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  • Gerrit Eicker 08:50 on 12. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Department of Justice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Plus 

    Constine: There’s blood in the water surrounding Google Search Plus; http://eicker.at/SearchPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:50 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Constine, TC: “Sharks Circle Around Google Search+: EPIC Cries Antitrust, Twitter Provides Evidence – There’s blood in the water surrounding Google Search+… EPIC believes that by surfacing in search results the private content shared with a user by their friends, Search+ may violate privacy. I personally don’t buy that argument. Yes, it’s a bit shocking to see private content in Google Search results where we’ve come to expect only public content. However, private content isn’t exposed to anyone that couldn’t already see it, so I think EPIC is fear mongering around privacy. … The issue is that Google has the data to surface its competitors in People and Pages, but doesn’t. Hey, maybe this is all a clever ploy to bring antitrust scrutiny to Facebook’s deal with Microsoft’s Bing to sour its IPO.

      Eldon, TC: “Google+ Search = A Way To Call The Feds In On IPO-Bound Facebook (?) – Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to get my head around why Google has force-integrated its Google+ social network into its main search feed at the expense of leading social services like Facebook and Twitter. The situation seems like an antitrust case waiting to happen, because Google could easily choose to feature the publicly available content from its social rivals in the same way it is showing its own product within its market-dominating search engine. It just hasn’t. … There could be a grand strategy for provoking the US government to investigate the market shares of search and social products as a single issue, in a way that puts Facebook on the defensive, especially as it looks to go public. … The big catch to this idea, at least for now, is that when you consider Bing’s relatively weak market share, and the lack of effect Facebook has had on it, it’s unclear if the Justice Department will take this sort of issue seriously. Facebook may be the Google of the future, but Google is the Google of the present. And maybe Google is just trying to see what it can get away with ahead of what we can expect to be habitually slow federal interest in whatever moves it makes.

      Coldewey, TC: “There has been a great quantity of vitriol corroding the social web over the last few days, a reaction to Google’s decision to optionally integrate Google+ features into their search. … Google is a datavore. All it wants to do is collect data, organize it, and then deliver it to people, peppered with ads and the occasional sales commission. Viewed from this perspective, the new social search is simple – innocuous. The biggest crime Google has committed is giving it such a cumbrous name. … A search that is ostensibly social-focused should be pulling information primarily from Facebook and Twitter, right? I agree. Yet it doesn’t. And people’s accusing fingers jumped up to point at Google, though the problem isn’t Google’s. … What rich data does Facebook share? What deep search does Twitter permit? Google can’t produce something it doesn’t have, and what it does produce isn’t destructive to search – and if it were so, it can be turned off with a click. … There’s nothing controversial about competition. Google has started a new service that gives social data prominent placement. Ironically, the fact that people are complaining that it is not integrative enough (as opposed to Twitter and Facebook initiatives, which are often not integrative at all, and sometimes deliberately exclusive) testifies to Google’s adherence to their promise of even-handedness. … I think it falls outside that area, which to me begs the question, but no doubt the discussion will continue, and Google’s actions will have repercussions further down the line.

      SEL: “Real-Life Examples Of How Google’s ‘Search Plus’ Pushes Google+ Over RelevancyBy having a dominant position in search, Google might ultimately be responsible for going above-and-beyond to include competitors. That’s part of what the current anti-trust investigations into Google are all about. One complaint over today’s move – though likely mostly about privacy – is already being readied. – Google’s job as a search engine is to direct searchers to the most relevant information on the web, not just to information that Google may have an interest in. – These suggestions would be better if they included other services, and that’s the standard Google’s search results should aim for, returning the best. … If You’re Not On Google+, You’re Not A Suggestion… Why Google+ Is A Must-Have For Marketers… Is there anyone out there who still wants to say that being on Google+ doesn’t matter? Anyone? Because when being on Google+ means that you potentially can have your Google+ page leap to the top in those sidebar results, Google+ matters. It matters more than ever before. … It’s not Google’s job to be sticking it to anyone with its search results. Those results are supposed to be showing what are the most relevant things for searchers out there. That’s how Google wins. That’s how Google sticks it to competitors, by not trying to play favorites in those results, nor by trying to punish people through them.

      RWW: “Will Bing Get A Boost Thanks To Google’s Your Way? – All of this could play well for Bing. Since 2009, the number three search engine has had a partnership with Twitter similar to the one that lapsed with Google last summer. Since the Google agreement expired, it is now easier to find tweets in Bing via realtime searches than it is in Google. At the time of the breakup in July, it was unclear which side walked away, but Bing was quick to renew its ties with Twitter and strike a similar deal with Facebook. … The fallout from search isn’t the only reason why Bing may get a boost this year. The company has improved integration of Bing with Xbox and Kinect, which helps Microsoft grab a younger demographic when gamers move their search activity online from their consoles. Bing has also been working to improve its mobile offerings, releasing a much-imtpoved Bing app for Android and iOS5. – But perhaps the biggest indication that Bing is worth paying attention to came from Google itself, when it paid $900 million to Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox for the next three years.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 11. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Search Plus 

    Google Search goes Plus Your World: personal search adds Google Plus, global doesn’t; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearchPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:54 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Search, plus Your World – Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. … We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features: Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts-both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and, People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. – Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started. … When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. … We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

      SEL: “Google’s search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new ‘Search Plus Your World’ format begins rolling out today. It finds both content that’s been shared with you privately along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings. … The new system will perhaps make life much easier for some people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems. – However, Search Plus Your World may cause some privacy worries, as private content may appear as if it is exposed publicly [it is not]. It might also cause concern by making private content more visible to friends and family than those sharing may have initially intended. … ‘The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful,’ said Amit Singhal, who oversees Google’s ranking algorithms, when I talked with him about the new features. … Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr. Or any social network or place where content might be shared to a more limited audience. Currently, ‘Search Plus Your World’ would be better described as ‘Search Plus Google+’ … As said, the ability to search for private content on Google+ isn’t new. However, I wonder if having it integrated into Google’s search results itself might cause some surprises and issues for both Google and its users. … Don’t like the idea of personalized search? Disappointingly, Google didn’t go the opt-in route. Instead, you have to deliberately opt-out. … Personalized Is The New ‘Normal’ … Overall, I like the integration that allows for searching through private and public material. As I’ve said, I think many people will find it useful. – I do think there are some additional privacy controls that could be added, in particular, the ability for people to opt their content out of being found through search, if they want. … Yes, there are things that Facebook or Twitter might not allow, not without Google cutting deals or agreeing to terms it may not want to.

      RWW: “If you’re like me, you’ve dreaded this day. Just last week, I wrote that Google+ was going to mess up the Internet by turning Web search into a popularity contest. But the new Google unveiled today leaves the user in control. ‘Search, plus Your World,’ Google has called it. It’s two kinds of search, and they’re separate. If you don’t want Google+-flavored results, just switch to global mode. You can even turn off personalized search altogether. … Even when you search in personal mode, Google wants to show you the most relevant result at the top, even if its not from Google+. Prior to today’s update, this wasn’t happening reliably. The source of my concerns about Google+ was the prominence of Google+ results in search when outside Web results were more relevant. … Of course, this mode will still privilege content posted to Google+ ahead of other social networks.But today’s ‘Search, plus Your World’ update actually softens the impact of Google+ on search. Google+ content is better integrated with outside stuff now, and, of course, it’s optional, even for logged-in users. There are still problems with the state of Google search, but none of them are as dire as they were a week ago. – Now that Google users have control over the level of personalization, I don’t think Google+ will mess up the Internet anymore. Social SEO will not take over, because natural search results still matter. My fear last week was that anyone who wanted to use Google would be forced to use Google+. Today’s update shows good faith. Google has given its users control.

      GigaOM: “Google+ just got a new killer app: search – Google has begun to integrate Google+ posts, pages and profiles into its Google.com search results. The move is meant to personalize search, and offers some interesting opportunities for content discovery – but first and foremost, it’s gonna be a big boost for Google+ itself. … The new Google+ search integration comes with a kind of on-off switch, making it possible to switch back and forth between the classic Google view of the world and a more personalized version. Users who opt for the personal approach will get to see relevant posts from the people they have added to their circles as well as pages from brands and celebrities relevant to their search results. … I’ve long argued that Hangouts are a kind of killer app for Google+. With the launch of personalized search, the service just got a new killer app.

      TC: “What most alarms me about today’s ‘Google Search Plus Your World’ announcement is how it will distort name searches. When I Google someone’s name, I’m typically looking for a Wikipedia entry, their Twitter account, a personal website, or an author page on their blog. … I know getting people to sign up for Google+ is crucial to tying people’s behavior across Google products to their identity to power ad targeting. But seriously Google, best-in-class search is why we love you. Is it really worth sacrificing your integrity to drive signups?

      VB: “Twitter is not happy with Google’s new social search features. So unhappy, in fact, that the company is calling it a ‘bad day for the Internet’ and media overall. ‘We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone,’ the company said in a statement. ‘We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.’ … One Google spokesperson told VentureBeat: ‘For years now we’ve been working with our social search features to help you find the most relevant information from your friends and social connections, no matter what site that content is on. However, Google does not have access to crawl all the information on some sites, so it’s not possible for us to surface all that content. Google also doesn’t have access to the social graph information from some sites, so it’s not possible to help you find information from those people you’re connected to.'”

      GigaOM: “Is adding Google+ to search a red flag for regulators? – Neither side has said why the arrangement with Twitter came to an end (sources say the company wanted a lot more money in return for its data), but today’s note about unfair competition suggests the two won’t be working together any time soon – and the odds of Facebook suddenly wanting to make its data available seem equally remote. But as others have pointed out, Google is being somewhat disingenuous when it says it can’t get information from Twitter, since all tweets and profile info (unless explicitly hidden by a user) is available to be crawled and indexed by anyone, including Google.

      TC: “But Twitter does have a point: people trust Google to serve up the most timely, relevant information possible. And without Twitter’s data, it’s going to have a hard time doing that. Of course, Google probably already has its own answer to this drafted, and I suspect it reads something like, ‘if Twitter wants people to find tweets in Google, they can open up their API.’ I’m reaching out to them for their official response now. – Update: Google just posted this response to its official Google+ Page: ‘We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.’

      RWW: “Sure they’re concerned. Is it true, though? It’s not like Twitter’s own search tools are that helpful; Google is still the best Twitter search tool there is. It recently acquired Julpan, a social search company, so maybe Twitter has a better idea. But if you search for content that’s on Twitter, Google will find it. If Twitter wants full-featured integration into Google search, that’s up to them. I’m sure Google would be delighted to oblige. – Nothing about today’s update makes things worse for Google’s competitors in Google results. If anything, it just means they have more work to do.

    • webwerkstatt 21:30 on 11. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google ist still no.1 and they will keep their position for years. Twitter is only a short message service and an integration would be great for them

      • Gerrit Eicker 07:01 on 12. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I suppose Twitter wouldn’t be Twitter if it’d be “only a short message service”, but that’s just my 2 cents. – But I’m with you regarding the question who’s got to deliver: it’s Twitter, not Google. Twitter will have to decide if they want money or attention…

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:12 on 16. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    SOPA Nightmare 

    Petri on Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings: I just want the nightmare to be over; http://eicker.at/SOPAnightmare

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:12 on 16. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      WP, Petri: “Last night I had a horrifying dream that a group of well-intentioned middle-aged people who could not distinguish between a domain name and an IP address were trying to regulate the Internet. Then I woke up and the Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings were on. … [T]his is like a group of well-intentioned amateurs getting together to perform heart surgery on a patient incapable of moving. … This is terrifying to watch. It would be amusing – there’s nothing like people who did not grow up with the Internet attempting to ask questions about technology very slowly and stumbling over words like ‘server’ and ‘service’ when you want an easy laugh. Except that this time, the joke’s on us. … This afternoon, the hearings continue, with even more amendments. But at the rate it’s going, it looks likely that SOPA will make it to the floor. – I just want the nightmare to be over.

      VB: “A group of influential and iconic tech entrepreneurs have written an open letter of opposition to the recently proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which has been published as a paid advertisement in several major U.S. newspapers today. … The opposition letter warns of the dangers that SOPA would bring to business and innovation. It’s signed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Netscape co-founder and prominent investor Marc Andreessen, PayPal and Tesla founder Elon Musk and several others. … In addition to those top tech executives, several companies and organizations have publicly come out against SOPA. Open-source online encyclopedia Wikipedia is even toying with the idea of staging a blackout in protest of the proposed law.

      An Open Letter to Washington: “We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online. – However we’re worried that the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act – which started out as well-meaning efforts to control piracy online – will undermine that framework. – These two pieces of legislation threaten to: Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload. This would have a chilling effect on innovation; – Deny website owners the right to due process of law; – Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran; and – Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet. – We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet. Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.” … [Signed by] Marc Andreessen (Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz), Sergey Brin (Google), Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square), Caterina Fake (Flickr and Hunch), David Filo (Yahoo!), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive and Alexa Internet), Elon Musk (PayPal), Craig Newmark (craigslist), Pierre Omidyar (eBay), Biz Stone (Obvious and Twitter), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation), Evan Williams (Blogger and Twitter), Jerry Yang (Yahoo!)

      NYT: “For years, pirated movies, television shows and music have been on the Internet. … Now, however, two bills, broadly supported on both sides of the political aisle, aim to cut off the oxygen for foreign pirate sites by taking aim at American search engines like Google and Yahoo, payment processors like PayPal and ad servers that allow the pirates to function. – Naturally the howls of protest have been loud and lavishly financed, not only from Silicon Valley companies but also from public-interest groups, free-speech advocates and even venture capital investors. They argue – in TV and newspaper ads – that the bills are so broad and heavy-handed that they threaten to close Web sites and broadband service providers and stifle free speech, while setting a bad example of American censorship. – Google itself has hired at least 15 lobbying firms to fight the bills; Mozilla has included on its Firefox browser home page a link to a petition with the warning, ‘Congress is trying to censor the Internet.’ A House committee plans to take up one of the bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, on Thursday. … Many in the Internet world, however, see ominous aspects even in the revision. ‘There are some provisions that have improved,’ said Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition, a group of technology companies that includes Facebook, LinkedIn and eBay. – ‘Unfortunately,’ Mr. Erickson said, ‘the amendment also creates new problems in other places and fails to correct some of the original concerns we have raised since the start of the debate.’ … A third alternative emerged last week, as Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been blocking the Senate bill from getting to the floor, introduced a new proposal that would make the United States International Trade Commission the arbiter for Internet disputes over copyrighted material. ‘Butchering the Internet,’ Mr. Issa said, ‘is not a way forward for Americirca.’

      TLF: “On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is slated to take up the misleadingly named Stop Online Piracy Act, an Internet censorship bill that will do little to actually stop piracy. In response to an outpouring of opposition from cybersecurity professionals, First Amendment scholars, technology entrepreneurs, and ordinary Internet users, the bill’s sponsors have cooked up an amended version that trims or softens a few of the most egregious provisions of the original proposal, bringing it closer to its Senate counterpart, Protect-IP. But the fundamental problem with SOPA has never been these details; it’s the core idea. The core idea is still to create an Internet blacklist, which means everything I say in this video still holds true. Let’s review the main changes. … These changes are somewhat heartening insofar as they evince some legislative interest in addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised thus far. But the problem with SOPA and Protect IP isn’t that they need to be tweaked in order to get the details of an Internet censorship system right. There is no ‘right’ way to do Internet censorship, and the best version of a bad idea remains a bad idea.

      WMF: “How SOPA will hurt the free web and Wikipedia – Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition of an ‘Internet search engine,’ and, for that reason, a federal prosecutor could obtain a court order mandating that the Wikimedia Foundation remove links to specified ‘foreign infringing sites’ or face at least contempt of court sanctions. The definition of “foreign infringing sites” is broad and could well include legitimate sites that host mostly legal content, yet have other purported infringing content on their sites. Again, many international sites may decide not to defend because of the heavy price tag, allowing an unchallenged block by the government. The result is that, under court order, Wikimedia would be tasked to review millions upon millions of sourced links, locate the links of the so-called ‘foreign infringing sites,’ and block them from our articles or other projects. It costs donors’ money and staff resources to undertake such a tremendous task, and it must be repeated every time a prosecutor delivers a court order from any federal judge in the United States on any new ‘foreign infringing site.’ Blocking links runs against our culture of open knowledge, especially when surgical solutions to fighting infringing material are available. … In short, though there have been some improvements with the new version, SOPA remains far from acceptable. Its definitions remain too loose, and its structural approach is flawed to the core. It hurts the Internet, taking a wholesale approach to block entire international sites, and this is most troubling for sites in the open knowledge movement who probably have the least ability to defend themselves overseas. The measured and focused approach of the DMCA has been jettisoned. Wikimedia will need to endure significant burdens and expend its resources to comply with conceivably multiple orders, and the bill will deprive our readers of international content, information, and sources.

      Forbes, Tassi: “How SOPA Could Ruin My Life – Hi, my name is Paul, and I’m a small business owner. But my storefront isn’t quite of the traditional variety. Rather, it’s a virtual one, a website I built from scratch, and currently own and operate. … But that might not be the case if the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) passes. My virtual small business, along with many others like it, might be history. – Why is this? Am I a pirate, who feeds my users stolen content every day and deserves to be slain by a new law like this? Not at all, and this is the fundamental problem with SOPA and other prospective laws like it (Protect IP most recently). … The fine print of the law says sites that distribute copyrighted content could be subject to summary censorship, ie Torrent sites and the like. But it also encompasses any sites that LINK to copyrighted content, which is the bomb that blows up any semblance of sense this bill might have had. … So how many of these reports would it take before I lose my advertisers? Get my site on a government blacklist? Twenty? A dozen? Five? As an owner of a YouTube channel and Facebook page, I’ve had content falsely reported for copyright many times. … Stop SOPA, stop Protect IP, stop letting congressmen who don’t even understand the internet to dictate its future. Go here to voice your concerns, and pray that even if you’re not handing them tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash, that your representatives might actually listen to you.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:41 on 17. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “What was expected in this contingency was for the committee to resume work whenever the House reconvenes in January. After all, with such controversial and far-reaching legislation, it is better to take one’s time. But no: the committee has announced it will continue markup this coming Wednesday, the 21st of December. … It’s telling how badly the bill’s supporters want this thing to go through that they’re willing to come in right in the middle of the holidays to do work that could easily be done a few weeks from now. We’ll follow up on Wednesday, when the bill is likely to be approved and sent on to the House.”

      SEL: “The delay is to allow more experts to weigh in with opinions and recommendations addressing technical, legal and first amendment issues. – If you’re involved with any type of online marketing, you should learn as much as you can about this proposed legislation, as the implications (mostly negative, unless you’re a large content provider or trademark holder) are huge.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Copyleft, , , , , , , , , , , , , , GNU, GNU Project, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy, , Proprietary Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Surveillance 

    Stallman: Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their usersFacebook does massive surveillance; http://eicker.at/Surveillance

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Stallman interview on RT (Russia Today) and video on YouTube: “Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their users… Facebook does massive surveillance. If there is a ‘like’ button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have ‘like’ button and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are… Free software literally gives you freedom in the area of computing. It means that you can control your computing. It means that the users individually and collectively have control over their computing. And in particular it means they can protect themselves from the malicious features that are likely to be in proprietary software… This doesn’t automatically give you freedom in some other area of life. To get that you have to fight for it. But human rights support each other. In an age when a lot of what we do, we do with computers, if we don’t have freedom in our computing, that makes it harder for us to defend or fight for freedom in other areas. You loose one set of rights – and it’s harder for you to keep the others…

      VB: “Social networks are under constant scrutiny by their users but also privacy watchdogs as companies add more sharing tools to to connect millions of people from over the world. – Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg, hit the headlines over the past week after its co-founder admitted the company had made ‘a bunch of mistakes’, agreeing terms with the FTC to make its networks more transparent and allow users to control their own levels of privacy. – However, there are many that believe companies like Facebook and Google aren’t helping their users, insisting that they are mistreating them. Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU Project and founder of the Free Software Foundation, is one such person, believing that not only do Facebook and Google mistreat users on their social networks, they are putting some people in danger. … Circling back to social networking and the privacy implications involved, many still believe Facebook and Google are working hard to track users across the web, extracting their preferences and information for their own gain. Facebook has said moved to employ two dedicated members of staff to oversee its privacy practices on its website, also agreeing to have its practices audited by the FTC on regular intervals. – Stallman might not believe that Facebook is doing all it can to remain transparent but with the FTC on its back, it is a case of making sure it does to ensure it doesn’t land itself in more hot water. With upwards of 800 million people, Facebook’s growth shows no signs of slowing, suggesting many people simply don’t care about the information they share with third-parties.”

      Wikipedia: “Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to rms, is an American software freedom activist andcomputer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation. – Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.”

      Winer: “Why I stand up for Stallman – But I still see it going on for Stallman, and that makes me feel ill. I think a guy like Stallman should be heard and we should think about what he says. And if you disagree, have the self-respect to express it with dignity. And if people start getting personal about it, there should be moderators around to put a stop to it at least stand up to it. No one should stand alone when being subjected to personal attacks. … What Stallman does is what any good blogger would do. He says what he thinks. And if you really listen to what he says, you’ll learn something. Probably the biggest thing you’ll learn about is your own fear. Because there’s something about Stallman that scares a lot of people. They wouldn’t try to isolate him so much, if he didn’t evoke their fear.

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:49 on 30. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , EU Commission, , , , , , , , , , Privacy, Privacy Audits, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Privacy: FTC Settlement, EU Fires 

    While Facebook settles with the FTC, the EU commission starts firing at its business model; http://eicker.at/FacebookPrivacy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:50 on 30. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      FTC: “The social networking service Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers’ express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established. … The proposed settlement bars Facebook from making any further deceptive privacy claims, requires that the company get consumers’ approval before it changes the way it shares their data, and requires that it obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years. – Specifically, under the proposed settlement, Facebook is: barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information; required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences; required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account; required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected. – The proposed order also contains standard record-keeping provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance with its order.

      ATD: “Facebook has agreed to 20 years of privacy audits in response to complaints by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it unfairly deceived users about the privacy of their personal information, as was anticipated. The settlement, which is not particularly punitive and comes years after some of the incidents in question, shames Facebook for promising users that their information was kept private while it was in fact shared with advertisers and outside applications that the users or their friends installed. … Facebook’s punishment is in line with what its competitors Twitter and Google have already agreed to: Clearer privacy policies that are audited every two years for the next 20 years.”

      AdAge: “Facebook has settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that it rolled out upgrades that overrode users’ privacy settings without obtaining their consent and shared their private information with third-party apps and advertisers. – The settlement marks the first time that the FTC has taken action against the social network, though its European counterparts have been more aggressive in attempts to regulate Facebook and others. The European Commission reportedly intends to amend data-protection laws to ban targeted advertising unless users explicitly opt in, and Facebook would be subject to fines if it fails to comply. … Like the settlement reached with Google over its now-defunct social-networking Buzz product in March, the settlement carries no financial penalty. Facebook is subject to a $16,000 fine per violation per day if it fails to comply with the terms of the order.”

      SEL: “[T]he FTC settlement is also a reminder that privacy is alive and well. It’s also concrete proof that there are consequences for being cavalier about privacy. – This is even more true in Europe, where governments and regulators take privacy 10x more seriously that we do in the US. There are several investigations pending in Europe; and proposed legislation to be introduced early next year by the European Commission would place disclosure requirements and other constraints around Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities.”

      NYT: “Several privacy bills are pending in Congress, and Internet companies have stepped up their lobbying efforts. The F.T.C., meanwhile, has ratcheted up its scrutiny of Internet companies. This year alone, it has reached settlement orders with some of the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google. – The order comes amid growing speculation about Facebook’s preparations for an initial public offering, which could be valued at more than $100 billion. The settlement with the F.T.C., analysts say, could potentially ease investors’ concerns about government regulation by holding the company to a clear set of privacy prescriptions.”

      VB: “Now with third party audits required for the next two decades, including the FTC’s new ability to monitor Facebook’s compliance with the settlement (standard record-keeping procedure), Facebook users will be much more informed and kept up-to-date with any changes the platform might make that has the potential to distribute or share a consumer’s private information without his or her express permission. Or that’s the hope, right?

      Zuckerberg, Facebook: “I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times. – This idea has been the core of Facebook since day one. When I built the first version of Facebook, almost nobody I knew wanted a public page on the internet. That seemed scary. … Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done. … I’m committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy. … Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission established agreements with Google and Twitter that are helping to shape new privacy standards for our industry. Today, the FTC announced a similar agreement with Facebook. These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world. … Even before the agreement announced by the FTC today, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised. … In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. … As part of this, we will establish a biannual independent audit of our privacy practices to ensure we’re living up to the commitments we make. … Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. … Michael Richter will become Chief Privacy Officer, Products. … These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies. I’m proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles. – Today’s announcement formalizes our commitment to providing you with control over your privacy and sharing…

      RWW: “Since the settlement, Zuckerberg has penned a blog post outlining the Facebook features that the site has launched, which include friend lists, the ability to review tags before they appear on a profile, mobile versions of privacy controls, amount other notable updates. … According to the Sophos Security Blog, in addition to the privacy audits, if the settlement proceeds, Facebook also must stop misrepresenting its security and privacy policies, obtain consent when handing personal data, establish a stronger privacy program and, perhaps most importantly, prevent people from accessing information from deleted/deactivated accounts 30 days after they have been closed.”

      GigaOM: “Not surprisingly, Facebook appears keen to put the FTC incident in the past. CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday addressed the settlement with a lengthy company blog post in which he noted that it is ‘a similar agreement’ to those the FTC has previously reached with Google and Twitter. He also said Facebook has been proactive in bolstering privacy prior to today’s announced settlement with a number of product updates enacted in the past 18 months.”

      RWW: “On the one hand: As any IT security manager knows, the way to implement privacy control in an organization is not to make the private data available in the first place. Modern information security policies are never about per-instance restrictions to the otherwise free flow of information. The same level of controls can, and perhaps should, be provided for directing flow in the opposite direction. That is to say, share nothing by default, and opt in to services that other users and even apps may request. – On the other hand: Facebook’s responsibility for the protection of data provided by users of their own free will, and without any binding contract other than the implied consent agreement, is somewhat limited. The FTC made clear to cite Facebook for misrepresenting its services from the outset, and that misrepresentation gives the government the leverage it needed to force Facebook to change its policies (even though Zuckerberg implies no such change is necessary now). But had that misrepresentation not existed, the FTC may not have had much ground to stand on. It’s hard to establish a standard of care for property that so many millions of individuals willingly give for free.

      TC: “Zuckerberg Loves That The FTC Wants You To ‘Like’ Them On Facebook – You know what Zuck (and around 400 Facebook employees including PR rep Caryn Marooney) do take lightly, according to this comment thread on a Facebook internal network? The fact that the FTC ironically asks readers to ‘Like’ them on Facebook at the bottom of the release statement outlining today’s Facebook settlement. – My favorite part of this? ‘This would make a great public post.’ Be careful what you wish for.

      Telegraph: “Facebook faces a crackdown on selling users’ secrets to advertisers – The European Commission is planning to stop the way the website ‘eavesdrops’ on its users to gather information about their political opinions, sexuality, religious beliefs – and even their whereabouts. – Using sophisticated software, the firm harvests information from people’s activities on the social networking site – whatever their individual privacy settings – and make it available to advertisers. – However, following concerns over the privacy implications of the practice, a new EC Directive, to be introduced in January, will ban such targeted advertising unless users specifically allow it. … Viviane Reding, the vice president of European Commission, said the Directive would amend current European data protection laws in the light of technological advances and ensure consistency in how offending firms are dealt with across the EU. – ‘I call on service providers – especially social media sites – to be more transparent about how they operate. Users must know what data is collected and further processed (and) for what purposes. Consumers in Europe should see their data strongly protected, regardless of the EU country they live in and regardless of the country in which companies which process their personal data are established.’ … A spokesman for the UK Information Commissioner said: ‘Facebook should ensure that any data it collects should be used in the manner that its users expect. If personal data is being passed on to a third party or used for targeted advertising then this should be made clear to the user when they sign up to the site and reinforced when users are invited to use an application.'”

      SEL: “A new directive by the European Commission may stop advertisers from leveraging users’s information when advertising on Facebook. … The new laws would require that users would need to approve more than the standard 4,000 word contract if their personal information was to be used in ad targeting. … If Facebook does not conform to the new rules laid out by the EC, they could face legal action or a ‘massive fine.’

      VB: “Facebook’s entire business model is under fire in the EU – Facebook (and just about every other free Web service) has built a business on that saying and its implications, and the European Commission is taking the social network to task for it. The EU is considering a ban on Facebook’s practice of selling demographic data to marketers and advertisers without specific permission from users. … Facebook is on track for $4.27 billion in revenue this year, largely due to its wildly successful ad platform. The company also has a full 16.3 percent of the overall share of U.S. online display ad revenue.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:16 on 26. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    JIM 2011 

    JIM-Studie 2011 (PDF): In Sachen Datenschutz im Internet wiegen sich Jugendliche in Sicherheit; http://eicker.at/JIM2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:16 on 26. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      JIM: “2/3 der Jugendlichen sind der Ansicht, zum Thema Datenschutz insgesamt gut oder sehr gut informiert zu sein: Allerdings spiegelt sich diese subjektiv empfundene Kompetenz nicht bei allen im Handeln wider. Mehr als die Hälfte der Jugendlichen gibt an, die AGBs ihrer Community gar nicht gelesen zu haben. Drei Viertel von denjenigen, die die AGBs zwar gelesen haben, geben zu, diese jedoch nur überflogen zu haben. – Die Möglichkeiten im Internet über Communities, sogenannte soziale Netzwerke, zu kommunizieren und in Kontakt zu bleiben, werden von Jugendlichen wie selbstverständlich genutzt: 4/5 nutzen diese Plattformen zumindest mehrmals pro Woche. Diese Angebote haben eine sehr hohe Alltagsrelevanz für Jugendliche. 57 Prozent der Internetnutzer loggen sich täglich in ihre Community ein, ein Großteil davon sogar mehrmals täglich. Am häufigsten werden Communities genutzt um miteinander zu chatten und Nachrichten zu versenden. Die Auswahl der Jugendlichen bei sozialen Netzwerken beschränkt sich auf wenige Anbieter, an erster Stelle steht hier Facebook, das 72 Prozent der 12- bis 19-jährigen Onliner nutzen. – Sind Jugendliche im Netz unterwegs, hinterlassen sie deutliche Spuren: 65 Prozent haben ein eigenes Foto oder ein Video von sich hochgeladen. 2/5 haben Bilder oder Filme von Freunden oder Familienangehörigen eingestellt. Die Angaben in der Community werden zunehmend vor dem Einblick Fremder geschützt. 79 Prozent haben in ihrem Profil eine Privacy-Option eingestellt, die den Zugriff Dritter einschränkt. – Trotz der vielen persönlichen Daten in sozialen Netzwerken fühlen sich die meisten Jugendlichen mit ihren Daten bei ihrer Community gut aufgehoben: 2/3 haben Vertrauen in den Anbieter ihrer Plattform und betrachten ihre Daten dort als sicher. Vergleicht man die meistbenutzten Angebote Facebook und schülerVZ, fühlen sich die Nutzer von schülerVZ mit ihren Daten dort deutlich sicherer. Insgesamt betrachtet nimmt das Misstrauen gegenüber dem Anbieter bei älteren Jugendlichen zu: Jeder zweite der 18-/19-jährigen Nutzer fühlt sich mit seinen Daten in seiner Community nicht sicher. – Jugendliche Community-Nutzer haben im Schnitt 206 ‘Freunde’, also andere Community-Mitglieder, mit denen sie verlinkt sind. Mit 96 Prozent geben fast alle Community-Nutzer an, die Freunde aus ihrem Profil auch persönlich zu kennen. Die Community spiegelt also nach eigenen Angaben weitgehend die Strukturen der realen Welt wider.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 21. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , Unsharing, , , , ,   

    Unsharing 

    Is seamless sharing the end of sharing? Is Facebook malware? Are we afraid to click? Unsharing? http://eicker.at/Unsharing

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 21. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Facebook: “Early Results: The Open Graph and Music – Since f8, people have shared their listening activity more than 1.5 billion times with their friends using the music apps that have integrated the Open Graph. As a result, some of our biggest music developers have more than doubled their active users, while earlier-stage startups and services starting with a smaller base have seen anywhere between a 2-10x increase in active users. … Open Graph Best Practices – As you think about how to integrate with the Open Graph in music or any other category, here are some things many of these successful apps have in common: Socially connected users. With a base of users who are able to share your content with their friends from day one, you’re set up to double down on the social experience. – Experiences are social by design. Once you have connected users and have clearly set the expectation up front that they will be in a social experience, you benefit from an increased volume of sharing and virality for your app through News Feed, Ticker and Timeline. – Content being shared has lasting value. Beyond the immediate distribution benefits in channels like Ticker and News Feed, think about the aggregations and patterns your app can represent on Timeline to bring long-term value to a user and their friends who will revisit and reflect on it over the years.”

      CNET: “How Facebook is ruining sharing – I’m afraid to click any links on Facebook these days. … [I]t’s because the slow spread of Facebook’s Open Graph scheme is totally ruining sharing. … If your friends are using an app like The Guardian or The Washington Post’s new Social Reader, you’ll get an intercept asking you to authorize the original site’s app so that you can read the story. And, of course, so that every story you read will start being shared automatically on Facebook, thanks to the magic of Open Graph! … So, publishers and Facebook in particular really, really want you to click those little Add to Facebook buttons so that everything you read, watch, listen to, or buy will get shared to friends who also authorize the app and share to friends who also authorize the app and so on and so on into eternity and hopefully riches. It’s all just part of the plan. … [H]urting sharing is a disaster for a social network. Sharing is the key to social networking. It’s the underlying religion that makes the whole thing work. ‘Viral’ is the magic that every marketing exec is trying to replicate, and Facebook is seriously messing with that formula. Plus, it’s killing the possibility of viral hits by generating such an overwhelming flood of mundane shares. … Sharing and recommendation shouldn’t be passive. It should be conscious, thoughtful, and amusing… I hope publishers will see that conscious sharing is better than passive sharing, and that content delivery is better than app delivery. I also hope that you, sweet social networker, will do your part to keep Facebook pure of trickster links, intercepts, and passive floods of sharing. … Hopefully, if enough of us demonstrate that we don’t want our lives to be Open Graph open books, this will all just go away.

      RWW, Kirkpatrick: “Why Facebook’s Seamless Sharing is Wrong – Facebook recently instituted a new program that makes it easy for 3rd party websites and services to automatically post links about your activity elsewhere back into Facebook and the newsfeeds of your friends. It’s called Seamless Sharing (a.k.a. frictionless sharing) and there’s a big backlash growing about it, reminiscent of the best-known time Facebook tried to do something like this with a program called Beacon. The company has done things like this time and time again. – Critics say that Seamless Sharing is causing over-sharing, violations of privacy, self-censorship with regard to what people read, dilution of value in the Facebook experience and more. CNet’s Molly Wood says it is ruining sharing. I think there’s something more fundamental going on than this – I think this is a violation of the relationship between the web and its users. Facebook is acting like malware. … Violation of reasonable user expectations is a big part of the problem. When you click on a link – you expect to be taken to where the link says it’s going to take you. There’s something about the way that Facebook’s Seamless Sharing is implemented that violates a fundamental contract between web publishers and their users. … ‘I’m afraid to click any links on Facebook these days,’ says CNet’s Molly Wood. That’s one of the world’s top technology journalists talking; even she seems unclear on how the system works and would rather just avoid the entire thing. … I don’t know why the world’s leading designers on social media user experience would have made something as creepy feeling as the way this new seamless sharing was instituted, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s because behind the scenes Facebook is built by arrogant young people living charmed lives and sure they know what’s best for the rest of us. … I think Facebook ought to put a greater emphasis on acting in good faith and helping its users make informed decisions, in line with their reasonable expectations, as the company seeks to experiment with building the future of media.

      TC: “Facebook and the Age of Curation Through Unsharing – Facebook’s Open Graph is ushering in a monumental shift in how we curate what we share. Curation used to mean opting in to sharing. … Facebook’s Open Graph is ushering in a monumental shift in how we curate what we share. Curation used to mean opting in to sharing. … Users still expect to have to actively share something in order for it to reach their audience. That’s no longer true. Instead we’ll need to learn to filter out the noise in reverse, opting out when we don’t want to share instead of opting in when we do. That’s a huge behavioral realignment that will take time and won’t come easy. … Until we have both learned to unshare and have the capability to do so, this will indeed be the dark age of curation. But we have the power to set the norms. Go read a ton of articles using a responsible app, unshare from the Ticker each one you wouldn’t recommend, and explicitly post links to the news feed to those you think are must-reads. If you see low-quality content shared to the Ticker, tell your friends to utilize the unshare button. – This isn’t natural. Often the best product design is translating existing behavior patterns to new mediums. But the proliferation of content, in both volume and access, requires a brand new conception of sharing and curation. Together we can bring about a golden age.

      RWW, MacManus: “Facebook Hasn’t Ruined Sharing, It’s Just Re-Defined It – Facebook’s new frictionless sharing features are ‘ruining sharing,’ according to a thought provoking article by CNET’s Molly Wood. In response, our own Marshall Kirkpatrick argued that Facebook’s seamless sharing is badly implemented and flat out ‘wrong.’ – Both made great points, but ultimately I don’t believe that frictionless sharing is a bad concept. What’s more, I disagree that it has ruined sharing. What Facebook has done is re-define sharing. I think it was an ingenious move and I predict that soon Facebook’s seamless sharing will be the norm. … It’s really up to Facebook to make sure that I, and millions of others, do get used to it. Especially, since this form of sharing is about to go viral. Let’s look at Instapaper, as an example of an app that may soon have frictionless sharing. … That’s not to belittle the very real concerns about over-sharing and privacy, as stated eloquently by Molly and Marshall. But Facebook has identified the immense value in tapping into media consumption patterns and, in frictionless sharing, it has found an ingenious way to capture that data. – Now Facebook’s challenge is to convince its users that some of that value is for the end user. Frictionless sharing is scary, there’s no doubt about it. It’s also not ideally implemented right now. So Facebook has work to do, both on the implementation and to show people the benefits of this new form of sharing.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 20. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Burn Rate, , , , , , , , , , Free Market, Free Services, , , , , , Milton Friedman, , , , Privacy, , , , , , , TANSTAAFL, There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, , ,   

    TINSTAAFL 

    There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch: and there is no exception for #TINSTAAFL on the Internet; http://eicker.at/TINSTAAFL

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:27 on 20. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Physics has Newton’s first law (‘Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed’). The equivalent for internet services is simpler, though just as general in its applicability: it says that there is no such thing as a free lunch.The strange thing is that most users of Google, Facebook, Twitter and other ‘free’ services seem to be only dimly aware of this law. … But it costs money – millions of dollars a month, every month. The monthly amount is called the ‘burn rate’. … It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the best way to get big fast is to offer your services for free. … The penny drops for most suckers, er, users when it occurs to them that the service is, somehow, becoming more intrusive – whether through abrupt changes in default privacy settings, or sudden changes in the way their update and news feeds are reconfigured. What started as a lovely, simple, clean interface suddenly starts to look very cluttered and, well, manipulative. … It doesn’t have to be like this, of course. It just needs a different business model in which users pay modest fees for online services.

      Wikipedia: “‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ (alternatively, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ or other variants) is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. The acronyms TANSTAAFL and TINSTAAFL are also used. Uses of the phrase dating back to the 1930s and 1940s have been found, but the phrase’s first appearance is unknown. The ‘free lunch’ in the saying refers to the nineteenth century practice in American bars of offering a ‘free lunch’ as a way to entice drinking customers. The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert Heinlein’s 1966 libertarian science fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which popularized it. The free-market economist Milton Friedman also popularized the phrase by using it as the title of a 1975 book, and it often appears in economics textbooks; Campbell McConnell writes that the idea is ‘at the core of economics’. … TINSTAAFL demonstrates opportunity cost. Greg Mankiw described the concept as: ‘To get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another.’ The idea that there is no free lunch at the societal level applies only when all resources are being used completely and appropriately, i.e., when economic efficiency prevails. If not, a ‘free lunch’ can be had through a more efficient utilisation of resources. If one individual or group gets something at no cost, somebody else ends up paying for it. If there appears to be no direct cost to any single individual, there is a social cost. Similarly, someone can benefit for ‘free’ from an externality or from a public good, but someone has to pay the cost of producing these benefits. – In the sciences, TINSTAAFL means that the universe as a whole is ultimately a closed system – there is no magic source of matter, energy, light, or indeed lunch, that does not draw resources from something else, and will not eventually be exhausted.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:49 on 14. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Federation, , , , , , , , , Privacy, , , , , , ,   

    Ilya Zhitomirskiy 

    RIP Ilya Zhitomirskiy: Co-founder of open source social network Diaspora dies at 22; http://eicker.at/IlyaZhitomirskiy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:49 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ATD: “Social network co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy has died. Zhitomirskiy, along with Maxwell Salzberg, Daniel Grippi, and Raphael Sofaer were preparing to launch Diaspora, a social networking site designed to be open and decentralized. He was 22.

      TC: “Late last night, word began to spread around the tech community that one of Diaspora’s four co-founders, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, had passed away. With much sadness, we’ve now confirmed this terrible news with the Diaspora team. … Our sincerest condolences to Ilya’s family, friends, and the entire Diaspora team.

      HuffPo: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the young co-founders behind social network Diaspora*, passed away suddenly on Saturday, TechCrunch has confirmed. – No details about Zhitomirskiy’s cause of death had been issued at the time of this writing. He was 22 years old.”

      Mashable: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the co-founder of the open-source Facebook alternative Diaspora, has died at the age of 22. The cause of death is not yet publicly known. – Zhitomirskiy, along with Dan Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer, created the open-source software as part of a project while they were students at New York University.

      ZDNet: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the co-founders of social network Diaspora, has died at age 22, TechCrunch reported today. The cause and date of his death were not reported.”

      CNET: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of co-founders of the social network Diaspora, has died at age 22,TechCrunch reported today.”

      TTO: “Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy has passed away at the age of 22.”

      TCMG: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, was one of four students at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences to design Diaspora, a platform which differentiates itself from the highly centralised Facebook, by leaving ownership of whatever is posted with the users who posted it, and allowing users to host their own content.”

      WPN: “If you’re unfamiliar with Zhitomirskiy, he was one of the four co-founders of Diaspora, a free personal web server that implements a distributed social networking service. It’s been rumored that Diaspora could eventually become a direct competitor to Facebook. – The death of Zhitomirskiy is pretty hard to grasp, he was only 22. The exact cause of his death is unknown at this time.

      TCMG: “Zhitomirskiy’s last post on Diaspora on November 7 has become a tribute, with other Diaspora members posting their thoughts and condolences. – The tragedy of someone passing at such a young age is mitigated slightly by his achievements and legacy in bringing Diaspora into being. He will be remembered by many.”

      GigaOM: ” I am speechless. I met Ilya on a couple of occasions and am having a tough time coming to grips with the news. Our hearts and prayers go to his family, friends and the Diaspora community.

      Examiner: “Regardless of the cause of death, it is unfortunate to lose a bright young star in the community of individuals working to make the web, and the way we use it, a better place. Condolences go out to Ilya’s family, friends, and the entire Diaspora team.”

      TD: “The network was due to launch this month, although it is not known whether this will still go ahead.

      TC: “Following Founder’s Passing, Diaspora Opens Redesigned Alpha To Invitees – Diaspora sent out a new round of invites to a redesigned alpha version of its open source social network today. The invites came just before the saddening news broke that 22 year old founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy had recently passed away. … Diaspora has now covered the bases to become a satisfactory solution for those uncomfortable with the compromises of control required for joining the leading social networks. Even if it doesn’t grow to hundreds of millions of users, Diaspora’s working alternative could influence the conversation about what a social network should be. This could inspire Facebook and Google+ to adopt some of Diaspora’s flexibility and expand the impact of Ilya’s ideals.

    • BirchWind 09:09 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Goodby Ilya. Thank you for all you have done. Diaspora has kicked off its training wheels and is ready to roll on forward thanks to the work of you, the rest of the D* team, and this wonderful community of Diaspora. <3

    • Gerrit Eicker 15:18 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      FT: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the co-founders of social network Diaspora, has died at the age of 22, TechCrunch reports.”

      MB: “Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy has died at the age of 22. The cause of death is, as of yet, unknown.”

      DM: “Social networking pioneer found dead at age of 22 – Friends and fans of Zhitomirskiy have written tributes on Twitter after hearing of his death, with one posting: ‘So sad! Social networking pioneer dies at 22.'”

      SR: “Just as a new batch of invites to the much-anticipated open source social networking platform Diaspora were issued, the sad news emerged that one of the platform’s co-founder’s, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, has died. He was only 22.”

      Register: “Open-source social network Diaspora has launched a redesigned alpha version of its software, with invites going out to users of the site hours before it was confirmed that co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, had died.”

      DJ: “Very sad the world has lost an innovative thinker, and Zhitomirskiy’s vision will be carried forward.

      SB: “Our condolences go to Zhitomirskiy’s family, colleagues and friends.

    • Gerrit Eicker 18:26 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Get the full media coverage on Diaspora’s Media Coverage page on GitHub; http://eicker.at/DiasporaMediaCoverage

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:34 on 12. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Policy Makers, Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Teachers, , , , , , ,   

    Social Networking Teenagers 

    Pew: For teenagers having a presence on a social network is almost synonymous with being online; http://eicker.at/SocialTeens

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:34 on 12. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Social media use has become so pervasive in the lives of American teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online. Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified – in both good and bad ways.

      Pew: “We focused our attention in this research on social network sites because we wanted to understand the types of experiences teens are having there and how they are addressing negative behavior when they see it or experience it. As they navigate challenging social interactions online, who is influencing their sense of what it means to be a good or bad ‘digital citizen’? How often do they intervene to stand up for others? How often do they join in the mean behavior?”

      Pew: “This study aims to understand the social and emotional climate that teens experience in spaces where they can interact with others online. There has been considerable concern among parents, teachers, policy makers, and advocates about the nature and intensity of online social encounters among teens. In this research, we pay particular attention to teens’ experiences on social network sites, including Twitter… Do teens find these relatively new online social spaces friendly or hostile or somewhere in between?”

      Pew – Teens and Social Networks: “Internet use is nearly universal among American teens; 95% of those ages 12-17 are internet users, up slightly from November 2004 (when 87% of teens went online). Internet usage is higher among teens than among adults as a whole (as of August 2011, 78% of all adults go online), although internet adoption rates among adults ages 18-29 are identical to those found among teens. … Eight in ten online teens (80%) now use social network sites such as Facebook or MySpace, up from just over half of online teens (55%) the first time we measured social network site usage among teenagers in late 2006. … Overall, Facebook is the dominant social media site among teens, as 93% of teen social media users have a Facebook account. MySpace ranks a distant second in overall usage, with 24% of teen social media users having an account on this site. (Twitter 12%, Yahoo 7%, YouTube 6%) … Teens engage in a wide range of activities on social network sites, with chatting and instant messaging, commenting on their friends’ posts, and posting their own status updates leading the way – just under nine in ten teen social media users do each of these activities. On the other end of the scale, gaming is the least common activity we measured in our survey, as half of teen social media users play games within the context of these sites.

      Pew – Social Media and Digital Citizenship: “The majority of social media-using teens say their experience is that their peers are mostly kind to one another on social network sites, but their views are less positive when compared with similar assessments from online adults. … While teens across all demographic groups generally have positive experiences watching how their peers treat each other on social network sites, younger teenage girls (ages 12-13) stand out as considerably more likely to say their experience is that people are mostly unkind. One in three (33%) younger teen girls who uses social media says that people her age are mostly unkind to one another on social network sites, compared with 9% of social media-using boys 12-13 and 18% of boys 14-17. … Nearly two-thirds (65%) of social media-using teens say they personally have had an experience on a social network site that made them feel good about themselves and 58% say they felt closer to another person because of an experience on a social network site. In total, 78% of teens say they have had at least one of the two positive experiences we asked about in our survey.

      Pew – Privacy and safety issues: “[C]lose to half of online teens (44%) admit to lying about their age at one time or another so they could access a website or sign up for an online account. When we asked a similar question in 2000, two years after COPPA’s enactment, just 15% of online teens admitted to lying about their age to gain access to a website… Websites are not currently required to verify a user’s age, and there is an ongoing debate… about whether or not such verification is technically and practically possible. … Roughly one in three online teens (30%) reports sharing one of their passwords with a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend. … Password sharing is especially common among users of social network sites; 33% of all teen social network site users say they have shared a password with a friend or significant other, compared with 19% of teen internet users who don’t use social network sites. … Close to two-thirds (62%) of teens who have a social media profile say the profile they use most often is set to be private so that only their friends can see the content they post.

      Pew – The role of parents: “Parents in the United States are still the primary gatekeepers and managers of their teens’ internet experience. … The vast majority of parents of online teenagers have had serious conversations with their kids about the do’s and don’ts of online behavior. … Beyond simply talking with teens about online safety and civility, parents and other adult caregivers have other actions and technical tools at their disposal to help maintain their awareness of their child’s online activities. – Overall, parents are more likely to favor less technical steps for monitoring their child’s online behavior. More than three-quarters (77%) of parents say that they have checked to see what websites their child has visited. Two-thirds of parents of online teens have checked to see what information was available online about their child. … More than half of parents say they use parental controls to manage teens’ internet access; another third use parental controls on teens’ mobile phones.

      Pew – Parents and online social spaces: “Parents see the internet and cell phones’ role as a mixed blessing for their teenagers: Tech helps their kids to be connected and it can bring distressing things into their lives. … 13% of parents of online teens say they know their child has been bothered by something that happened or something they saw online. … The parents of teenagers are steeped in technology and are increasingly involved with their kids’ lives in online environments.

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