Category Archives: Uncategorized

Register. Why?


These things occur by the thousand – Register|Login. However, I don’t think that there is more than a tiny fraction of one percent that tells the visitor ‘Why?’

The absence of any indication that there may be some benefit to the visitor from registering leads to the suspicion that the only reason can be data harvesting.

A couple of years ago, Pick n Pay started their ‘Smart Shopper’ programme and I duly took a fanfold. There was absolutely nothing on it about any advantage. I looked at the application form and it required my cell number and email amongst other items. Pick n Pay ‘REQUIRED’ these details otherwise you couldn’t register.

In the absence of any advantage and because I have enough spam I chose to leave the thing. Eventually, of course, if you spent R500 you earned enough points to get a R2 discount. Whoopee. You’d do better shopping at Shoprite.

Where there is a ‘Full Content’ option or ‘Members’ Area’ I understand the Log in but without any incentive to do so, why bother? I think most Internet users have little or no idea of the importance of email addresses to businesses and that these ‘Register’ boxes are no more than email and personal details harvesting.

I have gone through the registration process a couple of times with no visible benefit from having done so. It seems contemptuous of websites to expect visitors to register without telling them why.






The Boogeyman has Arrived (in about 1990 actually)

NSA/GCHQ in other words.

I have very strong feelings about the right to privacy as anyone who has seen my Twitter feeds will know so I’ll keep this short.


The Five Eyes (UK, USA, Canada, Oz and NZ) have exceeded all bounds of morality, discipline and professionalism in their collection of intelligence. This information in the hands of such a bellicose nation as the USA is very dangerous for the entire planet. The NSA has been described as ‘a bunch of middle schoolers run amok’ – about right.

The embarrassment of the USA in particular is a joy to behold and follows a predictable path.

  1. Blanket denial followed by…
  2. Attempt to stop the whistleblower that went spectacularly wrong
  3. Vilification and demonization of same bloke instead and
  4. a spiteful fiasco involving Venezuela.
  5. Deal out vicious sentence to Bradley Manning while we’re at it
  6. The Head Honcho lying under oath to Congress
  7. But everybody does spies!
  8. We didn’t know what they were up to. Really?
  9. We’ll launch an investigation (yeah right)
  10. We have appointed an oversight committee (Ha Ha)
  11. Tapping Merkel will not happen (but did happen)
  12. We did our job – the politicians told us what to do (like the SS)
  13. Mea culpa from Kerry – ‘yes it may have gone too far’
  14. 35 Heads of State, diplomats, conferences, international organizations, businesses and the Vatican – Yup, he may be right
  15. To come: Larger demonstrations followed by
  16. Another bigger Congressional enquiry and
  17. A change in spying regulations that tinker with the edges
  18. And of course, more damning revelations
  19. etc., etc. I cannot wait.

lk060713dAPR-nsa-surveillance-500Each of the above points can be picked over but the sum total is the final loss of any trust in the USA.

Their greedy domestic policies have affected most of the planet. Their aggressive foreign policy has served only to destabilize parts of it. Their political system and much of their media have been taken over by big business and big finance.

PdYV5MYAmericans never win wars. They just stampede in on a pretext and fuck things up to feed their huge military industry.

The Israeli lobby in the US is so powerful, it gets the US to do its fighting for it. It has been said that America’s most dangerous export is democracy – see how peaceful Iraq is.

Back to computers . . .

I think that the allegations of spying and ‘back doors to the NSA’ all over the place will gradually result in the proliferation of security-related products. No-one trusts the chip makers, Microsoft, Tracebook, Google and even the current ‘security’ software any more.

6.siClapper admitted to lying to Congress, a very serious offence but he’s still out there.

The queue of businesses offering anti-NSA products is visible already and many will use them as they get better and easier to use. In five years, there will be a major change in the way the Internet is used. NSA may still get in – and it will certainly try – but it will be much more difficult.

And the reason? Money. Security is paramount in the game and the slightest hint of compromise will send customers stampeding off. AT&T are suffering already in Europe. Google, Scrapebook and others will have to re-establish trust.

Not possible in my opinion.


An Email Epiphany

Years ago I came across Mailwasher and used the free version but decided to buy the full version last year. A year later they wanted $30 a year to keep it activated so I told them to stuff it. I only have one major email account anyway.

The change meant that I would no longer have an audible/visible indication that an email had arrived. As soon as ‘ding’ is heard, you have to stop what you’re doing and open the mail, just in case – and it was interrupting the day. Now, I have made a policy only to open mail in the morning. None is that urgent anyway and it frees up the rest of the day for continuous work (or continuous loafing).

A New Website – African Vision Trust

avisionThey seem to take longer and longer. This one, a development time of about six months.

This is a simple 5-pager for what used to be the KZN Eye Care Coalition, now called Africa Vision and at

The client offers free removal of cataracts and so, with the assumption that those who read it might be sufferers, the font is large Lato. I can recommend Lato if you’re using a font-face kit. I liked it when it first arrived. It’s easy to read, bold is a real bold and it has around a dozen flavours.

The only problem I’ve seen is with Chrome that doesn’t render certain sizes of Lato properly and makes ‘t’s the same size as ‘a’s and truncates some descenders.

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