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Stories by Mark Gibbs

  • Let me get off your *&%$ list

    This is a plea to web designers, programmers and, most particularly, marketing people, to stop annoying us when we want to unsubscribe from your &^%$#@!* stupid, er, sorry, not interesting to us, email lists. It's also a plea for all of you IT people to talk to these groups in your company and convince them to do some "right thinking" about this issue.

  • Thwarting employers asking for Facebook access

    If your employer or a potential employer asked you to hand over the keys to your house so they could search your possessions looking for something unspecified, I suspect you would be a little surprised and not a little outraged. Well, over the last few months there has been a significant number of reports of employers and colleges doing the digital equivalent of asking for your house keys by requesting Facebook passwords from employees, applicants and students.

  • The government wants to know what it doesn't know

    "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

  • Google AROUND, network scanning, and pinging with TCP

    We start this week with a real geek out: If you have ever had to weigh the benefits and tradeoffs of Apache as an application server (for example, using Tomcat vs. node.js ("a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications"), then you absolutely have to watch "Node.js Is Bad Ass Rock Star Tech" (it's NSFW -- bad words). Make sure you watch all of it ... the end is great!

  • Five geek projects

    At the end of last week I slipped on a wet floor, did a wild, balletic (or so I thought) attempt to recover, and wrenched my knee and leg. The next four days were a blur of X-rays and Vicodin. Luckily nothing broken, but I've had better weekends.

  • Content sanitized for whose protection?

    It's a fascinating aspect of modern culture that even as we gain ever greater access to information, news and entertainment there are puritanical groups in our society who repeatedly attempt to push us back to some better, nicer, safer, prudish and, in many ways, more ignorant society. And the villain in the quest to "clean up Dodge" is not always who it might appear to be.

  • What privacy do you have left to lose? Beware the drone

    Last week's column about The Google and its new privacy policy got quite a response, ranging from "I don't get it, what's the fuss?," through to "I don't care, I have nothing to hide," and "it's been pretty obvious for years where this was all heading but very few people bothered to sound the alarm ... until now when it's too late."

  • Yet more DSL woes

    For the last few weeks I've been wrestling with my new AT&T U-Verse DSL service and outlined my travails here in Gearhead (here and here) after which you might have assumed all would be well, that AT&T would have pulled out all the stops and sorted out my issues. Alas, this week I'm no happier and, apparently, neither are many of you.