First Impressions of Google+

If you have Internet access, you have probably heard of Google+, which is basically the search engine giant’s answer to Facebook.

If you don’t have Internet access, how are you reading this?

Like Facebook, Google + lets users and their friends share every detail about their personal life. The difference, and Mountain View-based Google’s selling point, is that you can put your friends, acquaintances and family members into different, customizable “circles,” so different information is shared with different users.

At first glance, it seems like a decent way to manage information feed and the dreaded “mom is on Facebook” dilemma. Also, users’ contacts won’t know which circle they are in, which would avoid the complications of having to publicly describe peers as “friends” or “acquaintances.”

If circle scheme works, users may indeed be able to acknowledge that they do indeed have a mother while still having the freedom to post pictures involving massive amounts of tequila and poor judgment.


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Report: Facebook apps get users’ phone numbers, addresses

From PC Mag.com, news that Facebook is allowing app designers to access users’ phone numbers and addresses:

Facebook recently announced that it is making user phone numbers and addresses available to developers, a move that a security expert said “could herald a new level of danger” for Facebook members.

Facebook isn’t just releasing this information into the wild; it’s
adding it to the company’s “User Graph object,” or the permissions
required to install an app.


“Because this is sensitive information, we have created the new
user_address and user_mobile_phone permissions,” Facebook wrote in a blog post. “These permissions must be explicitly granted to your application by the user via our standard permissions dialogs.”


Facebook said the permissions only provide access to a user’s address
and mobile phone number, not their friend’s addresses or mobile phone
numbers.

Facebook users have always had to give app developers permission to access profile information to install an app, such as “Which President Are You?” Whereas users once had some freedom to pick and choose which information they would share, Facebook switched to a one-size-fits-all permission system that required users to grant access to their name, friends’ names, gender, profile photos and other “basic information.”

The new system would require users to grant their explicit permission to let app developers access phone numbers and address systems. This writer recalls reading a comment on the AV Club (I’m not a hipster, FWIW) in which a reader remarked something to the extent that Facebook’s function as a social network is only incidental to its function as a data mining operation.

This latest news leaves this writer to wonder if Facebook and its founder,Time Person of the Year Mark Zuckerberg, have not so much revolutionized human communication as they have figured how to build a digital successor industry to direct mail and telemarketing,