Llo hescrivo bien, tu ta mal; haprende a redatal.

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Pues el otro día escuché en televisión una bárbara (es que no hay otra forma de describir a esa energúmena) que dijo “bla, bla, bla descubrido”, ¡ME TIENES QUE ESTAR RELAJANDO! ¿Qué carajos ha pasado con la gramática? Coño, te digo que lo único que salvó a esa tipa fue que alguien (probablemente el productor) le dijo que era “DESCUBIERTO” y ella responde “ah, sí, descubierto”… ESTUPIDA.


SXSW: Microsoft’s danah boyd on Chatroulette, Google Buzz and the Future of Privacy

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Microsoft researcher danah boyd (she prefers no caps) presented a pretty bleak picture of how privacy and publicity is managed online today in her SXSW Interactive keynote. Targeting Chatroulette, FacebookGoogle Buzz as examples, boyd says consumers have no idea what they are sharing online–and that the business that build social networks don’t either.

Keep reading…

Why Chrome Will be Your Next Browser

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Google Chrome‘s market share numbers are skyrocketing, blowing past Safari and Opera to become the number three most-widely-used Web browser. That’s pretty impressive, and I don’t think it’s going to stop there. I fully expect it to overtake Firefox and challenge, if not beat, Microsoft Internet Explorer sometime in the next 5 years.

It took Firefox most of this decade to achieve its solid number two status, but the one-and-a-half-year-old Chrome is growing faster and, in some ways, developing more quickly than Firefox ever did. The question, though, is not whether or not Chrome will beat other browsers, but why it is rising while Firefox seems to have stalled or is falling.

Over the years, most tech-savvy users I’ve talked to have said they run Firefox. It’s faster—I agree—and it has amazing features, which is true. The Awesome bar, also known as Firefox’s address bar, works better than virtually any other address bar in the business. When I start to type in a URL, its best guesses are almost always on target. Those same tech-savvy users have always touted Firefox’s extensive add-on library. I use a handful of them, but I’m not an extension nut like some people I know. I find it fascinating how, say, a “27 Best Firefox Extensions” story can kill on Digg and drive thousands of page views. What, exactly, is the attraction to stuff you can add to your browser? Does everything we use need to be customized?

Firefox has also, traditionally, been faster than the competition. It usually loaded pages lickety split, and it did so with an admirable level of precision. The pages looked the way they should and everything worked—most of the time.

Here at PCMag, many of our developers use Firefox when coding updates for our Web sites. That was fine until I tried to look at the updates in Internet Explorer and wondered why they didn’t work. I’d march over to the developer and wag my finger in his face, “Why are you coding for Firefox? Don’t you know that 90 percent of the Web uses Internet Explorer?” This was years ago, of course. The developer would smile and shrug his shoulders. Eventually, he’d fix the code so it worked in Internet Explorer as well.

In essence, Firefox had the growing support of average consumers and the critical support of early adopters, the tech-heads who were building the Web.

When Google launched Chrome in 2008, it was almost laughably under-powered, but it was wicked fast. It let you search right inside the address bar (a feature I love to this day) and loaded pretty much every page (almost always with an odd HTML translation error or two). Wonkiness aside, it just worked. We were all impressed with Google’s first effort. Chrome beta was followed in a remarkably short time by a full-blown first version. Now, less than 2 years later, we’re testing Google Chrome 4.0. Firefox is still beta testing version 3.6!

As Chrome has risen, something disturbing has happened on the Firefox side. I’ve heard grumblings from people who previously supported Firefox, saying that it seemed slower, bloated, and, worse yet, that it’s a resource hog. This is the worst thing you can say about a Web browser.

Web browsers are the ultimate Internet utility and the one that we most need to get the heck out of the way. If using it is weighing your system down, then it’s no good. All modern browsers—Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome—use tabbed browsing. This means they all have to manage multiple instances of themselves, with each one featuring full-blown Web pages that could be running everything from basic HTML to Flash video. I do not envy the developer’s task.

Microsoft has made some strides with Internet Explorer, a perennial resource hog. It’s a slightly better task citizen. Still, each tab is a separate process and all of them together can bring your system to a halt. Firefox lumps all the tasks into one, but the overall process number can get pretty big and, to be honest, it can get a bit slow at times. What’s worse is when it becomes unstable and crashes. Internet Explorer does this, too. Chrome spawns multiple processes when you launch new tabs as well, but it just seems to handle the whole thing better.

Every week I participate in a radio show where I have to answer listener’s questions. I can answer some questions off the top of my head, but with some, I need an assist. Usually, my Web site or a search engine can help me unlock at least the start of the answer. But once I find something, I don’t want to switch away from that Web page, so I open a new tab. I used to try this with IE and with Firefox. After a half dozen tabs, both made my system feel like it was swimming through molasses. Not Chrome. I open almost a dozen tabs and it still simply screams.

At its core, Google Chrome is a very good Web browser (I know it, like Safari, is based on Webkit, but I could never warm up to Safari.). It’s still not as full featured as competitors and there are, to this day, pages (even my own PCMag.com) that it does not render 100 percent correctly. On the other hand, Google is updating the browser on an almost weekly basis. Recently, it added bookmark sync and now it has a growing list of extensions—just like Firefox.

As it grows more popular, Chrome will surely suffer from one of the growing pains common among popular Web browsers: Someone will exploit its vulnerabilities. Google automatically updates Chrome when you launch it, so I’m positive it’ll take care of these issues as soon as they crop up.

Microsoft and Mozilla may be glancing confidently in their side-view mirrors right now, pleased that Chrome is, at just 5 percent, a mere spec in the distance. However, they may want to pay closer attention to that little note printed faintly on the glass: “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.”

Originally posted to PCMag.

Google adds multitouch and better 3G to its Nexus One

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A Tuesday software update for Google’s Nexus One added the much-coveted multi-touch support to the search engine giant’s smartphone. The upgrade, which Google started sending to users today, adds a pinch-to-zoom mechanism in the Nexus One’s browser, gallery, and maps application.

In addition to multi-touch, Google also added Goggles to the phone, and updated Google Maps and the phone’s 3G connectivity. Goggles, which identifies objects via your phone’s camera, will be available on the Nexus One via the All Apps menu. “Just use your Nexus One camera to start searching the web,” Google said in a blog post.

On the Maps front, Google is rolling out Maps 3.4, which, among other things, will allow users to synchronize starred items and search suggestions between the phone and PC. Access favorite places and make it easier to search for places you’ve searched for before, Google said.
The update also includes night mode in Google Maps Navigation, which changes your screen at night for easier viewing and driving. The function turns on near sunset and off near sunrise, according to a Google spokesperson.

Google will send the update to user’s notification bar, where it can be downloaded. It will be rolled out gradually, so everyone might not receive it until week’s end, Google said.

Motorola, which produces the Android-based Droid smartphone, did not immediately respond to questions about the future of multi-touch on the Droid.

Originally posted to Gearlog.

The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now

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In December, Facebook made a series of bold and controversial changes regarding the nature of its users’ privacy on the social networking site. The company once known for protecting privacy to the point of exclusivity (it began its days as a network for college kids only – no one else even had access), now seemingly wants to compete with more open social networks like the microblogging media darling Twitter.

Those of you who edited your privacy settings prior to December’s change have nothing to worry about – that is, assuming you elected to keep your personalized settings when prompted by Facebook’s “transition tool.” The tool, a dialog box explaining the changes, appeared at the top of Facebook homepages this past month with its own selection of recommended settings. Unfortunately, most Facebook users likely opted for the recommended settings without really understanding what they were agreeing to. If you did so, you may now be surprised to find that you inadvertently gave Facebook the right to publicize your private information including status updates, photos, and shared links.

Want to change things back? Read on to find out how.

1. Who Can See The Things You Share (Status Updates, Photo, Videos, etc.)

Probably the most critical of the “privacy” changes (yes, we mean those quotes sarcastically) was the change made to status updates. Although there’s now a button beneath the status update field that lets you select who can view any particular update, the new Facebook default for this setting is “Everyone.” And by everyone, they mean everyone.

If you accepted the new recommended settings then you voluntarily gave Facebook the right to share the information about the items you post with any user or application on the site. Depending on your search settings, you may have also given Facebook the right to share that information with search engines, too.

To change this setting back to something of a more private nature, do the following:

  1. From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
  2. Click “Profile Information” from the list of choices on the next page.
  3. Scroll down to the setting “Posts by Me.” This encompasses anything you post, including status updates, links, notes, photos, and videos.
  4. Change this setting using the drop-down box on the right. We recommend the “Only Friends” setting to ensure that only those people you’ve specifically added as a friend on the network can see the things you post.

2. Who Can See Your Personal Info

Facebook has a section of your profile called “personal info,” but it only includes your interests, activities, and favorites. Other arguably more personal information is not encompassed by the “personal info” setting on Facebook’s Privacy Settings page. That other information includes things like your birthday, your religious and political views, and your relationship status.

After last month’s privacy changes, Facebook set the new defaults for this other information to viewable by either “Everyone” (for family and relationships, aka relationship status) or to “Friends of Friends” (birthday, religious and political views). Depending on your own preferences, you can update each of these fields as you see fit. However, we would bet that many will want to set these to “Only Friends” as well. To do so:

  1. From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
  2. Click “Profile Information” from the list of choices on the next page.
  3. The third, fourth, and fifth item listed on this page are as follows: “birthday,” “religious and political views,” and “family and relationship.” Locking down birthday to “Only Friends” is wise here, especially considering information such as this is often used in identity theft.
  4. Depending on your own personal preferences, you may or may not feel comfortable sharing your relationship status and religious and political views with complete strangers. And keep in mind, any setting besides “Only Friends” is just that – a stranger. While “Friends of Friends” sounds innocuous enough, it refers to everyone your friends have added as friends, a large group containing hundreds if not thousands of people you don’t know. All it takes is one less-than-selective friend in your network to give an unsavory person access to this information.

3. What Google Can See – Keep Your Data Off the Search Engines

When you visit Facebook’s Search Settings page, a warning message pops up. Apparently, Facebook wants to clear the air about what info is being indexed by Google. The message reads:

There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook indexing all your information on Google. This is not true. Facebook created public search listings in 2007 to enable people to search for your name and see a link to your Facebook profile. They will still only see a basic set of information.

While that may be true to a point, the second setting listed on this Search Settings page refers to exactly what you’re allowing Google to index. If the box next to “Allow” is checked, you’re giving search engines the ability to access and index any information you’ve marked as visible by “Everyone.” As you can see from the settings discussed above, if you had not made some changes to certain fields, you would be sharing quite a bit with the search engines…probably more information than you were comfortable with. To keep your data private and out of the search engines, do the following:

  1. From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
  2. Click “Search” from the list of choices on the next page.
  3. Click “Close” on the pop-up message that appears.
  4. On this page, uncheck the box labeled “Allow” next to the second setting “Public Search Results.” That keeps all your publicly shared information (items set to viewable by “Everyone”) out of the search engines. If you want to see what the end result looks like, click the “see preview” link in blue underneath this setting.

Take 5 Minutes to Protect Your Privacy

While these three settings are, in our opinion, the most critical, they’re by no means the only privacy settings worth a look. In a previous article (written prior to December’s changes, so now out-of-date), we also looked at things like who can find you via Facebook’s own search, application security, and more.

While you may think these sorts of items aren’t worth your time now, the next time you lose out on a job because the HR manager viewed your questionable Facebook photos or saw something inappropriate a friend posted on your wall, you may have second thoughts. But why wait until something bad happens before you address the issue?

Considering that Facebook itself is no longer looking out for you, it’s time to be proactive about things and look out for yourself instead. Taking a few minutes to run through all the available privacy settings and educating yourself on what they mean could mean the world of difference to you at some later point…That is, unless you agree with Facebook in thinking that the world is becoming more open and therefore you should too.

Note: Other resources on Facebook’s latest changes worth reading include MakeUseOf’s 8 Steps Toward Regaining your Privacy, 17 steps to protect your privacy from Inside Facebook, the ACLU’s article examining the changes, and DotRights.org’s comprehensive analysis of the new settings. If you’re unhappy enough to protest Facebook’s privacy update, you can sign ACLU’s petition. The FTC is also looking into the matter thanks to a complaint filed by a coalition of privacy groups, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. You can add your voice to the list of complaints here.

Originally posted to The New York Times.

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