Wires Crossed #110 – February 4

Google Sued Over Tracking

Google Sued Over Tracking
A law firm in the United Kingdom is representing a group of Apple Safari users who are suing Google for allegedly tracking customers internet browsing habits.  This is nothing new, as Google were given a kick up the derriere last year for doing similar – dropping cookies onto PCs and some smartphones in order to track what people are doing with their devices. We’re not too sure if the likes of Google, Facebook and other big tech entities are just arrogant, don’t care, or think they are above the law when it comes to privacy. Make no mistake, this is a privacy issue, and one that cost Google over US$22 million last year in settlement over a similar case.

Nerd Demands PlayStation At Gunpoint
If ever a name was the antithesis of a being then a young man by the name of Anthony Eugene Dennis – AKA Nerd – takes the cake. Seems like ‘Nerd’ decided that he wanted an acquaintance’s PlayStation and mobile phone, so pointed a gun at him and demanded it. When the victim refused because he thought the offender was joking, Nerd ‘persuaded’ the guy by discharging a round next to the victim’s foot. This had the desired effect, and ‘Nerd” and an accomplice took off. Police have yet to arrest him, but we’re wondering why such a tough guy has such a wimpish nickname (no offence to real nerds out there!).

MySpace Faces Wrath Of Indie Labels
Having been the premier social networking site until 2008, MySpace has dropped a notch or 10 since then. Now intent on reinventing itself as a top-end music streaming site, it’s raising the ire of independent music labels. As expected, MySpace made a deal with the big record companies about revenue sharing, but has nothing in place with the independent labels. Apparently the indies should be happy getting promoted on the site and leave it at that. We somehow think this is going to end ugly. Any sort of independent artist group – whether it be underground writers, musicians, actors or whatever – are usually anti-authoritarian and like nothing more than a good fight, er cause, to get behind. If MySpace is hoping to find friends and influence people – especially after such a huge fall from the dizzying heights it once occupied – we suggest they try a different strategy.

Tell Us Something We Don’t Know
Facebook has finally admitted to something that we’ve known all along – it can’t enforce the age limit join up for its site. The company’s director of policy for the United Kingdom and Ireland, Simon Milner, admitted that although the site does have a rule in place saying you must be 13 to have a profile, it doesn’t know how to stop underage users joining. And how would it? All you need is a fake email address and that is about it. There is no verification process such as presenting a passport number, driver’s licence or birth certificate – something us parents of young adolescents know only too well. However, parents can still police the pages by telling kids they can’t join unless they give up  their password and monitor who they interact with on the site. The trick is deciding what age they can go it alone.

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