As the Rolling Stones began their tour while welching on the more than quarter of a million dollar deal they made with my Friend, I started this e-Blogazine journal to document some of my experience of the fallout, and to create a forum for discussion and resources to reform the Music Industry. May Artists, Musicians, and Free People everywhere find it useful.
Got Something to say? Are You a Musician, Artist, or Person with an opinion about the Music industry, music downloads, contracts or royalties? Are You concerned about the RIAA and other industries' assault on our cyber-Freedoms? Copyright and Intellectual Property law? Well?
Just how much information do they get on what I'm doing?
One issue related to sharing our Music together in this great big room of the web is Individual Privacy. Those ad banners and hit counters, and even "invisible" single-dot images that don't even appear to the naked eye can tell advertisers and potential spammers and stalkers tons of private, personal data about You, where You go on the web, and where You have been.
Last night I started out looking for banner-ad rotation software (Yo! Advertisers! I'll give You some interesting stats in the next post, so stay tuned...You may want to advertise on Stoned Out Loud.).
My search took me far astray, first to a legal research site, then through several browser distributions, and finally I landed on GhostSurf (new window).
I downloaded it and am running it now. Wow! What an incredibly powerful tool! Here's a bit of the description from the GhostSurf site:
GhostSurf is designed to protect your personal information from ISPs, websites, other users of your computer, and malicious "spyware" software; in general, GhostSurf addresses each potential source of online privacy abuse.
GhostSurf tells You just how many packets have gone to a site, what cookies it sets, let's You decide whether or not to block in-page or pop-up ads (Note: Stoned Out Loud's commenting system depends on pop-ups being enabled. Disable pop-ups, and You will not be able to immediately Speak your Mind about an article in the main blogstream here -- this column.)
Using GhostSurf for a few minutes took me to Privacy.net, where my internet Privacy was analysed. Here is what it found when I did it through IE v.5.50.4134.0100:
The system attempted to place the following persistent cookies on your system. Reload to see if the cookies were accepted
Privacy.net = Privacy Analysis
No Cookie from this site is on your system from prior visits.
You linked from here (if you linked from another web page):
(I typed it in directly as soon as I fired-up the browser, whose default page is "about:blank")
Your Browser Type and Operating System:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)
All information sent by your web browser when requesting this web page:
Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, application/vnd.ms-excel, application/msword, */* Accept-Language: en-us Host: www.privacy.net User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90) Cache-Control: max-stale=0
CPU type: x86
Screen Width: 800
Screen Height: 600
Screen Available Width: 800
Screen Available Height: 600
Screen Color Depth: 24
You have vistited this many web pages this session in this window: 0 The date/time on your computer and time zone is: Fri Aug 23 07:40:20 PDT 2002 Time/date in your locale format: Friday, August 23, 2002 7:40:20 AM
VBScript is enabled and working.
Your screen width is : 800 pixels Your screen height is : 600 pixels Your viewable Width is : 783 pixels Your viewable Height is : 478 pixels
javaVersion = 1.1.4 javaVendor = Microsoft Corp. javaVendorUrl = http://www.microsoft.com/ javaClassVersion = 45.3 osName = Windows 98 (actually, this box is ME - a cosmetic facelift grafted onto 95, after 98 was same) osArchitecture = x86 osVersion = 4.90
redMask = 255 greenMask = 65280 blueMask = 16711680 Screen: width x height = 800 x 600 Screen: Bits per pixel = 24 ("16777216 colors")
#bits red = 8 (7 .. 0) #bits green = 8 (15 .. 8) #bits blue = 8 ( 23 .. 16)
Applet Panel getBackground() = java.awt.Color[r=192,g=192,b=192] Applet Panel width x height = 500 x 400
freeMemory() = 72936 totalMemory() = 388240
ShockWave Flash Plug-in - ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash is installed ShockWave Director Plug-in - SWCtl.SWCtl.1 is installed ShockWave ActiveX Control Plug-in - SWCtl.SWCtl.7 is installed Active Shockwave Plug-in - Macromedia.ActiveShockwave.1 is installed Real Player Plug-in - rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control is installed Media Player - MediaPlayer.MediaPlayer.1 is not installed Adobe Acrobat Reader Plug-in - PDF.PdfCtrl.1 is installed MS Agent 1.5 - <...i left this out...>
MS Agent 2.0 - <...i left this out, too :-| >
MS DirectAnimation Control - DirectAnimation.DirectAnimationIntegratedMediaControl.1 is installed ----------------------------
(aside -- isn't it sort of interesting that Microsoft's browser feels it necessary to identify itself as Mozilla...Netscape's browser whose source code is available to everyone, and to which anybody can contribute code enhancements?)
Isn't it amazing how much information You broadcast about when You go online?
Ever wish You could send an email anonymously? Say You work on a construction project (or building a nuclear submarine or power plant) and You find out they're falsifying weld x-rays so they can go ahead and get their licenses...and You would blow the whistle, but are just plain scared shitless of what would happen to You and Your Family because these guys are Big and Powerful and Mean and have been known to play really dirty (remember Karen Silkwood?)?
Here are the links on that page (I just used the ChazBrowza's ability to grab the links from a page all at once...hit control-J, and choose to copy - copy all - as text, html, or hotlist items...i chose copy all - html, and boom...here You are...):
So. There's a few anonymous remailers. I haven't checked the links, but there's probably at least one or two that will do what You want them to. Whistleblowers, take a deep breath, and...Good Luck!
A word about URLgrabbing
I know I posted Richard M. Stallman's page's URLs a couple of days ago (because I thought his links were phat.) And I just grabbed the links from the privacy.net site, above. But I want to say something about the practice, here and now, just so there are no misunderstandings.
I do not condone just going out and hijacking other People's links, necessarily. If somebody has put a lot of sweat into assembling a nice resource, why not go to that resource and use it!!!?
"But I'm scared that site will disappear! It happens, y'know!" Yeah, I know, I know. So, make a backup copy of the page for Yourself, just in case. Or go the the links You want and bookmark'em...add them to Your favourites...hotlist. But don't just go around hijacking links. It's rude.
(...and I never claimed not to be a hypocrite ;-^) )
BTW, Michal at Cornerhost wondered to me yesterday why my pages were starting to load so slowly. I think I know why now. It's those damn fat png files I used for the ChazBrowza Skins. If the download page loads slowly, that's why. You know what I have to do? I have to save them each as jpg's or gifs, optimise (reduce file size), then convert back to .png's (cause I like pngs.) I'm gonna do that now.
Enjoy the Privacy, Anonymous, Emailer links, Download ChazBrowza, Share Music and other good stuff, and let's reform the music industry (and other ones) so we don't keep getting screwed out of our work! :out