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Facebook IPO could be filed as early as next week

While many expect the company to file this week, timing is still being discussed and could change. Facebook’s IPO would provide funds that could not only allow the company to expand, but it could fend off any internet rivals, such as Google and Twitter.

Does Facebook and social media change your brain?

The Atlantic compares social media to how photography changed us, and the world.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote during the Facebook f8 Developer Conference at the San Francisco Design Center in San Francisco on September 22, 2011 in California. (Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images)

The explosion of Facebook and social media in recent years has sparked plenty of interesting societal, psychological and economic questions:

Why do so many people willingly splash their lives across the web?

What does it say about privacy in 2012?

How is this explosion changing media, technology and other industries around the globe?

A great essay in the Atlantic by Nathan Jurgenson tackles all of those questions and more. 

The big idea?

Social media — like photography and other technologies before it — is altering the way that humans look at the world. 

Here's how Jurgenson puts it:

For those who use Facebook, whose friends are on the site and logging in many times a day, we have come to experience the world differently. We are increasingly aware of how our lives will look as a Facebook photo, status update or check-in. As I type this in a coffee shop, I can "check-in" on Foursquare, I can "tweet" a funny one-liner overheard from the table next to me and I can take an 'interesting' photo of the perfectly-formed foam on top of my cappuccino. It is easy; I can do all of this and more from my phone in a matter of minutes. And, most importantly, there will be an audience for all of this. Hundreds of the people I am closest with will view all of this and some will reply with comments and "likes."

Simply, I have been trained to see the world in terms of what I can post to the Internet. I've learned to live and present a life that is "likeable."

To Jurgenson — "social theorist of media" who is working on a dissertation at the University of Maryland on "self-documentation and social media" — this should come as no surprise.

Technology has always changed the way that we view and interact with the world, from the discovery of fire, to the invention of the wheel, to the high speeds of railroads, to the earth-centric-shattering miracles of the space program.

Living life on the web is just another step on that long technological march.

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Facebook IPO would give California a revenue boost: analyst

"In the coming months, the state's revenue forecast will need to be adjusted somewhat to account for the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenues related to the Facebook IPO," California's legislative analyst Mac Taylor wrote in an analysis of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, according to the AP.

Google gets more personal with search results

Google just got even more personal. The search engine — which processes two thirds of all searches made in the US — rolled out personalized search results on Tuesday with its "Search, plus Your World" addition, the Associated Press reported.

Verizon Wireless drops $2 fee

"The era of corporations walking roughshod over consumers without consequence is officially over," Ben Rattray, chief executive of Change.org, said in a statement after Verizon backed off the fee, according to Reuters.

Chart of the day: The web in 60 seconds

Check out this amazing graphic about how the internet really works, from Google, to Facebook, to Twitter, Apple and more.

If you like numbers — and who doesn't? — then check out these amazing infographics (via Barry Ritholtz) that have been making the rounds on the web the past couple of days.

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Spotify adding Facebook-style apps from Rolling Stone, Last.fm to expand reach

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Facebook resolves spam that flooded news feeds with porn and violent images

Facebook says it has resolved had a spam attack that reportedly flooded users' news feeds with hard-core pornography and violent and obscene images.

Google, Facebook, Twitter united against US online piracy act

The companies say the Stop Online Piracy Act poses a "serious threat" to US innovation and cybersecurity.

Facebook renames Salman 'Ahmed Rushdie'

Salman Rushdie has won his fight with Facebook to be allowed to call himself by his chosen name, the author said Tuesday. The social network wanted him to go by his first name, Ahmed.
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Salman Rushdie, full name Ahmed Salman Rushdie. (Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahmed Rushdie probably gets far fewer friend requests than Salman Rushdie.

But that's the title Facebook wanted the reknowned author to go by - since Salman is technically his middle name, reported the BBC.

The social network, which has strict policies to ensure its users go by "real" names, deactivated Rushdie's account this weekend after questioning his identity, the author said on Twitter.

He had to show a scan of his passport to get the account reactivated - but when he reappeared on Facebook, it was as Ahmed Rushdie.

Facebook gave in after the author wrote a series of angry Tweets to complain.

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