Google as Big Brother; The top ten Google privacy problems, e.g.:

6. Google’s toolbar is spyware:
With the advanced features enabled, Google’s free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf. Yes, it reads your cookie too, and sends along the last search terms you used in the toolbar. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that’s only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this. Worse yet, Google’s toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you phone home. Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you’d like an updated version. But not Google.

phil ringnalda:

I need to chew a bit more on Distribution of Choice and Ecosystem of Networks …but it feels to me like there’s something useful in Ross’ discussion of “the strength of 12”, the average number of people with whom you can have a strong relationship (or, that you are willing to be alerted by IM of their every weblog post), and “the magic number 150”, the number of people with whom you can manage a social relationship (or, the number of RSS feeds that you can keep up with).

I’ve been wondering for quite a while now how to rethink how I do a blogroll, and what feels best to me sounds a lot like that: a fairly short list of my tribe, people whose every word I read as soon as I know it’s published, and I’ll assume you’ve read too, and then a longer (much much longer, probably) but less prominent list of “barbarians with whom we can sometimes trade,” people whose feed I read, or whose page I visit fairly regularly, and whom I need to post about more often, because I know damn well you aren’t clicking on them in my blogroll…”

The Smell of War:

From noted Israeli pacifist and ‘Peace Now!’ leader Uri Avnery: “No wonder that Germany and France oppose the war. It is directed against them…” [from Hanan Levin]

Millions Join World Protests Against Iraq War: //' cannot be displayed] In what Alexander Cockburn referred to as “the largest outcry in history”, “More than six million demonstrators turned out across the world on Saturday in a wave of protest supporting international leaders in urging the United States not to rush into a war against Iraq.

From Canberra to Cape Town, from Karachi to Chicago, people from all walks of life took to the streets to pillory President Bush as a bloodthirsty warmonger in the biggest demonstration of ‘people power’ since the Vietnam War.” Yahoo! News


“There’s a curious group of Americans demonstrating their opposition to a U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

They don’t fit the stereotypes of the 20-something who shuns a privileged home for piercings and tattoos, or the Birkenstock-wearing vegan who hangs out with anti-globalization activists and environmentalists.

Whether they are pacifists or former military commanders, poets or high-powered executives, Psychologists for Social Responsibility or Mothers Acting Up, today’s anti-war movement appears to run through mainstream America.” Sign On San Diego

And — lo and behold — CNN covers the day of anti-war protest in detail.

Kissing the ‘right’ way begins in the womb: “Two thirds of us instinctively tilt our heads to the right when we kiss, reveals a new study timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day. The 2:1 ratio matches our preference for using the right foot, eye and ear. The bias probably has its origins in our tendency to turn our heads to the right in the womb and for up to six months after birth, says the study’s author, Onur Güntürkün.” New Scientist