Facebook privacy concerns? Well, it could be worse ...

By now, I'm sure that everyone and his or her dog (assuming said dog is on DogBook) has heard the hubbub relating to new Facebook privacy policies. I have to be honest: I haven't read every single story about it, primarily because I don't intentionally publish stuff online that should be private. In general, people rarely read terms and conditions before signing up for something online, but hopefully now, people will check out Facebook's privacy terms and decide whether or not they want to keep their account.

New stuff coming soon

As you have probably noticed, I haven't been writing as much on here lately. There is a reason for that: There are a few exciting things in the works over here, but I cannot divulge all of the information yet. Let's just say that besides a new book coming out, there's an entire foundation behind it, meaning a real publishing company (with books from people other than me!). We're still working out all of details, so I'll keep you posted!

Watch for extra charges at the Waverly post office branch

While the United States Post Office seems to be losing money each month, at least one Baltimore branch has decided to take matters in its own hands - by charging extra postage at random intervals.

The Waverly branch of the Baltimore United States Post Office charges an additional 17-44 cents for an article of mail that can be sent from the USPS Hampden branch for just 44 cents. It's pretty shocking that one would receive a different rate from various post office branches. Before compiling this story, I had to check with my own eyes to make certain this was accurate.

Twitter, circa 1935

Twitter may have seemed like a new idea when it was launched a couple of years ago, but it wasn't. Check out this Robot Messenger that was used in 1935 at public places in London. For a fee, users could write a message on the "notificator," which would be visible for at least two hours. At least with Twitter now, your friends aren't lost after two hours!


Random News

Hello book industry ... are you concerned with the environment?

This is probably one of the strangest articles I've ever written, because it pertains to me communicating with a bunch of people and finding out hardly any information. The bad part, however, is the lack of cooperation bodes badly not just for the few individuals I contacted, but the entire book industry.

Ninjas are terribly high on the pecking order

In the latest IM tellin', Sean and I debate the rules that really should govern ninjas, among other things.

Sean: vampires, by nature, are essentially smooth criminals

Sean: if you think about it

Ben: that is a good point ... almost like ninjas

Sean: ninjas are not smooth criminals

Sean: because you cannot by any means measure a ninja to be smooth or not

Sean: because....who is going to see them?

Pay up, then Meetup

The ever-popular Meetup.com website will begin charging its groups a monthly fee beginning May 1, 2005, and while the price is still fairly cheap, it's more than free.

The site announced changes recently, obviously in an effort to earn some dough from users. Then again, it's probably going to be a tough sell considering the users never anticipated paying anything from the start.

Internet ties Nelly, becomes No. 1

If you're a little behind and missed it (like me), CNN recently released its list of the top 25 innovations of the past 25 years. The Internet finished first, barely beating out other top innovations like Velcro and the automatic lollipop turner.

Compromise might be in store for Internet radio

The deadline has past, but Internet radio is still on. Maybe it will stay that way for a little while longer.

Negotiations are still rolling since SoundExchange, which is the overseer of recording industry royalty fees, agreed to continue searching for new rates. The biggest issue, it seems, is coming to a suitable compromise between large and small webcasters. It appears that some of the major players, like Time Warner and Yahoo! will have to pay the royalties, just like everyone else.


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