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Showing posts from April, 2007

Wall Street Journal Article - Why you Should Spy on Yourself

Why You Should Spy on Yourself
By M.P. MCQUEEN
April 21, 2007

More people are running background checks. On themselves.

Used to be, the best way to pry into someone's past was to hire a gumshoe. However, today everyone from prospective employers to identity thieves -- and even first dates -- can do surprisingly sophisticated searches, looking for skeletons in your closet.

Schools, too, are dialing up their snooping. Wharton and Columbia Business schools are using investigators to weed out fibs and padded resumes. Harvard recently added a former professional screener to its undergraduate admissions staff.

In the past few years, 47 states, including Connecticut, Missouri, Nevada and Pennsylvania, have released records from some courts online, with case files ranging from gun possession to littering violations.

Specialist companies like ChoicePoint Inc. and Reed Elsevier PLC's LexisNexis Group quickly mine and sell information like this to companies for a fee.

HOW TO CHECK YOURSELF OUT

He…

New York Times Article - A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs

April 9, 2007

A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs

By BRAD STONE
Correction Appended

Is it too late to bring civility to the Web?

The conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere can be a prickly and unpleasant place. Now, a few high-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.

Last week, Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate.

Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship.

A recent outbreak of antagonism among several prominent bloggers “gives us an opportunity to change the level of expectations that people have about…