that I just lost the last 20 minutes of my life deleting the thousands of comment spams with which my poor blog has been inundated over the past several days, I have turned on comment moderation on this blog. All your comments now go through a gatekeeper, i.e. me. Thanks a bunch, comment spammers! :/
September 2006 Archives
Recent rumors about a Facebook deal center around Yahoo and the oh-so-affordable price tag of $1 billion. Yes, with a b. The current Facebook owners certainly stand to profit, but it might come at the cost of alienating their user base; they're already up in arms about recent decisions to create user news feeds and open the service to anyone with an email address, as evidenced by groups like Students Against Facebook News Feed (704,000 members) and No Open Facebook (36,000 members).
The issues revolve around privacy - is an open Facebook just another MySpace? - which gets at the notion of what makes Facebook so popular in the first place (its exclusivity, i.e. the fact that it's not just another MySpace). It betrays a certain elitism (mixing with the 'dirty masses'), but there's also the idea that maybe a "community of everyone" isn't what everyone wants out of their social interaction on the Internet. Also interesting is the idea that students are taking an active interest in their privacy, which may contradict studies that have reported the contrary. In any case, it indicates that students do indeed have boundaries when it comes to privacy online.
...and it is a Good Thing. Google Scholar has turned out to be pretty useful for locating articles, but they were always behind the password-protected wall of the publisher. So, the process of getting a pdf involved opening a new browser window, going to my library website, logging on to the catalogue, and then either searching for the journal or searching for the specific article in a database, finding the article, and then clicking a link that takes me back to the publisher's website, this time authenticated as a paying customer. Well, as I was poking around on Google Scholar this afternoon for articles, I was stoked to find out that I can now just click on the link to the article and download a copy of the pdf. No more middle man! This is going to seriously speed up my research process. Very cool!