Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

I'm warning you, Blogger...

... you asked me for my phone number when I logged in just now. Again. Look, if I wanted you to have it I'd have given it to you the first time you asked. I see no reason why you need to know it. I know why you say you do but I've managed perfectly well without it for three years.

Look, my personal privacy will not be enhanced by adding to my email address, which is meaningless and disposable, a number which appears on my business cards, which relates to a phone which is almost always on my person and, thanks to modern paranoia, is recorded somewhere in the Australian government.* I know you think it will but no, really, it won't. Instead it'll mean one of my contact numbers, which is in the public domain but which as far as I know has never been put on the internet (not by me, anyway), will be 'out there' and connected with my blog for no real reason other than that some clown at Google thinks it's a good idea for everyone.

Some people, yes, perhaps, but not everyone. Number of times I've failed to sign in, not counting times when the whole service is down - one, when you suspended me for three days over someone complaining about the free publicity I'd given their TV show by putting 80 seconds of it, with no attempt made to disguise the TV channel's DOG, on YouTube. Effect of this - nothing at all since I have backup accounts to access my blog. Number of times I've been unable to sign in because I couldn't remember the passwords for any of the accounts - zero. Number of times someone has signed in pretending to be me having guessed one of those passwords - zero. My inclination to give you my phone number - rather less than zero unless Larry Page gives me his first.

So pack it in or I'm off.

* It is not possible to buy a SIM card or something with a SIM in it here without showing identity. This is because the government, in a peculiarly British way of thinking, noticed that criminals and terrorists use mobile phones and similar devices and decided that therefore all users would be treated as potential criminals and terrorists and all sales would have to be registered, and then later realised that the criminals and terrorists would probably use fake names and decided that therefore it needed identity to be shown when registering. That nearly everyone is not a criminal or terrorist and that therefore these checks are almost always an intrusive and meaningless waste of time appears not to have been considered.
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