Get Un-Buzzed!

Since Google ‘foisted’ Buzz on us Gmail users I have been very concerned about how it works and how privacy seems to be highly compromised. I made a few posts/buzz replies about how to turn off or disable buzz. But apparently buzz ‘sticks around’ unless certain deliberate steps are taken to actively remove ANY sharing of information whether you wanted to or not with people you approve and even those you don’t!

I do like a great deal about Google apps – Gmail, Docs and Calendar and I have made a few posts on using them for increasing productivity. I have also made it known that I do not want to share every bit of my life with Google too (see part about toolbar).

My fears spring from my natural high degree of paranoia and usual vigilance when it comes to privacy and security. Seems my concerns about Buzz were warranted. There are numerous articles of people – many very tech savvy, who have had information shared that even they did not know they were exposing. Sometimes to people that could pose a real eminent threat.
I have recommended that people turn off Buzz but I guess that was not enough. Here are the steps you should take to turn off this feature.

Turning Buzz off
If you don’t want to use Buzz, and I think you shouldn’t, you can disable it. To completely remove all of your participation in Buzz, follow all of these steps AND FOLLOW THEM IN THIS ORDER(or it will not be disabled completely!!):

  1. Delete your Google profile. Here’s how.
  2. Block all of the people following you. Here’s how.
  3. Turn off Buzz at the bottom of Gmail. Here’s how.

Read more about Disabling Buzz.

Given the populist sentiment about the way it launched Buzz, by merging it with Gmail, resulting in a million-and-one privacy kerfluffles, Google’s now thinking about going beyond the tweaks it made the other day by cutting the cord between Buzz and Gmail entirely. Or maybe just changing the way it is ‘linked’ to your accounts and contacts.

I make a deliberate effort to try and keep my privacy secure and I think all people should. Especially in the ‘information age’ we currently live in.
I am experimenting with further steps to make sure my information is even more secure. I will post updates as I can.

As always though, remember that the World Wide Web is exactly that – World Wide! If you post anything or have it ‘hosted/stored’ (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, Myspace etc.) your information is then in ‘someone else’s hands’ literally and figuratively. Your privacy and control of that information is subject to someone besides you. So think wisely what you post, comment on, or email by way of ‘public’ networks.

Be safe all,

Google Wave

I have been messing with Wave for a short time now and I can tell you it is ‘neat’, and powerful, but fairly hard for the average joe to understand. I think the potential is huge; if I can just figure out how I will actually use it. 🙂

Google Wave was designed by software engineers to solve a problem that didn’t really exist till they created it. A lot like Twitter. And most of you know how I feel about that. This guy has good rundown of the idiocy of Twitter. But I digress..

Google Wave looks to be a great help to people who regularly and continually need to collaborate in a ‘live’ environment. Like software engineers! Go figure.
It combines a live very powerful Wiki, email and documents in one single point in ‘real time’. For people in businesses that require lots of quick correspondance to work on and complete projects this could be a big help. Likewise for social groups (PTA, Boy Scouts, Soccer Club, Business Alliance etc.) to keep events organized this may prove very powerful.

I like the ability to ‘drag and drop’ files right into a wave.

Here is Google’s best description I’ve seen to date.

LifeHacker has a good post about how people are actually using it in various scenarios here.

It has been hyped to no end by Google and the media. Check it out for your self. You may find a good use for it you may not, who knows.

You may get an invite soon if you are reading this; I ‘nominated’ a lot of my contact list. 🙂

Anyways have fun all.