Friday, December 10, 2004

Quick Hits

For a long time, I avoided supermarket "discount" or "club" cards. I didn't care that the only reason I could get the special price was through the "club", I'd just buy it somewhere else at a slightly higher price, but I'd have a greater sense of security and peace of mind. When we moved to Monroe, I finally broke down and got an Albertson's card. There were several reasons for my change of heart. First, Monroe has only 3 grocery stores and all of them are big chains: Fred Meyer's (Kroger), Safeway, and Albertsons. Secondly, of those 3, Albertsons is the only one with Northwest roots now that Kroger has bought Fred Meyer's. Third, and most important, I read the Albertsons legalese on applying for their card carefully. They do not share their data with anyone or for any reason (assuming that you're not smuggling bombs in your butternut squash, that is). Of course, this doesn't prevent Albertsons from buying data and coordinating it with the data they have on hand about you.

This turned out to be a slippery slope. Eventually, I got a Safeway card as well. The rationalization for this was that Safeway was teamed with Alaska airlines and I could get travel miles on my airline card by making purchases with Safeway. It's a lame reason, but it works for me.

Today, I read Bruce Shneier's piece on this same topic: sharing our data with corporations. He has some similar concerns and points to a book on the topic that he just read and recommends. I think that I'm going to have to pick up a copy of this for some light reading.

Here's a video of conservatives Anne Coulter and Tucker Carlson (on different programs) dissing Canada. Bastards. At least Tucker has his tongue firmly in his cheek. Coulter's an idiot. (requires QuickTime)

There's some good information on Firefox tips over at WindowsSecrets. I'll be tweaking my browser today with the help of the page.

One of the beauties of the internet is being able to see extraordinary things like someone who built a 7 foot grandfather clock from Legos. Excellent. Let this be an inspiration to one and all who view it.

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