Blackout Cause: Buggy Code

For those still out there (and there are more than a few) who think software's unimportant ...

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Friendster, orkut and Social Networks

The link at the tail end of this post is to an article that borders on the positively paranoid. The author is convinced that social networks are a threat to privacy: he even concludes that belonging to one will result in being labelled a terrorist! I'm not sure exactly what valuable personal information the author is so concerned about compromising, but I've not uploaded a single bit of financial or political data to any social network. The gent seems to think that the mere construction of a network is somehow an invasion of privacy: wow - really? Who would've guessed it?

Of course a social network invades your privacy: that's the whole point. No man is an island, goes the old cliche, and any friendship you make, in the real world or in cyberspace, compromises your privacy.

Since I last wrote on these services, I've been invited to join Friendster and orkut. I joined both, if for no other reason than to slake my curiousity. I had expected that they would be virtual clones of one another, so I was very surprised to find two very different services.

Friendster is more like a shared address book. Were I single and looking this would be a prime place to hang out. It also offers some intriguing possibilities for just meeting folks, but it suffers from an almost paralyzing slowness. Judging from it's internal URL's, I'd wager than Friendster was implemented in Java. It just hasn't scaled very well at all - slow as molasses running uphill in February. I have yet to manage to complete a search thru my "personal network" on Friendster - the blasted thing either times out or just returns a "sorry - that service is not available now" message. Friendster = frustration. Which is too bad, really, because it is much more oriented to the personal, social network than is orkut.

Orkut, on the other hand, is so positively zippy, it was probably written in C or C++ (can you tell I'm a bit prejudiced here?). It's also much more like a Yahoo!Groups service, with the social/personal network overlaid on top. There are forums on orkut (including a couple on Indo-European heathenry!), and your visibility is not limited to your personal network, but extends system wide. It offers many of the same features that Friendster has, but with more of a global reach, so to speak.

I'm not worried about losing my privacy or identity to either service: they could be useful over time as a way to extend and expand my connections with folks who share interests. Isn't that the point of networking? So I'll continue to check out both regularly - perchance something good will come from them after all. I'm reasonably sure that these things will continue to evolve, and as more people get networked in, it will be interesting to see how they scale, and if they become more useful or less so as the network get crowded.

Avoid Friendster and its clones, warns security expert

(link) [The Register]

00:00 /Technology | 1 comment | permanent link