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l’azile » vie webienne

February 4, 2013

let there be spaces in your togetherness*

catherine @ 12:16 am

Dear everybody, I am taking a break from Facebook for a while for the following reasons:

Firstly, I HATE the new ticker functionality; IT CREEPS ME OUT. I do not need to know every single thing my friends do on Facebook but, more importantly, I do not care to have my friends know every single thing I like or comment on. I actually sometimes feel spied on by some people even though I understand (or in some cases hope) that it is not intentional on their part. But it is just too much information and until Facebook offers a way to opt-out of having my every move broadcast not only to my friends but to people I do not even know, I will not be commenting or liking anyone’s posts, photos or comments or if so, very rarely. This will probably make me a very boring friend but c’est la vie. Please do not take it personally.

Secondly, a few recent articles (here and here) have also motivated the aforementioned measures I have decided to implement. I knew Facebook could use “corporate” likes to use us as unsuspecting promoters of brands or other content so I was extremely careful about the things I liked outside of personal posts, photos or comments from friends. In fact, I purposely made sure not to like anything corporate or for-profit, except for a couple of friends’ business pages as a show of encouragement. But according to the Forbes article, “Facebook is now recycling users Likes and using them to promote ‘Related Posts’ in the news feeds of the user’s friends. And one more thing, the users themselves have possibly never seen the story, liked the story or even know that it is being promoted in their name.” It is worth reading the whole Forbes article as it also mentions something I have noticed while reviewing my Activity Log recently, that I do on a regular basis, i.e. the phenomenon of “false likes”. I have found a few things in my log that I supposedly liked but that I know for a fact I never did and never would. Facebook conveniently attributes this to user error but I just do not buy it.

I realize I have a fairly public life on the Web but to a certain extent, I think I have done a reasonably adequate job of controlling it (or at least I like to think I have). And when I joined Facebook last February, I knew I was giving up some privacy and I knew that Facebook is evil (although obviously, I did not know to what extent). But I hoped that the rules and conditions would remain somewhat consistent and clear. This has undeniably not been the case. And to be honest, since I became very sick, Facebook has really helped me stay connected to friends and family especially. But I believe that these latest changes and what I consider to be violations to my privacy and my rights as a user are just too much for me. I hope things will get better but Facebook has received numerous questions and complaints regarding the first matter I mentioned and so far, they have completely ignored the issue. This brief statement is the only information that I was able to find from Facebook that almost addresses the concerns I have. Clearly, that is insufficient as far as I am concerned.

Anyway, I can easily be found in less intrusive places on the Internet and for those who still remember how, there is always email.


This post is a slightly edited version of the latest status update I posted to Facebook yesterday.

* The quote is from Kahlil Gibran

May 29, 2011

all of me

catherine @ 8:01 pm

J’errais sans but sur le Net l’autre soir et je suis tombée vraiment par hasard sur un commentaire que j’avais laissé sur un blogue d’une personne de mon milieu professionnel mais que je ne connais qu’en ligne. Et encore, « connaître » dans ce cas est un bien grand mot car, quoique j’aie vaguement collaboré avec cette personne, du moins il me semble, je ne me rappelle pas avoir vraiment échangé avec elle. Et pouf, dans mes déambulations, je trouve ce commentaire banal, du genre « joyeux anniversaire », d’il y a plus de deux ans maintenant.

Of course, loin de moi l’idée de suggérer que des vœux d’anniversaire ne sont pas importants ou ressentis. Ceux et celles qui me connaissent savent que je dis ce que je pense et tout de moi, que ce soit en ligne ou en personne est authentique (certains diront peut-être même un peu trop et je les emmerde). Mais ça m’a quand-même étonnée de me retrouver dans ce commentaire.

Continue reading all of me

March 24, 2009

the devil in 140 chars or less

catherine @ 4:51 am

I broke one of my [do not even bother attempting to comprehend] rules. In a fit of BSG madness, I broadcast on twitter that I had missed the last three minutes of the series finale wherein, oh the horror!, I used a contraction (as evidenced here).

Yes. I actually used a freaking contraction in the written English language for the first time, to the best of my knowledge, in more than four years.

So y’all are probably thinking, euh, wtf?! And yeah, I know, I know, wtf!

But whatever. This is an important and disconcerting, euh, quelque chose.

PS. “y’all” does not count.

Filed under: vie webienne, web life
January 3, 2008

a day in the life… and another and another and another…

catherine @ 9:30 pm

Some guy called Jonathan Keller from Motor City has been photographing his face every day for the last eight years and posting the photos on line. It is a strangely fascinating experiment if you are into that sort of thing and yet it is actually very ordinary somehow but for some reason I find his follow-through quite admirable.

He claims in the oft entertaining FAQ that the project will continue until the day he dies and that “only then will it be complete, and worth its true value”, though “unfortunately, [he] won’t ever see it finished”.

He has created a timelapse animation of the series called “Living my life faster” and it really is quite something to see though I must admit it almost triggered an odd epileptic seizure.

Aside from the hair (facial and otherwise), he has not changed much in the last eight years but I imagine that, if he can keep going (and, barring any unfortunate circumstances, I imagine he will), it will be kind of interesting to see the changes in the long term. Which I guess, or at least hope, is ultimately the point.

September 5, 2007

the sum of my parts

catherine @ 10:37 pm

Three days ago, I posted a few photos to flickr. Nothing special, or so I thought. A random picture taken in a post office, one of the black squirrel I have kind of befriended and throw peanuts at every morning and one of a rather ordinary poster I photographed during my last visit to the rehab institute. Of these three, the photo of the rather ordinary poster received an insane amount of traffic and it took me a few days to figure out why.

Continue reading the sum of my parts

June 6, 2007

the nine billion eyes of god

catherine @ 7:21 pm

The title of this post is actually inspired by a short story by Kathy Kachelries, published in September 2005 on 365 tomorrows, called The Nine Billion Names of God. And when I read about the new street view service recently concocted by Google, I was instantly reminded of this creepy story about how, in the not too distant future, Google has swallowed up the Internet and basically defined who we are.

Anyway, this article, found via maxdesign’s always useful “some links for light reading” feature, illustrates exactly what I have been trying to get my flat-mate to understand in the last year. That privacy can not be taken for granted, even in one’s own home. That, for example, if you leave your curtains open in the evening with all the lights on full-blast, you can bet that someone out there will not be able to resist taking pictures and, why not?, post them on flickr for all the world to see. Now I admit, this has been a topic of moderate dissent between us but up until this morning, he just did not seem to (or want to) get it. After I showed him the aforementioned article, he just gave me the look, the one that means “shit, she has a point” but that he can not bring himself to say out loud. Euh, whatever.

Continue reading the nine billion eyes of god

May 23, 2007

the plane! the plane!

catherine @ 4:43 pm

Or maybe that should be “The diplomats! The diplomats!”

Sorry to disappoint but no, Tattoo has not come back to grace us with his cheeky presence. But perhaps just as cheekily, the virtual game Second Life now has its very own “Diplomacy Island”, thanks to the Diplo Foundation, a non-profit “knowledge organisation” that promotes meaningful participation in international affairs through, among other things, the development of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for diplomatic activities. As explained on the Diplo Foundation Web site:

“Diplomacy Island is the next step in over a decade of research and development in the field of Virtual Diplomacy. Through Second Life, Diplo will explore new possibilities for diplomatic representation and interaction. Diplomacy Island will also be another channel for Diplo’s main mission of assisting small and developing countries to participate meaningfully in international relations. At the Island, Diplo will also promote development issues among Second Life citizens.”

My first thought when I read about this was “the end of the world is near”. Now, do not get me wrong. I think that ICTs are without a doubt useful tools for a wide range of human activities and we sure have come a long way in the last couple of decades.

Continue reading the plane! the plane!

April 6, 2007

know your stuff… better

catherine @ 8:38 am

The other night, through some serious meandering, I came across ZoomInfo, and more specifically, what ZoomInfo had to say about me. I was so annoyed by what I found that I was plagued all night long with bizarre dreams of attending a boring fundraiser with TBL, in a pink Chanel suit (very much like this one), getting lost going to the ladies’ room and ending up wandering aimlessly in the métro (and just to be clear, Sir Tim was not the one wearing the pink Chanel suit, although that probably would have made the whole thing much more interesting). No point in asking me how my mind works, the important thing is that it does.

Continue reading know your stuff… better

Filed under: vie webienne, web life
October 26, 2006

do not google unless you really mean it

catherine @ 11:31 am

Google posted a blog entry yesterday, visibly geared towards Joe-boîte-à-lunch, on how to use and especially how not to use their name. And judging from the related posts elsewhere linked to at the bottom of the article, a lot of people are not very happy.

I think we need to see this for what it is. Simply that Google is once again doing what is expected to protect their trademark, which will be useful in the future when they decide to sue the pants off whoever they please (or more likely whoever had one of their lawyers break out into a tepid sweat). After all, it would be harder to cry trademark infringement (or whatever the legal term is) if they can not prove they have done a minimum to protect it. So now, not only can they say commercial entities have been warned but regular folks as well.

Continue reading do not google unless you really mean it

August 11, 2006

your blog is showing

catherine @ 12:38 pm

This morning, I was quietly sipping my coffee while reading my e-mails and making my usual RSS rounds. Just an ordinary Friday morning. When I got to this week’s issue of the Web Design Update newsletter, I almost spit out my coffee. My first blog post on accessibility was among the items included.

While I am pleased that someone thought it worth people’s time to include my ramblings, needless to say I was shocked as :

  1. I have only started this blog last week and am still not sure what I want to do with this space.
  2. I have told no one about this blog and am surprised that someone already found it.
  3. I might have euh, held off a bit on personal stuff had I imagined that someone might already be reading me. (edit: and after thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided I was somewhat mortified and removed said personal stuff, for all the good it will do but whatever)
  4. I am still getting used to this WordPress thing so things are far from perfect (ditto for my English writing skills).

So anyway, to all those people who suggested that I should start my own blog, well guess what ? I did. But then perhaps you already knew that…

Filed under: vie webienne, web life
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