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Submission + - The Facebook Fallacy - Technology Review (

wjousts writes: In a provocative piece on MIT's Technology Review, Michael Wolff argues that not only will Facebook fail, it may well take the rest of the ad supported web with it.

Facebook is a company of technologists, not marketers. If you wanted to bet on someone succeeding in the marketing business, you'd bet on technologists only if they could invent some new way to sell; you wouldn't bet on them to sell the way marketers have always sold.

As Facebook gluts an already glutted market, the fallacy of the Web as a profitable ad medium can no longer be overlooked. The crash will come. And Facebook—that putative transformer of worlds, which is, in reality, only an ad-driven site—will fall with everybody else.


Submission + - The Freedom Box Alternative to Facebook (

wjousts writes:

“The human race has a susceptibility to harm, but Mr. Zuckerberg has attained an unenviable record. He has done more harm to the human race than anybody else his age. Because he harnessed ‘Friday Night,’ that is, ‘Everybody needs to get laid,’ and he turned it into a structure for degenerating the integrity of human personality. And he has to a remarkable extent succeeded with a very poor deal, namely ‘I will give you free Web hosting and some PHP doodads and you get spying for free all the time.’ ”

These are the provocative words of Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen and begins IEEE Spectrum's interview with the Software Freedom Law Center's James Vasile, one of the minds (along with Moglen) behind the idea of the Freedom Box.


Submission + - Who Owns Your Social Identity? ( 1

wjousts writes: Who actually owns your username on a website? What rights do you have to use it? What happens if they decide to take it away? IEEE Spectrum reports:

What happens if Facebook or Twitter or, say, your blog hosting service, makes you take a different user name? Sound impossible? It’s happened. Last week, a software researcher named Danah Boyd woke up to find her entire blog had disappeared, and in fact, had been renamed, because her hosting service had given her blog’s name to someone else.

And as important as they are, what protects our accounts are the terms of service agreements. If you read them—and who does?—you’d learn, probably to no surprise, that they protect the provider a lot more then they protect you.


Submission + - Worker Rights Extend to Facebook ( 1

wjousts writes: From the NY Times:

In what labor officials and lawyers view as a ground-breaking case involving workers and social media, the National Labor Relations Board has accused a company of illegally firing an employee after she criticized her supervisor on her Facebook page.

American Medical Response of Connecticut had a policy that barred employees from depicting the company "in any way" on Facebook or other social media. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that this policy runs afoul of the National Labor Relations Act which gives employees the right to form unions and prohibits employers from punishing workers for discussing working conditions.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.