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Google+: Tools, Names, and Facebook

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the google-plus-plus-go dept.

Google 194

Several readers submitted stories about Google+ today. CWMike writes in with an article about the lack of developer APIs from Computerworld "Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to tinker with. A Google spokeswoman said, 'We definitely plan to involve developers and publishers in the Google+ project, but we don't have specific details to share just yet. Please stay tuned.' The spokeswoman declined to say specifically if Google+ will be compatible with the company's OpenSocial set of common APIs for social networking applications." Anita Khanna writes "Facebook is trying real hard to block users migrating to google+. Although the recently announced Google+ social platform is still in private beta, it has generated enough excitement to have Facebook making some preemptive measures. Shortly after the announcement, Facebook made a peculiar change to their TOS that resulted in the ban of popular Chrome extension Facebook Friend Exporter. Over the weekend, another personal data migration tool, Open-Xchange, has also been deactivated." Finally, an anonymous reader notes that Google is requiring real names for profiles, and may have already suspended some users for using aliases.

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194 comments

Suspending users for not using real names? (4, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740544)

Darn. :( [google.com]

Re:Suspending users for not using real names? (4, Funny)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741574)

Oh come on, it's not like everyone doesn't already know your real name. Just switch to Anakin Skywalker...

I guess I won't be using it then. (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740550)

I was going to check it out, but if they're requiring real names, then I'm not going to use it.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740592)

Can't handle not being a douche and standing behind it? /irony

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (5, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740622)

Not really, I'm a douche in real life, consequently, I go online to be friendly and helpful, if people ever found out that I was helping people and being nice, my life as I know it would be over.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740610)

I had an invite and put it off trying it out.

until today. created an account and just had a bad feeling about the whole thing. really don't WANT a 'public profile' forced on me. don't want to get too far along and then have something happen to my data.

probably the best thing is a regular old website for a lot of us. social 'networking' is out of control and won't come back to OUR control any day.

google just FEELS wrong, these days. hard to explain, but its the constant watching over me that creeps me out. no, I never joined FB and my 1 day affair with g+ turned me off from the whole thing.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740688)

Enter: Diaspora [joindiaspora.com]

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740744)

Diaspora has a Facebook page. Figure that shit out.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (2)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741302)

I was one of the early backers of Diaspora and it is, as far as I can tell, dead in the water. They barely have rudimentary social networking operational, much less something that handles real tasks. The choice to implement on Ruby/Rails was, IMNSHO, retarded since the limitations, like the inability to run more than a single instance of Ruby simultaneously, simply defeat anything that they develop. I think their project would have moved forward a LOT faster if they'd have chosen PHP.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

TDyl (862130) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740716)

I've wondered for many years about probably 99% of social network users and if they even realise there are so many great sites out there beyond the scope of their interactions "on the wall" (or whatever the f*ck it's called). I know of several people that have almost lost all knowledge of the world beyond their social networks and have got themselves trapped in the "Zuckerberg Web".

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741176)

Dear God. It's the Second Coming of AOL.

It all fits... "Like" is just "ME TOO!". Instead of AOL Rooms, it's Walls.

So, this is where all the "brain-dead AOLers" went.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741208)

I've wondered for many years about probably 99% of social network users and if they even realise there are so many great sites out there beyond the scope of their interactions "on the wall" (or whatever the f*ck it's called).

I know of several people that have almost lost all knowledge of the world beyond their social networks and have got themselves trapped in the "Zuckerberg Web".

If this is true, then I believe Facebook serves a greater good. Much like AOL kept the sheeple safely away from the rest of the internet so will Facebook.
Honestly, think of how this would effect the quality of comments on places like slashdot if they allowed every "moran" to post on he.... actually never mind.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

TDyl (862130) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741540)

I agree, although the WWW should be about access for all and a "democratic" means of disseminating information; then again, am I trapped in the /. (or generally tech) web?

But having said that, I don't care, let the sheeple do what they want as long as it does not affect us; I know I can avoid them and the contamination they, fortunately, keep to themselves.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36742164)

I don't think this a smart attitude. The sheeple do affect our lives in many ways and if they get tired of being taken advantage of, you usually end up with violence. IMHO, it's better to help those less fortunate than ourselves a bit here and there.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741288)

I've wondered for many years about probably 99% of social network users and if they even realise there are so many great sites out there beyond the scope of their interactions "on the wall" .

Oddly enough, there is this rare and little-used Facebook feature called "posting links". Unfortunately nobody ever uses this and therefore all Facebook users are doomed to completely forget the rest of the World Wide Web.

(sorry for the damage to your sarcasm meter, here's a replacement bulb for it)

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

TDyl (862130) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741558)

Thanks for the bulb, you don't have a couple of extras do you?

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740876)

It's okay, one day google will complete it's mission. When it happens, all of your slashdot, twitter, etc will all be merged by google, google will own it all. Also no matter what you do, you will have a self replicating and updating profile. You will have posts in all areas automatically, slashdot, twitter, facebook, all of it. They will also be belivable that you did it, your google+ profile will take on a life of it's own and compete for friends. Your only chance will be to destroy your profile in a game of yahtzee.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741112)

Also no matter what you do, you will have a self replicating and updating profile. You will have posts in all areas automatically, slashdot, twitter, facebook, all of it. They will also be belivable that you did it, your google+ profile will take on a life of it's own and compete for friends./quote>

Now those are some features that would get me to actually sign up for a social network.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (2)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741432)

Yeah, until this secnario. 'You walk into the washroom, shut the door. Two minutes later your roommates yell out, DUDE, way to much information. You don't need to tweet that! "But I didn't tweet anything!" You yell back. Later you check your tweet. 'In the bathroom, waxing one off' Google knows, google knows /everything/

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740916)

probably the best thing is a regular old website for a lot of us.

Exactly. We own our sites and everything on them. We choose how much of our identities we reveal on our websites. We also have absolute control of any trolls on our sites that aim to soil our reputations. For any software developer or tinkerer, it gives us a good excuse to write custom plugins for whatever CMS we want to use, or even build our own sites from scratch. Websites can even enable us to generate our own revenue if we're savvy enough to do so. For software developers, having a website presents the opportunity to attach your whole portfolio on a resume or CV. Building and running a website is infinitely more rewarding, in many ways, than spending time on any social networking site.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740960)

For software developers, having a website presents the opportunity to attach your whole portfolio on a resume or CV

I should add this isn't limited to software developers.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742034)

hard to explain, but its the constant watching over me that creeps me out

Welcome to the internet. Not to freak you out, but all the sites are constantly watching you. Hope you didnt switch from gmail to hotmail or yahoo....

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740782)

Maybe if it was a professional connection site, sure. Something to eat away at facebook? Let people have their fun. That's why they're there, fun, entertainment, socializing. If you're going to compete you have to be more worth it, not less. I'd rather troll facebook with darth than google + with Anakin Skywalker.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740794)

Good, that's one less stupid troll who won't be spamming up the place.

I Sit Here in Slack-Jawed Amazement (2, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740932)

The only company I would trust LESS than Facebook with my personal data, the only company with an even more cavalier attitude towards privacy, is Google. I'm more likely to hire Casey Anthony to babysit my daughters.

I find it truly, genuinely, startling that anyone outside of spinster aunts, fourteen year-old girls, and twitchy Marketing Suits whack-a-mole-ing anything and everything termed "social media" are giving this thing a second, un-shuddering glance.

Re:I Sit Here in Slack-Jawed Amazement (5, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741490)

I trust Google vastly more than Facebook. I'm still not sure what, exactly, Facebook does with my data. Google on the other hand, tells me up front that they're going to datamine my information to use for advertising.

I'd much rather see ads for things I stand a chance of being interested in, than tampon ads for example. Additionally, Google hasn't had a major privacy issue (Buzz foolishness excluded) in 10 YEARS. Mark Zuckerberg was applying to Harvard 10 years ago, and Facebook has been much less than stellar with regards to personal information privacy.

So Google has a much better track record. This is, I think, difficult to dispute - but I'd be happy to read your argument.

Re:I Sit Here in Slack-Jawed Amazement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741788)

I use it strictly for work related purposes. I am a self-employed IT consultant and it basically serves as an easy PR/marketing/face for my small company.

But I would never put my personal life details into it.

Re:I Sit Here in Slack-Jawed Amazement (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742580)

The only company I would trust LESS than Facebook with my personal data, the only company with an even more cavalier attitude towards privacy, is Google. I'm more likely to hire Casey Anthony to babysit my daughters.

I hope you're exaggerating...

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741494)

Well that's important issue. If you won't use it, I guess Google will have an emergency meeting with policy makers and alter the rules or give you an exception.

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (4, Informative)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742076)

...but if they're requiring real names...

They don't, and haven't as of yet, they want your "common name". Here's their remarkably readable brief policy [google.com] .

Re:I guess I won't be using it then. (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742488)

Personally, I would not go so far to require real names if I was doing a website. I'd prefer people be non-anonymous and use real names if they can (I do). But in the real world I know it is not always possible because of various problems.

If I ever start up a social networking profile, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740640)

it will be Facebook.

"real names for profiles" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740650)

"Finally, an anonymous reader notes that Google is requiring real names for profiles ..."

Damn. And it was sounding so promising.

(Yes, I know Facebook requires the same, which is why I'm not on Facebook)

Re:"real names for profiles" (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741238)

And, strategically such a move should have been done later.
1 get some FB fodder
2 some anonymous douche will harass people eventually
3 ???
4 overreact and kill all anonymous accounts. "we had no other choice blah blah"

 

Testing (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740674)

G+ doesn't have apps yet but creating fake accounts on facebook is quite normal to test your apps without sending notices to the walls of all your friends or getting your friends's data into somebody's database (maybe your customer, maybe someone else). Fake accounts enforce the separation between what you do at work and the rest of your life. Either Google let's developers create them or writing and testing apps will get unpleasant.

Re:Testing (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740854)

The whole point of Google+ over facebook is that it natively lets you separate your work life from your friends from your family from your old school buddies. Now, if you don't to identify yourself by name to any of those groups then social networking of any sort is not for you. Fair enough. But don't blame the tool for acting as designed.

Re:Testing (2)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740922)

Actually you are not allowed to create fake accounts with facebook, you are supposed to create test accounts [facebook.com] . I believe one of their blog posts threatened app and account closure if you were found to be created fake accounts as opposed to test accounts.
Since google+ doesn't have a developer API yet it doesn't really need test accounts. Once the API is released I'm sure they will come.

real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740728)

Well, I noticed that G+ fails to accept clearly fake names, such as elvis aaron presley, but it doesn't check TOO hard, as my second choice came in nicely, so about five minutes, a baby book, and a bit of creativity can get around G+'s stupidity. Technically, facebook also requires a real name, and also did a "standard alias" check, although facebook's secondary checks don't even need a baby book to get around, just a thesaurus. . So you can still be pseudonymous on both facebook and G+, it takes about the same amount of effort, and you run the same risks. You're also a fool if you don't try to stay pseudonymous. As far as migration, I'd suggest against it. Less linkage between pseudonyms means less chance an attacker can find a pattern to connect the two and thus connect back to the real you

Re:real names? (2)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741154)

You're also a fool if you don't try to stay pseudonymous

My name, email and home address are all over the net, and have been for years. I'm still alive.

Re:real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741798)

Okay. What are they then?

And here's a bet no one will take: I would say you don't have children.

Re:real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36742072)

That's because you haven't been targeted yet. Pray you never have to regret that flippant attitude of yours.

Re:real names? (2)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742232)

My name, email and home address are all over the net, and have been for years. I'm still alive.

But that's awful! It means just anyone could send you a letter, talk to you about work, or even pick up the phone and send their cootie-filled voice waves to you right in the privacy of your own home! And all your so-called "workmates" and "real life" "friends" could be tracking your reputation and status and fashion sense right now and could treat you horribly if you did something quirky and creative, like turn up naked and dump rancid dogfood on their lawn in the middle of the night. After all, this is America, and it's a man's right to hide from his neighbours and wear a Guy Fawkes mask on his head at all times! Without total anonymity, how could our forefathers have held town hall meetings? Could Barack Obama have ever gotten elected if people knew his real name and face and what his school grades were? Of course not!

Won't somebody please think of the privacies!

The best part about G+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740776)

was their absolute lack of apps. oh well, that was a short end of an era.

The lack of developer APIs is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740792)

I go to Facebook to see what my friends are up to and to share stuff with them. I don't go there to game, take quizzes, or anything like that. That's all a distraction and I wish there were a way to hide all content from applications. As it is, every time a friend discovers a new app I haven't blocked yet, I'm treated to getting spammed by it.

Even if I were into casual gaming, why do the companies that make these games need to know who I am? The "social" aspects are really more a benefit (virality) for the companies that make these games rather than benefits for the players.

I hope google+ stays free of this crap.

Re:The lack of developer APIs is a good thing (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740974)

http://betterfacebook.net/ [betterfacebook.net] helps me filter out the BS from polluting my wall. I don't care you wish to be a slave and worship a mystic bearded man, or how about your stance on politics or any other drizzle that hampers our evolution.

Re:The lack of developer APIs is a good thing (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740990)

If you want to publish from an Android app, command line, et al, you need that API. What we are looking for is some documentation Twitter has about their credentials, so we can start horsing around.

Re:The lack of developer APIs is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741266)

Facebook has an Android app. Why does any other app need to publish to Facebook?

Google Apps (5, Informative)

Scared Rabbit (1526125) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740832)

it's okay, I can't sign up for an account anyway. Why you ask? It's because my email is hosted with google apps, and google apps doesn't support google profiles, which are required for google+. I'm the admin for the domain, so it's not a case of I haven't flipped a switch for myself and my users, it's a matter of google not offering support for it. I'd love to use google+, but as an adopter of other google services I find I'm left in the cold here. My google apps use is much more important to me than google+ is.

Re:Google Apps (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741036)

Ditto, although at least this time they're promising profile support for Apps accounts "within the next couple of months" rather than the previously nebulous "coming soon".

Interestingly, if you try and sign into the Android + app with an Apps account and then follow the "Learn More" links it points you to an Apps help page on how to enable it, it just happens to be a 404 at the moment.

Re:Google Apps (3, Informative)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741148)

A Google employee confirmed [google.com] that support for Google Apps is coming. I think the more interesting point [venturebeat.com] is that it sounds like Google Apps users will be able to send G+ messages to people only within their Apps domain. So it sounds it will be a service sort of like Yammer [yammer.com] for Google Apps users.

Re:Google Apps (1)

essjaytee (141772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741150)

Ugh, I'm in the same boat. It's because Apps accounts don't support Google Profiles - required for G+ and Buzz.

Additionally, I've been invited, but haven't received an email. I've read others who also have Apps accounts whose invitation emails simply never arrive. Weird.

Re:Google Apps (1)

Lorcas (1299955) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741216)

Weird as I have invited myself from my gmail.com account to my Google apps account and I have received the e-mail, I just couldn't sign up when clicking the link in the e-mail.

Re:Google Apps (1)

Scared Rabbit (1526125) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742486)

It took two or three tries for it to actually show up in my mailbox at all. If you're logged into an apps account, going to plus.google.com doesn't work at all, you can't see anything beyond the error message about it not working because your organization doesn't support profiles.

Re:Google Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741168)

iIt's because my email is hosted with google apps, and google apps doesn't support google profiles, which are required for google+.

WTF *are* you talking about? I'm an actual admin of a Google Apps account, and the profiles stuff is GOING AWAY. They just sent me an email to poke me about converting users.

You either need to learn to read or learn to stop spreading FUD...

Re:Google Apps (1)

Scared Rabbit (1526125) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742454)

When you click an invite to google+ and you're logged into a google apps account you get a message that says:

Oops... you need a Google profile to use this feature.
Google Profiles is not available for your organization.

From the reading I have done on the web it says that google profiles are not yet available for google apps, though they are working on that in the future. I can't, in fact, find any other references besides your own saying anything except that google profiles are not yet available for google apps users.

Re:Google Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741174)

My friend who works for Google told me that domains on Google apps will work eventually with Google+. He is stuck using his old gmail.com account for the beta and will use his Google apps domain when they activate the feature.

Besides, if they really want to be the Facebook killer, blocking other e-mail services such as Hotmail and Yahoo on top of your own e-mail service for other domains seems quite counter-intuitive.

Maybe it's just paranoia... (1)

Scared Rabbit (1526125) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741232)

But I posted about this exact problem on facebook last night, and now my facebook account has been "unavailable" due to "maintenance" all day, lol.

I like it (3, Interesting)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740884)

So far I'm digging Google+. The Android app for it is nice too. Hopefully it doesn't get clogged up like Facebook with tons of games, quizzes, etc. I'm using G+ only for people I actually know unlike Facebook.

Re:I like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741650)

The good thing about G+ is the circles so you can have everyone in a different group. I limit my facebook to people I only want to know whats going on in my life. Now with circles I can have circles for people that i only talk to for pools or different kinds of events while not giving up the info that my family might like to know. Huddle will be nice too for the social event planning.

Re:I like it (1)

luder (923306) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741988)

I'm using G+ only for people I actually know unlike Facebook.

Funny, I'm doing exactly the opposite. Facebook treats all of my contacts as friends and when I share something it has to be shared with all of them. Yes, I can exclude people, but for that I have to pick them one by one...

G+ circles let me organize my contacts in as many categories as I want and I can choose which circles will be able to see what I'm posting. So I can have something like this:

* Family
* People who would not be offended by goatse
* People I know
* Random people I met online
* People I subscribe too (a la twitter, I guess...)
* Rest of the internet

I'm very happy with the circles feature, it makes it very easy to manage all of this.

Re:I like it (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742112)

if you already KNOW those people, what the hell's wrong with email?

you people are butt-stupid sometimes, I swear! this is a tech forum and you kiddies are eating this social spying stuff up like there's no tomorrow.

you'll learn. the hard way, but you'll learn.

Re:I like it (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742654)

Email can be tedious to configure for your groups, and deciding which groups to use, etc. Also, it requires some level of technical skill (or an unwieldy sending of duplicate data) to view a stream of posts in a single thread initiated by a single person. In defence of that last statement, try to remember how you feel about the 15 reply all emails about a topic that you aren't very concerned about.

Export your Facebook Users (1)

chrispix (624431) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740980)

There is a pretty easy solution right now. Go to yahoo and create a dummy email account, then go to contacts (in yahoo mail) and import contacts from Facebook. Then you should be able to go to Circles in Google+ and import contacts from Yahoo. A bit of a pain, but works well.

Terrible misquote (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740998)

Look at this terrible misquoting:

Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to tinker with

My sources say the actual quote was

Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to steal private user information under the cover of "gaming" and "surveys" and sell the info to spammers, HR departments, and miscellaneous unregulated data warehousing companies do be used against the end users

I know we're all supposed to be in the "Privacy Stockholm Syndrome Groupthink" so I am very naughty for preferring they continue to not get access. Everyone please face their telescreen, and direct their "Two Minutes Hate" toward me and not poor emmanual goldstein who is too busy recording episodes of "off the hook" for 2600 anyway.

Re:Terrible misquote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741102)

Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to clutter up your page with your family members' stupid FarmVille bullshit.

there, how's that one? I could give a fuck if Zygna puts my in-laws on a spam list; I just don't want to get annoyed by it myself.

Re:Terrible misquote (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741428)

I know we're all supposed to be in the "Privacy Stockholm Syndrome Groupthink" so I am very naughty for preferring they continue to not get access.

I don't know, I suppose it depends on whether you are prepared to pay to get rid of the ad profiling and corporate spying.

Back when services were supported by simple non-targeted ads, before ad-blockers, you could usually pay to get an ad-free service. Why can't I do that now?

In my opinion the spying and profiling is disturbing enough that I think it's time for governments to regulate the market. Digital service providers should be forced to offer a spying-free service to customers who who request it. The provider should of course be allowed to charge a reasonable market rate fee, as with any other service.

Re:Terrible misquote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741646)

In my opinion the spying and profiling is disturbing enough that I think it's time for governments to regulate the market. Digital service providers should be forced to offer a spying-free service to customers who who request it.

Huh? What does that even... how have you missed the fact that governments around the world have been secretly ramping up electronic espionage on their own citizens, whether through their own agencies or by proxy through other countries or companies in cases where internal espionage is illegal but external is not? It would be naive to think that intelligence agencies (a) don't already have backdoor access to see *all* the data in social networks, including "deleted" data; and (b) don't actively encourage the growth of social networks as a perfect way to get citizens to publish massive quantities of data about themselves (indeed, some things that they might not even admit to under police questioning) and to do so in a format that's uniformly consistent, backed-up, and perfectly searchable? Here's the kicker: in many countries, private industry doesn't have the same restrictions as the government, so having corporations, under the guise of "advertising," do your spy work for you is a great way of avoiding the appearance of violating your own laws.

Re:Terrible misquote (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742154)

I want batman to regulate the internet.

we are thru trusting the government. nice idea but it does not work. no one with half a brain trusts the gov to PROTECT OUR PRIVACY.

we are thru trusting big corps. in fact, we never trusted them to begin with.

what's left?

its a nice idea that 'some good guy' protects us, but we've plum run out of trustable good guys.

Tip: Yahoo can import Facebook email+name (1)

KeyserDK (301544) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741042)

Worked for me. All you really need is email. Other tools can add the rest I think.

Rowan Thunder? (2)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741108)

Seriously. That guy/girl has issues. If the government hasn't issued you a legal name change, you can't just conduct business with another name. Sure, you can try ... but good luck getting a bank account in your "preferred" name if it's not official.

Why they'd QQ about that is beyond me...

I go by "Gary" [youtube.com] ...

Re:Rowan Thunder? (1)

tuttleturtle42 (1234802) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741442)

The thing about a legal name change, is that in some states they are expensive, especially for college students supporting themselves. As it says on Rowan's website, he's from California, and what it doesn't say is that in California legal name changes cost $400.

Personally there's no way I could afford $400 for a legal name change at this point in my life. For someone regularly employed, that might be a drop in the bucket, but for someone living paycheck to paycheck, or who's unemployed (like myself), $400 is something like a month's rent, which isn't something I can just spend on something else.

Yes, rowan really needs to get a legal name change as soon as this is doable, but I know plenty of people who have a legal name, and the name that they go by, just using the legal name for things like bank accounts and leases. They in fact even using the name they go by on google+.

Legal name change? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36742218)

Seriously, WTF is this!
Where I'm from, I can wake up and decide I'm going to change my name. I start using it, and that's my fucking name.
The government don't own my name.

Your name is established by use. Official documents can be changed later.

Re:Legal name change? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742496)

Seriously, WTF is this! Where I'm from, I can wake up and decide I'm going to change my name. I start using it, and that's my fucking name. The government don't own my name.

Your name is established by use. Official documents can be changed later.

How's that work when you pay taxes? Or open a bank account? Wherever you live must be a great place to launder money.

Re:Rowan Thunder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36741786)

You can do business in any name you like*. 2. You can make it official with a DBA or Doing Business As. With a DBA you can get your check book with a different name.

*Given some limits. Also people who hold rights to a name might sue you.

Re:Rowan Thunder? (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742014)

Sure you can. It's called "Doing Business As" here, and you pay something like 150 to 250 dollars to register. It's useful for people who write using pen names and don't want to have to make sure that every place they write for gets the proper name on the check come payment time.

Re:Rowan Thunder? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742482)

Sure you can. It's called "Doing Business As" here, and you pay something like 150 to 250 dollars to register. It's useful for people who write using pen names and don't want to have to make sure that every place they write for gets the proper name on the check come payment time.

So there is absolutely no reason to complain about not having documentation for having documentation that states you're using a different name. Name change or DBA documentation, it comes back to the same thing ...

Which is why I'm calling BS on the article.

Re:Rowan Thunder? (1)

happylight (600739) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742518)

Um.. plenty of people conduct business in a made up name. Authors, actors, people in marketing rely on having an easy to remember and easy to pronounce name for their business.

Re:Rowan Thunder? (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742692)

Um.. plenty of people conduct business in a made up name. Authors, actors, people in marketing rely on having an easy to remember and easy to pronounce name for their business.

Oh. So having a name for a business is the same thing as a personal name change. I stand corrected.

God, some people are so american. Then again, corporations in the USA have the same legal rights as people, as strange as that may sound. Not that it makes *any* sense, but there you have it.

Computerbabies (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741240)

Waak waak. Lack of API's.
They want it all and they want it now and they want it for free..
Cry babies...

Require Real Names (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741370)

In today's world, that isn't acceptable and a breach of ones privacy. If they dont change that policy they can forget it ever being 'the next big thing'.

Real Names? Funny.. (2)

Someone Awful (1109763) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741488)

Wasn't it Google's former CEO who talked about children who are growing up now needing online aliases (having to change their names)? To separate their digital and real lives.

Real names is a killer (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741514)

Companies start to have policies that regulate what you can post with your real name. Prospective employers check what you have done online, also in social networks. I could not post here with regard to anything security or economically related if I had to use my real name.

Seems Google is increasingly out of touch with reality.

Ignoring the Poll, But... (4, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741564)

Now that all of the Usual Suspects have crapped all over G+, Facebook, MySpace and anything more technologically advanced than a BBS running on a Commodore 64 or usenet...

If you hate social networking sites, then ignore them! Millions of people find them pretty damned handy. Like any other tool, there's good and bad, and no shortage of idiots and/or corporations that can make a good experience into a nightmare. Same is true of e-mail, or IRC, or plain old letter mail.

Of course maybe you're the guy who announced that he would never again write a letter or mail a check once he got his first piece of unsolicited junk mail from Publisher's Clearinghouse.

I genuinely am liking G+. It's early days yet, but it seems to do just the minimum that you would want in social networking, but without the layer upon layer of crap that Facebook has added over the years. Less is more!

Do I trust Google more than Facebook? At the end of the day, yeah, I do. I trust Google to archive my e-mail, but I wouldn't for minute give Facebook the same choice. It's not a black and white issue - there are some things that I will trust Google with, and a lot that their servers will never see. Likewise I do have Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (and possibly an old MySpace account somewhere) but am pretty careful about how much information they can get their hands on. In Facebook's case it's the utter minimum.

But oooh! Privacy! That boat sailed a long time ago. If you think that you can be active on-line and maintain anything more than a limited amount of privacy you're dreaming. You're constantly creating a stream of data transactions on-line. You maybe able to limit those somewhat, but ultimately you're leaving behind a trail that will likely be around for years or decades. Deal with it - that's the reality of the time we live in.

Unless you're the guy who has refused to own a telephone for eighty years because you were pissed off about having your name and address published in the White Pages.

Finally I'll say a word about the G+ app for Android phones - it's one sweet little item, that seems to work flawlessly on my crappy Moto Charm.

Re:Ignoring the Poll, But... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741950)

Couldn't agree more. I'm loving G+. And unlike Facebook, Google has proven quite happy to give you all of your data in an open format. And unlike Facebook, the privacy options of EVERYTHING on your page and everything you post is an integral part of the UI, not something that seems like it was tagged on as an afterthought. Every post you make it shows you exactly who it's going to be shared with. Makes the 'oh, we update the privacy settings and now all your shit is public' stuff that Facebook always pulls a lot less likely.

My only problem with G+ is that there's no way to form groups. Facebook groups/fan pages SUCK, even Facebook seems confused about what excatly they're for, so I was eagerly awaiting G+ to see what they would do about this. And they've got nothing at all. Hopefully that will be coming in the future though...at the very least as some kind of integration with Google Groups.

Events would be nice too. Add Google Calendar and Google Groups, and G+ will have everything I need. Add the API too and it will have everything I want.

Re:Ignoring the Poll, But... (1)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742398)

Considering the number of online services Google has, I would be very surprised if we didn't start to see them get integrated into G+ in one way or another. Calendar, Docs, Groups, Reader....they could end up with one seriously killer set of functionality, all in one place.

Re:Ignoring the Poll, But... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742660)

Yea, from what I've read that is the plan. I just hope they're integrated well enough that they become a part of G+, not a separate entitity accessible _through_ G+.

Re:Ignoring the Poll, But... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742176)

If you hate social networking sites, then ignore them!

I don't have a Facebook account. I graduated in 2003; by the time Facebook opened, my college e-mail account had been shut off. Since then, I've used that as an excuse to ignore social networking sites, along with the perceived dangers of spreading myself too thinly [slashdot.org] . But it just irks me when I find a web site that sells a product that I want to buy (such as a monofin swimsuit) but won't let me learn about the product until after I have logged into Facebook.

Re:Ignoring the Poll, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36742374)

"Unless you're the guy who has refused to own a telephone for eighty years because you were pissed off about having your name and address published in the White Pages."

The phone company lets me use my initials and last name. I might settle for that.

Extracting friends list etc is trivial (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36741768)

Since it says it was a chrome extension that was banned, I have to wonder how hard it would be to get around that ban. Could probably make a greasemonkey script or something too, I don't really know, haven't messed with that stuff...but I'm assuming all Facebook is doing is revoking app access codes, right? So...use theirs!

Load this page:
http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/api/ [facebook.com]

Scroll a bit down the page and you will see the following link:

Clicking that link (not here, but on the actual page) gives you a valid temporary access token. It's only good for 2 hours...but reload the page and you get another 2 hours! Then just pop that access code in and you can pull up a list of all of your friends, well formatted for a script to handle...and it gives you their IDs, which you can use to scrape data from their page in the same manner. How is Facebook going to block this, short of crippling their own developer pages?

Re:Extracting friends list etc is trivial (1)

dykofone (787059) | more than 2 years ago | (#36742570)

I used a pretty easy method:

- Open a Yahoo mail account. Use their 'import facebook to contacts' feature.
- Export your Yahoo contacts to a CSV file.
- Upload the Yahoo/Facebook CSV file to your Gmail contacts, perhaps in a 'facebook' group.

Google+ automatically uses your contacts to recommend contacts for your circles, so you know pretty quick if your facebook friends are on G+. Has worked well for me so far.

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