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Facebook Executive “Very Confident” on Ping Deal with Apple

Ping Facebook Connect
(Image courtesy of Engadget)

It’s now been a full month since Apple launched iTunes 10 with the Ping social networking service, and there’s still no sign of Facebook coming back. But at least one Facebook executive seems confident that a deal is yet to come with Cupertino after all.

AppleInsider is reporting
that Facebook’s chief technology officer is “very confident” that the social networking giant will find a way to integrate with Apple’s own music-themed social network, Ping. The comment was noted by Silicon Alley Insider during Facebook exec Bret Taylor’s dinner with the media in New York this week.

Taylor’s confidence comes on the heels of reports that Apple and Facebook negotiated for at least 18 months prior to the launch of Ping and still couldn’t come to terms. Industry insiders have painted Facebook as “abrasive” during their negotiations with other companies, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself claimed the company demanded what he called “onerous terms” for integrating Facebook into Ping.

Despite the Facebook CTO’s promising comment, Taylor “did not provide a timeframe for a deal to be struck,” according to AppleInsider.

Early users of iTunes 10 may recall that Facebook was indeed integrated into the new Ping service at launch, and it was also featured during the media event where the social network was first introduced on September 1. Despite an agreement, Apple included a Facebook Connect login interface, but the social network apparently wasn’t happy about that and blocked Ping from using its API, which then prompted Apple to remove Facebook connectivity entirely — and it has yet to return after a month.

The often-maligned Ping appears to be slowly getting its footing — last weekend brought iTunes 10.0.1, which provided deeper integration between the social network and a user’s music library, as well as the ability to “Like” or “Post” about your own songs, provided that they were part of Apple’s huge catalog to begin with.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Valve Releases Mann-conomy Store for Hardcore Team Fortress 2 Players

Calling all Team Fortress 2 players! And we know there’s plenty of you out there because you’ve managed to kick our butts–repeatedly–in Frag the Editor Fridays quite a few times now. Valve has released a new online store, caleed Mann-conomy, that will allow players to buy, trade and customize a ton of inventory items in the game’s history, using their Steam Wallets. The Steam Wallets will be accounts that players can add money to–sort of like a gift card.

The first update comes chock full with 65 new items that introduce five new class weapon kits, 18 new hats, and the ability to duel with pistols. The Mann-Conomy will allow BLU and RED mercenaries to finally trade these items with each other, which should add a bit more playability to the game. Players will also be able to duel, which could really increase hostility during matches. We say, bring it on!

There’s a nifty FAQ page if you’re just not entirely sure what we’re talking about here. The Mann-conomy will accept US Dollars, British Pounds and European Euros!

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.

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