1. v. The act of writing a weblog or 2. n. Toby’s weblog.

Rubbish terrorist threat of the week

Written in today’s Metro by David Hill of the World Innovation Foundation

‘Government business secretary John Hutton’s announcement that Britain could have one wind turbine every half-mile along the nation’s coastline by 2020 is a terrorist’s dream come true. For, if we are to become so reliant upon this isolated energy generation, there is no way to protect them.’

He does go on to make some slightly better points but this just caught my eyes as a really spurious use of the threat of terrorism to argue the case against something he doesn’t like.

To use it as the opening argument of his correspondence really does smack of desperation as well.

As for the WIF, a quick google shows that the only person who really talks up WIF is David Hill. The few others that discuss it either believe it is a hoax or a well meaning, but ultimately flawed organization.

Published on 2007/12/12 at 07:37 by Toby, tags , , , ,

TCSOTD 2007-12-03

Kristin Hersh puts her music online, as well as remix fodder
cashmusic all sounds like rather a good idea

This is what happens when you get the populace to do state intelligence work for you

Want to buy a fake e-passport?

More government data loss – housing benefit this time

Buy Uranium on Amazon

Published on 2007/12/03 at 11:53 by Toby, tags , , , , , , , , , , ,

TCSOTD 2007-11-27

Petition to abandon plans to create the Information Sharing Index

Henry Porter: A mass movement is needed to tackle the state’s snoopers
… hint: Open Rights Group is a good place to start

Ben Goldacre on Biometrics

‘Biometrics are not a panacea for data loss’:A letter to the Joint Committee on Human Rights

Innocents fear DNA database errors
… ‘In the past year, more than 100 possible inaccuracies in the documentation of DNA profiles have been discovered, and a further 1,500 administrative mistakes have been logged on the system.’

A Chinese man is suing for divorce after discovering that he is the father of only one of his twins.

Taxpayer may have to pay £170bn for PFI schemes, says Treasury

Miss Mind the Gap sacked
… oh dear, TfL seem to have lost their corporate sense of humour

Coz' the Facebook ain't listening...

So, Channel 4 has quizzed facebook about just why they make it so hard to delete an account. For those of you just catching up, facebook allow you to ‘deactivate’ an account very easily but not delete all the data that you have put into their system. In order to fully delete the account, you need to manually delete every single item that you have placed into their care. They have said in the past that this is to make it easy to reactivate your account should you suffer a change of heart.

They make the following point:

Facebook does not use any information from deactivated accounts for advertising purposes.

They have to say this. One of the major value proposition of facebook is that they give you a useful tool to do what you want with in return for making money off your personal data from advertising revenue. I feel that it would be very wrong for them to farm out your data if you are no longer getting some benefit from it.

So, why keep it, and why make it so hard to properly remove yourself from their servers? I really hope the reasons are technical and that the database design has been organically grown or designed such that there is no referential integrity, thus making it harder to traverse down the various content stores working out who owns what.

At the risk of calling down the ire of facebook (and yes, I would be temporarily lost without it) I am seriously beginning to consider whether I want to give my data to this company no matter how granular the access controls are when there are some interesting alternatives (and no, I’m not talking about the excerable myspace).

So, we shall see. This isn’t yet my ‘turn off facebook moment’ but it may well not be far around the corner…

[Edited to add – this is an interesting take as well which makes one wonder – they say they don’t use deactivated information for advertising purposes. However, that answer very effectively excludes the many, many other uses the data has. Worrying.]

Published on 2007/11/21 at 18:21 by Toby, tags ,

TCSOTD 2007-11-21

Ebay sale for two CD’s with some sort of database on them
… Ha ha ha ha ha

Merry Mithras

Data lost by HMRC

B3ta’s reaction to the HMRC data loss here

More serious reactions from ORG
and Professor Ross Anderson, which is particularly worth reading.

Facebook is causing a different privacy row
Channel 4 has a take on it too

Spheres of Chaos now free

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