Tag Archives | Facebook

UK Government to Use Facebook in “New” National ID Scheme

“Why do you think it’s called a net or a web? Because it’s a trap!” – Alan Parker: The Urban Warrior

The UK Government is set to use already existing online profiles as a means of officially verifying the identity of Her Majesty’s subjects, reports  The Independent :

The Government will announce details this month of a controversial national identity scheme which will allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services.

People wishing to apply for services ranging from tax credits to fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar online log-ins, including those they already use on social media sites, banks, and large retailers such as supermarkets, to prove their identity.

Once they have logged in correctly by computer or mobile phone, the site will send a message to the government agency authenticating that user’s identity.

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Data Centers Revealed As Massively Inefficient Energy Hogs

Google Data Center, The DallesIt’s good to see the New York Times engage in some real investigative reporting for a change. In this piece Frank Glanz uses FOIA requests and other federal and local government records to reveal how data centers have become major pollution centers:

Jeff Rothschild’s machines at Facebook had a problem he knew he had to solve immediately. They were about to melt.

The company had been packing a 40-by-60-foot rental space here with racks of computer servers that were needed to store and process information from members’ accounts. The electricity pouring into the computers was overheating Ethernet sockets and other crucial components.

Thinking fast, Mr. Rothschild, the company’s engineering chief, took some employees on an expedition to buy every fan they could find — “We cleaned out all of the Walgreens in the area,” he said — to blast cool air at the equipment and prevent the Web site from going down.

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Creationists Versus Dr. Pepper

It might not quite be The Innocence of Muslims, but the Dr. Pepper advertisement shown at right has creationists all hot and bothered. Via TIME:

If you’re in the mood to draw ire from people with excruciatingly rigid beliefs, the Internet is generally a good place to start. While you’re at it, might as well pick a particularly polarizing topic. Why not evolution?

Now, that probably wasn’t exactly how the conversation went down over at the marketing offices of Dr. Pepper, but a recent ad for the soft drink posted on Facebook — with the slogan “Evolution of Flavor” — sparked a healthy dose of controversy nonetheless. Based on the iconic evolution diagram “March of Progress,” the ad features an ape who, after drinking Dr. Pepper, turns into a man. The ad went up Thursday, and by Friday had garnered more than 26,000 “Likes” and over 4,000 comments.

This is, of course, still the Internet — so plenty of comments in question are loaded with snark from people who mainly appear to be provoking for the sake of provocation.

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Victory for Speech: Facebook To Allow Marijuana Reform Ads

Flicker: mardi_grass_2010 (CC)

Both the EFF and the ACLU are celebrating a digital victory, after the “politically-neutral” Facebook reversed its rejection of ads by advocacy groups working on marijuana policy reform.

via EFF:

The ads in question showed marijuana leaves, sometimes with photos of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and urged viewers to join campaigns to make marijuana reform an election issue. Several versions of similar Facebook ads were submitted by Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Just Say Now, but both groups were initially rejected. After EFF and the ACLU of Northern California reached out to Facebook about the issue, Facebook did the right thing and restored the ads.

Facebook has publicly established guidelines that state that a Facebook advertisement “may not promote tobacco or tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, tobacco pipes, hookahs, hookah lounges, rolling papers, vaporized tobacco delivery devices and electronic cigarettes.” But the language from the banned ads said simply things like: “Registered to vote?

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Facebook App To Offer Discounts To People Who Agree To Be Constantly Tracked With Facial Recognition Technology

Would you agree to this in return for a half-price smoothie? Created by advertising agency Redpepper, a program called "Facedeals" is already being tested in Tennessee, with plans to expand nationally in the near future. The way it works is, internet-connected cameras mounted in front of businesses capture the faces of comers and goers. Individuals who have agreed to participate in Facedeals are identified and tracked using facial recognition software when a camera spots them, and as a reward periodically receive personalized deals and coupons via their smartphones:
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Why Are So Many People Renouncing United States Citizenship?

241px-United_States_penny,_obverse,_2002There’s been a massive amount of fretting over the ethics of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s renunciation of his U.S. citizenship (which the Brazilian native gained roughly 15 years ago).

Various scandalized headlines have mentioned that he’s just one of 1,800 other Americans to give up citizenship last year, up from 235 in 2008, while others have speculated that it’s a cynical move to avoid taxes resulting from a massive capital gain when Facebook shares become publicly traded. Saverin has been savaged in the media and on the social web, but in fact it turns out that this cannot be a tax-saving move. Any ideas as to why Saverin and the other ex-Americans gave up the benefits of Uncle Sam’s protections?

Tom Worstall explains why Saverin will actually owe more taxes in Forbes:

Eduardo Saverin, one of the founders and major shareholders in Facebook, has renounced his US citizenship just before the company’s IPO.

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The Danger of Facebook/Twitter Politics

Web PoliticsWesley Donehue writes on CNN:
I make a living encouraging politicians and candidates to use social media. And now I'm going to tell them why it's a bad idea. Not always, mind you — social media will, and should, continue to play an important role in our political discourse. But the trend has grown so quickly; I don't know that anyone has really stopped to consider the implications of moment-by-moment, real-time transparency. I would argue that what we've gotten is a trade-off, and the jury is still out on whether what we've lost is worth more than what we've gained in the process. So before I go about the process of destroying my company's business model, let's talk about what we've gained with social media.
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How Facebook Turns You Over To The Police

Ah, the social network. A Boston Phoenix story detailing law enforcement’s hunt for “Craigslist Killer” Philip Markoff reveals what Facebook sends to the cops when they subpoena your profile information (a topic about which Facebook has been very tight-lipped). What do the police receive? All of your wall posts and shares, everyone you’ve ever friended or defriended, every photo you’ve ever been tagged in (even if private or deleted), all of your “likes”, and your entire step-by-step history of activity, including every time you’ve viewed anyone’s profile:

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