Just what information do ebook retailers know about you? The EFF has a very handy guide to help you out, so that you can make an informed decision on the matter.

For example, Google’s new Google Book Search Project has the ability to track reading habits at an unprecedented level of granularity. In particular, according to the proposed Google Books Privacy Policy, web servers will automatically “log” each book and page you searched for and read, how long you viewed it for, and what book or page you continued onto next:

Physical e-reader devices pose similar threats to reader privacy. For example, the Kindle does not sell, but rather licenses, the books, magazines, and other materials offered for wireless download through its Kindle Store, which can only be used on a particular device. This implicitly requires Amazon to know what reading material a user has licensed at any given time.

Thankfully, there are some e-reader options that do not connect wirelessly, nor include any privacy or “terms of use” provisions that allow monitoring of what you put on the device or how you use it. Sony’s Reader, for example, may collect information about what books you buy from its own eBook Store, yet the Reader also works with books purchased from other sources as well. Even safer still, popular e-reader software programs, such as open-source FBReader, allow users to download content from a number of sources onto a multitude of devices, including one’s computer or mobile, without handing over all information about their reading habits to one source, or anyone for that matter.

The Surveillance State

A presentation of No CCTV. Filmed at the 3rd Lawful Rebellion Conference, London, 31st October 2009 by BBC5.tv.

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

REAL-ID was originally slated to go into effect in May 2008, yet numerous extensions and delays have it circling the drain. Today 25 US states and 11 territories are out of compliance with REAL-ID, most planning to never implement the scheme.

Security Management’s Joseph Straw writes that the 2005 law requires that applicants for state-issued IDs including driver’s licenses demonstrate legal U.S. residence and requires that states incorporate security features into ID cards. These security features include biometric information and RFID capabilities. The law also mandates that states store electronic copies of “breeder” documents like birth certificates and Social Security cards, so that application materials can be checked against copies of originals. There are five other, non-driver’s license-related requirements in the law.

Earlier this year DHS secretary Janet Napolitano – a fierce opponent of Real ID during her tenure as governor of Arizona — endorsed pending legislation called the PASS ID Act, which would remove the requirement that states maintain electronic copies of breeder documents. Straw writes that PASS ID would further set a 2016 deadline for total compliance of all licenses regardless of issue date. That deadline is a year ahead of the REAL ID Act’s, but PASS ID would eliminate a series of the current law’s interim deadlines.

As deadlines are further pushed back, one has to wonder if any part of REAL-ID or PASS ID will ever be fully enforced.

Luggage Locator is a device that is meant to help you locate your luggage. Instead, it seems to be one of the worst ideas ever.

A battery operated, two unit system, the Luggage Locator consists of a small transmitter about the size of a key chain and a lightweight receiver that attaches to any luggage handle. With the simple push of a button, the transmitter activates the receiver causing a bright flashing light and loud chirping sound. Locating your luggage after a long trip has never been quicker nor easier.

It is ideal for travellers, saves time and provides peace of mind. It is lightweight, sturdy and water resistant.

Re-read that quote. When activated a bright, red light will flash and the device will make a loud, chirping sound. Just watch and see what happens when you activate it at the airport. This is a great companion the the Talking Luggage Locator.

Luggage Locator only costs $25, plus 25 years in the pen. As for me, I’m sticking with the bright red stickers on my luggage and the piece of orange string on the handles in order to tell which bag is, indeed, mine.

It’s rude to stare

I found this picture while perusing the internet. It brought a huge smile to my face.

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