Security experts are telling people to retake control of their personal privacy by reading articles in printed media rather than online. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that, print let’s you read something without leaving any trace whatsoever of what you read,” says Trevor Combs, CEO of iPrivatei, a personal privacy and security firm.
Combs says there are disadvantages to reading articles in printed media, but it’s a trade-off you should consider making if you’re worried about marketers and dark-web criminals tracking what you read online.
“When you read something in print, there’s nothing to click,” says Combs. “Some people will find that disconcerting, because they’re used to clicking things when they read. You won’t find GIFs or videos or other things that move, beep, honk, or change before your eyes.”
However, if you’re willing to dispense with those things, you can be confident no one is keeping tabs on what you’re reading or viewing, he says.
“The privacy you get from reading a book, newspaper, or magazine is very much like a SnapChat or other app that deletes what you’ve consumed once you’ve consumed it,” says Tiane Jackson, marketing director of InKogNito, an online privacy software company. “But unlike SnapChat or other messaging services like it, the anonymity is total. Since there is never an online trace of your activity, there’s simply no chance anyone can know what you read, when you read it, and so on. It’s a 100 percent, total privacy medium. Someone would have to be peering through your window to know what you’re reading.”
For people who like to consume pornography or other media that comes with a stigma in some quarters, the privacy offered by print media is attractive.
“I always have a tinge of concern when I click on a porn video because I know at some level I’m leaving a digital trail,” says Ben Stafford, a retired accountant in Philadelphia who picked up the porn habit about a year ago. “After I retired I had a lot of time on my hands, so I ended up putting something in them, and that was my, you know, my whatchamacallit. Somewhere, someone’s got a record of thousands of links I’ve clicked. I could probably never run for office.”
Heather Meyers (not her real name) stumbled on lesbian porn earlier this week and it’s been haunting her ever since. “I just accidentally landed on this site and I know my IP address is being processed in some data algorithm somewhere,” she says. “That never could have happened with print. Not that I would ever have that type of media in my possession, but if I did, no one would know it—except for the store clerk or whatever. But that person would probably never see me again. I would just be an anonymous face that he or she would quickly forget.”
Stephen Anderson, a print media advocate in Washington, D.C., says the rise in data breaches and the Cambridge Analytic data-abuse scandal are triggering a back-to-print movement among the young.
“People who have grown up barely knowing print are suddenly discovering it and seeing it as an incredible medium from a privacy standpoint, Anderson says. “To them, print is a fresh and new way to consume content without having to worry about what kind of ads or recommended content you’re going to get because of the links you clicked when you were drunk. Now when you’ve had too much to drink, you can consume whatever print media you want. And unless the wind blows over your trash, no one will know what kind of crap you read. This is like finding the ultimate technology: off the grid and completely untraceable.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
In a sensational claim, the supermarket tabloid Weekly National Report says a 50-year-old woman in Fayetteville, Ark., Dannielle Eggles, is the daughter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and she’s demanding a “White House bedroom” for her and her husband if he is elected president. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I feel I must come forward because it’s time for my daddy to stop pretending I don’t exist,” Eggles said at a press conference in Fayetteville yesterday. Eggles, a clerk at Target, said she had resigned herself to living in the shadow of her famous father and her glamorous half brothers and sisters, but six months ago she and her husband, Ron Eggles, decided she could no longer do that. “We just thought it wasnt fair that Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric, Donald, Jr., and Barron all get to live the high life while we have to scrape our fingers to the bone just because daddy pretends I don’t exist.” More.
An explosive report from the New York Times to be released today reveals why Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, remains one of the few Trump appointees to escape the president’s wrath when things go wrong in his administration: he’s bound by a non-disclosure agreement with the popular former governor of South Carolina. “I can neither confirm nor deny that the president has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Ambassador Haley,” says a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “You’ll have to ask the president that, because I am not at liberty to talk about matters relating to non-disclosure agreements between the president and the people who work for him. Perhaps I’d like to talk about it, but perhaps I can’t.” More.
The bible of the journalism profession, the AP Stylebook, is no longer referring to the 45th president of the United States as Donald Trump or Donald J. Trump but as the criminal enterprise that’s taken over the White House. The change is significant because the Stylebook is the authoritative source on usage for newspaper reporters and editors as well as writers in broadcast, magazine publishing, marketing, and public relations. Charles Danbury, the style guide’s executive editor, says the change was necessary because of the importance of accurately reporting on the federal government. “As the resource that’s looked to by journalists throughout the United States, we take our responsibilities with the utmost seriousness,” Danbury said in a statement released today. “What we have in the White House is a criminal enterprise, funded by Russian oligarchs using money laundered through New York real estate, that is systematically assaulting the institutions that have made the United States a beacon for people around the world. Accuracy demands that we call the criminal operation what it is.” More.
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Deja Vu was bustling on Monday night but many of the men at the strip club weren’t enjoying the star attraction’s dance routine. The club was featuring Stormy Daniels, the newly famous stripper who allegedly was paid $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an affair she had with Donald Trump after his youngest son was born. But instead of being treated to a dance routine involving booty shakes, the men got what looked like a complex interpretive dance routine. “I’m not sure, but I think she was trying to tell a story or something,” said Jake Snyder, a regular at the club. More.
In a move to further push right-wing ideas into mainstream culture, a company is using funds from the conservative billionaire Koch brothers to buy a portfolio of storied magazines that no one under 50 reads! The magazines, Time and Sports Illustrated, among others, have played pivotal roles in the evolution of American journalism, but will now be used to inject a radical right-wing ideology directly into the blood stream of two million Americans who don’t realize they still receive the magazines in their mailbox each month except for when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue comes out. “I am disgusted and concerned that magazines I didn’t know I still get will become nothing more than delivery vehicles for the detested ideology of the Koch brothers,” says Tom Blantner, 72, a long-time subscriber of the magazines who thought he discontinued them 10 years ago. More.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders says he enderstands Hillary Clinton, doesn’t think she should be endicted for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and confesses that Clinton has endeared herself to him. He also says its endeniable that Clinton is qualified to be president, accuses Republicans of trying to endermind the democratic process through voter registration laws, and says the United States will endure despite concerns over gun violence. On global affairs, he thinks the United Kingdom should endo its vote to leave the European Union, human rights violations are endemic in North Korea, and he calls on Israel to endertake the hard work needed to achieve peace with the Palestinians. More.
The bible of the journalism profession, The Associated Press Stylebook, has downgraded Donald Trump to a “millionaire” because his “billionaire” claims cannot be verified. “We take our responsibilities as the official guide to journalists in the United States seriously, and we feel the only responsible course of action is to downgrade the status of Donald Trump from billionaire to millionaire until further notice,” says Alfred Whitehurst, editor-in-chief of the Stylebook. Under the reference to Trump in the latest edition, Trump is identified as, “Trump, Donald J., millionaire* real estate developer and 2016 presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States.” More.
The New York Times sent teachers of English into a tizzy when it split an infinitive on its front page this morning. “Clinton Team Starts to Cautiously Look at Running Mates,” blares the headline in the April 24, 2016, morning edition of the Times, widely considered the newspaper of record of the United States. Reaction from teachers of English was swift—and harsh. “We spend hours each quarter teaching students not to split their infinitives,and what does The New York Times do? It splits an infinitive!” says Mabel Goldsmith, an English teacher in Public School 371 in the Bronx and chair of the school’s English Department. “We expect better from The New York Times.” More.
Have you gotten your Texas in yet? If you haven’t, there are professionals you can call to help you manage your Texas and get it turned into the federal government before the April 15 deadline. Or, if you don’t want to pay for that kind of help, you can access free software on the Internet that helps you get your Texas in. “It’s always a scramble this time of year as people realize they only have a week before they have to get their Texas in,” says John Arnold, a professional who helps people get their Texas in. “They put it off and put it off until they say, ‘Okay, I can’t put it off anymore. I have to get my Texas in.'” More.
The English Language Institute removed “utilize” and “cleanse” from the English language today as part of the organization’s long-term plan to trim the language of unnecessary words. The words were recommended for removal by the organization’s Word Removal Committee last month and approved for elimination by the board of directors today. “We grow attached to words, so it’s never easy to say goodbye to them, even when they’re unnecessary,” says Nigel Porter, president of the English Language Institute. “But for the long-term good of our language, today’s actions were necessary and long-overdue.” According to the Institute, “utilize” has long been used as a complex variant of “use,” but it was found to have no meaning beyond “use.” More.
Saying it’s tired of sitting on the sidelines for the majority of compositions in the English language, the letter Q announced today its secession from the English alphabet and a ban on all uses of the letter Q in subsequent English compositions. The letter Q also says it’s reviewing its ties with French, German, Spanish, and other Indo-European languages, but for now, it’s willing to stay in those Latin-based languages until further notice. “For thousands of years the joke has been on the letter Q,” says the letter Q in its Declaration of Secession, delivered simultaneously to the American Library Association, the British Library, the National Library of Canada, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Webster English Dictionary, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Manual of Style. “But no more. As of today, the letter Q is not available for your use.” More.
Special to The Guardian. In a find that stunned the world of religion, archaeologists digging in a remote region of the Sinai desert discovered what is believed to be the original Holy Bible from more than 2,000 years ago with its International Standard Book Publishing (ISBN) code still intact. “This is an almost unbelievable discovery,” says Alfred Pottersmith, lead curator of Middle East artifacts at the British Museum in London. “To think we could be holding in our hands the original bible from God’s disciples is humbling beyond words.” What gives archaeologists confidence the bible is the original Word of God, first edition, is the presence of the internationally recognized 9-digit numeric commercial book identifier code known as the ISBN code. More.
Jews, Muslims, and peoples of other faiths in the United States will have to scramble to find ways to talk about the omnipotent, omnipresent deity referred to as God®, because American Christians have successfully trademarked the term “God®” along with “Savior®” and “Holy Father®.” “It’s a great day for American Christians of all types,” says Edward Reynolds, head pastor of the Ecumenical Christian Church, U.S.A., based in Foxborough, Mass. “For more than 200 years, peoples of Abrahamic faiths in the United States have peacefully shared among themselves the use of the term “God®” and other important religious words, but today the terms have been provided a permanent home with American Christians, which, as we’ve been arguing for years, is the rightful place for them.” More.
OTTOWA—Tired of living in the shadow of its much larger southern neighbor, Canada yesterday officially changed its name to Not USA and unveiled a new flag that government officials say is designed to tell the world that Canada is its own country and not simply a northern outpost of the United States. “Not USA has a long and proud history,” says Stephen Harper, prime minister of Not USA, formerly known as Canada. “With our new name and flag, we’re celebrating our unique place in the community of nations. People forget that Not USA defeated the United States in several key battles in the War of 1812 and beat the U.S. in the 2010 winter olympics hockey championship. What’s more, Not USA is the largest country on earth by land mass, has more ice than any other country, and is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and moose souvenirs.” More.
Alarmed at a rash of high-profile data breaches at big U.S. retailers like Home Depot, a task force of scientists and engineers looking at computer safety and privacy have called on lawmakers to add 16 letters to the English alphabet. They’ve also called for the addition of three numbers to the number scale, but that recommendation was not included in the final report as task force members look at how that could be done, since the number scale is universally understood to be based on the 10-digit system and any change would be difficult to administer. More.
“OMG!” A Silicon Valley web start-up is shifting the micro-blogging movement into hyper gear with its launch this week of hhrmp.com, a “hyper-micro” blogging site that limits posts to just 5 characters. “At this point in the evolution of social media, the 140-character limit of Twitter is just too big,” says Jeremy Gliner, whose title is chief hhrmp’er at hhrmp! Media. “Today’s teenagers have grown up on Twitter, Snapchat, and other micro-blogging platforms and they want their own thing. And they don’t want to compose anything that resembles a sentence. Given the success of our beta site with this critical demographic, we feel we’re giving this up-and-coming generation of word-economizers what they want.” A quick check with a group of 19- and 20-year-olds outside Hillsdale College in College Park, Md., appears to bear out Gliner’s assessment. More.
Now that the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has stripped the Redskins football team of trademark protection because the term is considered a racial slur, scores of businesses have grabbed the famous name. “I know it’s a terrible word and I myself don’t harbor a racist bone in my body, but because I own a business that turns your skin orange, I knew I needed the Redskins name as soon as it became available,” says Graham Little, owner of Redskins Tanning Salon in Dallas. “Get your orange skin at Redskins. As you can see, the marketing potential is enormous, especially here in Dallas, where orange skin is the mark of a wealthy woman.” Redskins Radiation Partners is the new name of Culver Radiation Partners in Orlando, a switch managing partner Jeff Reed made after hearing the trademark news. More.
Listen, Internet. I know you’re doing a lot of good in the world. Thanks to you, repressed people around the globe are able to find each other and draw strength from their shared struggle. And using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, they can communicate with one another and launch revolutions—revolutions that could either never had happened or would have taken decades longer to come together. And thanks to you, a light has been shined on generations of abuse—to African Americans at the hands of police and to women at the hands of men—that might never have come fully to light. So, yes, you’ve done a lot of good. And we thank you for that. But the fact is, you’re making life impossible. Keeping secrets, hiding things from public view—that’s the grease that turns the gears of our world. People have to be able to say nasty things about other people behind their backs. They have to be able to make deals in private to get things done. It’s always been that way. More.
President Donald Trump says the gas attacks on citizens by Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad must not go unanswered even if both his right foot and his left foot are bothering him because of the bone spurs that kept him out of Vietnam. “I will not be deterred in taking the tough steps that are necessary to punish the animal Assad,” Trump said in his toughest statement yet on the escalating tensions in Syria. Trump said his bone spurs are “so bad, the worst anyone has ever seen,” that many people have said he shouldn’t go into Syria with bombs, but he plans to do so, anyway. More.
Alexander Nix, the embattled former head of data-mining company Cambridge Analytica, took issue with a claim by a key Russian figure in the Trump campaign collusion scandal that Russia was the decisive factor in Donald Trump’s improbable election to the presidency of the United States. “Anybody who knows the inside story of Donald Trump’s election victory knows that it was our data targeting that led to his win and that Russian involvement, despite all the help it got from the Trump campaign, was a side player at best,” said Nix, who resigned from his company last week after a video surfaced suggesting the company used questionable tactics to help candidates. More.
A handful of Americans, allegedly operating out of the nation’s highest office, tried to influence the presidential election in Russia this week in favor of keeping President Vladimir Putin in office, a secret U.S. intelligence report says. “We have reason to believe officials used public statements, policy actions, and other overt and covert tools to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin in office,” said the report, issued today jointly by all of the national security agencies of the United States. Although the report didn’t directly accuse any specific federal officials of intervening in the Russian election, it said the nation’s “top officials . . . More.
Russian president Vladimir Putin says he’s enjoying the positive coverage he’s getting from the endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump but he doesn’t want to give the impression his success is all about his leadership skills; it helps to be an authoritarian, he says. Putin says he could never work his will if he couldn’t jail critics or have them killed, which takes care of a lot of opposition. He also takes advantage of a rubber-stamp legislative body and gets to set the terms of his election, which is better than running campaign ads, even if they’re good ones. “Truth be told, it helps to do what you want without checks and balances,” he says. “Sure, I’m a good leader. I’m strong. But at the end of the day, I never lose sight of the real source of my strength: my authoritarianism.” More.
President Donald Trump was overheard singing the Russian national anthem rather than the American national anthem during the opening ceremony of the NCAA football championship game between Alabama and Georgia universities Jan. 8. “От южных морей до полярного края,” the President was heard singing, while those around him were singing, “What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.” Commentators have remarked that the President didn’t appear to know the words to the national anthem, but it wasn’t until a recording surfaced in which his voice could be heard that it became clear it was the Russian national anthem that he was singing. More.