[LINK] Technically Too Invasive

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Tue Feb 22 12:03:41 AEDT 2011

At 08:32 AM 22/02/2011, Tom Koltai you wrote:
>If linkers would like add to the list, please send me a url offlist.

I wondered what was going on with zdnet. People would send me URLs 
from there and they wouldn't open. They also I think require cookies. 
You would think a tech site that publishes articles about invasive 
technologies wouldn't do that, but they do. I wanted to read the 
articles, so I allowed them to do things. I didn't like it, but I did it.

Another thing that's going on that you may want to add to your 
list/analysis is the increase in 'membership' to access what used to 
be open access. I'm finding this more and more as I review the links 
for my class. Websites have been redesigned to include a 'sign up' (= 
give us all your personal info, including phone number, address, 
employment info etc.). When I wrote to the only email address I found 
on this one site (the owner of the company had 'promoted' an article 
of interest on LinkedIn), I received a nice letter saying they were 
happy to hear from me and that they would forward my complaint to the 
appropriate person. However, on LinkedIn, I posted a reaction to the 
owner and copped an earful about how she spent thousands of dollars 
doing all this, so stop being ungrateful, give her my info, and drop 
the attitude. Seriously, that's what she said. The cheek! She's still 
pushing her company's 'offerings' in the topical group, no exposure 
that she's selling anything (her information in exchange for OUR 
information). I see her name now (cough - Shon Harris - cough) and 
run. For a company that is supposedly in the Info Sec business, she's 
got a lot of learning to do, or at least needs better advice about 
online self-promotion.

The other trick is supposed access sites that let you get all the way 
to the first page of an item and THEN tell you, oh, by the way, that 
will be $5 or a subscription or some other payment. cough - Scribd - cough

So now I'm finding that paywalls aren't the issue so much as giving 
my personal info (or lying about it) in exchange for access to info 
that may or may not have any lasting value, beyond a set of opinions 
from a company that is trying to sell me something else, and whether 
or not to advise students to fall into the trap. I look for 
alternatives that haven't been restricted if I can. Not always possible.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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