Corporations, Irvine added, use your data to sell you a “new BMW or a new whatever”, adding that “for the life of me I cannot understand why it is somehow correct for all your privacy to be invaded for a commercial purpose and not allow me to do it to save your life. Is that dramatic enough?” Senator Scott Ludlam chimed in: “It’s probably heading towards melodrama.”

Spying and data wars: one day, we might feel as safe as North Koreans | Richard Ackland | Comment is free |

(David Irvine, in the above quote, is head of ASIO, Australia’s spy agency. He’s speaking at Senate Estimates (I would guess) which is why Senator Ludlam gets to have a zinger in response.)



I often come back to the cliché of “buy less, buy better.” To analyze the maxim is to take a fascinating look into the psyche of those most interested in men’s clothing. While it is undoubtedly the campaign slogan of the iGent movement, people don’t seem to really understand it. Instead they use…

A reminder that (1) I need to take some lighter weight things to be dry-cleaned and (2) to visit my alterations tailor to see if they can work any magic on some pants I’ve stopped wearing.

Numbers on their own aren’t insights. Positive sentiment is 20% – so what? What are people saying? What are the needs and emotions driving that figure, and why is it higher for one brand than another? Read, synthesise, code. Quote the actual messages, show the verbatim. Keep the people visible in how you tell your insights.
Tabloid television shows hire convicted thieves to break into houses and cars to run stories about domestic security. Organisations with large IT systems hire white-hat hackers to probe for electronic security vulnerabilities. Similarly, traditional media should hire some old scammers from Qintex, Westpoint or Storm Financial and present them with the amendments from Cormann and Palmer, and then say to them: looking at these proposed regulations, if you were out to rip off people with more money than sense today, which of these proposals makes it easier for you?
You cannot buy or sell shares and other financial products unless you go through a stockbroker: it’s a legally-protected retailing job. Sometimes they offer financial advice, but mostly they don’t need to - whether clients make money or lose it, the stockbroker does well either way. The private-sector nature of the job, and the fact that you can make out like a bandit without anything like hard work, attracts libertarians