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Links for October 13th 2010 through October 18th 2010:
- Facebook in Online Privacy Breach; Applications Transmitting Identifying Information [WSJ.com] – *sigh* “Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook’s rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure. […] The Journal found that all of the 10 most popular apps on Facebook were transmitting users’ IDs to outside companies. […] include Zynga Game Network Inc.’s FarmVille, with 59 million users, and Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille. Three of the top 10 apps, including FarmVille, also have been transmitting personal information about a user’s friends to outside companies”
- Apple stores teeming with germs [WA Today] – Finally, viruses come to Apple! 😛 “A leading Australian expert in infectious diseases says people who use display iPads and iPhones at Apple stores are risking serious infections and the company should do more to maintain hygiene. The call by Professor Peter Collignon, the director of infectious diseases and microbiology at the Australian National University, follows research that found a higher risk of transmitting pathogens from glass surfaces like iPads to human skin. “You wouldn’t have hundreds of people using the same glass or cup, but theoretically if hundreds of people share the same keyboard or touch pad, then effectively that’s what you’re doing,” Collignon said in a phone interview.”
- Facebook and Microsoft Team Up on Social Search [NYTimes.com] – Searching your social graph? “Bing just got a little more help from its friend, Facebook. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that Facebook users would be able to see recommendations and relevant links from their friends in search results on Bing. “It isn’t just about the common connections between data and the offline world, it’s about the connections between people,” said Yusuf Mehdi, a senior vice president of online business at Microsoft, during an event held at Microsoft’s campus in Mountain View, Calif. Mr. Mehdi gave the example of a Bing user trying to decide whether or not to see the science fiction film “Inception.” When a user searches for the film on Bing, information about how many of their friends “liked” the movie on Facebook and relevant links they have shared will appear alongside reviews, ticketing information and movie show times, he said. […] Facebook and Microsoft are increasingly deepening ties, perhaps in an effort to better fend off a common adversary, Google”
- Unlogo – Nifty! “Unlogo is a web service that eliminates logos and other corporate signage from videos. On a practical level, it takes back your personal media from the corporations and advertisers. On a technical level, it is a really cool combination of some brand new OpenCV and FFMPEG functionality. On a poetic level, it is a tool for focusing on what is important in the record of your life rather than the ubiquitous messages that advertisers want you to focus on. In short, Unlogo gives people the opportunity to opt out of having corporate messages permanently imprinted into the photographic record of their lives.” [Video: http://vimeo.com/14566198]
- Facebook keeps ‘deleted’ user photos for years [WA Today] – “Even if you delete incriminating photos on your Facebook profile, the company is keeping them accessible to anyone online for up to 30 months. The social networking site admitted it had been keeping deleted photos for a “limited” amount of time. But users who have kept the direct link to photos that were originally uploaded to the social networking site have been able to still gain access to them months, even years after deletion. In one report, a Facebook user said they had deleted an image from the site 2.5 years ago (30 months), and that it was still available to see on the site. Another said a photo from April 2009 was still accessible after it was deleted.”
- Baby Born From 20-Year-Old Frozen Embryo [io9] – “Cryopreservation was once the domain of sci-fi novels and B-rate movies. (Think Encino Man.) But it’s increasingly real, as the recent birth of a healthy boy from a frozen embryo created 20 years earlier shows. The birth, which is reported in a study in the online edition of the journal Fertility and Sterility, sets a record. Until now, no embryo frozen for this long has resulted in a live birth. The 42-year-old mother of the boy, who is not named in the study, began trying to get pregnant using IVF ten years ago. At the time, she and her husband received embryos from a heterosexual couple who had themselves undergone IVF. That couple had anonymously donated their leftover embryos after the woman successfully gave birth. Thing was, they did so in 1990 …”
- Half of second-hand mobile phones contain personal data [SMH] – “Consumers are unwittingly passing much of their most private personal data to strangers when they discard mobile phones, with intimate photos and credit card numbers and pins frequently left on handsets, according to new research. An analysis of 50 handsets bought from second-hand resellers on eBay found that more than half contained personal messages or photos, according to exclusive research from the mobile and forensics experts Disklabs. More than 60 per cent still contained phone numbers left on a call log. A number were sold with pornographic material still on the phone. […] Personal security information, including home address, credit card numbers and pin numbers, was on 26 of the handsets.”
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