Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dickies Quickies

Or not, as there are a lot of things to report this morning. First, if you use Norton Antivirus, particularly one older than Norton AV 2005, run live update right away. Symantec has announced a patch for a serious flaw that allows virus to come onto your PC via email or the internet that it's product won't catch without the patch. The patch is like a second virtual condom for your system.

In other security news, Truste, the self-policing business communities guarantor of privacy rights, has yanked it's stamp of approval from the company operating Why? According to the article:

TRUSTe said Gratis violated promises involving the protection of children's information and changed how it managed the private information of its customers without adequately notifying them. But TRUSTe said that, due to a confidentiality agreement, it could not disclose exactly how Gratis had violated any agreements.

That Gratis would change the privacy agreement without notifying customers is unsurprising. Such agreements are common in the marketing world along with a clause warning consumers that it may be changed at any moment and that the consumer should check back often to re-read the agreement to see if it has changed. You don't know that, of course, because you never read the pages of mumbo jumbo that are printed there, but trust me, it happens. The bigger smelling pile of crap here is the fact that Truste has a confidentiality agreement in place and won't discuss this openly. What kind of policing is that?!!? Consumers who may find that this privacy invasion is eggregious need to know what is being done with their personal information. They may want to take legal recourse (hence, the need for the agreement from Gratis' view in the first place). This is but one example of why the law needs to be changed to reflect the public's interests as regards privacy in the internet age.

CNet has launched a competitor to RSS aggregators such as Bloglines. Seeing as the latter has been bought by Ask Jeeves and I don't know how they will change it yet, I might take a look at Newsburst. If Bloglines changes come and I don't like them, then I'll be looking to switch.

There's a drag and drop BitTorrent creator out! Yay!!!!

Was Popeye a marijuana user? I don't believe it, but I find it amusing.

Jeff Gannon, conservative political performance artist, as reported online here, here, and here. If anyone doubts that this administration's use of propaganda and lies has reached all time highs compared to other adminstrations, this story, along with the Armstrong Williams story and the earlier reports of departments issuing fake news stories, should put that to rest. Sure, I believe politicians lie to us and often, but they typically do it themselves or through their acknowledged staffers.

Congrats to the Scissor Sisters, Franz Ferdinand, and Joss Stone for their wins at the Brit Awards last night!

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