What they did in this case was wrong, and it's a good thing to make a fuss about it and not let people think that privacy is only something that takes place in a doctor's office.
Your analogies aren't apt at all, and privacy is something that is greatly misunderstood in the age of social networking. There isn't any kind of "right" to privacy, our private information is valuable, it is important to protect our privacy, and it is no one's job but our own to protect ourselves. The sooner we, as a society, understand this, the sooner stories like this will thin out.
You say it is important to snap at the researchers for this. I agree with you there, however I disagree that you imply that only the researchers are in the wrong. It is just as important to let the students in this dataset know "this is what you get for putting this information about yourselves out there," so that they think twice about possibly compromising their private information in the future as well.
I don't think it's a fantastic idea at all. The whole point of a demo is to give people a taste of the game so they buy it. But you always risk giving them so much they have time to get tired of it. When it's free you can just give them enough to get hooked, but people paying fifteen bucks for a demo are going to expect something a bit more substantial. I think this is going to cost them sales if it does anything.
I think it is fine, if, at the end of the day you can put that $10-15 toward the purchase of the full game and also use the save data from the demo in the full game. I would never replay the first few hours of a game, and I would also never pay for the same content twice.
However, I might pay for a "try before you buy" type of deal where you really do get to try the game, and not just play 5-10 minutes.
Humans... We like to have a piece of paper in our hands, we can easily hand it to a coworker, we can scribble on it to take notes. I know it sounds oldskool, but for many tasks, a piece of paper is just superior.
For a lot of my tasks, electronic records are better because you can attach metadata to documents to more easily search, sort and drive workflow. This then makes my tasks easier, quicker and less error-prone.
I feel like this is more of an issue with people not understanding what metadata is and what it can do for them rather than an issue of people liking paper.
the students and their parents could be prosecuted if they did not participate in an after-school 'education program.'
I love the fucking hypocrisy around sex in USA. Sure, violence and killing people is all okay, but when it's about natural human function like sex it's all bad and must be hidden.
You don't know what the program is about. Regardless of anyone's feelings on sex, letting semi-nude pictures of yourself get transmitted digitally is a bad idea, as is transmitting them, and these teens might not understand that.
What exactly is twitter doing that couldn't be done with existing blogging sites that have email updates?
You can send and receive Tweets from your (non-smart) phone without needing a data plan.
That's why Twitter has the character limit (it is the same limit for SMS messages). That's why people started using and continue to use Twitter.
"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982