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Links through April 5th 2010:
- Google Buzz Privacy Reset Coming Tomorrow [Mashable] – “In an effort to address mounting criticism of the privacy issues surrounding Google Buzz, the search giant is going to ask all Buzz users to confirm or change their privacy settings. In an announcement that will be coming soon, Google will admit that they “didn’t get everything right,” which has resulted in serious privacy tweaks since its launch. However, many users weren’t affected by these changes because they had activated Google Buzz before the privacy updates. Now in a renewed effort to correct its gaffs, the search company is going to ask all Google Buzz users to confirm (or change) their Buzz settings. This will be gradually rolled out tomorrow, but the result will be that every user will be prompted with a confirmation page the next time they click the Buzz tab. […] The page isn’t anything new — it’s really just the Google Buzz settings page. However, Google’s taking a step in the right direction by giving every user a big opportunity to change their privacy settings.”
- When office affairs take over the bedroom, the lounge … [The Age] – “Many workers are caught in an insidious technology trap of being permanently online. Some people are checking emails around the clock – to the detriment of their private lives – and never feel they have left the virtual office, research suggests. Melissa Gregg, of Sydney University’s department of gender and cultural studies, conducted interviews with 26 employees in information industries who did at least some work from home. “This study was designed to pick up all that extra work that goes on outside the office, which is generally sold to us as this new freedom to be in touch with work when it suits us,” Ms Gregg said. The participants believed checking and sending emails from home did not constitute work. Yet emails were constantly invading evenings and weekends, potentially affecting family relationships. The study showed that workers were checking email at night in bed and as early as 6am before children woke so they could focus on “real work” in office hours.”
- Chatroulette Piano Improv’s Merton on YouTube Takedowns, Ben Folds and What’s Under That Hoodie [NewTeeVee] – A new interview with ‘Merton’, the guy behind the Chatroulette PianoChatImprov videos. I found it particularly interesting how people gave (or refused) permission to be recorded: “NewTeeVee: How do you now go about the process of getting people’s permission to use them for videos?
Merton: What I do is as soon as they come on the screen, I very quickly paste a little message into the text area that says “I may be recording this. If I have your permission to possibly post this video online, please say yes and give me a thumbs up.” We consulted an attorney about how to word it. And if people say no, I assure them that I’m not going to put them on YouTube and we then both relax and I still play music for them. That’s some of the purest interactions I have because we’re both off stage all of a sudden and we just relax and have a really nice time with it.”
- Results From Dungeons & Dragons Online Going Free: Revenue Up 500% [Techdirt] – A freemium success: “Last year, we wrote about the decision by Turbine to turn its formerly fee-based Dungeons & Dragons Online MMO into a free offering, that had reasons to buy built into the game. At the time, we noted that the early results looked good, but over time they’re looking even better. Reader Murdock alerts us to the news that DDO was able to get 1 million more users and boost revenue 500%… all by going free.”
- Government goes to war with Google over net censorship [The Age] – “The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has launched a stinging attack on Google and its credibility in response to the search giant’s campaign against the government’s internet filtering policy. In an interview on ABC Radio last night, Senator Conroy also said he was unaware of complaints the Obama administration said it had raised with the government over the policy. The government intends to introduce legislation within weeks forcing all ISPs to block a blacklist of “refused classification” websites for all Australians. Senator Conroy has said the blacklist will largely include deplorable content such as child pornography, bestiality material and instructions on crime, but a large and growing group of academics, technology companies and lobby groups say the scope of the filters is too broad and will not make a meaningful impact on internet safety for children.”