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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Scary Ideas About Privacy

There have been a number of disconcerting revelations about platform privacy in recent times.  Facebook has drawn a lot of flak for introducing Facebook Places which has the ability to pinpoint where a person is accessing their account and entering data.

Not every one wants this information available to third parties. If you don't wish to have Digital Big Brother knowing your every move then you should go to your account and do the following:
  • Go to Account which is at top right of the screen
  • Account settings
  • Notifications
  • Scroll down to Places
  • Uncheck the 2 boxes
There have also been some very strange pronouncements from the CEO of Google. Gawker with its usual eloquence, highlights this as " the Google CEO outlining his dystopian vision of the future, in which children change their names at adulthood to escape damning online dossiers — dossiers of the sort stored by Google."

In earlier statements Eric Schmidt would have us believe that we should not have any secrets and that the virtuous Google is better at maintaining our privacy than a government; I think not.

The other flaw in this post-adolescent  name change idea is that the inference that upon reaching adulthood one becomes sin-free. There maybe be super mortals in this category but I have yet to meet one.

Stephen Colbert skewers Schmidt on the privacy issue in this video.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Control-Self-Delete
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Valleywag has got even hotter under the collar over this issue and lists six delusions of Google's arrogant leaders.

Of course the other side of the coin is that it is not Google's responsibility to dictate to users what they should or should not put online. 

There has to be a level of personal responsibility and if a person is silly enough to ruin their own reputation on the web, whose fault is this?
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Friday, 27 August 2010

Ever Felt the Urge to Pinch Your TV?

There are some who believe television programming is akin to molding a cake of glutinous rice.  Now the physical television experience is going the same way.

Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has developed the world's first 3D television system that allows users to touch, pinch or poke images floating in front of them.

Senior scientist Norio Nakamura is reported as saying " You can have the sense of touch like poking a rubber ball or stretching a sticky rice cake".

Like many good ideas this one does not yet have any practical application as yet but it looks promising  in the field of surgery and as an aid for the vision impaired,
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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Measuring The Mood Of A Twitter Nation

This video shows the mood in the U.S., as inferred using over 300 million tweets, over the course of the day. The maps are represented using density-preserving cartograms.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Who's Piloting Your Social Media Ship?

The importance of social media to a business is now well known and proven.  More than a third of all companies in the States now actively engage in social media according to a  recent survey from

Its management within an organisation is often piecemeal at best and this lays an enterprise open to brand and reputation issues.

According to Mike Sachoff, 43 percent of employers have their marketing departments take care of their social media strategy, followed by public relations (26%) and human resources (19%). Twenty-five percent of employers have 1-3 people communication for their organization, while 7 percent have 4-5 people handle the work. Eleven percent have six or more people communicate for their company via social media and fifty-seven percent said they did not know.

Fifty seven percent of "don't knows" is a big number and graphically demonstrates the fragmentary nature of social media control and monitoring.

So how much control should companies exercise given that many are averse to their employees freely using social media but equally concerned that they should be able to do so?

Responsible use can be of great benefit it is the loosed cannons that are a concern to employers.

They might well consider using a tool such as Socialite; a name that has nothing to do with the likes of Paris Hilton and is developed by a company called Facetime (which in itself is a little confusing as they have just sold their brand name to Apple).

Facetime's own survey has found that:
  • The use of social networks and social media sites is not only widespread, but has seen a significant shift in usage profiles.
    Sixty-one percent of end users use these sites at least once a day, up from 51%. Fifteen percent use social networks "constantly throughout the day." Social networking is used by 95% of respondents.

  • The most common work-related purposes cited are for professional networking, 79% (up from 54%), and learning about colleagues, 66% (up from 52%).
    Thirty-seven percent of respondents use social networks for sales prospecting.

  • LinkedIn is the most commonly used site for professional purposes (86%, up from 62%).
    For personal purposes, Facebook leads the pack with 93% of end users accessing the site, at work, for personal reasons. YouTube is used by 51% of end users for work-related purposes. Twitter is used by 76% for work purposes and 62% for personal reasons.

  • Eighty-nine percent of Facebook users utilize the status updates function, with 28% using Facebook at work to play games such as Farmville, Mafia Wars or Scrabble.
    Thirty-five percent utilize Facebook to create and publicize events and 44% join "fan groups."
View the Socialite (aka Facetime) presentation
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