January 4, 2008 by Colin
I suspect that Angelo Bepp is an everyman, hiding in plain view although ostensibly disguised as a long-term resident of the state detention facility at Attica, New York.
Angelo is a regular comment contributor to the New York Times online edition. And his comments are funny. Consistently funny. I present a selection:
What have you done to make yourself more attractive on the Web?
I post a picture only showing me from the neck up. That way my prison fatigues & number can’t be seen. I thought it was my car, I really did. How many powder blue 1971 Pintos can there be in New York?
January 3rd, 2008 Link
Executive Who Moved ‘Dem Bums’ Out of Brooklyn Is Hall of Famer
Get over it Brooklyn, its been 50 years. When I lost my dog Blinky, I got over it. Man, I loved Blinky.
December 3rd, 2007 Link
What has been your most memorable culinary experience while on vacation?
Best meal I ever had was in Tibet, a yak burger. Tastes a bit like cheetah.
November 21st, 2007 Link
Where is your favorite place to stay in a national park?
Any where that doesn’t have padded cells or bars is fine by me. I didn’t do anything to that mannequin, it fell on me.
December 21st, 2007 Link
What is your favorite easy-to-make holiday starter?
When I was allowed to indulge myself, I always enjoyed a hot dog with Worcestershire sauce & cottage cheese. Then wash it down with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue. Man, Angelo was living the life back then, before the legal thing.
December 19th, 2007 Link
Which band would you like to see reunited?
The Archies. Still listen to their albums every night. I’m 54 years old.
December 11th, 2007 Link
Shootings Test Limits of New Self-Defense Law: What do you think of Mr. Horn’s actions?
Over reacted. My house was broken into 2 years ago. I confronted the 2 misguided young men. I told them what they were doing was wrong. They still took everything of value that I owned, but they know they did wrong.
December 13th, Link
[tags] comment policy, commenter, New York Times [/tags]
January 3, 2008 by Colin
Some of you may know, during the day I work with a great bunch of privacy advocates. So I’ve got some opinions about the Scroble scraping issue of the day.
Just ask yourself: let’s say large consumer product company X had created a fan group in Facebook. This morning, they decided to launch a new promotional campaign aimed at just these fans, but needed the contact information. Finding Plaxo’s cool new tool, they then simply scraped the name, addy and preferences of all their “fans.”
Would that be acceptable? No. Damien Mulley has it right. It could be considered data theft.
And we would all be justifiably outraged about it.
It’s the idea of scale. You move the information of your 20, 50, 100 or 200 close personal and business contacts, you’re only maintaining your records.
You move 1,000 or more – you’re maintaining a mailing list.
The idea of data portability is that users, consumers, geeks have control of their OWN data. In this case, users entered into a relationship with another user (Scoble) where they shared access to their mutual Facebook profiles.
Facebook, for all its weaknesses and commercial impulses, does have a limited level of privacy protection. The embedding of personal email addys in an image is one. If you want to send me an email from outside the walled garden, you have to take the time to copy the addy by hand.
It’s one protection FOR ME to avoid having my addy scraped and sold off.
So when Plaxo tells Jeremiah Owyang that their new tool is all about data portability – they’re full of crap. It’s all about data collection. Here is an excerpt from a quick interview Jeremiah conducted with Plaxo today:
“…What else should we know? In 2008, data portability thrust is where we want to head, we want to turn the model upside down, so instead of widgets going to the social graph, we would like to make the social graph very portable. This is an area where Plaxo as more depth than anyone else.” (Jeremiah)
In the comments that follow, there is a good discussion of the social contract between “friends” when exchanging access rights and personal information.
Part of this contract, in this case, involves the privacy protections and restrictions put in place by Facebook. Facebook is a wide-open app with a lot of publicly available information, but that doesn’t mean that informed users don’t expect a level of considered behaviour on the part of their “friends.”
When you decide Facebook isn’t the most appropriate tool for you, you can’t attempt to migrate your mass of friends by breaking those protections and restrictions.
Sorry that it’s inconvenient, but that’s the playground you chose to play in.
And if you’re a commercial company that develops a tool designed to rip personal information out of proprietary social networks, don’t tell me you’re doing it in the name of the freedom for information to flow freely. There’s a commercial application behind the motivation.
[tags] data portability, data protection, identity theft, Facebook, Plaxo [/tags]
January 3, 2008 by Colin
As a community, we’re not sitting on the fence, we’re all over the fence, tearing up the garden and throwing fenceposts at people about Facebook’s Social Ads.
The idea that Facebook will strike backroom agreements with corporate partners to associate their consumer data with your Facebook activity seems to strike people the wrong way. Clearly, there needs to be a simple opt-out mechanism to avoid your personal brand being associated with a corporate brand (at least without compensation!)
The great weakness in this scheme, however, is that Facebook and their partners depend on the Facebook Friend having a stellar reputation worth trading on. Or at least have profile pics worth reproducing.
Imagine if Facebook users started using profile pics like those long used on Livejournal? Like that animated .gif to the right?
That would drastically affect the value of the implied endorsement from a social network user.
For example, take this comment from a Wired blog post on the business:
“Fortunately I don’t look that great. If they use me in ads, they’ll be fucking themselves.
Posted by: Experimenting Techmulogical Differences | Jan 2, 2008 6:48:36 PM>
[tags] Facebook, Social Ads, social objects, beacon [/tags]
January 3, 2008 by Colin
Flickr contributors and artists redandjonny have a fantastic series of Star Wars Stormtrooper vignettes, in which they place the fearless and vicious Imperial Stormtrooper in very human and sympathetic situations, like the Death Star Maintenance man … night shift copied below.
I also like the pictures of the poor guy doing his rounds.
thanks to redandjonny for permission to post this photo.
[tags] Star Wars, Stormtrooper, night shift, industrial images, maintenance man [/tags]