Over at The Verge, Nilay Patel does a nice job of debunking the recent controversy over whether Gmail users can have an expectation of privacy. Fueled by the revelations of governmental spying programs, media sites smell blood, but have largely misinterpreted a statement in Google’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging that Gmail violates wiretapping laws. As Patel says — and goes on to show — “there’s just nothing here.” follow link
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
- ExtraBITS for 19 August 2013 (19 Aug 13)
Gmail Privacy Hullabaloo Overblown
As Google says: "As numerous courts have held, the automated processing of email is so widely understood and accepted that the act of sending an email constitutes implied consent to automated processing as a matter of law."
Also because Google mines user data for advertising relevance, so they have a financial incentive to analyze all the email they can get their servers on. Most email services have no current financial incentive to analyze customer email, and I don't expect this to change.
I also note that Yahoo Mail is analyzing email content for contextualizing ads.
"When you use the new Yahoo! Mail our automated systems scan and analyze all incoming and outgoing communications content sent and received from your account (such as Mail and Messenger content including instant messages and SMS messages) to detect, among other things, certain words and phrases (we call them "keywords") within these communications. This might result in ads being shown to you in Mail for products and services that are related to those keywords."