So, we're done. Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites. And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.

That a Facebook fans of "Barack Obama" might be Democrats or people who liked the "No H8" campaign were more likely to be gay seems obvious, but other correlations were far less intuitive. "Curly Fries" and "Thunderstorms" seem to be surprisingly linked with a high IQ, while "That Spider is More Scared Than U" happens to draw a non-smoking fan base. Predictors of male heterosexuality include "Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps." An appreciation of "Hello Kitty" tended to be associated with people who were more open and less emotionally stable. [Sounds like overtraining to me, but surely they wouldn't make such a fundamental mistake? Right?]

The bills will prohibit universities and employers from making their applicants hand over their email or social media account passwords, and in a statement [Governor Jerry] Brown said that California is leading where others should be following.

Personally, I'm amazed that any employer anywhere could possibly think it's reasonable to demand that employees fork over their passwords. What's next, employers wanting copies of house keys so they can have a look in employees' homes?

HTTP already has its own authentication system, and there are hundreds — perhaps thousands — of tools that know how to work with it. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to use that in our own scripts, but have something communicate with the services using OAuth behind the scenes? Thus, foauth.org was born.

Rather than try to build a bunch of bells and whistles and make everything really complicated, we focused on just one task: taking OAuth out of the equation when accessing your own data. So, unlike Apigee, we’re not monitoring your API usage or promising any statistics or anything like that. Our goal is to help you login with OAuth-compliant services using HTTP Basic authentication. That’s it.

Last week, Google announced a new, simplified privacy policy. They did a great job of informing users that the privacy policy had been changed through emails and notifications, and several experts (including Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian) have praised the shift toward a simpler, more unified policy. Unfortunately, while the policy might be easier to understand, Google did a less impressive job of publicly explaining what in the policy had actually been changed.

In fact, it took a letter from eight Representatives to persuade them to provide straightforward answers to the public about their new policy.

Here’s what you need to know about the substantive changes in the new policy:

Few things warm the heart quite like a goofy publicity stunt. P.T. Barnum once had an elephant plow a field. German phone manufacturer Gigaset is right on Barnum's wavelength. Animals get attention. In this particular case, the animal is a chatty British Gold Macaw on Facebook.

OK, let's review. We have a parrot. We have Facebook. Put the two together in a live-chat format and you get people from around the world jawing with a bird over the Internet's most popular social-networking site.

...

The parrots will be on duty until the 9th of May between 3 a.m. and 1 p.m. PT. There are a few simple rules. Be patient. Don't swear. He won't answer questions about his personal life, but topics such as biscuits and chickens are OK.

Today, as social media continues radically to transform how we communicate and interact, I can't help thinking with a heavy heart about The Woman in Blue. You see, in the networking age of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, the social invisibility that Vermeer so memorably captured is, to excuse the pun, disappearing. That's because, as every Silicon Valley notable, from Eric Schmidt to Mark Zuckerberg, has publicly acknowledged, privacy is dead: a casualty of the cult of the social. Everything and everyone on the internet is becoming collaborative. The future is, in a word, social.

There are three main platforms within Nokia for social media. The oldest and one of the most important is the BlogHub. Every employee is entitled to have their own internal blog to share their work and ideas and there are more than 1400 in existence and a total of over 100,000 posts and comments. Not all of them are active but enough of them are to make sure there’s always plenty to read about what’s going on around the company. Supporting this space is the VideoHub where employees can watch and share yes… videos.

One of the newest platforms within Nokia is Socialcast, a kind of half-way house between Facebook and Twitter, but designed for internal communications. Like those platforms, there’s a wall of scrolling updates and it’s designed for smaller snippets and quick questions.

But, then, how is Facebook so profitable?

Are they lying?

No.

They are growing.

More and more people sign up to Facebook, and more and more businesses hear about how many people are on Facebook.

It seems like a huge opportunity.

TV shows and award-winning movies are made about Facebook.

...

Eventually, though, and this might take a long time, but it is finite, everyone will have tried Facebook ads and know that they are useless. Eventually, after 10 million businesses have invested $1000 each, and Facebook has earned $10 billion in revenue in total, then they will have run out of new customers and their revenue will dry up.

A useless product is never sustainable.

I wish I could short Facebook.

The object of the game, for any one of these ultimately temporary social networks, is to create the illusion that it is different, permanent, invincible and too big to fail. And to be sure, Facebook has gone about as far as any of them has at creating that illusion.

...

Yet social media is itself as temporary as any social gathering, nightclub or party. It's the people that matter, not the venue. So when the trend leaders of one social niche or another decide the place everyone is socializing has lost its luster or, more important, its exclusivity, they move on to the next one, taking their followers with them. (Facebook's successor will no doubt provide an easy "migration utility" through which you can bring all your so-called friends with you, if you even want to.)

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