Step 1: Facebook does something.
Step 2: Everybody freaks the fuck out.
It’s been just over 5 years since Facebook first unveiled the News Feed. The song remains the same.
This weekend’s Bitchmeme centered around Facebook’s new automatic or “frictionless” sharing. It already works with services like Spotify and Rdio and publications like The Washington Post and The Guardian. And it’s about to come to a lot more places.
Depending which article you read, this is either: a) the end of sharing b) the end of Facebook c) the future. As always, most critics are leaning towards the former, more cynical options.
Everyone should quit Facebook.
The reality is what it has always been. Facebook is pushing the envelope. Companies that push the envelope take a lot of shit. That doesn’t mean they’re always right — often times, they’re not. But it does show that they’re unafraid, unlike most companies out there.
Late last night, I linked to a blog post Google put up and jotted down some initial thoughts. Given the response (thousands of views, 100+ notes, etc.), I thought it was only fair that I elaborate a bit.
Google’s post is entitled “Greater choice for wireless access point owners”. It outlines new opt-out functionality for Google’s location database. I ripped into the post — as did several others — not so much because of the feature itself, but because the post is misguided and disingenuous. In my view, it is probably the worst blog post Google has ever put on their blog. And that’s saying something.
First of all, this is a post that should not have been written — at least not in the way that it was. Google is building their location database using WiFi hotspots, likely including yours if you broadcast your SSID (your router’s name). Apple does the same thing. So does Skyhook (which is suing Google for ditching their location database to build their own). So do others. It’s a good idea. And it makes locations services much better.
Facebook is near an agreement that will settle a case with the Federal Trade Commission by making all of its privacy settings opt-in instead of opt-out, reports Julia Angwin and Shayndi Raice at the WSJ. That means that you will not share anything with anyone by default, unless you specifically choose to do so.