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The new Home app/UX/quasi-OS is deeply integrated into the Android environment. It takes an effort to shut it down, because Home’s whole premise is to be always on and be the dashboard to your social world. It wants to be the start button for apps that are on your Android device, which in turn will give Facebook a deep insight on what is popular. And of course, it can build an app that mimics the functionality of that popular, fast-growing mobile app. I have seen it done before, both on other platforms and on Facebook.

But there is a bigger worry. The phone’s GPS can send constant information back to the Facebook servers, telling it your whereabouts at any time.

(…)

And most importantly it is Facebook, a company that is known to have played loose-and-easy with consumer privacy and data since its very inception, asking for forgiveness whenever we caught them with its hand in the cookie jar. I don’t think we can be that forgiving or reactive with Facebook on mobile.

Should Microsoft Be Targeted for a Truth in Adverting Campaign?

So, the Microsoft 64GB Surface Pro will only have 23GB of usable storage at launch. This is, to be blunt, absurd. Consumers are entirely used to variations between the storage that manufacturers say will be available versus what actually is available for use, but in this case we’re talking about less than 50% of the advertised storage actually being available. Microsoft is saying that removing the recovery partition will alleviate some of this storage use, but that’s immaterial: few consumers will do this, or feel comfortable doing so. As a result, they’re going to generally have devices that have less than half of the market storage.

While Apple – and, to an extent, Google – comes under fire for announcing hardware specs and then not meeting them because of OS storage consumption, neither company has ever had such deceptive claims as Microsoft’s regarding the Surface Pro. I can entirely appreciate that the newest Microsoft OS plus applications consumes a huge amount of space. I’m OK with that. But, given this consumption, the 64GB surface shouldn’t ever be marketed (or even suggested as being) as a 64GB device; the device should be presented as being closer to the actual storage available. Don’t get me wrong, all OSes take room. But, as far as I know, no OS plus application suite has ever consumed this amount of space in competing product offerings.

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Google’s new privacy policy is going to be sheer gold for 1984 enthusiasts. While I’m not a fan of such simplistic references, it will provide a new round of comics for speakers at privacy, security, and surveillance conferences to rip off. Hopefully those same speakers aren’t themselves too tied to the notions of 1984 or the panopticon being the defining means of framing Google’s behaviours.

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OK GO and Advertise to Me

I had no idea that OK GO’s recent video was largely a sponsored ad for the car they’re driving.

I also don’t care, because:

  1. I had no idea what the car was until I read an analysis of the video;
  2. It’s just (to my mind) another ridiculously awesome music video from this band.

I’m willing to sit through the ‘ad’ on the basis that the ‘brand’ of the car is non-obtrusive: it’s just a particular vehicle (pardon the pun) to deliver a really cool cultural experience.