seoul - 6:20 am on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
The patent AFAIK is not even about displaying general news or limiting the display of general news to a set of viewers. It's about turning what someone does (plays a game, joins a group, adds a friend, etc.) into news and displaying it to a set of users.
That is the problem. This patent is preventing to provide update from contacts. For example, when any of my contacts change his address i get an update in my yahoo profile. When they use an application (like flickr integration to yahoo mail) i get an update.
If anyday I wish to build a networking site and provide this feature in that site but then this patient speaks. It says No, i can't do it. Providing update to others is strictly prohibited.
What a patent. Congratz facebook, we all see but you've own the official ownership to this intuition.