I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’:

Facebook Openly Breaks European Privacy Law

Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian:

Facebook tracks the web browsing of everyone who visits a page on its site even if the user does not have an account or has explicitly opted out of tracking in the EU […]

The real question is: what will the EU do about it.

A: Absolutely nothing.

Oh, You Didn’t See That Facebook Post?

John Moltz on Facebook’s goofily incomplete “News Feed”:

When the algorithm gets in the way of showing you what’s happening now, if you have to wait until the next day or go below the fold to see what happened last night, how is your medium any better than a newspaper?

Facebook has really become a giant abortion of theology and geometry, and every day I’m amazed to see that users aren’t kicking it to the curb en masse. Something this bad–something this disdainful of its users–really can’t be awfully long for this world. People will always get tired of eating crap…eventually.

Facebook Caching Data Not Even Given to Them

Pierluigi Paganini of Security Affairs:

Facebook is analyzing thoughts the writing [sic] that users have intentionally chosen not to share.

The article claims that when a user begins to type something into the status update field and then changes her mind about sharing it (or in other words, censors herself), Facebook actually keeps that text and runs data analysis on it.

I don’t know if it’s fair to say that Facebook is “analyzing thoughts,” exactly, and I don’t think there’s any reason to think that any interaction with Facebook at all is in any way connected with anything even remotely related to privacy. My sense is that humanity as a whole seems eager to do away with the very notion of privacy, so who cares?

Zuckerberg Wants To Help Poor People (By Selling Them)

In case you haven't heard, Mark Zuckerberg has a plan to put millions of cell phones in the hands of poverty-stricken individuals in “developing”1 nations. It sounds great, right? How could there possibly be a catch?

Oh, wait, there is a catch. Access to the Internet would be limited to only a few “key services.” Guess which giant Web service Zuckerberg considers to be “key.”

Bloomberg draws the correct conclusion:

The uncharitable way of looking at Zuckerberg’s charitable endeavor, in other words, is to see it as an effort to permanently entangle Facebook in the lives of the next wave of Internet consumers, and to attract a public subsidy at the same time.

Since what Facebook sells is “eyeballs”2, in some ways Zuckerberg's approach here is not too different from that of a logging baron who seeks a federal subsidy and access to federal land–we've all heard stories like that one for decades. What's different here—the bit that really makes my stomach turn—is the bullshit pretense of philanthropy in Zuckerberg's approach.

  1. As a politically correct term, “developing” stinks, and is hardly better than “third world.” It presumes that poorer nations in Africa and South America are striving with all of their might to arrive at a future in which Venezeula's Got Talent is the height of culture. After all, that's where “development” has led us. 
  2. Ugh, I can't believe I just wrote that. I've been in the Valley too long. 

Shocker: Facebook Doesn’t Care What You Want

Laura from The Well-Prepared Mind has tried numerous times to delete all of the content in her Facebook profile, to zero effect. Her “deleted” content just keeps coming back from the dead.

I am stunned by Facebook’s callous disregard for their users. I simply cannot fathom that they refuse to respect my decisions to delete my posts from my Timeline. This is outrageous. I realize that I was one of Facebook’s products, am still until I delete my account, but I should be able to decide to delete something and have it deleted. And stay deleted.

While I completely understand Laura’s frustration, I’m not sure I understand why she’s surprised at all. Facebook exists solely to collect data–they’re not even good at selling ads against it. They just suck it up like a giant data Hoover, and that’s all they do.

Facebook Considers Another Pointless Venture

Jeff Blagdon writing for The Verge (he’s actually just quoting from a Wall Street Journal story to which I won’t link because it’s behind a moronic paywall):

The WSJ reports that the project has been in development for over a year, meaning it was already in motion before Google announced its plans to shutter its Google Reader news aggregation app in March. The app is reportedly designed for mobile devices, with no mention made of a web app.

The internal name for the project is Reader […] [emphasis mine]

Facebook is stretching itself too thin. I really think they need to focus on what they already do: mine gigaterrapetamegabytes of useless, quotidian data from teenagers and old people, and then show them ads for brick-and-mortar retail stores on the other side of the planet. Get really great at that, first.

How About Some “Chat Heads” In Your Face?

Excellent news:

You can’t get Facebook Home on your iPhone. But very soon you’ll be able to get one of the most buzzed-about features from Facebook’s new mobile software: “Chat Heads” are coming to iOS devices, via a Facebook app update.

Awesome. Now I finally know for sure that I want to delete this app.

More Facebook Design Brilliance

What is with that stupid little dot? Is Facebook an elaborate hoax designed to test the depths of our tolerance for willful mediocrity?

Larry Page To The Rescue

Larry Page says Facebook is doing “a really bad job on their products”. Thanks for the keen observation, Captain Obvious.

Maryland Stands Up to Employer Nosiness

Way to go, Maryland:

Maryland has become the first state to pass a law banning employers from asking for social media passwords. […] Illinois and California have both introduced similar pieces of legislation, and senators from New York and Connecticut have both asked the US Attorney General to prohibit this practice.

If this whole thing is new to you, see also: this and this