Podcast 018: Big Brother and the “Online Challenge”

Special Note: This episode is running out of order since it’s very timely, and becoming a news story. It was recorded yesterday, after Episode 17 was recorded (as promised, that one is about how to develop Uncommon Sense). So I’m swapping the order, putting #18 out not only before #17, but on Thursday instead of next Monday. Episode 17 will come out at the “regular time” on January 28.

In This Episode: The “challenges” we see on Facebook: just a bit of fun? A way to share of yourself to your friends? But when you “challenge” the challenge by applying some Uncommon Sense, you might not want to play along.

Continue ReadingPodcast 018: Big Brother and the “Online Challenge”

Why I’ve Removed Google’s Ads

It’s a Matter of Control.

This is True went online in the first half of 1994, so True has been in business longer than many big names in the Internet biz, including Google (1998). As a classic feature column, I received (and turned down) syndication offers from two different newspaper syndicates, including one of the biggest in the business, because I wanted full control of True’s publication rights — including its online presence. And as of today, I’ve turned off Google’s “Adsense” service on this site for the same reason: to assert my control.

Continue ReadingWhy I’ve Removed Google’s Ads

The Biggest Mistake People Make Online

The threat from criminals online continues to grow. It’s not just “hackers” but actual criminal activity, backed by organized crime, and perhaps even some governments. They want your passwords, especially for bank and other financial accounts, so they can drain them for you, and they use some pretty tricky and often sophisticated means to get them, either from you, or from sites they break into.

Continue ReadingThe Biggest Mistake People Make Online

Facebook: What Are They Selling?

To answer the very important question of the title, you need a little background, which is illustrated by a question from reader Steve in Texas:

Some time ago, I “Liked” the This is True Facebook page, but almost never see any posts. I figured you weren’t active until I went back to the page, and saw a ton of stuff I thought was great! How come I’m not seeing it regularly? I see most posts from my friends.

Continue ReadingFacebook: What Are They Selling?

The Taylor Swift Cop Video:
Call Me a Contrarian

Swift performing in Los Angeles during her RED Tour, August 2013. (Photo CC “Denielle” on Flikr.)

OK: Call Me a Contrarian. Sure the lip-synching cop was entertaining! The song is fun, and who can’t like the earnest and drop-dead gorgeous (and cute! — see below) Taylor Swift?

But really: we are in a cycle of big distrust of cops in this country, so their solution is to lie about just happening to find this video of the cop in their random review of dashcam footage?

Continue ReadingThe Taylor Swift Cop Video:
Call Me a Contrarian