Lib Dig Pig #5

Welcome to the fifth edition of Lib Dig Pig, being a roundup of non-Lib Dem oriented gems on the internet, as voted by Lib Dem members using Lib Dig (if you aren’t one, and are a Lib Dem member, sign up here: http://libdig.co.uk).

I didn’t write this column for the Christmas period, so have three weeks to catch up on.

This week’s Lib Dig Pig is brought to you by the theme of identity. Governments, banks and companies are rather careless when it comes to protecting your identity, politicians seem to be rather confused about their own and Mac users seem to think their’s is something they can buy in the shops for £500. Without further ado, here are this week’s slices of fried gold…

Your data – safe in their hands?

First up, this useful tool from those nice people at the Open Rights Group. Confused by all the data loss stories of the past year or so? Use this survey to assess whether or not your data may have been lost by the government, your bank or online shop.

I confidently filled it in, only to discover to my chagrin that I may indeed have lost my data. You should too.

Confused how so many organisations could have lost so much data? Well, this handy book explaining “the computer” from 1978 may be able to help you. Sad to admit, but I’m pretty sure I used to own this book when I was a kiddeh, although my copy didn’t claim that computers eat meat. Must’ve been an early, uncorrected edition.

For more helpful diagrams, try this handy flowchart from xkcd about… flowcharts.

Do you know who I am?

Another person complaining about an invasion of his privacy, it would seem, is the Belgian Foreign Minister (whether this is the current Belgian Foreign Minister by the time you read this is distinctly debatable – I struggle to keep up). It is a long, and frankly silly story, but it involves Belgian blogger and sometime barkeep Nathalie Lubbe Bakker slagging of Pieter De Crem for having a boozy night out in New York when he should have been in Geneva. For her trouble, she promptly got the sack and the Foreign Minister branded blogging a “dangerous phenomenon.” You can read an English summary of events at Bente Kalsnes’ blog.

Still, if you think that is bad behaviour for a government official, the Belgians probably have a long way to go to beat Dick Cheney, who actually thinks comparisons to Darth Vader “humanises him” (Chicken Yoghurt). I have a feeling that Cheney’s wife, who apparently explained who Vader was to him, was probably thinking of the little green fella. Or maybe the big hairy one. Or maybe she has watched this.

Finally, in another case of mistaken identity, David Cameron appears to have forgotten what his own Shadow Chief Secretary looks like. At least, according to that impeccably neutral source Tom Harris MP. Poor show!

Video (Platform) of the Week

No video made the grade this time around, but this one a) nearly did, b) is funny and c) is rude about Mac users so it gets included anyway:

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

(At the risk of turning this blog into the Peter Serafinowicz Greatest Hits, I should point out that he did basically the same joke – less well admittedly – in his Christmas Special).

Back to things that you did actually vote for on LibDig, TubeMogul is a service which lets you post your content up on dozens of different video hosting websites simultaneously. Several people who made it big on YouTube are already using it. Is the YouTube era coming to an end? You read it hear first!

Two final digs of the Christmas period: the sad news that Columbo actor Peter Falk has Alzheimer’s, and a wonderful new book celebrating 20 Years of Charter 88 (and yes I should declare an interest and admit that I contributed to parts of it – go buy it anyway!).

Small Print

The rules for inclusion here are simple: they must have been “dug” for the first time in the last seven days and they can’t be Lib Dem-related or come from a Lib Dem blog (which thankfully means I don’t have to list any videos about cleaning flats and guitars). The top rated articles will be listed here. For the purposes of this column, my votes will be discounted. Finally, I may bend or break any of these rules as I see fit (this is absolutely terrible and I am dreadfully sorry about it).

PS LibDig the easy way – add the LibDig bookmarklet to your toolbar!

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