Rewinding the Facebook Beacon

I wonder how many people in the UK are aware of the Facebook beacon launched recently. It tracks your usage on partner websites (say a retailer) and when you buy something from them it places a story in your news feed. As far as I can tell there aren’t any partners in the UK yet. The problem with this scenario was that you couldn’t stop it happening – ie you couldnt opt out, it just happened automatically.

Thankfully (and unsurprisingly) Facebook have changed the system – now it will only appear if you give express permission for it to do so. Good news indeed. But I wonder if they solved the other issue I heard about – if you have multiple people using a single computer, it added the news to the first person who logged into their facebook account. So if Person A buys a book and person B logs into Facebook first. The action appeared on person B’s newsfeed.

At least you can now say no to the info being public (Facebook still has the data about you in their systems mind) 🙂

podtech network and popout videos

I am a regular reader of Scoble‘s blog but since his move to PodTech I really haven’t had time to watch most of the videos he produces.Apart from the fact video requires a lot more of your time to watch (compared to skimming), the extra click through to the podtech website emphasised the time requirements further. Then the video became embedded in the RSS feed itself so I started watching a few. But because I scroll through Google Reader and don’t necessarily want to watch it then and there, I used to star them and watch them later.

Today though, I decided I’d click the “pop out” link and queue them up on my desktop to watch later. I came back to it later and found this didnt work 🙁 Each popout showed the first video I clicked. I’d lost the links to the other videos and had to scroll through Scoble’s feed to find them again 🙁 Not quite as time saving as I’d hoped!

old websites

One of the differences using Flock is that I do not have a delicious shared toolbar at the top of my browser like I did in Firefox. That means that its an extra step to access the same favourites I use both at home and work. I haven’t tried installing the delicious plugin yet but maybe that will rectify it.

In any case, one of the results of this change is my old favourites which I no longer saw is now visible again and it was interesting to revisit some of them. Some like Neowin and The Register hadn’t changed and I’ll probably continue to visit them infrequently but it was interesting to see how much CNET had changed – there seems to be a much greater integration with and emphasis on individual commentary (ie blogging). I wonder if that makes it better?