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Facebook announces changes to News Feed

Fri., March 8, 2013

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook has redesigned its social network to address complaints that the News Feed on its website has turned into a jumble of monotonous musings and random photos.

With the makeover unveiled Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes to turn the News Feed into something more like a newspaper tailored to the particular interests of each of the social network’s more than 1 billion worldwide users.

Previous tweaks to the News Feed have triggered howls of protest among Facebook’s users. Hoping to minimize the grousing this time around, Facebook intends to roll out the changes in phases over about six months to a year, the company said.

The new features will include enabling users to choose streams of content that may feature nothing but photos or posts from their closest friends, family members or favorite businesses. Or they will be able to peruse content about music, or sports, as if they were grabbing a section of a newspaper.

By adding more personal touches, Facebook is acknowledging that the computer-generated formulas that it has been using to determine the content shown to each user have become less effective as the social circles within its network have widened to include a more diverse array of information.

Court to seize homes of pharmacy owners

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A bankruptcy court judge has ordered the homes of the owners of a Massachusetts pharmacy seized as they face lawsuits related to a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

The homes’ combined value was estimated at about $21 million at the time of the January order, filed with the court Wednesday.

The order doesn’t require the owners of the New England Compounding Center to vacate or sell the homes. That becomes an issue only after any judgment against them. The properties of Carla Conigliaro, Gregory Conigliaro and Lisa and Barry Cadden are located in Boston, Barnstable, Southborough and Wrentham.

Earlier filings show the owners have about $20 million in frozen bank and investment accounts.

An NECC-produced steroid has been linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that’s killed 48.

February sales gains reportedly modest

NEW YORK – Retailers are reporting modest sales gains for February as consumers, uninspired by cool weather and worried about the economy, shopped cautiously for spring merchandise.

Overall, 15 retailers reported on Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year – a key indicator of retail health – rose an average of 1.7 percent. That number comes from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

It is a sharp slowdown from the 4.5 percent pace in January when shoppers splurged on holiday clearances.

Economists closely monitor consumer spending because it accounts for more than 70 percent of economic activity.


 

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