Tag Archives: internet

LAWBI #38: Google, Facebook & Online Privacy – Every Party Has A Cover Charge

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately–started a new book, participated in the wonderful first installment of Story Time in Tampa (more on that later) and am embarking on an arduous array of home improvement tasks.

Anyway, the latest LAWBI column for Creative Loafing is here. It pokes a certain amount of fun at people who make a lot of noise about Facebook and Google and online privacy, but let’s be clear: While I don’t think these digital biospheres are infringing on your rights in any way by collecting general data about your online habits, I’m certainly not trying to say that the potential for abuse doesn’t exist, or that other, much more serious web-based threats to our civil liberties aren’t out there.

Happy Birthday, Internet

Yeah yeah, there are about 7 different “birthdays” for the Internet, but it was 20 years ago today that the first HTML web page went live, so nyah.

I subscribed to my first ISP in 1994. When I told Gary Polecat, he let me know he’d be honored to be the first person in the world to send me an email. I went home, plugged the phone line into the little plastic tab sticking out of the side of my laptop, waited 2 weeks or so for the mail to load, and clicked on it, full of a sense of awe inspired by the limitless possibilities symbolized by this unspoiled new frontier.

Gary sent me an image of a woman with a Pepsi can inserted halfway into her ladynethers.

Happy Birthday, Internet.

9 Web Thingies I’ve Heard of but Never Used, and What I Assume They Do

Formspring – It’s a mattress company. Or maybe undergarments, for awesome curvy ladies.

Del.icio.us – A DIY porn site by some louche asshole named Del, which is weird, because I always thought Del was short for Delbert.

Quora – A non-profit dedicated to the reaching of agreeable means and positions, serving as a shining example of tolerance for the rest of the world. Or, I dunno, more porn, dedicated to an obscure goddess and vaguely sci-fi in nature.


Hipmunk – Also a first person shooter, in which players vote on the popularity of anthropomorphic animal GIFs by ironically “shooting” at them while Journey songs play.

Fab – Shit, I dunno, a social networking site for gay men? In, like, Missouri? In the ’70s?

Mashable – This may be totally off-base, but it sounds like teens talking about other teens and celebrities they’d like to make out with. You know, like maybe some new slang with which I’m “not down?” Is Justin Bieber mashable?

Kindle – Tasteful softcore-tinted dating service for the olds.

Dropbox – Like Craigslist, but without anything that doesn’t involve strangers hooking up in bathrooms.