I hate spam and I go through great lengths to minimize it. Internet security is also interesting to me, and I think most people just don’t know not follow good security practices, and aren’t aware of just how awful things are, as in, how inept websites are at securing your data.
Data breaches are rampant and many people don’t appreciate the scale or frequency with which they occur.
Security researcher Troy Hunt maintains ‘;–have i been owned?, an excellent website that aggregates data from lots of known breaches and makes it easy for you to find your information on said breaches. Of course this aggregate data is only the tip of the iceberg, as most breaches are not known or he has no way to get to the data. In any case, it’s interesting to go see who has your email.
I ran this tool on the domain I use for the majority of my emails to see which ones are there. Remember I use a different email address and a different password for each and every website I sign up for. Results weren’t all that bad. Out of 723 email addresses, “only” 4 were found in the database of pwned websites. The winners are:
Adobe (mine and my brother’s)
Compromised data: Email addresses, Password hints, Passwords, Usernames
Compromised data: Dates of birth, Email addresses, Geographic location, Historical passwords, Instant messenger identities, IP addresses, Passwords, Private messages, User website URLs, Usernames
Long time The MKX® readers know that I’m a huge fan of Google Reader. What can I say, I’m a news junkie. Some things have changed though:
In 2011, Google redesigned (read: crippled) Google Reader in order to better shove Google+ down our throats. Among other things, they removed link sharing. I now use Delicious exclusively for that purpose. (Hint: You can subscribe to the RSS feed of my Delicious. I subscribe to a few friends this way)
While I used to use the Google Reader website directly, I no longer do that. Now I use an app called Reeder (on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac) that synchronizes to my Google Reader account. So Google Reader is no longer an RSS client for me, just a synchronization service.
While I understand that companies cannot give something away for free without getting anything in return (hint: it costs money to provide these sort of services), I fully expected Google to start inserting “sponsored” items into our news feeds. After all, one would think knowledge about RSS subscriptions is an advertiser’s dream: they know what we subscribe to, which is another way of saying they know what we take an active interest in spending our time reading about because we are interested in it.
I fully expect a clone to emerge anytime soon and I expect to migrate my 242 subscriptions (that’s two hundred and forty two!) with me. Heck, now that others will be able to compete in this area, we may even get improved RSS services!
Maybe you did or didn’t hear about the recent death of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden. And thanks to the idiots working at not one, but at least three news companies, you may have also heard about the death of Obama.