Tag Archives: TechCrunch

What’s Facebook’s New ‘Timeline’ Really About?


With every major update of Facebook’s experience they reveal little by little how creepy they are, because instead of looking at the things users need, each release just shows (no matter how pretty they make it) that they’re after nothing but the things that can be told to their advertisers about you, plain and simple. It’s not a social network, it’s a living marketing survey.  All along they were parsing whatever it is that we talk about, but it seems they need to get more efficient at it, their solution? Make the user click on drop downs that describe those things advertisers have to bid the highest Cost Per Click for.

Video Barbie? What Was Mattel Thinking?

If your strange uncle gives your little girl a Barbie this Christmas you might want to make sure it stays in the box.

Beware of Barbie.  That seems to be the message from the FBI after an internal memo reportedly leaked from the agency’s Sacramento field office this week.  The memo (PDF) warns that Barbie Video Girl, a doll with a built-in video camera capable of recording for about 30 minutes, is a “possible child pornography production method.”  There have been no reported incidents since the toy was first released in July.

No, not yet…

The FBI memo, dated November 30, seems to be a few months behind TechCrunch, where reviewer Paul Carr called the product “child abuse waiting to happen” during a review at the time of the product’s release. He described it as “creepy,” then read from a press release from the PR firm that sent Tech Crunch the toy: “Unsuspecting subjects won’t know that Barbie is watching their every move.”  “This is for frickin’ pedophiles!” Carr exclaimed.  While the product’s capabilities may give some parents second thoughts, it appears to be a hot item this holiday season. A reporter for CBS 13 in Sacramento found that a local WalMart was sold out of the item, and also said that it was sold out online.

Paul Carr is probably right.  It is creepy, it serves no legitimate purpose, and will no doubt be in the news again…

I’d Buy a Facebook Phone

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

But only so I could keep up with what the church kids and Mark Stevens were doing.  Not that I’d use it for anything else.  No way.


So, I really do hope Facebook does it, in spite of the naysayers at Wired.

We don’t know what Facebook is up to, or if the sources Techcrunch still has faith in are wrong or right or, if the latter, such a project is much more than a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. But would a Facebook phone make sense? I don’t think so. Facebook integration in Google Android phones is very deep, so much so that it is arguably better to use than gMail contacts. Ironies aside, this is exactly the sort of advantage one would presume building the delivery mechanism would get you, and they have an amenable platform to do pretty much whatever they want in software.

Facebook, make the phone. It will annoy Wired, and Huffington. So that’s reason enough. And make sure you pick AT&T to market it (since that’s my service provider).