At the Edinburgh International TV Festival, NPR's Andy Carvin asks Google Exec. Chairman Eric Schmidt about privacy, nymwars, and Google+
Andy (@acarvin) has done some innovative and valuable journalism on the Twitter platform this past year, retweeting, curating, and factchecking tweets from activists, reporters, and "regular people" on the street in popular uprisings throughout the Middle East. Many of those Twitter sources use nyms, because revealing their "real names" is a matter of life and death under despotic regimes such as the ones in Libya or Syria.
So with that experience in mind, Andy asked Eric how he justifies Google's apparent "real names or go home" stance, given that real identities could put people at risk?
Comment thread on Andy's G+ stream is here
He replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they're going to build future products that leverage that information.
Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he said G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It's obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn't use G+. Regarding countries like Iran and Syria, people there have no expectation of privacy anyway due to their government's own policies, which implies there's no point of even trying to have a service that allows pseudonyms.
He also said the internet would be better if we knew you were a real person rather than a dog or a fake person. Some people are just evil and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.
Google's Bradley Horowitz articulates a somewhat different view here, in an interview with Tim O'Reilly. From what I can tell, there is a diversity of opinion within Google, and even within the Google+ team, on how best to handle the admittedly complex matter of personal identity. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]