Monthly Archives: June 2008

Memopal: Avoid!

The recent post I made about Mozy received a few comments, concerned with a piece of software called Memopal. Akismet identified one of them as spam, but the other one got through. Looked pretty much like a regular comment:

I’ve read on Wikipedia about remote backup and I tried some services, but the only one I bought is Memopal.

Memopal offers a search engine online that helps me find archived documents in few seconds. Some Competitors have a search engine too but it’s very slow and usually it is not online.
Memopal is online storage, online backup and file sharing services into one product.

Memopal saves all versions of my documents. Moreover I have two computers, desktop ad laptop, and I can install Memopal on both buying only one license. It’s great!

But googling it, it’s completely identical to something posted elsewhere, namely here, at the end of last week.

The other comment was more of the same, and had been posted in a bunch of different places by a character name of “michelle79”.

Memopal: Don’t post spam comments. It’s really bad publicity, and makes you seem like scammers and cheats. I certainly wouldn’t want to buy any license from you, if that’s the sort of marketing strategies you employ.

Mozy: Privacy an illusion?

One of my friends, Søren, posted a post yesterday about the backup-system Mozy, that he had been using for his mac. Apparently, the software is just great, but this isn’t what concerns him.

Looking at the Mozy privacy statement, they have the regular reassuring bit:

We will not sell or market the email addresses or other collected personal information of registered Users to third parties.

We will not view the files that you backup using the Service.

We may view your file system information (file extensions, sizes etc. but not your file contents) to provide technical support.

That’s all fine. The part that worries Søren is this:

Mozy, Inc. may disclose Personal Data, including the data you back up with the Service, with or without notice (a) if required by a subpoena or other judicial or administrative order, (b) where required by law, or (c) at our sole discretion, where we deem it necessary to protect the safety of any individual or the general public or to prevent violation of our User Agreement or the rights of Mozy, Inc. or any third party.

I told Sozen to get more help and perhaps some elucidation on the above statement, and gave him the helpdesk numbers of companies provide IT services for Mozy. We got to know the following. Mozy’s privacy statement would of course have no effect over the requirements of the law – while it may still worry people outside the US, it’s not really something that can be a surprise to anyone. The strange bit comes at (c). Mozy may disregard the privacy closes at their sole discretion. Basically, they’ve written up these nice privacy statements, but may choose to ignore them if they so wish.

Come on now – you can’t be serious? Apparently, according to someone who seems to be an employee, they are. The post doesn’t mention the last of the three clauses, though, but merely the cases of administrative order – which neither Søren nor I are trying to contest. Since when have Mozy become the protectors of the public, though?

Søren wrote a reply post, which I think you should read. I will be keeping an eye on this case, as I think it’s quite interesting to see if Mozy can come up with any explanation for wanting to give themselves the power to start protecting the public from their users.

Update: Søren also posted a comparison of various privacy policies. Good read as well.

Panoramic picture

I found a nice place a couple of days ago, that I really wanted to share with all of you. Unfortunately, the view there isn’t easy to catch with just a single photo, but I’ve tried my best anyway. I wanted to upload it directly using WordPress, but that doesn’t seem to like the idea of a 26775×1588 pixel picture. Anyway, by a bit of hackery:

A scenery near Vorre, Denmark

Don’t be shy, click the image. The tiny thumbnail doesn’t do it much justice.

An update, slightly delayed

Now, some time ago I expected I’d be updating my blog every 10 days with news about my moving plans, which would make for a good few posts – but I wasn’t home when the time came to post with 30 days left, and I didn’t really have anything to write.

I called up the landlord on Tuesday, and inquired as to whether I could move in on June 27 instead of on July 1, which I was might be possible, though entirely dependent on whether the builders were done yet. If they were, it’d be no problem, though I’d naturally have to pay the few days extra rent. I’ll know more in a couple of weeks.

Furniture shopping is at a standstill, since I seem to have figured out the style of furniture I’d like, but I’m not sure whether I’ll have the room for it nor money to buy it. I know for sure that I’ll need a bed, but everything else is a bit more optional, ranging from simple things like “a nice lamp” through “a table and chairs” to “a complete Wegner lounge”. I don’t really think I can realistically buy any of it before I move.

The first exam of the year is on Tuesday, and is in “Technical Project Management” – that is, management of technical projects, and not the technical aspects of managing projects. We’ve been using a book called Applied Software Project Management, which is decent, but as one of the other students in the course pointed out, it isn’t really up to date with agile methods, and the level of some of the advice given approaches the trivial, for example by spending most of a chapter introducing Subversion.

Procrastination has set in, and I’ve resorted to reading food blogs. Some time ago, I was trying to find a recipe for Heston Blumenthal’s oxtail stew, and instead stumbled upon someone who’d actually tried to cook it. Intrigued by the writing style, and the whole subject of a food blog, I’ve spent a couple of hours reading Becks & Posh, as well as a bit of time at Hedonia, especially having fun with the Eatsdropper posts. Recommended.

Danish Embassy bombing

I weren’t going to write about this, and I apologize in advance for being a bit ranty. We probably all know what’s happened, and even though I have the deepest sympathies for the people hurt or killed, it could’ve been a lot worse.

But then a quote popped up in a Danish newspaper article, from The Post in Pakistan. I found the exact quote on their webpage:

While the radical elements in the Muslims world should use the language of logic instead of resorting to terrorism, the West must also understand that the freedom of expression is not a licence to hurt the sentiments of millions of people.

And just for the benefit of the people at The Post: Yes it is. Freedom of speech and expression is exactly that – a freedom. Posting something that’s forbidden by someone else’s religion surely cannot be reason enough to restrict this freedom, and while I understand and support the ideas of boycotts, protests and flag-burning, please stop trying to pressure our government into apologizing for something the country’s citizens do which is completely legal. They have no legal way to do that. If you want an apology, ask the people who’ve offended you. And don’t expect to get it.

Khaleej Times also posted an editorial, that takes a slightly differing view – they still put all the blame on “Denmark”, instead of where it rightly belongs, with Jyllands-Posten – but they also have the following bit:

Most unfortunate and unacceptable as this attack is, we can’t help notice the fact that none of those killed was a Denmark national or European. […] This doesn’t mean if the victims included Danish or European citizens, the attack would be somehow justified. The point is such attacks always end up targeting innocent people — the people who have nothing to do with those the terrorists seek to punish and target.

Quite a clever observation, though not one I think the terrorists care much about. No matter what they write, though, their tone still seems to indicate that had only Danish people been killed, their outlook would have been a lot more positive. Scary.

To round it all off, sorry for the above post. I hadn’t planned on making it, but those few quotes got me going for a while. I’m not surprised at the attack, and I don’t think it’s the last one we’ll see. It’s expected, possibly even deserved, looking at what the Danish media have done to Islam. But that’s the price of freedom.