Facebook roundup: Fortune 500, Waze, Recommendations Bar and more

Facebook breaks into Fortune 500 – Facebook has made its first appearance on the Fortune 500 list at No. 482 this year. The Fortune 500 is a yearly list of top U.S. companies. Facebook ranks sixth out of the seven companies in the category of Internet services and retailing, joining Amazon (No. 49), Google (55), eBay (196), Liberty Interactive (270), Priceline (473), and Yahoo (494). Last year, Facebook was outside of the list at No. 598. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest CEO of companies on the list, and he’s one of only two CEOs under 40.

Reports: Facebook could be looking to buy Waze – A number of outlets with anonymous sources say Facebook is considering an acquisition of Waze, the crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app. The news was first reported by Israeli business publication Calcalist. TechCrunch and AllThingsD say they have sources corroborating the story. Earlier this year, there were rumors that Apple was looking to acquire the company, but it turned out Waze was simply a partner for its Maps app. Waze has more than 40 million users and has raised $67 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer.

Facebook speeds up Recommendations Bar – Facebook engineer Stoyan Stefanov this week detailed his efforts to improve the Recommendations Bar plugin. The plugin, which shows personalized recommendations to web visitors, now starts to render in half the time as before and is twice as fast overall. Stefanov also improved the payload 7x and reduced the number of requests by one-third. This follows other recent improvements to the Like button, Send button, Facepile and Likebox. By improving the speed and performance of its plugins, Facebook improves the millions of websites that incorporate them. Details about the improvements, along with before and after comparisons are available on Stefanov’s blog here.

Facebook’s Open Compute Project looks to improve network switching – The Open Compute Project group, started by Facebook, announced a new project focused on developing open source networking hardware. Facebook’s network engineering lead Najam Ahmad will head the project and organizations including Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Facebook, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation and VMware will participate. Work will begin at the first-ever OCP Engineering Summit, being held at MIT on May 16.

Facebook continues scholarship for women in computer science – Facebook has begun accepting applications for the Facebook Grace Hopper Scholarship, now in its sixth year of celebrating women in computing, according to the company’s engineering page. Female university students excelling in computer science can apply for one of 25 scholarships to attend the Grace Hopper conference with Facebook in Minneapolis this October. The theme for this year’s conference is “Think Big. Drive Forward.”