Facebook: The Biggest Bait and Switch in History?

[singlepic id=355 w=300 h=300 float=right]A blog post titled “FACEBOOK: I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK” calls Facebook’s ‘promoted posts’ strategy “the single most misguided thing a major corporation has ever deliberately done, bar none, in the entire history of American capitalism and the world“. Published yesterday, the post has now gone viral, probably due to so many users, bloggers and small companies being fed up with needing to pay for their content to appear on their fans’ pages:

“Facebook has taken a pee in their own pool from quite a lofty height, turning vast armies of ‘influentials’ against the company, people who are now making plans—born of necessity—to bolt from that pool and to stop putting any effort there. Furthermore, Facebook’s greedy grab will have the knock-on effect of causing many blogs to simply throw in the towel, diminishing Facebook’s own business ecosystem and Facebook’s value to its own users to the point where only Axe Deodorant, Taco Bell and Nike will be showing up in your Facebook newsfeed, which after all, is pretty much the sole point of Facebook in the first place!”.

Author Richard Metzger concludes: “They’ve deliberately broken their own product’s biggest selling point” and asks “Whose idea was that?

Read the eye-opening article here.

New From Gmail: A Panic Button

We’ve all made at least one of the following email faux pas in the past:
– Forgetting to attach a file to an email, especially when emailing a group of people
– Sending an email to the wrong person, just because he has a similar name
– Sending a fiery reply to an email that made you angry

Gmail's Undo Button

Well… the folks at Google Labs have finally came up with an undo button which allows you a couple of seconds of email remorse – usually that’s all you need. When enabled, the undo option appears and if clicked within 5 seconds it will stop the email from going out and possibly shaming the sender. Now, while this is nothing new to people who use Microsoft Outlook with delayed sending, as far as I know this was not available with any of the webmail services. If you already use Gmail, check out the Labs tab under your Gmail settings.

If you don’t use Gmail but were looking for reasons why you should switch, now you have plenty:
– the mentioned ‘Undo’ button
– the two-in-one ‘Send & Archive’ button
– the ‘conversation’ method
– the ‘Gmail offline’ option
– plus, all the POP3 access you may need

….all this puts Gmail ahead of any other email service or program.

Google: This Site May Harm Your Computer – And This One… And This One Also…

Worlds are colliding! In the freakiest bug I have witnessed so far, every search result on Google (as of the time of this posting) is now tagged with the ‘This site may harm your computer‘ warning, even when you google the term ‘Google’:
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If you are brave enough to click a result you get the even more frightening ‘Malware Warning‘ page:
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This even happens when you use your local site, google.co.il in my case:
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Update: At 15:36 GMT, almost an hour after I first noticed it, the glitch was fixed.
The impact: an estimated 17 million search results affected, an undetermined number of people bumfuzzled, and as of now 361 now 1738 people blogged about it (including TechCrunch and me).
Update 2: Google admits its fault, attributing it to human error and puts the duration of the mayhem closer to my estimate of “almost an hour”, than TechCrunch’s “about 15 minutes”.

I should emphasize this incident is not some cute thing that happened. This event has repercussions we have yet to understood. This event will be studied and articles will be written about it. Just like when all the airplanes were grounded in the days after 9/11, which allowed scientists to test the true nature of our climate without the effect of vapour trails, tests that were not possible since the time the commercial jet was invented – so will this event be analyzed to determine what happens the day the Internet breaks, including but not limited to the financial impact on the web economy.