Header image alt text

simon collis

musings of an omnivorous biped

Just a few random links I’ve posted on Twitter during the month. They bear repeating though.

  • The Hero’s Journey, Puppet-Style is a good explanation of the “Hero’s Journey” plot hypothesis, and how it relates to many, many well known novels and films. Extremely well done, and slightly sweary.
  • Seth Godin pretty much nails how to think about money. I’ve been reading “how not to be an idiot about money” and such like blogs for years, but never seen a post like this. I might even print it and frame it…
  • Glenn Greenwald speaks out about Snowden, the NSA and reminds everyone that good journalism is the protector of democracy.
  • Can Apple Survive 2013? is an interesting, if slightly mistitled, article from Apple Insider. More accurately, it should be “why Android and Windows Phone’s business models are about ten years out of date”
  • The tumblog Jony Ive Redesigns Things pokes exquisitely designed fun at iOS 7’s graphical revamp. Disclaimer: I have no opinion on iOS 7 as yet, but I think any problems with iOS are more functional than aesthetic.
  • In Utrecht, people put party hats on CCTV cameras in memory of George Orwell’s birthday. So awesome.
  • I fell in love with this record when I heard it on WFMU: Wrong Treatment and Biking Girl, the only release by the Four Plugs.
  • Stray Trains by Milieu is a rather nice EP. And it’s free, too.
  • My favourite Philip Glass piece is Symphony 3, Movement 3. There’s a great live performance on YouTube, and it’s fascinating.
  • Finally, one of my own. The Jehovah’s Witnesses left a copy of the “Watchtower” pinned to the notice board, with the headline “A World Without Prejudice… When?“. Interesting to note the cover didn’t include any women…

Dishonesty, Dishonestly

Posted by simon on 2013/06/12
Posted in News  | Tagged With: , , , , , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

It’s funny how all the disclosures about the NSA’s PRISM spying programme have mentioned specific things that companies don’t do, such as handing user content over to the US Government, but don’t mention what they were accused of: sending communications metadata in bulk. Read the disclaimers: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook… they all say much the same thing.

Of course, it’s easy to deny something you’ve never been accused of in the first place. But also failing to deny the thing you were accused of – that looks suspicious.

Another reason to be more careful online. Personally, I use StartPage as my search engine because IxQuick that runs it is based in the EU, not subject to US law and doesn’t provide information to the US government.

Now it looks like more reasons to use other systems too.

How long will cloud services from Microsoft and others survive? I’m sure EU governments are already considering a move, and it’s likely they’ll impose the same standards on their providers. It’s not enough to close these services, but it doesn’t help.

These disclaimers though… thou canst not equivocate to heaven.

PS: apologies to My First Tooth for blatantly misquoting one of their song titles. I couldn’t find it on YouTube either, so here’s the video for “Past Broadcasts“: