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Scripting News -- It's Even Worse Than It Appears.

About the author

A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave Winer, 56, is a software developer and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School and NYU, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.

"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.

10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

8/2/11: Who I Am.

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scriptingnews2mail at gmail dot com.


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March 2012

Feb   Apr


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FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Repubs and male sex Permalink.

Lately Republicans have gotten deeply intimately involved in female sexuality. I think they have a problem however, because they're being very gender-biased. I think it's time for us men to demand equal attention!

Men use contraceptives too. Let me explain how that works. Never mind. I assume we're all adults here.

Does the Catholic Church object to paying for vasectomies? I guess that gets right to the point.

How could the Republicans have missed this. If this is not about women, why are they always talking about female birth control?

They really drove themselves into a deep corner here. Hard to see how they dick their way out of this one.

iPhones and your photos Permalink.

A picture named mac.jpgWhen we were looking at iPhones and address books, it turned out that every app on the iPhone was allowed to take a copy of the address book and upload it where ever it wanted without permission and without even notifying the user. It's hard to believe that Apple could not have seen this as a problem for users, if they empathized with users. How could they not? Don't they use their own devices?

I hate to think that all these companies have the names, addresses and phone numbers of pretty much everyone I've dated in the last few years. Every member of my family, every friend. I don't think there are any kids under 13 in there, but I'm sure some people keep contact information for their children, nieces and nephews or grandchildren in their address books?

The blase approach the industry took to this issue is only surprising if you assume they were surprised. I'm sure they weren't. When you think about the business models of most of the companies that get funded these days, you can see what a gold mine this information is. I read yesterday that Google doesn't care if you use Google Plus for anything, if you never come back. They just wanted your biographical info so they could target ads at you better. How much would they like to know the names and contact info for everyone who's important enough to make it into your address book.

When we were doing the investigation, it also turned up that photos were just as open to apps as contact info. Do you have any pictures on your phone of things you haven't uploaded because you don't want to share them with the world? Too bad. They're pretty much shared. Don't use your phone to take pictures of anything you wouldn't want everyone to see.

I'm not installing any software unless I personally know the developer and have heard them say in their own words that they are not doing anything mischievous with the data, and won't as long as they work for the company in question. And I sure as hell am not installing software from any companies whose business models are vague to me. Because I assume they will grab as much info as they can. Because I assume that's their business model. Better safe than sorry. Forewarned is forearmed.

BTW, one more thing -- the tech press is covering this story in slow motion. You should also be aware that any iOS app can access your calendar and your cellular carrier info. I haven't seen ths appear in any story that's been linked to from TechMeme.

PS: The camera on Android devices is even less secure.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last build: 3/1/2012; 4:20:38 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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