Random thoughts and ideas

Posts Tagged ‘Data

Well that’s good news..

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So I am thinking that Facebook is great as a chat tool. I already have almost everyone I’ve ever known over there. Of course, I’m worried about privacy (yes, again). Anyway, we’ll get to that later. The web interface for chat sucks, so thankfully you can use an IM client to access your Facebook chat (for Windows there’s Pidgin, and for Mac OS there’s Adium…both free). All you need to do is install, set up your Facebook username and password, and you’re ready to go. No need to have Facebook open in your browser. They have some nifty features too like combining each person’s multiple accounts (e.g. Facebook, GTalk, MSN, ICQ ((haha! ICQ!!))…etc.) into one “contact” so they appear online to you as soon as they log in to any of their accounts….aaaaanyway.

I was wondering, though, if Facebook stores my chat history. That would be bad. However, I’m happy to report that, according to Facebook, and at least for now, they don’t! Woohoo! I need to enjoy this while it lasts 🙂

The other great thing about using an IM client is just that…you can store your chat history…locally on your own machine…with no one being able to snoop through it and see what you have been saying to your friends and significant other(s)….mmm…well that’s unless you have Google Desktop installed. Yes. We’ve come full circle back to Big Brother ^^…but that’s another story.

I guess I can live with Facebook for the moment. I think that generally I can have some control over what kind of information I want to share with…well the nice programmers and DBAs at Facebook HQ. I’m not comfortable with it by a long shot, but for now I think the upside of access to anyone I would like to talk to outweighs the downside…or maybe I just think I’m not ready to relinquish it yet.


Written by karembu

May 3, 2010 at 10:05

Posted in Privacy

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Hello world!

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Well hello world indeed. So I’ve moved off Blogger as part of my move away from Google. I found myself freaked out by the sheer amount of stuff Google knows about me. They had my search terms, my e-mail, my photos, my documents, my calendar, my blog, my contacts, my chats…too much really. I found it scary to imagine having an Android phone on top of it all…so they’d know where I am and who I call too 🙂

I have to admit it’s not easy to get off a Google addiction. They make everything so easy. But the decision was made, and it seemed to me that waiting longer would only make it more difficult. Hmmm…why does that sound familiar? Anyway…so for advice I went to the source of all useful knowledge: Seinfeld.

“You should just do it like a Band-Aid. One motion! Right off!”

And that’s what I did.

Granted that most of that stuff (with the exception of e-mail) is arguably not really sensitive information (emphasis on “arguably”), the sheer amount of it and the links they can deduce among the various snippets of information makes it too personal for my taste. I felt uncomfortable with the idea of Google having all this data and being able to construct a virtual sketch of me and my life. The knowledge that their ever hungry algorithms are foraging through my data for trends and patterns freaked me out, and Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, which used to be my consolation, slowly faded away like a chalk painting on the side of a building to reveal the underlying text painted on the wall. “Big Brother is watching you”.

Big Brother is watching you

Seems paranoid? Well, I feel more comfortable anyway, and I’m not really trying to convince anyone to follow suit. Just don’t forget that all your data are belong to Google 😉

I wonder if closing my account actually erases my data off of Google’s databases. I doubt it, but maybe there’s something I can do about it. I need to do some more research.

Next up on my list is Facebook…but that’s another story for another day.

Written by karembu

April 21, 2010 at 20:30

Posted in Privacy

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