[URL="http://www.facebook.com"]Facebook[/URL] is going on trial for an alleged breach of privacy it appears. The full story is [URL="http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/08/18/237366/privacy-lawsuit-filed-against-facebook.htm"]here[/URL]. I don't know American law at all but I'm writing in the UK and over here, if a case is coming to court, we have to be very careful about prejudicing the outcome by commenting on it. Given that, plus the fact that I know diddly-squat about it in any case, I'm not going to comment on the details of this case. Except... Two of the people bringing the case are, the story says, children. Now, nobody take this wrongly, but even …

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[URL="http://www.itv.com"]ITV[/URL] has finally put all the rumours into perspective and sold [URL="http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk"]FriendsReunited[/URL]. It's lost millions in doing so and there's no getting away from it - it was a bad deal. It's worth noting a few details about FriendsReunited. It began as a tiny business putting people back in touch with old school friends, and it grew incredibly quickly at first. With hindsight it's possible to see that limiting it to school and college friends was going to limit its growth. Equally with hindsight you could have told them that charging, even at £5 per year ($10 when the exchange …

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[URL="www.facebook.com"]Facebook[/URL]'s page on which the location of the head of MI6's flat was available has been taken down. You also can no longer find information about his family and their whereabouts, which you could on the site previously. There has been a debate about this, of course. For Americans who aren't sure, MI5 is the British equivalent of the CIAS, more or less; MI5 deals with internal security while MI6 deals with external, although goodness knows the line must be blurred by now. And over the weekend the story came out that our new head of MI5 had many personal …

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Following the lead of John F. Kennedy's Peace Corps, President Barack Obama had mentioned in his campaign platform a "Craigslist for Service" (which met with the [URL="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-newmark/a-craigslist-for-service_b_150924.html"]full approval[/URL] of Craigslist founder Craig Newmark). It has now come to fruition with what Obama is calling "[URL="http://serve.gov/"]the summer of service[/URL]." "This summer, President Obama is calling on all of us – young and old, from every background, all across this country – to participate in our nation’s recovery and renewal by serving in our communities. From June 22 to September 11, United We Serve will begin to engage Americans from coast to …

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Gamers have got to love the E3 Expo, especially Microsoft gamers who are into the social side of the Xbox experience. If they happen to be obsessed with Twitter as well as Xbox Live then Microsoft had some good news to announce for them at E3: a [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4249.html"]Twitter[/URL] client for the Xbox 360 with that all important Xbox Live look and feel to the interface. You might think of it as being the Twitbox 360 from the fall, in fact. I certainly will, as I cannot imagine anything worse than trying to use Twitter from the games console, ordinary web …

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In what may be a first, a company has bought rights to a Facebook page -- in a bidding war, even. OraBrush, a company that makes tongue cleaners, has outbid Hershey's for the rights to the [URL="http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Kisses/35152599010?ref=s"]"Kisses"[/URL] public profile, according to the [URL="http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/05/27/orabrush-buys-11-million-kisses-fans-marketers-actively-bidding-for-facebook-pages/"]Inside Facebook[/URL] blog. Pricing was not disclosed. The Kisses page has 1,158,002 fans, and every time the owner of the page posts something to it, it automatically appears on the status page of all its fans because it has "stream access." This means it's an easy way to advertise. "Facebook wants Pages to be authentic channels for brands …

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Yet another report suggests that marriages are splitting up and people are blaming the Internet or Cyberspace for their real-life troubles. There's an account on British newspaper the Guardian's website [URL="http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/may/27/divorce-cyber-affairs"]here[/URL], at the end of which there is a reasonably comprehensive listing of actual incidents reported in the press of this stuff happening. Personally I'd love to see it go away. No, I don't mean marital split-up; of course I'd love to see that go away too, but it's not a realistic aim. No, I'd like to see an end to people drawing this illusory line between 'Cyberspace' and 'real …

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It must be about 15 years since I was standing on a boat in Los Angeles at a press party, talking to a computer executive from the States. I don't remember his name; he'd had a couple of drinks by that time and there were a few people from the European press around. "We operate in Europe," he said. "Including England, Wales...oh, whatever you think is a country over there." Many of us were, I think, understandably offended. I mean, we get it: America is big, you have lakes bigger than London, we really, really understand the point. I can't …

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Facebook, home of the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4346.html"]104 year old Frisbee Queen[/URL], would appear to have taken a disliking to large parts of Wales. You know, that rather lovely country which borders England and forms part of the United Kingdom. Wales even has a devolved Government in the Welsh Assembly, something the Welsh fought long and hard to get. No wonder, then, people are more than a little bit annoyed at discovering that Facebook now informs the world they live in England. It seems that people who live in places such as Cardiff and Swansea, very definitely in Wales, now find Facebook giving …

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There is something of a media fuss going on over here in the UK thanks to the fact that Ivy Bean is using Twitter. No, she is not some soap star or a topless glamour model and does not have a famous footballer as a boyfriend. In fact her claim to fame is quite a simple one: she is the older person on Twitter. The clue is in her Twitter username, [URL="http://twitter.com/IvyBean104"]@IvyBean104[/URL]. Yes, Ivy is 104 and now she is Twittering. This should come as no great surprise, after all a couple of years ago she was the [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20059/53/"]102 year …

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A mainstay of situation comedies is when one of the characters plays hooky at work to go do something else -- bowling, watching a ball game, going to the movies -- and gets caught. Never fails. Now there's a new wrinkle for them to try. [URL="http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE53N4HH20090424?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&rpc=22&sp=true"]Reuters[/URL] is reporting that a Swiss insurance worker for National Suisse lost her job for being seen surfing Facebook after calling in sick and saying she could not work in front of a computer as she needed to lie in the dark. National Suisse emphasized the firing was because the woman had lied, not because …

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Last week, former UK Prime Minister and current Quartet Envoy to the Middle East on behalf of the EU, UN, US and Russia, [URL="http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/"]Tony Blair[/URL] was hacked. Well, the [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tony-Blair-Faith-Foundation/53370916629"]Tony Blair Faith Foundation on Facebook[/URL] was hacked according to reports at any rate. It seems that the site was flooded with abusive messages aimed at Tony and Cherie Blair rather than those promoting an understanding of world peace as the Foundation intended. One message said "Your legacy was sealed a long time ago. You can bang your Christian drum for as long as you like" while another commented "Tony Blair …

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When Facebook [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/23327/1231/1/0/"]changed the terms and conditions[/URL] of use back in February, some 70,000 members complained about a perceived content copyright grab and [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/23343/1231/"]forced a rethink[/URL]. At the time, founder Mark Zuckerberg promised that Twitter had "decided to take a new approach" towards developing new terms. Unfortunately that new approach has now been revealed, and it ain't pretty. It involves letting the users vote on which set of terms and conditions it would like to have implemented, with a promise to abide by that democratic decision. So what could be wrong with that? As it happen, really quite a lot …

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The Nasdaq is down 43 points this morning, with Google (down $12) and RIMM (down $3) leading the charge down the hill, so to speak. I think we’re seeing the first symptoms of anther false bottom, which sounds incredible after hearing from so many experts on Wall Street that the end of the recession/depression is near. Not so, I’m afraid. George Soros, who smugly announced recently that he was “having a pretty good financial crisis”, threw more water on Wall Street’s little bonfire of late, saying that the U.S. dollar is nearing its final death throes and any recovery we …

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Despite a study [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3795.html"]earlier this year[/URL] that the fears of Internet predation against kids were overblown, the U.S. Department of Justice is [URL="http://www.ojp.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2009/OJJDP09031.htm"]offering[/URL] $50 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the stimulus program, for Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program initiatives. The programs will be administered by the Department's Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the Department of Justice said. The ICAC program supports a national network of 59 coordinated task forces, representing more than 2,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies engaged …

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One of the major problems with social networks - hey, one of the major problems with any new trend - is that so many people spend so long trying to persuade themselves that they're actually looking at just another version of an existing thing. So if I'd been around when television was invented I wouldn't have been surprised to see so many people claiming it was the end of radio, and so on. What's prompted this is the BBC's story about [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7942304.stm"]email being supplanted by social networks[/URL]. Well, no it's not. Email is a simple one to one communication usually. …

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There's an interesting article over at [URL="http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/161270/social_networks_risks_for_business_security.html"]PCWorld[/URL] this week suggesting that social networking Web sites are putting businesses at risk for security breaches. Author Howard Price says now that it's possible to link personal accounts like Twitter and Facebook to accounts at career-oriented sites like LinkedIn, a single status message is often cross-posted across all of a user's accounts. That's not a big deal if your employees limit their messages to what they had for lunch, but it might be if your senior sales manager complains openly about a recent meeting with a potential client. The ability to connect personal …

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There are ways of marketing yourself using social media and there are ways of not doing so. One of the ways of not doing so is by making a complete fool of yourself and then allowing the fact to get out. Take the marketing company in [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/essex/7914415.stm"]this story[/URL]. That's Ivell Marketing and Logistics in Clacton, UK. We'll leave to one side that I just did a Google search and they come up second when you search for their company name, second to the story I've just quoted - we'll even leave out the fact that their contacts page was broken …

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A belated word about last week's [URL="http://www.facebook.com"]Facebook[/URL] fiasco, if I may. You might remember the company aroused all sorts of excitement when it changed its terms and conditions to allow itself rights in perpetuity to images on its servers. The BBC had a [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7897824.stm"]social media expert[/URL] in to explain how the company was getting a little above itself. I should declare an interest, albeit an indirect one; I've just been asked to write a book on social media. I know a little about what I'm talking about. So, of course, does this guy. He doesn't mention, though, the obvious reason …

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Unless you were unplugged and on living on a Himalayan mountaintop last week, you no doubt heard about the Great Facebook Flap of 2009. If not, then be sure to read [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4008.html"]Ron Miller's excellent recap[/URL] at TechTreasures. ComputerWorld's Frank Hayes posted a great article this morning that takes a look at how the [URL="http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=334476"]"Facebook fiasco shows how much is out of IT's hands[/URL]." Hayes says last week's issues with Facebook speak to a increasing problem facing IT departments these days -- there's no longer a simple linear relationship between computers users and IT professionals. Now there business partners, vendors, suppliers, …

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When Facebook changed its [URL="http://consumerist.com/5150175/facebooks-new-terms-of-service-we-can-do-anything-we-want-with-your-content-forever"]terms of service[/URL] on Monday, it caused an immediate uproar, and when people screamed loudly enough, Facebook backed down. What this shows me is that although Facebook is a free service, it exists and is successful because we make it so. The millions of people who sign up for the free service are the source of its revenue and as such, it's a symbiotic relationship. We use Facebook to connect with friends, and Facebook makes money. It is fairly trivial to make a service like Facebook--maybe not the application-building part, but certainly the community part, and …

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[URL="http://www.webinknow"]David Meerman Scott[/URL] (who is also a fellow contributing editor at [URL="http://www.econtentmag.com"]EContent Magazine[/URL]) is an expert in social networking and using the internet as a marketing tool and speaks frequently on the subject. His best selling book, [URL="http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/books.htm"]The New Rules of Marketing and PR[/URL] was published in 2007 and was reprinted 11 times and published in 22 languages. His latest book [URL="http://www.worldwiderave.com/"]World Wide Rave[/URL] will be published in March. I last spoke to David in May about how [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry2490.html"]social media was changing PR and Marketing[/URL]. I recently asked him about his new book and how individuals and companies can use …

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As a sign of how mainstream social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are, people are starting to wring their virtual teeny hands about the proper etiquette around various situations. Do romantic partners get veto power on Facebook and Twitter friends? What's appropriate fundraising behavior for politicians? Should you be friends with your boss? If you're friends with a couple and they break up, are you obligated to de-friend one of them? Eek! One can only imagine the tizzy these people would be in if they were faced with the "ahoy vs. hello" problem of early telephones. Needless to …

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Prince Harry is now single. The [URL="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ifldrouFoXOW3dAwmD8W8xNz5MSgD95UV8N04"]Associated Press[/URL] is reporting that Britain's News of the World tabloid says Chelsy Davy, who has been dating the heir to the British throne for five years, announced the end of her relationship with him by changing her status on Facebook to: "Relationship: Not in One." Harsh. More than one person on Facebook has announced a new relationship, or the change in status of a relationship, to friends by specifying that one is in a relationship with so-and-so, or that one is married (always fun when someone who's actually been married for years finally …

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A Harvard-based task force convened by 50 Attorneys General that spent a year researching the issue of sexual solicitation of children online has found out that there actually isn't a problem. According to the [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/technology/internet/14cyberweb.html?_r=1&hp"]New York Times[/URL], which obtained a copy of the report from the Internet Safety Technical Task Force due to be released Wednesday, the fears that older adults were using popular Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace to deceive and prey on children are a "moral panic." Instead, a far more serious problem is that of child-on-child bullying, both online and offline, which no one is …

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There's only been one story in most of the UK National papers this year so far, apart from 'Apple releases some fairly dull equipment', and that's been Twitter. Last year everyone was talking about [URL="http://www.facebook.com"]Facebook[/URL], with one firm of lawyers over here banning its use before it took over the bandwidth completely. This time around it's [URL="http://twitter.com"]Twitter[/URL] that's got us all a-twitter. This one is actually proving livelier than Facebook because more fake celebrities are cropping up - you can have as many people libelling each other or wasting time on Facebook as you want, but if someone purporting to …

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A simmering Facebook controversy came to a...head? Female Facebook users are up in....arms? Sigh. It's hard to write about this seriously. Today was the live and virtual nurse-in on Facebook, as a protest against the social networking site's policy forbidding pictures of nursing moms (reports vary on whether it's when the whole breast is exposed, the areola, or what). Participants were supposed to change their profile picture to show themselves nursing, while a group of women also planned to hold a live protest at Facebook headquarters, which [URL="http://www.mercurynews.com/localnewsheadlines/ci_11321458"]reportedly[/URL] only a handful of women attended. According to the [URL="http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39521488436"]event's page[/URL] on …

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Facebook can claim many things, from [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3523.html"]defeating the Nazis[/URL] to [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20914/53/"]recruiting spies[/URL] and even helping to [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20618/53/"]elect Barack Obama[/URL]. Now it can add serving legal papers to the list. These days, it would appear, the legal process is catching up with the technological reality of the world we live in. Being served with legal papers has already, in some parts of the world, become less about throwing a document at someone and more to do with clicking a mouse button and sending an email. Nowhere is this change more obvious than Australia where the courts have even given permission to …

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[I]Too much information running through my brain Too much information driving me insane ~Police, Too Much Information. [/I] Yesterday, Seth Godin wrote a post in his blog called, [URL="http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/12/warning-the-int.html"]Warning: The Internet is almost full[/URL]. It's not of course, and he had is his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, but he brought up the very serious idea of information overload. It's hard not to feel it--there is just so much going on online, so much to see, so many people to connect with, so many blogs to read and comment on. Then there's Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn (oh my!), …

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[URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry2289.html"]Facebook spam[/URL] is nothing news, nor for that matter is [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/daveyw/2008/01/03/one-million-facebook-users-exposed-to-zango-worm/"]Facebook malware[/URL]. While we are on a nothing new about Facebook theme, ever [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/editorial-blogs/davey-winder/922815/grownups-invade-facebook.thtml"]since grown-ups started to invade[/URL] the social network has suffered a tad from 'phoney friend syndrome.' I mean, come on, do you really think that [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20618/53/"]Barack Obama is your friend[/URL] just because a social network says so? This problem of collecting Facebook fends like some weird hobby is starting to cause real problem, not least because the bad guys have hooked onto the fact that it makes for a great way to spread malware. And that's exactly …

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The End.