April 2005

Sillycon Valley Biz19 Apr 2005 02:41 am

Here are some of my thoughts on the Adobe acquisition of Macromedia, which I first began distilling into a comment for Dan Gillmor’s blog entry today. (more…)

Politics & Privacy & Sillycon Valley Biz18 Apr 2005 05:38 pm

In yet another example of my devotion to recycling, I turned my April 12 blog entry about Google and ChoicePoint into a monthly column for eSecurity Planet.

Mobile Tech17 Apr 2005 04:30 pm

I just finished reading a breathtakingly arrogant interview with Ivan Seidenberg, the CEO of Verizon, the nation’s largest telephone company. And the philosophy of “we don’t have to care, we’re the phone company!” is laid bare time and again through the interview. (more…)

Privacy15 Apr 2005 05:10 pm

Another day, another privacy breach. This time, it was credit card data stolen from Polo/Ralph Lauren (remember! Carson on Queer Eye taught us all that it’s pronounced ‘LOR-en’…) belonging to HSBC customers holding a GM affinity card. As many as 187,000 people may be affected.

What could possibly be causing this epidemic of data-spills? (more…)

News & Culture14 Apr 2005 01:27 pm

Through a strange series of circumstances I happened to be looking at the website for the really fantastic sci-fi television show The 4400, and I saw the following: (more…)

News & Culture & Privacy & Sillycon Valley Biz12 Apr 2005 07:05 pm

On tonight’s David Lawrence Show, I talked about ChoicePoint’s new CPO, the news that the Lexis-Nexis privacy breach was much bigger than first thought, the RIAA suing file pirates on Internet2, the future of digital broadcasting, and even Steve Carrell’s return to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It’s another action-packed hour of The David Lawrence Show, which can be yours in .mp3 format for only 25ยข!

Politics & Privacy & Sillycon Valley Biz12 Apr 2005 04:29 pm

While surfing my usual news sources last night, I stumbled upon some exciting news. According to Technology Daily, Google has hired Alan Davidson to open their Washington DC lobbying and policy shop. This is the best news I’ve heard in ages! (more…)

Mobile Tech & Podcast11 Apr 2005 02:40 pm

My friend David Lawrence has written a really interesting blog entry about the phenomenon of Podcasting, and why it’s not really all that new, as well as why it faces some pretty substantial challenges before it becomes the “end” of radio as we know it.

News & Culture & Privacy10 Apr 2005 01:56 pm

According to an article in the April 5 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newly hired Chief Privacy Officer at embattled data broker ChoicePoint will make a $500,000 annual salary, with guaranteed bonuses of nearly another half-million in the first year alone.

According to the article, the newly named CPO is Carol DiBattiste, formerly a deputy administrator for the Transportation Security Administration. Since the TSA has such a track record of competence, I’m sure ChoicePoint is on its way to curing all its past mistakes. :-S Of course it surely doesn’t hurt ChoicePoint that the TSA is a prime customer for its databases full of ill-gotten information about you. Revolving doors of government are nothing if not lucrative!

I have very mixed feelings about this news. On the one hand, having been the world’s first corporate Chief Privacy Officer, I am very proud that this position is being recognized for the kind of value it can bring to a company facing risk in the privacy arena. But at the same time, it’s a bit disconcerting that a company with such enormous problems would turn to a veteran of an agency that has distinguished itself as being befuddled, short-sighted, and singularly unimpressed with the privacy rights of the average citizen.

That said, I know nothing about Ms. DiBattiste and her career. For all I know, she could have been the only sane person in that whole organization and was single-handedly responsible for keeping TSA from being a bigger disaster area than it already is. I guess time will tell. So, for what it’s worth, congratulations to Carol DiBattiste! Great work if you can get it! :)

Friends & Family & Moblog09 Apr 2005 10:53 pm

Big SurIt’s weekends like this that remind us why we live in this crazy place.

It was just an absolutely breathtaking weekend here in Northern California. Cloudless skies, warm sunshine, and cool ocean breezes all conspired to create a gorgeous outing today. And what’s more… all the idiots seemed to have stayed home today! All too often, the drive down 101 and then over to the Monterey area can be bumper-to-bumper, but it was smooth and remarkably traffic-free. We even had no trouble finding parking in the usually-packed hamlet of Carmel-by-the-Sea. And even 17-Mile Drive was practically deserted.

We went with a friend of ours who isn’t from around here, and it was fun to see him experience for the first time what we so often forget is so close, yet sometimes impossible to fit into our crazy schedules. Lone Cypress But the areas around Big Sur, Carmel, and Pebble Beach, are among the most beautiful places anywhere on this planet. So, if you’ve not been, give yourself a wonderful treat and come for a visit. Here’s a tip: try doing it on a weekday when the traffic is less crazy… And, for heaven’s sake, please don’t drive like an idiot… It’s a lot more enjoyable for everybody if there are fewer people shaking their fists at you. :-)

For a few more pictures, you can visit my Moblog at http://ray.textamerica.com. I hope to have my Moblogging integrated into this site soon, but I haven’t figured out the best way to do that in WordPress. But I’ve got some good leads.

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