Daily Archives: October 20, 2010

Facebook’s latest privacy gaffe – allowing its users’ IDs to slip out to advertisers via third party apps – is not as unusual as you might think.

A year ago, researchers found that 11 of 12 social networks allowed user IDs to leak (only Google’s Orkut passed the test.) Linked with the behavioural information that third party ad servers collect, these IDs can become a “magic key” to unlock a user’s real identity, says Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read more

Apple has unveiled a new version of its MacBook Air notebook and a “younger brother”,  costing under $1,000, with a smaller 11.6-inch screen.

A new version of its Mac operating system, codenamed Lion, was also shown along with an updated version of its iLife software suite in a media event at Apple’s  Silicon Valley headquarters.

Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive, who lead the presentations, said the Air was “the future of notebooks”. Read more

I confess to being a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to investing in the stock market. As a committed adherent of the efficient markets hypothesis (I know, I know, they haven’ t always looked that efficient recently) you can count me among those who find it hard to believe that any money manager can consistently beat the indices.

Add in the the high fees and lack of transparency that come with active managers, and it doesn’t seem that customers are well-served by this particular part of the financial services industry.

That’s what makes a site like Wealthfront interesting. If the web is the perfect medium for raising transparency and reducing distribution costs (and fees), then this is a good demonstration of how to go about it. Read more

Square, the much-hyped mobile credit card processing system created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has a big problem: it doesn’t work with the iPhone4.

In a blog post buried deep in the support section of Square’s website, the company acknowledges that the Square card reader interferes with the already problematic iPhone4 antenna.

“This renders our card readers inactive for your iPhone4,” the company wrote on October 9. “We are working on redesigning our card readers and will be contacting our iPhone4 users as soon as they are ready for shipment.”

Update: Square has clearly been scrambling for a fix for awhile now. The day after this post was published,  they emailed to say that, “As of today, we have shipped new card readers to to active users who are accessing Square via an iPhone 4.” Read more