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Federal Regulators Say it’s OK to Diss the Boss on Social Media — Sometimes (SocialTimes)
Many workplace policies call on employees not to disparage the company or one’s co-workers on social media, but the National Labor Relations Board says such “water cooler” talk is protected. An article by The New York Times reports that in recent months, the board has ordered the reinstatement of workers fired for their posts on social networks and pushed companies nationwide including General Motors, Target and Costco to rewrite their social media rules. The New York Times “Many view social media as the new water cooler,” said Mark G. Pearce, the board’s chairman, noting that federal law has long protected the right of employees to discuss work-related matters. “All we’re doing is applying traditional rules to a new technology.” Forbes The only statements that aren’t protected are personal gripes or rants that affect no other employees but you. Example: You complain that your boss is being a jerk to you but not to anyone else in the office. The NLRB has said the rulings simply bring provisions in the National Labor Relations Act into the modern age, in which concerting among workers — which the act protects — can take place on social media platforms. But, as the Times notes, “corporate officials say the NLRB is intervening in the social media scene in an effort to remain relevant as private-sector unions dwindle in size and power.” CIO It’s worth remembering that getting your job back via the NLRB can take years and a good deal of expense. So you still want to be very careful about what you tweet or post if it’s directly related to your job.

Google Earnings Get Thumbs Up from Investors (The Wall Street Journal/MarketBeat)
Google earnings just hit the tape, and so far investors like what they see. The search giant reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $ 10.65, up from $ 9.50 a year ago and ahead of analysts’ expectations. Mashable While revenues handily beat Wall Street’s estimates, not everything in the report was positive. Google’s cost-per-clicks declined by 6 percent from the same period a year ago as mobile ads continue to become more prominent. VentureBeat In a statement to investors, Google CEO Larry Page said the results are “not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half. In today’s multiscreen world, we face tremendous opportunities as a technology company focused on user benefit. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Google.”

Instagram Account Crackdown Spreads Panic, Fear of Hacking (CNET)
A number of Instagram’s 90 million active users are in a confused panic after being locked out of their accounts over the weekend, and several seem to believe they’ve been hacked. On Saturday, the same day the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app enacted its revised terms or service, Yahoo Answers was inundated with threads from alarmed Instagram users who claimed to have lost access to their accounts for no apparent reason.

Facebook Launches New Conversion Measurement (AllFacebook)
In an effort to help marketers better track sales, Facebook launched a new conversion measurement Tuesday, allowing advertisers to measure the return on investment of their Facebook ads by tracking user actions such as registrations and shopping cart checkouts motivated by people seeing the ads. It allows marketers to track when someone sees an ad on one platform and switches to another to make the purchase.

Child-Abuse Tumblr Leads Police to Pedophile’s Home (The Daily Dot)
Tumblr staff helped nab an alleged pedophile after he used his blog to brag about sexually abusing a young girl and to post graphic images of child abuse. Houston police arrested Richard Benjamin, 37, on Jan. 7, charging him with three counts of possession of child pornography and child sexual abuse and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Embedding Tweets Just Got Simpler (AllTwitter)
Ever have questions about embedding tweets and didn’t know we had a handy post explaining how to do just that? Well, now you can also read this new post detailing Twitter’s enhancements to its “embedding tweets” feature, which was released on Tuesday.

White House Announces National Day Of Civic Hacking (TechCrunch)
The White House wants you to hack for a better America. Tuesday it announced the National Day Of Civic Hacking on June 1-2 where many government agencies will liberate data for citizens across the U.S. to use to build tech that helps their communities.

Live Google+ Hangout About Social with ‘Body of Proof’s’ Jeri Ryan (Lost Remote)
Here’s a recap of my Google+ Hangout. In honor of the Shorty Award (the ceremony I produce), I hosted a last minute Google+ Hangout with celebrity and TV actress Jeri Ryan. You can tune in on-demand here.

Surface Windows 8 Pro Tablet to Launch Feb. 9 (USA Today)
Microsoft has just announced that Surface Windows 8 Pro, as it’s being called, will be available in the United States and Canada on Feb. 9, at a starting price of $ 899. The new Surface will be sold through all Microsoft retail stores,, Staples and Best Buy, and made available in 64GB and 128GB configurations.

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