Monthly Archives: October 2012

Virtual rewards for real-world debate watching

I love this — encourage the critical young swing voters to get engaged with the Presidential campaigns by handing out virtual goods:

Yes, indeed, Microsoft (MSFT) has decided to unite the worlds of politics and video games in a single place, placating an audience that no one knew existed. Starting on Wednesday, subscribers of Microsoft’s Xbox Live service will be able to stream the presidential and vice presidential debates to their TVs via the Xbox. Oh, and this experience will be interactive, with viewers able to use their controllers to answer questions about the debate. Think Halo for political junkies.

No, seriously. Microsoft will actually dole out a free Halo 4 Warrior Avatar Armor outfit to anyone who watches three of the four debates on their Xbox.


Crowdsourced effort to rate "Terms of Service" across the web

This site obviously needs a better name if they’re going to get any recognition at all, but other than that, this is a great idea. From the site “Terms of Service; Didn’t Read” or TOS;DR,

“I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web.  We aim to fix that.

We are a user rights initiative to rate and label website terms & privacy policies, from very good Class A to very bad Class E

The community openly discusses different sites’ Terms of Service and, evidently in much the same way as the community comes to a decision on Wikipedia, a rating is decided on for each site. For instance, Twitter’s Terms of Service are summarized here, although no rating has yet been decided on.

There are extensions for major browsers, so as you surf you can see how the current site’s policies rate. Until more sites are rated, it obviously won’t be particularly useful, but I can see that it could be valuable over time.

Strangely, the TOS;DR site itself does not have a rating, or apparently even a discussion open!

Dutch and UK authorities set substantial fines for spam

News is out today about spam fines in both the Netherlands and the UK. In the Netherlands, the authority responsible for enforcing anti-spam legislation has fined one company, Companeo SA, 100,000 euros "for sending spam to mostly business recipients". Details are available on OPTA's website but only in Dutch. You can read it here translated through Google.

In the UK, the BBC is reporting that the Information Commissioner (ICO) has fined two people more than????250,000 for sending spam. Details are here.

Noam on a Skatebike

Last week I tweeted about the skatebike we got our son for his 9th bday. Here he is riding it this past weekend:

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