Out of Scope Dec 2008

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2008-12-04 Print this article Print

Facebook’s Anti-Social Networking; Younger Workers Have a Bad Work Rep; Browser Beware: Clickjacking Is Coming

Facebook’s Anti-Social Networking
What’s it like to have Facebook force you into an about-face? It stinks—but it’s happening to some people whose name is similar to that of a famous character or a popular topic. Take Elmo Keep, for instance. That’s right: Her name is Elmo.

According to an online article in The Sydney Morning Herald, Facebook suspended the Australian native’s account without warning. “Despite a long, heated e-mail exchange, Facebook refused to tell Keep why she was banned—for ‘security reasons’—and asked her to verify her identity by sending a scanned copy of a government-issued ID,” the article read.

And Keep is not alone. Folks with names like Jon Swift, Yoda, Webb, Beer and more have also had issues, according to the same article.

Ironically, Keep is a lecturer on journalism and technology, and she consistently advocated Facebook and even used it for business. Though Keep did get her profile back, she was understandably upset by the way she was treated.

Apparently, all the fraud out there has caused Facebook to ban first and find out the facts later. So watch out, Mary Snuffleupagus.

Um, Like, Younger Workers Have a Bad Work Rep
A recent survey shows that one-third of 200 career recruiters find Generation Y workers (those born between 1982 and 2001) to be poor job performers. But is that true, and, if so, are employers partly to blame? Jobfox CEO Rob McGovern, whose company conducted the survey, says corporations need to learn how to attract and work with this age group because the number of Gen Y workers will be huge as boomers retire in droves over the next decade.

McGovern, the founder and former CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a release, “They [Gen Y workers] won’t be satisfied working inside the corporate machine. They want to contribute immediately, and companies must do a better job of helping younger workers see how their work is important and how what they do relates to the overall goals of the company.”

But will that work if a third of recruiters have this slacker-performance perception? McGovern’s answer: “The companies that succeed over the next two decades will be the ones that can most inspire Gen Y. This is the most educated and technologically savvy generation ever.” He says flexible schedules, cutting-edge skills and training, eliminating barriers of seniority and offering stable environments are the keys to success with these workers—as they are with older employees.

Browser Beware: Clickjacking Is Coming
There is a legitimate contention in security circles that goes something like this: Researchers who do nothing but break vendors’ products and then ask to be paid to fix them are in a sleazy business. Those who disagree argue that the only way to get ahead of the next major online crime and fraud waves is to break things.

Both views are valid. Consider the theoretical research conducted by Robert Hansen and Jeremiah Grossman concerning clickjacking, a way for hackers to hijack the clicks of any open browser session on any browser type, including Firefox and Safari. While visiting a malicious Web site, you can be made to click on any button or link—and anything else on a Web page—without knowing it.

The scary part is that there is no fix for this yet.

The two researchers consider clickjacking so dangerous that they said on their blog that they voluntarily pulled the presentation they were to give at an upcoming security conference to work with browser vendors.

Donald Sears is Online Editor for Baselinemag.com.

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