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Which came first: lack of privacy or lack of privacy settings? January 11, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in InformationIssues.
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TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington recently interviewed Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg on where Facebook is going, what new acquisitions it hopes to acquire, and its recent changes to privacy settings. This article by the New York Times Technology section, chooses to focus on the recent privacy changes which have been making waves online and in the news world for months now. As the Infomavens have recently been exploring the issue of privacy versus security both on the internet and in the “real” world, I thought it interesting that Marshall Kirkpatrick (from ReadWriteWeb and author of the Times article) should take such a cynical look at Zuckerberg’s seemingly innovative argument on privacy. Zuckerberg argues (you can witness in this video of the interview) that Facebook has changed to reflect society’s changing view on privacy. But Kirkpatrick believes that Facebook is the one who has sculpted this change in society’s beliefs. He insinuates that Facebook’s privacy changes are not want people want, but rather a way for “the company [to] shift[s] its strategy to exert control over the future of the web” (New York Times). I agree with Kirkpatrick that Zuckerberg’s argument (that blogging and other social media platforms have decreased privacy) is a flimsy one, but wonder if Facebook’s privacy settings have far more to do with advertising and revenue that anything else. Perhaps the most shocking part of the TechCrunch interview is when Arrington asks Zuckerberg “Nexus One or iPhone?”. With a wry smile, Zuckerberg responds, “Blackberry.” If that isn’t an endorsement I don’t know what is.

The Way We’ll Live in Ten Years December 16, 2009

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Today I stumbled across Microsoft Office Lab’s vision of the world (or the connected world) in 2019. This is a great video that reminded me a lot of Minority Report (a great film you should see if you haven’t yet). My only issue with this vision is that there seems to be a great proliferation of devices, whereas other prescient voices argue otherwise.

Web Trends to Watch in 2010 December 3, 2009

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Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of the social media blog Mashable and now a writer for CNN.com, has come up with his list of the “10 Web Trends to watch in 2010.” While my eyes usually glaze over by point three of such lists, I was happily surprised to find myself agreeing with Cashmore’s prescient points. Particularly compelling are his points on the soon-to-be ubiquitous GPS, information overload, and convergence of functions in one device. Cashmore, unlike other netizens, intelligently (I believe) predicts a short faddish life for the kindle. He also argues that more information, while seemingly attractive, may not always be helpful. Cashmore closes with his most compelling argument, one that has already been a hot topic among librarians, teachers, parents, copyright lawyers, artists, and anyone else interested in privacy. He states, “We’re seeing the ongoing voluntary erosion of privacy through public sharing on Facebook and Twitter, the rise of location-based services and the inclusion of video cameras in a growing array of devices…Expect personal privacy — or rather its continued erosion — to be a hot media topic of 2010.”

What do you think will be the hottest web trend in 2010?

Move over Delicious! November 10, 2009

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A new social bookmarking tool is being developed named Toobla. Most notably different from delicious.com is the way it stores bookmarks – in visual thumbnails, making it easier to locate the site you want. Toobla also has some other neat features such as the following:

“Content of any kind can be collected into online folders that users can then easily share with friends via Twitter, Facebook, email or elsewhere on the social web.

Users can also create their own mashups of their favorite content, putting multiple things into a single widget which they can post to their blog, MySpace, Facebook or any site online.”

I haven’t set up my own account yet, but looking through other “popular” visual folders has been a neat experience. Anyone use Toobla; have any comments?



Net Neutrality Update November 5, 2009

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A new article by CNET summarizes the on-going battle over net neutrality, focusing on Verizon’s CEO’s negative stance towards the FCC’s newly proposed rules. I have to agree with the comments in saying “who asked this guys opinion, anyway?”

See our first post on this subject here.