Google and Privacy: Much Ado About Nothing

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So it turns out that self-confessed Google junkies really don’t give a flip whether Google collects data on them or not. No, in fact, some of them say “yeah, bring it on!” This is the counter-reaction to the reaction to the new Google privacy policy. Another one is this guy, who points out that Google underestimated his age by half.

Look, people, it’s this simple:

  • You can opt out any time.
  • You can get five computers with three web browsers on each and delete cookies and search as 15 different strangers if you’re that paranoid.
  • Google is only collecting data and saving it to target marketing. That’s been the cornerstone of capitalism since the invention of money.
  • All this data will consist of is your interests, and guess at your gender and age. It doesn’t steal your credit card or anything.
  • Some of us (blog writers, for instance) have interests that aren’t going to make sense to a tracking algorithm anyway.

OK? Can everybody quit panicking?

How Could We Lose Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy In the Same Month?

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Never heard of those two names? If so, we’re sorry for you. You would have to know that Steve Jobs died. Everybody (at least in the tech blog world) knows that he’s the founder and longtime CEO of Apple Inc. He made the front page of newspapers and the cover of magazines the world over when he passed away this last October.

But two more giants in computing passed away last October also, and they were barely noticed.

Dennis Ritchie founded the C programming language. He was also one of the founding fathers of Unix. He was one half of the partnership of Ken Thompson, with whom he basically invented the modern operating system and the modern programming platform as we know it today.

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An Analysis Of How Hackers Penetrated The US Pentagon

We love a good caper story as much as the next mystery fan, and this perky after-crime report is a good look at cyber-security matters and how they fail. In How Hackers Stole 24,000 Files From The Pentagon, the breach is traced to some very obvious methods.

Briefly, they slapped together a bogus PDF document that got sent at about 7:30AM “because the best time to send those types of things is right before someone’s had their coffee.” See, right there, it’s the human factor, not tech. Victim opens document, document installs malware, target system has 24,000 documents on file because they subcontract for the US Department of Defense, and that’s that, it’s break time.

It also goes to show just how little progress we’ve actually made at information security. As long as we have the concept of a zero-day exploit, we’ll still have computer networks that aren’t any more secure than a cardboard box, no matter how many clever measures we take.

What Does Responsive Web Design Mean?

“Responsive” is the new word going around the web design campfire. It was first coined by the web design blog “A List Apart” and has become the term being batted around the meeting table every Monday morning.

OK, but what does responsive web design mean? For a web design to be responsive, that means that it must respond to how it is viewed. In other words, it should serve different content or styling depending on if a visitor is using a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a full-screen desktop to view it. And these days, you have to throw in people browsing on anything from a gaming console to an Arduino-powered wristwatch.

A side-order of other buzzwords: “Multi-device layout patterns” – the template for a responsive website. “Dynamic CSS” – Cascading Style Sheets that warp to fit whatever screensize you view it on. “Viewport” – the screen space you have available. And you’re likely to see “responsive web design” abbreviated as “RWD.”

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Adobe v HTML5

The story of the Internet has always been a battle between the old guard corporations and the new guard users.

So, Microsoft has had to battle against Free and Open Source software, IBM had to battle against the PC clones, Apple had to battle against the PC, proprietary Unix had to battle against BSDs, and so on. remember DEC? The Digital Equipment Corporation once ruled the computing world with the PDP and the VAX throughout the 1970s. But time goes by and progress marches on.

What’s bizarre is that corporations don’t seem to learn from history. Adobe, which has already had to fight for its survival when the free image-editor Gimp has risen to challenge Adobe’s flagship cash cow Photoshop, now finds itself at odds over its second most-lucrative business, Flash. HTML5 is coming, inevitably, and there’s very little that Adobe’s proprietary Flash platform can do that HTML5’s canvas element can’t.

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How To Use Passion In Web Marketing

When we spotted the post In Praise of Passion over at Boing-Boing, it got us thinking. As Internet marketers, we all know that our digital strategy should include website design, search engine optimization, advertising, and so on. But how many of us think about whether we’re inspiring passion?

Some ideas for generating passion around your business:

If your service solves a problem, state how devoted to solving that problem you are. Talk about it a lot! Explain how it’s the central driving force for you being in business. If you run a graphic design agency, you can make your motto something like “Ending Ugly Web Design, One Graphic At A Time!”

Your business does good with a blog. A blog is a place where you can be looser and casual. You can be funny or you can whinge a little! Most of all, you can dump your soul into sharing your passion with the world. It’s not just a business, it’s a mission, and you’re the general inspiring the troops…

Your advertising, web marketing, and email newsletter can be designed to convey just a touch more drama. Remember, your audience is exposed to more media content than it can digest every day; to stand out, you need to grab some attention!

Some of the Biggest Names Behind Linux

Some clients, upon encountering Linux web hosting, tend to remark that they’re surprised to see a big company running Linux.

Being a Free/Open Source Software system, people get the idea that it’s all done by volunteers. Right away they picture some hippies in sandals and tie-dye shirts, flashing peace signs and saying how they’re going to “stick it to the man.”

This is a ludicrous idea, because in fact, Linux *IS* “the man!” Linux’s desktop market share is still in the low single digits as far as end users are concerned. The place where Linux has won is the enterprise (as well as content management systems). See if you recognize any of these corporations:

IBM
Has long been involved with Linux. They host the IBM Linux Technology Center, install Linux on many consumer and office machines that they sell, have partnered with Linux brand names such as Canonical (makers of Ubuntu), and routinely install Linux on their mainframe computer line. The current top of their line in mainframes, the IBM zSeries 800, sports a Tux sticker on every unit sold.

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