Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Robots Feeding On The Dead?

I know this isn't really about information, but I had to post this story:

Wired - Company Denies its Robots Feed on the Dead

The money quote:

"“We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. “We are focused on demonstrating that our engines can create usable, green power from plentiful, renewable plant matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous.” (emphasis in the original)"

[heh!]

Friday, July 10, 2009

Data Ownership

The following linked story discusses an interesting point:

Who owns your login information?


Power.com Sues Facebook: Data Ownership War Breaks Out

"Power.com, for those unfamiliar, allows you to log into all your social media accounts simultaneously via the Power.com interface. This means that you can use your MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Orkut, and Hi5 accounts all at the same time. Facebook though, is noticeably absent from the list of supported accounts due to its December lawsuit with the social networking giant. Their big objection was the storage of user credentials on Power.com, and in turn they requested that the service use a solution involving Facebook Connect instead."

Facebook Is No Friend of Power.com

Power.com countersues Facebook over user data

google news search: Power.com facebook lawsuit

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Normally, I think, a person would assume that their login information belongs to them, and that if they want to share it, they would be able to.

Not necessarily - terms of service for many services can prohibit login sharing. Your bank card PIN is login information - by the terms of agreement there you are expressly prohibited from sharing the information with anyone else. Sharing your PIN is a violation of the terms of service for use of the bank card - remember, the card also remains the property of the issuer - and could result in the revocation of services provided through the use of the card.

This court case will make new law. Watch for how it turns out.

http://www.power.com/

http://www.facebook.com/

What's my deal (about me)

I am James M. Burton - a computing and internet professional with substantial interest in computing and networking, privacy issues, politics, and governmental policy

I have previously worked as political staff in a provincial government, and have been a long time political and community activist. I teach at a government funded post-secondary institution. I have served as a Students' Union President (some 20 years ago), on the Board of Governors of a major University, and served on many university committees. I have run my own business, worked for telcos, cable companies, engineering firms, and research consortia. I have been President and board member of a provincial new media industry association, and have served many years as a juror for the Canadian New Media Awards.

I am currently the Information Technology Officer and designated Privacy Officer for a large medical clinic - grappling with privacy and information sharing issues has become a daily occurrence.

This blog is an attempt to share some of the stories and issues I run across.