Bad US Regulations or Google Incompetence?

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First, this is a response to a blog post here (via Techmeme). If you are too lazy to read it, here’s an executive summary: Google is saying they will delete 2 years worth of email and all other Google Account data for 10 years old Alex (Who is naturally crying now). All because he is under 13, which they just now learned about.

Lego Universe Preview SnippetThis one really hit home for me – as most of you probably know, we are completely Internet family here. Really – my 7 year old has his own laptop on his play table. It’s there for many years now and he feels extremely at home with it. My other kids are not under 13, but definitely were using Google and Microsoft and other services, for many years as well.

I must be missing something – but I definitely know that Yahoo has Family accounts Specifically for children under 13. In fact, that is how our 7 year old Elijah is able to safely enjoy email! Furthermore, there are now myriad of Online Social Games Designed for Children – such as Lego Universe he enjoys immensely this summer.

If other big companies, including Disney, Nickelodeon and many others, figured out how to let Children onto their site – is Google just incompetent or lazy?

And what about Facebook? There are TONS of children on Facebook under 13, we know for sure. They aren’t safe, because Facebook has no good parental controls or mechanisms! Either way – we keep telling our son that he needs to wait until he is 13, as lying is not something we do. There are countless times he gets upset about this, if only to be able to play those fun Facebook games (by Zynga and others) he keeps seeing others enjoy. Ridiculous – even Facebook has no excuse not to have some viable Parental controls and let kids onto their site! Does Facebook and Google think they are still young “dorm” startups, with no time or budget to ‘figure it out’?

Dealing with important Real World issues like parental-controls is what being big business is all about!!! Do they want the next generation to grow up holding a grudge against these companies, for not letting them onto their sites sooner?

Web Services? Cloud Computing? Both? Neither?

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An important announcement from Microsoft, something called Mesh, is happening tonight at Midnight eastern time.

I am into guessing game, again, mostly because it is fun, but also because in a funny coincidence, I left a rather long rant at Yahoo’s own Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. What started as a short comment, turned into longer and I think worthy read about future of operating environments for us all. Jeremy doesn’t post too much, which is exactly how I prefer it and thus he is on my ‘read-first’ list. Check out my comment right here.

Back to the issue, I really think this one will be about cloud computing and web services, or cloud services, or whatever we want to call them services. And of course, their integration into applications and the OS, finally. Some applications already integrate nicely, such as Windows Vista Photo Gallery. And I hope they will finally take it to the next level.

Speaking of Vista, and of Windows 7. I hear people continue to trash it, but seriously, why?! Yes, it is bloated. Yes, it is incompatible with a lot of old software and drivers. But, that was obvious (just to me?!) going into it! Only install Vista on newer core 2 duo and faster PCs with 2GB ram. That’s obvious! Next, do NOT install older software on it, wait for lazy/suicidal/incompetent 3rd party companies come out with updated software specifically targeted at Vista! Or, use Microsoft’s new built-in software. Yes, be like the rest of us and use the primitive Windows Movie Maker for your HD editing… What? Microsoft were nice and anti-trust friendly by not killing Adobe and Sony and others in this market, and coming out with their own Killer Video Editing program. And how do Adobe/Sony/etc repay them?! Where is Vista optimized version of our favorite video editing tools, a year and a half later? Almost here, I bet…

Probably by the time your read this, the announcement will be out. For some reason official Mesh site is acting up (stress-testing was skipped, I bet). So instead, check out Scobleizer commentary on this "breakthrough" technology.