Lockdown - privacy app for iOS

I was sure I saw a link to this from Daringfireball, but can't seem to find it again. Anyway. I've been running Lockdown on my phone for a couple of weeks now, and it's been working great. It's an app that integrates with the VPN feature in iOS, so all network requests get pushed through the app for filtering. It doesn't actually do a VPN, but uses that as a hook to block domains that are requested in any app. [Read More]
privacy  ios  vpn 

How Google Took Over the Classroom - The New York Times

Natasha Singer wrote a piece for the NYTimes on Google in the classroom. Is it a marketing ploy? (of course it is - there is no such thing as a free lunch, etc…) Google says "of course it isn't - we just want kids to learn! It's about the learning!" 🤔 These two quotes, one from Bill Fitzgerald, the other from the director of Google's education unit, Bram Bout, outline the tension nicely: [Read More]

Doc Searls - The Castle Doctrine

I thought he might be talking about where we host our stuff as our castles, but he means it in a much more personal and direct way - web browsers (and other internet-abled apps, I would add) are extremely personal spaces where we invite content and code from outside the walls. I think I have the right to make sure guests leave surveillance devices and weapons outside before entering. [Read More]

Doc Searls - The problem for people isn't advertising, and the problem for advertising isn't blocking

Doc Searls, writing on Medium 1 about some important projects to help pull the balance of power on the internet back to the individuals that make it awesome in the first place. There's a new sheriff on the Net, and it's the individual. Who isn't a “user,” by the way. Or a “consumer.” With new terms of our own, we're the first party. The companies we deal with are second parties. [Read More]

Nick Heer on web hosting and user data

These are all concerning avenues for users. Adding advertising tends to mean user privacy is compromised, as ads become increasingly targeted by the day; shutting a company down means all user data gets removed, and it's up to each user to find a new product or service to fill the hole. Rinse and repeat. Arguably worse is when the company and all attached user data is acquired. There's very little control any user has over that decision: they may like the original product, but are uncomfortable with the new owner. [Read More]

Access to Information denied

I filed a request under the Access to Information Act, for “All Information Available” - mostly, I was curious to see if my fraternization with Open Content Hippies or Open Source Radicals had placed me on any lists. I'd followed a link on Facebook (which I can't find now, yay for no searchability in FB-land) with the link to the Government of Canada web page with the request process and form, and a note suggesting that the form would be disappearing soon. [Read More]

on ingress as gamifying network location reporting

Jason tuned me into Ingress at CNIE 2014. There's a good overview of the game on Wired. It's one of those things that sound unbelievably geeky - it's like geocaching (a geeky repurposing of multibillion dollar GPS satellites to play hide and seek) combined with capture the flag, combined with realtime strategy games, bundled up as a mobile game app (kind of geeky as well), with a backstory of a particle collider inadvertently leading to the discovery of a new form of matter and energy (particle physics? [Read More]


I just tried out the new PrivacyFix extension, which checks your privacy settings and also estimates how much Facebook and Google make off me each year. Turns out, my privacy settings are pretty decent already. And, it looks like Google makes less than a dollar per year off me. Facebook makes nothing. The guy that wrote the article on Ars Technica clocks in at $700 per year going to Google, through advertising etc. [Read More]

google encroachment

First, they provided a search engine. Then they monitored every search query, to push ads. Then, they added additional services, including email and RSS, to track everything you read and everyone you know. Then, they added social layers, to track everything you do. Then, they added DNS services, to be able to track everything you read and do, even outside of Google's suite of monitoring tools aka online services. Now, they want to lay their own fiber-to-the-home internet service. [Read More]

google glass(es)

The tech vision video for project glass was released today. The technology looks interesting, if a bit creepy. But what hits me is that this isn't about augmenting your reality. It's about augmenting google's documentation of everything you do, so they can mine it to sell to advertisers. The implications of a service actively monitoring and interacting and documenting and monetizing everything I do and say are just mind boggling. [Read More]