Welcome To Facebook Town!

Let’s face it, Facebook pretty much owns us. In a cunning scheme – and the greatest market research project ever – that crafty Mark Zuckerberg has amassed all our personal information (we gave it up voluntarily) and has enough blackmail photos of all us to guarantee that any attempt at running for public office would be immediately squashed. The best way for Big Brother to keep tabs on us is to have each one of become Big Brother.

Facebook announced this week that it is working with a local developer to build a $120 million, 394-unit housing community within walking distance of their Menlo Park campus. Welcome to Facebook town! The 630,000 square-foot rental complex will include everything from a sports bar to a doggy day care. (But will WiFi be free?) When I lived in San Francisco, the Facebook bus would pick up FB employees right down the street – to cart them off to Silicon Valley for the day like little tech-geek school kids; a genius move by Zuckerberg because it squeezes an extra two work hours out of his staff.

Here’s the company Kool Aid press statement: 

"We’re certainly excited to have more housing options closer to campus, but we believe that people work at Facebook because what they do is rewarding and they believe in our mission."  

The real estate move is a cross between a turn-of-the-century company town and backwoods, incestious inbreeding – where employees are forced to mingle, socialize, and live amongst each other in a 24/7 Facebook wonderland. (Will Zuckerberg’s employees "like" living there?)  


Some info on company towns:

-Celebration, Florida is a simulated small town USA built by The Walt Disney corporation near Disneyland. All hail Mickey Mouse! 

-There was once more than 2,500 company towns, housing 3% of the US population.

-Traditional settings for company towns were for the coal, metal mines, and lumber industries. 

-The Ron Howard movie, Gung Ho, is about a company town. A Japanese car company buys an American plant. Hilarity ensues. 

-My Space is considering building a company town, but much like its site the establishment would be inhabited by no one.



Facebook Buys Face.com; Things Might Get Awkward.com

In a not-so-shocking geek-billionaire move of web domination, Zuck has purchased the face-recognition website Face.com today (as if we ever needed more help in the “I totally threw up after downing 12 shots of Jagermeister at that seedy Amsterdam weed party” photo-tagging department). Face.com joins its hipster-crap neighbor Instagram in the Facebook purchases club, and they seem all too happy to hit that baby-blue “like” button.

“We love building products, and like our friends at Facebook, we think that mobile is a critical part of people’s lives as they both create and consume content, and share content with their social graph,” the site’s team announced today. “By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we’ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers – that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do.  :)”

Yes, all they’ve ever wanted to do was make sure every one of your work buddies saw your triumphant teabagging antics after getting high last night. Maybe after we’ve all filed invasion of privacy complaints, they’ll acquire deletethisphotoforever.com?

Your Daily Guide to Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

Facebook IPO
If Facebook had a dollar for every time someone did a Google search about its stock… Oh, wait, it’s about to. Everyone’s searching for info on Facebook stock because at 11 a.m., when the Nasdaq Stock Market opens, the company’s stock will be available to the public — not really, but the Master of the Universe who will later make a fortune selling it to the actual public — and the company will establish its worth at what’s expected to be about $104 billion. Watch out, folks, a lot of pasty computer types in the Bay Area are about to get exponentially more attractive.

Eduardo Saverin
Because today is going to be all Facebook all the time — sorry, Donna Summer! — people using Google are curious about Brazilian-born Facebook founder Saverin (Andrew Garfield from the movie, kids), who’s doing his best to explain away the recent news that he’s expatriating to Singapore. The web entrepreneur, who supposedly owns about $2 billion worth of the social network, now says he’s not attempting to avoid paying taxes on what’s going to be an enormous windfall today. "My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009,” he said to Forbes. “I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen."

Elin Nordegren
Who cares about Mark Zuckerberg and pals when Tiger Woods’ ex-wife has told her friends she’s looking for a stable relationship. This is the shit that makes the world go round, Yahoo! readers! Anyway, the Norweigan beauty has apparently sent banking scion boy-toy Jamie Dingman packing and is looking for someone who can be a proper step-dad to her two kids. Meanwhile, her ex was just named the most powerful athlete in the world, which can’t make her feel any better on those long, lonely nights curled up in a mansion with her massive fortune.

Tebow Cease and Desist
The intrepid Yahoo! users who are searching out news on virginal Tim Tebow’s cease-and-desist lawsuit must be wondering why the Jesus-loving football star can’t turn the other cheek. You see, a company called Cubby Tees is making knock-off New York Jets shirts that turn the Jets logo into something that says “My Jesus,” not too different from those Coca-Cola rip-offs that say “Cocaine” and things of that nature. But because Tebow is the Jet most closely associated with the guy upstairs, he’s pissed! In a letter, his lawyers wrote, “"The Merchandise makes it appear as if Mr. Tebow actually endorses Cubby Tees and its products.”

Oh, Twitter. Even when there’s news happening and the world is changing, sometimes you just like to sit there and play with your bellybutton lint, don’t you? Today on the site, the phrase “I Really Want To” is trending, so people are posting their hearts’ desires. It’s awful.

I Really Want 1

I Really Want 2

I Really Want 3

Your Daily Guide to Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

People are Googling some pretty serious stuff today. First of all, there’s the top item: Carl Beane. Now, for most of us who didn’t grow up in Boston or do not care about baseball (show of hands? anyone?), you might be learning here for the first time that Beane was considered the "Voice of Fenway Park" (that’s the Red Sox stadium for those of you that fit into the above two categories). Sadly, Mr. Beane died yesterday after having a heart attack while driving just south of Boston, ending his nine-year career as the announcer for the Red Sox. (Google has indexed this news item under "spicy," because death is so hot right now.)

On a much lighter note, I suppose, is the fourth topic: Time magazine. You know what’s a great way to sell copies of your crappy weekly news round-up? Disgust and/or infuriate people! How do you do that? Run an image of a young, hot mom breastfeeding her three-year-old son. Take a gander!

time mag

Your move, Newsweek.

Meanwhile, over on Yahoo, your parents are Yahooing things like "Zuckerberg hoodie," the fifth hot topic on the site. Even though he’s worth billions and gajillions of dollars, the young sprite Mark Zuckerberg still likes to take biz casz down a notch, which is why he showed up to a meeting with potential investors in New York this week wearing his trademark hooded sweatshirt. Wall Street analysts have been analyzing the hell out of it, with most calling it "a sign of immaturity." "Ugh, Millennials!" your dad is probably shouting as he attempts to print out the Yahoo blogzines he’s currently reading, probably while wearing a very stiff suit. 

Just two notch above Mark Zuckerberg is Carmen Electra. (Shouldn’t that always be the case?) Electra is scheduled to appear with other B- and C-list celebs like Dean Cain, Finesse Mitchell, Taylor Hicks, and a Kardashian brother on a dating show called The Choice, wherein said celebs and reality show stars that you barely remember mingle with single non-celebs. 

Finally, there’s Twitter, where only the best and brightest go to make jokes in which certain words in movie titles are replaced with "vagina." There’s one high brow topic today, #BecauseofObama. Most people are like, "#BecauseofObama, things are awesome!" And some people are like, "#BecauseofObama, things are terrible!" At least one person below is annoyed that other people can’t get medical marijuana. Hashtag-politics!

because of obama

(Also, hey, Jessi Langsen! I know you!)

Lastly, there’s #MetsAreBetterThan, which is pretty self-explanatory.

mets are better than

But in case you’re not familiar (again, sports! boring!), the Mets are one of New York City’s baseball teams. "What?" you might be asking. "I thought it was the New York Yankees!" I know, I know. How confusing! Two teams! Some cities do that. It’s very frustrating for those of us who don’t care about baseball, except for the weekends in which the teams play each other and you are likely to watch some pretty exciting baseball-fan-on-baseball-fan violence at bars. That’s one thing the Mets aren’t better than!

Facebook Threatens to Sue ‘Mark Zuckerberg’

That’s right Facebook is suing Mark Zuckerberg.  Not the hoodie sporting, Adidas with socks-styled founder, but the guy who changed his name to mirror that of the tech titan and launched a store which ties into the site.  It’s a far cry from the ivy adorned, rowing-fueled litigations of the Winklevoss twins.

Rotem Guez is the founder of the Like Store, which peddles to those who shamelessly use this year’s top acronym “LMS” (Like my status) by selling those thumbs up to companies. The sale of digital approval violates Facebooks high, ahem, ethics code and they threatened to sue back in September.

In response, Guez legally changed his name to ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ on Dec. 7 and just a week later Facebook is again threatening legal action against the Like Store.  Zuck II is ready to play, taking trolling to a whole new level.  He has set up an Internet campaign to drum up publicity using his new persona including a Facebook Page and Twitter account, @iMarkZuckerberg. He is also using the site markzuckerbergofficial.com to tell his story.

Even if this doesn’t make it all the way to court it would make a hilarious, albeit mildly confusing, sequel to The Social Network.  Paging Aaron Sorkin.

Morning Links: Kim Kardashian Moving to Brooklyn, Jon Hamm to Direct ‘Mad Men’

● Robot woman January Jones still won’t say who her baby-daddy is. [NYDN] ● Kim Kardashian and her fiance, Nets star Kris Humphries, are moving to Brooklyn. Think afternoons browsing the racks at Bird, old fashioneds at Prime Meats, and, when there are little ones, soccer games in Red Hook. “She will eat Brooklyn for lunch and go back for seconds at the Brooklyn Flea,” thinks the WSJ. [WSJ] ● American Idol star Kara DioGuardi had to be hospitalized after eating six of Paula Abdul’s pot brownies. [Huff Post]

● Shawn Carter, covert cameraman, hubby, and devout Beyoncé fan, says it best: “Sometimes you need perspective. You’ve been right in front of greatness so often that you need to step back and see it again for the first time. This is the dressing room rehearsal for American Idol. NO MICROPHONE. No effects.” [Life+Times] ● Jon Hamm is set to direct the season five premiere of Mad Men. Sounds sexy. [TVLine] ● Mark Zuckerberg has begun personally killing all the animals he eats. “He cut the throat of the goat with a knife,” a friend told Fortune, “which is the most kind way to do it.” Guess this is one way to stay grounded. [Fortune]

Afternoon Links: Foo Fighters Are Number One, Lindsay Loses ‘Gotti’ Role

● Catherine Zeta-Jones is joining the Rock of Ages movie as a villain, one that wasn’t included in the Broadway production. And no, I’m not cruel enough to insert a Bipolar joke here. [Hollywood Reporter] ● Now this is impressive: 15 years into a hall-of-fame career, the Foo Fighters finally have their first number-one album, with Wasting Light moving 235,000 units in its first week. [Billboard] ● Status update! Mark Zuckerberg wanted to fuck the Winklevoss twins. In the ear. [TMZ]

● Watch Nicki Minaj give a lapdance to NBA star Steve Nash. Never has one man seemed so white. [Deadspin] ● This is embarrassing: We reported on rumors that Lindsay Lohan would star in the upcoming Gotti: Three Generations. Now, not so much. [TMZ] ● Tyler Perry said some nasty things to Spike Lee at a recent press conference for his movie, which no one could really understand since his mouth was full of gold coins. [Box Office via Vulture]

Morning Links: Julianne Moore to Play Sarah Palin, 50 Cent Debuts ‘Things Fall Apart’ Trailer

● Julianne Moore has been cast as Sarah Palin in an upcoming HBO adaptation of 2008 campaign-season thriller Game Change. We already knew Sarah Palin is a phenomenal actress, but Moore seems appropriately strong and maternal, and also, as has been pointed out elsewhere, willing to take off her top. In case such a scene should arise. [HuffPost] ● “All my songs are f-ing amazing,” said Britney Spears in her interview with Out., a sentiment we truly hope she believes. [Out] ● Kanye West was apparently turned away from several Paris Fashion Week shows, including Balmain, Alexander McQueen, and Louis Vuitton — whom Kanye had worked with as the “Louis Vuitton Don” on a shoe line in 2008 — after turning up uninvited. Life could always be more glamorous. [Page Six]

● Miami audiences couldn’t get enough of 50 Cent’s version of Things Fall Apart, and after watching the trailer ourselves, we can see why! It shows a real tour-de-force effort from 50, who famously lost an amazing amount of weight for the role. More inexplicably, he also dons a boardwalk-shop quality rasta wig. Sometimes it’s really the thought that counts. [Examiner] ● Ashley Olsen and her bf of two years Justin Bartha have quietly split, reminding us how little we knew about their relationship in the first place. [People] ● Perhaps your birthday is coming up? You might like to consider a Mark Zuckerberg doll, complete with flip-flops and a “Like” sign. Or a Kate Middleton mannequin. Complementary knock-off royal engagement ring included! It’s a good day to be a novelty doll collector.

Warner Bros. Gives You More Reasons to Spend Time on Facebook

Just when you’d conquered your Mafia Wars addiction, Mark Zuckerberg is gearing up to claim even more of your time with Facebook’s new venture. In partnership with Warner Brother’s, you’ll now be able to rent and stream movies through Facebook. You may ask: Why watch films on Facebook in a world of Hulu, Netflix, Watch Instantly, and iTunes? I’ll answer that question with another one: Why not? Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Brothers Digital Distribution, explains to The Hollywood Reporter, “It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.” This is how the service will work.

Remember those “Facebook credits?” Me either. It’s the virtual currency you pay actual money to have in order to buy imaginary gifts for your friends or fund your Farmville habit. You will now be able to use these credits to purchase movies. For 30 Facebook credits — that’s $3 in the real world — you’ll be able to watch The Dark Knight. While this service is the same price as renting a film from iTunes, unlike iTunes you’ll be able to view the film for 48 hours. And the best part of this new service is it won’t hinder your ability to like a photo, chat with a friend, or update your status while watching the movie. Already liked by more than 3.9 million users, you can try out the new Facebook app now.