Blog Archives

The Noble Silence Twentieth Century Style


Whenever she feared that she did not have
Anything much worthwhile to contribute
She’d restrict herself to a ‘Like’, a Smiley
Kept her vast swathes of ignorance private
It might do her public image no good at all

Pride And Prejudice: Tanka


They said not a word
For not a word need be said
A cloud of silence
Always accompanied them
Others looked on bathed in awe

Google Is Spyware

Fortunately there is an easy (and better*) alternative.



Google Google Glug Glug Glug


Don’t look a gift horse
In the mouth the saying goes
That’s where the fangs are
But they never tell you that
Or the reason why they don’t

Mating Call


Every login
gets a long
and unique

No password
or reused.


Public Service Announcement

If you use Facebook, I urge you to read this article, A refresher course on Facebook privacy controls. ( It is written by Patrick Marshall. He is a regular technology columnist for The Seattle Times. He has also written for Government Computer News, InfoWorld, PC World, the Congressional Quarterly, and other publications.

To quote one, hopefully eye-catching, sentence from his article:

There’s one other frequently misunderstood fact about Facebook privacy: Because friends of your friends can see some of the things you post and tag — even if you’ve set more restrictive settings — you’re never sure just who is seeing what.

“Big Data” – 1984 Anyone?

“Lauren Feeney: So what did you finally pick for your Word of the Year?

Geoffrey Nunberg: I went with “Big Data.” Not everybody is familiar with it. It didn’t get the wide exposure of “47 percent”, but it was the talk of Silicon Valley and Davos, and it was all over the place in venues like Forbes, The Economist and The New York Times tech and business sections. And whether or not you knew what it was called, you knew about its effects – the software called analytics that chews over all the data we’re kicking up from our web surfing, our tweets, our purchases, our cable boxes, our Facebook pages and our cell phones. There are Big Data analytics behind a lot of the threats to our privacy – those ads that follow us as we move around the Web, the websites that sell or swap our personal information, the “stalker apps” that track our physical location – that has to be a strong candidate for creepiest word of 2012. And even more ominously, there are the security agencies that are combing over our travel and credit card records trolling for possible terrorists. Those have some people wondering if we’re moving in increments toward the surveillance state – just last March the Justice Department authorized agencies to retain for five years the personal data of people who aren’t suspected of terrorism.” (My highlight.)

This is IMHO a pretty thought-provoking article, especially for anyone who is interested in language, politics and freedom. Although it concerns itself with the US, the issues discussed are not unique to the USA by any means.

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