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Technology

Broadly defined "technology" e.g. software, water pumps

Privacy in the Digital Age - Up a Clickstream Without a Paddle

So, privacy. That's kinda an important thing right now. As we go around the internets we leave all sorts of information about ourselves online. That information is valuable. No, I mean really valuable. Even if you don't submit your personal information (like name, or address) to a website you are still leaving providing private information just by visiting a site. Don't believe me? Look at this press release from hitwise about real estate. Notice anything? Like how visits to real estate sites are a leading indicator of home purchasing behavior. Yeah, your visits to sites, or "clickstream" is a predictor of what you think about and what you are planning to do. Looking for a house - you visit a real estate site. Looking for a new job - you visit a job site. Looking for...you get it. Your clickstream is a mirror of you - even without personal information associated with it.

Big Evil Google

What is the company that concerns you most when it comes to privacy? It's GOOGLE right? Man, their search is so good. Their search is good and their information awareness is so strong and not only do they have my clickstream (cause I only find sites through their site and they know what I click) now they also have my email, spreadsheets & text documents, blog, photos, credit cards & address - shoot, they have everything too. Organized. Segmented. Cross referenced. Searchable. Um, yikes.

Privacy of your clickstream

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how to think like a programmer if all you know is cooking

So, not many people understand programming. Here's a funny/interesting way to describe programming in terms of cooking. I like it.

Similarly, I once heard an analogy about asking a software engineer to build a bridge from San Francisco to Hawaii. A software engineer would say "no problem" and then do:


while (notInHawaii) {
buildbridge();
}

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Unlocked GSM Cell Phone - running Linux, for less than an iPhone

So, when I saw the iPhone I got all excited and wanted to have one. Then I learned it would be locked down to Cingular's network. That won't work. I'm going to Argentina/Chile/Uruguay for about a year leaving in September of this year. So, if I get a new phone it had better work in Argentina.

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Amazon Web Services? Not with Alexa being so bad

So, Amazon is announcing their fancy Amazon web services system. This is supposedly so that "developers [get] direct access to Amazon's robust technology platform."

Well, as someone who uses the Alexa traffic data on a regular basis, I can tell you one thing - Alexa is apparently running on some separate "platform" that really really sucks.

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Why Angies List Sucks

Note: "sucks" is a pretty strong and immature word, but it's the word to use online when you think someone has a bad idea. So, if that's off-putting, get over it. Or start a "sucks sucks" site.

Recently I was asked what I thought of Angie's List. Frankly, I had no idea. I was told it was a pretty neat list that has good ratings of local retailers. The idea is that you are looking for advice on a company to hire for a service (e.g. car repair) so you check Angie's List and see the advice and ideas of other users who have used the site. It's basically like Better Business Bureau, City Search, or one of thousands of other local directories. Many of these directories are broken: biased reviews, paid inclusion, incomplete information, etc. This is where Angie's List claims to be different. They use "only" consumer generated content and require a "small fee" to keep the reviews unbiased.

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