- A most marvelous obituary. (Via JDZ at Never Yet Melted, which today also offers — you gotta hand it to the Internet — a recipe for a previously fictional, but highly useful, survival food.)
- Google Glass and facial-recognition apps. Not completely evil yet, but how long before they get there? (H/T MJR)
- I love movies. So of course I loved the talent and quirky presence of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman, you ass, how could you die in such a damn, stupid, entirely avoidable way? Two good articles on his admirable talents here and here.
- Gun control: “Un-American and anti-Negro.” The Dutchman finds treasure and truth in a American Rifleman article.
Archive for the ‘Privacy and self ownership’ Category
A few days ago, a friend sent me this article: “You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat-space data race.”
It’s by “data scientist” John Foreman (I put that in quotes only because I’m not sure what all “data science” might encompass), who says a) that the most egregious electronic privacy violations will be in our off-line lives and b) We’re going to cooperate happily and fully. Not going to cooperate. But are cooperating. Privacy — right now! — is as “over” as bustles and moustache wax.
Although Foreman recognizes the creepiness of omni-tracking, he embraces it with cheer — heading off to Disney World with his family, every member sporting an RFID bracelet that will know everywhere they’ve been, everything they’ve bought, every food item they’ve ordered — and even how long they’ll spend on one of Mickey’s toilets if something they ate gives them diarrhea.
My friend said he just couldn’t wait for the great blog I’d make of this. And he asked me to send his regards to Katherine Albrecht. A few years ago when Katherine and her associate Liz McIntyre wrote their book Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID, my friend scoffed at their predictions.
Now? Not so much scoffing going on.
- Just when you think anti-gunners couldn’t make themselves sound more obviously stupid.
- Good reason to get a Finnish passport. :-)
- Four minutes. Four. To crack Obamacare “security.” Eh. No surprise, really. Fools.
- I became a writer by accident. For two years, I wouldn’t admit I was one because in my experience, they were mostly a bunch of drunken ne’er-do-wells. But maybe that’s a good thing.
- This focuses on what will trigger the next stock market mess. Implications (about triggering effects) go way beyond that. You’ll see what I mean.
- How to get rich and stay rich Again, not what you’re probably thinking.
- The entertaining McDonnell indictment. The good governor and his charmingly frugal (and subtle!) wife could have taken a lesson from that last link.
- Andrew Cuomo vs “Boo” Burnham. And the media vs reality.
- When graphic designers get bored.
- So, do you think Phil Zimmerman’s Blackphone will become the smartphone of smart people? Or …?
- It could become a crime in Washington state to help the NSA. Government contractors or workers providing electricity or water to an agency violating the Fourth Amendment would be criminals. (They ought to do this in Utah, where that hellish data center gobbles millions of gallons of precious dry-state water.) H/T PT
- Another of the many ways in which Obamacare is helping.
- Clever or creepy? Yeah, depends on who (or which alphabet soupers) get their hands on these snake, worm, and otherwise creepy-crawly robots. (H/T O)
- One might wish that the charming soul who monkeywrenched the ATF booth at last week’s SHOT Show had a better command of spelling. But his (her?) heart was certainly in the right place. View one. View two. (H/T JB)
- Another Officer Friendly. Yes, another Beloved Hero in Blue, protecting and serving in the style that’s become so reliable lately. Why this creep isn’t a) in prison and b) on the sex-offender registry for the rest of its days is a wonder to me. Oh, but she was “disciplined.” I guess that makes it okay. (Corrected: There were two officers, both female, and both apparently “corrections officers,” not cops. Both were involved, though apparently only one did the worst deed. Personally, I’m still going with “Officer Friendly” because IMHO, there’s a distinction, but not much of a difference, between cops and COs. Thanks, G. for the heads up.)
- Did hackers recently perform the first malicious act utilizing the “Internet of things”? That is, did they turn everything from “smart” refrigerators and home camera systems into a bot net? So said many reports. Borepatch doubts it.
There are five finalists in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” ad contest. “Cowboy Kid” is the clear winner. If any of the other four beat it, I’m suspecting bribery, collusion, and all manner of other evil. This may be one case where v*ting is okay. As long as you vote my way, of course. ;-)
… because of your commitment to privacy? Or because you reject mainstream tech-enabled culture to follow your own path?
I’ve never feared technology and was for a long time an “early adopter.” I knew the moment I laid eyes on a PC that I had to have one. I was online years before the WWW was a thing. I met my former Significant Sweetie on a Fidonet bulletin board (gun-rights site) when meeting a partner online was unheard of.
These days, however, I shun most new tech. Even some of my granny-aged friends tote their smartphones everywhere they go, but I won’t have one; carrying an omni-surveillance device in my pocket is obvious folly. Yet that also means that quite an amazing array of useful apps — and even the operating systems they work on — are like a foreign language to me. It’s as if half the U.S. has suddenly started speaking Swedish and I’m still stubbornly insisting on talking “old-fashioned ‘Murrican.”
I quit TV 20 years ago (December 27, 1994) and my life is better for it. But there’s a whole range of common cultural experience I’m now distant from. And that’s true even now that anybody can catch Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad online.
I don’t regret my choices. If I did, I’d un-choose them. But the disconnect does worry me. As I get older I sometimes ask myself, “Is this still a matter of principle or are you just becoming a stuck-in-the-mud fogey, resisting change?”
Google’s just-announced acquisition of Nest got me mulling on this again. I love the idea of a household thermostat that learns my habits and adapts its settings to my activities. I loathe the notion of Google (and its bosom buddy the NSA) monitoring the transaction. Not only has Google become an information-gobbling monster; but I see no reason why such cool technologies can’t be made essentially private. They would be better private. Even if Google had good intentions (which it doesn’t), it’s obvious to me that inserting any third party between us and things we want to do is an ordinary, everyday, garden-variety hindrance, as well as a danger.
Or is that fogey talk?
I know a lot of you reject certain tech because it’s privacy-invasive or otherwise obnoxious. Do you sometimes worry, though, that these choices are carrying you farther and farther away from the culture you live in? Do you worry that maybe you’re just getting crotchety and stubborn?
OTOH, I know some of you embrace “smart” tech. If so, how do you manage to be comfortable with it, even knowing it’s inherently surveillance tech?
You wonderful people. You’ve seen me Definitely Not At My Best twice just since New Year. And … well, you wonderful people. That’s all I can say right now.
There will be more soon on that and other things. But for now … on with the blogging, the linkage, the trivia, and the dogs …
- Um. Well. On the topic of that E.C. I so recently maundered about: How to deal with an existential crisis. Illustrated, yet.
- Thug sues Nike for not posting a warning on its shoes that they could be dangerous if used for face-stomping.
- Things you never notice in famous photos and artworks.
- Another reminder that, in every generation, it takes Outlaws to bring hidden truths to light.
- And great Outlaws kick great butt, too. Mike V is one of this generation’s best. (Some background on his “Toys for Totalitarians” campaign.)
- Where there’s a beagle there’s a way.
- And last but not least: photobombing canines. (Thanks for the smile to MLS.)
- Kurt Hofmann: “Resolved to be a gun criminal.” Well, now there’s a resolution that should be pretty easy to keep!
- Starbucks orders little pub to cease and desist. Little pub tells Starbucks …
- This cop n gun story is so scary-weird on so many levels, I can hardly believe I exist in the same universe with it. (H/T Hobbit)
- Take this FWIW, but here’s a former cop on how to behave if somebody puts a gun to your head. The one time something like that happened to me, calm (which said cop recommends) was definitely an asset. But I was mostly only able to stay calm because I was too dumb to believe the person would actually kill me. Not sure what I’d do in a different circumstance.
- “I’ll be available until I’m assassinated to answer questions.” (A cryptography expert on the NSA.)
- If you made stuff like this up for a movie, it would be too ridiculous to believe. The NSA intercepted shipments to insert backdoors into electronics. (H/T JB in comments)
- Thirty-eight hauntingly abandoned places.
- Wendy McElroy: “The Redistribution of Dreams.” So well said, so sadly thought.
- New Years resolutions and free will.
- And to close with an awwwwww: dog escapes his new home and returns the shelter … for love. (H/T BW)