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Clearly, Future Tense has the magic touch

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/28/10 05:41 PM

On today’s show, we talked about the potential sale of Palm and indicated that no one appeared to be rushing forth with a checkbook to buy the struggling company. That was this morning.

Today comes news that Palm has been sold for $1.2 billion to Hewlett-Packard.

See? We’re just that influential.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

Privacy hole in new Facebook?

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/27/10 10:09 AM

On the last episode of the show we talked about the changes to Facebook that make your life on the social media site even more public. We also learned that you can shut those options off if you go through a very complicated process. But today brings word of an apparent privacy hole that CANNOT be closed no matter what you do. It seems strangers are able to see what events you say you’ll be attending. Needless to say, this is more than a bit problematic for people who are on the receiving end of unwanted attention. Read more.

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How to opt out of Facebook's new features.

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/26/10 04:17 PM

Look, it’s going to take a while. But here’s what you do:

Go to:

Account

then

Privacy Settings

then

Applications and Websites 

then

Instant Personalization

then

Click on Edit Settings

then

Uncheck the box.

Then Facebook will tell you, via a pop-up, “Allowing instant personalization will give you a richer experience as you browse the web. ” and it will ask if you’re sure and if you want to confirm.

Click on Confirm.

But this still won’t stop your friends from sharing information about you with those sites. To stop that, you have to block those sites one by one. To find out about that, you’re taken to an FAQ page. I couldn’t understand it. So I finally found this page where you can link to individual applications like Yelp and Pandora. And once you get on THOSE pages, you can click on Block Application, and then ANOTHER pop-up comes up for you to confirm.

And that’s all you have to do! Of course, at the moment Facebook only has three partners in this program. What if they had hundreds? Thousands? The way things stand now, you’d have to go through and block each one of them individually.

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Yes, but is Schumer on Farmville?

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/26/10 11:20 AM

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has asked the FTC to design privacy rules for social networking sites, including clear guidelines on how information submitted to Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter is used and disseminated. Read more…

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SEC employees watching online porn on the clock

 By Larissa Anderson // Posted: 04/23/10 02:46 PM

As Sgt. Quon awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court about whether his employer violated his privacy rights when they read the sexually explicit messages Quon sent on his government-issued pager, news breaks about another case of government employees using government-issued technology while on duty to do very personal things.

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Indictments in Gizmodo iPhone case

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/22/10 12:23 PM

Well, not court indictments. Not yet anyway. But John Gruber of Daring Fireball presents his case quite strongly. A good long read and this toward the end:

Second, publishing the name, photographs, and personal information of the Apple engineer who lost the phone is irrelevant to the story. It was the dick move to end all dick moves. Gizmodo is, ostensibly, a gadget site. The interest of their readers in this saga regards the phone. Publishing his name did not clarify in the least bit how they obtained the phone. The people whose identities I’d like to know are those who obtained and then sold the phone, not the guy from Apple who lost it. There is no interest served by outing him other than taking sociopathic glee in making a public spectacle of someone who made a very serious but honest mistake.

I think we’ve seen this whole case/story/kerfuffle become something of a blind men and the elephant situation. A lot of people I’ve talked to take the same perspective as my wife does, which is “Oh that poor guy! What a mess!”

I’ve seen friends on Facebook take a kind of pleasure in what they see as a giant (Apple) being taken down a few notches by human imperfection. Curious that Apple, the alt brand, is now seen as just as much of a monolith as Microsoft used to be. A few folks I’ve heard are happy to see a blog get away with something sneaky.

The one point of view I’ve seen very little of is discussion of the device itself. “Front facing camera? Separate volume buttons? Yeah, well, whatever. But what kind of beer was the guy drinking that night?!” I wonder if Apple as an idea is bigger than any idea they create.

Comments | Filed Under: blog apple iphone sma smartphones

!

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/21/10 05:21 PM

Apple’s iPhone business, which didn’t exist three years ago, now represents a whopping 40% of the company’s revenue, and has been the company’s biggest revenue generator for three quarters in a row. 

$5.4 billion in annual revenue with 124% growth over last year. Holy smokes.

Read more.

Comments | Filed Under: blog apple smartphones

Like

 by John Moe // Posted: 04/21/10 03:09 PM

Okay, so go to this page on IMDB. See if you notice anything.

There’s a little “Like” button there. Click it and Facebook will know you like that movie (and everyone should like that movie). This information gets stored and now Facebook knows more about you. This is new as of today.

While Zuckerberg and company point out that now they can make the web a more social and personal experience for you, let’s remember for a moment how they pay their bills: ads. So let’s say you’re in the business of selling DVDs and you want to sell some copies of Anvil: The Story of Anvil and you don’t have a huge ad budget. But through Facebook you can reach people who said, on IMDB, that they liked Spinal Tap. If your ad reaches just those people, well, that’s a good investment, right?

I’m pretty sure I told Facebook I liked Spinal Tap years ago when I filled out my profile. Haven’t thought about it since. Have barely touched my profile on Facebook since. But as I’m out on the internet maybe I’m trying to remember some quote from Fantastic Mr. Fox, I go to IMDB’s page on it, click “Like”, and now Facebook can target advertising toward me just a little more narrowly, getting a better idea of what I might buy, and making that information available to advertisers at a pretty nice rate.

All the while, of course, it all goes on the Facebook hard drive. Facebook is no longer being about a place you go, it’s about recording everywhere you go.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

Teens text. A lot. Who knew?

Posted: 04/20/10 12:43 PM

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has a new report out about teens and texting.  Teens connect with friends more often through texting than through face-to-face contact.  Probably good news for Microsoft’s KIN phones. 

Comments | Filed Under: blog

The secret new iPhone

Posted: 04/19/10 11:48 AM

If you haven’t already heard, Gizmodo seems to have stumbled across a prototype of the upcoming new version of the iPhone.

I guess I’m less interested in the new different features of the phone (front facing camera with flash, volume buttons, higher resolution screen, flat and not rounded) than I am about the explosion of interest that this has caused. It’s one of the top trending items on Twitter, it’s being buzzed about in every blog, it’s huge.

I don’t want to dismiss anyone’s enthusiasm or mock them, not at all. Smartphones are interesting and important both as contemporary tools and as indicators to the future of society and the way it communicates. And the way this thing came into the hands of Gizmodo is straight up Jason Bourne.

But it still seems strange to me to geek out so hard on a new version of something that already exists. I mean, it’s a little Navin Johnson “the new phone book’s here!”, right?

Then again, isn’t that most tech stories? Something changes incrementally, new features are added or reworked, the camera has a flash, the iPad has 3G, the cordless phone has no cord, the computer doesn’t need vacuum tubes. I guess the new iPhone is huge news and the front facing camera is great news for Chatroulette fans but I’m not sure my mind is completely blown.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

I like it but I'm not a fan

Posted: 03/30/10 03:39 PM

That’s not me responding to news, that’s just me using the terms in the news. Facebook will soon do away with the option of Becoming A Fan and replace it with simply deciding to Like something. This will also be defaulted to publicly available information. Remember: Facebook wants to be a publishing tool and not a series of cloistered accounts. That way their content (meaning the content created by users) becomes more ubiquitous and more monetized through ads. Follow the money.

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Near Fatal Shocks on TV - for Fun!

Posted: 03/17/10 01:49 PM

At least that’s what the contestants thought they were delivering…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8571598.stm?ls

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Newspaper collapse with handy slides

 by John Moe // Posted: 03/12/10 01:33 PM

Holy crap.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

Either Penguin Books gets the iPad or they just think they do

 by John Moe // Posted: 03/04/10 05:47 PM

Regardless, they’re enthused to evolve.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

Why the internet will fail (1995)

 by John Moe // Posted: 03/01/10 11:16 AM

Lovely.

"The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works."

Amusing, sure, but instructive too. Judging the future based on the innovations that are in the present is a huge and easy mistake. CD-ROM!

Comments | Filed Under: blog

Games in the future won't be games

Posted: 02/25/10 04:43 PM

They’ll be the way we live. Oh, and the future has already started. Jesse Schell from Carnegie Mellon University explains how the gaming systems that have caught on in Facebook are guiding our perception of reality and reward. The last 6 minutes or so is pretty terrifying.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

Denny's Invites You to Follow a Random Taiwanese Man Named Dennys on Twitter

Posted: 02/22/10 12:53 PM

Fun article on Gizmodo about the restaurant chain not being so good about the social networking.

Comments | Filed Under: blog

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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