Links for July 2nd 2010:
- Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits [NYTimes.com] – On this front, at least, Google have got their ‘Don’t be Evil’ stance right: “On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay. The increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the year. “It’s a fairly cutting edge thing to do,” said Todd A. Solomon, a partner in the employee benefits department of McDermott Will & Emery, a law firm in Chicago, and author of “Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide.” Google is not the first company to make up for the extra tax. At least a few large employers already do. But benefits experts say Google’s move could inspire its Silicon Valley competitors to follow suit, because they compete for the same talent.”
- Don’t buy The Australian iPad app [Refined Geek – Blog] – A detailed look at the shortcomings of The Australian’s iPad application (almost all text is presented as images, for example, which is silly to start with …)
- [Media] Cognitive surplus, the soma of television and being on Newsnight with Clay Shirky [Aleks Krotoski] – Aleks Krotoski outlines her disagreements with Clay Shirky’s ‘cognitive surplus’ argument: basically, she suggests Shirky makes too sweeping an argument, which encompasses too many people, and devalues the participatory nature of earlier media forms, especially television, in ways less visible to contemporary social media forms.
- Foursquare Puts Money Before Privacy [Threat Level | Wired.com] – Foursquare demonstrates they really don’t care about users’ privacy, when they take a long time to fix one privacy flaw, fail to fix two more, don’t disclose any of this to users, and spend most of their energies pursuing more funding.
- Apple introduces iHand: the right way to hold your iPhone [Scoopertino] – Yes, it’s a parody: “Responding to complaints that the new iPhone 4 loses signal when held by a human hand, Apple today launched iHand — a synthetic appendage that makes it easy for anyone to “get a grip” on iPhone and remain connected. iHand is so easy to use, it doesn’t require a manual. Simply insert iPhone 4 into iHand’s adjustable fingers, raise it to your ear and start talking. With iHand, you get all the functionality of the human hand, without the signal-sucking biology that encumbers most iPhone owners.”