The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana’s coast continues to spread, endangering everything from the gulf states’ environment and economy to the President’s political legacy.
Follow along with Weather Underground.
But who is following along with you?
Someone else keeping an eye on the Internet is Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., who sent letters of concern about whether Facebook and Google are doing enough to protect users’ privacy. In previous Surfin’ Safari columns, we reported that Google captured online activities over Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries while it was photographing neighborhoods for its StreetView feature.
Conyers said he wants Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to explain his company’s privacy practices, and he wants Google CEO Eric Schmidt to retain the records related to the Wi-Fi data collection and to cooperate with state and federal agencies. The House Judiciary Committee is considering hearings and legislation.
The FTC is asking Google not to destroy any documents related to the data it collected for its Street View photo map archive. Google has not complied with a request from Germany to turn over Internet data and e-mails it collected, citing legal issues. It also has not turned over information to Hong Kong. It destroyed data collected in Denmark, Ireland and Austria after local regulators requested it do so. Eight other European countries including France and Spain have asked Google to retain the data.
“Google will eventually be the Big Brother that we have always feared would totally eliminate any privacy that we have left. Don’t be surprised to partner up with government agencies such as the IRS to control every dollar that we spend,” wrote a commenter to an article that discussed Australia’s problems with Google. “It’s our own fault because we opt to use this intrusive search engine. How about a suit to force Google to disclose just what data that they have collected on each of us?”
Do you agree with some that this the single biggest breach of privacy in history?
In a related security topic, at least one other person is asking the question: When sharing location, are we willing to trade control and privacy for convenience?
Facebook founder out to fix “a bunch of mistakes”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last week said the social networking service has made blunders that it hopes to fix with coming changes to its privacy controls.
Facebook has also announced “simplified” privacy settings. Here’s a step-by-step video on how to take advantage of the new settings and maximize your privacy on Facebook.
More people visited Facebook last month than any other website, Google announced this week after releasing its findings on the top 1,000 sites in the world. Google ranked the sites based on unique visitors: Facebook welcomed 540 million unique visitors to its site in April, helping it reach 35 percent of all web users.
Google as a whole served 570 billion page views during the month, beating every other site on the Web. Yahoo was the second-most-visited site in April, capturing 490 million unique visitors and serving over 70 billion page views. In third place, Microsoft’s Live.com domain had 370 million unique visitors and served 39 billion page views. Wikipedia came in fourth with 310 million unique visitors and 7.9 billion page views. China-based search engine Baidu captured the eighth spot with 230 million unique visitors and 27 billion page views.
To see the full list of the Web’s top sites, click here.
Just get me to the church on time
Well, this ought to do it. We all know someone who is perennially late for everything, skidding in at the last moment. Late Mate for BlackBerry will try to fix that by making sure they never know what time it really is. Hilarious concept, but it just might get them there – dare I say it? – on time!
Procter & Gamble’s door-to-door home delivery
With the price of gas expected to increase, it just makes sense to limit your outings by shopping from home. Procter & Gamble is capitalizing on the fact that more of us are shopping online and has opened a direct online store for customers in the U.S. dubbed the eStore. The site features brand shop pages, service options and tools for customized product selection, social media integrations and a rating and review section for shoppers to provide feedback on their shopping experiences.
And coming soon – a mobile phone application that will help you purchase your favorite products at the eStore with photos from your mobile phones. Delivery costs might save you gas money, depending on how many turns of the tire it takes to travel to the store.
The doctor will tweet you now?
This lends new meaning to the expression “doc in a box.” Now you can communicate with a doctor through videoconferencing, voice over IP and instant messaging. Log on to a local medical practice’s website and connect via videoconferencing and IM with the doc on duty, who will review your electronic medical record online.
Physicians are reportedly getting positive feedback from patients and see it as a way to foster a closer relationship and educate them about treatments prior to office visits. Blue Cross Blue Shield in some areas charges a $10 or $20 co-payment fee for members. Nonmembers can use the online service for $50 per session.
Twitter bans ads from other companies
No piggy-backing here. Twitter has banned other companies from inserting ads into its endless stream of short messages.
Twitter recently unveiled its own advertising system and is eliminating other businesses who have been riding on Twitter’s popularity, no doubt making Twitter’s tweeters happy as larks.
Bits and bytes
- New king of technology: Apple overtakes Microsoft
- British library digitizing 40 million newspapers
- Wired’s first iPad issue comes out; costs $5
- The half-life of a YouTube video is six days
- Most people Google themselves now
- Your office wants to be in pictures!
Through the rear view mirror
1962 – 130 die in Paris air crash
Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Chris Garrick of Lancaster, Calif.; Boyd Wallace of Pierre, S.D.; and Russell Wells of Neodesha, Kan.; who were among the first to correctly guess actor Geena Davis as Dottie Hinson in the 1992 film “A League of Their Own”, the story of two sisters who join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.
The movie quote was “You got yourself into the league. I just got you on the train.”
This week’s movie quote: “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!