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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cookies, cookies, everywhere, and lots of data to drink...

    The routine check of the blog this morning reveals a couple of visitors, a normal statistic (a few weeks ago there were 40 or 50 one day, wildly unusual). Click a button and I can see where my recent visitors hail from--the last few weeks (which is the time-window if I recollect) it has been the U.S., Germany, France and Portugal, in that order if my eyesight for shades of green isn't failing. The Blogger Stats page also tells me of the latest post(s) viewed (just the previous "Ass in Gear" today) and "Traffic Sources"--today just something called http://theculturaluniverse.blogspot.de/ ...whatever the heck THAT is (the "de" I'm guessing indicates Deutschland).
    Even bigger heaps of data for its own nefarious uses, I'm assuming, are reaped by Google, the cyberfeudal e-Lord of your quasi-trusty blogserf. No doubt Google also knows your name, age, medical health, marital status, criminal record, bank balance, credit rating, political parties, charities and NGOs supported, promptness in washing your dishes, thoroughness in getting them really clean, and exact amount of time spent surfing for online porn. And likely this blog is accomplice or at least accessory to this info-harvest.
    All of course made possible by cookies, those cutely-named data-collection algorithms which comprise roughly 83% of the average hard-drive, as your personal computer is now so infested with cookies it's as if your hard-drive was caught in a Girl Guide-factory explosion.
    And now of course the government, which is always looking out for the welfare of its peons... er, citizens, wants to clearly let us know that cookies exist, and what they are doing. No, no not the Canadian government, because the Harper Conservatives view the interweb as just another field of profit-dreams, and because the CRTC is so pedantically clueless that it is still trying locate its gluteus with a gyro-compass (it's last great spasm of activity, you will recall, was an irony-free attempt to launder Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" because the song asserted, "The little faggot has his own jet-airplane/ The little faggot is a millionaire"). Nor is the Obama administration launching any cookie-control or cookie-awareness legislation, perhaps because of Republican stonewalling, or because the CIA and national-security agencies need room to plant a few zillion cookies per year themselves.
    No, it is the EU, the good old European Union, that now requires cookie-disclosal and cookie-permission (wait... is disclosal a word??) to the surfers of internet sites. So, for the freedom-loving and privacy-hugging explorers of Cyberia, or for Europeans anyway, rest assured that the situation is under control! Even this blog, Google tells me, now carries some sort of Euro-caveat. All hail Brussels!
    As for me, I'm still reactionary enough to yearn for a return to just newspapers as a universal medium (okay, a thin gloss of TV too). And police physically tapping into phone lines with alligator-clips. And just tell the damn internet to just go bake itself.