No One Knows What the F*** They’re Doing

Have you ever received praise, or even an award, for being great at something despite having no clue what you’re doing? Do you feel like a fraud, wondering what sort of voodoo you’ve unwittingly conjured up to make people think you know what you’re doing, when the reality is quite the contrary?

I thought this article was quite good.

Suggested Firefox addon – TACO

I HIGHLY suggest everyone use this addon or something similar. The best explanation can be found on the addon’s homepage:

Why should I use TACO?

A large number of commercial companies now track users’ browsing across the web, in order to profile them, and then serve them targeted advertising. This so called behavioral advertising is a threat to the average user’s privacy.

An industry group, The Network Advertising Initiative, provides an easy way for users to opt-out of the tracking performed by its member companies. Users can visit a single web page, and then easily set opt-out web cookies for all of the NAI members advertising networks. privacychoice.net has a cool wizard that will set cookies for a bunch of other non-NAI member advertising networks too.

The problem with this is that the moment a user clears his or her cookies, they also lose the opt-out cookies. Regularly clearing browser cookies, or better, setting the browser to erase them all at the end of a session, is a recommended practice. Unfortunately, by doing this, users are then required to re-visit the NAI and privacychoice.net opt-out page each time they start browsing the web. This is obviously not a reasonable thing to expect.

Google recently announced that it would be engaging in the large scale collection and use of targeted advertising information. However, in addition to offering an opt-out cookie, the company has also developed a Firefox add-on, so that users can maintain the opt-out cookies, even if they regularly erase the other cookies.

Google should be commended for releasing such a useful privacy enhancing technology (even though their use of targeted advertising is creepy, and should be prohibited by the FTC). If only this add-on could be used to protect people from the prying eyes of the other advertising networks…..

If you are not using Firefox I HIGHLY suggest you start! Get it here

Download this addon here

Quick bit of Advice – Your Privacy Online

From time to time, someone will come to me looking for advice. Recently a good friend of mine apprached with some questions regarding how she could ensure her privacy online, and how she can keep “private” things posted online to places like Facebook, Myspace, and her own website restricted to only the people she wanted.

Unfortunately the short answer is that there is really no such thing as keeping things posted online private. Once you publish something to the world wide web, the best advice I can give is to assume that EVERYONE can see it. Yes, even your private facebook profile may be deemed “relevant” in a lawsuit and made public. If you don’t want someone to know something, simply don’t post it online.

There are plenty of ways for your content to be made public from other places, and while I won’t go into all of them here, let me just say that these methods are well known and easy to use.

Let me reiterate – DONT put anything online you wouldn’t want everyone you know to be aware of!