GeekSpeak for 2012-03-24

Remember to Wear Your Seatbelts on the Internet

Backup, watch your URLs, make sure you read those license agreements, and more on a special show chock full of the Week in Geek.

Facebook warns employers not to solicit passwords

“If an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don’t hire that person.”

Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords

When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.
Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn’t see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.

Make It Illegal For Employers To Ask For Your Facebook Password

some employers are asking job seekers for their Facebook passwords.

Lawmakers in Maryland and Illinois are considering bills making the practice illegal, but Dayanim said it would be better if Congress passed a federal law addressing the issue.

Facebook says it may sue employers who demand passwords

“Facebook has taken a stand against what it calls a ‘distressing increase’ in reports of employers demanding the Facebook passwords of employees and job applicants.”

Address spoofing vulnerability discovered in Mobile Safari

“A security researcher has discovered that it’s possible to show the URL of one site while loading another in Mobile Safari, which could trick users into visiting a malicious website. The vulnerability has been reported to Apple, but until the company issues a patch for iOS, users should be extra cautious when clicking unknown links.”

H.264/MPEG-4 AVC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC (Advanced Video Coding) is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video. The final drafting work on the first version of the standard was completed in May 2003.

Google+ Hangouts now calling any phone | Mobile - CNET News

Video calls among two or more Google+ users was the big draw when Hangouts launched, but now Google has flipped the switch the allow Google+ users to make phone calls to almost any phone number, not just within the Google+ ecosystem. That means that users will be able, for example, place a voice call from their computers and reach friends or family on their land line or cell phone.

Next week on GeekSpeak - Garth Sundem

Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Dish the Lab-Tested Secrets of Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants and More!

Netflix Terms of Service Invalidates Your Right To Sue

“Netflix has decided to go the route of AT&T and others by trying to take away the rights of their users to form class action lawsuits against them. A copy of the new terms of use states ‘These Terms of Use provide that all disputes between you and Netflix will be resolved by BINDING ARBITRATION. YOU AGREE TO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO GO TO COURT to assert or defend your rights under this contract (except for matters that may be taken to small claims court). Your rights will be determined by a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR and NOT a judge or jury and your claims cannot be brought as a class action. Please review the Arbitration Agreement below for the details regarding your agreement to arbitrate any disputes with Netflix.’”

Go check out the facebook image

This week, there was an article on Yahoo News about how a company asked a job candidate for the password to his Facebook account during a job interview. I was shocked by the story and was happy to hear the candidate withdrew his application for the job and moved on. I can’t believe that any company would have the gall to ask for such a thing. I would NEVER comply with that no matter how desperate I was to get a job. If an employer wants to befriend me on a social networking site, I have the option to accept or deny that request outside of the interview. Whether someone can see my Facebook profile should not have an impact on my qualifications for a job. Earlier today, Mashable reported that Facebook will try to do whatever they can to stop this type of abuse. I applaud Facebook for this. I also thought about going a bit further and drafting a privacy policy in the event I’m ever asked to give such information. So here it is. I have changed names to protect the innocent (it is a privacy statement after all).

[http://forestgeek.com/sites/forestgeek.com/files/styles/work/public/Welcome%20to%20Facebook%20%281%29.JPG]

Google+ Hangouts now calling any phone | Mobile - CNET News

Video calls among two or more Google+ users was the big draw when Hangouts launched, but now Google has flipped the switch the allow Google+ users to make phone calls to almost any phone number, not just within the Google+ ecosystem. That means that users will be able, for example, place a voice call from their computers and reach friends or family on their land line or cell phone.

Carbonite backup service goes down - 'World Backup Day'

Yesterday, data storage service Carbonite urged people to prepare for “World Backup Day” on March 31st, suggesting that customers use its “‘set it and forget it’ protection” to copy data from their machines. There’s just one problem: Carbonite’s backup service is currently down. The company has been contacted on Twitter by several users who say they’ve been having trouble backing up or retrieving files; it has responded that “we’re aware of the outage & our engineers are working to resolve the issue.” The Carbonite website was also offline for a while, although it recently looks to have started working again.

Netflix Terms of Service Invalidates Your Right To Sue

“Netflix has decided to go the route of AT&T and others by trying to take away the rights of their users to form class action lawsuits against them. A copy of the new terms of use states ‘These Terms of Use provide that all disputes between you and Netflix will be resolved by BINDING ARBITRATION. YOU AGREE TO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO GO TO COURT to assert or defend your rights under this contract (except for matters that may be taken to small claims court). Your rights will be determined by a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR and NOT a judge or jury and your claims cannot be brought as a class action. Please review the Arbitration Agreement below for the details regarding your agreement to arbitrate any disputes with Netflix.’”

Carbonite backup service goes down - 'World Backup Day'

Yesterday, data storage service Carbonite urged people to prepare for “World Backup Day” on March 31st, suggesting that customers use its “‘set it and forget it’ protection” to copy data from their machines. There’s just one problem: Carbonite’s backup service is currently down. The company has been contacted on Twitter by several users who say they’ve been having trouble backing up or retrieving files; it has responded that “we’re aware of the outage & our engineers are working to resolve the issue.” The Carbonite website was also offline for a while, although it recently looks to have started working again.

Facebook asserts trademark on word "book" in new user agreement

“Facebook is trying to expand its trademark rights over the word “book” by adding the claim to a newly revised version of its ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,’ the agreement all users implicitly consent to by using or accessing Facebook."

GPS ruling is "hard" on the FBI—and that's a feature, not a bug

“National Public Radio reports that the FBI is still complaining about January’s Supreme Court ruling that installing a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car without the owner’s knowledge requires a warrant under the Fourth Amendment. The FBI said last month that it was forced to turn 3000 GPS devices off when the Supreme Court handed down its decision.”

Supreme Court Limits Patents Based On Laws of Nature - Slashdot

“The Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion yesterday holding that ‘to transform an unpatentable law of nature into a patent-eligible application of such a law, a patent must do more than simply state the law of nature while adding the words “apply it.”’

Nokia is looking into haptic tattoos

“Not satisfied with just getting its own flavor of slide-to-unlock patented, Nokia wants to take haptic feedback to a level you haven’t previously encountered. Haptic tech is employed, for example, when your phone vibrates as you type on its touchscreen. Haptics deal with appealing to your sense of touch by applying forces or vibrations to your skin.”

Mozilla: Firefox needs H.264 support to survive shift to mobile

“Mozilla began an internal discussion last week about whether to implement support for H.264 and other patent-encumbered media formats by relying on hardware decoding and codecs supplied by the underlying operating system. Over the weekend, Mozilla’s Brendan Eich and Mitchell Baker wrote blog entries explaining why they support the plan.”

The Numbers Behind the Copyright Math

“The MPAA claims $58 billion in actual U.S. economic losses and 373,000 lost jobs due to piracy. Where are these numbers coming from? Rob Reid puts these numbers into perspective in this TED Talk, leaving us even more puzzled about the math behind copyright laws.”