Monday, May 10, 2010

Facebook is beating Google in the race to invade your privacy

The following write-ups are the reasons I have become convinced that Facebook needs to be stopped.

Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook:


Robert Scoble of Rackspace was kicked off Facebook for trying to import his personal information into a third-party app for synchronizing his contacts (his account was re-activated, but imagine if you *weren't* Robert Scoble of Rackspace):

All this, along with the most recent Facebook insanity packaged as "feature" and unleashed upon its users, to my mind makes Facebook the far and away winner in the race to eradicate our privacy online.

Google's still a contender, but somehow I still trust Google. I mean, Google has never intentionally locked me out of my e-mail account because of some perceived violation of its nebulous terms-of-service. Nor has Google prevented me from retrieving my contact information. In fact, Google has facilitated the transferring, exporting, copying, and sharing of my own personal data through the availability of its application programming interfaces and online software labs.

You simply must check out this rather frightening infographic which is found over at Matt McKeon's website. McKeon is a software developer in the Visual Communication Lab at IBM Research's Center for Social Software.

Also, from Boing Boing's fascinating post which lays out the exposition of Facebook's march towards its Orwellian market share of your personal information -- a quote from Tim Spalding:
Why do free social networks tilt inevitably toward user exploitation? Because you're not their customer, you're their product.
So, you tell me. What's the difference between a human product, and a slave? Remember, it is a fallacious argument to suggest that any rights to one's own personal information have been given up just because one voluntarily signs an EULA.

Friday, May 07, 2010


Michael Granger's blog mentions this awesome little piece of ruby database modeling/persistence tech called Sequel.

Sequel appears to be the best alternative to ActiveRecord that I have ever seen. Probably.

This is how you connect to a DB:
DB = Sequel.connect('postgres://localhost/blog?user=user')

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ron Paul: Obama is a 'corporatist', not a socialist

Here's the text of an e-mail I sent to Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) today.
Dear Representative Paul:

I have been an admirer of yours for years now. I was very disappointed that you did not win the presidential nomination of your party in 2008. I wish you the best of outcomes in the coming election. I believe our country needs people like you in our government, and it makes me hopeful that our government can be reigned in by the people, when we have representation like you.

I have a question regarding something that you apparently said during your time at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, as quoted in a Wall Street Journal piece a month ago in April.

You said, regarding President Obama, "In the technical sense, in the economic definition, he is not a socialist, [...] He’s a corporatist, [meaning he takes] care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country."

I was wondering, could you please expound on this?

I am also against corporate interests having as much influence as they do on our country, particularly how much influence corporations seem to have over the USDA, the FEC, the FDA, the FCC, and the Federal Reserve.

I understand how you might believe that President Obama is interested in continuing a government-planned economy (which I am against in principle), but I am having trouble understanding why you think that the President is a corporatist in light of his response to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. (2010) during his State of the Union Address this year.

Can you help me understand your opinion on this matter?

Thank you, and God bless,