Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/07/quotw_ending_december_7/

'Facebook is completely undreamt of even by the worst spying nation'

Plus: 'Students who have iPhones don't work'

By Brid-Aine Parnell

Posted in Law, 7th December 2012 11:00 GMT

QuotW This was the week when Google+ head Bradley Horowitz told the world that that whole Facebook thing was soooo last year.

According to the +er, Facebook is the "social network of the past", mainly because Zuck's ad strategies are so intrusive they're putting people off. When people are online socialising, they should really be left alone, it's their "sacred space", he added. Only when folks are socialising though, clearly: when they're searching or emailing or watching videos, they should definitely be intruded on.

Horowitz snided:

We don't have to make next week's payroll by jamming ads at users.

Whether you're on Google or Facebook, every piece of personal information about you is going straight to The Man, according to Wikilurker Julian Assange. Speaking from the dubious safety of the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange said that not only was Big Brother spying on folks' every move online, Google and Facebook were helping.

He claimed:

And then you also have Google and Facebook, who started up predominantly serving the public, but also have developed side projects to service the US intelligence complex. And individuals are constantly pushing their thoughts into Google as each thing that they want to research: it is pushed via emails, and on Facebook, through their social relationships. That's an undreamt of spy database.

Facebook is completely undreamt of even by the worst spying nation, given the richness and sophistication of relationships expressed.

Meanwhile, hacktivist collective Anonymous has with the former owner of a one-time "revenge porn" website. The site, run by Hunter Moore, let ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends post sexually explicit photos of their exes alongside links to their social networking profiles.

Victims of the site who tried to get the images removed were ridiculed and legal threats were ignored: the site only shut down when it was sold to an anti-bullying charity. Moore is now thought to be planning some new online atrocity.

Anonymous said:

We will protect anyone who is victimised by abuse of our internet, we will prevent the stalking, rape, and possible murders as by-product of his sites. Operation anti-bully. Operation hunt Hunter engaged. We are Anonymous, we are legion, we do not forgive, we do not forget, Hunter Moore, expect us.

In the UK, the Home Secretary was insisting that her draft law to increase online surveillance of Brits to 1984 levels was actually an attempt to protect everyone from criminals and that it would "save lives".

Theresa May said:

The people who say they’re against this bill need to look victims of serious crime, terrorism and child sex offences in the eye and tell them why they’re not prepared to give the police the powers they need to protect the public.

Anybody who is against this bill is putting politics before people’s lives. We would certainly see criminals going free as a result of this.

There will be paedophiles who will not be identified and it will reduce our ability to deal with this serious organised crime.

MPs were also chomping at the bit about taxes again, as the Public Accounts Committee published its report on the tax-dodging tactics of Amazon, Starbucks and Google.

The upshot was that the officials still reckon the lot of them are pretty shady and they don't buy any of the explanations the three firms tried to offer for their paltry corporate tax payments in the UK and the arrangement of their corporate structures.

The report said:

We suspect that all these arrangements are devices to remove profits from the UK to these areas with lower tax.

The head of the panel, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, said that if new laws were what were required to make the companies live up to their responsibilities, than maybe laws were what they should get.

She added:

We consider that paying an appropriate amount of tax in the country in which profits are made is not only a matter of basic economics. It is also a matter of morality.

And finally, a Chinese student failed to even get through the interview stage for a new job when he was spotted with an iPhone. The interviewer didn't bother to go on with the questions after seeing the Apple device because he reckoned it was a symbol of over-privileged youth:

Students who have iPhones don’t work. Everything you have was bought by your parents. You haven’t bought anything by working yourself. You are wealthy and can’t stand the stress. Working at our company is tough. It calls for someone who can take the pain and suffering.

While a competition for tales of help desk incompetence, despair and woe was won by the IT professional whose client told them that the mouse pointer appeared to be moving all on its own. After the helpdesker reassured the client it was ok, they had remote access to the computer, the client helpfully offered:

Oh, that's nice. Do you want me to turn on the lights? Maybe you'll see better.

Another hapless PC user was trying to get his computer to print off documents but couldn't quite get the two machines to connect:

I've tried turning the computer screen to face the printer, but the computer can't see the printer. ®