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Privacy? It's not gone (yet), but you'd better be careful

Many in the tech community have been concerned for a while- quite a long while- that privacy as we used to know it is a rapidly disappearing concept. Year after year, they've been dismissed as alarmists, radicals, and so forth.

It is now becoming increasingly obvious that those "alarmists" were right. Whenever we interact with anything involving a networked computer, we leave a digital trail that can and will be mined for someone else's financial benefit.

Snowdrifts

The calendar may say it's Naw-Ruz (and therefore spring), but here in Kingston we're not quite free of the snow.

What's left on the lawns now isn't too pretty, but there were a few nice snow days earlier in the winter. Drifting snow plus the wind off the lake can result in some intriguing natural sculptures- and a near complete loss of any sense of scale.

Canoeing on a dead-calm lake at sunrise

Canoes are simply amazing little boats. They have no systems, no motors, no sails, none of the usual trappings of maritime life. The boat is really nothing more than a hull, a thwart or two, and a place to sit.

And yet this simple boat is a veritable magic carpet, taking you to an unfathomable number of secret, hidden places where no other vessel can travel.

Don't trust your Web presence to third parties

A popular blog hosting service, Posterous, is shutting down next month.

Posterous is far from the first such service to spontaneously close up shop, leaving hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of users high and dry. Remember Geocities? Remember BlogSpace? Remember Hosting.com?

There's an important lesson in this, one that's been well known for a long time but that bears repeating: If your Web presence is important to you or your company, you- not some third party- must be in control of it.

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