Social Media Matters: Google satellite photos not current

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, June 15, 2012
Metro section

Google satellite photos not current

I had an amusing conversation with a client the other day. The person I was dealing with was doing research on sending her association’s president to meet with me for a training session when she Googled the address of the office whose boardroom we’d be using.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

The problem is that she Googled the address and, out of curiosity, looked up the satellite photo, as well. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that the satellite photos on Google Maps are not exactly up to date. In fact, some are many years old and are hardly a reflection of current development, especially in fast-growing cities such as Dieppe, where the meeting was to be held.

After she asked me why I was going to provide the training session in the middle of the woods, I had to convince her that I wasn’t a serial killer who made a habit of setting up rendezvous with strange women in the middle of forests.

Just be warned: take the satellite photos on Google Maps with a grain of salt, especially in fast-developing urban areas where construction is running full tilt.

Facebook hoax round-up

There are two Facebook hoaxes running rampant recently of which you should be aware.

Facebook dislike buttonFirst, there is no valid “dislike button” plug-in on Facebook. If you find such a page on Facebook, don’t bother clicking “Like” and certainly don’t download any software. According to Naked Security, “clicking on the link… will not only forward the fake message about the so-called ‘Facebook Dislike button’ to all of your online friends by posting it to your profile, but also run obfuscated Javascript on your computer.” (Obfuscated = obscure, unclear, unintelligible.) (Click here for the report published last year.)

Naked Security goes on to warn Facebook users, “As we’ve explained before, there is no official dislike button provided by Facebook and there isn’t ever likely to be. But it remains something that many Facebook users would like, and so scammers have often used the offer of a ‘Dislike button’ as bait for the unwary.”

Juan Cabana mermaid sculptureSecondly, there’s a fake warning going around that urges people to post a disclaimer to their profile now that Facebook is a publicly traded company. The warning begins as follows: “For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly… allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.”

According to hoax-busting website Snopes and various other news reports, this warning is completely false and is worthless when posted to your profile. Just because Facebook is now a publicly traded company has no bearing on its privacy settings or on what users agreed to when creating an account. In short, don’t bother posting this bogus warning to your Facebook profile because you’re just wasting your time. Pay attention to your privacy settings. Those are what count!

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature three YouTube channels for you to check out. Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here! Statistics are current to June 12.

1) (99,701 subscribers): Not to be confused with the other Livestrong YouTube channel hosted by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, this is a very active ‘online destination designed to inspire people to change their lives, help themselves and help others,’ according to its channel description. It hosts a huge number of videos – nearly 2,700 – with an impressive number of total views (more than 53 million!). Playlists include workouts, yoga, pets and food. Most of the playlists focus on exercise, so this is an excellent resource if that’s what you’re looking for. (Most popular video: How to Do the Running Man – 1,211,423 views.)

Lance Armstrong2) Livestrong (4,066 subscribers): According to its channel description, this is “the official YouTube site for the Lance Armstrong Foundation! Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the LAF inspires and empowers people with cancer. We believe that in the battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything!” Playlists include survivor interviews, patient empowerment public service announcements, and cancer navigation. The channel hosts nearly 800 videos with more than two million total views. (Most popular video: Engine – 222,014 views.)

Kathy Griffin3) Kathy Griffin (7,844 subscribers): Comedienne and reality television star Kathy Griffin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. She’s outspoken, loud and raunchy. If you don’t like Joan Rivers or Lisa Lampanelli, you most certainly won’t like Griffin. I, for one, think she’s hilarious, though. Her official YouTube channel is greatly underused, in my opinion. It could be so much more, considering her popularity. Despite that, what’s there is entertaining. Let’s hope she keeps adding to it. At this time, the channel hosts 11 videos with total views of more than 1.6 million. Not bad for so few videos! (Most popular video: Kathy Griffin/Levi Johnston Break-Up – 532,524 views.)

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