary has to be pushed to all of the company's servers.

So, yeah, FaceBook compiles to native code! :-)

When the avalanche has started (4, Insightful)

sandbagger (654585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969339)

It is too late for the pebbles to vote. The current management team may not be the people to monetize the company. Eventually the shareholders will hold the board's feet to the fire and they'll really start to sell every single fact about you to anyone who's willing to pay. Think Facebook has privacy problems now?

Re:When the avalanche has started (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969713)

Eventually the shareholders will hold the board's feet to the fire

False.

Even though he owns a small number of shares, Zuckerberg owns a large majority of the voting shares. He has complete control of the company.

Many other companies have a dual-class share structure allowing a small minority to retain control with a small financial stake. Generally speaking, it sucks, and companies with this kind of share structure don't tend to do very well. Don't buy their stock.

Re:When the avalanche has started (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969833)

Just curious, do you know many examples of other such companies, which we would have heard of?

Re:When the avalanche has started (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969773)

Eventually the shareholders will hold the board's feet to the fire

How will they do that? Zuckerberg outvotes them all, thanks to the dual-class stock structure.

Re:When the avalanche has started (2)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969935)

The current management team may not be the people to monetize the company.

If anything's going to kill Facebook, it will be decisions made by people who were only hired to make money. People who have no interest in what it's for, never will have interest, and are only there to monetize.

Facebook will have to be very, very careful to make sure the user experience doesn't completely vaporize in the face of money-mongers. But I think if they were planning to be that careful, they probably would not have gone public.

Re:When the avalanche has started (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40970011)

The shareholders won't tell be board anything. The way the stock is structured most of it is effectively nonvoting stock.

Rats deserting a stinking ship... (5, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969343)

I've often heard the term, "where there is smoke there is fire".

This makes me wonder if there was something strange going on with the IPO. A lot of pissed off people who lost a lot of money. One one hand I can't feel sorry for people that lost money since anybody with a brain could figure out Facebook was not worth that much. On the other hand, if there were any shenanigans, I don't think people at Facebook should get away with it.

It is pretty strange to see that much high level "talent" leave. Suspicious is another word.

Re:Rats deserting a stinking ship... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969451)

I've worked many jobs that have given me "stock options" and the company is public so you might as well burn them.

I've also worked for public companies that went from 4 dollars up to 35 and then back down over night.

The normal employee is screwed either way because you can't sell your stock when you want and only so much at a time.

There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The only way to get ahead is to stop bitch, show up to work and work hard every day till you die.

Re:Rats deserting a stinking ship... (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969827)

I've worked many jobs that have given me "stock options" and the company is public so you might as well burn them.

If you think stock options are worthless because the company is public, uh, that might be your problem. Those can be the most valuable stock options, because they're almost guaranteed to be worth something. And sometimes companies give you a LOT of options to make up for the fact that they aren't growing anymore.

Re:Rats deserting a stinking ship... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969849)

I disagree. If you really want to get to the pot of gold, you have to start your own business. Working for someone else will never get you far. (Of course, starting your own company is also a giant gamble, as most companies fail, so there's no free lunch here either.)

Of course, there are those who supposedly work for someone else, but they really work for themselves, as they're independent contractors; they can also do quite well.

Re:Rats deserting a stinking ship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969487)

Rats deserting a stinking ship...

More like the VP's got their millions and now go off to start their own companies.

Re:Rats deserting a stinking ship... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969613)

This makes me wonder if there was something strange going on with the IPO.

There was something strange, it IPO'd for much more than the company is worth. Managers see that their stock isn't going to appreciate, and go somewhere better. Now the company needs to pay its employees in cash, a lot of it, or lose them, like Yahoo did.

Is there something else 'strange' and illegal? Maybe, but why stoop to the illegal level when you can rip people off like that legally?

Replace them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969345)

No one's irreplaceable.

we all tried to do it (5, Funny)

TheRealWheatley (2049120) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969353)

they're just going over to g+, until they realize that none of their friends are following them and head back to facebook

Talent drain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969357)

I'm confused - What talent is there to drain?

Re:Talent drain? (1)

casab1anca (1304953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969689)

There is no lack of talent in most large companies. But often this talent is concentrated in the lower levels of the company, and the drain begins as soon as they realize that the people at the top have no clue what they're doing. A lot of this talent then moves to smaller companies, some of which eventually succeed and become large companies. Rinse and repeat. This happens all the time in the tech industry.

Love fb (0)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969363)

I don't care. I love facebook. It's an awesome idea. It'll survive and thrive. This is simple turnover of those who are cashing out after all their hard work. Fine by me. Get some fresh minds working on more cool shit. Facebook has changed all our lives whether you want to admit it or not. Let's hope that continues because it's been for the better in my opinion.

Re:Love fb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969433)

"I can't believe these fuckers are so stupid!"

Re:Love fb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969477)

Oh please, like we have never looked down on Lusers before. People ARE stupid.

Re:Love fb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969447)

Changed our lives? Maybe yours, probably because you did not have one to begin with. FB is a piece of crap for teenagers and feeble-minded adults.

Re:Love fb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969735)

Emperor Palpatine? Is that you? Good to see you! Love the reverse psychology. Haha. Its beneath you, m'lord.

Re:Love fb (3, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969895)

Well considering how many people use FB, I guess in your mind most of the adult population is "feeble-minded". Arrogant much?

FB is a pretty smart idea; only a fool would say otherwise. However, that doesn't mean that FB is the greatest possible implementation of that idea. It has a lot of problems; the biggest problem is that of monetization. Sure, it's kinda cool to have some big online meeting place to find all your friends and post dumb pictures and links and chit-chat about it all, but someone's gotta pay the bills to keep it all running, and people posting silly comments about cat pictures and pictures of their kids isn't exactly a big money-maker, and people tend to get turned off by too much advertising, so while that can be used to bring in revenue, if you overdo it, it'll backfire, plus it's not hard for people to block ads with things like ABP, making advertising even less valuable.

The other problem I see is that FB just isn't that well done. For instance, suppose I want to look up someone I knew way back in high school to see what he or she is up to these days. If they have an uncommon name, no problem, just search for that name and they'll pop up if they have a FB account. But what if their name is John or Julie Smith? Good luck finding the person you're looking for there. Now, you'd think that you could just narrow it down with some keywords or something (e.g. school names they've attended, towns or states they've lived in, etc.); but no, the FB people aren't smart enough to implement that apparently.

Re:Love fb (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969933)

"FB is a pretty smart idea; only a fool would say otherwise."

So was AOL, myspace, and another 2 dozen communities just like it in the past, its a fad

that fad will eventually grow tired and move on to the next facebook, leaving all that time and effort spent reduced to a news blog, its impressive no doubt, but so were each and every one of its predecessors, and the future will be yet another service that "change people's lives" thats just facebook + a few of the things you mention to make it 0.07% slightly better for your aunt or teenage cousin to bullshit about nothing on for a few more years.

Re:Love fb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969475)

You, sir, are an idiot.

Re:Love fb (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969617)

I sort of agree, and it's good to hear at least one decenter from the crowd. I also don't really like facebook, and scorn it for my own personal reasons. But, I do see where people are always going to be looking for ways to connect. FB did that pretty well at one point. (Myspace did it for a while, and before them yahoo, etc, in different ways.)

I think the problem with FB, now, is they're either too greedy or too big. It might be a case where several, smaller FB-like organizations, ran privately, would do the same job and more profitably. Instead, they've sold themselves to the market, and the market is realizing what FB's income sheets look like.

(I'm kind of free associating so get your salt lick out.)

Re:Love fb (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969659)

I think you are trolling.

I love facebook. It's an awesome idea. It'll survive and thrive.

I despise facebook. Its got potential as a concept. Social networks will survive and thrive -- but hopefully facebook will crash and burn to be replaced by something good.

Get some fresh minds working on more cool shit.

If your entire platform is the shit that is privacy invasion and advertising no matter what you build on it, it will eventually sink into that shit. Start over. Do it differently.

Facebook has changed all our lives whether you want to admit it or not.

It actually has had virtually zero impact on mine; but then I declined to get an account.

The sum total of its impact on me is that i see little blue "f" icons on a bunch of stuff that i ignore, and companies jibber about their facebook pages instead of their websites now. I don't visit their fb pages... and nothing of value was lost.

Re:Love fb (2)

casab1anca (1304953) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969721)

Isn't this the same thing people said about MySpace back then?

Re:Love fb (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969915)

It hasn't changed my life one bit, its just another in a long series of popular communities, they run for a while, crap out and get replaced while some child claimed they changed humanity

Re:Love fb (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969957)

I don't care. I love facebook. It's an awesome idea. It'll survive and thrive

You know, I remember people saying the same thing about myspace, and a bunch of other 'social media' sites. They're doing pretty good too huh? It won't survive that's the thing, myspace changed a lot of stuff too, then it died. The only reason why it's hanging on now, is because corporations are living on the high life for it. When that changes and it becomes useless as an advertising platform, it won't matter. Car companies have already realized this. GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Lexus, VW, Volvo, and so on have all already pulled their advertising, it just "doesn't work."

Wha? (4, Funny)

matt-fu (96262) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969371)

Fewer managers. You say that like it's a bad thing.

lil guy investor gets screwed yet again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969403)

I feel yer pain o ye small average investor. I'm glad I didn't jump on that bandwagon with yall. Don't hate me, I bought VMW near its high. I too, am a fool. Like ye, Oh ye without access to inside info like those bastard criminals.

Re:lil guy investor gets screwed yet again (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969547)

The only thing an investor have to do is make sure they put their money where it will grow. The facebook IPO was a complete and utter joke (feel free to review my past comments). If Joe wants to make it's placement itself, he bears the risk. If a financial advisor told Joe to invest in Facebook, he should be sacked prompy, head first. Simple as that.

Dont want risk? Invest in primary industries that MAKE STUFF people NEED. Period.

Re:lil guy investor gets screwed yet again (2)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969815)

hmmmm... What investor invests in something they know nothing about? If they had paid just the scantest of attention, they never would have invested in FB. I am not knocking FB, I am mocking the 'investor'. All of the issues that the press screamed about after the IPO were discussed prior to the IPO. These are the same people that would have invested in tulip bulbs in the 1600s.

What idiot invested in mortgages after 2005? "No income verification! No money down!" Say what? Or derivatives?

And how about the dot.com bubble? I had already moved everything out of that sector the year before. Yeah, I missed out on a some gains, but I avoided the stampede. I do feel a little pity for my workmates that had bought on margin. Ouch.

They still haven't re-instated the Glass–Steagall Act. And they left the super, mega banks intact. Today the finance sector is right back to their old tricks.

Die, Facebook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969457)

Please.

Frankly, I saw this coming (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969461)

If I had the ear of any of the big investment firms, I would have told them not to buy into Facebook. Why? Because unlike the other web behemoths, such as Google or Amazon, Facebook is just yet another social network, and those things go in cycles. Over the course of my Internet "life" I've had around twenty accounts on various social networks. They never make money like they believe they will, and they never retain their user base over the long term. Facebook was hoping to be the exception to that rule, but you just can't make money off people sharing Photoshopped pictures of various celebrities wearing the Scumbag Steve hat.

Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (3, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969533)

I used to think that, but lately it seems like Facebook has become what I used to use email for. I use Facebook to send messages to friends and also coordinate events with them. And my actual email is mostly spam.

Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969675)

My sister tried that - once.

I don't have a facebook account and refused to get one.

The whole platform falls on its face as an event organization platform if even one key person refuses to sign up to having their personal lives data mined.

Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (3, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969783)

That is actually the initial trigger to drive the popularity of other newer social networks. Each time a person tries to coordinate via a social network, only to get refusal and rejection with the recommendation of an alternate network, that person is motivated to try the alternate network and if they get enjoy the new network try to shift their other friends to it, 'using the old social network'. Fascinating isn't the old fad social network actually accelerates it's demise but facilitating the mass transfer of people to the new fad social network.

Facebook has got on the nose, seen as being old and now flooded with wanna be, has been teens, still trying to hang onto their youth. This seems to be the ultimate killer of social networks, the ageing of their users and users seeking to escape unappealing contacts for what ever reason.

Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969885)

Exactly !

If someone must coordinate an event via FB and only via FB ... I'm not in it, sorry!

Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (3, Insightful)

SolemnLord (775377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969947)

The whole platform falls on its face as an event organization platform if even one key person refuses to sign up to having their personal lives data mined.

The event was doomed to fail anyway, if the organizers can't figure out how to keep one "hold-out" (for lack of a better word) in the loop through other means.

Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (1)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969609)

Correct call but you don't need to be a genius to work that out.

All business have a finite life and well predicted cycle - just some are on cycle measured in by centuries (eg Encyclopædia Britannica, Kodak, NY Times) while others are measured in years or decades.

Only question is not whether Facebook will decline but how much it can cash-in before that happens which is really dictated the length of decline itself - market valuations are more in line strong growth and a life of AT LEAST 10-20 years while I think people's gut-feel is often more on the order 5 years.

We'll dance around it like WILD injuns! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969479)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

##

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

* Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
* Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
* Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
* Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
* Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
* Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
* Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
* Search out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
* Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

#

I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

#

"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

subversion hack:
tagmeme(dot)com/subhack/

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

#
eof

Re:We'll dance around it like WILD injuns! (-1, Troll)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969691)

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not hard to work out why (1, Flamebait)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969491)

Jonathan Matus, mobile platform marketing manager
Ben Blumenfeld, design manager

Facebook is SHIT on phones and iPads. I hear quite a few people use those these days.

Surprise! (4, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969499)

The most amazing thing about this whole sad saga is that not one single person foresaw Facebooks IPO problems. Not one I tells ya!

Re:Surprise! (-1)

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Re:Surprise! (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969831)

The most amazing thing about this whole sad saga is that not one single person foresaw Facebooks IPO problems. Not one I tells ya!

Really? Were you even reading the financial news?

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969993)

*whoosh*

Re:Surprise! (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40970099)

Egads! I've been had? Can I chalk it up to being up too late after a weekend of too many 'serious' drunken discussions about what is wrong with this damn country...

Who's Zuckerberg's alter ego? (5, Funny)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969537)

Facebook's biggest problem as a young company is Zuckerberg has never had a corporate alter ego. The most prominent of the newer information companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google were started by partners such as Steve Jobs/Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates/Paul Allen, and Larry Page/Sergey Brin. Like a vanishing twin, one of the partners might eventually leave the company, but in their early histories, none of these companies was dominated by a single alpha-geek but by a Batman and Robin or Laurel and Hardy dynamic duo.

Re:Who's Zuckerberg's alter ego? (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969741)

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they lost both Professor X and Cyclops and have had to make due with Matter Eater Lad for the past decade.

What's new? (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969555)

Every tech company is losing staff, because none are willing to hire junior-level workers and train them. So companies keep competing over the same fixed number of people. And the quickest way to get a raise is to jump ship. So there you have it.

It's not just tech, either. There are lots of college-educated bartenders these days, because every "entry level" position requires 3 years of experience. It's absurd.

Re:What's new? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969943)

One day a few years ago I saw a job listing that required 3 years of experience specifically on a product that wasnt due to be released for another quarter. Not just some update, but a pretty radical departure from its previous version, and only hit the news a half year before.

I sent in a resume claiming I was Marty Mcfly and that I had over 2 decades of experiance using the software that was not released yet... I got a rather rude email back

HR = retard

Re:What's new? (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969995)

It is not low level tech rotation. Management is leaving and four heads are doing it at the same time.

Hmmm.... (1)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969649)

So much talking about a company that is just a high tech gossip enabler.....

Not that surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969739)

When the IPO came along, nasty business people came with it. "We want" is their first two words, and then what follows might be the most stupid thing you've ever heard of in your life, but they want it, and they want it RIGHT NOW!!! Usually some half-wit with an idea suggests something that could make everyone super rich$. Its like the discovery that toilet paper has two sides, and so you can turn it over and use it twice! Trying to head off stupidity is annoying and a waste of time, but business folk insist that their foolish questions be treated with kid gloves and they insist that smart, talented people waste their time leading the boffins around by the nose. Things they boffins don't get, are treated with mistrust, and the words 'we will get someone else, you work for us now you know'. At some point, all that gets too annoying, the job starts to suck, and people cash out, leaving voids in the company that the wonks can't "Just Replace". When these people go, the company does lose long term equity. The business wonks will try to hire, fail, and will change the job so that anyone they hire can do it. The job thus changed, isn't as good, productive or profitable, but they "ride the bitch down till the end", cashing out before the "dead cat bounce". FaceBookEnd.

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Clouds usually dissipate (1)

overmoderated (2703703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969803)

It will vanish eventually. TG.

vesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969817)

Maybe they had a load of options or such which just vested (that is, they had to stay until now in order to exercise them), and would otherwise have trickled out over the last few years?

Well, you could say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969861)

Guns don't kill startups, brain drain kills startups!

And nothing of value was lost (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969887)

director of platform partnerships

platform marketing director

mobile platform marketing manager

design manager

Sorry, but those mostly sound like made up bullshit job titles.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40970035)

They pay six figures salary though, and that's without bonuses and other compensation.

Does /. mod criticism of /.? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40969911)

Funny how pointing out editorial post manipulation finds it's way to -1 for no other reason than
it criticizes editorial policy.

Worse, IP's are tracked & opposition is prevented from posting--effectively silenced. This is a horrendous policy for a forum which
speaks so much about censorship.

Re:Does /. mod criticism of /.? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40970077)

I also find "anonymous coward" far too pejorative for a forum that largely advocates and supports Linux security, net neutrality, and Tor, etc etc etc...

Exodus (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | more than 2 years ago | (#40969983)

Zuckerberg, let my people go.

Zuckerberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40970041)

There's something shady about Zuckerberg, so it doesn't surprise me that his staff have little loyalty once the big score is over.

I wouldn't want to work around him either.

Timeline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40970093)

I stopped using FB when they forced Timeline on me. I know other people who have done the same. Are the people responsible for THAT p.o.s. still with the company?

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