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Finally got in to google+ - after trying for DAYS, seriously. This is gonna be AWESOME.
Egg Syntax's profile photoJoe Mitchell's profile photo
Thank you again for the invite - if you or anyone else could invite kris - it would be super-duper-secret-squirrel-awesome.
You can invite her -- just post something and paste her email in for who can see it (an presumably remove everyone else)
Just got yr txt, btw. Every now & then my phone freaks out & loses all contact with the network. I usually only notice because the battery runs down twice as fast as usual as the phone desperately tries to find a signal. Then I reboot & all my calls & txts suddenly come through.
It worked, she loves it - thanks again.
Sorry, what? What do you mean by an absolute zero privacy policy?
I'd say that's pretty far from an absolute zero privacy policy. In particular, the sections of the TOS quoted are pretty close to being word-for-word those of FB (and any number of other sites). They're not ideal, for sure, but I wouldn't call that zero privacy. It's a bit of an alarmist post: "Combined with Google's terms of use, careless conduct -- such as posting messages on the network that you really should not be posting -- could be a recipe for a privacy nightmare." Well, sure -- careless conduct anywhere on the Internet could be a recipe for a privacy nightmare.
I'm not going to respond to that. I encourage you to make whatever choices you're comfortable with based on your reading of their TOS.
It was most likely taken down because it's a ridiculous article that was just packed with lies. Saying that google+ is a playground for spammers and identity thieves - or that it has a privacy policy that is somehow markedly different from Facebook, Orkut, Bebo, etc...well, to put it a different way, the article wasn't posted on

To demonstrate, Mike, Egg & I had a private conversation on here. If you can find it, I'll concede your point. If you think that your posts anywhere on any social network are somehow private from law're sorely mistaken. I need only point out how craigslist, myspace, and every other network, provider, etc has rolled over for government and LEA entities at every turn to rebutt that. I've seen at least five articles that flip out over the licensing language - but that is basic boilerplate stuff. Without a lisense google can't display your posts - that language is absolutely necessary in order to run google+, it cannot exist without it.

So...yeah. You're simultaneously misinterpreting the privacy policy, and assuming that some privacy exists where it does not, and can't. If you want privacy, there are simple ways to get it - but if you were expecting privacy to come along with a social network... I mean, it simply CAN'T. That's why the article was taken down, and you can see people making these same points over and over in the comments section of the "news article" - it's no wonder it was taken down.
Oh, and the owner of Facebook - google+'s only competition "quit" because of "privacy concerns?". Are you fucking kidding me? After the surprise-we-just-changed-the-rules tactics Facebook has engaged in relating to privacy for YEARS? That's the most naked press tactic I've seen in a while. Congrats, Zuckerberg. Mike, I encourage you to check out - a place which you will be banned from Facebook for even mentioning in a private message, by the way. Nothing like that exists for google+. 
So, the story was so inaccurate that it was disowned by MSNBC. It remains posted on ConceivablyTech (I found it with one well constructed Google search) along with their massively scaled-back "update" linked below. Read it and get back to me. It was removed for being an inaccurate, biased, unjournalistic screed - not because of some Google-led conspiracy. MSNBC apparently still has some journalistic scruples - a rare commodity in todays world. I can't be certain of this but I think the guy who wrote the original story got a rather monumental ass-chewing for it, if nothing else you can certainly see that in the wording if the follow-up. Anyways, give it a read:

I think it pretty much makes the case for me.

Very interesting - the deeper I dig, the more interesting this Kurt Bakke guy's story becomes. Looks like he was a pretty big Google fan, and a real cheerleader for the cr-48 chromebook that he got...but then a while back, he changed his mind. Ever since then, he's been writing the most slyly mudslinging stories I've read in a while. In one story he implies that Google has applied for a patent in order to censor the Internet. In every story, you find some variation of the phrase "Google has been criticized for...(insert list of unfounded and unsourced accusations)."

I wonder what happened to him? Its not surprising that he describes himself as a "conservative reporter" though. He's a Great American - So are you Sean! /sarcasm

This is another one of those times I'm finding myself in need of a facepalm emoticon - can anyone help me out with that?

Anyway, I look forward to hearing back, Mike. If you need me to cite anything specifically beyond what is clarified in the follow-up, or explain the necessity of any of the language in the TOS, let me know.
I'm pretty sure you'll read this - at least I hope so. Anyway, here is a point-by-point breakdown of what is going on. It's available in numerous places, a few of which are within a click or two of here, but I'll summarize them into a little maki-roll of privacy in social networks in the 21st century.

The contention that google+ has a zero privacy policy is so outrageously false that to open an argument with it, much less a piece of "journalism," impeaches everything that may come after. Almost anyone would disconnect at that point. This is why: on google+, or Facebook, or friendster, or Bebo, ad infinitum; privacy is the responsibility of the user. To say that google+ has a zero privacy policy implies that nothing said on said network is private. That's so patently ridiculous it's hard to imagine. Is the argument being made that my private emails will be posted to my friends? Enemies? Random strangers? It simply makes no sense.

On google+, and every other social network, bar none a worldwide and non-expiring license must be granted by the poster (user) to the service in order for content to be displayed. Otherwise, I could sue google for royalties when you look at the pictures that I upload. Do you follow that? Now, to jump from that lisense - a "necessary evil" to google trolling through their social network for ideas to steal from their users, and then standing under that TOS when taken to court over it...that's a massive leap, Mike.

However, it is a dog-eat-dog world. Google did indeed offer to buy Yelp a few years back and when Yelp refused...some time passed and then poof! Google Places - a repackaged & improved (and integrated) Yelp. How is this relevant? This is the kind of thing that people are usually referring to when they talk about nasty, bad Google. Google is everywhere, too powerful, they say. Google will steamroll you with all that money & power if you don't roll over for them, they say. To an extent, that's true. However, expecting anything different is silly. Google is a business, not a philanthropy organization, not a daycare. They neither want to rule the galaxy from an orbiting Death Star, nor hand out free kittens to every person on the planet. It's somewhere in between.

The Google motto is "Don't be evil.". That doesn't mean don't be aggressive. It simply means don't be a dick. That brings me to the most crucial aspect of this discussion - the differences between the google+ privacy approach and the Facebook approach. The reason why MSNBC took down that article and the author could lose his job over it.

Google+ uses circles. Whenever one makes a post, one decides on a case-by-case basis with whom to share what. In contrast I can recall three times off the top of my head that Facebook has changed the rules of privacy on their site, requiring me to go into my settings and re-privatize my junk. I tried to reorganize my "friends" on Facebook into categories like friends, family, animals, coffee shops, acquaintances, et cetera. This shut turned out to be like, Lord of the Rings - level - epic. I gave up. In the process, I got a phone number for a friend from high school. I called her, and she was shocked that I had gotten it off Facebook. She hadnt intended to share that info. So here's the sum-up: as far as I and every other objective investigator has found, google+ is more private by default (if you're not stupid about what you share) and Facebook not only encourages but sometimes sneakily forces sharing. As you found, unless you intentionally set it up that way, your "plus" posts don't show up in google searches. However, as demonstrated on, even private, friends-only status updates are demonstrated to be public information.

So unless I'm missing something, those are all of your points. Google+ isn't a "police state" - but I think you figured that out. There isn't a "zero privacy policy" - again, something you also discovered. The TOS is necessary, and actually quite lenient and limited in terms of it's reach compared to facebook's. One can see that by simply reading the two side-by-side. It's been demonstrated time and again that anything a person says on the Internet will be handed over to LEA on a moment's notice by any social network, so the ideas of abridgment of freedom of Soren or having something held against you on google+ as opposed to Facebook, again, unfounded. Once there's.a warrant in play, expect your email to be the prosecution's evidence.

Finally - although I covered this before, probably too much (sorry mr dead horse, I am going to continue to beat you) the reason that I attacked your source is the same reason it was taken off of It was horrid. It wasn't journalism, it wasn't true, it wasn't useful. It was crap.

Let me know if I've missed anything. I tried pretty hard to hit every point, but I AM on an iPhone in the heat on the streets on NYC. I'm slightly distracted and wrote this over the course of a few hours. Let me know if you have any questions or anything.
Well said, sir, and in my opinion worth reposting as an essay in some more public forum. I would add only two things: first, Google's record on respecting user privacy (as well as on making it easy to take your data and walk away, cf Data Liberation Front) is pretty decent. Not perfect -- they fucked up on Buzz, and their handling of relations with the Chinese government has been questionable -- but pretty damn good for a big company. Facebook's record on both those issues is horrible. Second, it's worth rereading the original article in this (I suspect) double translation; it makes about the same amount of sense.
You should read it when you get a chance, maybe later tonight. Maybe social network TOS language isn't as interesting to you as it is to ms, but licensing concepts are some of the most novel abstractions I've ever cone across - and yeah, they can be conceivably leveraged to wreak absolute havoc. Our world could not exist without them however, & that is why we must nail evil corporations to be wall. Because in order to have a massively connected, media-rich world, we've basically got to hand our testicles over to groups of people whose stated goal is "make money."

When you get a chance, we should go deeper into This subject.
I think that if nothing else this thread has shown that we are ALL concerned about privacy issues - and even though we all disagreed on your conclusion re: google+ privacy vis a vis facebook's, the simple fact that we are concerned & aware and engaged means that we are pretty well off comparatively. Take your time & get back to me when you get around to it. That Morgan Freeman thing is awesome btw. Cheers!
For fuck's sake. You say "and, joe, you always make very spicy general statements when you argue. you say the article is packed with lies but don't really specify even one lie and supportive evidence pointing to it being a can't just simply toss up points like that and expect me to take you seriously...cite some things." Joe comes back with an extremely thoughtful and specific post, and your response is TL;DR? He's being a lot nicer about it than your response deserves, IMHO.
While you are correct, Egg, Mike & I have been arguing for...I think like a decade now, so we have our own language betwixt ourselves. I know he'll gt around to it, and it's all done in good faith & fun. There's also more than a couple background debates that this ties into and goes along with (note: sentient AI reference).

So yes - were it pretty much anyone else, it'd be way outta line. But of course Mike (and you, and maybe like 4 other people) are far too close to my heart to offend. In other words, "it's not what it looks like.". :). He's just kind of poking me. I do appreciate the defense though, that's extremely thoughtful of you.
@Joe -- fair enough. I'm not so much defending you as being annoyed at the inconsistency. @Mike -- I hear ya. I think you'd be hard-put to find someone else who would describe me as "caustic and bombastic," but you're welcome to your opinion. FWIW, my intention was neither, and if I came across that way, it may be in part due to the limited bandwidth of the medium.
It's not a claim of popularity. I'm pointing out that if you're seeing me in a particular way, and no one else sees me that way, you might be mistaken. I wasn't annoyed with you as of my first post; I was attempting to express surprise. By the time I said "For fuck's sake," I'll confess that I was being snarky; I felt that you were being inconsistent and was trying to point that out.

By "limited bandwidth," I meant that the whole range of body language and tone of voice, which humans seem to depend on, is missing from comments on the internet. There's good research showing that people misinterpret one another's intention and tone quite often in email and other internet media.

In any case: no harm intended, and I appreciate your kind words re: intelligence and rationality. I wouldn't have engaged at all if I didn't have a similar impression about you. I hope we can both step away without hard feelings, and I look forward to seeing what you have to say in the future.
"just lemme know and see if any of your developer friends want it, too. don't forget to remind them you're doing them a favor. as for me, I'm just a nice guy"

So, Mike says this and my first response is "Man, I must like this guy a lot because even when he says so I don't see the offense... no matter who is pointing it out, I just can't see it when my best friends are doing or saying something that should (supposedly) offend me. Maybe this is a weakness, I don't really think so - in fact, I truly believe the opposite. I'm actually only posting it here (as opposed to a new post on my profile, or on Mike's profile, a private post or something [after all it was a private email, and I hope posting it here isn't a violation of trust somehow but that feeds even further into the idea I'm attempting to explore] I want it here, where only the three of us are likely to give a shit) at the end of our kind of ridiculously long's about as private as I can get while still leaving the door ajar for someone else who loves or cares about us - or, imagine this: The subject (did we end up with a subject?) - will find it.

Anyway blah blah blah I think it's because I have awesome friends and I'm awesome...but whatever. The point is, whether it was Mike saying that Egg is being an alpha male and caustic, or Egg saying that Mike is being prickly or whatever else either of them said, or especially one of them saying something I should've found offensive to myself, I find it impossible to quantify it or feel it.

So Joe, what the loving FUCK is your point, you say? Well, simply and exclusively that I think this is something we kind of have in common, and furthermore I believe that one of the reasons is that not only do we have this particular characteristic, but we have another (which is a major reason you guys are some of my best friends): we are fiercely loyal and protective of our friends...and not in the manner of the beefcake with the popped collar and the bud-light-breath who gets in your face at the bar because you've somehow besmirched the honor of his "homies" but in a brotherly way. A kind way. I kind of think that these overwhelmingly awesome traits may have been what caused the two of you to experience so much friction, and for that, I must personally take responsibility and assume the blame!

Why else have I posted it here? Well, I have three further bad reasons as well. Allow me to list them:

1. I wanted to kiss your asses. Really.. :)
2. I was bored, couldn't sleep, nothing on the TV, and Kris is talking to her family in Latvia. Furthermore, I have three tabs open about creepy unexplained stuff - two of them are on the Dyatlov Pass Incident. That stuff is scary, and I know I'm going to read it if I don't keep myself busy. That's some scary stuff, man.
3. Finally, just check out the formatting we can do on google plus! Italics, bold, I didn't use the strikethrough edit: I used the strikethrough AND edit feature - I think that's a perfect score...

Honestly it's a toss-up between #1 & #3. I'm also doing this on an iPad with Bluetooth keyboard. I think a wifi-only iPad 2 (tethered to my phone for 'net access anywhere) will certainly be my primary machine now. This, a desktop, the aforementioned iPhone, and a terabyte Time Capsule should be the ultimate combo. Do either of you think I need a secondary keyboard for this rig? How about the iPad dock with the video out, to hook it up to my TV? I'm pretty excited about how well this gear works for my needs...

Anyway, so now I'm going to try and get some sleep. Maybe if we change the subject some more, we can make this thread even more ridiculously long. Have at it, gents. Love you both.
I appreciate the nice comments...but I'm not sure where the initial comment (in quotation marks) is coming from or what the context is.
Mike...I don't have an Adderall scrip. :). Lulz
...and yeah, still on Dyatlov. Something happened out there. It's the most unexplained thing I have yet come across. That's saying something.
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