Some Quotes I like

On Facebook (et. al.)

From Eben Moglen: Interview: Eben Moglen - Freedom vs. The Cloud Log:

"So the Web, with services equipped in a basically client-server architecture, becomes a device for surveillance as well as providing additional services. And surveillance becomes the hidden service wrapped inside everything we get for free. ... Facebook is free Web hosting with some PHP doodads and APIs, and spying free inside all the time - not actually a deal we can't do better than."

From Randall Monroe (creator of xkcd): Infrastructures (xkcd cartoon):

"OH MY GOD! WE HANDED CONTROL OF OUR SOCIAL WORLD TO FACEBOOK AND THEY'RE DOING EVIL STUFF!"
"DO YOU SEE THIS? - IT'S THE WORLD'S TINIEST OPEN-SOURCE VIOLIN"

On iPhones

From Bruce Schneier: with iPhone, "security" is code for "control":

"Control allows a company to limit competition for ancillary products. With Mac computers, anyone can sell software that does anything. But Apple gets to decide who can sell what on the iPhone. It can foster competition when it wants, and reserve itself a monopoly position when it wants. And it can dictate terms to any company that wants to sell iPhone software and accessories."

From Defective By Design: Apple says you can't have freedom because you might be clumsy, evil, and a drug dealer:

"...I agree with Apple. Don't jailbreak your iPhone. Don't buy an iPhone at all. Don't give your money to a company that turns around and gives it to lawyers like Fenwick & West to lobby your[sic] government to restrict your freedom..."

On Kindle

From Defective By Design: Double-plus ungood: give Amazon's Kindle a 1-star review:

"Amazon refuses to clarify what exactly their DRM system can do, or how they will or won't use it. Deceptive advertising practices like this are currently being looked into by the Federal Trade Commission. Notice that there is no mention or warning of DRM on the Kindle page."

On U.S. Data Security

From Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm: Certified Lies: Detecting and Defeating Government Interception Attacks Against SSL:

"Individuals living in countries with laws that protect their privacy from unreasonable invasion have good reason to avoid trusting foreign governments (or foreign companies) to protect their private data. This is because individuals often receive the greatest legal protection from their own governments, and little to none from other countries."

From British Columbia Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis referring to the USA PATRIOT Acti: USA Patriot Act comes under fire in B.C. report:

"In a report on the privacy implications of the Patriot Act, Loukidelis notes that once information is sent across borders, it's difficult, if not impossible, to control."

On Words

From In the Beginning... Was the Command Line, a seminal essay by Neal Stephenson:

"The word, in the end, is the only system of encoding thoughts--the only medium--that is not fungible, that refuses to dissolve in the devouring torrent of electronic media..."
"Why are we rejecting explicit word-based interfaces, and embracing graphical or sensorial ones--a trend that accounts for the success of both Microsoft and Disney?"

and

"Words are the only immutable medium we have, which is why they are the vehicle of choice for extremely important concepts like the Ten Commandments, the Koran, and the Bill of Rights. Unless the messages conveyed by our media are somehow pegged to a fixed, written set of precepts, they can wander all over the place and possibly dump loads of crap into people's minds."

(Stephenson's essay title is undoubtedly alluding to the opening of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Bible: "In the beginning was the Word..." (John 1:1), which, itself, is clearly alluding to the opening words of the Bible: "In the beginning God created..." (Genesis 1:1)).

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