I have mixed feelings about Facebook. On one hand, it’s a great way to reconnect and stay connected with friends, family and acquaintances. On the other hand, it is time-consuming and cumbersome. I mean “Pieces of Flair”? Please.

But of more concern are privacy issues. Four senators have sent Facebook a letter of “concern”, warning the social network that federal regulators would likely investigate the company. Democratic Senators Charles Schumer, Michael Bennett, Al Franken and Mark Begich – the latter a member of the communications subcommitteesent the six-year-old social network a letter expressing concern over the new privacy rollback. The senators called on the company to make this privacy rollback “opt-in” rather than “opt-out,” since the latter process is “long and complicated.”

Co-inventor of the World Wide Web speaks out

Robert Cailliau, who co-developed the World Wide Web 20 years ago, recently commented in a video why he isn’t on Facebook: “I can get in, but I can’t get out. I don’t know what happens to my data.”

Check out what he has to say about the iPod browser, and Internet Explorer. You might be surprised to hear what he would have done differently.

On restoring your FB privacy

As soon as I read this, I headed to my Facebook page and made some changes. You probably will too.

Social networking vs. cyber militias

Caution! Advances in digital technology are giving authoritarian regimes new ways of monitoring and silencing dissent. Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty President Jeffrey Gedmin says authoritarian regimes like Iran have used a range of technologies to block, monitor and infiltrate social media.

Hugo Chavez begins tweeting, wants to rule it

“The Devil” has discovered Twitter and is determined to rule it the way he rules his domain. Completely. Et tu, Evo and Fidel?

Fill ‘er up

With the headlines focused on last week’s tragic explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, speculation is rising over whether prices at the gas pumps will increase.

Here’s a website that gives you on-the-spot info for gas prices in your area throughout the United States and Canada. Simply type in your zip code and you’ll be given a list of gas prices at gas stations in your immediate vicinity. As of this writing, prices at the pump in my area start at $2.79 a gallon for regular.

Mobile spy program watches your Blackberry usage

U.S. software firm Retina-X Studios has released a more vigilant version of its Mobile Spy program that captures every email and picture from BlackBerry smart phones. An earlier version kept track of text messaging and telephone calls, providing online access of data to employers, parents or whoever else was paying for smart phone accounts.

The new Mobile Spy 4.0 software now provides smart phone contacts, calendar events, memos and records of which cell towers a mobile phone was within range of.

Twitter’s five degrees of separation

“Six degrees of separation” is the philosophy that suggests everyone is at most six steps away from any other person in terms of relationships. Social media monitoring and analytics startup Sysomos has released a report that looked at 5.2 billion Twitter friendships to see how connected they are with each other.

Sysomos discovered that Twitter is mostly a network with only five degrees of separation, with nearly everyone on Twitter just five steps (or friends, i.e. people you follow) away from each other. Many Twitter users – 37 percent – have only four degrees of separation from each other.

Twitter still has plenty of room to grow

If you’re like my friend Marylou, you know about Twitter, but like her, you don’t use it because you don’t see the need. In February 2008 only 5 percent of Americans knew about the microblogger, compared to 87 percent in February 2010, according to an Edison Research report.

Only 7 percent, or about 17 million people, actually use Twitter. Twitter Inc. says 40 percent of its 105 million registered members are from the United States.

High school dropout sells blog for millions

He dropped out of high school in his sophomore year to run a company he began out of a sense of curiosity about mobile phones still on the drawing board. Read the amazing story of a now-23 year old who preferred the anonymity of the name “Boy Genius” and who just sold his company in a multi-million dollar deal. It’s a sterling example of free enterprise and creative capitalism.

Blogging on commission

Though a New Jersey judge last week ruled that bloggers are not journalists, you couldn’t convince advertisers of that. Many blogs attract tens of thousands of readers in a single day, reporting sourced news that isn’t covered in the so-called mainstream media.

“Blogs have something special to offer both readers and advertisers: an oasis of human quality, a strong sense of connection with and among readers. For advertisers looking to elevate their brand and really connect with influential readers – as opposed to just getting clicks from random consumers – there’s nothing better,” according to Blogads, which has launched a new feature to pay bloggers who bring advertisers to other bloggers in their niche or locale.

Two much time on there hands: Tweetiquette

Caps cops, grammar guards, verb vigilantes and spell spotters are on the lookout for type violators and Twitter transgressions. ALL CAPPERs will be prosecuted.

GetGlue before you view

GetGlue offers film, book and music fans a sticky way to deliver product info. How? By aggregating web pages on a specific topic.

You start by building a profile and getting personalized suggestions for your favorites. The more you use it, the better the suggestions become. Every week GetGlue filters new releases, showing you new items you’ll enjoy most. You can also explore what your friends have liked and read their reviews. It’s hot and sticky.

World’s most wired airports

Spending time waiting to board your flight is so much more productive when you can be on your computer, checking email and surfing the web. Wireless Internet has become a common airport amenity. But which airports’ passengers actually use the most Wi-Fi? To find out, Forbes asked Wi-Fi service providers Boingo and iPass to identify the airports that send them the most traffic. See the top 20 wired airports around the world.

Technology: the new parental survival tool

It’s the modern day version of ig-pay atin-lay. Today’s parents are sharing info they don’t want little ears to hear through text message and email.

“Parents who want a way to talk so little ears can’t hear have moved beyond s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g in favor of a new kid-proof system: the text message,” Associated Press reports. “E-mail, text and instant messaging have become the go-to technology for parents on family outings or at the end of a long day, when mom’s chilling on the couch in front of the TV and dad’s reading in the bedroom more than a whisper away.”

Google Street has your number

Google Street View is logging Wi-Fi networks, and Media Access Control (Mac) addresses.

Why are they doing this? That’s what some Germans want to know.

Google’s roving Street View spycam blurs your face, but it’s got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users’ unique Mac addresses, as the car trundles along. Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he’s “horrified” by the discovery. Here’s why.

Google’s Street View has added another feature that makes it easier for you to find basic info about a particular establishment. You’ll now see an icon overlaid on an image of a company building. Click the icon and a dialog box will open, displaying the establishment’s name, address, phone number and website.

If the company has a Google Place page, you’ll find additional info, like hours, deals and anything else the business owner has added to the company’s profile.

Mapping the great indoors

A map that lays out the inside of a favorite mall? Just like we’ve become accustomed to using a GPS devices to tell us where we are, and where we’re heading, software developers are working on programs that will map out the interiors of buildings like shopping malls, convention centers, airports, etc. It’s not there yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

How bad is CNN.com? WTFCNN.com tells you

Have you ever visited CNN.com to catch up on the day’s news when instead you’re greeted by non-news “fluff”? Irritating and annoying. Especially when an oil rig is spewing oil, illegal aliens are rioting in Arizona and Iran is threatening to nuke the world.

A new site, WTF CNN?, compliments of Breadpig, shows you exactly what world news you’re missing by clicking on CNN.

Here’s how it works: CNN.com is displayed at the top of the page, and under it, you get a choice of seeing front pages from ABC (Australia), Al-Jazeera (Qatar), BBC (U.K.), China Daily (China), Deutsche Welle (Germany), EuroNews (Europe), France 24 (France), or Reuters (U.K.). Aaaah, that’s better.

The alternative site was developed by Chromakode.

Don’t leave home without it

As more of us go to the tea parties and town-hall meetings, this is one of the most valuable tools we have to keep them honest. And it’s just over $100. Grab and go. You never know who you’ll capture forever in pixels.

Time keeps on ticking into the future

This clocks all kinds of valuable and interesting milestones.

Turning back the clock

1945 – V-E Day, Germany signs surrender and Churchill announces, crowds rejoice

1954 – In less than four minutes, Roger Bannister runs the mile

1961 – Alan Shepard, first American in space

1978 – “Son of Sam” pleads guilty

1979 – 10 Downing gets first woman PM, Margaret Thatcher

Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WorldNetDaily reader Teresa Daugherty, the first to correctly guess actor Al Pacino as Lt. Col. Frank Slade in “Scent of a Woman”, the 1992 Oscar winning movie about Col. Slade, who has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded .45. And he’s bringing Charlie along for the ride.

The movie quote was, “There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.”

To watch the film’s most powerful scene, click here (Language alert!).

This week’s trivia quote: “Forgiveness is between them and God. It’s my job to arrange the meeting.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!

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