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Senate: Boss can’t ask for your Facebook password

OLYMPIA — The Senate told employers they can't demand their workers' password to Facebook or other social media sites.

On a 49-0 vote, they approved Senate Bill 5211, which says an employer can't ask an employee, or a prospective employee, for the information that would let them see the worker's personal account or profile as a condition of employment. They're free, however, to collect any information which is in the public domain.

An employee can file a civil action against an employer who makes such a demand, with a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. The bill now moves to the House.

LaunchPad INW offering tiered memberships and more business services

Spokane business-networking company, LaunchPad Inland Northwest, has announced new services and business training as part of its offerings.

When the company launched in early 2010, its focus was on offering shared office spaces, promoting networking events and workshops.

In a release coinciding with the firm's relocation to the 1889 Building, at 120 N. Stevens, co-founder/organizer Bill Kalivas said the new services will provide additional training and consulting services for its paid members.  Among those: Social media consulting, on-site training, and business development.

LaunchPad now offers two levels of membership: Plus and Pro, which cost $35 and $79 per month, respectively.

Kalivas said LaunchPad will still host events and workshops for area business people. Pro and Plus members get free or discount access to many events; they also get other benefits, summarized on the LaunchPad membership web page.

Kalivas said the added level of services and training is an "evolution" of the LaunchPad goal of being the go-to organization to help Spokane-area businesses grow more prosperous.

Dogwalk: Goodbye To Facebook Friends

My one other love is blogging. It's nearing obsolescence with the advent of Facebook and Twitter, but I still enjoy it. I want to keep at it. I'd miss it. Today I've put my Facebook Zoo Mates on notice I'm cutting way back. It has become an addiction I need to break. My "friends" count will probably dwindle. The real ones will stay. I hope. Yesterday I spent the afternoon unsubscribing to sites I'd joined for no really good reason. Linkedin. It's for business networking. I have nothing to offer or gain/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: How have your social networking habits changed in the last 3 to 5 years?

Hucks Poll: Connecting With Facebook

  • Wednesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation connects socially online via Facebook. Which isn’t a surprise. 80 of 213 respondents (37.56%) said Facebook is one of the social networking tools they use. 62 of 213 (29.11%) said that they connect online via blogs. Only 23 of 213 (10.8%) said they connect via Twitter. Also, 31 (14.55%) said they don’t connect online, while 17 (7.98%) reported that they use other social networking.
  • Today’s Poll: Which type of computer do you prefer for personal use?

Hucks Poll: Yes To Bike Helmets

  • Tuesday’s Poll: 75 of 137 respondents (54.74%) voted that children under 16 years old should be required to wear helmets when riding bikes. 57 of 137 (41.61%) said they shouldn’t be required to do so. 5 were undecided.
  • Demari DeReu: A whopping 93.16% (177 of 190 respondents) agreed with the decision by the Columbia Falls School Board not to expel honor student/cheerleader Demari DeRue for accidentally bringing her hunting rifle to her NW Montana school. Only 11 of 190 (5.79%) voted that she should be expelled. 2 were undecided.
  • Today’s Question (which allows multiple answers): Which of the following social networking are you involved in (Blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?

LaunchPad INW moving next month to the downtown 1889 Building

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Spokane business-services company LaunchPad Inland Northwest is moving its offices to the 1889 Building, starting next month. The company, launched by co-founders Bill Kalivas and Alan Battle, is one year old and up to now has used the Holley Mason Building for offices and rented spaces for entrpreneurs.

Kalivas said the new site, at 120 N. Stevens, has advantages that the firm’s current site can’t provide. LaunchPad works with businesses in finding partners, financing assistance and marketing consulting. It also offers work space for its member businesses.

LaunchPad will take 1,000 feet on the ground level of the building; close to two-thirds of the main floor will belong to a new wine tasting business, Nectar Tasting Room, being opened by Spokane resident Josh Wade.

Kalivas said having Wade’s coffee and wine bar as a nearby business helped him make the move, making available wine and other offerings for LaunchPad events or visitors.

The other benefit of the new space, he added, is having street-level access to networking events and work spaces used by LaunchPad members.

Familiar Faces

     If you have signed up to use Facebook, you’re probably familiar with the way the online social media format plays social matchmaker. Not in a romantic way, but by suggesting people you might want to add to your contact list. People who are friends with your friends. People who have some kind of connection to you.

      Occasionally, this works. You see a familiar face, an old friend, a co-worker, a former classmate, you didn’t know had signed up and it’s nice to add them to your contact list.

      At other times, you are prompted to to catch up with an old friend. People to whom you are already connected but may not interact with on a regular basis.

      Sometimes this is a good thing, as well. It reminds you to check in with someone you like. Someone who is probably as busy as you are. Someone you might like to talk to more often.

      But then, occasionally, an unsettling thing happens. Occasionally, a face pops up that is startling. A face you can’t reach out and touch no matter how much you might like to.

      In the last year, three people I knew and liked died. They were all too young, all under 50. All three were Facebook friends.

      At least once a month, when I log on I’m prompted to get back in touch with one of them.

      At first, I cringed whenever one of the faces popped up on my computer screen.  I was reminded again, in a most impersonal way, that they were gone forever. One more time the sad story behind each death passed through my mind. 

      But now, each time I see their photos, I take a minute and I reconnect with their memory. I stop and remember a time we spoke or laughed. I think about the spouses, the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and the children left behind. I honor them.

      I’m sure this is not what Facebook intended, but after thinking about it, I decided to accept the random gift of memory. To be grateful for it.

      My friends were here with us and each led a rich and productive life. They worked and played and loved. They built careers and relationships. All three battled the disease that eventually killed them with dignity and grace and amazing courage. Now, through no fault of their own, they are gone

      But gone doesn’t mean forgotten.

      So, when I open my computer, when I log on to Facebook to see what friends and family are up to, or to post a photo and update my own profile, I glance at the top of the page.

      Sometimes I make a new friend. Sometimes I reconnect with an old friend. And once in a while I take a moment to think about a friend I will never see again. 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance columnist for The Spokesman-Review. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com.

Parting Shot: Addicted to technology

John Idler and his children, Elizabeth, 13, and Josh, 14, play video games together last week at their Moorestown, N.J., home.

Can’t get your teen to stop playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare? Are they texting, Facebooking, and World of Warcrafting ‘till their eyes glaze over? Well, there’s help. Unfortunately, you have to move to London to get it.

Technology addicts can now seek treatment at a London hospital which has launched bespoke treatment for those diagnosed with the condition.

The programme is designed for young people who spend large amounts of time each day playing computer games or using social network websites.

When deprived they become “chronically agitated and irritable” said the treatment’s founder Dr Richard Graham. Full story. Zoe Kleinman, BBC News

I thought “chronically agitated and irritable” was normal for teens. In fact, I know a lot of adults who seem addicted to their “crackberries”. How about you? Are you addicted to technology?


Tweet? No, thanks…

Good morning, Netizens…

David Horsey’s cartoon of the day certainly hits a sore spot in my repertoire, because although I spent years talking to total strangers on the CB radio, a shortwave radio, Usenet news and e-mail, for some strange reason I have avoided these social networking schemes such as Facebook and Twitter. Somehow it seems a total waste given the amount of time I otherwise spend communicating with other people I don’t know when I could be talking with people I do know. Granted, Twitter has some limited uses for live news broadcasts, but my personal preference is to leave Tweets for our feathered friends, and I don’t even have a Facebook page.

I guess the questions for me are:

If I am satisfied with my wife-for-life and my narrow circle of friends, why should I cast my net further afield in search of someone else? Sometimes I wonder if I spend enough time with them as it is; due to constraints of work and writing, time seems to simply slip away from me as it is.

If I can talk directly to my wife or friends, why should I add another electronic geegaw to the various methods I already employ because it is the latest rage? Personally, I don’t give a damn about the latest fads, because they inevitably change into something else and in some cases never fulfill their purpose to begin with.

Perhaps the biggest concern for me is that of privacy, something which as we have seen over the last six months or more, in the worlds of social networking, privacy sometimes simply ceases to exist. While I’m quick to admit any proof of the lack of privacy in the online community is nebulous and often unprovable, I also know, based upon previous experiences, that anything written online is discoverable under law, and therefore what you say can be held against you.

Somewhere in that great nebulous electronic village things you may have written years ago are waiting, carefully guarded, and waiting to come back to haunt you.