Numbers Make Us Yawn

Seemingly some Irish person on Facebook has a fan page

Seemingly 100 thousand people have clicked on the “like” button

Seemingly this is meant to impress us all

Numbers don’t mean anything.

Look at Twitter

Celebrities that never ever use the service have 5 and 6 figure “follower” figures, simply because they’re celebs.

Expect lots of coverage of this “story” over the coming days. Expect “experts” to pontificate at length on what it all “means”

Apple Launch Social Network. Spammers and Scammers Move In

Apple’s big announcements earlier this week included the release of iTunes 10 with a new look and feel and the launch of Ping.

Ping, which should win the prize for least imaginative social network name ever, is Apple’s “answer” to social networking seemingly.

Want to join Ping? Then you need to use iTunes. Don’t have iTunes? Tough. Want to browse it online? Tough. has nothing to do with it. And I don’t think you’ll find a ping.anything that is in anyway related to Apple’s new venture.

Personally I’ll be sticking to!

Meanwhile Ping, apart from being well, boring and totally lacking in anything, is being attacked by spammers and scammers.

Over 100k Irish Twitter User Accounts

Looks like the Irish media (both online and offline) are all excited about the latest useless statistic

Seemingly there are over 100 thousand Irish Twitter “users”. How they reached that figure is beyond me.. Probably based on what the users have stated in their location. Or maybe Twitter have provided data?

In any case it’s a meaningless figure, as so many of the accounts are either completely dormant, abandoned or have so little activity that they might as well not be there…

Twifficiency Shows How NOT To Use Twitter’s OAuth

Twitter, in common with other social networking sites and services, has an authentication system. In Twitter’s case it’s called OAuth and it allows you, as a user, to give applications and service access to your account. For an application or service to function correctly it might need to gather information from your Twitter stream. Maybe it needs to see who you follow and who follows you etc., etc., etc.

All quite innocent and boring really.

However some applications are badly written – either intentionally or accidentally, and you can easily end up giving a 3rd party far too much acess to your account.

In the case of Twifficiency as soon as you login via OAuth it will send a “tweet” to all your followers saying:

My Twifficiency score is xx%. Whats yours?

So basically publicising itself.

Needless to say it doesn’t ask you before it does this nor does it give you any warning or indication that it’s about to do it, so it basically spams your followers

The developer, meanwhile, is denying he did this intentionally (you’d think he’d have checked .. .. )

So what can you, as a user, do?

Change your settings and avoid badly coded services like Twifficiency.

UPDATE: The “service” now has a checkbox on its main screen allowing people to opt out of the automated tweeting of their “score”

FourSquare – Stalker’s Paradise?

Foursquare allows you to post and share your location. Depending on where you are and how adventurous the businesses are in the area, you might get the odd discount or special offer for doing so ..

But there is a potential downside to oversharing your location with the world..

It’s not a new topic, but a recent Guardian article gives a nicely detailed example.

Kind of worrying .. So check your settings!

Zuckerberg Redefines Pretentious

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been getting a lot of flak in recent weeks about Facebook’s attitude and handling of privacy for its users.

During a recent interview Zuckerberg was asked several times about privacy. He failed to give a convincing answer.

Watch the entire interview to see how Zuckerberg, yet again, redefines “pretentious” once again.

At the same conference Apple’s Steve Jobs also fielded a question on privacy. Jobs’ reply is so different to the attitude of Zuckerberg that it’s worth quoting:

Silicon Valley is not monolithic….We take privacy very seriously….We do a lot of things to ensure that people understand how their data is being used. That’s why we curate the App Store….Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for–in plain English

Irish Politician Thinks Facebook Is Bad For Health

This is one of those “only in Ireland” type stories.

Irish MEP Nessa Childers has decided to go on the “war path” against Facebook (and probably other social media sites) as they’re supposedly bad for our mental health!

You can read Ms Childers’ full release on the subject here – and no, it’s not April 1st

Factual note. Childers claims that there are over 400 thousand users of Facebook in Ireland. The true figure is much higher, so you’d have to wonder where she pulled that figure from.