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Anonymously ever after

Anonymously ever after published on No Comments on Anonymously ever afterPurchase print

With all the recent discussion over identity and anonymity online, I suppose this is probably the right time to tell you that I am, in fact, not Rob Cottingham.

He and I met shortly after he completed his journalism studies in 1988. I was, at the time, being pursued by creditors who were in the, let’s say, unregulated financial sector.

Our paths crossed in a campus bar, where we remarked on our uncanny resemblance to each other. After a few drinks, I was able to persuade him it would be kind of a lark to switch identities just for a few days; I told him I was an audio hobbyist and could finish a radio piece he was working on in no time, and that he could take on my daytime job of reviewing luxury hotels.

He jumped at it, not realizing that my job was – of course – a complete fiction. The last I saw of him, he was leaping from the roof of one OC Transpo bus to another, pursued by three large men with crowbars. I understand he was living under an assumed name in Bucharest a few years after the fall of the Ceaușescu regime, but apart from that I have no idea how he made out.

I suppose that, from now on, you should call me by my real name, George Clooney.

Ahh. Feels good to get that off my chest.

Fly the friend-me skies

Fly the friend-me skies published on 1 Comment on Fly the friend-me skies

Originally published on ReadWriteWeb

Okay, maybe this isn’t such a hot idea from a security standpoint. But don’t you think a little social profile vetting is in order before they seat people on an aircraft?

Show me a passenger whose Twitter profile is larded up with multi-level marketing come-ons, and I’ll show you someone who’s going to pester their seat mate about exciting affiliate opportunities in the exotic berry juice industry. Check someone’s Facebook profile for a deluge of Farmville notifications and invitations, and you’ll have a pretty good idea if they’re likely to natter non-stop from LAX to LGA.

And I challenge you to find a better technique than looking through someone’s commenting record on Disqus or IntenseDebate for telling whether they’re likely to hog both armrests and kick the seat of the person in front of them.

At the very least, let’s get a few smart people together to develop an algorithm that can quickly sift through the information in your profile and match you with seatmates you’re going to find – if not riveting – then at least tolerable company. (Unless the airlines are already doing that, only to match you with people you’ll find so annoying that you’ll order more drinks. It would explain a lot.)

By the way, I’ll be in the air next week heading to BlogWorld in Las Vegas, sketchpad in hand. See you there?

P.S. – Here’s a version just for you OAuth fans.

(gate agent to passenger) I'll need to see your passport. Unless you'd like to authenticate using OAuth.

2009-03-21-alts

2009-03-21-alts published on No Comments on 2009-03-21-alts

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