Privacy Regained

April 2, 2018

Copyright @iamdylancurran

Rather than adding my voice to the chorus of the last few weeks, and months, and years, decrying issues of control and privacy lost via social media and search engines I’ll link instead to another voice, a straightforward post by Dylan Curran in which he graphically illustrates the data the Facebook and Google collect about each user. (more…)

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Google to Acquire Twitch for $1 Billion

May 19, 2014

Here’s BBC’s version of tonight’s news story about Google’s proposed $1 billion acquisition of Twitch; you can find many more stories of equally pricey deals during the last few years. (Amazon ended up buying Twitch in August 2014 for $970 million).

There’s no point in pontificating about a new Internet bubble. The maneuvering of high tech firms is so unusual this time around that “bubble” doesn’t begin to describe the shape. (more…)

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4,000 Tweets

September 16, 2013

The other night I noticed that I’d hit 4,000 tweets. Never thought I’d do it. I signed up for Twitter both reluctantly and cynically. I thought it was just a compressed means of notifying the world of what I’d had for breakfast. I already used Facebook to spread that important news. Now with three years of twittering under my belt I find that I’ve averaged about 120 tweets per month. Verbal, no? The stats are neither here nor there. The only question is: was it worth it? (more…)

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Tweeting from the Vasisthasana Position

July 16, 2010



I was speaking today with the chief executive of a new media technology/services company about some key enhancements to its offering (I’ll be blogging about them on Monday, the official announcement date). We were discussing how challenging it can be to get old media executives into new media positions. I said that while I wasn’t any longer physically able to lift my leg over my head (was I ever?), I felt that I was still managing to do so in my embrace of new technology.

I can be a little stiff-jointed at first, as I have been with social networking and eReaders, but eventually I loosen up, as I’ve now done with Twitter and (to a lesser extent) Facebook.

Earlier today I posted the longest and most involved entry I’ve yet written in some three years of blogging. I use Twitterfeed to tweet my new entries and for some reason it wasn’t picking up on this one. I changed the settings and still nothing. How could I tweet it manually?

I checked to see if anyone else had noticed it today, so I could tweet their entry. Nope (because it hadn’t been tweeted…a vicious circle). So I thought I’d tweet it myself from my site.

That’s when I noticed that I’ve only got four social buttons: Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Technorati. No Facebook and no Twitter. Jeez.

Then I remembered a visit the other day to eCampusNews for an article about Zinio’s new “all-digital newsstands” (saves floor space!). Good story, but what struck me was the social networking “button” on the site. Powered by AddToAny, it the biggest blog button I’ve ever blundered upon. They seem to think that size matters, forgetting that it ain’t the meat it’s the motion. I had to assume the Vasisthasana position to get a screen capture of this one.

It certainly solves the problem (and then some). What’s Fark? Weren’t they disbanded after the diplomat was rescued? I thought I got my vaccine for Xerpi. Maple must be Canadian, but I can’t find it online. Oh well.

I think smaller is better. But I’d better add a few more buttons. Then I can just move on (for now, anyway).


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When Captchas Go Crazy

July 7, 2010

I was on the Audience Development magazine website tonight, led there once again by Bob Sacks, and found an interesting piece of news about magazine circulation…which will appear on my next post (such suspense!).

This post is about CAPTCHAs. Did you know that CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”? CAPTCHAs usually require entering difficult-to-read alphanumeric text. This site uses a very simple MAPTCHA, the mathematical variant, because my astute Webmeister, Elia Kanaki, convinced me that it doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. I still get some spam, but it appears to be generated by humans.

The most recognizable CAPTCHAs come from reCAPTCHA.


If they’re too difficult to see, or too long to bother, you can just keep clicking until an easier one appears.


But tonight I ran into a new CAPTCHA that made me LOL (laugh out loud).


That’s not a word! I assumed everything was garbled, some kind of programming error. I tried it on two more entries.

What is the third word in the phrase “sahiqu boso poy enub won”?

What is the second word in the phrase “fex madib qifot ewew nucit”?

None of my comments were acknowledged, and none appeared on the site. So of course I went googling and learned that for sites built with the open source DRUPAL software, this is a standard CAPTCHA format. So I guess the folks at Audience Development still moderate the comments even if the CAPTCHA is entered correctly (I do too). They’re going to be scratching their heads tomorrow morning when they see my goofy comments.

I’m glad that Elia talked me down from getting too fancy with my CAPTCHA. Once you get onto the path of paranoia about too many spam comments, there’s no stopping. On the DRUPAL site one distraught programmer comments on an early version of the DRUPAL text CAPTCHA “I am working on it to make it harder, e.g. ‘what is the third character of the second word of …’, and more difficult questions.”

The CAPTCHA continues to evolve over at reCAPTCHA.


Cute, no? Try programming an automated spambot for that one, you evil spammers!

But meanwhile the days of the CAPTCHA are dwindling, as the era of social networking overwhelms us.


Sites increasingly rely on third-party social networking log-ins to confirm your identity, and presumably over time, to tie a tweet or a Facebook favorite or some other loathesome false flattery with one’s attempt to post a comment.


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