They registered the fbco.de domain. The thinking behind this was that the smaller the URL, the simpler the QR code would be. If you visit the site now, it just promises that something is coming soon so it will be interesting to see what pops up there in the near future.
Many are reporting that they can’t scan the QR code, and I wasn’t able to either. Of course, I was trying to scan a photo of it. However, you can be sure next time I fly to San Francisco I will be requesting a window seat in hopes of seeing this and trying to scan the real thing.]]>
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission has decided that companies that compile this information may retain it for up to 7 years. If an employer decides not to hire you because of something the background check discovered, they must tell you. Of course, if this happened to someone they would quickly remove the offending information so that the next potential employer doesn’t find it. However, since the companies that do the background checks can store the information for seven years, you still aren’t safe. If the next potential employer uses the same company to do the background check, they will get the same information even though you removed it. This just re-enforces a belief I have had for a long time: You must assume that anything you ever post on the Internet can be seen by everyone and will be there forever.
The good news is that these companies are only allowed to mine public information. They aren’t allowed to hack your Facebook or Twitter account, so if you haven’t set you account to private you may want to right now. But even if you do set it to private, treat it like it isn’t. It is better to play it safe. If you really need to tell all your friends about that “funny” thing that happened last night, go old school and just call them.]]>
The software is called Creepy and it can extract the geolocation information that is included with most types of mobile posts to social sites. Alla person has to do is enter their handle (user name) and if they have made mobile posts, others will be able to see where you were and when you were there.
The program was not created to be used by stalkers, but rather to try to bring to light that every time you are online you leave a breadcrumb of trails. Often that trail says nothing more than you like buying collectible coasters on ebay or you are really into turtle egg soup. But this trail is an actual trail of your daily whereabouts.
There are other sites like pleaserobme.com which previously used Twitter updates to show how many people unwittingly were telling the world they weren’t home. Pleaserobme.com has since stopped posting this information as they feel they have proved their point and don’t feel anything can be gained by continuing to do this. But since Creepy is a program someone can install on their own, turning it off isn’t so easy. Now that the software is out in the wild, there is no way to control how it is used or who uses it.
So, how do you protect yourself from falling victim to this? Well, the most logical way is not to post to social websites when you are on the road. However, if you feel you must, you could try a few of the following tips:
Be inconsistent with your post. Don’t post the same time from the same place everyday. This will prevent someone from learning your patterns.
Don’t post when you are alone.
Don’t state how long you will be somewhere
If possible, remote into your home PC and post from there. This way your real geolocation information won’t be attached to the post.
In the end, the most important thing is to know that you can be tracked and act accordingly. It is better to always act as if you are being watched because maybe you are.]]>
Rounds offers more than you would expect. First off, it allows live video chat without having to download and install any software. If you have ever tried to walk your parents or grandparents though installing video streaming software so they can see live video of the grandchildren, I am sure you can appreciate this. But it doesn’t stop there. While you are chatting, you can bring up a YouTube video or Google map within the session for both parties to view. If watching videos and chatting aren’t enough for you, you can also fire up a game that you can play together.
The service offers other little features that are more fun when you discover them on your own, so I’m not going to spoil that for you. Head over to Facebook and start a Rounds video chat to see for yourself (yes, the pun was intended).]]>
I’m not sure what it is, but there is something that keeps drawing people back to Facebook. What if a company could tap into this draw and increase productivity instead of decreasing it? That is exactly what Cisco is hoping to do with their enterprise collaboration platform called Quad.
Quad is a wed based application, and, while it has some similarities to Facebook, its goal is more about connecting with experts and information that can help you do your job than finding that long lost high school love. This, of course, is a two way street. While it helps you connect with others that can help you, it allows others to find you when they are looking for help.
When a user logs into Quad for the first time, they create a profile. The profile includes information such as job title and areas of expertise. The user can also import their LinkedIn contacts if they so choose. The information stored in the profile is used to automatically add the user to various groups, called communities, that they may find of interest.
The main page of the interface is called the “My View” page and is customizable by the user. This allows them to place items of the most interest in a more prominent space. This is very similar to the way iGoogle allows you to customize your home page. Once the My View page is configured, the user can start sharing information in a number of ways such as blogs, instant messaging, and videos.
Quad offers a number of tools for users, and once you start to peel back the layers, you start to see what it really is. What really makes it a powerful tool are the under lying applications that it brings together. What I mean by this is that while it allows a user to start video calls by simply pressing a button, the application that is really making that call happen is Communications Manager. With the instant messaging feature, the engine used for the instant messaging could be WebEx Connect. So, the real strength of Quad is that it brings all the Cisco collaboration tools together and makes them manageable from a single interface.]]>
I am sure that by now you have heard and read about how careful you need to be when posting anything online. Then, can you tell me why people just don’t get it? Why am I reading everyday about how so and so lost their job because they posted a comment that was seen by the wrong person (or maybe right person depending on your point of view.) Today I read an article about students that got detention because they became fans of a certain Facebook page. The page was apparently making fun of a teacher. It’s hard to say whether detention is the appropriate response, but that isn’t the real question. This real question is why haven’t kids (and some adults) figured out that the Internet is not Las Vegas. What happens on one site does NOT stay on one site.
I can site story after story about people saying and doing things on the Internet that they would most likely never do if they thought the wrong person might see it. It seems that the Internet makes things seem less real or permanent when, in fact, it is the exact opposite. Once you post something online you should consider it a matter of permanent record. It’s kind of like mailing a letter - once you drop it at the post office it is out of your control and all the hoping and wishing isn’t going to change that.
I started this article yesterday when I saw the story about the students getting detention for the Facebook page. This morning I fired up my PC to see even more evidence that people sometimes just don’t think. A man that works at a bank was visiting inappropriate web sites at his desk. He works in a large open area and many others are walking by and might see what he was doing. But that isn’t what happened. What happened was a TV crew was doing the morning financial report in the same room and everything he was doing was broadcast live. There was even a point in the report where he turned around and looked straight into the camera. There is no doubt about this man’s identity now.
I just don’t get it. What are people thinking? Do they disengage their brain when they go online? Do yourself a favor and, from now on, anytime you are online pretend you are that banker (or perhaps ex-banker by now) and there is a camera recording everything you are doing, because in a way… there is.]]>