Will the Real Pink Shirt Day Please Stand Up?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all against bullies. I got the shit kicked out of me when I was a kid more times than I could keep track of. It was a sort of ritual. I’d see them coming, just lay down to let them kick me around the pavement, then get up and head home. I was expert at protecting my nether regions.

And I was called every name in the book. I won’t mention those names here, lest I offend someone. Suffice to say, my vocabulary is much more colourful for the experience. Credit bullies, they have quite the imaginations!

So it’s with chagrin that I have suddenly realized that the whole anti-bullying movement is a big steaming pile of dog pooh. Continue reading

Three Basic Principles for Buying an E-reader

I have this funny feeling that e-readers will be a marquee gift this holiday season.

I don’t know why, but it could have something to do with all these new Kindles from Amazon, the new Kobo Vox, and the just-introduced Nook Tablet from Barnes and Noble.

There are so many e-readers on the market these days that deciding which one to buy for whom can be tough.

Luckily there are few general principles you can work with when considering what’s available. Continue reading

NDP’s Peggy Nash says Harper’s Canada not ‘normal’

One of the most important rules of life: be afraid – be very afraid – of people who pretend to know what “normal” is (especially when they position the opposite of normal as “wrong”).

NDP’s Peggy Nash says Harper’s Canada not ‘normal’:

NDP leadership hopeful Peggy Nash says Canada is no longer a “normal” country under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s direction.


(Via CBC | Top Stories News)

Mobile app lets you pay with your name

I love the functionality, but the privacy issues that Card Case introduces are almost unfathomable. Imagine being in a mall with this app active in your pocket: dozens of shops would know you’re in the vicinity.

Then what’s being done with all of the data describing your travels? Who owns that, who is it share with, and how is it managed? Who is it being resold to?

Card Case sounds sort of like an ankle bracelet for shoppers.

Mobile app lets you pay with your name:

The app [Card Case] automatically opens a tab when it detects that a customer is within 100 meters (328 feet) of a business, as long as they’ve enabled the functionality in the app and approved the business.

The user’s arrival, along with their name and photo, is announced on the merchant’s app giving them the ability to charge products and services to the customer’s credit card.

“You can pay without ever reaching for your purse, taking out your wallet, or even your phone,” said Quinn. “It requires no new or unusual customer behaviour – you don’t have to wave your phone, or preload money.”

(Via The Globe and Mail – Technology RSS feed)

Microsoft on the Google ‘Admosphere’

Never thought I’d find myself nodding my head vigorously as I read a Microsoft blog post. But this one rings true to me. This part is even worth quoting:

Microsoft on the Google ‘Admosphere’:

Every CIO needs to ask if that value system is consistent with your privacy needs.  Are you comfortable with every click in your business, every document, and every communication being in Google’s hands?  Are your customers and business partners?

(Via Daring Fireball)

Pogue on the Kindle Fire

David Pogue’s review of the new Kindle is now online, and he’s generally effusive about the e-ink models, but offers caution about the colour edition Fire.

State of the Art: The Fire Aside, Amazon’s Lower-Priced Kindles Also Shine:

Your heart leaps. “This is incredible!” you say, contemplating the prospects. “It’s like an iPad — for $200!”

But that’s a dangerous comparison.

For one thing, the Fire is not nearly as versatile as a real tablet. It is designed almost exclusively for consuming stuff, particularly material you buy from Amazon, like books, newspapers and video. It has no camera, microphone, GPS function, Bluetooth or memory-card slot. There is a serviceable e-mail program, but no built-in calendar or note pad.

(Via NYT > Technology)

Privacy Risk: Social Sites Leave Media Blowing in the Wind

I use pretty much every social media site out there, including Google Plus, Facebook, Flickr, WordPress, Tumblr, and Twitter.

A lot of what I post to these sites is private, however, or at least very limited in terms of access (usually limited to close family and friends). A lot of this private content includes photos and videos.

Based on the security settings of these various sites, I’d always understood that content privacy was consummate. If, for example, I post a photo, I expect that photo to be completely contained within that privacy model.

But that’s not so. It turns out that photos posted to every social media site are published to the web in a completely exposed state. Only if you attempt to access the file through the web site is it protected. If you try to access the media file directly, it’s open to anyone.

Continue reading