This week, you may have seen a lot of news stories about a new bill that the U.S. Congress has just passed that allows Internet Service Providers to sell their customers’ browsing data to advertisers. As usual with any topic that has a political aspect, there’s a lot of misinformation, confusion, and outrage accompanying the coverage. I’m no expert on any of it, but here are two articles that I think do a good job of explaining the issues involved. The Ars Technica is a bit more in-depth and technical than the Vox one (which links back to the Ars Technica one…)
How ISPs can sell your Web history—and how to stop them (Ars Technica, 03/24/17)
What the Republican online privacy bill means for you (Vox, 03/29/17)
Both articles mention that one of the ways that you can protect your privacy is using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. I’ve written about VPNs before in relation to how you can use them to access streaming content in areas where its blocked because of geographical rights restrictions. They’re also a good idea for when you’re connecting to the Internet using an unsecured public hotspot.
One of the comments I’ve seen a lot is along the lines of “Google and Facebook already sell all my data so what’s the big deal?” And I’ll be the first to say I’m not particularly worried about any of this myself. But the big difference is that those other companies only have access to data you share through their specific products and services. Your ISP, on the other hand, has access to every connection you make to the Internet.
One of my friends posted on Facebook recently that she was worried that some friends who never liked or wrote comments on her posts were annoyed by them. I reminded her that there was a very good chance that they may not even be seeing her posts, even if she has her privacy settings set correctly.
If you want to improve your chances of seeing the posts you’re most interested in, I’ve just updated this T4L post that provides several tips for doing so. It also provides some tips for making it more likely your friends will see your posts.
After a weird winter weather-wise, I’m really excited to see spring finally here. One of my goals this weekend is to get out and work on my flower and vegetable beds to prepare them for planting over the next few weeks. So I was happy to receive a new blog post this morning about soil drainage, an issue I definitely deal with in parts of my garden, from my favorite local garden center.
Understanding Soil Drainage (Behnke Nurseries, 03/29/17)
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