The Facebook data scandal is the thin end of a very scary wedge

The privacy issues kicked up by the current Facebook data scandal – which reportedly saw $83 billion wiped off its stock value last week – are scary not so much for the specific relevations that triggered it, or for the particular issue itself; but because of the deeper issue underpinning it, one shared by all … More The Facebook data scandal is the thin end of a very scary wedge

Big brother is watching us because we asked for it – Huxley style

I have to admit to a certain cynicism about the age of big data – the age of online convenience where we can shop from home, buy stuff with the click of a button, and have it sent to us. Books, among other things. But there’s a down-side. ‘They’ know what you bought – and … More Big brother is watching us because we asked for it – Huxley style

And that’s why I don’t watch broadcast TV any more…

Last December I gave up on broadcast TV. I’d had enough. A dozen channels running synchronised ads promoting products I didn’t want, interspersed with insults to intellect – TV news reduced to infotainment that talked down to eight-year olds, mind-numbing ‘reality TV’ shows, combat cookery contests and trite dramas filled with posturing ‘characters’ moving from … More And that’s why I don’t watch broadcast TV any more…

‘If it’s free, you’re the product’ – and what that means for Facebook

A few days ago I belatedly joined approximately 1.2 billion other people – more than one in seven of the world’s entire population – on Facebook. I’ve had reasons to be laggard. Only one is time.  I set up a Facebook placeholder do-nothing page in 2013, to protect my name – but my main leeriness with actively engaging … More ‘If it’s free, you’re the product’ – and what that means for Facebook

Essential Writing Skills: taking your audience with you

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Professionalism counts when it comes to writing. Which includes valuing your audience – however small. A little anecdote. Back in the late ’90s, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I went to a show by a local singer-songwriter-actress in a small venue – a public bar. … More Essential Writing Skills: taking your audience with you