Month: April 2010

Facebook's Ever-Changing Policies

A long time ago in a magical land faraway,  Facebook and other budding social networks were simple. You shared your interests and information with a small network of chosen friends and everyone was to live happily ever after. Facebook’s privacy policy was promising that “No personal information that you submit to Facebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.” But now we live in a world where everyone can know your business and get into your once enchanted life...

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President Obama's PCAST Announcement

At the National Academy of Sciences , President Barack Obama announced the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).  Now this might seem like a revolutionary plan but in all actuality, PCAST has been around in various forms since The Franklin Roosevelt era and has been  revamped by almost every President since. Basically, President Obama scrapped the George W. Bush-era PCAST which was established in 2001 by Executive Order 13226 with his own Administration’s version. Their are notable changes between Bush’s PCAST and Obama’s. This new order stipulates two co-chairs instead of one, and drops the number of members from...

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Follow-Up: iPhone 4.0 Saga Continues

California police have taken six computers and other items from the house of Jason Chen, in Fremont California, SanMateo County. Chen is an editor of the Gizmodo blog.The search was conducted under a search warrant issued on the basis that Chen’s apartment “was used as a means of committing a felony”. Chen appeared on a video on the site showing off a lost Apple iPhone prototype which, it transpired, had been bought from a middleman for about $5,000. See our article Gizmodo Pays $5,000 for an iPhone posted a week ago, on April 20,2010. The search was carried out...

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Senator Schumer Wants FTC to Set Social Networking Guidelines

New York Senator Charles Schumer wants the Federal Trade Commission  to deal more aggressively with the question of social-network privacy. Schumer issued a press release announcing that he wants regulators to look into of social-networking privacy disclosures and “ensure they are not misleading or fail to fully disclose the extent to which they share information…(and) provide guidelines for use of private information and prohibit access without user permission.” Schumer’s decision came less than a week after Facebook announced its so-called “Open Graph,” which would create more solidified links  between social-networking sites. Facebook also introduced a personalization feature to let users of its service share personal profile information with companies who would ad a link button to facebook on their sites allowing facebook users preferences to be shared more globally. Noting that “hundreds of millions of people use social-networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter every day,” Schumer said that safeguards should exist that afford users control over their personal information and block against unwanted solicitations. He also said they should incorporate “easy-to-understand disclosures” about how information they submit gets shared on the services. Facebook was apparently caught off guard. “We were surprised by Senator Schumer’s comments and look forward to sitting down with him and his staff to clarify,” a spokesman said in an e-mail statement. Facebook maintained that none of the announced changes would reduce user control over their...

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RIM Announces 2 New Blackberries

Research in Motion has announced two new BlackBerry devices today, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G at the  company’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES).  Both of these phones have significant upgrades. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is the much improved successor of the troubled BlackBerry Tour.  The BlackBerry Bold 9650 features a 480×360 non-touch display, 3.2-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus, and image stabilization, optical trackpad, BlackBerry OS 5.0 (probably upgradeable to OS 6.0), 802.11b/g, WiFi, GPS, QWERTY keyboard, 512MB flash memory upgradeable to 32GB via microSD card, 3,5mm headset jack, Bluetooth, and BlackBerry App World support. This phone  will become available as of May 23rd for the  usual price of $199.99, but only after slapping down the  $100 MIR and the two-year agreement with Sprint. Verizon should also have this phone soon. he BlackBerry Pearl 3G is an update to the immensely popular BlackBerry Pearl series, which combines BlackBerry functionality with a more typical smart phoney-candy bar design. The new phone adds speed, more device memory (256MB), 3G support, GPS and an optical trackpad. The phone includes support for Wi-Fi 802.11.b/g/n networks and has a higher resolution 360×400 screen. The Pearl has always been marketed as a starter BlackBerry, or a BlackBerry for the non-business user. This is in part because the smaller size compresses the QWERTY keypad. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G will be available in two models with different key layouts. The BlackBerry Pearl 9100 has...

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