Work begins to repair severed net

Interesting article about the cables that are keeping our Internet up and running.

“Work has begun to repair two damaged internet cables in the Mediterranean Sea that were severed last week.”

Bill to provide protection from sexual predators on the Internet

Sorry been a bit quiet lately, been busy finishing the book. Came across this article today, interesting.Read more..

New York’s attorney general and state legislative leaders presented a bill on Tuesday aimed at protecting people from sexual predators on the Internet, as Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo backed the effort.

Online data mining

Mark Curphew in his blog made an interesting post on the dangers posed by online data-mining. The message is that there are people that with just a small amount of information can piece together quite a lot about you by mining. They Google your name combined with anything else they know about you to amass a whole load more information on you.

I wrote something in this area in my first article (Identity Linkage and Privacy) published for the first time in April 2007. Unstructured information that is posted online, may not have a direct link to you (your identity) however a ‘dormant identity link’ can link this data to your identity. i.e. the aggregate of information can link to your identity, but each of these pieces of information by themselves are meaningless.

I suppose the question is ‘why would anyone want to do this’?. Particularly in the case of Mark, seems like the guy had too much time on his hands. In fact one of the most publicized areas is for the purpose of ‘online grooming’ of children by paedophiles. All of this subject area and more is covered in the book I expect to publish -once I decide who to publish with- in the next month or so. So watch this space 🙂

MySpace and child safety pact

I found this on boston.com. I wonder how effective these measures will be? How will strengthened software prohibit underage users unless they are forced to use their own name, i.e. identify themselves and authenticate to prove they are who they say they are? Will this not impact the lure of what many MySpace users like about it? Interesting… read more here…

Under the agreement, MySpace has endorsed a host of measures to shield children from inappropriate material and sexual predators who use the site.

MySpace has also agreed to strengthen software prohibiting underage users, create a high school section for users under 18, and respond within 72 hours to complaints about inappropriate content. The networking site already takes some steps to protect children, including not allowing registered sex offenders to maintain profiles.

Online data-mining

An interesting survey…..

“About half of the online adult population has looked up themselves or someone else online, according to a survey released Sunday. A good 36 percent said they have searched the Web for someone with whom they’ve lost touch, and 9 percent have dug up information on someone they were dating.”

Read more…..

Meet Kai

I got pretty excited when I came across this posting. Taking a look at Customer 2.0, or at least that is what they are doing at Microsoft.

“Have you met Kai? Kai is the name that we (the MS IT EA Team) are thinking of giving to Customer 2.0. She is young and lively and one of the most demanding customers we’ve had to deal with on the web. Know why? Because she expects us all to grow up……..

Kai is calling to you to make her internet experience Fun, Social, and Engaging. If she uses your services today, that does not mean she will use them tomorrow. She is brand loyal, but your site will hold her attention primarily if it holds the attention of her community. Her group. Welcome to the fad.No more expecting Kai to live with badly designed sites. She learned about programming in high school (or middle school) and is unafraid of making her own mashups. That said, she doesn’t need to. You will provide something beautiful to her. She is outright offended when she sees a site or service that she feels is not professional or trustworthy. She’d never hand her friends over to something klunky.

A few demographics will bring this into focus. Kai may live in a western country… or not. She is as likely to be speaking Mandarin Chinese or Hindi as she is to be speaking Spanish or English. “

Facebook is bowing to protests

Lauren has a good posting about Facebook and how they have implemented a Beacon system. I mentioned this in a previous post. What this does is notifies your friends when you have purchased something. Basically boils down to that SPAMMING has evolved, to ‘let’s spam our friends’… nice world. So here we have Facebook that has better privacy controls for the user than let’s say MySpace, and then Facebook goes and spoils it by implementing this blatant invasion of privacy. I don’t want all my ‘friends’ to be notified of everything I purchase. Maybe in 10-20 years it will be normal, but NOT today.

Anyhow they have now changed the system so you need to approve before a notification is sent to your friends. Although I agree with Lauren’s view completely, what’s wrong with a simple Opt-out? We should have a choice and it should not be defaulted to Opt-in or click this button to keep your privacy every single time you purchase something, we should have the choice to set our default settings to Opt-out or Opt-in. And if we choose to Opt-out, it should stay that way unless we -the user- change it!