Facebook Privacy Policy Summarized

As the latest Facebook Privacy Protection hoax goes slightly viral on many Facebook walls I'm again wondering why people, who supposedly care about their privacy, actually use the site.

The latest hoax, that you're supposed to post to your Facebook wall at least once in order to be covered by what it claims to protect, reads like this:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, personal or professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). 
For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute). 
Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates...
The hoax began as a response to Facebook's recent decision to not allow users to vote on changes to their Governing Documents (however you can still give them feedback). With supposedly far less than 1% of the Facebook community actually taking the time to vote on policy changes, it seems fair enough to me to drop the vote altogether.

I'm sure if Facebook actually did change their policies to something truly evil we'd know about it pretty fast. No doubt there would be petitions and Facebook pages dedicated to bringing the company's moral compass back into the light.

As it stands less than 1% of people using Facebook care enough to even vote when they have the opportunity. Though it would not surprise me if more than 1% of Facebook fell for the hoax and posted the above to their wall. Way to go! Support something that won't protect your privacy but completely ignore a chance to vote on the issue, and maybe make a minuscule difference to something you supposedly care about.

When the issue of Privacy and Facebook comes up it is continually highlighted, by those who are at least smart enough to question if something's not legit, that when you signed up to Facebook, you agreed to be bound by their privacy terms - which are subject to change at any time by Facebook.

To save you some time, if you haven't read the Facebook privacy terms, I've summarized them for you below in two simple sentences that you can learn and recite:

Facebook Privacy Policy Agreement. 
We will use your information how we please.
Delete your account if you are not pleased.

That's really what a policy that can be modified at any time boils down to.

If you really care about your privacy on Facebook then learn how to use the tools they provide to set the privacy levels on your content... and use them.

Keep up to date with Facebook announcements on changes to any of their governing documents designed to protect your information and to let you know what Facebook will use it for. If, at anytime, you feel they've overstepped the mark then let them know - you probably won't be alone on the issue.

Don't waste your time posting meaningless legal crap to your wall. A status update is not a legal document no matter what you write in it. Well not unless Facebook themselves also agrees to be bound by the terms in your status update.

Bailey - The Newest Addition to Our Family

Bailey
I've written plenty about our Dog Oscar and our two cats Casper and Gizzy (both no longer with us) so I thought it wouldn't be out of place to introduce my readers to our newest family member, Bailey (pictured).

Sorry the photos a little dark. I didn't have any pictures to hand so I just snapped a photo of him sitting at the opposite end of the couch as I write this. He's resting after a busy late morning walk in some fairly hot weather. Fortunately we kept to the shady trees in the park and had plenty of water to hand for both Bailey and Oscar - who came along.

Bailey is an English Golden Cocker Spaniel and a rescue dog. He's about six years old. At present we're only his foster family - as his previous family wanted him gone as soon as possible. I can understand why, because so far he's a bit of a handful. He really doesn't like being by himself and even gets a little concerned if you go into another room without him. Plus he's very hard to get settled at night.

However in the four days we've been looking after him he is showing signs of improvement. He's not pacing as much and will even settle down for a snooze on the couch on his own accord if I'm busy. He also doesn't immediately jump up to follow me if I stand up from sitting on the couch anymore. He'll at least stay where he is if I don't leave the room.

He's supposedly not house trained but in four days we've only had one 'accident' in the house which I put down to him not being trained how to ask to go outside. Something he hasn't needed to do because we have a special magnetically closing curtain mesh that keeps the flies out but lets both dogs go in and out as they please. Bailey was quick to learn how that worked.

If it's cold at night we shut the door. Oscar knows how to ask to go out but Bailey seems to just accept that the door is shut and he can't get out. He doesn't make any indication that he wants to get out. Hence he somehow, sneakily decided the spare room was the place to 'go'. Aside from that he's gone out every time and hasn't had any overnight accidents thus far.

Oscar and Molly
Oscar has been the most put out by Bailey. I thought Oscar would love having another dog around because he's very sociable with other dogs at the park. I've seen him off the leash down at our local park 'working the room' with eight to ten other dogs. Making sure he made an effort to play chasey (his favorite game) with all of them. Other owners actually commented on how sociable he was.

Turns out Oscar at the park is very different to Oscar at home. He's not bossy or aggressive to Bailey most of the time except when Bailey crosses a line - such as eating out of Oscar's food bowl or trying to get up onto Oscar's couch while Oscar is on it.

Oscar's biggest problem (along with ours) is that Bailey starts humping things when he gets excited (and yes Bailey has been 'fixed' in that department). We're slowly discouraging that behavior but Oscar is apparently an attractive little dog.

Oscar is also a very playful dog that likes to bark, run around and generally go crazy. Unfortunately that gets Bailey excited in all kinds of inappropriate ways and Oscar has to do what he can to take cover - usually hiding under something Bailey can't get under or disappearing into our bedroom where Bailey isn't allowed to go.

It's a very different story taking them both for a walk to the park though. Oscar will act a lot more like 'Park Oscar' and make genuine efforts to get Bailey to play chasey with him. However the park's all new to Bailey so Oscar isn't quite so interesting to him just yet whilst he's exploring.

Usually when Oscar comes home from a walk he plays chasey with me in the back garden. When we got home from Sunday night's walk, our first with the two dogs, Oscar managed to get Bailey to chase him in the fastest game of chasey I've seen him play in a while.

Oscar's quick but can't out run bigger dogs like Bailey. His advantage is he can turn much sharper and run under things much lower... and he knows it. He gave Bailey a good work out before retiring to relative safety to avoid being humped!

Bailey's other issue is Thunderstorms. As it happened I was writing this post and a thunderstorm passed overhead. I'd heard he didn't like storms but wasn't quite expecting him to totally freak out, run around and bark persistently at every clap of thunder. Strangely enough he wanted to be outside so he could run around and bark but I wasn't having any of that.

Bailey models his 'Thunder Shirt'
after the storm.
I put on his 'Thunder Shirt' and for half an hour, as the storm passed over, I did my best to get him to sit still and calm down. It kind of worked but occasionally I let him run around just so he could spend some time reacting as he wanted to.

I don't know what the Thunder shirt was supposed to do but maybe without it he would've been even more freaked out.

After the storm passed over I let him run around the backyard which seemed to help him wind down.

Personally I've never met a dog that spooked by a storm.

So to finish this post off, Oscar who was very sick yesterday and unable to hold down his food (I think he drank too much creek water the day before) was feeling much better today.

He spent his evening goading Bailey into games of chasey and making sure Bailey stayed away from any food he got given - as well a stealing a treat Bailey was given (which Bailey had buried in our hallway despite not being able to dig a hole or cover his treat up with dirt - he still went through the motions).

There's some hope that Oscar and Bailey will eventually get along. Certainly would be great if they can.

Blogging from my Android Phone

I first blogged from a mobile phone back in November 2009. Back then I had notions of blogging from my phone more often simply because I could.

It wasn't to be. Typing on a mobile phone is not easy. Editing even less easy.

This post I'm writing on my new Android mobile phone and the experience is equally frustrating. Touch screen keyboards on small devices are clumsy at best. Maybe next time I'll try voice input.

For now enjoy this photo of my dog Oscar (who is much less frustrating than a mobile phone... most of the time).

Oscar - photo taken with
my Android Phone.

America Votes - will you take the Red or the Blue Pill?


America votes today to decide who will represent and run their country for the next four years. As an outside observer it hasn't gone unnoticed by me that the Democratic Party is strongly associated with the color blue whilst the Republicans favor Red.

This prompted me to think of an analogy from the first Matrix movie where Neo is offered a choice of the red or the blue pill. Which is about where my analogy starts to fall apart if the blue pill represents the Democratic party and the red represents the Republicans.

Take the blue pill and the life you live now goes on, even though it's a lie. You can believe what you want to believe and remain blissfully ignorant that all is not what it seems. Another four years of the life you've been living under Obama.... hmmm... maybe there's some kind of conspiracy going on that you just don't even know exists?

Take the red pill and you'll get to stay in 'Wonderland' but you'll be shown the truth, the reality of what your world is. You get to see 'how deep the rabbit hole goes' as Morpheus put it, and it won't be easy to take in. Mitt Romney will prove the Democrats have no idea and will show you the reality of what it takes to run a country by making the hard decisions... like giving big bird a pay cut.

When you look at it like that you might think the red pill is the best option. Truth is better than ignorance right? But I'm pretty sure you'll be just like Cypher from the Matrix. If Mitt wins, a year or so in, you too will be asking yourself "Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?"

Well I did say my analogy falls apart... if you're a Democrat supporter at least. Republicans might read this and think it's right on the money... because money is what it's all about... and big, strong armies too.

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