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“Connections.” It’s an innocent-sounding word. But it’s at the heart of some of the worst of Facebook’s recent changes.
Facebook first announced Connections a few weeks ago, and EFF quickly wrote at length about the problems they created. Basically, Facebook has transformed substantial personal information — including your hometown, education, work history, interests, and activities — into “Connections.” This allows far more people than ever before to see this information, regardless of whether you want them to.
Since then, our email inbox has been flooded with confused questions and reports about these changes. We’ve learned lots more about everyone’s concerns and experiences. Drawing from this, here are six things you need to know about Connections:
Facebook will not let you share any of this information without using Connections. You cannot opt-out of Connections. If you refuse to play ball, Facebook will remove all unlinked information from your profile.
Facebook will not respect your old privacy settings in this transition. For example, if you had previously sought to share your Interests with “Only Friends,” Facebook will now ignore this and share your Connections with “Everyone.”
Facebook has removed your ability to restrict its use of this information. The new privacy controls only affect your information’s “Visibility,” not whether it is “publicly available.”
Explaining what “publicly available” means, Facebook writes:
“Such information may, for example, be accessed by everyone on the Internet (including people not logged into Facebook), be indexed by third party search engines, and be imported, exported, distributed, and redistributed by us and others without privacy limitations.”
Facebook will continue to store and use your Connections even after you delete them. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. Even after you “delete” profile information, Facebook will remember it. We’ve also received reports that Facebook continues to use deleted profile information to help people find you through Facebook’s search engine.
Facebook sometimes creates a Connection when you “Like” something. That “Like” button you see all over Facebook, and now all over the web? It too can sometimes add a Connection to your profile, without you even knowing it.
Your posts may show up on a Connection page even if you do not opt in to the Connection. If you use the name of a Connection in a post on your wall, it may show up on the Connection page, without you even knowing it. (For example, if you use the word “FBI” in a post).
You can send Facebook your comments on the new Connections here.
Updated, May 5: We changed Item #6 to clarify how Facebook uses your post.
Related Issues: Social Networksvia eff.org
via The Official Google Blog by A Googler on 5/6/10
During our process we focused on people’s rising expectations for search. As the web has evolved over the past decade, people have been typing more sophisticated searches and seeking out specialized search tools to match. To keep pace with rapid change online, we have teams of engineers working across Google to develop new ways to present and refine search results. Our central challenge with our latest redesign was to figure out how to squeeze all these tools and technologies into a single page. A common way to expand the flexibility of a website has been to add a left-hand panel of links, often referred to by designers as a “left-hand nav.” We’ve been creating mocks of left-hand panels since the earliest days of Google and have tested these designs with users as far back as 2006. Overall, we’ve found they can provide a great way to navigate without getting in the way of the main content, but they can also be distracting. Our users want more powerful tools, but they also want the simplicity they’ve come to expect from Google. As a first step towards finding that balance, we introduced the Search Options panel last May, including a toggle to open and close. This way we could quickly try out new search tools, such as refinements by time and content types. Using the lessons from Search Options, designers, researchers and engineers worked side-by-side to explore a vast array of possibilities for a permanently open panel of search tools. We made hundreds of prototypes and gathered feedback from user studies, Googlers and through experiments — including one of our largest visible experiments ever. In the end, we came up with a design that provides dynamic, relevant search tools on the left, while lightening and updating the aesthetics all around. Here’s a picture of the Search Options panel (left) and our new results page (right):
This week we introduced our latest update to search, and I wanted to share a bit of our thinking on the design team. In short, we tried to take all the things we strive for at Google and make them better: powerful technology, snappy results, simplicity and a fun and quirky personality. Our goal was to take a design known by millions of people and make it better. As a designer, it’s hard to think of a more exciting challenge.
We knew that adding a left-hand panel would inevitably add some weight to the results page, so we took a number of steps to lighten other aspects of the design. The overall visual redesign started with the Google logo. Here’s an image comparing the old logo (top) and the new logo (bottom):
The new logo is lighter, brighter and simpler. We took the very best qualities of our design — personality and playfulness — and distilled them. The logo was the foundation for new icons and hundreds of tiny alterations designed to accommodate and seamlessly integrate the expanded functionality of the left-hand panel. For example, we lightened up the footer at the bottom of the page by removing the blue shading and the underlines on the links, lightening the color and expanding the search box. Here’s a picture of the old footer (top) compared with the new (bottom):While I’m very happy about our latest improvements, a designer’s work is never done. We’re already testing additional refinements and we’ll continue to listen to all of you as we work to continue making search better. If you’re curious, here are some of the other design prototypes we tried (you might have to click to magnify some of these images):
- Blue homepage: We’ve always had a strong affinity for blue — after all, blue is usually the color of web links, so it binds the web together. It became the basis for many designs.
- Blue button: The big blue button made it all the way to our first external experiment, where it was promptly rejected by users. We heard you loud and clear and changed the button in the next round.
- Universal bars: This design emphasizes different types of results with labeled blocks in the main results pane, such as books, news and shopping.
- Blue results: This is one of the final blue designs we created and marks the point when we renamed the “Web” link to “Everything” — a label that gets closer to the intent of our mission to organize all the world’s information.
Posted by Jon Wiley, Senior User Experience Designer
via Tabtablog. on 5/5/10
Beautifully shot. Beautifully edited. Beautifully sound-design-ed.Love that Google is continuing to find interesting methods of making the web & technology feel organic. Bravo.Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how it was done.
via Hypebeast by Edward Chiu on 4/29/10
Shot high above the streets of New York City, UP THERE reveals the dying craft of large-scale hand painted advertising and the in-told story of the painters struggling to keep it alive. Capturing a trade that is equal parts artistic precision and grueling labor, the film presents a painting tradition pre-dating modern advertising. A craft that today finds itself dangling precariously on the brink of extinction. UP THERE is directed by Malcolm Murray, based on an original concept by Mother. It is produced by Mekanism with music by the Album Leaf. Enjoy!
via Boffswana by admin on 4/22/10
Project: Honeyway Train Webcam Game
Client: General Mills – Honey Nut Cheerio’s
Agency: Saatchi and Saatchi New York
Our client has one of the largest selling breakfast cereals in the USA. The brief was to create an Augmented Reality (AR) experience for Honey Nut Cheerios that places the product at the centre of the action.
We created a world first Augmented Reality (AR) game using the Unity3D engine.
It was vital that the physical world becomes part of the game as opposed to AR being a gimmick pasted on top. So the actual Cheerios boxes activate and control the game.
It is a unique game experience that offers kids something they haven’t seen before, and most importantly it’s a whole lot of fun.
The game controls are very intuitive and the user controls everything with the box from clicking “Start Webcam Game” all the way to the “Game Over”.
• Game control designs created to commonly understood video game conventions ensured high level intuitive gameplay.
• Late in the project we added a shadow under Buzz which gave the user subtle hints about buzz’s position (important as the camera could be pointing at the scene from any angle), which made the game easier to play
• A quick interactive tutorial at the start of the game actively demonstrates correct positioning of the box and the steering mechanic.
This dictated the layout of the game and in particular the way the boss fight is handled by having using obstacle avoidance to defeat Handsome Hector.
• Two types of smoothing algorithms combined to get a good trade off between AR accuracy and correcting errors in pose estimation data, while the rotational data for steering buzz runs through a separate pipeline to keep lag low for control.
• The difficulty was tuned after some invaluable feedback from testing the game with children
• As the AR requires a webcam it was also important that there was a non-webcam option.