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Facebook Home And Privacy

Om Malik:

So if your phone doesn’t move from a single location between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for say a week or so, Facebook can quickly deduce the location of your home. Facebook will be able to pinpoint on a map where your home is, whether you share your personal address with the site or not. It can start to build a bigger and better profile of you on its servers. It can start to correlate all of your relationships, all of the places you shop, all of the restaurants you dine in and other such data. The data from accelerometer inside your phone could tell it if you are walking, running or driving. As Zuckerberg said — unlike the iPhone and iOS, Android allows Facebook to do whatever it wants on the platform, and that means accessing the hardware as well.

While I don’t think Facebook would be able to get away with this Orwelllian future that Om paints, I do think it’s a valid concern. Do we really want this level of personal data exposed to a company whose business model rests on targeted advertisers?

via Why Facebook Home bothers me: It destroys any notion of privacy — Tech News and Analysis.


What Happened To Passionate Lakers Fans At Staples Center?

Indulge me a bit for a semi-off topic post.

I really wish you could pick what kind of people you sat with when you buy tickets to a live NBA game. It’s something I think I would actually pay a small fee for the option to pick the type of crowd you are surrounded by.

I don’t know about you but I love to be around rowdy  and fun people at sporting events especially if it’s a game deep into a playoff run. For me, the biggest reason to pay the money to attend a live game is to be around the energy of passionate fans who root for the same home team as you do. I want people to be heckling the opposing team and their fans, standing and cheering at the right times, and throwing out creative chants. If you don’t want to do any of those things, why bother spending the $80-$500 to come out to the game? You’d most likely get a better view at home on your TV plus you get announcers. (Obviously this argument is less effective the better your seats are. I’m assuming a ticket price that average people can afford.)

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to attend two Laker playoff games this year (1 game at each of the Suns and Jazz series) and Game 1 of the NBA finals last year. Now, I had seats in the upper deck because that’s all I could afford. You’d think that’s where the “true” Laker fans would be. The blue collar, rowdy “Laker Faithful” who saved up all year to be able to root for their team during go time. You’d think it’d be a riot zone up there with the heckling and potential drunken skirmishes with enemy fans.

You’d be wrong.

All three playoff games felt like a routine regular season game. There were empty seats around me every time. People didn’t even bother show up to a Western Conference Final game. Everyone around me acted nonplussed for most of the game. I felt almost embarrassed to stand up and actually show emotion after important plays. I was worried I’d have to turn around and apologize to people behind me for having the gall to obstruct their view as if it were the opera.

Now, there were definitely pockets of fun going around the upper deck of the arena. Dudes yelling random shit out, heckling the players, chanting “WE WANT BOSTON,” going nuts after dunks. It just wasn’t happening around me.

Which takes us back to my idea for crowd-type choice when buying tickets. Everyone wins out here. People like me who want to be passionate can be around each other and feed off the energy. The opera-goers can have their sedentary experience with the families who don’t want their kids hearing bad words. The Lakers/Ticketmaster make an extra $5 per person for matchmaking. (It’d be great for this to be a free service, but we know those bastards will invariably want moar moneyhats.) It’d just take some extra web/database tweaking on the ticket sales end.

Bill Simmons over at ESPN seemed to have a different experience than I did. But then again, he had comped tickets in the lower level. Maybe it’s a completely different experienced down there. Hopefully I’ll get to sample it one day when I make my first million. Maybe the upper deck at Staples for the Celtics/Lakers Finals going on now is everything I wanted a game experience to be. For now, though, I think I’m going to just stay home until either A) I get rich enough to sit with the celebrities or B) they let me choose what kind of crowd I want to sit with.