What We’re Reading: April 16 – April 24

iPhone tracking, ordering to overeat, and how to cook the Easter Bunny.

This week brought news of movement on Capitol Hill toward Internet and technology privacy legislation, presciently timed with recent news of the iPhone and iPad tracking issue.

Obama: Housing ‘Probably the Biggest Drag on the Economy’

The last chapter has been written for Google Video for a number of years. The site stopped accepting new videos a number of years ago, but Google is now officially pulling the plug. Still have videos on the site? Need to figure how to get them off? Wired‘s Webmonkey has the info.

Another sign of the Apocalypse? Mashable via CNN reports on how the tablet war is heating up in restaurants, replacing live waiters or waitresses. Apparently people order more when they can do it digitally themselves. A tablet doesn’t judge when you order a piece of chocolate lava cake. Just what we need…

You know you can listen to music, make a call, check sports scores, and lots of other things on a smart phone, but did you know you can check your heart rate? Lots of gadgets these days have secondary functions that people overlook. Yahoo! uncovers some gadget surprises.

To celebrate Earth Day, many businesses are offering consumers free stuff, good deals, and chances to win valuable prizes. Yahoo Green has gathered just a sampling of Earth Day deals.

And speaking of green: I wouldn’t even know where to buy one, but Fox News had an interesting story on a not-so-traditional Easter Dinner idea: how to cook a rabbit. Really the story is more of a why cook a rabbit: It is leaner than chicken, veal or turkey, with less fat and cholesterol. It has half the calories per pound compared to beef and pork and is the most easily digestible protein around. They grow fast, meaning they impact the environment less and don’t need antibiotics or hormones. Sounds like a great idea to me.

You’ve all seen the movies where the heroes outrun an explosion or even use it to propel their mode of escape – like a surfer riding a wave. Yeah, right. Gizmodo tries to answer the question how big an explosion could you realistically survive?


Senior Information Specialist

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  1. Interesting round-up, I have to pipe in about the Iphone location tracking story. If you were to give people a choice between giving up their smartphones or continue using them knowing it collects and stores location data, I’ll bet anything that the vast majority will choose to continue using their phones accepting the fact it tracks their movement. In the battle between privacy and convenience, convenience wins every time.

    Remember a couple years back when everybody was concerned about corporations keeping track of what websites you visit by using tracking cookies? The news eventually died down and people now are either unaware or unconcerned about tracking cookies. Tracking of your web habits and serving up targeted ads are now an integral part of Google’s and other online advertising companies’ revenue streams. Nothing has really changed since the initial news stories – the vast majority of Internet users simply accepted tracking cookies as a fact of life and moved on.

    Now with the proliferation of location aware devices the same companies decided to expand their tracking capabilities to include your geographic location along with your browsing habits. You can’t really blame them – they’ve all seen how the tracking cookies issue played out and they’re correctly predicting that this location recording fiasco will play out the same way.

  2. kstockert

    Thank you for the thoughtful response, Alex. David Pogue of the NYT wrote an article in a similar vein as your comment , that elaborates further on this topic: http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/your-iphone-is-tracking-you-so-what/

    It is true that a lot of personal information is collected by many companies, and has been collected for years. Convenience has certainly trumped privacy in many cases. It will be interesting to see how this (and hot topics like electronic medical records) plays out over time!