Tag Archives: settings

You Demand, Facebook Listens

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg really does listen when the world complains about privacy settings on the popular site. Now, he’s promising changes over the coming weeks to address the concerns, promising “a simpler way to control your information.”

Zuck comes right out and admits that Facebook missed the mark when it comes to hitting the privacy control nail on the head. It’s impossible to anticipate how more than 400 million people will want to interact with a website, and they know they guessed wrong. Facebook plans to make it easier for you to control your information by making it simpler to make changes to your settings. The letter also guarantees you an easier way to turn off all third-party services.

The biggest message we have heard recently is that people want easier control over their information. Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark. We have also heard that some people don’t understand how their personal information is used and worry that it is shared in ways they don’t want. I’d like to clear that up now. Many people choose to make some of their information visible to everyone so people they know can find them on Facebook. We already offer controls to limit the visibility of that information and we intend to make them even stronger.

Did you really expect to see the words “I’m sorry” in the communique somewhere? As Jason Kinkaid put it over on TechCrunch: “expect them to try to push the envelope again in, oh, about six months. Hopefully users will be better educated about their privacy and how to control it when that time comes.” Zuckerberg doesn’t appear to be sorry about anything, nor does he feel they did anything wrong. Facebook pushed… they just didn’t expect their users to push back harder. While the company may make it easier for you to control your privacy soon, expect more unwelcome changes in the future.

Zuck himself says that “People want to share and stay connected with their friends and the people around them. If we give people control over what they share, they will want to share more. If people share more, the world will become more open and connected. And a world that’s more open and connected is a better world.” He and his team truly believes that the world needs to be more open – that YOU need to be more open. They will continue to push the envelope and look for ways that “force” you to be more open than you may even want to be.

Keep Your Gmail Safe

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During the Gnomedex conference this past summer, we held an open mic session. Anyone in the audience could get up on stage and share their favorite website, tips, trick and resources. In this short video clip, we were all reminded of how simple it is to secure our Gmail when viewing it from a public location (such as a conference or an Internet cafe).

When you are logged in to your Gmail account, go up to the top of the page and click on Settings. The fifth header down on the page is Browser connection. Next to this, click the little button that says to Always use https. This will ensure that no matter where you are at, you are logging in to your email securely.

Thanks for the tip!

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Website Language Settings

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AJ28 emailed me from Japan, wondering why when he opens Google (or most any website), it automatically loads the Japanese page. He wonders if the browser automatically recognizes what IP he is connecting from and then determines the language to display.

Aj, you are sort of correct. You’re just a bit backwards in putting things together. Google (and other sites) look at the IP address you are connecting from, and then realizes your location based on that information. They will then serve up your site content in the native language of the country or area you are located. It’s web pages itself… not your browser… that is doing this.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a way you can change things so that every site will automatically direct you to your native language, regardless of where in the world you happen to be at the time. Trying to do so could actually get you Swahili text when you’re in Taiwan, or German when you’re in the United States. There is a simple way to change the language preferences by site, especially for Google. Many sites may not have this function, though. According to Google themselves:

If you want to change your Google interface language without changing your browser’s accept-language preferences, you can set your Google language preferences manually on our “Language Options” page. However, setting language preferences this way does require that cookies be enabled.

And there you have it. I wish there were a better answer for you as far as making your computer automatically connect to pages in the one language you prefer. As far as I know, there is not. If anyone out there does know of such a way, please let me know!

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