Online privacy is your problem

In which the data you give out is your data to protect.

Depending on who you ask cookies are either essential to the operation of the internet, or the most evil thing that has ever been created because of privacy…PRRRRIIIIIVVVVACCCCCYY…issues. This always surprises me because nobody else spends money trying to track us, thankfully all those payments on our cards or CCTV cameras aren’t keeping an eye on us. I really struggle with what the issue is here. A lot of companies and websites make their money through advertising, and better knowledge of their customers means better sales (and ads) and means they keep their marketing costs down. We live in a society which demands that the web is free (both financially and politically) yet do not want in any way to pay for it. Can you do without the internet, and you know live like they used to do in 1995?

Will I be changing my privacy settings? Unlikely. Most of the data is anonymous, and let’s be honest most of us are lackadaisical with our privacy anyway. Unless you are in living in a dictatorship there are not evil conspirators using your data for nefarious means, and if you were under one of these regimes then targeted advertisements is the least of your privacy concerns.

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Being constantly online

In which I spend an age online explaining why I am online so much.

My life is becoming ever increasingly connected. I now have a smart watch that will tell me when I get a notification on my phone when people respond to something I posted on my computer.

Whenever a live event is on then I will be on Facebook and Twitter as well as following live blogs.  I try to switch off from the Internet to just sit and watch but realise I’m more interested in what I was missing out on online, when did real life just become a way of generating content for status updates?

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Turning off the internet

In which I refuse to hit the off switch.

I was unable to go outside this weekend. That may sound a bit drastic, it wasn’t though I was being kept under house arrest or physically restrained in my seat. Instead I had a cold and had to stay on the sofa to recuperate.

This allowed me to spend plenty of time with the TV and laptop, and rather than take a break from technology I was as unplugged as a Jean Michel Jarre concert celebrating an energy company’s birthday in a giant overflowing bath.

I find it difficult to disconnect from the technology around me, and get especially nervous when I try to disentangle myself from the internet. For everything it has done for me, I’m not sure I want to turn off the little glowing boxes. I’ll explain why. Continue reading “Turning off the internet”

The supreme internet overlord

In which I rewrite the rules of the internet for everyone’s benefit.

Followers, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury the Internet, not to praise it. The nonsense that men post lives after them; The good is oft interred with their likes.

I propose therefore that we unite and arise. Arise, Followers of Geek Ergo Sum! Hit counts shall be shaken, drafts shall be splintered! A post a day… a red day… ere the sun rises!

Let today be the beginning of a glorious new era of the Internet as we rally together and form the United Nations of Bloggers, and it is with great  reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love the internet. I love the Republic. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me, but for today I shall lead UNoBs.
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Encarta

Before the internet there were libraries, and before Wikipedia we had the Encyclopedia Britannica. Yet for a few short years between the two we had Encarta.

It seems strange now that we would use a cd-rom for answers to any questions on science, history or geography. The growth of Wikipedia and it’s mass of information on subjects as varied as obscure wrestling stars, tall buildings in Kazakhstan or legendary Welsh Kings has spoilt us. We no longer have to research or use and index. A simple Google search replaces the need to cross reference anything.

No citation needed

At the start of the home computer boom in the 90s nobody had yet thought about using the, ahem, “wisdom of the masses” to crowd source a trove of knowledge. Very few people even had a basic access to the internet let alone the infrastructure to be able to collaborate. This was still Web 1.0.

Before the internet there were libraries, and before Wikipedia we had the Encyclopedia Britannica. Yet for a few short years between the two we had Encarta.

It seems strange now that we would use a cd-rom for answers to any questions on science, history or geography. The growth of Wikipedia and it’s mass of information on subjects as varied as obscure wrestling stars, tall buildings in Kazakhstan or legendary Welsh Kings has spoilt us. We no longer have to research or use and index. A simple Google search replaces the need to cross reference anything.

 

No citation needed

At the start of the home computer boom in the 90s nobody had yet thought about using the, ahem, “wisdom of the masses” to crowd source a trove of knowledge. Very few people even had a basic access to the internet let alone the infrastructure to be able to collaborate. This was still Web 1.0.

Continue reading “Encarta”