Daily archives: November 21, 2002

The US government plans to track all of its citizens through transaction records. Which- if you ignore the civil liberties, technical and legal worries- seems like a great idea. Until you apply a couple of minutes thought to it, which seems to be a minute and a half more than the US government has. People wanting to commit crimes will take to paying cash, doing barter deals- buy something innocuous and use it in trade for the car or gun they really want- or bluffing the criteria by buying return tickets for their one way flight.

Another factor is that everyone makes ‘strange’ purchases from time to time. The tourist who goes to the shooting range (as I plan to when I’m in the USA), the student flying across country to hitch back or the person who hires a car just to go for a drive. Are they going to investigate every one of these, or filter them out based on profiling? I can just imagine the criteria- ‘[Age]=18 AND [Purchases_Music]=’Marilyn Manson’ AND [Relatives]![Purchases_Gun]=True’

The supporters say that commercial entities already hold this sort of information. They may, but they are using it for marketing- a data set that large isn’t for tracking down individuals, it’s for following trends. The corporate folks have the power to junk mail you- which is quite evil- but they are held short of investigating people and potentially destroying your (innocent) life.

I had an idea recently of scanning in all my photos and building from them a hyperlinked history of me (I never claimed to be modest). In this picture is person A, you can read what I knew/ thought of her at the time and then go to her next or previous photo appearance. Or you could follow person B from the same picture and get a different story again featuring him. Of course the whole journey would have my narrative voice and be slanted by avoidance of the things I can’t or don’t want to remember.

Microsoft plan to go one step further with the MyLifeBits system and create a vast, unfiltered database of a user’s life, as described in New Scientist.

(found on Slashdot)

Well, Egg were supposed to call me this afternoon, to try and convince me that they have every right to deny me a service I’ve been paying for. Have they? Have they [nearly swore, but I’m trying to cut down].

And I want to contact the Housing Benefit people to see if the Jobcentre have got their fingers from their posteriors and passed on the relevant documentation, but the phone line is [insert expletive here] engaged all the [rude word] time!

After reading the fucking article, I decided to take the How English Are You? quiz. I am ‘practically French’, which is fuckin’ brilliant. Mais, je ne parle bien le Francais. Mon Francais est tres merde. Whilst I’m on the subject of French, can anyone give me a translation of nom d’un chien!. I’ve got a pretty good idea, based upon the context of its appearances in the comics I bought in Chamonix, but I’d be interested in a literal and an equivalent translation.

I just remembered that my mother reads this blog, so I should really shut the fu…… Erm, cut down on the expletives. Even the foreign ones.