The whining and gnashing of teeth
that immediately greet any changes to Facebook have become a cliched social networking
punchline. The site, though, is currently being hammered over very real and pertinent concerns that go far beyond mere member tempter-tantrums.
The brouhaha began early last year when Facebook implemented, and then almost immediately retracted
, new Terms of Service that many believed would give the site perpetual ownership of member information (like photographs). Over the course of the last year, despite the reversal, those concerns over privacy have only escalated, and some recent revelations by an anonymous Facebook employee
should only serve to intensify the cacophony of complaints.
The spike in Facebook vitriol has amplified primarily because of December changes to Facebook's privacy guidelines
. The new user settings were initially described as a method for members to completely control their profile activities. People steadily identified some glaring holes in the supposed security measures, though, including the inability to securely lock down profile pictures, fan pages, and friends lists.
According to the unnamed snitch, those aren't the only issues, as the employee claims that everything you do is not only permanently stored and saved, but completely available to Facebook staff and associates. The site All Facebook has expectedly and deservedly retaliated
to the whistleblower claims, and has dismissed the supposed revelations as common knowledge with which all Facebook members should be completely familiar.
Speaking to the Rumpus, the Facebook worker asserted that when a member makes "any sort of interaction on Facebook -- upload a photo, click on somebody's profile, update your status, change your profile information," that activity is stored on Facebook's servers. In order to identify a member's "best friends," a feature which quietly debuted recently, the site tracks and stores (at one of four massive data centers) every possible interaction. All Facebook countered by saying this practice is "widely known," and that "if you don't want Facebook collecting information about you, don't give it to them." (Excellent customer service -- MySpace would be thrilled
if Facebook adhered to an official "take it or leave it" approach.)
One of the most troubling revelations in the anonymous interview is the claim that any Facebook employee could log into any member account with a single master password (which was some derivation of Chuck Norris -- not so funny in this scenario). The shadowy interviewee also said that various employees (at least two of whom were terminated) were caught inappropriately using that password to gain access to accounts
. But, according to some, that password issue "isn't really that big of a deal." That may not sound comforting, but the site says it has a zero tolerance policy for snooping and it has also created a Chief Privacy Officer position.
The comprehensive interview covers even more topics, including fascinating discussions on developments in "psychological analysis," incredibly creepy Facebook interactions, the low-down on the huge programming nerds, and Facebook's international future. Lastly, make sure to check out All Facebook to get both sides of the story. [From: The Rumpus
and All Facebook
Facebook's Most Annoying Things
Traditionalists might balk, but the holiday shopping season is already underway. Skeptical? Head to your local department store and you'll be inundated by Christmas trees and ornaments. Bargain hunters, though, know that the real deals are more than a month away.
Black Friday, traditionally, is when retailers truly slash prices. Early birds can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off of their holiday bills. Switched.com checked with a few elves, who gave a sneak peek at what you can expect deal-wise this year.
Blu-ray Players and Movies: Blu-ray is shaping up to be the biggest door buster of this year's Black Friday. de Grandpre expects at least one retailer will offer a Blu-ray player for just $49. Look for bargains on Blu-ray films as well, with last year's hit titles (such as "Iron Man") to fall as low as $5.
Laptops: With the proliferation of Netbooks this year, it's never been easier to find affordable portable computing, but Dan de Grandpre, CEO of DealNews.com says it will get even cheaper on Black Friday. Look for well-equipped Netbooks to sell for $199 – and basic 15" laptops to go for as little as $249.
HDTVs (Pretty big): The holidays are typically the best time to buy a new TV – and Black Friday is the time to do it. If you're looking for a normal sized set, you're in luck. Piper Jaffrey analyst Mitch Kaiser says he expects to see 32-inch LCD sets for as low as $299. GottaDeal.com is estimating 37-inch plasma and LCD sets will fall to $399 or less.
HDTVs (Really big): Need something bigger? How about a 46-47 inch LCD set for $599 – a 25 percent savings? Or a 52-inch LCD for $999? Dealnews says you can expect both. Plasma deals will be a little harder to come by, but a 50-inch set should run roughly $899.
HD Camcorders: You've wanted to shoot your child's school play in HD for a while, but haven't been able to spring for the pricey camcorder. This might be the year. Low-end, flash-based 720p models could drop as low as $60 (though you won't be able to zoom with those). Expect a high quality 1080p HD camcorder for $349.
GPS: While navigation systems have dramatically expanded their reach this year – even making it onto the iPhone – there's still a market for car-based systems. Dealnews predicts you'll be able to find a no-name entry-level system for $49, while a Garmin or Tom-Tom brand will be as low as $69.
Digital Picture Frames: Showcasing your digital pictures consistently gets cheaper. This year, skip the 7-inch screens and focus on the 8- or 9-inch ones, which should be available on Black Friday for as little as $30.
Monitors: Computer monitors might not be the sexiest of gifts, but they're usually welcomed with open arms – and they'll be cheap this year. Name brand 22-inch LCD models may go for as low as $99, while 24-inch models will drop below $150.
Memory: Don't know anyone who needs a monitor? External hard drives are always popular, since they're an easy way to back-up data. Dealnews expects a 1TB drive to fall as low as $49 this year. Gottadeal is looking for 8GB flash drives to hit $15.