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A Name By Any Other Rose

Posted 2012.02.22 9.15 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Recently there has been a bit of a kerfuffle on teh interwebz about Google’s most recent privacy violations. While I’m not sure lawsuits will help, I suppose they’ll at least keep the evil empire in the spotlight for another minute or two. It’s not just Apple’s Safari either, Microsoft has also come forward and said Google is fucking with its users too.

For those who aren’t up-to-date on this latest scam, it’s about Google knowingly exploiting some issues that allow them to install cookies on users’ computers, even if the users have specifically blocked 3rd party / advertisers cookies in their settings. So if you visit site xyz.com you would expect to only maybe have a cookie from xyz.com but instead you get that plus a dozen others from scummy advertising sites like google or doubleclick.net.

So while the tech blogs and news sites have been thrashing it out a little, I’m just waiting for security updates to patch these holes and end the exploits. In the meantime I’ve been deleting all the cookies from my system, and modified my hosts file to redirect some of these jerks to nowhere.

While doing this, I’ve also been puzzling over why a lot of people don’t seem to care about third parties sideloading cookies onto their computers. I mean, they say it’s only a few kB of data, it’s not like it’s a virus or anything, right?

Well, ok, it’s only a few kB and ok it’s not a virus. But that’s not the point.

The point is, I’ve gone into my settings and set it so that no, third parties and advertisers do not have my permission to install shit on my computer. So when they find ways to bypass my settings, to essentially override my personal preferences and say Hey, we’re going to install our things on your computer and you can’t stop us – well that’s frankly a bit of a piss off.

It’s worse when you recognize what the point of these cookies are: they are there to track you. Track what sites you visit. What your interests are. And the more data they get, the more they know about you.

Last night I had a bit of a revelation. I think a big problem is that these things were named Cookies. That makes them sound all fun and cute and harmless. Oh it’s just a cookie. Nom nom nom. Would people be as ambivalent about them if they were referred to as, say, Web Turds?

I think not. I think people would automatically get a bit more wary if they realized that almost every website they visited meant that another dozen advertisers were leaving stinky little piles of Web Turds in the corners of their computer.

Get Out The Vote!

Posted 2011.04.06 16.58 in Pointless Blather

It seems like every election there’s at least some talk in the media about voter apathy. Some percentage or cross-section of the populace are disaffected, disinterested, disillusioned, or dis-whatever. Most-recently I read that it’s the youth that they fear aren’t going to get interested enough to get out and vote.

I can’t speak for the youth today, but I can say that when I was going-on 18, I couldn’t wait to vote. I was very eager for the opportunity to cast my ballot and have my voice heard, I saw it not as a right but as a responsibility or duty that every citizen was expected to fulfill.

In fact, my own experience is that apathy and age are directly proportionate – or maybe I’m thinking of cynicism… But I digress.

What I’m actually writing about today is how to get more people to vote, plain and simple.¬†As I see it, there are a few specific problems with our current system, which contribute to lower-than-desired voter turnout. If we address and correct those problems, then more people will vote. Let’s look at the problems one by one, below the fold.

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Get Frosted!

Posted 2008.09.17 0.00 in Family/Friends

Cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, cupcakes.

They are freaking awesome.

Made by my sister.

Better than Duff.

Go. Look. Gallery. Drool.

Get Frosted!

Get Frosted!

Fortune of the Day

Posted 2007.02.08 1.00 in Pointless Blather

Your present plans are going to succeed in bed.

Go Buy A Cake!

Posted 2006.11.24 1.00 in Family/Friends

Or a cheesecake. Seriously. No, go do it now! I’ll wait.

Indulge yourself, I say!

How’s this sound? Chocolate cookie crumb base. Grand Marnier infused cheesecake. Mandarin orange slices. Chocolate drizzle. Decadent enough? Mouth watering? It’s what I’m having for dessert right now. You could have it too, just click the link below.

No? Not into chocolate / orange? Ok how about chocolate cookie crumb base, chocolate / Baileys Irish Cream infused cheesecake, cherry topping, and chocolate/Baileys icing? Yeah, that’s right. It’s every bit as good as it sounds.

GetFrosted.com

Cheesecake Decadence
Photo from GetFrosted.com

Today’s Fortune

Posted 2006.11.08 1.00 in Pointless Blather

It is during difficult times that true friends become appearant in bed.

Today’s Fortune

Posted 2006.10.14 0.00 in Pointless Blather

Accept something that you cannot change, and you will feel better.