I missed the initial hullabalo surrounding the recent Google Reader fiasco (link goes to the Slashdot discussion). But I may as well add my thoughts.
First, isn’t this the typical mentality of the freetards (thanks Fake Steve Jobs)? “I don’t have a private life, so obviously no one else does either.” I also love the predominant ‘defense’ offered in the Slashdot comments, “If you didn’t want to share the info with the world, don’t use the feature.”
Ok fuck-nuts, here’s a use case where your monkey logic fails. Long ago, before my hatred of Google properly crystallized, I used the Google Reader Shared Feed feature to power part of this site. Specifically, as I browsed my RSS feeds, I would tag various political stories that I wanted to highlight. This tag was marked as a “private” shared feed, whose url I piped into the sidebar here. Now, if you are actually reading this post, take a look around and you’ll notice that I have some strident views. I wouldn’t necessarily want those views immediately exposed to, say, a potential employer who I may have emailed via Gmail and thus had in my contacts. Now, I’m actually a professional, so I don’t email other professionals from a Gmail account; or even use Gmail at all for anything other than registering at porn sites, so I’m good there. But, sure as shit, when I logged into Reader today for the first time in months, first thing I get is a pop-up telling me that 1000 some odd articles were being shared.
Second point, and I’ll be brief here. What would the response had been if Apple had decided that every feed that you subscribe to in Mail was going to be exposed to all your .Mac contacts? What if Microsoft had decided to publish all of your IE favorites to your MSN buddy list. Noodle on that freetards.