theharmonyguy.com (2012)


You Are Not the Product

“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer – you’re the product being sold.”

This adage has become a common saying in discussions of online privacy, particularly in relation to Facebook. I originally heard a version of it from Bruce Schneier in early 2010, but a later Metafilter post by Andrew Lewis is often cited as the source of this particular wording. It’s a pithy turn of phrase, making its point in a succinct and memorable way; I’ve even quoted it several times over the last few years.

But it’s wrong.

Keep reading ⇒


Consumer Data, but Not for Consumers

Consumer Data, but Not for Consumers

Information security experts said data brokers might be reluctant to make public access easier lest consumers react by wanting to opt out of the data collection process altogether.

I made this point on Twitter but it bears repeating here: If better-informed users are more likely to opt out of your system, you need to sell the value better or find a better system.


Your E-Book Is Reading You

Your E-Book Is Reading You

Very interesting piece from the Wall Street Journal examining how “Big Data” has come to the world of books:

In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them.


Etsy has been one of the best companies I've reported holes to.

Etsy has been one of the best companies I’ve reported holes to.

Now this is how you do security:

They had detected my requests and pushed a patch Saturday morning before I could email them. This was by far the fastest response time by any company I’ve reported to. Not only that, he told me he had messaged the account I created for the sole purpose of testing.


The Slow Web

The Slow Web

Jack Cheng maps out a positive vision for a “slow” type of web app:

Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information. These are a few of the many characteristics of the Slow Web. It’s not so much a checklist as a feeling, one of being at greater ease for the web-enabled products and services in our lives.