Monthly Archives: October 2006

Buddy Cards and the end of privacy…

It’s bad enough that our privacy is constantly threatened by surveillance cameras, spyware, data leaks, call centers and even Netflix… but 30 boxes’[1] new Buddy Cards take linking together the marks you leave on the web to a new level.

I was reading some blogs earlier[2] and chanced on a blog entry on Dodgeball‘s Google integration that  decided to comment on.

All I did was to enter my Name, Email address and URL into the comment entry field and it, through some funky integration, gets my userphoto from flickr and added it to my comment. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when I hover over the ‘avatar’, I get a link to my (sparsely used) MySpace profile as well as my recent uploads to flickr!


Luckily, Buddy Cards seem to have a reasonable privacy policy that lets you control what shows up and allows you to opt out :

Buddy Cards are a service enabled by the blog owner and are subject to that blog’s privacy policy.
Blogs that make use of Buddy Cards generate a profile for each user that posts a comment on the blog.
Members 30 Boxes may edit and maintain what content appears on their Buddy Card.
For non-members, 30 Boxes searches the web for public information about the person making the comment. Information tied to the email address that the individual has chosen to make public on other sites (such as photo albums and blog posts) is used to create a Buddy Card.
Buddy Cards do not expose a user’s email address

but I’m shocked that this is an opt-out service as opposed to an opt-in one.

Private by default, anyone?



[1] Wasn’t 30 boxes supposed to be hot new web 2.0 calendaring app? Oh yeah, that was before Google Calendar!

[2] Still using bloglines, Google Reader’s still too slow for me. I don’t mind sacrificing Ajaxy coolness for speed.

Google Transit thinks I’m Moses

I was checking out Google Transit the other day, to see if it’s any better than SoundTransit’s Trip planner in finding me a bus home.

On the bright side, it gives you a nice view of the actual distance and duration of the trip. It’s bus selection seems to be pretty lousy, though, with it picking the 271 over the faster 554 in the trip I tried.

What cracked me up is that it seems to completely ignore the fact that I’m not Moses and can’t part Lake Sammamish to walk home.


Come to think of it, if I could walk across Lake Sammamish, I wouldn’t need a bus at all, now would I? 

Finding gold…

One of the reasons I like taking and looking at photos is because they capture people’s thoughts, emotions and memories and preserve them for eternity. Every year, when I visit my parents in India, I like to browse through the old photo albums in the almira and gaze at photos of my great grandmother who I’ve never met, my grandparents, two of whom exist only in my memories now, baby photos of my cousins, photos of my uncles when they had hair and so on…

The funny thing about Orkut, which everyone and their dog in India seems to be on these days, is that I meet a lot of my middle and highschool friends there. Since I graduated from highschool before most of us had email (or orkut/facebook etc. existed), I had lost contact with most of them over the years and it’s been great digging them up from someone’s friend’s list. This has of course swelled my friend’s list though not as badly as this guy’s:

So, recently I found my 2nd grade classmate Shikha on orkut, then blogspot and finally flickr. So, imagine my surprise when I was browsing through her photos to find a couple of old photos of me!

For your viewing pleasure:


No points for guessing which one is me! Geez.