30boxes – the consummate end of privacy

January 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Internet | 13 Comments
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Ok, we’ve given up privacy a long time ago – Facebook/Studivz probably was the ultimate blow. And here now is the application that brings all the bits and pieces of you on the net together: 30boxes.com. They pretend to be a calendar service, but what disturbs me more is that you can enter anyone’s email, and it’ll tell you where this person has posted data of him or her on the net.

For instance, I typed in my boyfriend’s email address which does NOT give away his real name – and 30boxes gave me his first name and the first letter of his surname. I typed in Lenina’s email address and it produced her flickr account – even though she uses a completely arbitrary user name.

In theory, your email address shouldn’t be visible to anyone on flickr – so how can some shady web application find out whether you’ve got a profile there or not???

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The Dark Side of Social Media: The Corporate Zombies Keep Coming Back

October 4, 2007 at 7:29 am | Posted in Work | 7 Comments
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Yuk. On xing.com (which is something like LinkedIn catering mainly for German speaking countries, i.e. pretending to be a business network, but it’s really just a Facebook for adults) I just stumbled over the profile of one of the most insane persons I have ever met in a company environment. A woman with a massive inferior complex who kept making jokes about people with a university degree, basically because she couldn’t get over the fact that she didn’t have one.

Whenever my favourite colleague and I used words that remotely sounded academic, she would scowl at us, and then jump at the next opportunity to diss academics in a conversation with one of the poor apprentices, who called her ‘Mama Ragna’ (that was not her name), not knowing that her embrace was as motherly as that of a killer octopus. It was usually the same story she invoked, about academics being sooo smart, but too dumb to tie their shoe laces, etc. Of course the apprentices did not dare to disagree, even though most of them started studying after doing their apprenticeship.

We were sitting at desks facing each other, and because she didn’t dare to play her stupid mind games openly, she would sent me emails instead, telling me that I should stop acting the way I acted (whatever that was supposed to mean; being better educated, I guess) and asking me how I felt, only to use this as an opportunity to tell me how she felt, which was: neglected and ridiculed by my colleague’s and my behaviour.

We usually had to work extra hours, because it was impossible to cope with the work load: Apart form calling us project managers, our boss had also provided to make us do time-consuming tasks that normally get done by the intern or an assistant, such as mailing product shots to arbitrary advertising agencies who were asking for them via mail or phone. That was his way of keeping us small.

It happened a couple of times in these late hours that she waited until everybody else had left and then started shouting at me, really making a scene in front of me, as if we were in a relationship (of horror): How I never thought of her and how I should mind her feelings and what have you. Every now and again she tried to make a lunch date with me. Even though the company was somewhere in the very outskirts where you only could go to the same in-house canteen, and only with colleagues, people there had the bad habit to make lunch dates, so you could never just go to the canteen, but had to find yourself a lunch date partner first. I soon hated lunch time.

I, my favourite colleague and the women from the department right next to us dreaded lunch dates with Ragna, as she only tried to manipulate people for her cause, whatever her cause was. So whenever she had forced one of us to go on a lunch date with her, the others were so wise as to not make other arrangements, and then asked whether they could join. Ragna wasn’t quite able to see through this scheme, but sensed that there was something going on and paranoid as she was, this only increased her feeling that everyone else was out to get her, or looking down on her.

So I found her ugly mug on xing.com now. I visited her profile, in the hope that she will notice that I did, and also note that I did NOT ask her to be my business contact. I even hope that she is going to ask me, so that I can turn down her request 🙂 Ah, fantasies of omnipotence.

It’s now time to change your privacy settings in Facebook!

September 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Web 2.0 | 2 Comments
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Everyone! If you enter Facebook now you’ll find an announcement that your Facebook profile is soon going to be searchable for search engines like Google, etc. – and that means: visible and searchable to the whole world!

To avoid that this happens (and once the information is out there, it is for sure going to end up in some cache or greedy mirror server from which you can NEVER delete it), do the following:

_log into Facebook
_click ‘privacy’ (second option from the right in the top right corner)
_choose ‘search’ (the second paragraph in the bluish list)
_edit your privacy setting by UNCHECKING the boxes below the question in blue font: “Who can find my public search listing outside of Facebook?”

You might also want to change the rest of the privacy settings to meet your privacy needs.

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