Take This Lollipop Demos the Horror of Cyberstalking

Facebook privacy is an oxymoron. The site is designed to reveal your personal information to the rest of the world. Where you live. Where you went to school. Your favorite stores and music. For friends, it’s a source of conversation. For marketers, it’s a way to target potential customers and for stalkers, it’s like giving the alarm code for Tiffany’s to a jewel thief.

Not worried? You might have a different view after you check out “Take This Lollipop.” The interactive website lets you look over the shoulder of a very creepy, cyberstalker as he peruses your Facebook profile. At first it’s not that unusual. Dozens of websites, like the one for the new movie The Thing, use your profile data to populate their online world. But when the stalker looks up your address on Google maps then jumps in the car and drives off, fake or not, it had me checking the locks on my door.

TV and Tablets: Let the Multitasking Begin

Remember when TV commercial breaks were used to grab a snack from the kitchen? Now, people are using commercial breaks to look up coupons for snacks, chat with friends and check their email. It’s not enough that we multitask all day long at work, but now, thanks to tablets and smartphones, we’re doing it during our leisure hours, too.

New numbers from Nielsen show that 42% of tablet owners use the device daily while watching TV. 40% of smartphone owners reported the same with up to 24% saying they did it at least a few times a week.

What are they doing on those devices? Mostly checking email, but social networking was also popular with women. Men were more likely to check sports scores and 46% simply took their browser for a spin to see what’s what.

Apple’s Earnings Miss Blamed on Rumor Mongering

Yesterday something happened that hasn’t happened since 2001. Apple missed its quarterly earnings numbers.

It’s an interesting phenomenon because it had nothing to do with the death of Steve Jobs. The company just didn’t sell as many iPhones and iPads as it thought it would. What is also interesting is Apples’ long history of given ridiculously low guidance to stock analysts then turning around and crushing their numbers. Not sure what happened here though. Did Apple finally try to give accurate guidance to the Street then missed it or did they have a REALLY bad quarter in missing their already likely to be too low earnings estimates? Or did they get “done-in” by an over active and often inaccurate rumor mill?

Google’s Encrypted Search Meets the Myopic SEO

If there was a ever a group of people that can have blinders on when it comes to how the rest of the world views the online space it’s the SEO crowd. Now the SEO world has been given a new thing to fret over and it should be fodder for hand wringing blog posts from now until whenever.

Google has announced that over the near future they will be rolling out encrypted search results which will limit the tracking of search traffic in a way that makes the numbers crowd nervous. Here is some information about why this is happening from the Google blog.

New Social Network Pays You to Chime.In

For all of you who got up this morning thinking, “I wish there was a new social network I could join,” I’ve got good news for you. As of this very morning, you can sign up and start contributing to Chime.in, a complete new and different kind of social media site.

Okay, I could hardly write that last sentence without laughing, but I do give owners UberMedia props for trying.

Chime.in is a cross between Twitter and Google+. Users can post a photo, video, link or up to a 2,000 character “chime.” Then others can comment on the chime and voila – you’re communicating with the outside world.

What makes Chime.in unusual is that you can follow interests in addition to people. There’s a long list of interests to choose from including TV, movies, technology, fitness, specific sports, politics, and even chemistry.

No Love for Luvs: The Worst Ads in America

The people have spoken and Consumerist has tallied the votes. The Worst Ad in America 2011 is Luv’s Diapers “Poop, There it is.” And they couldn’t have made a better choice.

It can be hard to advertise diapers without going into the realm of bodily functions, but this nasty commercial takes the. . . dare I say. . . cake? It’s even worse than last year’s offensive ad by Huggies where they implied that babies were sexy when they wore their new line of jeans diapers. Yikes.

Other best of the worst ads includes the new AT&T commercial where the wife (whom I thought was the man’s mother) goes off on her geeky husband when he tells her he signed up for a new texting plan and the AT&T spider spot. Yuck.

Google and Twitter Just Can’t Agree on Search Deal

In July, Google’s arrangement with Twitter to index all tweets, make them searchable in realtime and have a REAL historical search database of tweets that goes back further than the recent past (a trick that Twitter itself can’t seem to figure out) came to an end. It was a blow to both parties because Google lost a valuable piece of the social graph for its index which limits its abilities to take real social cues for search results and Twitter lost 65% of the US search market and even larger chunks of that market internationally.

Now some would say that Twitter should be fine because it still has an arrangement with Bing and Yahoo to do the same with its search results. That sounds nice but it’s the same as saying rather than drinking Coca-Cola you are only allowed to drink the grocery store version of a cola instead. Sure, you can say its cola but it ain’t the real thing.