12/30/2007

Google’s privacy faux pas with Reader

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In its attempts to add social elements to products, is Google pulling a Facebook?

Google Reader has allowed people to share items they are interested in with others since 2006 with hyperlinks, clips on blogs and storing them on a public page that you had to know the URL for to see.

Last week, Google tweaked Google Reader so that your shared items are automatically made available to your Google Talk contacts.

But, as anyone who uses instant messaging knows, not all of your IM contacts are friends. Many are acquaintances or people you barely know and with whom you may not want to share a reading list.

Google, has been crucified in the blogosphere over its Google Reader change, with bloggers saying the Google Talk contact sharing feature should be opt in, not opt out.

To calm the masses, Google posted an item on the Google Reader Blog that explains the company’s reasoning behind the change and tells how to clear the shared-items list and how to tag items to share with a limited number of people.

Windows Home Server bug corrupts files

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Given that the point of Windows Home Server is to allow you to store your media files, a bug in the storage process that could result in corrupted files is bound to get attention.

Microsoft has issued a support document for the 13 or so (just kidding) people using Windows Home Server, the company’s latest product for those attempting to build the digital home of the future. Apparently there’s a flaw in the way Windows Home Server works with certain Microsoft applications, such as Windows Vista Photo Gallery, that could result in corrupted files if you use those applications to save files to the server. A list of the specific applications can be found in the support document.

New security rules for batteries on planes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If you don’t want to lose your spare lithium batteries for your camera, notebook or cell phone, you might want to pack carefully for your next flight.

New rules from the Transportation and Security Administration that take effect on January 1 ban travelers from carrying loose lithium batteries in checked baggage. Passengers are allowed to pack two spare batteries in their carry-on bag, as long as they’re in clear plastic baggies.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the batteries that are already installed in the devices you’re bringing. The TSA has said it’s safe to check in items like a laptop or iPhone that already have the batteries in place.

The agency said that loose lithium batteries not installed in devices pose a fire risk to passenger planes. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board could not rule out the possibility that lithium batteries started a fire in a plane at the Philadelphia National Airport last year, according to the Associated Press.

Record Industry Goes After Personal Use

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Despite more than 20,000 lawsuits filed against music fans in the years since they started finding free tunes online rather than buying CDs from record companies, the recording industry has utterly failed to halt the decline of the record album or the rise of digital music sharing.

Still, hardly a month goes by without a news release from the industry’s lobby, the Recording Industry Association of America, touting a new wave of letters to college students and others demanding a settlement payment and threatening a legal battle.

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

Powered by WordPress