Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole Wall Street Journal
Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent. The practice, which most of the companies defended, sends user names or ID numbers tied to personal profiles being viewed when users click on ads. After questions were raised by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook and MySpace moved to make changes. By Thursday morning Facebook had rewritten some of the offending computer code. Advertising companies are receiving information that could be used to look up individual profiles, which, depending on the site and the information a user has made public, include such things as a person’s real name, age, hometown and occupation. Several large advertising companies identified by the Journal as receiving the data, including Google Inc.’s DoubleClick and Yahoo Inc.’s Right Media, said they were unaware of the data being sent to them from the social-networking sites, and said they haven’t made use of it.
Facebook challenged by ambitious upstarts BBC
Regulators Approve Google Deal for Mobile Ad Firm New York Times
In a reversal of regulatory fortune, Google has won approval from the Federal Trade Commission for its $750 million acquisition of the mobile advertising company, AdMob. As recently as last month, F.T.C. staff members appeared ready to urge the agency’s five commissioners to challenge Google’s purchase of the start-up in court, on the basis that it would give Google an unassailable position in the nascent market for ads that appear on mobile phones. But the commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the deal, concluding in a statement that the merger was “unlikely to harm competition in the emerging market for mobile advertising networks.”
Apple pulls iSlam Muhammad app Vanguard of Islam
iSlam Muhammad is an application designed for Apple users has been pulled off by Apple. iSlam Muhammad apparently depicted images of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) and outlined disturbing passages from the Qur’an.
Vancouver-born director Reg Harkema takes a stab at Manson cultist film Canwest News Service
Some kids remember Bambi. Reg Harkema’s first childhood memory is Charles Manson. “I remember seeing that green Manson face on the cover of a book growing up. Then, when I was like 11 or 12, I really got into the Beatles and read about the connection with Helter Skelter,” says Harkema, a Vancouver-born director whose new film, Leslie, My Name is Evil, opens in theatres today. “Then I stopped thinking about Charles Manson altogether for the next 30 years.” The son of a senior Vancouver police officer, Harkema figured the mass murder memories had faded entirely, but in the quiet, isolated darkness of an editing suite, his Manson mojo was mysteriously reactivated when he heard the chorus “Leslie, my name is evil” from a Pink Mountaintops tune. “I went back and read Helter Skelter, and that’s when the Leslie Van Houten story got me. She was a Dutch Christian girl, just like my mom.”
Bill Gates: More Profit Than Prophet The Atlantic
It’s been 15 years since Bill Gates published The Road Ahead, a book packed with the Microsoft founder’s predictions about the future. How do Gates’s prophecies hold up now that the road ahead has arrived? Let’s take a look at Bill’s hits and misses: E-Mail Prediction: Gates wrote, “Electronic mail and shared screens will eliminate the need for many meetings. … when face-to-face meetings do take place, they will be more efficient because participants will have already exchanged background information by e-mail. … information overload is not unique to the (information) highway, and it needn’t be a problem.” Verdict: Miss. Gates’s view of e-mail now seems naively Utopian, failing to account for unintended consequences. If anything, e-mail has made workplace meetings more frequent and less efficient. “Didn’t you get that e-mail?” is probably the single most common question posed at meetings, a query that often leads to … another meeting. By some estimates, nearly 40 percent of workers spend at least two hours of the work day sifting through e-mail, leading some companies to adopt policies aimed at reducing e-mail glut. One frequent solution: more face-to-face meetings.
Illegal alien wearing ‘I’m hiding from the cops’ shirt arrested on child molestation charges Gulf Live
An illegal immigrant was wearing an “I’m hiding from the cops” shirt when he was arrested on child molestation charges, authorities said today William Velasquez Castillo, 27, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lucedale late Wednesday evening, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said. Investigators have been searching for Castillo since April 3 when a 10-year-old girl told investigators he molested her in a vehicle in Ocean Springs, Byrd said. Castillo’s last known residence was on Derry Street in Ocean Springs, the sheriff added.
Protecting Websites from Shared Code Technology Review
New browser software can protect websites from software vulnerabilities. The ease with which websites can share code is both a blessing and a curse for today’s Internet. It allows for powerful Web applications that pull a wide variety of data and services together. But it also puts a site at the mercy of code written by third parties–code that may have security vulnerabilities, or may prove problematic in combination with the rest of what’s offered by a site. A new browser extension would allow developers to use third-party code without worrying about the vulnerabilities that such code might open up. A pair of researchers described this extension, called ConScript, in a talk given this week at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in Oakland, CA.
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.