I don’t understand information crimes

August 17, 2012 By: erik Category: Anarchy, Musings, Politics, USA

whistleLet’s say I have a secret. Perhaps I’m gay, or I secretly won the lottery, or I killed a guy once, or I have a terminal disease, or I’m in witness protection, or I’m embezzling money from my employer, or I’m having an affair, or I have a supernumerary nipple. Whatever it is, it’s absolutely true, but no one knows it, and I’d prefer that it stays that way. Now let’s say you somehow discover my secret and you tell everyone. What moral, ethical or legal lines have you just crossed?
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Cookies Are Not Evil

October 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing, Musings

The Real Cookie Monster, by Jeremy HoffmanThere’s been a bit of an online privacy storm lately over the fact that Facebook doesn’t remove all the cookies from your browser when you log off. Every three or four months, there’s a big “OMG!! Facebook is EVIL and breaching my privacy!” wave that runs over the online community before everyone forgets it and keeps using the service.
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Facebook’s Power: Targeted Ads

October 03, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing

Facebook ExclamationFacebook’s genius has been to make it “cool” to “tell all your friends” what movies and products and politics you like, which is exactly the data advertisers are dying to get their hands on.

A few months ago, I placed an ad on Facebook, mainly as an experiment to satisfy my curiosity about how their advertising system works. It was a few days before the British royal wedding, and I had done up a silly little photoshopped image of the bride and groom with their faces swapped, so I decided to see how much traffic I could drive to that page. I told Facebook I was willing to spend up to $10 on the ad over three days (I ended up pulling the plug, curiosity quenched, after spending only $8). Then I got to select who the ad was presented to…and that’s when things got creepy.
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