Whisper by WhisperText LLC


I thought Whisper provided online anonymity. I thought that was the whole point: its raison d’être.

For an app that supposedly cloaks your identity online, it demands a list of surprisingly intrusive permissions. The Android version of Whisper wants to:

  • Know your precise location
  • Read your contacts
  • Examine which apps you’re running
  • Know your phone’s unique identifier.
  • Know what accounts you’ve set up on your phone: your Twitter login name, your Facebook login name, etc.
  • Read any of the files on any USB storage device that you connect to your phone. This includes an external SD card, and even the “virtual SD card” that is part of your Android file system.

    If Whisper is offering anonymity, it is certainly not offering to shield your identity from Whisper’s developers. … Continue reading

    Rocky and Bullwinkle

    I was just wondering whether the actor who voiced Rocky, in Rocky and Bullwinkle, was the same actor who voiced Sherman, Mr Peabody’s boy sidekick.

    I know the answer to that question is just a Google search away.

    And that’s why the Encyclopedia Brittanica is no longer in print. It could never compete with the Internet’s ability to provide such rich, timely knowledge about the issues that really matter.


    At science fiction conventions, I inevitably find any number of geeks passionately expounding on subjects of immense insignificance.

    I feel embarrassed for them.

    Sure, they’re not hurting anyone. And they’re happy, presumably. Happy, and yet somehow so desperately sad.

    Arisia 2014

    I’m at Arisia, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston. This is day one.

    It’s not off to an auspicious start.

    I’ve encountered lots of sparsely-populated conference rooms in which nobody is speaking. Even the one or two panelists seated at the front of the various conference rooms have nothing to say.

    There’s otherwise plenty of local color. Lots of overweight dorks in fancy dress are perfectly content to flaunt their rolls of fat under their inappropriately-revealing costumes.

    And there’s that one dude wearing street clothes who would be totally unremarkable were it not for his knee-length high-heel leather boots.

    A Costco Moment

    My boyfriend drove us to Costco tonight, for a bit of shopping. Costco sells these rollers to which I am quite partial. We bought a party pack of about 40. If I’m to eat them all before their “best before” date, I’ll be eating nothing else for days.

    After we checked out, the boyfriend looked longingly at the slices of steaming pizza, and the hot dogs. Unable to deny him anything, I offered to buy him a hot dog. And I decided to treat myself to a slice of pizza.

    A sign at the counter warned members to alert staff to any allergies.

    So when the attendant asked me how she could help me, I said “I’d like one hot dog, please. And a slice of the combo pizza. Oh, and the sign says to tell you if I have any allergies. I’m allergic to wheat and dairy. Will that … Continue reading