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You are a bloody red mist of behavior data with a wallet

Or maybe a bomb. Oh, some DNA too, and a bunch of "likes," manias, and fears to spend as you can. Hmm, kind of a creepy day, today. Enough so to make a special post describing it.

Before even getting out of bed I'm seeing the news of Facebook's acquisition of Instagram.

I've been a big fan of Instagram and have remained friendly even after its recent policy of admitting Android users. The more shots of butt tattoos and exotic desserts the better. And although it's a photo sharing kind of app it lets you use an almost limitless number of words compared to Twitter and that allows for some involved dialog. It's an illustrated micro-blogging platform based around a single photo at a time. Very cool.

But it made me sad that the current "success story" is to create something cool, then be acquired, as though the coolest thing in the Universe is to be eaten by the biggest fish (Facebook or Google) which in the process creates massive sets of aggregated data about each of us.

But speaking of Facebook, I then noticed a Friend's posting there:

[click to go to story at MSN]
The police can just subpoena your Facebook records and they'll hand over everything, including login and IP data. And now, that will include Instagram photos (date and time stamped geotagged etc.) too, bringing Facebook one step closer to being the one stop shop for Police State Intelligence.

That sucks. But actually, I guess we suck. What I guess I mean is I suck. Who needs Big Brother when Facebook already is one and I'm helping by pouring myself into the data well? All the info you need a simple subpoena away.

I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet when things got even worse:

[clicking goes to story at Ars Technica]
"A Twitter analytics company that said it detected Osama bin Laden's death before it was reported by the news media has signed a partnership with Twitter, and is expanding the availability of its service for notifying financial firms and government clients of highly unusual events."

The company's clients don't want to be named because they are financial firms (the ones the Occupy Movement tents against, no doubt) and various countries and police states thereof. (Oh, and don't forget that Twitter acquired micro-blogging platform Posterous just last week.)

You know, it would be fascinating to devise algorithms using the thundering data stream that is the Twitter Firehose. Where are those pesky Occupiers planning on tenting next? And how can we make a bunch of money from it? Who will be assassinated next? And how can we make a bunch of money from it? Which dictator should our hedge fund back so we can make a bunch of money from it?

Sorry, all this creeps me out. I shouldn't have gotten out of bed. But when I did I found the police had just conducted a raid on (De)Occupy Honolulu.

Tomorrow I'm going to think about this. Tomorrow.

H. Doug Matsuoka
9 April 2012
Makiki, Honolulu


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