ExtraBITS for 11 March 2013
On the Web this week, Andy Ihnatko switches from the iPhone to an Android phone, but unlike many sensationalistic “I converted” stories of late, this one is reasoned and well argued. Also this week, Nick Bilton and Douglas Rushkoff share more criticisms of Facebook’s business practices, and Joe Kissell talks password security on MacBreak Weekly.
Andy Ihnatko Switches to Android — At some point in his lengthy, three-part article at TechHive on why he switched from the iPhone to Android, Andy Ihnatko says, “This isn’t the story of why Android is Way Totally So Much Better Than iOS. This is the story of this one dude who switched phones. Andy Ihnatko moving to Android isn’t a pivotal moment in the history of mobile computing.” No, it’s not, but Andy’s piece is still an utterly rational, carefully presented, well argued, and nicely supported explanation of how Android is legitimate competition for the iPhone,
even for serious users. That’s a good thing — strong competition is the rising tide that floats all seaworthy boats.
Quitting Facebook for Subtle Reasons — Author and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff has quit Facebook, but for a reason that goes beyond the usual concern with Facebook’s privacy problems. He says: “Through a new variation of the Sponsored Stories feature called Related Posts, users who ‘like’ something can be unwittingly associated with pretty much anything an advertiser pays for. Like email spam with a spoofed identity, the Related Post shows up in a newsfeed right under the user’s name and picture. If you like me, you can be shown implicitly recommending me or something I
like — something you’ve never heard of — to others without your consent.” We find that exceedingly troubling, since it means that you lose even more control over your online persona on Facebook.
Nick Bilton Looks into Facebook’s “Pay to Play” — Another concern has cropped up with Facebook, highlighted by Nick Bilton of the New York Times. For people looking to spread the word on Facebook, traffic in the form of “likes” and resharing would seem no longer to be organic, but must instead be greased with a little green. That’s mostly a problem for those doing some sort of business promotion on Facebook, but should give anyone considering Facebook as part of a marketing strategy significant pause. For what it’s worth, we see almost no traffic
from our Facebook page.
Joe Kissell Discusses Passwords and More on MacBreak Weekly — Joe Kissell joined Leo Laporte, Andy Ihnatko, and Rene Ritchie on MacBreak Weekly to discuss password security (particularly in light of the recent Evernote security breach), iCloud email filtering, and a variety of other topics.