|« Office for Symbian?||Monday Morning Technologist »|
Monday Morning Technologist
Ready?! Set?! TECH!
Facebook Isn't Publishing Your Phone Numbers
A Facebook meme going around is that Facebook is sucking the phone numbers out of your mobile device and making them publicly available. This rumor is about 1/3 true.
What's True is that IF you have the Facebook app installed on your mobile phone and IF you choose to allow it to sync to your Contacts that it will pull the phone numbers of your Facebook contacts. If you don't have the Facebook app installed or DIDN'T set it to sync with contacts it won't pull any numbers.
What's NOT true is that it makes those phone numbers public. Only you can see the phone numbers in your profile.
Facebook Records Your Stalking Habits
As long as we're talking about Facebook and privacy...a recent discovery by a company looking to enhance autocomplete search was, well...not terribly surprising. It turns out that Facebook records which users you interact with (including visiting your profiles) ostensibly to improve your search experience. When you type a name into the search box at the top the results are influenced by the users and profiles (including the ones who aren't your friends) that you visit and interact with the most.
Of course to do that they have to acknowledge, and yes record, which profiles you visit the most. So if you're Facebook stalking your ex...Facebook knows about it.
According to Facebook there isn't any way for your ex to know about it, however...unless they get their hands on your computer.
Local Storage Still Important
On "Windows Weekly" recently Paul Thurrot dismissed the idea of the next XBox having a larger hard drive so people could download/save media to a local drive. The implication was that in the age of the Cloud and media streaming nobody should want to store anything locally.
The problem with this is that network bandwidth usage is skyrocketing. Try doing a speed test on your residential connection in the evening, when 75% of your neighbors are streaming NetFlix and surfing Facebook - you'll probably see that latency and throughput are degraded. It's not unusual for us to see our NetFlix streaming start to "Buffer" because the connection isn't able to keep up.
Furthermore - as you've probably heard - most Internet providers are going to capped data plans where you'll pay extra for excess usage. Why should you want to repeatedly download the same movie if you could download it once (especially if you can schedule that download to happen during the early morning hours when bandwidth is more available) if you have a capped data plan that restricts your usage or makes you pay for overages?
Anything - like local storage - that takes the load off the increasingly burdened public network and reduces your bandwidth usage (and perhaps accordingly your bill) is a good thing.
HP TouchPad Goes in the Trash?
Hewlett-Packard has announced that they're killing off the HP TouchPad, barely months after its debut. I'm not terribly surprised - hardware has always been defined by the tasks it can do and in the age of mobile devices that means what apps it can run. WebOS was past its prime and the odds of it developing an ecosystem on par with iOS (Apple) or Android (Google) were somewhere between slim and none.
I'm not putting any money on RIM's PlayBook being a huge success either (and for the same reasons) but I guess we'll wait and see on that one.
Significantly more surprising is the buzz that HP is going to kill off its PC division. HP is #1 or #2 (depending upon whom you ask) in PCs so if they do kill off the PC division it will be a testament to just how razor thin the margins in that business have become. Expect a modest bump for Dell if it happens.
Of course now that it's dead, retail stores are having a firesale on HP TouchPads and folks are literally lined up around the block to pick one up for $99.