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Posts published in “Social Networks”

SecureDrop’s Free Install, Oracle Spreads FUD & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Google wants to put your face on ads

We’ve always wanted to like Google. We want to believe them when they chant their informal motto, “Don’t be evil,” as if it were a mantra. We believe they have good intentions, just as we believe that Mark Zuckerberg is clueless when it comes to the privacy rights of Facebook’s users. We also believe it’s much too easy to convince oneself that wrong is right.

The latest news concerning Google puts Google+ in the same camp as Facebook when it comes to user privacy issues. Here at FOSS Force, we first heard about a change in Google’s privacy policy on Monday in an article posted by the BBC. It seems the search and advertising giant has modified its policy to allow it to soon pull endorsements from its user base for advertising purposes.

Facebook Gives ‘Social Fixer’ Ultimatum

Things aren’t going well for Matt Kruse, the developer of the über-popular Social Fixer browser extension which gives users control over how their Facebook pages and news feeds appear to them. It works within the browser and doesn’t affect the experience of anyone on Facebook other than the user. With it, status updates can be tabbed, items can be filtered, and it allows hiding or blocking sponsored stories and other advertising that runs through the news feed.

The last we heard, about three weeks ago, Zuckerberg’s people had taken down Social Fixer‘s popular Facebook page, a place for users to testify for the app and seek help and for Mr. Kruse to make announcements about updates and so forth. FB was claiming it removed the page due to reports of spamming, but was offering no way for him to plead his case.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Redmond’s Used iPads, Spy Wars Escalate & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Court rules on Facebook privacy

If an employee makes a post on Facebook using a privacy setting that excludes the boss from seeing it, that post is off limits to the employer. Unless, that is, the poster has a turncoat friend who willingly supplies the post to the employer with no prodding to do so. That’s evidently the gist of a ruling handed down in August, as reported by PCWorld on Sunday.

The case involved Deborah Ehling, who was suspended by Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. (MONOC) after she posted on Facebook in June of 2009 a response to news that a white supremacist had opened fire and killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Facebook Permanately Deletes Social Fixer’s Page

More bad news for Matt Kruse, the developer of the popular Social Fixer plugin that gives users some control on how their Facebook displays on their computer, as well as giving them some special features.

I told you on September 3rd that the plugin’s Facebook page had been removed without warning. At that time, Mr. Kruse was in the process of “appealing” Facebook’s decision–if that’s the proper word. While the social site did offer-up a button to click to request that Facebook reconsider their opinion, that was it. No text box to plead one’s case was offered.

As of yesterday, the page has been completely removed for violating “community standards.”

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Social Fixer’s Facebook Page Removed

Beginning yesterday, users of Social Fixer have been greeted by an announcement when they log onto Facebook, informing them that the popular browser extension’s Facebook page has been removed without warning.

Social Fixer, a plugin that works with most browsers, allows users to change how their Facebook newsfeed and other pages are displayed and how they operate. Although very popular, the extension has always been a thorn in Facebook’s side. It’s not surprising that Zuckerberg and his minions would now find even less to like about the plugin, since Wall Street has been prodding them to get serious about monetizing the massive amount of traffic that flows through the social network.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

MIT Reviews Aaron Swartz, Google’s 100 Million Takedowns & More…

FOSS Week in Review

USPTO shoots down Apple patent

There seems to be more than enough tit-for-tat to go around in the ongoing patent battle between Apple and Samsung. If we wanted to be snarky, we’d say we haven’t seen this much legal maneuvering since the last days of the Beatles and the “sue me, sue you blues.”

RMS Inducted, Nook Tablet RIP & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Texas stands up for email rights

Texas? Did you really say Texas? The state that leads the world in the number of executions–that Texas? Well, la-di-da, who would’ve ever thought the folks down there in the Lone Star State would be the first to stand up and protect our inboxes? Does this mean that the spirits of Ann Richards and Maury Maverick, Jr. are looking over the Texas legislators?

Mr. Zuck’s Magical Algorithmic Censor

Zuck the suck has a lot to learn about being cool and hip.

Last week Mr. Social proved that neither he nor his little Facebook site have an inkling of hippness away from the Starbuck’s universe, when they decided a historical photograph from counter cultural Toronto, taken in the late 60s or early 70s, was nothing but unacceptable nudity, or worse, porno.

Then again, I could be wrong. This could merely be a case of a computer algorithm with penis envy.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

LendInks, Mob Mentality and the DMCA

The streets of the Internet can be dangerous.

Every day, people are gunned down when they leave the relatively safe main streets of Reddit, Facebook or Twitter to wander into bad neighborhood forums where they’re not known. The usual weapons are words and the common advice is to grow thick skin for protection. Consequences are usually low; feelings are about all that ever get hurt.

Sometimes, however, mobs form. Posses meet up outside a hated website and hit the owners with barrages of venomous email. If a site has a forum or a Facebook page, they try to take over. If it’s supported by ad money, they might launch a campaign against the advertisers, as happened in 2010 with Cooks Source Magazine–a New England site brought down by web users for cavalierly stealing content.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Occupy Diaspora

The first and last time I visited Diaspora was back in 2010, when the social destination was still in it’s Alpha release. Although it had a reputation, as alpha releases do, of being buggy, I was surprised at how well it worked. It was impressive, a lot like Facebook but also quite different in its design. The problem was, there was nobody there. It was like entering an eighteen story highrise apartment building in which all the tenents had been evicted, hollow and filled with virtual echoes. So I ran back to the noise of the crowd on the virtual party that is Facebook.

I stay on Facebook for the same reason everybody else stays on Facebook – because all my friends are there. We’re not talking about the folks I hang with in Winston-Salem, who I can see anytime I like over at Washington Perks or Krankies. Nah, we’re talking about people that go way back, people I knew back in the 1970s when we were trying to ignore the coming of disco and, worse, Kiss, and pretend that we could keep the spirit of the 60s alive, like forever man. We’re talking about brothers and sisters who were gone forever from my life, who I was sure I’d never see again and who were already planted in the ground or turned into ashes as far as I knew.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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