Posts Tagged ‘web browsers’

See-sawing between convenience and privacy

February 17, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 17, 2014

Last week, I considered Kevin Drum’s complaint about Google leveraging its access to his web searches in order to send him a targeted email advertisement.

Since writing that post, I’ve given the topic a little more consideration. Specifically, I spent some time trying to sum up my message in a pithy fashion.

I came up with this formula: You can have lots of convenience or you can have lots of privacy online, but you can’t have both.

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One simple way to evade corporate peeping toms (in which I quote the Founding Fathers and a 1980s TV show)

February 12, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb 12, 2014

The great Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum put up a short post yesterday. The title captures the content pretty well: “Google Reads My Mind (And My Web Searches) Once Again.”

You should read the whole article, though. It’s just three brief paragraphs and 180 words long. Go ahead, check it out. Just click on the link above. I’ll wait.

I’ve been reading Drum on and off for years, and he strikes me as a pretty savvy character. He’s also someone who’s taken a noted interest in the issue of privacy. To be fair, Drum is mostly concerned with government surveillance, but he’s certainly aware of the potential that corporate data mining has to infringe on privacy.

So what did I find most shocking about Drum’s post from Tuesday?

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Too many tabs, man. Too many tabs.

December 5, 2012

Many years ago, I worked at an institution of higher learning that I usually refer to, with my trademark snark — not to mention my stale wit — as PU. A guy in my office was also named Matt; he had some kind of information technology job, the exact nature of which escapes me.

Anyway, one day Matt stopped at my desk for some reason and noticed the bar at the bottom of my screen. My computer was running some more or less current (at the time) version of the Windows operating system.

Windows then did (and continued, I believe, up until the version released this year) to display a number of rectangles in that bottom-line status bar. Each rectangle represented either a program that the computer was running or an individual window of a program that was running. If more than a few programs were running, a program would get just one box.

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