Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: ‘We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content.

Facebook backtracks on terms of use after protests

NEW YORK – In an about-face following a torrent of online protests, Facebook is backing off a change in its user policies while it figures how best to resolve questions like who controls the information shared on the social networking site.

The site, which boasts 175 million users from around the world, had quietly updated its terms of use — its governing document — a couple of weeks ago. The changes sparked an uproar after popular consumer rights advocacy blog Consumerist.com pointed them out Sunday, in a post titled “Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: ‘We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.'”

Facebook has since sought to reassure its users — tens of thousands of whom had joined protest groups on the site — that this is not the case. And on Wednesday morning, users who logged on to Facebook were greeted by a message saying that the site is reverting to its previous terms of use policies while it resolves the issues raised.

Facebook spelled out, in plain English rather than the legalese that prompted the protests, that it “doesn’t claim rights to any of your photos or other content. We need a license in order to help you share information with your friends, but we don’t claim to own your information.”

Tens of thousands of users joined protest groups on Facebook, saying the new terms grant the site the ability to control their information forever, even after they cancel their accounts.

This prompted a clarification from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, who told users in a blog post Monday that “on Facebook, people own their information and control who they share it with.”

Zuckerberg, who started Facebook while still in college, also acknowledged that a “lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective of the rights we need to provide this service to you.”

But this wasn’t enough to quell user protests, and the site also created a group called “Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities,” designed to let users give input on Facebook’s terms of use. It also apologized for what it called “the confusion around these issues.”

“We never intended to claim ownership over people’s content even though that’s what it seems like to many people,” read a post from Facebook on the bill of rights page.

The latest controversy was not the first between the rapidly growing site and its users over its five-year history.

In late 2007, a tracking tool called “Beacon” caught users off-guard by broadcasting information about their shopping habits and activities at other Web sites. After initially defending the practice, Facebook ultimately allowed users to turn Beacon off. A redesign of the site last year also prompted thousands to protest, but in that case Facebook kept its new look.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook is privately held. Microsoft Corp. bought a 1.6 percent stake in the company in 2007 for $240 million as part of a broader advertising partnership.

Orkut banned in your company or College? Don’t worry access it through Facebook

Amit spotted interesting application that integrates your orkut profile right into Facebook page. If you have a facebook account you can open your orkut profile, can reply to scraps and also upload the photos to Orkut.

I was finding way to access my orkut profile on 4th oct. As it is my birthday, I was getting lot of scraps and I was not able to reply. Now this is the best option if Orkut is banned in your company or college.

The application is developed by an Indian Jeetu Mirchandani, a Amazon employee. To see the orkut profile log into your Facebook account. Go to this page and enter your orkut profile url and you are done! Now you can read or reply to all scraps. No orkut username or password is required.

Orkut is very famous in India. Orkut is for Indian’s like Facebook, Myspace is for Americans. But due to it’s popularity it is now target of spammers. Indian’s spend lot of time on orkut. Lot of objectionable, adult content is posted on orkut. That might be the reason, Orkut is banned in most of the colleges and corporate world. 

There are some drawbacks that needs to be addressed like there is no need of username or password to integrate orkut in Facebook. That means any one can add your profile in Facebook and can send scraps to your friends by your name.

Note that this application is not supported by Google. So you can use it till Google request Facebook to ban it 😉       

There are many other resources you can try to access ORKUT..
Complete list of 20+ orkut resources can be found at:
http://mashable.com/2007/10/19/20-orkut-tools/
Hope at least one will help you access orkut!!!

Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview

To search for files on my PCs, I use Windows Search – Windows Vista’s desktop search feature. I use Windows Search specifically to find photos that I’ve tagged in Windows Live Photo Gallery or important emails and Word documents. I also rely on saving specific searches that I can go back to later on. Searching and being able to find important files quickly on my PC is very important to me. And Windows Search allows me to “find my stuff” whenever I need to. Today we get to see a little “preview” of the next step for Windows Search. The Windows Search Team is making available Windows Search 4.0 Preview – a preview of the next version of desktop search for Windows.

Windows Search 4.0 introduces several improvements I’d like to call out making search even better in Windows Vista:
With Windows Search 4.0, the Windows Search Team has fixed most of the reported bugs causing a majority of distractions users have seen since Windows Vista RTM – many of those bugs were reported by you.
Great improvements have been made with regards to performance.Even now as Preview, Windows Search 4.0 has query response time about 33%faster than search queries in Windows Vista RTM.
The Windows Search Team has extended Remote Index Discovery for PC-to-PC search to work onevery supported version of Windows. This makes finding information on other PCs running Windows Search 4.0 quick and less resource-consuming. Now Windows Search can find information shared on a remote PC by accessing an index on that PC – and you will open files only when relevant to your search. This will also work if the user’s profile is redirected.
The Windows Search Team has implemented Rollback Recovery where your search index will roll back to the last known good state (this is good in handling disc write errors). If an error occurs, your index isn’t rebuilt from scratch; only the newly changed files are added to the index, making recovery from system errors not as disruptive to the machine or the user

Being able to find files isn’t just important to consumers – it is also important to IT Professionals managing enterprise environments. The Windows Search Team has made some improvements in Windows Search 4.0 that IT Professionals should take note of:
We have improved performance when indexing Exchange in online mode, sending fewer packets and making less RPC calls. In this process we apply significantly less load on the Exchange server too.
Support for Group Policy settings is extended and improved; per-user policy is supported now.
We now support EFS – Windows Search 4.0 will index encrypted files, and user can search for them in the sane UI and through the same user experience as seen with regular, unencrypted files.

IT Professionals can expect a smooth deployment for Windows Search 4.0 and easier support.

With Windows Search 4.0, the Windows Search Team has taken the next step in improving the PC search experience in Windows. To download and check out the Windows Search 4.0 Preview yourself, click here. I encourage folks to try out the Windows Search 4.0 Preview and let us know what you think!

source- Windows Vista Blog

Indian Government Threatens Shutdown of Blackberry Services

Indian authorities want ability to monitor Blackberry traffic for reasons of security

Some would say it’s not every day that a government gives a mobile phone service provider an ultimatum to either give in or give up, but recently, censorship and government snooping have become more common than in past decades.

Recently, the Indian government demanded that telecom providers allow government authorities to monitor traffic flowing through their networks for terrorist activities. According to a Business Standard post, the Indian government asked a number of telecommunications companies to open up their networks to monitor Blackberry-based traffic or face shutdown throughout the country within 15 days.

Indian government authorities proposed that each service provider work out the details with Blackberry licensor Research in Motion before this 15-day period.

DailyTech contacted RIM’s media relations and received the following statement, “RIM operates in more than 130 countries around the world and respects the regulatory requirements of governments. RIM does not comment on confidential regulatory matters or speculation on such matters in any given country.”

If RIM and service providers offering Blackberry services comply with the government’s demands, it will mean roughly 400,000 Blackberry users will be left without service such as email and messaging. According to India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the security of the nation of India is their top priority even if it means that telecom companies will be shut down if they do not let government authorities in and monitor traffic freely.

India is not the first government to demand the ability to monitor telecom traffic. Recently, U.S. government agencies, such as the NSA, have been the center for discussion and legal battles regarding wiretapping. The U.S. Senate has also gone so far as to pass a bill that would give telecoms that cooperate with U.S. agencies in warrant-less wiretapping and other illegal monitoring activities immunity from lawsuits.

Since India has a different legal process than the United States, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology may have a better chance of getting its way with Indian telecoms and consumers.
Comments Threshold

Mark Cuban Claims Internet Is Dead

Billionaire tries to outdo Michael Bay by delivering fiery speech against what he sees as dying online world

Famed internet-made billionaire and blogger Mark Cuban raised quite a stir this week when he announced dramatically, “The Internet’s dead. It’s over.” The comments made by Cuban at the CTAM summit will likely strike many as eerily familiar of Michael Bay’s HD DVD trashing rants.

Cuban became a billionaire when he sold Broadcast.com, originally Audionet, to Yahoo for $5.7B. Cuban built Broadcast.com into an online powerhouse after co-founding it with earnings from the sale of his company MicroSolutions in the 80s, an early reseller of Lotus Notes. Broadcast.com at its peak featured 420 radio stations and networks; 56 TV stations and cable networks; and live game coverage of over 450 college and professional teams.

He used his wealth to buy the Dallas Mavericks and while a blogger himself, has recently taken a rather scornful attitude to the internet, which made him wealthy. He recently created a stir when he became the first team owner to ban bloggers from an NBA locker room.

At the CTAM conference, Cuban’s new anti-internet sentiment became vitriolic. He addressed the panel which consisted of cable systems providers stating, “The Internet’s for old people.”

Cuban claims the internet has stagnated and that the only new invention on the internet was YouTube. Cuban, however, went to argue that YouTube is nothing more than a sham based on copyright infringement and represents little real creativity. Cuban feels that cable and satellite networks have overtaken the internet in providing complex interactive services. Cuban says he once thought the internet would be superior for providing such services, but remarks, “I was wrong.”

He points to the openness of collections of cable networks versus networks built by telephone companies like Verizon, which are stymied by problems talking to each other. Cuban envisions cable services offering users suites of office applications or other complex utilities, something he says would allow them to leverage their superiority to “outgoogle” Google.

While Cuban believes strongly that cable intranets are superior to internet, most experts think his claims are very off base. They state that his proposed cable systems applications sound remarkably similar to the cable television network flop @Home, which attempted to market a higher-speed “private” internet, that was separate from the normal internet.

While Cuban is known for a flare for histrionics and outbursts, his collected, deliberate speech about his animosity for the internet is sure to stir up a great deal of controversy.