By Lauren Hockenson, Giga Om
Facebook on Thursday announced the final phase of removing an old privacy feature from the social media platform. The feature, which allows users to be hidden from search, will finally be taken away for users who have it enabled.
The feature, called "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" was removed from Privacy settings last year (noted in a December blog post) for those who didn't have it enabled. When enabled, the setting removes the ability for users to access a Timeline profile via search, even when a user puts in the exact name of the person he or she is locating. Now, users that still have that feature enabled will begin to see removal notices from Facebook, indicating that they will be present and visible in Graph Search along with the rest of the Facebook user base.
Facebook says in the blog post that the feature is a vestigial precaution that reaches back before the platform had a sophisticated search algorithm. When Facebook search acted as a mere directory, removing oneself from search made it more difficult for strangers to access a given profile. But now, as Open Graph opens up to search more settings and there is greater visibility of Timelines for friends of friends, the importance of finding a person through search has diminished while controlling the content on any given Timeline has become more important. Facebook says that the feature also caused hiccups in the user experience:
"People told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn't find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn't find each other through search."Of course, the sunsetting of this feature for those who care about it the most only stresses the importance of checking and updating Facebook privacy settings often. Now, it's more important to consider the content of the Timeline itself: a "private Timeline" is only such when content is marked explicitly "Friends Only." As Facebook continues to make search easier, it's important to keep in mind how these changes impact social media privacy at large.
By Miriam Kramer
A newly discovered gaseous planet has been directly photographed orbiting a star about 300 light-years from Earth -- equivalent to 3.7 billion round trip flights to the moon.
Imaging alien planets is difficult, and this world may be the least massive planet directly observed outside of the solar system, scientists say.
A sharp new photo released by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Monday, June 3, depicts the suspected gas giant (called HD 95086 b) circling its young star (named HD 95086) in infrared light. The star has been removed from the image to allow the planet — shown as a bright blue dot at the bottom left of the picture — to shine through.
HD 95086 b was sighted by ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Based on the planet's brightness, scientists estimate that it is only about four or five times more massive than Jupiter. [See Amazing Photos of the Very Large Telescope]
Most exoplanets are discovered via indirect means, such as detecting a dip in a star's light when a planet passes in front of it, blocking part of its face, or finding a slight wobble in a star's movement caused by the gravitational tug of planets orbiting it.
"Direct imaging of planets is an extremely challenging technique that requires the most advanced instruments, whether ground-based or in space," Julien Rameau, an astronomer at the Institute of Astrophysics and Planetology in France and lead author of the study announcing the discovery, said in a statement. "Only a few planets have been directly observed so far, making every single discovery an important milestone on the road to understanding giant planets and how they form."
Another photo from ESO shows the star and its planet in context with other stars in the southern constellation of Carina, the keel.
The planet orbits its star at about twice the distance from the sun to Neptune and about 56 times the distance between Earth and the sun. The blue circle in the photo represents the distance between the sun and Neptune.
HD 95086 is relatively young star at only 10 million to 17 million years old, making the formation of the exoplanet and the dusty disc surrounding the star potentially intriguing to researchers.
"[The planet's] current location raises questions about its formation process," Anne-Marie Lagrange, one of Rameau's team members, said in a statement. "It either grew by assembling the rocks that form the solid core and then slowly accumulated gas from the environment to form the heavy atmosphere, or started forming from a gaseous clump that arose from gravitational instabilities in the disc. Interactions between the planet and the disc itself or with other planets may have also moved the planet from where it was born."
The research will be published in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/03/never-before-seen-alien-planet-imaged-directly-in-new-photo/#ixzz2VW4Nxeat