James O'Neill's blog
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James O'Neill's blog
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An unexpected call from a help desk? Hang up.
My phone rang: it was my dad. Father/son combinations don’t ring to chat like mother/daughter ones do, and Dad had been having computer problems. Specifically, Excel had been crashing but managing to recover his work. Each time it had offered to send data to Microsoft and each time he had declined. Then...
18 Oct 2010
I’m a photographer, not a terrorist (or any other kind of bogeyman)
Every now and then in photography forums someone will ask “Do I need a release to publish pictures of someone”, the law varies enormously round the world but English law grants rights to the owner of copyright (the photographer or their employer), and not to people who appear in the pictures. The photographer...
25 Jan 2010
A great demo of Google's privacy issues.
Back when I was a student, there seemed to more cases of newspapers invading people's privacy (or possibly we were just more aware of them) , and the thought struck me just what a wheeze it would be to publish the details of the private lives of newspaper editors. This was quickly followed by the thought...
5 Aug 2008
Blockers. What would we want from IE 8... or 9
I have used this blog to grumble about "Flash turds" - those super-annoying adverts whose determination to grab the eye brings them to the point of being a test for epilepsy. I'm not seeing many of them being built in Silverlight, yet, but it can only be a matter of time. Fortunately I use...
3 Apr 2008
One of our laptops is missing.
A snowclone I guess, with films like one of our Aircraft is missing , and Thomas Dolby's " One of our submarines" ("One of our Submarines is missing, tonight. Seems she went aground on manoeuvres" ) something with a slightly military edge to it. The latest evidence that when it comes to anything relating...
18 Jan 2008
7M families personal data mislaid by government.
At Tech-ed IT Forum I went to watch a couple of Steve Riley's session, he's quite the showman, but I'd never been to watch him in action - I found he got me to think about stuff I already knew in a new way. One question he threw out to the audience. "How many of say e-mail is so important that it can...
20 Nov 2007
Should we be working on our privacy ranking ?
Steve characterizes some conversations as being "You suck." "No - You Suck" types, and Privacy international published a report last week which rated a couple of dozen organizations with a major presence on the web. The BBC fared pretty well. Google came out bottom - the only one labeled "Hostile to...
12 Jun 2007
I've managed to get a lot of my concerns about privacy down to a simple statement. "Databases of everything" worry me. Where we've been, what we've bought, who we've associated with. I alluded to a conversation I was in last week where we talked about the information that could be gathered by Live ID...
30 May 2007
When the police think we're becoming a Surveillance society...
Here's an interesting factlet. A couple of miles from my house, in one of those villages with a double-barreled name which could belong to an old English actor, behind a 900 year old English parish church, is the grave of George Orwell . I've mentioned Orwell before. It was 1948 when he wrote the book...
22 May 2007
If your data is in the cloud... where's your privacy ?
Another story which has been doing the rounds this week, has been stories that has been the rounds this week has been about a crack for HD DVD content ... Catching up on my reading I found Sharon's post Who controls your data . There are a couple of issues in this (a) The AACS have a system of...
6 May 2007
Privacy. And a tale of headless riders, Police blogs and security theatre
When dealing with data privacy, we need to think about proper use of Personally Identifiable information (PII) - the kind which can be used to identify someone and which tells us something about them. In the UK, the Information Commissioner , oversees operation of the Data Protection Act, which has principles...
5 May 2007
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