OnPoint

The Federal Trade Commission tackles online tracking

What if There Was a Do-Not-Track List for Online Browsing?

For those who want to abolish the Federal Trade Commission, maybe things like this should make you reconsider.

On Wednesday, [the FTC] turned up the heat on the technology industry – and browser makers specifically – to move more quickly to create simple, universal controls to let people tell advertisers and data brokers that they may not collect information about their Web browsing and buying habits.

It’s complicated but its good to know someone’s looking at it.

It does creep me out when I visit B&H photo and find a rotating ad for a pair of boots I just looked at at Zappos. The cookie that does this is called a “beacon” and its in use all over the place. Easy to disable but just as easy to step into again.

If this topic interests you I highly recommend listening to this: Online Tracking: Creepy Commerce?. This was an excellent show and Julia Angwin of The Wall Street Journal gave a great overview of how all of these behind the scenes technologies work.

Good Deeds in Hard Times

Good Deeds in Hard Times

OnPoint had a great story last Friday and I just re-listened to it. Great stuff.

Ted Gup found out, through a box of old letters, that during the depths of the depression his grandfather helped people he didn’t know with small amounts of money. He did this without identifying himself or taking credit for it during his lifetime. Listen to the story, it’s quite moving.

Cyber Harassment and the Law

On Point had a fascinating show today in its second hour: Cyber Harassment and the Law.

Cyber-bullying is too mild a term for some of what goes on in the rougher corners of the Internet.

When anonymous online attackers went after two young women at Yale Law School, it had the feel of a gang beating. Maybe worse. Brutal. Obscene. Relentless. And done, it seemed, for fun.

Now the women have pushed back in the courts. Defendants say it’s not their attacks but free speech that’s really under fire. The case may change what you can and cannot say online.

This is an upsetting yet fascinating topic.

Andrew Sullivan: Why I Blog

Andrew Sullivan has written a great pice for The Atlantic: Why I Blog.

Sullivan’s blog: The Daily Dish has become quite popular and not just because he’s a conservative for Obama, also because he’s smart and articulate.

The radio show OnPoint is doing a piece right now called Can Bloggers Save Journalism? which is fascinating. I recommend listening to this show, either through the link at the top of that page when the show is over in 10 minutes, or, through the iTunes Music Store.