As Per Whatever

Facebook undergoes a TON of changes…

So the ever-popular closed social networking site Facebook has undergone a pretty major upgrade overnight — it now has a new News Feed feature on the homepage. (Screenshots at the Facebook Blog.) This permits you to watch pretty much every move your friends make on their profile, including joining groups, editing interests and profile information, what they write on others’ walls, if they’re tagged in a photo, and all sorts of other crazy stuff. It’s worth noting that you can remove the actions you make by clicking the “X” next to it on your feed page.

My buddy Kyle in his status line suggests that the next new feature is keeping track of what profiles you visit. I humbly suggest Facebook GPS, in which you can track your friends’ locations down to within a half a mile, automatically updating on their Facebook homepage. Haha. All I know is that a new group just sprung up at CofC, called What the Hell Happened To Facebook? — it’s attracted about 12 members thus far and that number is growing. The group is created in protest to the new features. I don’t mind them so much, I think it’s kind of cool, but I still think you should have the option of being able to move about Facebook like a ninja in the night if you so desire.


Enter DOPA: Expansion of the nanny state

CNET is reporting on the passage in the House of DOPA, the Deleting Online Predators Act, which aims to impose a federal mandate for libraries and schools to restrict access to MySpace and other sites that offer chat room or social functionality — in other words, most of the Internet — to minors. The legislation appears to be very broad, as it targets any site that permits the creation of a “public profile.” So, in other words, this includes most blogs (including this very site), message boards, chat rooms, Facebook, MySpace…you name it.

Here’s my take: It’s poor legislation that I think attacks the wrong problem the wrong way. There are perfectly legitimate academic uses for some discussion sites and blogs, I think. Yes, Internet predators are a real problem, and we have to deal with them, but let’s not ignore the possibility of predators at playgrounds and other public places. They’re still out there as well. What do we do? Ban the usage of playgrounds by minors? Restrict minors to a federally-mandated curfew? What kind of parent lets their kid onto the Internet without supervision anyway? I don’t know too many parents who let their young children out on a playground, or any public place, without some kind of supervision. The playground isn’t responsible for watching the children, the parents are. Why does the Internet have to be any different? Our government clearly knows next to nothing about how the Internet works (see Ted Stevens’ rant about “internet tubes” for a prime example) but wants to legislate the living hell out of it because it’s still relatively new and must be a breeding ground for lawlessness and anarchy. That, and it represents the circumvention of traditional media controls for the free exchange of ideas, and that seems to threaten a lot of people.

Sitting here listening to Trammell Starks in the office…

…what a few days it’s been. The impending full moon seemed to bring out all the IT-related problems today. LOL. C’est la vie. I made it though.

I’m getting a little leery of MySpace these days. Seems like I get at least one or two friend requests a day from pornographers who have rigged their spaces to be one giant porn link, or wanting me to go to a dotless URL, or some other scheme that would undoubtedly bring out security problems in IE if I tried to use it. (Nothing like an IP address written entirely in HEX.) Seems like pornographers aren’t the only ones hitting MySpace; in a rather unsurprising turn of events, adware is making its way through MySpace via friend request now. I’m not at all surprised by this; with the amount of people who have enough sense to cram enough things on their space so it scrolls horizontally on my 1680×1050 widescreen, it was only a matter of time before adware peddlers targeted the site.

What else is up?