Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm 100 Years Old.

Tonight I signed into my recipe blog and this screen popped up:

There is no opt-out button. I could not continue to that blog's dashboard without giving Google information that they have ZERO fucking right to know.  This was particularly infuriating because last week I watched a great TED talk about Google's use of filters that specialize and homogenize everyone's information searches.

(Did you -- like me -- giggle when the speaker said "So when I was growing up in a really rural area in Maine, the Internet meant something very different to me?" HAHAHAHA...ahhh! When I was growing up THERE WAS NO INTERNET!! I am VERY OLD.)

Remember the good old days when Google was the less-intrusive, less-restrictive Internet company and Facebook was the villain? Facebook is still Lex Luthor, but Google is looking more and more like Brainiac.1

By the way, if Google asks: today is my 100th birthday. Larry and Sergey better buy me a fucking cupcake.

• • • • • •

1 --To carry this analogy to it's natural conclusion, I am Squirrel Girl:

Yes -- my calves are THAT hairy.


  1. I think it's crap they would ask. Fine to have a box to check to verify you are over 18 if they want, but no reason to know the DOB of anyone. I might be 150.

  2. Thanks for the TED link, that was so interesting, scary too. If anyone needs to know my age I am 99...

  3. Creeeeeeepy. On another note, I guess I better go make you some cupcakes.

  4. Great TED Talk. I used it as part of an information literacy blogpost at work (librarian). This is a very good reason to be information literate. Seriously? They wouldn't let you login w/out the b-date?? (yes, I do believe you, I'm just constantly amazed at the intrusiveness) The weird marketing I get is probably a result of my doing exactly what you indicated -- they think I'm a 100 year old male who lives at a zip code far away from the one I live in. Sorry for beginning a rant in your comments *grin*

  5. Well, I will say that I performed the googling experiment with my husband. We both googled Egypt. Same exact results. We did this signed in to our accounts AND signed out. We then picked another search term. (I can't remember what term.) Same exact results.

    So, has Google made changes? Are my husband and my Google searching algorithms similar? Was that guy FULL of it?


  6. @tkharmonic -- Exactly. That blog is from an email I only use when travelling, so I guess my cookies are informative enough.

    @Jenifer -- You don't look a day over 23.

    @Nicole -- please make me cupcakes.

    @Terri B -- Rant on! I love rants! As I mentioned to the first commenter, that blog is linked to an underused gmail account. I wonder why I've never been asked for my age when I log into the email for this blog? Probably b/c Google has created a profile using info gleaned from my searches. Looks like my secret identity as Squirrel Girl might be revealed by Brainiac's minions!

    @Mary-LUE -- Oooh. That's interesting. I replicated your test.

    My results for the Egypt search came up a wiki article on the unrest, travel information and links to the image search. I did it on both our computers, signed in and signed out AND then did it again having dumped cookies and browser history. Same results. Maybe that young fella is off the mark? Still I don't want to give google my birthdate.

  7. But remember the TED guy said that the Mighty Google also takes your location into account. Maybe we should all google Egypt and take screen shots and send them to you and you could compare, in your free time. Or that could be part of homeschool? Also, isn't Daniel shallow? His screen shot was all vacation stuff. I was much more impressed with the other guy who got hard news. But this might explain why I get less and less hard news on my Yahoo page. Or no, it wouldn't. But now I get headlines that turn out to be Dear Abby and I'm all, WHA??? Because if I want to read Dear Abby I will read her, but what I am after in the mornings is the current state of the world. Also coffee, but Yahoo has yet to provide me with that!

  8. I always lie about my DOB. It's no one's business, and it irks me that people are so quick to ask for personal information that is known fodder for identity thieves. I mean, does the public library need my social security number? No they do not. I decline every chance I get and have been on the receiving end of hostile looks.

    The last time I went to the doctor, they wanted to take my picture and have me refill out all the information I've already given to them eight thousand times.

    When I said it was all the same, so why am I doing this, they said it was for IDENTITY SECURITY REASONS, to which Bitchy Deb jumped out and replied "maybe not having six hundred pieces of paper laying around with my social security number on them would be a better way to foil identity theft."

    Gah! Hit a nerve, I guess!

  9. @planetnomad -- I totally thought Daniel was shallow. Right until I realized that most of his Google hits resemble my hits.

    @Deb -- I love your comment. I am rabid about the libraries in British Columbia requiring patrons show their provincial health care cards to get library cards. I love the library, but I resent the mindset that in order to get FREE books, I need to share information that is valuable to criminals AND is linked to my medical history. It seems like the risk is disproportionate. Alas, I'm cheap so I caved.

  10. I love it. If google asks for my birthday, I may have to copy you. I've been having those thoughts lately too, that I am so very old. That I didn't even have my own computer in COLLEGE and used to organize sources for my research papers on INDEX CARDS. I have a list of such things. I, too, am so very old lately.