Internet ID’s – More trouble than they’re worth

Internet IDs - Are they worth it?PopSci’s point and counterpoint articles on internet IDs brings up once again the concept of an international identification system that ties a person with a number. Would it be tied to our social security numbers? Our passports? Our banking? To my mind, this is just another bitcoin fiasco in the making, except now it’s not just one digital wallet or a bank, it’s my entire credentials – online or otherwise.

We want the protection benign government affords without the abuse corrupt government bestows. Unfortunately, abuse can happen at any level. An international id code will lead more to abuse of privacy than anything else. Marketers already abuse our IP address information, often skating on the edge of legal, moral and ethical values because the money involved is too tempting to do otherwise.

We can just barely address civil and criminal issues in the physical world. Are we really ready to internationalize legal/civil/criminal issues with something as abstract and nebulous as the internet? I don’t think we’re there yet.

Image credit: PopSci.com

Tom’s Toothpaste – Take two, they’re small…

Tom's Toothpaste - Take two, they're small...I like Tom’s toothpaste, but like so many other products, the parameters that make the product what it is seem to change every six months. In a previous story, I showed how Tom’s had simplified their design from Serif fonts and difficult-to-produce imagery to mostly sans-serif, less wording and less graphics on the front of the tube. But now they’ve gone to plastic tubing instead of metal tubing – which I preferred – and they’ve gone from 6.0 ounces to a 5.5 ounces per tube. Continue reading “Tom’s Toothpaste – Take two, they’re small…”

Improving Google News – Can it i-happen?

MG Siegler writes on TechCrunch.com comparing Google News with other tech news venues. He suggests that algorithms alone are not enough to make decisions about what actually is news and what is stale. His comment about re-bloggers getting purposed before the original story shows just how stale the information really is. But I have to go a couple steps further than Siegler. The most important thing to remember about the ‘sci/tech’ section of google news is that it’s supposed to encompass science and tech. Grouping them together in one section is akin to smaller book stores grouping science-fiction and horror together. They really are separate entities with a blurry overlap. Continue reading “Improving Google News – Can it i-happen?”

Detecting Fake Virus Alerts

Fake Virus AlertsYou’re surfing along on the web, researching images of algae… That should be safe as milk, right? Yes, so long as you know when you’re being scammed. This video shows an example of how easy it can be to get herded into doing something you don’t want to do. Is your computer really telling you there is a virus, or is it just a scheming website owner trying to hack in to your computer? Find out in the video below.