This last month has been pretty quiet from a technical perspective. Nothing broke, and had very little fallout from the server drive crash last month. This has allowed us to focus on planning the site migration to the new server in a more orderly fashion. More to come on that later.
Why is this a big deal? It is entirely feasible to know nearly everything you do, down to what you buy, who you associate with, and what your personal preferences are. The more complete a profile is, the more valuable it becomes to advertisers. And to identity thieves. And to governments who want to invade your privacy without a warrant.
The latter isn’t a theoretical—the security laws passed after 9/11 effectively gutted the 4th amendment. Different agencies can demand information on anyone through the use of National Security Letters, or NSLs. The agency doesn’t need probable cause, or anything resembling it. The company who gets one is under a gag order not to divulge they got one, and there isn’t much they can do about it. What little oversight there has been has turned up significant abuses of these powers.
So a company like Google would be an excellent target for an NSL. But they can’t divulge what they don’t have. Google gives you the ability to turn off collection (did I mention they keep all this indefinitely?). To learn more on how to do this, go to www.webworldinc.com/googleprivacy. Google’s original policy—‘Don’t be evil’ has now taken a back seat.
On a brighter note, our garden has been doing well. We have taken several cuttings of spinach and collard greens. The other cole vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, etc) are doing well. And with the warm weather the other plants such as the asparagus are coming up earlier than normal. It would be great if we could get a month or two on the growing season. Hopefully we won’t have a killing freeze in March or April.
The woodworking shop is finally complete. The compressed air lines are in place and I am now thinking of which projects to start on first.