“The computer is electronic cocaine for many people,” says Whybrow. “Our brains are wired for finding immediate reward. With technology, novelty is the reward. You essentially become addicted to novelty.”
These are bookmarks, articles, blog entries and other pages that I found interesting; think of this as a "linkblog" / public bookmarking system similar to del.icio.us
Tacky, arranged furniture catalog photos are great targets for snippyness. Billed as "A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs" Catalog Living adds always-hilarious captions to the already-humorous photos we find in our furniture catalogs:
Embarrassed by their premature arrival, Gary & Elaine’s decorative Christmas trees made their way upstairs to hide for another month.
An email received from Google to my [deprecated] Gmail address:
Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we've reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (http://buzz.google.com), a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.
Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.
The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.
Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at http://www.BuzzClassAction.com.
Mark Pilgrim on the loss of someone close:
I’ve been active online for 9 years now. With one exception, nothing I’ve done online has brought me closer to making 25-year friends. Life online rewards breadth, not depth. As gratifying as it may be to have 1 million “visitors” read at least one word of my latest online book, chances are none of those visitors will turn into people who turn into friends who turn into 25-year friends.
I suggested that she go buy a $15 wireless router rather than spending $100 on an expensive Apple gimmick. She told me that collage-boy refused to use anything but Mac products because of Feng Shui, apparently it went better with the cheap Ikea furniture.
She would ask me if $2500 was too much to spend on a computer; I died a little inside when I realized that Apple computer would cost more than my last car.
As my homebuilt PC came down, the Mac snapped; the extremely expensive machine cracked open, guts spilling from its disemboweled chassis. Clearly, PC was the winner in this particular fight. Screw you, Justin Long.
P.S. - I am writing this from a VIA Rail train, with free wifi in every car. Welcome to the future [sic].
According to Trend Micro, an internet security firm, more than 40% of teens are "social hackers".
Sigh. I remember a day when being a hacker meant that you had to actually know how to do something.
The "social hackers" are still split by gender though. Boys are twice as likely to go for the profile assassination, while girls are three times more likely to go straight for the PayPal.
What can I say - boys want power, girls love the bling. It's the nature of things.
The "new" idea of "social hacking" is that many social details are on view via social networking sites such as Facebook. A competent social hacker can find information which tends to give away security question answers.
And an incompetent target will use public information in their own security questions and password. And deserve everything they've got coming.
Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro said, "It's the online version of kids breaking into school to change their reports, it's just so much easier now."
Breaking into school to change your report card took planning, skill and cojones.
Anything that can be done from behind the safety of a computer screen requires nothing more than an Internet connection, a decent mix of self-loathing and lack of self confidence, and maybe some Red Bull. Sure, maybe a "social hacker" (*cough* *hack* *cough*) can find out where you live and hang out by hacking into your Facebook profile, but then what? Years of sitting on a couch with his laptop drinking latte mochaccinos will have left his body too weak and atrophied to pose any real threat.
I, on the under hand, can find out where you live, chase you down because I can run faster than you, and then dead-lift you off a bridge.
See kids? It's about branching out.
Oh, and it's called social engineering, and it's not new at all.
Find the least contacted community in the most underdeveloped corner of the world, and you will probably find kids with sticks playing with ants (assuming the area isn't dominated by siafu). The insect's charm is understandable. In ants, we find tiny but industrious creatures that work together to build cities and surmount obstacles far too great for the individual. We enjoy observing and meddling with these miniature societies, because in them we see our own.