So, Apple bought Lala, and Ars Technica thinks it has a source who knows what Apple's going to do with it-- it's going to make a Web site that sells music and stores it in the cloud. Kind of like what Lala already is, but it's going to be all iTunes-ified. And that has Rafe worrying about cloud failure again. We also kvetch about Facebook, a Mozilla employee complains about Google, and the "New Moon" videotaper is set free.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) … Read more
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Larry Downes' bio below.
It's been a bad week for those, like me, who feel the debate over data privacy too often casts information businesses as evil Halloween monsters, determined to terrorize and humiliate their customers just for the fun of it.
On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission held the first of three conferences on privacy and technology, at which a parade of consumer advocates and legal scholars warned of an imminent data apocalypse.
Recent events seemed, alas, to support that view. Sprint, for example, reported that over the last 13 … Read more
It's been a matter of days since Facebook's new privacy controls went into place, and the company is already making modifications in response to user complaints that they expose too much information. Namely, the company has made it easier to prevent people from seeing who your friends are.
For one, Facebook no longer makes a link to a list of your friends publicly available, and it has added an option for members who want no one at all--including other friends--to see their connections. Third-party applications, however, can still access it.
"In response to your feedback, we've … Read more
If it involves celebrities and technology, chances are we want to unfriend immediately. That's just the type of mood we're in today.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 165 Celebrity sexting A special message for Lindsay Lohan: Please put down the Twitter Twoddler lets your toddler twitter and summon the Fail Whale #cute Celebrity star maps comes to iPhone Celebrity Web site of the day: Go Fug Yourself… Read more
Sites owned by Yahoo, AOL, and Google have joined Facebook and MySpace in expelling New York sex offenders from their rolls.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that Google's Orkut.com, AOL's Bebo.com, and Yahoo's Flickr.com are among 13 additional social-networking sites to use sex offender data available through New York's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (E-Stop) to find and disable accounts associated with registered sex offenders.
Other companies that have agreed to cooperate include BlackPlanet.com, Classmates.com, Flixster.com, Fotolog.com, hi5.com, MyLife.com, Stickam.com, … Read more
When logging in to Facebook Thursday, I, like millions of other people, got the directive to update my privacy settings to fit in to the new, "simplified," scheme.
But at their core, the Facebook privacy settings have not been simplified. Beyond the set-up page, Facebook's privacy controls are now more complex and more powerful. The new set-up page seems more designed to pry this privacy from you than give you access to the new, and excellent, controls that Facebook has put in place.
What gets me about the page is that it doesn't seem to be … Read more
When Facebook Connect launched a little over a year ago, Facebook said it had big things planned for the service, which lets users log in to third-party sites with their Facebook credentials and bring their social identity with them. The numbers now seem to bear out those high hopes.
The social network said Wednesday that Facebook Connect is now available on more than 80,000 Web sites and is being used by more than 60 million people. Wow.
"Facebook was developed with the idea that friends make every experience better, and with Facebook Connect that same concept is extended … Read more
HANOI, Vietnam--Vietnam's access to Facebook has been intermittent at best for about a month. However, after two weeks here in Hanoi, I haven't been able to get an official answer as to whether the popular social-networking Web site is being blocked here.
Internet service providers in Vietnam blame the spotty access on "technical issues," without offering an estimate for when the problems will be resolved. A representative from Viettel, a DSL and cell phone service provider, told me "there might be something wrong with Facebook."
None of the government personnel I was able to talk to during a recent trip back to my homeland would give me an answer, either. Some seemed to be unaware of the outage. However, during a media briefing on December 3, Nguyen Phuong Nga, a representative of Vietnam's Foreign Ministry, affirmed that agencies have been evaluating the contents of certain social Web sites because "many people in Vietnam have been upset that a number of social Web sites have been misused," basically posting information of an undisclosed nature that is deemed inappropriate.
I'm unaware of any misuse, but the upset seems much louder from the other side. With more than a million users and counting, the limited access to Facebook has created a lot of anguish. Lan Nguyen, a 23-year-old English student in Hanoi said, "I use Facebook daily. Now, it feels like something just got stolen from me." She uses FPT Telecom, one of the biggest DSL providers in Vietnam.
Ha Do of Ho Chi Minh city, another mid-20s, self-proclaimed Facebook addict who has some 1,800 friends, put it simply: "This sucks big time!" She revealed, however, that she still could access the site from some cafes, though definitely not from home. Upset and disappointment are common feelings among those I talked to about the matter.
This also affects a lot of small businesses in Vietnam, especially bars, restaurants, and tourism agencies that use Facebook to promote themselves to the outside world.
A curious silence The week before I arrived in Vietnam, I was wondering why most of my Facebook friends in the country completely ignored my poking and never updated their pages. I'm afraid things won't get any better. … Read more
AT&T announced they're going to help San Francisco and New York with data coverage, but then blamed the children for all their bandwidth problems. We also take Facebook to task for their privacy handling. Nothing new there. And is the Apple Tablet coming in the spring? Will it be $1,000?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1122
Facebook details new privacy settings http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10411418-2.html
… where the default setting is “everyone” http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20091209/facebook-rolls-out-new-privacy-settings-encourages-users-to-abandon-privacy/
Apple tablet set for spring … Read more
Not willing to let Facebook and Twitter completely own the market for searchable, up-to-the-minute information, MySpace announced on Wednesday a set of new developer application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to let third-party sites access more of its content.
The new APIs offer a variety of features: letting third-party sites tap into MySpace members' status and "mood" updates, incorporate real-time activity information (this is something we saw implemented earlier this week in Google's real-time search announcement), upload photos to MySpace from external services, and make public MySpace content more searchable.