dislike.club

In 2007, consumer groups asked the FTC to come up with a “Do Not Track” list, which would work like the “Do Not Call” list. Naïve Internet researchers then proposed a “Do Not Track” header for the web. The idea was that users would set a preference in their web browser; the browser would then send a “Do Not Track” (DNT) flag each time it fetched a web page. Advertisers would then voluntarily be good and not track the user.

No, I am not interested in joining your proprietary social network

I don’t care whether it’s ello or sgrouples or FriendFace or app.net or whatever, I am not joining another walled-in social network owned by a single organization. I already have enough of those. I don’t care if it has a strong privacy policy, I don’t care if it has good security, I don’t care if it has no advertising, I don’t care if it will let you remain pseudonymous, I don’t care if the people who own it are really cool.

All-purpose article

All technology invented before I hit 30 is awesome and wonderful and the natural way things should be. All technology invented after I hit 30 is terrible and leading to the downfall of civilization. (Add examples to fill word count.)

NSA ♥ Facebook

A while back, the Washington Post reported on a set of leaked NSA slides that most people seem to have ignored. There was one interesting piece of data in the report that I think deserves more attention. On the slide titled “Address Books” is a table setting out how many people’s address books have been collected, and how many are “Attributed” — that is, how many allow the NSA to tie an online ID to a real named person.

Why Facebook sucks

Now that people are starting to migrate from Facebook to Google Plus, I see a lot of people asking, apparently seriously, what’s wrong with Facebook. Given that Facebook is hated as much as airlines, it seems likely that the site has few dedicated fans willing to stick around when everyone else leaves. I’m certainly not one of them, and here’s why. Facebook insists that you get a new e-mail inbox, which you can only access from Facebook.

⊕/⊖

I really want someone to provide a viable alternative to Facebook. This week Google launched Google Plus. Before long I got an e-mail from someone inviting me to a “Hangout”. Clicking the link took me to a page that told me I wasn’t allowed in. Clicking the link to unsubscribe from such e-mails took me to a 404 page. That’s not social networking, that’s spam. I flagged it as such.

Facebook privacy drama

On TechCrunch, Paul Carr pretty much nails the Facebook situation. Yes, Facebook’s privacy “promise” has been steadily eroding. However, the problem isn’t that Facebook has given up on offering privacy. Rather, the problem is that Facebook initially sold people on the myth that they could fill the Internet with personal information and magically expect that it would stay personal. I don’t know whether that was a deliberate bait and switch, or simply naïvety on the part of its founder.

MySpace and Facebook and social class

The Guardian: In recent years networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have seen remarkable growth and become some of the most heavily trafficked destinations on the internet. But Danah Boyd, a researcher at the University of California and internet sociologist, says populations of different networks are now divided on a rough class basis. Her evidence, collected through a series of interviews with US teenagers using MySpace and Facebook over the past nine months, shows there is a clear gap between the populations of each site.

[Friends only]

Now here’s a funny thing: state agencies are now using the “PATRIOT” Act to obtain private profiles from web sites such as facebook.com, for people applying for any state-related job. [Redacted] In other words: don’t count on your “friends only” or “private” postings not ending up in the hands of any government organization that takes an interest in you. While this example involved Facebook, I’d put money on other social networking sites doing the same and handing over your data with no questions asked—including LiveJournal, Yahoo, Orkut, MySpace and so on.