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Google is Tracking where you Click, by Name, but you Can Opt Out

See the article Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking, by Julia Angwin. Apparently, Google no longer takes Internet users’ privacy seriously.

. . . means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.

To opt-out of Google’s identified tracking, visit the Activity controls on Google’s My Account page, and uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.” You can also delete past activity from your account.

There is an old story about two guys standing in the front room of a house, looking out the window at the street. Suddenly, police cars and SWAT vans race up, their lights flashing, and cops rush out and point guns at the window. Bullets begin to fly, and the glass shatters. One guy drops to the floor and puts his hands over his head. The other guy just stands there and watches. The guy on the floor shouts, “Get down, you idiot!” The one standing up says, “Why? I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Subreddit Dedicated to Outing Google “Censorship”

I admit it–I am an avid redditor… so when upon receipt of an email about a subreddit founded on the idea that Google practices censorship in its search engine results, I immediately investigated. As of today, the subreddit has 155 subscribers. All of the submissions on the “hot” page were by a redditor called skepticofskeptics, who is also the creator of the subreddit. From the sidebar:

Google covertly censors web pages.
You know it’s happening. It is obvious and blatant. Your friends know it is happening.
You can make it stop.
Talk. Organize. Petition your congressman, senator and other lawmakers.
Bring an end to the lies and deception.

I reserve judgment on the question of whether Google actually manipulates its search engine results for political or social reasons. I know for a fact that it does so for financial reasons. I think it would be difficult for even a sophisticated person to distinguish the two. Furthermore, I am not convinced that it would be improper for the company to manipulate or “censor” its search engine results for political reasons. After all, it is not as if the company is a government actor or owes the public a relevant legal duty one way or the other.

TSA Moment — Child in wheelchair is obviously a terrorist

Don’t Track Me, Google!

If you don’t like how Google keeps track of your searches and clicks, visit this site…

Our Tax Dollars at Work

Well, to be honest, it is not our tax dollars at work, but printed and/or borrowed money at work.   Nevada spent $812,448,468 which came from the “Federal Stimulus” programs of 2009. Out of that, a grand total of 39.39 jobs were created.


Firefox is Garbage?

I never thought I would read anything that claimed Firefox is garbage.  NinjaPirate gives us a list of 6 reasons why we should uninstall it.

The first is his screenshot of Firefox using over 200 Megs of RAM.  That’s a lot.  Of course, currently mine is using less, about 92 Megs of RAM, which is still a lot, but less than NinjaPirate.

One reason he gives is that whenever he looks at (some particularly disgusting kind of) porn online in Firefox he feels guilty.  Is feeling guilty for looking at porn Firefox’s fault?  If you feel guilty doing it, that’s because you think it’s wrong and do it anyway.  That’s your own fault.

He’s right about the name though.  Firefox is a really, really dumb name.  I feel stupid every time I say I use Firefox.  Can’t we come up for a better name for it, like Opera or Lynx?  Oh wait…