Better Online Privacy (Part Two)
In the previous post, we saw what we mean by privacy, why it matters, and why we say privacy is a myth in today’s world of connected services. We also looked at what methods companies use to track us online. We saw that the conventional methods of protecting our privacy online does not work in cases such as Google and Facebook. In this post, we look at how to handle tracking by large corporations like Google and Facebook, who track you using your browser fingerprint.
Better Online Privacy (Part One)
Privacy is a myth. We have all heard that. Some of us agree, some disagree, most could not care less. The most common response I have gotten to statements about privacy is “Well, not like I have anything to hide.” Yes, you probably do not. But would you be comfortable if your Uber driver or your personal banker could tell the brand of the inners you wear? Yes, we all wear them, they make them in a small set of colours, and a specific set of models, but yet, it makes you uncomfortable—even for a second—when someone points out what you are wearing, even as a guess—unless you’re purposefully showing it as a statement (don’t mean to judge).
A couple of days ago, my aunts and uncles had come over. They are all hardcore supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); they feel that the party is “the true saviour of Hinduism”, a religion that the “secular” parties of our country have disregarded—or worse, degraded. Whether Hinduism as a religion needs anybody’s protection or not is your personal opinion and mine as much as theirs. These discussions suffer the one-thing-led-to-another syndrome, and in general, these discussions have a pattern.
Time to rethink print media
Having stopped watching TV news years ago, I see those noisy faces is in meme content. While they are fun to watch in short spurts, they are also a constant reminder of what journalism has come down to in our country in this age. When Rahul Shivshankar said what he said, I heard him as meaning, ‘Look, if you want news, read the morning newspaper.’ (I would not take his suggestion on which newspaper to read, though.
Transparency on ventilator
I am wary of all politicians, no matter what party they belong to, what ideology they promote, or any other quality of a political party you can think of. Even if my dear grandmother were a politician, I would be wary of her; more so if she held power. Let us keep politics aside, because politics is politics—a game of whataboutery and other fallacies. Let us talk human life for once.
I am not in a Utopian world. If you are reading this post, you live in my world as well. Let us talk, citizen to citizen, you and I. And by that I do not mean Indian citizen to Indian citizen. You and I are in a world where democracies are failing. And we have no one other than ourselves to blame for it. I am an Indian, and I boast about belonging to the largest democracy in the world.
The number of Bollywood stars to die in three months was abnormally high in the second quarter of this year. Death of any human is sad. The circumstances of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput were salt to the wound. I subscribe to The Hindu, and the story did not get much prominence. I wondered why, because the news of the death of Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor had smacked us right in our face.
COVID and Credibility
One week is a long time sometimes. I have been waiting for some five days to make this post. On Tuesday that I received a message in one of the WhatsApp groups that I am part of, questioning the credibility of the WHO. Speaking of WhatsApp, I gave a talk at work about being a drop-out of the WhatsApp University. Check out the redone home version of the video here if it interests you.
My blogs have been built with static site generators for a long time now. When I first got this domain and configured my WordPress blog to use it, a friend told me about Jekyll, the most popular static site generator. Static site generators are known for their uncomplicated nature, load speed and security. How? This is something any piece of writing that introduces you to static site generators will tell you—when you open a blog post on Medium or WordPress or Tumblr, the Medium, WordPress or Tumblr server takes in your request to serve a page, generates a page just for you and serves it.
Unlock 1.0 sounded like a great move. No doubt, a necessary move. The lockdown had made our economy plunge, stranded the poor and the needy across the country, and the new normal started to prove detrimental to us as a system. Of course, some of our cities handled the situation better than the others. Bangalore was one of them. Starting from the healthcare workers to the regular citizens, everybody who could, contributed to alleviating each other’s troubles in their own ways.