Electronic Frontier Foundation
There are a lot of reasons for you and me to be concerned about how legislators, too many of whom are woefully uninformed about technolgoy and some of whom could care less, enact legislation that affects the Internet, particularly in the post 9/11 attempt to make our country more secure by making it less free . This morning, after neglecting it for a long time, I finally joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation. There’s no cost for membership, but there is possibly a high cost for non-membership. I find myself in agreement with their objectives and their approach to making a difference. I’d recommend that, if you care about the future of the Internet, you examine their website and join too.
One particularly good set of recommendations can be found in this document, EFF’s Privacy Top 12. I recommend reading the detail contained at the site under each of these recommendations (written by Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technology Director), but here they are in bullet form.
- Do not reveal personal information inadvertently.
- Turn on cookie notices in your Web browser, and/or use cookie management software or infomediaries.
- Keep a “clean” e-mail address.
- Don’t reveal personal details to strangers or just-met “friends”.
- Realize you may be monitored at work, avoid sending highly personal e-mail to mailing lists, and keep sensitive files on your home computer.
- Beware sites that offer some sort of reward or prize in exchange for your contact information or other personal details.
- Do not reply to spammers, for any reason.
- Be conscious of Web security.
- Be conscious of home computer security.
- Examine privacy policies and seals.
- Remember that YOU decide what information about yourself to reveal, when, why, and to whom.
- Use encryption!
A blogging milestone
In the New York Times Magazine section (registration required) this morning, William Safire acknowledges that Blog has made its way into the national lexicon. He doesn’t say anything profound, but the fact that blogging has come to his attention is something of a milestone.
Blogs in Business
Meg Hourihan, who maintains a weblog called megnut and recently co-authored a book about blogging, has posted a chapter online. This chapter deals with “Using Blogs in Business,” which is a topic gaining increasingly popularity. The online chapter is a thorough treatment of the subject that suggests many possible applications of the technology. A good read and a good advertisement for the book in my opinion.
Helping others teaches me
Today Paul Moor called for some guidance about why his correspondents kept getting returned mail as undeliverable from his account, a German ISP called T-Online.de. He wanted to understand better what happens from end to end when someone sends email to someone else over the Internet.
As usually happens when I get a question like this, I decided to turn first to Google. Already I knew that the appropriate topic was SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) so I simply looked up SMTP using the Google search engine. From that starting point I found the RFC (Request for Comments) page related to this particular protocol. While examining the various resources supplied, I found my way to this fascinating history of RFCs which documents the beginnings of the Internet and its development through dialogs and email exchanges between the founders. I would probably never have found and read this document had it not been for Paul’s request for help. This byproduct of helping is one of the reason that I welcome pleas for help from friends. Helping them learn always results in my learning something I didn’t know before they sought my help.
Progress at last!
If you are observant, you’ll notice that, once again, I’ve changed templates, and now it appears that Blogger has gotten its act together and repaired the ability to publish the archives. I’ve gone back to the original template I used when I first started using Blogger, and now everything seems to be in order again. Perhaps, now I can get back in the practice of regular publishing.
Although the Blogger status page indicates their service is now repaired, it doesn’t yet seem to have reached my house. I’ll be posting only intermittently until this situation clears up.
An explanation at last
Well, by examining the status page I discovered the I’m not being singled out. Apparently Blogger is having a problem publishing archives for everyone. Also template editing isn’t updating, so I’ll just have to live with what I have for now. When everything is fixed, I’ll edit the template for this blog so that the archive works and I can insert links where is appropriate. Be patient with me, and I’ll try to be patient with Blogger.