Tag Archives: email

A more honest and open society?

networkPaul Carr hits the nail on the head concerning the ongoing hysteria amongst many mainstream journos as to the relevance of Twitter, social networking et al to political culture:

…every time a scandal emerges involving the technology – be it McBride’s email or American teenagers ‘sexting‘ naked photos to each other, we hear the same crap from journalists – that the web, and email and mobile phones are making everyone behave in scandalous ways they never did before. If that’s true then I have some amazing YouTube footage of a bear shitting in the woods, which I found next to a damning video of the Pope taking communion.

The only difference between the way humans have been behaving badly for years, and how they behave badly in the internet age is the fact that now there’s always someone else watching.

And that seems to be the key point that politicians and more traditional media sources seem to have yet to properly absorb.

As networked recording devices become ubiquitous we’re going to have to learn to deal with a reduction in personal privacy. Further Carr adds:

…as a generation grows up that has never known true privacy, things will start to change. And they’ll change for the better.

This is something that’s been bothering me recently: like many people I’ve always had the vague idea I can be one person online and another in real life. This idea, however, is false. My generation and every generation hence will go through life leaving a sticky trail of hyperlinks, tweets, and FaceBook photos; an online miasma that everyone will possess and everyone will have to accept.

As privacy is reduced maybe prurient voyeurism and hypocrisy will also diminish. Part of the enjoyment of gossip is the secretive aspect of it: but if everything about everyone is out in the open then there will be no need to fear slur and innuendo.

So maybe the rise of ubiquitous recording and surveillance will lead to a more caring, more honest, and less hypocritical society?

[Paul Carr in The Guardian][image from jonbell has no h on flickr]


This month’s story comes from Kristin Janz, who took a rather different approach to narrative structure; “Veritas Nos Liberabit” is a story told in emails about how emails can tell stories.

So read on, and don’t forget to leave Kristin some feedback in the comments at the bottom. Enjoy!

Veritas Nos Liberabit

by Kristin Janz

From: jess hentzchel <jessicahentzchel@gmail.com>
Sent: August 1, 20__ (12:42 a.m., EDT)
To: Amy Pearson <apearson@eslpharm.com>
Subject: Dancing bear – kind of funny (fwd)
Attachments: dancingbear.gif

Amy – Check out the dancing bear, it’s sort of cute.


From: Amy Pearson <apearson@eslpharm.com>
Sent: August 1, 20__ (9:23 a.m., EDT)
To: jess hentzchel <jessicahentzchel@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Dancing bear – kind of funny (fwd)

This isn’t like you, Jess. Forwarding cute animated graphics of anthropomorphic predators? What next, angel poetry penned by senile old ladies in the Midwest? Or – heaven forbid – “Footprints”?

So it’s official. David is getting divorced. I overheard him telling Vikram in the cafeteria this morning.



From: Jonathan Lu <jlu@eslpharm.com>
Sent: August 1, 20__ (9:31 a.m., EDT)
To: Amy Pearson <apearson@eslpharm.com>
CC: Medicinal Chemistry

Subject: Re: Dancing bear – kind of funny (fwd)

> Jonathan – Check out the dancing bear, it’s sort of cute.

Amy, why you send this to me? I don’t know what it means, Veritas Nos Liberabit. It is French?


Continue reading VERITAS NOS LIBERABIT by Kristin Janz

Spammers Defeat CAPTCHA?

In the war between spammers and everyone else, the spammers may have captured new territory. A new trojan appears to be capable of bypassing the CAPTCHA systems on Yahoo and Hotmail, allowing spammers to create 500 bogus email addresses per hour. CAPTCHA tests are the distorted images of text that computers have previously been unable to read. They’re a kind of simple Turing Test meant to require a human behind a keyboard when creating a new email address.

I am suspicious of the claim that the trojan is actually somehow able to read these images, which have thus far been impossible to crack as a security measure. New Scientist Blog agrees. 500 an hour is not very fast. There is some trickery at work here, perhaps in the form of passing the CAPTCHAs from Hotmail to another website where humans are doing the solving work for the spammers.