Junk mail v2.0.

Let’s also be clear about the myth, spread by the “interactive” (aka “relevant” and “interest-based”) advertising business, that the best online advertising is also the most targeted. That’s not the kind of advertising that made Madison Avenue, created nearly every brand you can name, and has sponsored publishers and other media for the duration. Instead it’s the goal of direct marketing, aka direct response marketing. Both of those labels are euphemistic re-brandings that the direct mail business gave itself after the world started calling it junk mail. Sure, much (or most) of the paid messages we see online are called advertising, and look like advertising; but as long as they want to get personal, they’re direct marketing.

Doc Searls on adtech.

2019-07-01T13:50:07+10:001st November, 2019|Tags: advertising, tech|

Crystal water.

So the other week I admittedly on Mastodon that I secretly kinda like those ridiculous Glacce water bottles Goop sells with the rose quartz spars up the middle. Not because I think they’re magic or whatever, but just because I like shiny things and crystals. But even I (yes, even I) have some limits on how much I will pay for a joke item and, more importantly, Goop will get my money over my dead goddamn body.

A helpful soul pointed out people totally sold “knock-off” versions (i.e. versions-sans-logo-but-that-let’s-be-honest-almost-certainly-come-from-the-same-factory) on eBay for $20 and. Well. I am very weak.

Fast forward and I am now the proud owner of one amethyst crystal water bottle! It is both completely ridiculous and everything I could’ve hoped for… and also surprisingly better quality than I’d be expecting. The one thing that weirds me out is how the bottom screws off because, like… what if the water falls out?1

All that aside, I can now drink water like a True Rich White Lady™, mess with fishslappers and, most importantly, my water bottle now matches my bracelets like nature intended. Perfect.

  1. It’s actually dripping on me right now as I write this, which honestly I’d be pissed about for $80 but at $20 is just kinda lol whatevs. []
2019-11-01T14:55:46+11:0031st October, 2019|Tags: life|

A story about onions.

So like Never Forget when my mother-in-law sent us to a class with a professional chef, who was trying to teach us how to cut onions properly. And he kept talking about the “top” of the onion and pointing to where the roots come out. And the whole class was like… giving all these furtive looks. Like this was a Professional Chef… did he know something about onions we didn’t?

Turns out no. He just… didn’t know how fucking onions work.

Like yeah I learned stuff in the class I still use, and we went back to a few more and they were always great, but. Fuck.

Onions, man. Onions.

2019-11-01T14:38:44+11:0031st October, 2019|Tags: alcohol, food|

Dice, dice baby!

So I ordered my Baby’s First Internet Custom dice set the other day, from Cosy Gamer, and holy shit they came fast!

I got four sets:

  • Amethyst Scepter: Super cool, probably my fav in the bunch. The foil and glitter is Peak Bling.
  • Enchantress Pearl: Basically clear resin with tiny pink beads inside. Very unique, and kind of almost… unsettlingly organic on first glance.
  • Fuschia: Mostly clear resin with “smoke” wisps of purple and orange. Like a sunset in your hand!
  • Lavender Galaxy: The only set I was a bit disappointed with. The colors are sort of… banded across the dice and the end result is a sort of muddied purple, unless the light happens to hit them just right. Still pretty, but a bit “meh” compared to the other three.

Overall, the dice are a bit lighter than I was expecting, but nothing like the flimsy feel of, say, Q Workshop dice (and it’s possible I just like my dice on the heavier side anyway). But all-in-all… yeah. Very happy. The worst part will be waiting a week until I can try and grab a game in order to use them!

2019-10-31T07:44:46+11:0031st October, 2019|Tags: dice, gaming, tabletop rpgs|

Individual actions cannot mitigate institutional threats.

The reality is that your sensitive data has likely already been stolen, multiple times. Cybercriminals have your credit card information. They have your social security number and your mother’s maiden name. They have your address and phone number. They obtained the data by hacking any one of the hundreds of companies you entrust with the data­ — and you have no visibility into those companies’ security practices, and no recourse when they lose your data.

Bruce Schneier on identity theft.

Schneier does go on to give some steps people can take (effectively, assume your personal data is already breached and behave accordingly), though notes that most people won’t because it’s a huge pain in the ass. The actual “real” answer—something Schneier’s been advocating for for years—is, of course, government regulation and legal-system-enforced penalties for data misuse. Which… we’re taking tentative steps towards. Slowly. Far, far too late.

2019-07-01T10:55:58+10:0031st October, 2019|Tags: privacy|

Just say no (to hugs)!

As someone who loathes hugs from anyone but the most intimate of friends/family members, I can totally get behind this call to just fucking cut them the fuck out.

Incidentally, while this is obviously super culturally subjective,1 according to my parents “promiscuous hugging” was definitely not a thing here a generation ago. So wherever it came from, it totally needs to go back.

  1. Also, yes! I am ethnically from a High Hugging Culture! []
2019-07-31T09:40:07+10:0030th October, 2019|Tags: culture|

Physical equivalent.

In some library conference talks I’ve done, I’ve groped toward a formulation I’m now calling “physical-equivalent privacy.” That is, if we wouldn’t track a print book, or a person using the physical library, in a particular way, the digital analogue to that tracking behavior is also not okay. Put more formally, “the library patron using library-provided electronic information should enjoy privacy protection equal to that of the same patron using the same information via a library-provided physical information carrier.” This is not a perfect analogy, let me just state that up-front—physical surveillance is also ramping up in all too many contexts, even in libraries—but it productively tickles most folks’ sense of what’s creepy, and I think it also activates a lot of tacit operational-privacy knowledge in librarianship.

Dorothea Salo on privacy.

… I really like this analogy and I will definitely be stealing it in future.

2019-07-01T09:57:09+10:0029th October, 2019|Tags: privacy, tech|


I could have a regular chocobo or I could dress one up as Behemoth and ride that instead!

(Still needs a few more shades of feather dying to get blackerer but I need to, like. Save up the gil for it again, oy…)

2019-10-31T13:20:13+11:0028th October, 2019|Tags: final fantasy, gaming, mmos, video games|