Social Media News Brief: April 21, 2010

Get caught up with iePlexus’ Social Media News Brief.

The leaders of data protection from 10 nations worldwide wrote a letter to Google this week expressing their concerns about privacy-related issues regarding Google Buzz and Google Street View. A passage from the letter reads:

We were disturbed by your recent rollout of the Google Buzz social networking application, which betrayed a disappointing disregard for fundamental privacy norms and laws. In essence, you took Google Mail (Gmail), a private, one-to-one web-based e-mail service and converted it into a social networking service, raising concern among users that their personal information was being disclosed. 

The letter also mentions that Google did not blur out a portion of faces, license plates, and other potentially private information in Google Street View. It ends by suggesting a number of principles that Google should integrate within its services. Google has yet to respond, and the issues aren’t expected to be put in high priority since tension between Google and China is still high.

Next on today’s agenda…

How would you like to own a gas station, restaurant, general store or even your own zip code?  Well, you may be out of luck for now, but Maddie and Neil Love, of the Seattlesuburb Bothell, are now the proud owners of the town of Wauconda, Washington, which is located just 25 miles from the Canadian border in the northeast region of the state.

The couple was part of a bidding war on eBay at the beginning of the month and won the town – and a four-bedroom home within its parameters – for a mere $360,000 from Wauconda resident Daphine Fletcher who has lived there since 2007. Not a bad deal for a town. 

Wauconda, at one time, had a booming population of 350 during the gold rush, but has since dropped down to nearly none with the exception of its soon-to-be inhabitants, the Love family. The couple plans to run the Wauconda store as well as the Spaghetti Salon. This is not the first town sold on eBay and it certainly won’t be the last. 

And finally…

Today’s viral video comes just in time for Earth Day, which just happens to be tomorrow, April 22. Victor Haung was diving off the coast of Wellington, New Zealand last week when he came upon an octopus. Haung was fortunate to capture this encounter on his brand-new, underwater digital camera when the octopus quickly came out from below the ocean floor and snatched the camera and started to swim away – not so lucky.

While we don’t see much in the video, other than extreme close-ups of the octopus’ tentacles, Huang chased the sea creature for about five minutes until he caught up. He then placed his spear gun underneath the creature until it released the camera. However, once Haung was in possession of the camera, the octopus did not want to give up the spear gun, so Haung took it for a wild ride as he swam in the deep blue waters. The video is just incredible!

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